Agility training

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

  1. DJEtzel

    DJEtzel New Member

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    I call it feet, too.

    Well, perfect Saturday! 3 clean first place Qs and one fault in a 4th run- still 1st place Q. I'm wondering if we should have just entered level 2 right away, but at least he had a great time and we had some good runs to motivate us! One of our trainers was there trialing as well as a few friends, so we got a lot of input and had a lot of fun. Here are videos...

    Standard- I thought for sure we'd have a problem with contacts. I obviously baby'd them, but it worked! I was really surprised that he didn't hold his start line... he's never broken it before. :p The floor was pretty slick and he biffed it too, but we pulled it off for a clean run.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151760105107705&l=5092931468745052655

    Wildcard- Didn't go quite as smooth and he dropped a bar, but still first and a Q!

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151760275267705&l=6467812043187393622

    Colors- Clean first place Q!
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151760376937705&l=5603175092269424108

    And Snooker- A little iffy as I decided to change my cues for this course and NOT call the tunnels, but we still came in first!

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151760748317705&l=1247674949615425757

    So proud of my guy for his first trial ever, at only 15 mos old. His breeder was very pleased and his uncle's owner even came to cheer us on. Also got to trial under my favorite Judge ever, Jerry McKenzie. Recon even had the same standard course that Frag did for his first trial. :)
     
  2. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Glad you guys had fun. Was that CPE Level 1?
     
  3. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Thanks. I'm just really bummed. I don't know, I don't think it's fair to my dogs to be disappointed but it sucks being the only person at the trial having motivation issues and people debuting their sporter collies left and right and they're all having fun.

    We have class tonight and I just don't want to go but I think I will since I'll miss next week. I'm going to go back to rewarding Mia all the time and see if that helps.

    To top it off I wrecked my car yesterday so unexpected expense there... My medication is also making me have a constant period lately which I'm sure is not helping either. I'm just... tired, I guess. It always seems like agility just never works out for us.

    ETA: Oh good, class got cancelled. I needed a break.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013
  4. DJEtzel

    DJEtzel New Member

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    Yes, it was. Hopefully we'll be into level 2 by 2014. If he had his weaves a little better I would have just gone for it because I know his handling is at level 3 or 4, but I didn't really want to pay a ton not to Q and be frustrated, so we just had fun. :)
     
  5. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    I guarantee you're not the only person having motivation issues, Laur. It's tough because our expectations of our dogs are usually higher. I'm easier on Georgie than I am on Payton. I expect more out of Payton than I expect out of Georgie. My students have dogs who do things like Payton and I always have something positive to say about it. Payton doesn't always get the "here's something positive from that!" benefit. I KNOW I set the bar higher for him than other dogs. I take small comfort in watching a world team person run her novice dog and having similar troubles. See, THAT dog is having trouble too, and she competes at the world team level! Her dogs are great and she's a great trainer! And even that dog is struggling right now! She'll get it worked out and I know I'll get things worked out with Payton too.
    But it doesn't make it any less frustrating in the moment. It doesn't make me lower the bar of my expectations in the moment. But it SHOULD. And when I'm being logical about it, it does bring my expectations back to earth and helps raise my bruised and damaged ego that can't stand not having a perfect dog and looking like a fool on the course while my dog acts like he's never ever ever seen weave poles before.

    You need to cut both your dogs a break for being novice dogs and cut yourself a break for being a novice handler! Agility is not an easy game for people or dogs. There are so many factors involved and trialing is it's own factor. In Springfield I was crated next to people with a pointer mix, and they told me their dog is great in class and they've done a bunch of fun runs... but once they get to a trial, the dog ceases to listen to them and simply runs circles around the ring. "But he only does this at trials!" is a common refrain. Things change at a trial. It takes time and experience and often just finding the right combination to finally get the magic flowing.

