Author Topic: Agility question  (Read 2927 times)

whitepupzoe

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Agility question
« on: March 20, 2007, 08:03:18 AM »
For those of you who compete in agility or are planning on it...how do you know if your dog is enjoying it or if you are just "forcing" them to do it. We just finished our 5th beginners class and I am not sure I want to continue with them.  Zoe does all the obstacles fine, but she has a 1 second attention span and is more concerned with the crumbs on the floor! Ariel sometimes looks like she is petrified and is always watching to see where Zoe is.  So we were wondering of maybe we should take some more obedience type classes to help with their attention problems and control issuses before moving up to the next level. Zoe is the typical boxer when she gets there...expolding with energy wanting to play...but then is a mope when it's time to get up and do the obstacles. 

Another question, should I get Zoe a harness instead of collar? She pulls so much she just about chokes herself.   ::)

Renee or anyone have any advice for me?
« Last Edit: March 20, 2007, 08:12:55 AM by whitepupzoe »
Kristin ~ Mom to Abby & George


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Renee

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Re: Agility question
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2007, 08:51:15 AM »
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Zoe does all the obstacles fine, but she has a 1 second attention span and is more concerned with the crumbs on the floor!

Is hand feeding the dog an option for you?  I can change focus typically by hand feeding a dog, and making them work for everything they eat.  For some people, that's more work than what they want to put into having fun.

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Ariel sometimes looks like she is petrified and is always watching to see where Zoe is.

Define sometimes, and has your instructor suggested any desensitization work?

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So we were wondering of maybe we should take some more obedience type classes to help with their attention problems and control issuses before moving up to the next level.

I'm personally of the opinion that obedience needs to stay in the obedience ring, and agility in the agility ring.  If you find yourself needing more control, ( if *I* find myself needing more control) than it's time to look at teamwork and where my holes are.

I can keep a dogs focus for as long as I want in a class setting, off leash, etc. because of teamwork, not obedience.

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Another question, should I get Zoe a harness instead of collar? She pulls so much she just about chokes herself.

Harnesses are unsafe on the equipment, I'd opt for a Mendota instead.  The last thing you want to do is discourage pulling.

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Renee or anyone have any advice for me?

Depends on how bad you want to do agility.  If you could take it or leave it, if you're not having fun, that's OK.  If you really really want it, then yes, there are alot of things you can do, that are slow, not quick fixes, that can make all the difference.





whitepupzoe

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Re: Agility question
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2007, 09:07:09 AM »
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Is hand feeding the dog an option for you?
Do you mean for dinner? Well I usually give her kibble and some canned food, so it might be messy!  :laugh4: I can usually get her attention by showing her the treat but only after I put it right in front of her nose.

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Define sometimes, and has your instructor suggested any desensitization work?

Well my husband handles Ariel in class and he said that last night when she was on the table in a down that she was shaking. Could it be excitement? Then the instructor said that her scratching was a sign of stress? I personally think its her not used to wearing a collor. She also wont take her eyes off me and Zoe. We usually have to go ahead of them so Ariel will not be looking for us.

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I'm personally of the opinion that obedience needs to stay in the obedience ring, and agility in the agility ring.  If you find yourself needing more control, ( if *I* find myself needing more control) than it's time to look at teamwork and where my holes are.

Okay, good, wasnt sure if that would help or not. The control issues are basically when we first get there, they think it's playtime. And some of the other people dont really appreciate a bouncy boxer on their well trained dog!  ;)

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Harnesses are unsafe on the equipment, I'd opt for a Mendota instead.  The last thing you want to do is discourage pulling.
Okay, I will look into that. Thanks.

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Depends on how bad you want to do agility.  If you could take it or leave it, if you're not having fun, that's OK.  If you really really want it, then yes, there are alot of things you can do, that are slow, not quick fixes, that can make all the difference.

Both Al and I are really having fun with it, I enjoy spending time with him and the dogs and watching them learn. I guess I am expecting them to be stars 5 weeks into it!  :) I really think Zoe could be good at it, I just dont want to force it on them.

