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Old 07-07-2012, 01:13 PM
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Today was supposed to be Payton's ring debut, in the rally ring. It SORTA was. But it was awful.

Let me clarify. It was going fantastic until right before we got in the ring. I had him out with me practicing rally signs, he was attentive, it was awesome. I was standing talking to a friend and she thought he looked great.
Then he saw this Bernese Mt. Dog, and I don't know what it was about that dog but he lost his mind. Barking and growling and looking around at everything, and I couldn't get his attention back. I walked the opposite way, I turned him around so he couldn't see the dog, he was just gone. And then they called our number for the ring and I walk in with my dog barking and swiveling his head like an owl. We got through four signs before I asked the judge to leave the ring. It wasn't rally, it was my walking with my dog flipping out on the leash barking and growling and staring suspiciously at everything.

My friend told me I shouldn't feel bad and it's not my fault, he just clearly wasn't even present. She tried to make me feel better and she sort of did because she KNEW how he was before and then saw him after he got spooked and she recognized that was not normal Payton, so thankfully somebody was there to try and encourage me and not just tell me I'm a horrible trainer and I'll never get anywhere with Payton unless I started hurting him. But that was mortifying in a way I did not expect. I expected him to maybe be a total crazy jumping and wanting to play, I did NOT expect him to be a total crazy thinking the world was about to end. I wasn't prepared for that reaction at all.

I'm not mad at Payton but I'm really sad now, because now is when all the doubts set in, and I can't help but worry that maybe we're just going to have an issue. The breeder I got him from doesn't do performance so his litter didn't go through all the socialization stuff Auggie's litter went through, so Payton just... notices EVERYTHING. If you bring something new into the house he barks at it. If you MOVE something he barks at it. If he sees something that he has never seen before he barks at it. So maybe I SHOULD have been prepared for that reaction.
I know this is all Control Unleashed stuff. I know really, it will be okay. Of course I have lent my copy of CU to my sister for her new puppy so I don't have it right now to read through and form a new plan and reassure myself. So all I have is just... doubts. and worries. and sad.

There's always tomorrow, unless that goes terribly wrong too. If he isn't present before we walk into the ring I'm not even going IN the ring this time. We worked so freaking hard leading up to this, and he really is a great little dog, I thought it would be fun. I honestly thought we could scrape out a Q. Instead... ugh.


On the upside, Auggie got a first and Q for his second RA leg today. And got his MJP yesterday. So yay for the Auggie, he is my little rock star. He had an ear up in the rally ring and everything, he was so charged.


Just venting really, I know we can work through it... I know it's going to be okay... really. Or at least I think so. Just need to get my books and formulate a plan. Sigh.
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Old 07-07-2012, 02:38 PM
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First congratulations to Auggie

Then I am so sorry...so much stress for little Payton and you! Sometimes it happens the were on and there and then something makes them check out.

It will be okay...you will work with him and it will be better He is a great little guy and he likes to work. This is just something to work through!

(((Hugs)))
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Old 07-07-2012, 02:46 PM
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Awww I'm sorry it didn't go well! There's always next time though. Was this his first time at an event like this? Maybe start hauling him to events (flea markets...even those dog rescue events) to watch and desensitize?
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Old 07-07-2012, 03:04 PM
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I have a Kim so...

At her second agility event they used that mechanical "GO!" voice thing. I didn't realize this and they set it off when we were walking by it to the start line at a range of about 1 foot.

"GO"

It's like the voice of God had boomed out over the ring. Kim had a complete and total meltdown. We spent the whole rest of the weekend just working on remaining functional when that GO went off (from far far away) five thousand times.

Then there was the time that a person in a white shirt started running around the ring while we were running (that was maybe trial #4?). OMG that person was up to no good and had to be watched. THEN any time someone in a white shirt was standing out away from everyone else at other trials she JUST KNEW they were going to start running at any moment and had to watch. Which tended to result in nasty little runouts, refusals, or weave poppage. Awesome.

Oh and then there was the fallout from having a screaming border collie attack her while she was on course (BC got loose)...and it was the first screaming BC she'd ever met...so anytime a slinky screaming overstimulated idiot of a BC was around she would go on high alert and fixate, ready to be attacked and to Control The Idiot. You know how many slinky screaming idiot BCs there are in the big dog classes at agility trials? Yeah, that one was SUPER fun to work though.

Then there was the judge wearing a beard, hat, and sunglasses standing with arms crossed staring at her and leaning forward while she was on the table. Had to check him out as soon as the table release happened because OMG he was scary and we must be sure to approach in a wiiiide arch to see if he plans on eating us.