    Remember that everybody has their own troubles, even if you don't see them, and you don't have the full picture of anybody's story with their dog. My mom does this with Payton, she thinks he's just soooo much better than Georgie and acts like it just happened, but she doesn't see all the work I put into him. And so much of it is stuff that takes place away from equipment. Hours and hours of work and times I would just sit down and cry because my puppy was rotten and frustrating. Nobody sees that in the ring. We are not made up of our runs in the ring, we are made up of everything that happens outside the ring. My half-marathon isn't made up of waking up on the day of and going out there and running 13.1 miles - it's made up of the weeks and weeks and hours and hours of training that happen before that. Agility is a sport, and they are all the same. Nobody just shows up and is amazing without having had to work for it.

    I think the biggest thing is like yvonne said... take the expectation for perfection out of it and just make the intent to go out and play with your dogs. Since Mia is so sensitive, your anxiety about what's about to happen (or not happen) is probably rubbing off on her, which of course makes your anxiety worse and an infinite loop starts.



    Don't fall into the trap of thinking it takes a herding dog to be successful and definitely don't fall into the trap of thinking just getting another dog will be the key. It's easy for me to say sitting here having nothing BUT herding dogs, but I have so many agility friends who have been wildly successful with non-herding breeds, I just don't buy that it takes a herding dog to be successful. And I sure as hell don't buy that the solution is to just get another dog and my heart aches when people feel that way, because of course that was a suggestion people gave me with Auggie.
    "You just need another dog."
    "You should get another dog."
    That one is broken - you should replace him.
    Upgrade to a newer model.

    I didn't WANT another dog. I wanted AUGGIE. He is my dog and even though run after run resulted in wasted money, no Qs, frustration and tears, he was the dog I wanted.
    And now that I HAVE another dog, it's not any easier. Payton just brings an entirely different group of problems to the table, problems I don't even have firm plans on working through because he is not Auggie. Payton was not the solution to Auggie's problems, and he certainly was no Agility Jesus who saved me from all frustration and disappointment.
    Also while it may look like I'm having fun because I'm laughing at my crazy baby dog, I really want to sell him to the circus for $10, except he won't do anything so even the circus doesn't want him. Appearances can be deceiving (and that is certainly the idea when I'm in the ring with P. LOLOLOL LOOK HOW MUCH FUN WE ARE HAVING YAAAAAY I HATE THIS DOG WHOOOOO PAYTON SUCKS ALL RIGHT YEAH)
     
  6. k9krazee

    k9krazee Active Member

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    For 2o2o I use "TWO ON!" I'm creative ;)

    Well! I have a private lesson scheduled next week to see if we can attend classes at a place I've been trying to be in touch with for 7 months. I find it odd/stupid I have to pay for a private lesson to see if I will be allowed to pay her to attend classes. I just want a place to train/practice in the winter!!!!
     
  7. yv0nne

    yv0nne Vizsla mom

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    I am pretty much quoting this to say ..I agree. SO MANY PEOPLE told me I could never do agility with my dog because she's not a herder. You know what I said? SCREW YOU ALL. I'm doing it now just for spite!!!

    For me, my anxiety& expectation that Penn would run away lead to the result I was expecting. Since I changed my attitude (and my off-leash focus expectations) I've had a total 180 in Penn's focus off lead.

    Also, we just had an AMAZING afternoon in agility. She zoomed through the tunnels, took far ends off verbals, NAILED her weaves (literally. She was 100% on her entrances& only popped out once 1 weave early& it was my fault because I threw the tug too soon) and basically was a little super star!
     
  8. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    YES. Funny enough I was just writing about Auggie's first agility trial for my book and I go on to say that I was haunted by my concerns over what he did at fun runs and the result was that he delivered exactly what I was expecting. I think our end of the handling unit is the hardest end to train, LOL.


    Pisses me off when people tell somebody you need a border collie or a sheltie to be successful in agility... and if the BC/sheltie you have isn't doing well, you should throw that one away and get another because obviously that one is busted. You know who's successful in agility? The person who gets to go home with a dog they love desperately. Q or no Q, ribbons or no ribbons. It took a long time for me to learn that. It took a real bitch getting in my face with some exceptionally nasty things to say about Auggie for me to learn that. No. I don't care if he's not the fastest. I don't care if he doesn't Q. I'm a winner and so is Auggie. I'm a winner because AUGGIE sleeps on my pillow every night. That's all I need.
    And of course Auggie already knew he was a winner. He knew it all along.
    They say we're supposed to be the smarter species.
     
