Steve agility videos!

Discussion in 'Agility and Dog Sports' started by elegy, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. elegy

    elegy overdogged

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    Maybe I shouldn't even get Futurepuppy. What if he turns out to be as good a dog as Steve and I fail him too?
     
  2. elegy

    elegy overdogged

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    I should send you Steve. Ramping up is the opposite of what he needs. We spend all our time on calm, focused, and sensible :p
     
  3. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Aw don't say that. But I understand the feeling. There's quite a few dogs from Mia's breeder that were bought around the same time as I got Mia that are already tearing up the agility ring. And every time I think about who her relatives are, I feel bad that Mia is sitting here with just a crummy CGC for titles. I feel like I got a dog of a higher caliber than I ever expected and that I'm such a novice I'm never going to be able to show her off to her full extent. You've done a lot more training than me.

    But then I remind myself that these other dogs belong to agility instructors who have all trained quite a few high level dogs. And the bottom line is dogs don't give a hoot if they're competing or not. Just giving them something fun to do with you is the best thing any dog can ask for. Steve's very lucky to have you.

    Luckily Mia doesn't need to be ramped up either. :p It works out for me.
     
  4. elegy

    elegy overdogged

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    Steve has fun in agility class at least. *He* doesn't leave crying.

    This is all completely new to me, this agility stuff. I wish I'd had a better "learners dog" but for as high as he is, I'm told that he's also pretty forgiving. I just feel like he has so much potential (and having people tell me that he's world-team quality doesn't help) and I am wasting it.

    At least all I have to do in flyball is let go at the right time.
     
  5. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Looking at you vids, you are so not failing him.

    As Laur said its all about if you and your dog are having fun. Agility is NOT easy, esp with a fast 'on' dog. Cider is an awesome agility dog, Maf has done such a great job with her.. she almost has her Atch! However you should talk to her sometime about feeling like she will never 'get' it. And Cider wasn't an easy dog by any stretch.

    Kaiden was fairly easy. Dekka is not lol. I wasn't prepared for a dog who loved the game to the point of not 'needing' a handler ;) We all have our challenges. I personally love agility due to the challenges, there is always things to working on.

    Don't worry about it too much, in the end the only judgment that counts is Steve's. If he is having a blast with you then you are already winning. Future puppy will feel the same :) trust me.
     
  6. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    If agility makes you cry after every class and leaves you feeling like you're constantly, maybe it just isn't the right sport for you. Agility should be fun but it is a pretty involved and requires a lot of practice to get it right. If you don't find it enjoyable, I'm not sure there's much point in sticking with it. Everyone struggles with certain things, especially when starting out but it seems that there is absolutely no fun aspect for you. Not everything is right for everyone and Steve is already a Flyball Ninja :)

    High drive dogs can be hard to learn on but the truth is that even if you learned on an easier dog, the first very fast dog you have will still be a challenge. Fast dogs in agility are unforgiving of mistakes and barely give you time to think when running. With proper foundation training, running them becomes a lot easier but it's still a whole different game then handling a slower, "easy" dog. My first very fast agility dog, many instructors just shook their heads and say "no idea what to say about that". That was back when I still thought you needed to stop and fix mistakes....more more I tried to fix, the more my dog got wound up and barked at me and ran her own courses. She'd fixate on a line of obstacles and it would be very hard to change her mind about which way the course would go. She was a great dog but we never achieved half of what she was capable of because of my lack of knowledge. However, look at her...dogs don't care about silly titles, they care about having fun with their people:

    Her signature "flying dogwalk"...she was generally so hyped up at trials that she could not possibly get her feet in the yellow, unless I could physically block her. She was 9 or 10 years old here...
    [​IMG]

    What really matters:
    [​IMG]

    Someone already brought her up but I think you need to read Silvia Trkman's stuff. And if after you read through all of that, you still don't want to forget your worries and just have fun...get her Ready Steady Go DVD ;)
    Click "Our Training": http://silvia.trkman.net/
    And she has a blog: http://www.lolabuland.com/
     
  7. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    This. She isn't slowing him down, but she isn't pushing him either. Can't teach skills with an amped up dog.