And the horrible-teeter-intro fallout which haunted us for years at completely random intervals. Hint: if you even think your genius group agility instructor is going to grab your sensitive babydog by the collar and haul her across a teeter to show her "it's not scary!", tackle that instructor before she can do it. Will save you a lot of heartache and headaches.

On the other hand a gust of wind sent an Easy-Up sailing end over end while we're running? That wasn't a problem. I have no idea why THAT didn't register as something of concern. Sometimes I think she's just screwing with me lol.

Point is we made it and at times it sucked but if Kim the Overly Observant Hidey Dog (and in her case those characteristics are also the only reason she's alive today so I can't fault them) can come back and be on her way to a MACH (before hurting herself but that's another issue) and be all superduper in rally and earn various other competition titles and be function and non-crazy in normal life then Payton can do it. Definitely. Not a single doubt in my mind. It WILL be okay and you did the right thing by pulling him early so the ring environment wasn't poisoned for him.

YOU CAN DO IT
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Old 07-07-2012, 04:02 PM
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I know reassurance doesn't always sink in at a time like this, but rest assured, many of us have been "there". My version of there was Meg acting like I beat her to within an inch of death on a daily basis. Not barking and lunging, but crawling on her belly and looking away from me and rolling on her back. Makes you feel like a serious jerk, and people who don't know you look at you like you are the devil.

Payton is a *baby*. I know you know that. He's Gusto's age, right? Maybe 14 months? It's like taking your kid to their first sleepover and them having a meltdown. It happens.

I wouldn't blame it on or worry about the early socialization stuff. And I wouldn't compare him to Auggie. He's his own boy. Think about what comes next, make a plan, and don't panic.
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Old 07-07-2012, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shai View Post
It WILL be okay and you did the right thing by pulling him early so the ring environment wasn't poisoned for him.

YOU CAN DO IT
This, 1000x over. You ABSOLUTELY did the right thing by pulling him, and it will be just fine. And you know even know how to work on this issue! Payton's gonna be great because you know what you're doing and he's an awesome dog. End of story.
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:27 PM
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Thanks so much guys. Reassurance is exactly what I need right now haha. I was sitting there trying not to cry afterwards, because it was RIDICULOUS to cry over, but all those doubts just creep in and I can't help it. and yes, he is my baby dog and he gets a pass on a LOT of things for being a baby dog. And we have a ton of time to learn things and work on things together... tons.
Payton has been to approximately a bajillion trials, including five days of camping down in Louisville. Honestly he has taken a lot of stuff in stride... sometimes "things" just set him off, and I can never really tell what will bother him or why it does. Auggie's breeder suggested maybe Payton just hasn't seen a big dog like that before, but this wasn't even a particularly large Bernese Mt. Dog... the dog was itching and fidgeting like mad so maybe something about the dog just acting kind of unnatural? I will never know so I shouldn't even try to guess, really.

It has been an up and down weekend. I just hope tomorrow goes better. I don't even need a Q, just a lack of a total meltdown would be awesome LOL.
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Old 07-08-2012, 02:32 AM
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You guys will be fine. One time..my Judge broke a stay in the Novice ring,jumped 4...yes....4 rings to tree a squirrel. I hollered down and he did. But talk about embarrassing...ever seen how fast conformation people can scoop up dogs and run? I have and its not pretty.

But we still trial. You can do it.
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:11 AM
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Even if you don't get there in obed for a while you'll be fine too.

I haven't braved the obed ring again for a while because of how sad and embarrassing Backup was in it. He shuts down, he hates obedience in the ring, he looks like I beat him and he's ready to fight or flight anyone who messes with him.

That said, in agility I have a worlds away dog. He has so, so much fun, he doesn't care about anything (sometimes not even listening just zooming lol).

I entered him in a large trial a few weeks ago knowing we'd never Q, he only got straight weaves on Monday and had inconsistent contacts. However it was totally worth it, my dog was *happy*, he spotted the judge and a bar setter once (I held my breath and prepared for another shut down) and blew it off to run and bark more. I walked out of almost every ring saying thank you as not to waste their time but I walked out with the biggest smile too. Hell, he even let a judge wicket him! He will barely let me do that, the wicket is not to be trusted according to the lemur creed. He also got his weaves on the last run of the weekend (plus two off course, two refusals, and one hold and bark when I wasn't being clear enough lol).

It could be maturity, it could be that he hates moving slowly(he does!), it could be all the exposure finally kicking in but I finally have the confidence back in my dog that I needed. Who knows, maybe we'll revisit the obed ring someday too.
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