  9. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    To be honest, the only people I've ever heard actually say such things are, to be frank, not very successful in agility themselves. Maybe on a very local level but mostly they just have delusions of grandeur and a very narrow view of the world. And are nearly useless as trainers, especially for training any dog that doesn't fit their miniscule area of expertise.

    Just walk away. Not worth your time.

    And really they are such a tiny minority that they are easy to avoid. Or laugh at. Whichever you prefer.
     
  10. yv0nne

    yv0nne Vizsla mom

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    Yes, I've also realized that now that I'm doing better than everyone who said it to me. In the moment as a new agility person with an 8wk old Vizsla who has high hopes? I was told gun dogs run away& don't come back, have no recall, no focus& probably won't ever be able to go to a trial with success. It hurts and then I had no understanding that that wasn't true at all.

    I've since learned it's not the people who own the breed for the sport but the people who love theirs dogs& WANT success who tend to get success. Penny may never be a world champ but **** it if I don't train her with those ideas being a motivator for us!! I'll take my off breed agility dog home& snuggle up close with her every single night even if all we ever do is go to trials& have failure. I already have 1 agility Border Collie!
     
  11. Finkie_Mom

    Finkie_Mom It's A Red Dog Revolution

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    Agreed! I had someone who is brand new to teaching agility classes (and who has only ever run an Aussie and a Sheltie) tell me that if I wanted to ever put a MACH on a dog I should probably, "put my name on a waiting list for a future Sheltie pup bred by [my trainer]." Then I could "just run with Kimma for fun and have the fast Sheltie to really compete with." UHHHHHHHH NO THANKS.

    And of course this was all unsolicited advice given while we were doing a course walk through at a trial, then Kimma goes and Qs with a first place on that course to get her AX title :p
     
  12. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

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    Can I like..hump your leg for this post? Love it.

    :eek: I think I've taken too many painkillers today.

    I haven't had anyone tell me I couldn't do agility with my pointer, but I may have told myself that. Well I mean, not that a pointer couldn't do agility, but her? Pfft, I figured she would be in the next county if I let her off leash, even in a contained area. I tried to work a recall on hikes/unfenced dog parks. No go. I told myself she has no focus. She wouldn't like it.

    You know what? She surprised the hell out of me, we do an obedience class and an agility class now, and she just graduated this Monday from the first level of agility classes :). I'm proud of the white dog, she has her quirks but she isn't bad at all.
     
  13. yv0nne

    yv0nne Vizsla mom

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    Oh, Penn actually has/ always had a recall. I will forever& always be in debt to Jess Martin for pointing out the root cause of our issues then giving me the tools to correct them. I was so stuck in an endless loop of frustration& upset! She has been a godsend ..hopefully, all our hard work shows when we go back to her next weekend!!

    Also, congrats for the hard work with your pointer. I do recognize it is harder to train an 'off' breed ..but it's so rewarding when they finally get it :)
     
  14. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    I can completely understand how that would be devastating especially when you are showing up with the new 8 week old love of your life, filled with hopes and dreams. Glad you stuck with it, and are sticking with it, despite the naysayers.

    Though I gotta say that anyone who believes that of gundogs has absolutely no frikkin clue what gundogs are for.
     
  15. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Hells yes :)
     
  16. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    Unfortunately I've met national and international level competitors who have said such things. One such person said such thing to somebody on this board. And to somebody local who was (is?) supposedly her friend...
    They are useless as trainers though, I agree with that. And also that they are not worth anybody's time. Oh, but if we only ever listened to the people who had worthwhile things to say.
     
