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  #1771  
Old 09-29-2013, 06:20 PM
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Well, Meg was a superstar at our trial today (shocking, I know) and finished her Performance Standard Championship - Bronze. She's such a perfect girl. I was worried that she was slowing down a bit this spring, but she is very fit and lean and raring to go lately. I'm going to run her a couple more classes a day at our October trial just for fun. It's nice to have a dog that doesn't make me feel like a failure!

Gusto, on the other hand, was a wreck. What a humbling experience after the stellar performance he put in two weeks ago. I have two possible explanations for it (well, three I guess), so I'll be trying to work out what the problem was.

1) We all fell apart a bit the last few days. Thursday was one of the scariest nights of my life, when Tristan went into anaphylactic shock and was having seizures after being administered some meds. I dragged both dogs to the barn with me throughout the night to check on him, and both were exhausted afterwards. Honestly, I think he had recovered today, but maybe not. More likely either -

2) It was the first trial I've ever worked him out of the car rather than crating inside. I've done it once or twice with Meg, and it has never been super successful for us. I think my dogs are so accustomed to being in the car, they don't get into "go" mode as much as when they are actually crated in the trial building. Or, my best guess -

3) The trial sucked. I know that sounds like a cop-out, but the two times I've had this sort of experience at a trial with him, everyone was talking about the weird/bad feel of the trial. This one was only Starters/Advanced (with 2 masters classes early in the morning), so it was really small, without the usual crew of excited, whooping, cheering people who populate the masters division. Instead it was about 30 newer dogs and their anxious, stressed handlers. No cheering, very little excitement or playing, limited workers in everything, because new people are always too stressed to work and run. I love the Masters Only days that all our one ring trials seem to do now when I'm running Masters, but I think it really pulls down things for the greener dogs and handlers. The other time Gusto was like this was at an AKC trial, where all the Excellent dogs went early and then left for the day, again leaving all the newer people/dogs at the site alone. I'm testing this theory at our next trial, which is the same schedule (Masters Sat/Starters advanced Sun) by putting him in the Grand Prix on Saturday, which will be big and crowded and full of screaming cheering people. Curious to see if it makes a difference.

Baby dogs are tough to figure out!
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  #1772  
Old 09-30-2013, 12:02 PM
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Went to the trial. Unclipped her leash for our turn to run the sequence and it happened. I knew it would but I was praying for it not to. She got the zoomies and wouldn't pay attention for more than 2 seconds. Caught her, Jess ran her (and can I just say I must have done something right in the training because they ran a beautiful sequence perfectly and FAST. Even Jess was happy with her!) and then we spent about 2hrs working on her focus issues. And Jess ran her again ..and they looked awesome again. I should have videotaped it but I wasn't expecting success like that. Penn did her digs, checks, blind crosses, k-turns& all these little things I've only sort of been focusing on. Way to pull through, Pennypants!!

Now, I'm home with 10 activities to work on before the November seminar and I actually am glad (after the mortified feelings left) she took off like a lunatic so we could fix her biggest training issue. Jess Martin is absolutely amazing. 100% never imagined I could learn as much as I did in one day. And, to top it off? We just had a FABULOUS session where her eyes didn't leave me for more than 2 seconds at a time. I'm over the moon!! Finally feel like when she makes it to trial I can be confident that we're going to have success instead of consistent failure!!

(Can you tell how happy I am? I already told Briar's owner, my parents, my boyfriend, Facebook and anyone who will listen really. Ooops.)
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  #1773  
Old 09-30-2013, 12:16 PM
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Yay Meg!!!

yv0nne, I saw your post on Facebook and was entertained by the amount of "spin" that was on your sheet. is that something that just amps her up and keeps her focused on you? Or is there another reason that you use that?

Also, did Jess have her JRT puppy with her at the seminer? That is Siri's brother
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  #1774  
Old 09-30-2013, 12:33 PM
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I wrote trial in the above post but I meant seminar. My bad!

Jess didn't have her JRT but how awesome that's your girls brother!! So neat. She didn't have any of her pups with her.

