I'm starting to wonder

Discussion in 'Agility and Dog Sports' started by Beanie, Jul 18, 2009.

  1. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    if Auggie isn't enjoying it anymore.
    He's practically walking courses. Today there was a point in the standard course where he came out of the tunnel practically on the side of it because WOW was he going fast... but for the rest of the course, he was pokey pokey pokey.

    I... have nothing else to say... just... wondering.
     
  2. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    how often are you doing agility? Do you ever take a break (kaiden had one winter off and came back crazy for it)
     
  3. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    Weekly practices - about a half hour or so every time. We also get in the backyard and fool around just a little for about 10-15 minutes 2-3 times a week depending on how the weather is. Mostly weave pole work right now.

    We haven't really been doing it very long to take a break... we just started last April (well, were practicing for about a year or so before that.)

    He's been slow but I was attributing it to the heat. We're inside this weekend, and it's cool out AND they have the air on so it's actually rather cold in the building, so it can't really be blamed on the heat this time...


    Maybe we should take a break. We just finished a round of courses anyway. There's a trial in September I would like to hit though. Maybe we'll quit until right before the trial and see how he's doing... I don't know. He didn't do POORLY today - in fact, he did great. If only he weren't walking the courses. =/
     
  4. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

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    If his heart isn't in it, why push . I would have loved to do agility , but none of my Goldens had the " spunk " . Even in obedience they were slow and " La-tee-da " . The long down was their favorite ...LOL!
     
  5. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Try upping the rewards and lessening the work. Dogs tend to slow down for a reason.. is he sore? Are you over repeating (over training) things? etc etc
     
  6. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    I feel the same, Grammy... that's exactly why I am questioning what is going on here. If he's not enjoying it anymore it's not worth it.

    I sent an e-mail to his breeder/our trainer. She's out of town this weekend so she wasn't able to come watch. I do have video so maybe we'll sit down and watch the videos together, and see if we can't decide what to do. Maybe now is a good time to take a break since I've been wanting to do some herding work anyway. I don't know. I just feel pretty lousy right now. We've had a number of bad trials in a row and it would be nice to have a good run again. It feels like forever (in reality, it really hasn't been that long... he finally nabbed a leg towards his NA on Mother's Day and we only trialed one more weekend after that. It just FEELS like forever.)
     
  7. MafiaPrincess

    MafiaPrincess Obvious trollsare Obvious

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    Cider hadn't gotten a Q this year until last sunday. We are always fast, but I was loosing her focus and she was stopping mid course to sniff and have fun as I wasn't fun enough any more. I tried upping the rewards in class.

    Do a sequence, screw it up, play tug the entire way back to where I wanted to retry it from. 99.9% of the time if we screw up it's handler error. So I reward her for trying these days..

    It has helped.. that is 2 trials (last sunday and today) where she has played fully with me, never left me to see the ring crew (a fave past time), not stopped to sniff..

    We also have done better after a break. I stop usually when it's too cold to play outside in Canada anymore.. End of Oct-mid Nov.. and restart April-May.. She is more wanting to play after a break. Sucks being mid trial season.. But you have a few options to try.
     
  8. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    Got an e-mail back from his breeder. Her suggestion right now is to drop him down into preferred. That will a) lower his jump height back to 12 and b) give us more time on SCTs. I think that's a good idea for now.
    I feel sort of like it's giving up on him. We got our NAJ after two trials... right now I have one leg for an OAJ and one for his NA.
    But I also feel like it might be the right decision. After our lousy measurement that got us our height card at 14.75 (ridiculous) I started to consider it. He can do 16, I know it. We got the NAJ at 16. But I think it's too much. Until we can figure out if we can challenge it... I think we'll be entering preferred from now on. Yeah. And technically, if he gets better and we can get the height card thing fixed, we can always move back into regular agility. I think running P is the right decision now. Last trial when I considered it I was crying and didn't think it was the right thing to do, and told myself "If it ever becomes the right thing to do, I will know, and I won't feel like this." I'm still sad... but now I think it's the right thing to do.

    I really, really, really wanted to MACH him.
    But a PAX is a big achievement too.



    (Watch - now that I've made this decision, tomorrow we'll have an awesome day and QQ and I'll be back to questioning it. ;P)

    ETA: This is her wording exactly:
    I got all teared up, LOL. He is really trying, and he's doing so, so good... he really is.
     
  9. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    What is the issue with his feet the breeder mentioned?
     
  10. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    The first thing I would do is rule out a health issue including thyroid. Do you take him a canine chiropractor? If not that is something I would do ASAP. Stop training is the other thing I would do for at least 2 months, not one piece of equipment and play with him, do rally or something else that he enjoys and is highly rewarding to him.
     