    ETA: You are not failing him. It is IMPOSSIBLE for people to critique training of any kind over the internet after watching 4 videos. Handling comes with practice and even though I've been doing this for years, I still get lost on courses and screw up my handling. The problem with agility is that it is a science and everyone has their own handling systems and training methods. You need to find what works for you and your dog. As far as I can tell from the videos, whatever you are doing is working! The speed, confidence and handling will come with time and practice just like everything else. Keep up the good work, you guys are going to be rockstars. :)
     
  8. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Honestly, I use Sloan as my "learners dog". She's smart, attentive, and fun. Everyone tells me Backup would be a much better dog but he, like Steve (a younger Steve :yikes:) is much too fast, in addition to that he thinks far too little, and learns too slowly. He's a "do" dog not a "think" dog. I have been told he's an advanced handlers dream dog for speed and agility but no one yet has been able to show me how to accomplish things with him. Of course to top it off he's also a nervey, weird dog that gets uncomfortable with quiet and slow short movements. I discovered he likes the MM which is helping (funny enough he never *got* clicker training and never wanted food until now). We're stumbling through pieces here and there, we've been doing 2 x 2 weaves for ages and he doesn't "get" them. He understands a "close" command but most of the time he's moving too fast, skids, slams into something and comes running back slamming into me with a panic of "****, sorry I heard you too late!!".

    Honestly, what you have done with Steve is helping me think, maybe, just maybe, we'll find some progress in agility with Backup.

    I ran Arnold (my red pit bull) in agility 6 years ago. Or rather I walked and coaxed him. Here and there he would gallop and smile and bounce but most of it was a casual, okay, cool, this works attitude. Sloan is a totally different world. Backup is a world I like to call hell but maybe through hell we'll find some fun. LOL

    Great post. :)
     
  9. MericoX

    MericoX Roos, Poos, & a Wog!

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    You guys look awesome! I just love Steve's enthusiasm for the weaves!
    I started agility with Kiba when she was 6 months (Puppy Agility) and at 18 months I called it quits due to her "attacking" me whenever we would play. When she was around 3 we tried again with a new trainer, and still never got past the issue. I ended sooo many classes crying, there would be no rhyme or reason why some days we'd do well and others we wouldn't. We trialed a bit by our own and sucked, and sucked hard. Fast forward until last year when I attempted to try again with a new trainer. Frankly put, we are ON FIRE now and are doing quite well for Q rate.

    For awhile I was terrified to do agility with the rest of the gang. I was terrified I was going to mess them up like I did with Kiba, and it'll be another 5 years before they are "fixed". I know we'll never make it to Nationals Worlds, but I want to not be the "girl with the schnauzer that attacks you" for which I'm known for around here. It wasn't until our last trial, about 9 months since we've done anything, that I had a realization after I was angry for not Qing a run. Kiba doesn't care if we go to Worlds or Nationals, she doesn't care if we Q. What she loves to do is Agility. She knows how to run it, we just need to go out and have fun, and treat every run like it's a Q (and we did somehow end up Qing that run afterall). I feel a lot better about starting the other dogs in agility. Heck Tsuki is going to debut in April!

    I guess what I'm trying to say, is go out and have fun with Steve. Who cares if he'll never make it to Worlds or drops 10 bars in class, party because he left one standing! Next class if he drops 9 bars, woohoo! Improvement!
     
  10. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    PLEASE don't say that!
    Agility is not an easy sport. You aren't messing up your dog. You aren't failing him. You're not making yourself look like an idiot either. TRUST me... I've seen the idiots. And I've seen their dogs. Steve has the joy! That's not failing him.

    Agility is a team sport and is about learning how to work together. Even if you were a superstar handler, that doesn't mean much if you aren't speaking the language Steve needs you to speak. For a long time I was listening way too much to what other people were telling me about how I "should" be handling my dog, and it wasn't working. I tried and tried and tried and it wasn't working. At a certain point I realized the only input about how I should be running my dog that I needed to listen to was the input I was getting from AUGGIE.
    I am running Auggie. Our conversation is the only one that matters. I need to speak Auggie's language. He was giving me information and I wasn't listening because everybody was telling me what they thought I should do instead. It doesn't matter what somebody else thinks I should be doing. What matters is what Auggie NEEDS me to do. I run my dog the way he needs me to run him and to hell with what other people think. And honestly, ever since I made the decision that I was going to run my dog the way he was telling me to run him and ignore the chatter from other people, we have been far more successful.

    What I'm saying is... it takes time. And as the dog learns and as you learn your language changes too. The conversation grows and evolves. I mean, look at the conversation you already had with him! You thought you should race him to try and beat him to the obstacles. He told you a race is fun and he'll turn into a bulldozer to try and beat YOU, LOL. So you stopped racing him, and you have smoother, more controlled runs. See? You're doing it right!


    Forget all the talk about world team quality - it's a lot of money in trialing and traveling if you want to be on the world team, so unless you plan on ever doing that, remove that pressure from yourself! Just take it for what it is: "That dog is fast!"


