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Old 01-16-2013, 10:29 PM
rudysgal rudysgal is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 15
Default Agility Stress?

Hello Chaz People. I've been reading up on Chaz the past few months, and since a lot of you are into dog sports, I was wondering if any of you have experienced anything like what I'm about to describe with your own dogs, and if it's something we can work through or if this is obviously too stressful.

Background: Rudy, 2 year old jrt x chihuahua, has completed three levels of agility class and enjoys practising weekly at our local agility "club" just him and me.

The problem is, I have put him in a new class at a new place and, while he was fine last week, these trainers are pretty hardcore, and I think the environment stresses him out. He's started putting on the brakes in the middle of the course and refusing to budge (he's off-leash), throwing out a lot of calming signals like intense sniffing and distraction, and this class he shook (and he's generally not your stereotypical shakey chihuahua).

My question is this - is experiencing agility stress to some extent normal? Or is this a sign we should throw in the towel? Is there something I can do to remedy the situation and make him more comfortable or is this particular environment just not meshing well with him? This is only our second class with this new club, and the last class he did GREAT (though we didn't do as much).

What would you do? I feel like he's telling me he wants to stop, but perhaps I'm being a wee bit over protective since the last class wasn't like this. I'm kind of afraid to put him through it again though if we experience another class like the one today.

PS by "hardcore" I don't mean cruel. They just really encourage you to continue moving (agility is a fluid sport, as they say). Rudy seems happier when I go slow and treat tons along the way.
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