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  #1921  
Old 11-04-2013, 09:48 AM
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DJEtzel DJEtzel is offline
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I call it feet, too.

Well, perfect Saturday! 3 clean first place Qs and one fault in a 4th run- still 1st place Q. I'm wondering if we should have just entered level 2 right away, but at least he had a great time and we had some good runs to motivate us! One of our trainers was there trialing as well as a few friends, so we got a lot of input and had a lot of fun. Here are videos...

Standard- I thought for sure we'd have a problem with contacts. I obviously baby'd them, but it worked! I was really surprised that he didn't hold his start line... he's never broken it before. The floor was pretty slick and he biffed it too, but we pulled it off for a clean run.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v...31468745052655

Wildcard- Didn't go quite as smooth and he dropped a bar, but still first and a Q!

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v...12043187393622

Colors- Clean first place Q!
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v...75092269424108

And Snooker- A little iffy as I decided to change my cues for this course and NOT call the tunnels, but we still came in first!

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v...74949615425757

So proud of my guy for his first trial ever, at only 15 mos old. His breeder was very pleased and his uncle's owner even came to cheer us on. Also got to trial under my favorite Judge ever, Jerry McKenzie. Recon even had the same standard course that Frag did for his first trial.
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  #1922  
Old 11-04-2013, 09:53 AM
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Glad you guys had fun. Was that CPE Level 1?
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  #1923  
Old 11-04-2013, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yv0nne View Post
So, pretty much I started making agility FUN& took out my anxiety of needing perfection. Instead of focusing on handling/ complex courses, take your dogs favorite obstacles (Penn's are tunnels& A-frames) and build a course where they can zoom over/ through those frequently. So, I have access to 4 tunnels consistently so I've started building tunnel courses with just a few random jumps in them. I get her zooming through then toss a reward often. It looks crazy but her speed is really starting to pick up from it. It looks like tunnel, tunnel, jump, tunnel, reward. I vary my reward rate. Sometimes I ask for 1 obstacle then reward& sometimes 10.

Also, I've stopped making up an actual course& am just winging it because my issues were getting cranky when we went off-course. Not having a course means it's impossible to mess up the order!

Next, this helped THE MOST and you don't need equipment for it. I started building my motivators into things that could come into the ring with me. Penn is a funny dog ..she's easily motivated for 10 seconds then needs a new motivator. It became so that I was using 100 toys for one training session (okay ..a slight exaggeration but still) and that's insane. I had tugs, balls, stuffies, food (at least 3 kinds), frisbees, etc.

I ditched all that for building my own motivators. I made the ball a motivation by having her run after the ball to bring it back ..the faster she went to get it& brought it back, the higher value treat she got. She will now chase a ball like crazy because she knows she gets a good reward for bringing it back. This is huge if your dog isn't super toy driven. It works off the food drive but they learn to associate chasing& retrieving the ball with food!
We also built spinning in as a fun factor. If your dog has a trick they love, use it! Penn gets spun before AND after a reward so that the spinning can be used in place of a reward. So, we finish a sequence. I ask for a spin, reward& ask for another spin. Same with hand touches& weaving through my legs. We started with adding in absolutely no equipment, just building those us up high, high in value& then using them in conjunction with the equipment. She's learned equipment must fun ..you spin, take a piece of gear, spin again, get a reward& get more spinning! It's been a slow process but in the month since we've seen Jess Martin, we've improved about 70%.

Sorry for the novel ..hope some of it can apply to your situation. Shutting down around gear/ on course sucks. It's my biggest fear for Penn never making it to a trial. We're getting there but somedays I feel like just saying screw it& getting my herder NOW instead of in 2+ years. I just try to remember every mistake I make with Penn, I can prevent with my next dog. And every bit of training tips I learn now, I'll have for my next dog. Still ..some days.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finkie_Mom View Post
That's Kimma issue, too. Shutting down. It stinks. It's the reason why we're taking a break. Those tips are great, yv0nne! I think I've gotten away from things like rewarding often enough during classes/training. Something I need to start doing before we try trialing again.

We are signed up for privates with a new instructor (I think we need a new set of eyes, plus my old instructor doesn't have time for new privates) this week. I'm going to split the hour between Kimma and Jari (YAY Jari will be in class!!!). Hoping it will work out for us. The instructor we are going to start with is at the place I teach (so it's familiar to Kimma) and she sort of "specializes" in helping with motivation/stress issues. I can't wait
Thanks. I'm just really bummed. I don't know, I don't think it's fair to my dogs to be disappointed but it sucks being the only person at the trial having motivation issues and people debuting their sporter collies left and right and they're all having fun.

We have class tonight and I just don't want to go but I think I will since I'll miss next week. I'm going to go back to rewarding Mia all the time and see if that helps.

To top it off I wrecked my car yesterday so unexpected expense there... My medication is also making me have a constant period lately which I'm sure is not helping either. I'm just... tired, I guess. It always seems like agility just never works out for us.

