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Old 08-26-2013, 10:03 PM
Laurelin's Avatar
Laurelin Laurelin is offline
I'm All Ears
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 30,963
Default Agility folk: Fear of the teeter

Ok, thought I'd ask for advice/input.

Tonight Mia did the full height teeter the first time but was really leaning back away from the tipping point. The second go, she refused. Would jump on, then jump off. I tried coaxing her to no go. We eventually lowered the teeter down a long ways and got her going on that okay but not super excitedly.

My trainer (bee working with her 3 sessions now so not as familiar with Mia yet) thought it was likely a physical issue considering she used to do it. She suggested shoulders and to go to a chiropractor. She said the teeter can be one of the harder impacts in agility especially for the little dogs. So that's the plan right now, to get an appointment tomorrow. Trainer does know about Mia's knees so that is something we are going to look at as well. Other than the teeter though she's been fine in real life and at agility. Pretty much the same as usual. Did the dog walk, tunnels, jumps with ease. Her tunnels especially are improving a lot. Now, she has been slower since the hot weather hit but she's fast like normal at home so I've chalked it up to heat. Her 'slow' is still faster than most the other dogs in this weather- it's been 90-100 every day we've been out there recently. I've been keeping it in mind but waiting for the cooler weather to hit to see if that changes.

However, I look back and I don't think it's as sudden of a fear as it first seems. And knowing Mia, she is the kind of dog that if something is wrong to her, it is WRONG and she will be afraid of it/dislike it forever. Like.... when she escaped and Rhonda caught her and she decided Rhonda needed to be growled at/hated for over 2 years after. She still hates her. Or when Mia toppled out of my car once when I opened the door and refused to jump in and out of the car for 4 years. I mean... she's sensitive that way.

Looking back, Mia took to the bang game and all that just fine. She took to the teeter well too. Now, last december Mia flew off the end of the teeter. At the time she got back on and it was ok, albeit a little bit more cautious. Then the next week she was cautious but still happy on the teeter. Over time, she's started really flattening herself on it and I've been really really rewarding at the tipping point. But it's worse and worse. Could it all be fallout from flying off the end that one time even if she seemed pretty okay immediately afterwards? It wasn't until a few weeks later that she started showing any anxiety with the teeter. But that anxiety seems to have built up.

Other than the teeter practice went great today.

Hank CA - (approx. 1 1/2 year old Spotty Dog)
Mia CGC - (6 1/2 year old Papillon)
Summer TG3 TIAD - (11 year old Papillon)
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