  17. Finkie_Mom

    Finkie_Mom It's A Red Dog Revolution

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    That's what I said - Kimma made me really proud that day :D

    I'm actually really excited to start private lessons with a new trainer tomorrow, as she runs Cockers. And while Cockers are relatively common in agility (around here anyway), it's still not a BC or Sheltie. And NOTHING AGAINST people that run those breeds because they are often faced with other challenges, but it's refreshing to train with someone with a different breed. Actually, the first trainer we had when we came back to PA ran Dals, and had only JUST gotten a BC pup when we started. I just appreciate different perspectives :)
     
  18. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Fair point, guess I was speaking from irl experience.

    I've run into top tier handler/trainers who couldn't train anything that didn't fit their mold, but haven't heard them verbally denegrate other breeds.

    But hey I don't know everyone. Just glad that my overall agiity exp has been positive no matter who's on the other end of my leash. And that I can let it roll off and go play with my dog in the event someone is lame.

    Have dog. Will play.

    Yay agility!
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013
  19. iriskai

    iriskai New Member

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    I really enjoyed reading through all these recent posts... There's a fair bit of variety in the classes I'm currently in, but Mimi is the only sighthound. Because, you know, sighthounds aren't trainable, only chase things, have no drive to please, etc. etc..

    My favorite class is mostly GSDs, a Dane, a Pembroke, two labs and two BCs and the CPE games class I started today is mostly Shelties with 2 Vizlas, a poodle mix and a two mix breed hounds owned by a couple kids. I get all sorts of odd comments when people first see her, usually something along the lines of "She's so pretty.. are you actually in this class?" or "Most (insert sighthound breed of choice here) aren't very good at agility.. good for you for trying!". Thennnn... she runs a course. She's too good for me, she really is. I'm lucky and she LOVES it. "Oh wow, she's actually really good for not being a BC!" Thanks.... was that a compliment?

    Mimi has been interesting to learn with as she both motivates easily and demotivates easily. She's entirely food and praise driven, doesn't give a flip about toys and in a way, I'm a tiny bit jealous of people that can use toys as motivation. She'll actually sulk and pout if she doesn't get praised/treated for something we've been training. Most recently, working on 2x2s, she'd been hitting the entrances and getting praised. She missed the entrance direction and I called her back to me (no correction, no change in tone/posture, just called her back to let her try again) and she got upset.

    On a slightly related note, weave pole training.. been working on 2x2s with mild success. She's to the point where she knows she's suppose to weave through them, but doesn't always get which direction. Tried her with 2 sets last week.. if I offset the first pole to make the entrance obvious, she'd get the following three straight. If I straightened the first pole, she'd miss the entrance and enter between 2 and 3. I think I need to watch the DVDs again. Decided to set up the weave-o-matics (mostly open) today after the CPE class to see what she thought.. she ran right through them and seemed to be having a lot of fun with it which is fantastic for her.

    Is it taboo to use multiple methods when training a green dog (and green handler)??
     
  20. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    I just read the last couple of pages and I am going to tell you about frustration, being scared and spending so much money it would make your head spin. For what???? For the hope and dream of making my puppy sound again so we can start training again in agility, which we both love, enjoy and have FUN training it and playing at it.

    Who CARES if some random people or even people you know say what you can or can't do with YOUR dog? That one breed is better over another? That is a load of crap and if you listen to it or worse believe it, then figure out how to kick your own a$$$es now and get over it.

    Why am I ranting??? On Aug 9 2013 Punky was attacked by a rottie and it damaged her back. She is still on restricted exercise even after multiple vet visits, x rays, going to OVC to see the Orthopedic surgeon and the Neurologist. Weekly chiro and cold laser treatments, 2x weekly physio, meds etc. And it will be a great day if we can get her to the point that she can start swimming at rehab and a greater day if it doesn't make her worse.

    I am THRILLED that the dog didn't KILL her, now I just want my puppy to be ok and to not be in pain. I will throw a f*cking party if we ever get to train in agility again.

    So if your able to play with your dog at this time, be bloody happy about because it can change in a heartbeat.

    Wanna know what the first step to having a rockstar dog is??? BELIEVING and TREATING them like they ARE rockstars, regardless of what happens. Change your mind set and you just might be surprised at what your dog would love to give you.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2013

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