  11. MafiaPrincess

    MafiaPrincess Obvious trollsare Obvious

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    How did day 2 go Beanie?
     
  12. Brandyb

    Brandyb New Member

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    Hope Auggie is ok.
    I had that happen with Brandy, and I did exactly what Ado suggested. Nothing, no practice, no equipment, just let her be a dog, enjoy life (which she normally does anyway, and we really don't practice that often), but she came back more enthusiastic and better than ever.
    This was also after a surgery...her leg was really starting to bug her, so I would definitely suggest to rule out any health issues. Even something as little as a toothache can hinder performance, and comfort on course.
    Good luck :)
     
  13. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    The issue with his feet is - and I unfortunately can never remember the technical term for it - that he is missing a joint in the outside toe on both front paws. I took him to a vet when he was young and the moment she saw it, she said "Oh, he has such-and-such" but I cannot recall the name. She said she saw it running very strongly in lines in dachshunds. It's not something that appears anywhere else in Auggie's family on either side. No litter mates have it, no parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, or siblings anywhere else in the line... just Auggie. He apparently got EXACTLY the right mix of recessive genes that it turned up in him and only him. It's really weird.
    We aren't really sure how much it does or doesn't affect him. It doesn't slow him down at all when he plays, it doesn't seem to hurt him. He did develop a habit of standing slightly different on one leg because of it (he kind of rocks his paw in, away from the short toe) but the jury is still out on if it really has any negative affects on him running. That was our first concern when we knew what was going on, but the vet that saw him assured us she doubted he would be affected by it. We do consider him our special little Auggie because of it, though.



    Day 2 went... not good. I tried to get him really fired up beforehand, and when he got going it seemed good at first... he took the jump, then a tire jump, and then we came to the a-frame (his favourite thing!) Now, a LOT of dogs were having issues with that a-frame. I don't know if it was the spacing from the tire to the frame wasn't quite right, or if they weren't judging it right because of the mats on the floor combined with the white walls of the building, but very few dogs were taking the a-frame, let alone taking it with the momentum to get up and over. I didn't expect there'd be a problem... but Auggie pulled off and refused it. Then he did something he's never done. He turned around and walked back towards where we entered the ring. I'm not sure if he was going there because he found some interesting smells before we got in the ring and he decided that was more interesting, or because the dog behind us was interesting... but he has never done that before. I got him back to me and he did a few things again, then turned again and tried to walk out of the ring.
    I think that was basically his way of saying "I'm done, Mom... really. I'm done."
    I waved at the judge that we were done and picked him up and left the ring. I sat there for a long time trying to decide what to do. My gut said to pull him from JWW but I was there with another student and I didn't want her to think she shouldn't run or something. So it was a relief when, after her run, she said "I don't think I want to run him in jumpers... I think something is going on and I don't want to run him." Thank God she had the same idea I did.
    So I pulled Auggie for the first time ever, did not run JWW, packed up, and went home. I don't regret it. Yeah, it would be nice to know for sure if I made the right decision, but he did not seem to be having an ounce of fun out there in standard, so to me it was not worth it to try and make him perform again.


    No agility for a while. We are going to start herding practice with him instead. I wanted to anyway but wasn't sure how to juggle agility AND herding at the same time, so this is just the opportunity I wanted. My mom said yesterday that the good thing is, we know it's not his hips or anything, since his OFA results came back good.
    When we get back into it, we'll just run preferred. I probably should have made that decision earlier but I wasn't sure, I wasn't comfortable with it yet. Now I know without a shadow of a doubt that it's the right thing to do. 16 inch jump heights are just too much for him. He is just plain not that tall and would never be running that height if the darn judge hadn't taken her measurement AFTER acknowledging he was trembling like a leaf on the table. If we can't challenge the measurement and get his height card fixed to have us running regular in 12, then we will just forever run preferred. It doesn't really matter. When he loves it, he loves it... so no reason to quit entirely.
     
  14. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    Here are some photos where you can see a bit of his toe dealie:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    You can see here how he typically holds his left front leg when he is sitting or standing.
    Oh, here's some really good shots that show it:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    He doesn't hold the right leg any differently at all, strangely enough. It's kinda funny - you'd think he would hold them both the same way.


    But as you can see, it doesn't slow him down one lick...
    [​IMG]
     
  15. DaVinci

    DaVinci New Member

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    Time off is the best thing you could be doing right now. I now that when I stopped last winter with DaVinci we came back this summer wth alsorts of fun. DaVinci enjoyed everything we did this summer and he did great. I'm sure that Auggie will be the same way.
     

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