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  #1001  
Old 05-01-2013, 08:08 PM
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Oh good god, this video made me bawl. I'm also all hormonal so that might be it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74wb0VQAOEw
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  #1002  
Old 05-01-2013, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
Oh good god, this video made me bawl. I'm also all hormonal so that might be it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74wb0VQAOEw
Made my sob like a baby too. And I have no excuse.
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  #1003  
Old 05-01-2013, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
Oh good god, this video made me bawl. I'm also all hormonal so that might be it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74wb0VQAOEw
OMG, I'm all weepy now. THANKS ALOT!
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  #1004  
Old 05-01-2013, 11:06 PM
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Oh, somebody showed me that video in Indy shortly after it was posted online! I thought it was so adorable how he even did some hops through the jump standards... so cute. Little trooper! And so awesome for the club to let people take glory runs with their dogs too.
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  #1005  
Old 05-01-2013, 11:10 PM
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So, Rider and I are currently in an Intro to Agility class... He's so serious about working that it doesn't seem like he is having fun. I try to be cheerleader, but there is only so much I can do. Tips? Is he just not cut out for it?

Drive may be part of it (surprise, surprise). He goes through tunnels at a walk, jumps lazily, ect. Srs dog is srs.


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  #1006  
Old 05-02-2013, 06:16 AM
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Have you done any foundation work/drive building stuff with him before putting him on equipment? A lot of places unfortunately start dogs off right on equipment and ime it doesn't work so well. You want to build a dog that drives forward on a flat first.
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:13 AM
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Other thoughts....kind of jumbled.

1. I've seen dogs that really take a bit to warm up to it and really understand the game. Particularly if the entire thing is totally new and they haven't done much work. Especially in dogs that start off a little fearful. That can often LOOK like lack of drive when in actuality the dog is just too worried. One of the dogs in one of my classes now started off the first class refusing to get out of his crate. It was just too much/too new. He learns slower than the other dogs in class because he gets distracted and shuts down easier. So he gets rewarded a lot more. Still gets rewarded after most obstacles. The dog is actually really really fast. You would not believe it was the same dog watching him now (one year into things) versus when he started. And he's has FUN too. He just needs more time and direction and confidence.

2. Have you tried other rewards? Higher value food? Or a toy instead? I've seen dogs wih meh food drive totally light up when their reward is changed to a squeaky toy.
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  #1008  
Old 05-02-2013, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
So, Rider and I are currently in an Intro to Agility class... He's so serious about working that it doesn't seem like he is having fun. I try to be cheerleader, but there is only so much I can do. Tips? Is he just not cut out for it?
If a dog doesn't already "play" with you in training, it is absolutely something you can teach. The more you can get him playing, the more you can build his drive for agility. Being a cheerleader is key, but figure out how he needs you to cheer him on.

Some stuff that has worked for my low drive dog:

Best treats ever! And make him work for the food. Hold him back by his collar or chest and say "readyreadyready?" and throw the food out in front of him a bit - when he's excited and trying to get it, release him and use your release word.

Similar idea, but even better if you can stay "up" enough - combine that with chasing you. Start like above, but when he goes for the treat, you turn and run the other way, calling him. When he chases you, throw the treat out ahead of you, telling him to get it, and turn and run the other way. Lather/rinse/repeat. Teaching your dog to love chasing you is great for agility, especially if you have a slower or lower drive dog you can get out ahead of.

Definitely try different toys and treats. I've trained two dogs almost exclusively with treats (Gusto will work for tug some), but found a whole new gear in Gusto when I started training using a squeaky tennis ball. If you have a toy he likes, make it JUST an agility toy. Gusto adores his squeaky tennis ball so much, and he only ever gets it for agility, so it retains its value.

Get him playing with you before he goes near equipment. Teach him fun tricks that amp him up. Spinning, jumping on you or over your foot, backing up, barking (all wonderful behaviors to teach your dog ). Anything that gets him excited. Does he have any cues in the 'outside' world that get him crazed? Meg, for instance, used to LOVE playing "find the kitty" at the barn, and would tear around the barn and hayloft at full speed when you asked her "Where's the kitty?". So now I can get her amped (too much sometimes) by standing at the start line and saying "Do you think there's a kitty out here? Where's the kitty? meow" (sometimes you get to look like an idiot to amuse your dog).
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Old 05-02-2013, 04:39 PM
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Agree with BB's post - especially about the chasing! Agility is just chasing with obstacles in between (/Sylvia Trkman.) I played chasing games with Payton all the time as a puppy and it's still one of the games I play a lot with ALL the dogs now. (Bonus, it's also useful to teaching a recall!)

When you say you try to be a cheerleader how do you mean? I found that trying to cheerlead with Auggie - constantly yammering at him, clapping, and basically pleading for him to come on, put a lot of pressure on him instead of doing what I wanted, and had a negative affect. Auggie runs fastest when I just stop yapping at him and run - because it is a chasing game!
High value rewards and frequent rewards is appropriate to build value to the game, but in many cases, effectively nagging the dog like I was doing... not so helpful. It puts pressure on the dog instead and results in slower, more tentative, worried performances.

What does he do with enthusiasm? Fun tricks like BB said, does he chase toys, balls, food toys?
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  #1010  
Old 05-02-2013, 04:50 PM
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Oh, thanks for all of the responses! Right now, I'm using a variety of different treats, including chicken, hot dogs, and FreshPet pieces. All are really slimey and good, and are the highest value I have found for him so far.

He does really like squeaky balls (though only when they are squeaking ), maybe I will bring that out next time and make it an exclusive agility thing. I've worked with the ball before while doing following and front crosses, and it helped quite a bit! Tug is okay, but only once he is already amped up, and his interest fades quickly.

We have done *some* drive building through Nosework, but I don't know if I am translating it to agility correctly. I will definitely try the chasing! We have been working a lot on following on both sides, as well as just fun front crosses and that seems to get him happy, so the chasing game sounds fun! We are using lids at the base of the a-frame, and at the ends of tunnels, so I've been doing a similar, throw the treat on the lid and send type thing. He seems to be building more drive for the lid now.

It probably doesn't help that this is my first real experience training a dog for agility, and training a newb dog who can already be driveless in certain situations.
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