ETA: Oh good, class got cancelled. I needed a break.
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Last edited by Laurelin; 11-04-2013 at 03:12 PM.
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  #1924  
Old 11-05-2013, 10:04 AM
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DJEtzel DJEtzel is offline
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Originally Posted by Shai View Post
Glad you guys had fun. Was that CPE Level 1?
Yes, it was. Hopefully we'll be into level 2 by 2014. If he had his weaves a little better I would have just gone for it because I know his handling is at level 3 or 4, but I didn't really want to pay a ton not to Q and be frustrated, so we just had fun.
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  #1925  
Old 11-05-2013, 12:09 PM
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Beanie Beanie is offline
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I guarantee you're not the only person having motivation issues, Laur. It's tough because our expectations of our dogs are usually higher. I'm easier on Georgie than I am on Payton. I expect more out of Payton than I expect out of Georgie. My students have dogs who do things like Payton and I always have something positive to say about it. Payton doesn't always get the "here's something positive from that!" benefit. I KNOW I set the bar higher for him than other dogs. I take small comfort in watching a world team person run her novice dog and having similar troubles. See, THAT dog is having trouble too, and she competes at the world team level! Her dogs are great and she's a great trainer! And even that dog is struggling right now! She'll get it worked out and I know I'll get things worked out with Payton too.
But it doesn't make it any less frustrating in the moment. It doesn't make me lower the bar of my expectations in the moment. But it SHOULD. And when I'm being logical about it, it does bring my expectations back to earth and helps raise my bruised and damaged ego that can't stand not having a perfect dog and looking like a fool on the course while my dog acts like he's never ever ever seen weave poles before.

You need to cut both your dogs a break for being novice dogs and cut yourself a break for being a novice handler! Agility is not an easy game for people or dogs. There are so many factors involved and trialing is it's own factor. In Springfield I was crated next to people with a pointer mix, and they told me their dog is great in class and they've done a bunch of fun runs... but once they get to a trial, the dog ceases to listen to them and simply runs circles around the ring. "But he only does this at trials!" is a common refrain. Things change at a trial. It takes time and experience and often just finding the right combination to finally get the magic flowing.

Remember that everybody has their own troubles, even if you don't see them, and you don't have the full picture of anybody's story with their dog. My mom does this with Payton, she thinks he's just soooo much better than Georgie and acts like it just happened, but she doesn't see all the work I put into him. And so much of it is stuff that takes place away from equipment. Hours and hours of work and times I would just sit down and cry because my puppy was rotten and frustrating. Nobody sees that in the ring. We are not made up of our runs in the ring, we are made up of everything that happens outside the ring. My half-marathon isn't made up of waking up on the day of and going out there and running 13.1 miles - it's made up of the weeks and weeks and hours and hours of training that happen before that. Agility is a sport, and they are all the same. Nobody just shows up and is amazing without having had to work for it.

I think the biggest thing is like yvonne said... take the expectation for perfection out of it and just make the intent to go out and play with your dogs. Since Mia is so sensitive, your anxiety about what's about to happen (or not happen) is probably rubbing off on her, which of course makes your anxiety worse and an infinite loop starts.



Don't fall into the trap of thinking it takes a herding dog to be successful and definitely don't fall into the trap of thinking just getting another dog will be the key. It's easy for me to say sitting here having nothing BUT herding dogs, but I have so many agility friends who have been wildly successful with non-herding breeds, I just don't buy that it takes a herding dog to be successful. And I sure as hell don't buy that the solution is to just get another dog and my heart aches when people feel that way, because of course that was a suggestion people gave me with Auggie.
"You just need another dog."
"You should get another dog."
That one is broken - you should replace him.
Upgrade to a newer model.

I didn't WANT another dog. I wanted AUGGIE. He is my dog and even though run after run resulted in wasted money, no Qs, frustration and tears, he was the dog I wanted.
And now that I HAVE another dog, it's not any easier. Payton just brings an entirely different group of problems to the table, problems I don't even have firm plans on working through because he is not Auggie. Payton was not the solution to Auggie's problems, and he certainly was no Agility Jesus who saved me from all frustration and disappointment.
Also while it may look like I'm having fun because I'm laughing at my crazy baby dog, I really want to sell him to the circus for $10, except he won't do anything so even the circus doesn't want him. Appearances can be deceiving (and that is certainly the idea when I'm in the ring with P. LOLOLOL LOOK HOW MUCH FUN WE ARE HAVING YAAAAAY I HATE THIS DOG WHOOOOO PAYTON SUCKS ALL RIGHT YEAH)
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  #1926  
Old 11-06-2013, 06:08 PM
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k9krazee k9krazee is offline
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For 2o2o I use "TWO ON!" I'm creative

Well! I have a private lesson scheduled next week to see if we can attend classes at a place I've been trying to be in touch with for 7 months. I find it odd/stupid I have to pay for a private lesson to see if I will be allowed to pay her to attend classes. I just want a place to train/practice in the winter!!!!
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  #1927  
Old 11-06-2013, 07:19 PM
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yv0nne yv0nne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beanie View Post
I think the biggest thing is like yvonne said... take the expectation for perfection out of it and just make the intent to go out and play with your dogs. Since Mia is so sensitive, your anxiety about what's about to happen (or not happen) is probably rubbing off on her, which of course makes your anxiety worse and an infinite loop starts.



