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Old 04-29-2010, 08:02 PM
elegy's Avatar
elegy elegy is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Default how do you know if you're asking too much?

the people who run the team that steve runs flyball with emailed today and asked if, in the next tournament, i would run steve fulltime as start dog with one (sub)team and halftime as anchor dog with another.

physically, i'm not worried about it. even if he gets tired and slows down later in the day, he'll still be plenty fast enough for our purposes. he's extremely fit and i've never actually seen him tired.

but mentally.... even though he's a rockstar puppy he's still just a puppy (19 months old). he handled his first tournament very well. he had one episode of crossing to chase another dog's ball during warm ups, but during the eleven heats he ran, he did great. he LOVES flyball. he's ridiculously intense, and he's more focused in that than in anything i've ever seen.

i agreed to do it, because i know they're a dog short, and because as long as i'm going to be there, i see no reason not to. but now i'm having second thoughts about whether he's mature enough to handle it all mentally. i *think* that he is. i just really hope i'm right.

i've never had a flyball dog before. i've never had a puppy before. when luce was this age, i was just trying to figure out how to make her stop trying to eat every dog she saw. we didn't hit our first trial until she was five. this is all new territory for me, and i just want to do right by my dog.
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Old 04-29-2010, 08:10 PM
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lizzybeth727 lizzybeth727 is offline
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Location: Central Texas
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IMO it's one of those things that's really difficult to judge beforehand. You don't want to hold him back and go too slow, but you certainly don't want to overwhelm him either.

The only advice I can give you is to try to keep it fun and upbeat; don't stress too much and if you see him start to stress you can just do what you can to calm him down. Have a plan for what to do if you need to quit - have a crate for him, have a back-up dog on the team that can run in his place in a pinch, etc. If it gets to the point where you don't think he'll do well, if he starts to get snarky with other dogs/people, or just generally seems a bit "cranky," try to get him out of the situation before he has a chance to do anything you'll regret.
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Old 04-29-2010, 08:31 PM
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milos_mommy milos_mommy is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 15,324

Sounds okay to me, Steve is very well socialized I know and has been in situations similar to that before.

I'd try and take break outside away from the excitement for a few minutes in between and if you think he's had enough, call it quits. The team might suffer but it's your job to do what's right for Steve, not for the rest of the team.
"My favorite color is green, green like newly cut grass. When it comes to green with envy, though, you can stick it up your @ss!" ~ Grammy
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Old 04-30-2010, 12:00 AM
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Lizmo Lizmo is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: AL
Posts: 17,300

I would say go, start running, and if you see that he's mentally draining quickly with the extra work, take him out. You might let the team know that, too, so they could have a back up dog (I guess? I know zero about Flyball, really) ready if you see that Steve isn't handling it well.

It is very hard to see when a dog is loosing that mental ability to keep going. I know I have a hard time with it when I'm working Blaze. I will keep working, but my trainer will step in and say "your dog is tired, you need to quite" if I don't see it in time. Maybe you could ask a Flyball savy friend to keep a watch on Steve so you have two people watching to make sure he's doing okay?

l ~Jennifer~ l
l Handler for Team Blazin' l Photographer at Joy Photography l Nikon D40X with 35mm 1.8 Nikkor Lens l
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