Agility training

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Panzerotti, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    My thumbs aren't up to typing out all my thoughts but regarding this bit:

    Try showing up with not-a-herder...it's like being invisible :p

    When I ran a friend's BC a couple times a while back, I had all these people suddenly introducing themselves and chatting with me and asking if I'd been doing agility long. It was SO HARD to not say, "Ummm yeah I'm not new and my retriever and I have beaten you. Many times." They just don't even notice, or automatically assume it's a fluke.

    I like BCs as a breed and I like a lot of people who own BCs but sometimes, some of them...

    *grumble grumble*
     
  2. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    I can one-up you. Try showing up with a toy dog. ;)

    No really, pretty much everyone in our local scene around here is great. Most everyone is really laid back and welcoming, even the BC people. It's one of the nice things about it being so new around here. Everyone's trying to start everything up together.
     
  3. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    100% agree. The best agility dog is YOUR agility dog!!

    *flips table*

    ARGH IT JUST MAKES ME SO MAD >=<
     
  4. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    That's not what they're saying, but I see the frustration. Too many times I was told to just get a BC as well and that's why my trainer is so **** stubborn about letting me give.
     
  5. speedydogs

    speedydogs Allons-y!

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    The vet ok'd Cricket to go to agility class last night, so we went for our first time since her tail surgery. She did great and I'm sure was happy to be out of the house - I did slow her down more than she liked, but I didn't want to risk her whacking her tail on something and opening it up again. I was worried about balance issues during tight turns, but she doesn't seem to have any problems with it.
     
  6. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Yay! I'm glad she seems balanced :)
     
  7. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    Someone have a flame suit I can borrow?

    Lazy trainers. That's all there is to it, in my mind, and it just gets fed into more and more, as they spread that attitude around. Not that those who run border collies are lazy; I equally despise the "border collies are born knowing agility!" attitude. But anyone collecting money as an instructor who has that to offer as advice is lazy.

    Training a BC isn't always going to be easy, but the answers to everything you may encounter are out there. "We" (not me, but the Agility World as a whole) know how to train these dogs. People have put in the work already, finding out how to train different skills in a dog with the mind and body of a typical border collie. You don't have to think out answers yourself.

    I can appreciate a border collie with super gamble skills, or one who has those weaves or contacts that make your heart stop a bit. But I'm not really "impressed" for lack of a better word.

    If a trainer wants to dazzle me with their skills, show me how to get my soft, non-toy motivated hound to run full speed over a dog walk. Teach a toy dog to leave their owner and go out 20' to the weave poles. Help me figure out how to get my easily distracted terrier mix baby dog to sit on the start line, quivering with anticipation and focused on the first obstacle. Don't say "tugging is a prerequisite" - find a way to make it work with a dog who doesn't like tugging.

    My first question when looking at possible seminars to attend is "what have they successfully trained for dogs"? Going to someone whose success is built entirely upon BCs is likely to be wrong for me. I want either that trainer or their students successfully running other breeds. I want to know they can do it, and create happy dogs and handlers.

    I learned this all the hard way; I've only attended probably a half-dozen seminars presented by different people (I've repeated some people I really liked). Without fail, the ones who I go back to over and over and stalk online for further opportunities are the ones who have success at a national or international level with Not Border Collies (or at least not exclusively with BC). They problem solve, they look at the dogs as individuals, and help you figure out what motivates THIS dog in THIS situation and create a system that works for you and your dog.

    /rant
     
  8. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    This. So much this.

    I know TONS of trainers that can train a toy motivated dog to do agility. I can count on one hand the number of trainers that can train any breed to do agility. Those are the trainers I learn from, those are the trainers I aspire to.
     
  9. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Toy motivation leaves a lot to be desired. :)
     
  10. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    So does showing up at an agility seminar you paid for and being told "I don't know how you are going to be able to do this if your dog won't play with toys".
     
  11. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    Dafuq. Seriously?? Way to think outside of the box. Is this a national-known trainer? If so, can you PM me please?
     