Renee thanks for all your advice. It is very much appreciated.




Kristin ~ Mom to Abby & George


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Hanna Banana

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Re: Agility question
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2007, 09:14:37 AM »
Kristen -

I cannot wait to get into the agility stuff - dont freak!    Right now I am stuck in an obedience rutt.   Hanna does not have the attention span for the obedience class, and just wants to be active rather than sit on a leash and wait for our turn.  This frustrates the heck out of me because I think the people think she is dumb and cannot do the things she knows!    

I have a blast with her in our yard.  Running around chasing a stick, play tag.   When she does something, she gets a super yummy reward that I always mix up.    Sometimes the reward is the ball or toy, sometimes its the treat.     She obeys my commands just fine.    On the training level she does best when working with the private trainer, because she gets all the attention and not 1/7 of it.  

So I have found out thru some different things what makes something fun for her, and what makes her learn.   My obedience class really is not her thing.   So I am not planning on continuting after the next two classes.   I may research another trainer, and class but not continuing in this program, its just not built for us.      

So like you, I would just find a way to make them have fun if you do not think that they are!!!   I have found out that some kind of structure is not for every kind of dog.   Hanna's structure is different than the beagle at class, or the rottie in the park.  

I enjoy training her and enjoy it more when she is having a blast and actually gets it.  Maybe you can play at home with what gets the girls excited and works for them, (a yummy reward, a total praise or pat) and try to incorporate that into their training??

I am not expert, but that is what it working for me, mixing things up to a pattern that works for Hanna.  I try to channel her energy out of play into a game of fun and reward.

Hope I make sense... then again, I would be doing things wrong!

 :2thumbsup:
Heather  - Mom to Hanna Banana & Kash

whitepupzoe

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Re: Agility question
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2007, 09:35:25 AM »
Thanks Heather! I cant wait until it gets nicer outside, Al is gonna build some jumps and stuff for us to practice on. I think, like you said, I need to find out what excites her and makes it fun. Right now I think they are overwhelmed and over stimulated!  :laugh4: Ariel gets more excited then ZOe when she does something right and gets praised for it! She wiggles and jumpes all over. So, I think I will just press on and see where it takes me.  ;)



Renee - the medota collar - is this it?

http://www.dogsupplies.com/store/mcart.php?ID=343
or this?
http://www.dogsupplies.com/store/mcart.php?ID=325
Kristin ~ Mom to Abby & George


Always In My Heart ~ Angels Zoe & Ariel

Hanna Banana

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Re: Agility question
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2007, 09:37:47 AM »
Sounds like a plan K  - I know the feeling at times I come home from the Group Class and am like  :wall: :wall: :wall: :wall:

ha ha ha!
Heather  - Mom to Hanna Banana & Kash

Renee

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Re: Agility question
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2007, 11:09:54 AM »
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Do you mean for dinner? Well I usually give her kibble and some canned food, so it might be messy!


Well, you'll want latex gloves then for sure. :P  But that's drive manipulation, and it's certainly not for everyone - it's like NILIF, some people are OK with it, some aren't.

Jakob went 3 days without eating before changing his focus and outlook on things when starting a hand feeding regimen. Now I do it with the puppies, and continue for MONTHS.

On that note, I also don't have focus issues in classes, I don't have "teenager" stages, I don't have alot of 'issues' in training, even training young dogs who "just want to play with the other dogs" because I raise them differently.

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Then the instructor said that her scratching was a sign of stress?

She would be a dog I'd take things slowly (REALLY SLOWLY) with.  Maybe she needs to be outside the class getting comfortbale being there, then build up to being in the ring, then on equipment.

This book personally turns my stomach  http://www.dogwise.com/Item_Inside.cfm?ID=DTA260 and I find it disturbing, however, it is currently an Agility Bible on shaping and overcoming issues in agility training, you might want to give it a read.

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The control issues are basically when we first get there, they think it's playtime.

Well..isn't it?  Maybe it's more focus related?

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I guess I am expecting them to be stars 5 weeks into it!

