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  #1011  
Old 05-02-2013, 05:07 PM
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Laurelin Laurelin is offline
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Ime nosework and agility are really seen separately by the dogs. Nosework 'drive building' is all about the search and building up the drive to search through distractions/distance/duration/etc. the dog leads nosework very independently so it doesn't do too much to build drive for playing with you. Or at least ime.

I do a lot of game playing with Mia because she is very playful. Things like chase and getting her to drive towards her ball are things that are easy to build up drive wise. Summer has no toy drive and does not understand playing. It seems to scare/confuse her. Now let me clarify that that has grown as we've trained and as I teach her more. But she's still a little unsure. Pushing on her chest totally freaks her out. She thinks you're mad at her.

I've found she will chase me is Mia is chasing me. There's a place we go to that has stairs and three levels. The dogs love racing with me there. They're on the top level and I'm on the bottom. We play race race race then they get a reward. Summer loves to train and goes bonkers at the sight of food. So we do a lot of tricks to bring her up (although she really doesn't need it much these days) Her favorites are jumping and spinning. Every training session begins with summer jumping like a crazy dog.

I think he important thing with a dog that is unsure/less drivey is to make everything fun. Even training sit is fast paced. Sit, release really fast, run and chase me, sit, release immediately, treat. I try to incorporate chase as much as possible.

I also agree with beanie that cheer leading often comes across to the dog as nagging/stressful. Keeping things upbeat is great but you can overdo it with 'good summer. Good summer come on summer!'

But I really think it can initially just be a lot for dogs at first. If youre only a few weeks in I'd stick with it. Definitely wouldn't assume he's not going to like it. Training style DOES matter though. Summer walked everything at our old trainers but is pretty darn fast these days. Heavy foundations really helped her.
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  #1012  
Old 05-02-2013, 05:35 PM
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Also rewards can be really bizarre lol. One of my trainers has a border collie that goes crazy to tug on a plastic bag. So that is his highest reward. My other agility trainer's welsh sheepdog goes bonkers for air being blown in his face. So I've seen her being a tire pump out so he could bite at air for his reward. One of my classmates (the fearful dog) brings an old house shoe for her dogs 'tug'.
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  #1013  
Old 05-02-2013, 09:18 PM
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Agree with what has been posted so far. And if your dog is slow, DO NOT run sequences. Get him excited, chase, chase etc and do one easy obstacle, make sure your information is clear, that your information (body language) is clear. Don't make 'sigh' sounds, fast way to stress a dog. Doesn't matter what he does as long as he is happy.

All the fun games, toys, tricks have to be solid away from agility and reliable in other places before combined with agility.
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  #1014  
Old 05-02-2013, 10:42 PM
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We have two more classes left in our Intro. I'm almost thinking about taking a foundations class online, no obstacles or anything.. just drive building and whatever else they teach in a foundations. Or, just working by myself with drive building on the flat and doing some makeshift jumps and such... Or, do I go onto the continuing class and just see how it goes?
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  #1015  
Old 05-02-2013, 11:02 PM
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It took about 8 months for Lo to actually find her speed. It's all a confidence thing for her- once she understood the game and got confident on all the equipment, that was when started getting speedier and visibly having more fun.
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  #1016  
Old 05-03-2013, 09:01 AM
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Default Another excellent resource

There are many very experienced and successful agility folks here and many that are new to the sport or thinking about getting into it.

Here is a link to an excellent resource with tons of info. The page I linked is the Visual Dictionary

I hope it is useful for those that haven't seen this site before.

http://baddogagility.com/category/visual-dictionary/
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  #1017  
Old 05-03-2013, 11:12 AM
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Thanks for all the advice on what to look for during the competition class!

It's an outdoor area, though they have a barn when it get's too cold. The class was fun to watch, it was their first week. There where 5 students, two BC's, a papillon, a poodle mix, and a lab. They all did pretty well, though one of the BC's wanted to just follow his nose to the fence closest to the horses lol The poodle was just a bit nervous about going fast with the A frame so the owner and instructor both decided to use heavy treats/rewards to build it's confidence on it. Which I really liked.

I have a question. The tunnel did have two bags tied together at either end, not blocking the entrance/exit, to make sure it didn't move. Everything looked good, but I wasn't sure about the A-Frame or how it was suppose to look? It basically was two long boards with a metal pole that slid into slots in the middle (top of the A) to keep it together and then I think 2 or three sets of chains to keep it from flattening out. Does that sound right?

All the people seemed really nice, we talked as they watched others do course and all seemed very supportive. Everyone was constantly "good job!" "There is it" and seemed like they where having fun.

So I think it's going to be a good class, Talon will start in June, barring any schedule problems!
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Old 05-03-2013, 01:28 PM
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Yahhh, first agility trial of the season tonight! It's going to be a disaster, Marsh hasn't seen equipment since October. Tonight it's only Tunnelers and Hoopers, which in one way is good since the obstacle performance isn't very demanding, but on the other hand that means my handling is super important, and well... at least Marsh will have fun.
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  #1019  
Old 05-04-2013, 02:30 PM
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Ran Summer today. Summer is the best, most consistent, most willing little dog I have ever seen. I seriously do not think you could find a better 'starter agility dog'. I love running with her, even if we have a very short career. I'm really glad I took the leap and entered my 8 year old dog into agility classes. It's paid off in spades. <3 Love this dog.
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:02 PM
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Kind of bittersweet today. The good news was we ran our first full length novice course and the girls did amazing. Mia had a few bobbles but Summer was just almost clean. She missed her last weave pole. We tied for first in our in-class competition.

The sad news is it looks like my class may be disbanding for good. I'm super sad about that and not sure what I'm going to do. We're breaking for at least a month and then we should know for certain. I'm going to try to get in a private lesson or do some drop ins or SOMETHING during that time. This is when it'd be really nice if I had a decent yard. Urgh I don't want to go a month without agility. The girls are coming together nicely.
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