  12. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

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    This is inspiring :).
     
  13. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    I was teasing, the grass is always greener was my point. It is common to recommend border collies for the sport, it is understandable why they are more common.

    It is frustrating when trainers tell you you're SOL, you're not alone, I have been told in sports besides agility my low food drive dog should just be starved or black boxed to build drive and that it's a shameful waste of time trying if I can't use food for fine details. While I do understand and am desperately craving more food drive its not fair to label us hopeless nor am i will to go to drastic measures to build his food drive. Sorry, I'm tired of people asking me what's wrong with my rescue (eer... Well bred and taken care of breeder bought dog).

    It's also very hard to not take it to heart. I applaud you for sticking with it. I know I have given up(and thus far restarted) many times.
     
  14. DenoLo

    DenoLo New Member

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    At our first trial ever, somebody said "Oh surely you must just be here to observe". And later on my friends overheard somebody say about her "Cute but not desirable". I use that phrase frequently now like when she noses through my purse.

    But those were isolated, everybody for the most part has been super nice and we always get applause even if ut's not desirable LOL
     
  15. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    That's so messed up, I would love to see you two run.

    Sometimes I really don't know what's worse, having a dog that no one thinks can do it and thus ignores you or having a dog that everyone expects the world from and your best just isn't up to snuff.
     
  16. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    Not at all. A fairly local person, and not even a big name here. It was a short intro to 2x2 seminar I took a million years ago, when it was just starting to be "the thing". It was basically "throw the toy alone this line". "Okay, but she isn't going to care about the toy." "Well, you are SOL."

    I figured it was a joke (at least half way!). I know we all have the same thoughts. You have speed? You want control. You have toy drive? You wish you had food drive. You have a slow steady dog? You want that crazy speed!

    I don't really blame people for getting a BC for the sport. It just turns into a self fulfilling prophecy. All the big trainers run a BC, therefore they know how to train one well. So they tell their students to get BCs. So there is a huge preponderance of BC at the top level, so everyone thinks that if they want to succeed there, they need to get a BC, so the people who are serious about it, get a BC. So it stays all BC at the top levels. And on and on.

    The kicker is, I really like border collies outside of agility as well as in, but I feel like if I ever get one, I'll be seen as just another person getting one for the sport. Oh well. I've got a lot of years of trying to figure Gusto out before I even think about another dog!
     
  17. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    I know people stuck on both ends of that spectrum, and I think there is an equal amount of suckage. I think I'm fortunately kind of in the middle with Gusto, but definitely on the far "you are seriously running her?" end with Meg.

    :rofl1: Sure they were talking about the dog? ;)
     
  18. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Yeahhh my Biggest Waste of Money seminar, by far, was with a person who has only ever had BCs. A person who has been extremely successful on the national and international stage and who is touted as an excellent educator. Who had no flippin clue how to help the non-BC/non-BC-like dogs in the seminar...in a class that was mostly non-BCs.

    It was ridiculous.

    The best seminar instructor I've ever had, by far, was a far less well-known person who has had success on the national and world stages as well, but who has trained and competed successfully with a wide variety of breeds and sizes, from herders to terriers, toy to 24".

    Again I like the breed. But having success with them and only them is an individual accomplishment. It is not indicative of a person that would have success with anything else. Much like the gal who runs a hound quite successfully at my local club has no idea how to help the people who show up with intense BCs, terriers, and retrievers. She's a niche person. And that's okay in her case, because she recognizes it and directs those people to instructors more suited to their problem set. An honest self-assessment that some of the top agility presenters don't seem capable of making.
     
  19. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Yes. And yes.

    I have said both these so many times IRL that I sound like a broken record.
     
  20. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    While we're complaining about BC people can I just say if I get one more comment about how papillons are 'like little BCs' I will scream. Lol. It seems like every compliment I get has to mention border collies and how my breed is like a toy version. Papillons are awesome because theyre papillons. And papillons in themselves are biddable and fun and many times drivey dogs. Border collies have nothing to do with it.
     

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