Yeah, Jess said pick a trick or two that you can do with her without thinking (and that she enjoys doing) and build that to be a reward instead of relying on cookies or tugs. Then you can take your motivator into the ring with you. And Penn loves three things: 1. spinning 2. jumping to touch my hand with her nose& 3. when I clap at her (yeah, she's weird..) so we had our basics set there. Spinning works best to keep her focused on me so I figured we'd go with it! Basically, my dog is going to be very dizzy until she learns to pay attention LOL
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Old 09-30-2013, 12:37 PM
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Awww, I'm bummed she got the zoomies on you but super happy it turned into a great training experience! I've heard great things about Jess Martin so I was pretty sure she'd help you out and be awesome about it!
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  #1776  
Old 09-30-2013, 01:34 PM
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I am actually really happy for you that Penny got the zoomies so the instructor could see it first hand and help great news that you now have more tools and got to see your work so far pay off as well. Sounds like a great experience

I use trick tools with some of my dogs on the ring, too. Webby plays "walk" (dance on your hind legs) and "touch" (jump to touch your nose to my hand) before his runs...after his reward is getting to put on his leash (Slip lead...I hold out the noose and he throws himself into it) which was trained as a bridge to the food he gets outside the ring. Kim is similar. Mira not so much, haha.
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  #1777  
Old 09-30-2013, 06:14 PM
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Sounds like it ended up being a great experience for you, yv0nne! I always do tricks to get Kimma in the ring and I'm teaching her to "find her leash" as a way to bridge the reward-getting after she runs. Spin is her fave, as well

I actually just had Kimma's first full on zoomie-fest in the ring yesterday. It was due to the fact that I was in a car accident a week ago and she had like 5 days of no real exercise. I probably shouldn't have even been at the trial, but it was close, and I already paid for it, and yeah. But she took off like a rocket in our first run (Excellent Standard), did the first 7 obstacles BEAUTIFULLY with me distance-handling (which I've never had to do really but she listened quite well) and then her brain exploded and she started running circles LOL. I thanked the judge and started heading towards her leash, and she just took every jump in her path on the way there LOL. I was dying laughing. Then she had an awesome JWW but since I was still medicated for pain, I was super late in a rear cross and that cost us our Q. However, she was fast, and didn't stress, and did her weaves brilliantly. SOOOOOO I dunno. Maybe we don't need a break and I just need to be on muscle relaxers when we trial???
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  #1778  
Old 09-30-2013, 06:56 PM
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Thanks, ladies! Honestly, once I got past how horrified I was, it worked out really well that she decided to zoom around so Jess could see my true frustrations with her. I'm brand new to this so having all the opinions/ ideas I can get really helps me to figure out what will work with Penny. When I get frustrated, I compare her to Briar& that's not fair for any of us.

And it's funny because when we go to trials, I always played tricks with her on lead to keep her focus on me in the high distraction areas& she does awesome. It's the second the leash comes off& my high stress fear of 'she's going to run away' combined with her stress of 'mom thinks i'm going to run away' that results in a run away dog who is too stressed to recall because she knows she'll be in trouble ..which makes total sense, but I'd never considered it from that perspective. We're all set to take our spot back in the seminar in November& we're hoping for major improvement in the focus department. We also did some spins& focus work at a friends garage this evening and she worked for a stick. She's not the sharpest dog ahah
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  #1779  
Old 09-30-2013, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yv0nne View Post
And it's funny because when we go to trials, I always played tricks with her on lead to keep her focus on me in the high distraction areas& she does awesome. It's the second the leash comes off& my high stress fear of 'she's going to run away' combined with her stress of 'mom thinks i'm going to run away' that results in a run away dog who is too stressed to recall because she knows she'll be in trouble ..which makes total sense, but I'd never considered it from that perspective.
Yup it's just like when you're running and you're all worried about an off course and thinking about that off course and so your dog takes it...whereas if you think only about the correct path and run the correct path with purpose and focus your dog is much more likely to be correct, and faster too.
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Old 09-30-2013, 07:04 PM
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And hurray for Meg!
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