Which is common...and also why the dropout rate is so high.  We lose 50-75% of our beginners because (A) they think agility is about the dog running on equipment and (B) it's work.  It's ALOT OF WORK... so most people either drop out, or adjust their goals and expectations, slow down, work hard, and have alot of fun.

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Right now I am stuck in an obedience rutt.   Hanna does not have the attention span for the obedience class, and just wants to be active rather than sit on a leash and wait for our turn.  This frustrates the heck out of me because I think the people think she is dumb and cannot do the things she knows

Does not have the attention span for obedience class?  FYI, it's a cold day in ____ before my dog ever spends class time sitting on leash waiting our turn.  No wonder it's boring and there are attention span issues.

I don't really know how honest I should even be here, but there are a bunch of fairly corny and painfully true sayings about dog training:

"Every Handler gets the dog they deserve"  - Royal Air Force

"You have to be more interesting than grass." Karla Spitzer

"Train your Boxer, every day, as if it's the last day you will ever spend with them."  Trace Hendrickson.

You'll likely meet - or at least see - Trace at Nationals.  Walk up to her once and tell her your dog gets bored with Obedience class (just let me know before you do so I can watch from around the corner...)

Tracy, of course, is my own personal hero...I put her right up there with Oprah...

http://www.sunchase-boxers.com/pages/2/Home.html


 






Renee

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Re: Agility question
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2007, 11:12:11 AM »
Renee - the medota collar - is this it?

Yes, worn all the way up on the neck, under the jaw.  That should take care of any pulling on leash issues pretty quickly, but have your instructor help you with it first.

BoxerWB

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Re: Agility question
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2007, 11:16:45 AM »
LOL.. I love the "more interesting than grass" quote, I've seen it before.  It's my personal goal, and one of the reasons I'll often do little bits of work with Xena while I'm waiting my turn for the official exercise we are practicing.  If all she gets to do in between is sit and wait, she tends to troll the sawdust for any treats left by the livestock that use the pavillion!

This definitely looks like a thread I'll review when/if I can get Dash into agility.  Sounds like his current crazed enthusiasm is something to keep going! Which is good because Aaron has so much fun wrestling with him, I don't think he's going to stop being that crazy anytime soon!

Kristin -  Sounds like you've got an OK start with Zoe at least, wanting to go after the crumbs is pretty normal and doesn't neccessarily seem like that means she *doesn't* like the exercise... she just likes food alot!  :laugh4:
Julia
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Boxermom,K

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Re: Agility question
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2007, 11:30:05 AM »
Zoe is the typical boxer when she gets there...expolding with energy wanting to play...but then is a mope when it's time to get up and do the obstacles. 
Are YOU nervous about the obsticles? Sometimes if the handler is nervous or not enthusiastic enough the dog will lose some interest or be hesitant.


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Kristi
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whitepupzoe

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Re: Agility question
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2007, 11:38:48 AM »
Zoe is the typical boxer when she gets there...expolding with energy wanting to play...but then is a mope when it's time to get up and do the obstacles. 
Are YOU nervous about the obsticles? Sometimes if the handler is nervous or not enthusiastic enough the dog will lose some interest or be hesitant.



Its very possible! I told Al last night that WE need more training then the dogs do, all the mistakes they made were because we gave them the wrong signals and confused them. So you might be right... ;)
Kristin ~ Mom to Abby & George


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hooligan861

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Re: Agility question
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2007, 07:05:56 PM »
I know when I was doing the agility with maddie she was loving it.  I think she loved being around the other dogs, getting one on one attention from me, and all the praise she got.
 
I am going to start with maddie doing tracking once the weather breaks.  just to spend time with her.  I think I actually am going to learn with maddie and apply with all 3.    Zoe is probably having as much fun as you are.  Have my motto.  even though we were the least experienced in the class and maddie was running everywhere stealing obidiance dumb bells from bigger dogs, tooting and stinking out the instuctor.  I just stood back and enjoyed our time.  I paid for the class to have fun and learn some skills.    Have fun!!!
Tracie-   
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