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  #2151  
Old 12-14-2013, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Finkie_Mom View Post
I see nothing wrong with going "backwards" in order to help firm up recalls/drive for the game. Heck we are doing it now in that I've pulled her from trials and classes and we are just doing short course work in a private lesson setting. All we are currently working is short course work with getting her revved up and excited about playing the game and playing it WITH me.
You and Kimma are awesome! I love watching your videos. Actually, I thought of you when I was watching some Eukanuba videos and they had a sequence with finkies.

I'm so frustrated with it because we have nowhere to go backwards to, if that makes sense. We have only ever done foundation type stuff, and we just started doing single obstacles. I could understand taking a step back if we had been doing full sequences and needed more foundation work, but I feel like all we've ever done is foundation work and he's still not reliable. I don't know where else to turn. That's the reason I said that more foundation classes weren't an option. Not that we aren't doing them, just that it's *all* we're doing and we still aren't getting anywhere, so clearly something isn't working.
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  #2152  
Old 12-14-2013, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Elrohwen View Post
You and Kimma are awesome! I love watching your videos. Actually, I thought of you when I was watching some Eukanuba videos and they had a sequence with finkies.

I'm so frustrated with it because we have nowhere to go backwards to, if that makes sense. We have only ever done foundation type stuff, and we just started doing single obstacles. I could understand taking a step back if we had been doing full sequences and needed more foundation work, but I feel like all we've ever done is foundation work and he's still not reliable. I don't know where else to turn. That's the reason I said that more foundation classes weren't an option. Not that we aren't doing them, just that it's *all* we're doing and we still aren't getting anywhere, so clearly something isn't working.
Ok, lets forget agility for the moment, how are your recalls and working basic obedience in the face of distractions?
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  #2153  
Old 12-14-2013, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Elrohwen View Post
You and Kimma are awesome! I love watching your videos. Actually, I thought of you when I was watching some Eukanuba videos and they had a sequence with finkies.

I'm so frustrated with it because we have nowhere to go backwards to, if that makes sense. We have only ever done foundation type stuff, and we just started doing single obstacles. I could understand taking a step back if we had been doing full sequences and needed more foundation work, but I feel like all we've ever done is foundation work and he's still not reliable. I don't know where else to turn. That's the reason I said that more foundation classes weren't an option. Not that we aren't doing them, just that it's *all* we're doing and we still aren't getting anywhere, so clearly something isn't working.
LOL thanks! It's taken us a while but we're starting to really come together as a team

I guess what I mean is backwards not in terms of "levels" in agility, but in terms of training in general. We literally did nothing off leash and no agility for months. Then everything was introduced back in slowly once I knew that she would be in the game and respond to my cues the way I needed her to. You could even just take a different type of class (I know we took an Intro to Competition class wherein we learned strategies to gain focus with our dogs no matter where we are) just to get the relationship building stuff going more before doing any further agility work. That's not to say you can't do jumps like in your home or places where you know he's going to follow you really well, but like others have said and you know, the more he rehearses the bad behavior, the more difficult it will be to break him of his habits. If that all makes sense
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  #2154  
Old 12-14-2013, 04:22 PM
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Ok, lets forget agility for the moment, how are your recalls and working basic obedience in the face of distractions?
Uhh, not great? I had a whole recall thread recently. Basically, he rocks formal obedience recalls where he is in a stay. It's his favorite game and he will recall with other dogs running next to him. If he is running amok and finds something more interesting, he'll come when he feels like it.

Basic obedience around distractions is hit or miss. I don't want to say he's awful because he's not. He was the only dog to hold a stay once when the instructors threw squeaky toys across the room. At the same time, the second he is bored he thinks nothing of going off and doing what he wants.

For a long time I felt like we were at least progressing steadily in classes with impulse control and work around distractions. The past 3-4 months we have plateaued. I was hoping that getting out of our regular obedience facility and working on similar foundations at a new place focused on agility would help. So far that's up in the air.
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Old 12-14-2013, 04:25 PM
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You can't get anywhere in agility class until you work on focus. Even when you are working individually, if the dog takes off you can't train properly. And eliminating all distractions is not the answer because an agility trial is FULL of them. In class Kili stays on leash for at least the first few minutes while I guage what kind of day she's having. Her general trend is that she is improving but she has days that are better than others -learning is not a linear process. If she is having an exceptional day I will take the leash off, but otherwise the leash stays on. I actually use a long line at class. I set jumps as low as they go so we can still work on single jump stuff.

At home we work on lower level distractions. Me throwing a toy or food while she is supposed to be performing a behaviour. Me running around wildly while she does a behaviour. Me offering food to Summit. She always has to stay focused and perform the expected behaviour. Then in class we start increasing the distractions. On one sequence I asked my classmates to scream and shout and cheer us on. Another time I ran with my iPod in my pocket blaring music. I'll ask a classmate to stand right behind Kili at the start line. Soon I want to start scattering people around the course and having toys left laying around randomly on course. Then I'll work up to other dogs standing out of their crates on course. If she makes the wrong choice we use one of our "consequences" (collar grab and back away from distraction, time out in crate, or hand off to someone else and I reward another dog).