Don't fall into the trap of thinking it takes a herding dog to be successful and definitely don't fall into the trap of thinking just getting another dog will be the key. It's easy for me to say sitting here having nothing BUT herding dogs, but I have so many agility friends who have been wildly successful with non-herding breeds, I just don't buy that it takes a herding dog to be successful. And I sure as hell don't buy that the solution is to just get another dog and my heart aches when people feel that way, because of course that was a suggestion people gave me with Auggie.
"You just need another dog."
"You should get another dog."
That one is broken - you should replace him.
Upgrade to a newer model.

I didn't WANT another dog. I wanted AUGGIE. He is my dog and even though run after run resulted in wasted money, no Qs, frustration and tears, he was the dog I wanted.
And now that I HAVE another dog, it's not any easier. Payton just brings an entirely different group of problems to the table, problems I don't even have firm plans on working through because he is not Auggie. Payton was not the solution to Auggie's problems, and he certainly was no Agility Jesus who saved me from all frustration and disappointment.
Also while it may look like I'm having fun because I'm laughing at my crazy baby dog, I really want to sell him to the circus for $10, except he won't do anything so even the circus doesn't want him. Appearances can be deceiving (and that is certainly the idea when I'm in the ring with P. LOLOLOL LOOK HOW MUCH FUN WE ARE HAVING YAAAAAY I HATE THIS DOG WHOOOOO PAYTON SUCKS ALL RIGHT YEAH)

I am pretty much quoting this to say ..I agree. SO MANY PEOPLE told me I could never do agility with my dog because she's not a herder. You know what I said? SCREW YOU ALL. I'm doing it now just for spite!!!

For me, my anxiety& expectation that Penn would run away lead to the result I was expecting. Since I changed my attitude (and my off-leash focus expectations) I've had a total 180 in Penn's focus off lead.

Also, we just had an AMAZING afternoon in agility. She zoomed through the tunnels, took far ends off verbals, NAILED her weaves (literally. She was 100% on her entrances& only popped out once 1 weave early& it was my fault because I threw the tug too soon) and basically was a little super star!
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  #1928  
Old 11-06-2013, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by yv0nne View Post
For me, my anxiety& expectation that Penn would run away lead to the result I was expecting. Since I changed my attitude (and my off-leash focus expectations) I've had a total 180 in Penn's focus off lead.
YES. Funny enough I was just writing about Auggie's first agility trial for my book and I go on to say that I was haunted by my concerns over what he did at fun runs and the result was that he delivered exactly what I was expecting. I think our end of the handling unit is the hardest end to train, LOL.


Pisses me off when people tell somebody you need a border collie or a sheltie to be successful in agility... and if the BC/sheltie you have isn't doing well, you should throw that one away and get another because obviously that one is busted. You know who's successful in agility? The person who gets to go home with a dog they love desperately. Q or no Q, ribbons or no ribbons. It took a long time for me to learn that. It took a real bitch getting in my face with some exceptionally nasty things to say about Auggie for me to learn that. No. I don't care if he's not the fastest. I don't care if he doesn't Q. I'm a winner and so is Auggie. I'm a winner because AUGGIE sleeps on my pillow every night. That's all I need.
And of course Auggie already knew he was a winner. He knew it all along.
They say we're supposed to be the smarter species.
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  #1929  
Old 11-06-2013, 08:03 PM
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Shai Shai is offline
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Pisses me off when people tell somebody you need a border collie or a sheltie to be successful in agility...
To be honest, the only people I've ever heard actually say such things are, to be frank, not very successful in agility themselves. Maybe on a very local level but mostly they just have delusions of grandeur and a very narrow view of the world. And are nearly useless as trainers, especially for training any dog that doesn't fit their miniscule area of expertise.

Just walk away. Not worth your time.

And really they are such a tiny minority that they are easy to avoid. Or laugh at. Whichever you prefer.
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  #1930  
Old 11-06-2013, 08:47 PM
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yv0nne yv0nne is offline
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To be honest, the only people I've ever heard actually say such things are, to be frank, not very successful in agility themselves. Maybe on a very local level but mostly they just have delusions of grandeur and a very narrow view of the world. And are nearly useless as trainers, especially for training any dog that doesn't fit their miniscule area of expertise.

Just walk away. Not worth your time.

And really they are such a tiny minority that they are easy to avoid. Or laugh at. Whichever you prefer.
Yes, I've also realized that now that I'm doing better than everyone who said it to me. In the moment as a new agility person with an 8wk old Vizsla who has high hopes? I was told gun dogs run away& don't come back, have no recall, no focus& probably won't ever be able to go to a trial with success. It hurts and then I had no understanding that that wasn't true at all.

I've since learned it's not the people who own the breed for the sport but the people who love theirs dogs& WANT success who tend to get success. Penny may never be a world champ but **** it if I don't train her with those ideas being a motivator for us!! I'll take my off breed agility dog home& snuggle up close with her every single night even if all we ever do is go to trials& have failure. I already have 1 agility Border Collie!
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