    I don't know if you've seen this before, but I find it's always worth a re-watch at certain times in our lives with dogs:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfXGD4hP1Ro
     
  11. elegy

    elegy overdogged

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    Thank you. Really and genuinely and from the bottom of my heart.
     
  12. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    Count me too that doesn't think you are failing your dog. I also agree with not amping him up, he is by no means slow but if he gets over threshold that isn't going to help him or you either. So you are being wise imo. Balance is the key and it looks like your on the right track, plus as you BOTH learn more skills, both of you will become more confident and faster. That is the law of learning anything, when first learning something you have to think about all the whens and hows. But the more you do it, you don't have to 'think', you just do and the result of that is more confidence :) So it builds.
    One little tip (if I may :) anytime you have him pull off of something or do something you didn't expect, just calmly stop and look at your feet and body position (we call it freezing), often your body language will tell you some of the why :)
    One thing I have my worrying/non confident students do (and yes there are many so you are not alone), is to keep a log book. Now this log book is not for you to list everything that went wrong or not right in a session. But list at least 3 things that the handler did, that they were happy about. Doesn't have to be big things, look for the little things i.e I was perfect in my positioning for the front cross and Steve read the information and nailed it. I lead out, 20ft, came back when he held it and rewarded him, good job to me for not pushing for more distance. I smiled at Steve and love how much he loves playing agility.
    Break it down as far as you want to, nobody has to see it but rules are, there can't be 1 BUT in it, NOT on one negative thought or line. Trust me it works :)
    Good luck and your doing great.
     
  13. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    I am very glad that Summer was my learners dog. She was the perfect in between kind of dog that is a joy to learn with. She was nowhere near a dog that you had to coax. But she keeps her head and while she runs, she doesn't go crazy and is a nice comfortable speed.

    My first agility instructor with Mia ran slow dogs. And she was really not very helpful with the issues I was having with Mia. Everyone would compliment her and say she was doing awesome. Everyone else in class had dogs you needed to coax and Mia was flying. So I was always trying to work on a completely different skill set than them. This is the main reason we are starting over with new foundations. And this trainer has border collies so I'm hopeful she'll be a better fit to help me with Mia.

    At least you and Steve aren't starting over. ;)
     
  14. elegy

    elegy overdogged

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    Oy, that's hard. I have SO LITTLE awareness of what I'm doing. Even watching the video it's hard for me to see. And I also have a hard time knowing what I'm doing right vs wrong because I simply don't know what I'm supposed to be doing. I mean, if my dog goes where I intended for him to go, I figure I was right, but beyond that....

    Thanks Ado. I appreciate your vote of confidence. I really really want to do right by this dog. He's such an amazing guy.
     
  15. elegy

    elegy overdogged

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    This is a huge change for me in instructors because this one has a high, fast Border Collie that she runs. It's already been very helpful to be working with somebody who is experienced in running a dog who is similar to mine. None of my previous instructors had fast, powerful dogs like Steve.

    It's also the first time I've been in class with another fast dog. The Sheltie is just as driven as Steve is, though he has a tendency to bark, spin, and herd his owner. Steve doesn't do any of that crap, and I am so grateful, because I wouldn't have anywhere near the patience with it that his owner has.
     
  16. Finkie_Mom

    Finkie_Mom It's A Red Dog Revolution

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    Oh my, if you feel as though you are failing Steve, I don't even want to know what I'm doing to poor Kimma :p

    In all seriousness, though, it will totally come with time. The video watching/body awareness will, too. I've been working at this stuff with Kimma for about a year total now, and I'm JUST starting to understand how my body positioning plays a role in everything. And I'm starting to really be able to transfer that in to watching videos of myself working her and figuring out what I'm doing wrong when she does "wrong."

    I'm still so new at all of this, too, so I can understand where you're coming from. I'm also a perfectionist, so yeah. That doesn't help LOL. I am now, after a year, just starting to focus more on how much fun we have instead of how much we (well, I) messed up.

    As long as Steve loves the game, you could never fail him :)
     
  17. Sekah

    Sekah The Monster.

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    I'm also one of those "two left feet" type of people. Only worse. I barely know what my body is doing as I try hard to not fall over jumps and keep an eye on what my dog is doing. It's really easy to become demotivated and hung up on your own limitations instead of just letting it be and just having some fun. Jeez, I've been struggling with agility for almost 2 years now and I'm still mostly clueless.

    So, it's early yet. You guys look remarkable for how new the sport is to you both. And as I said on your blog, I'm positively envious of Steve's performance. I know it's not been easy to get there. And the two of you will really only improve from here on out.
     

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