When she can do that I will start to enter her in practice days so she can experience a more trial like atmosphere but still in a training scenario.
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  #2156  
Old 12-14-2013, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Finkie_Mom View Post
LOL thanks! It's taken us a while but we're starting to really come together as a team

I guess what I mean is backwards not in terms of "levels" in agility, but in terms of training in general. We literally did nothing off leash and no agility for months. Then everything was introduced back in slowly once I knew that she would be in the game and respond to my cues the way I needed her to. You could even just take a different type of class (I know we took an Intro to Competition class wherein we learned strategies to gain focus with our dogs no matter where we are) just to get the relationship building stuff going more before doing any further agility work. That's not to say you can't do jumps like in your home or places where you know he's going to follow you really well, but like others have said and you know, the more he rehearses the bad behavior, the more difficult it will be to break him of his habits. If that all makes sense
This is our first agility class and as basic as they get, so no options there. There aren't a lot of places to take classes and we're at the most basic level at our regular facility too (no rally or formal obedience, still foundations). He's never been off lead except for formal recalls which he adores. I think you're thinking we are more a advanced than we are. lol I feel like my question is what to do when your dog fails foundations classes. Maybe the answer is to just keep doing foundations classes for another year until he grows up, but I can't help thinking that I'm missing some things in training if a whole year of basics with a 16 month old isn't enough to do one jump or tunnel off leash.
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Old 12-14-2013, 04:37 PM
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Uhh, not great? I had a whole recall thread recently. Basically, he rocks formal obedience recalls where he is in a stay. It's his favorite game and he will recall with other dogs running next to him. If he is running amok and finds something more interesting, he'll come when he feels like it.

Basic obedience around distractions is hit or miss. I don't want to say he's awful because he's not. He was the only dog to hold a stay once when the instructors threw squeaky toys across the room. At the same time, the second he is bored he thinks nothing of going off and doing what he wants.

For a long time I felt like we were at least progressing steadily in classes with impulse control and work around distractions. The past 3-4 months we have plateaued. I was hoping that getting out of our regular obedience facility and working on similar foundations at a new place focused on agility would help. So far that's up in the air.
Those are somewhat controlled environments. Foundations is about control and focus everywhere and we do a lot of work/proofing in strange places. By strange places I mean, train stations, beside a dog park with a million strange dogs barking and running around, in wally world parking lots etc. Yes all those places you should have your dog on leash or a long line but if the dog is a 100 % in those environments, then work can begin on the off leash stuff in safe places

How long before he gets bored and leaves? Actually it doesn't matter how long, you have to keep an exercise shorter than the 'bored/leaving' kicks in. If he gets bored with multiple reps of any exercise, break them up, move fast from one to another for a few minutes (max of 5 mins) and then put him away for a mental break.

Question: When he leaves, you call him and he comes back do you reward him?
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  #2158  
Old 12-14-2013, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by adojrts View Post
Those are somewhat controlled environments. Foundations is about control and focus everywhere and we do a lot of work/proofing in strange places. By strange places I mean, train stations, beside a dog park with a million strange dogs barking and running around, in wally world parking lots etc. Yes all those places you should have your dog on leash or a long line but if the dog is a 100 % in those environments, then work can begin on the off leash stuff in safe places

How long before he gets bored and leaves? Actually it doesn't matter how long, you have to keep an exercise shorter than the 'bored/leaving' kicks in. If he gets bored with multiple reps of any exercise, break them up, move fast from one to another for a few minutes (max of 5 mins) and then put him away for a mental break.

Question: When he leaves, you call him and he comes back do you reward him?
We do work on things outside of class. We work every day on my property, and the nearby walking trail. We work on stays and impulse control at hardware stores and the liquor store. His issue is almost always other dogs - without other dogs around, he's much more focused. He finds them so distracting. So no, he's not 100%, but we do work on this a lot and he's not as bad as you might think. I've had multiple people come up to me in public and tell me how well behaved he is and I just laugh. lol

Not sure how long until he gets bored. Some nights it's 5 min, some nights it's 20 seconds. It's really hard to predict. At home he can go rep after rep and ask for more, but in stimulating environments, like classes, I try not to ask for more than one or two reps. And he's subtle about when he's thinking of charging off. I do think he's so impulse that it's not thought out so much as a spur of the moment decision.

Generally I reward every successful recall. In obedience classes, if he's run off and come back, I haven't rewarded him coming back except to tell him he's good and restart the exercise (modifying the exercise so that running off wasn't an option anymore). In agility, I have rewarded him for coming back, mostly because I was shocked he bothered to come back at all in a few cases. lol
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Old 12-14-2013, 05:07 PM
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Elrohwen, if you haven't got it, I highly recommend control unleashed: the puppy program book. Lots of great stuff about focus in there, that's what it's all about.
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Old 12-14-2013, 05:10 PM
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Elrohwen, if you haven't got it, I highly recommend control unleashed: the puppy program book. Lots of great stuff about focus in there, that's what it's all about.
Yep, I've got it and love it :-) I use some exercises from that book daily.
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