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  #3071  
Old 07-16-2014, 02:46 PM
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I will (in the future, because I haven't until now) always sacrifice some accuracy for extra speed. Speed for me = confidence from my dog, and I want to see that. I never really worried about speed with Meg, and while she's not a rocket, course times have never been an issue for her, even in USDAA. Now I have Gusto, who has been over course time on clean runs. I am starting to throw away accuracy to try and improve the speed. But of course, I'm competitive.

I'm really curious about something due to all the struggles I've had in the past year or so, and I'm hoping I can ask without being offensive. Please feel free NOT to answer if you don't want to, or to answer even if you haven't said it here but thought it:

Quote:
Penn's next trial is August 1. I am dreading it.
Ugh I know them feels.
So...why are you trialling? It isn't a sarcastic question. As I said, I've struggled so much with Gusto lately, and I've been talking things through with friends who have also been struggling with things. I don't know yet what the right answer is for me, and that's why I'm wondering so much about other perspectives. If you dread trialling with your dog, why do you do so? What is it you dread?
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Old 07-16-2014, 03:03 PM
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I'll be the naysayer. If you're happy and the dog is happy and both are having fun and playing safely then who cares if you're fast or competitive or not? What people want out of agility is so individual and the journeys with each dog so different....

I just love having fun with my dog and that's why I'm there. She has fun too.

She struggles making course time in USDAA some. She's 9 " tall and 10 years old. Eh... we have fun. It's been a HUGE benefit to our relationship and she lives for agility. Just watch her when it's her turn in class and you can tell. She's having a ball.

After this trial this weekend I may stop trying USDAA and just do TDAA and maybe AKC since the course times are slower. Maybe UKC too since it's slow. If it's not 'real enough' agility for some people well they can go.... you know where. I don't care. I'm busy having fun with my old dog.

I actually really get irked by the 'oh he's not fast enough or good enough'. It's probably not fair. I know why it bothers me and it's because of Mia. Do you know how LUCKY you are to have a dog that even is able to run? Oh god, I could go off on a rant and not against anyone in particular here but just in general. And now I'm all teary-eyed....
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  #3073  
Old 07-16-2014, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonBanker View Post
So...why are you trialling? It isn't a sarcastic question. As I said, I've struggled so much with Gusto lately, and I've been talking things through with friends who have also been struggling with things. I don't know yet what the right answer is for me, and that's why I'm wondering so much about other perspectives. If you dread trialling with your dog, why do you do so? What is it you dread?
Because probably until the day Payton dies I will have a little voice in the back of my head parroting from when I first started working with Payton, when somebody told me that unless I was willing to physically punish my dog if he didn't perform how I wanted, I was going to have problems for the rest of my life. And every time we have a run and it doesn't go as I would hope, I hear that voice, and I think that person is sitting there smugly thinking it's all because I'm not willing to physically hurt him in the name of performance. So we go out there and we struggle, and the reality is that the struggles I'm having with Payton are nobody's business but mine (unless I specifically go seek suggestions and help from somebody), but the reality ALSO is that I still feel like we have to prove something. We have to prove that I can take this crazy little mutt and be successful and do it all without ever punching him or pinching him or kicking him or pushing him or slapping an e-collar on him. And if we don't? Well, what exactly are we proving then?


And, of course, with Payton there's no way to take our work for a test drive unless we trial since his issues are really with trialing specifically. So the other option would be to quit with him. And quitting because my dog loves the game so **** much seems to be the incorrect answer. I also figure since Stuart Mah did NOT in fact tell me my dog was completely hopeless and I should probably just get another one that we have carte blanche to actually keep trying.


It's really not that complicated anyway. There are many days I want to do anything in the world except go to the gym. I hate the idea of going, I hate the idea of working out, I don't wanna, I don't wanna, I don't wanna. But I go to the gym anyway. Similarly, every year I am plagued with worry and dread and fear and concern and doubt before my half-marathon. At the start line, I am almost always afraid I am going to throw up.
What you feel before something doesn't necessarily have anything to do with what you feel during or after.
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  #3074  
Old 07-16-2014, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beanie View Post
unless I was willing to physically punish my dog if he didn't perform how I wanted, I was going to have problems for the rest of my life.
I'm pretty sure no one is going to be problem-free regardless of how they train their dogs.

You sound so down on Payton so often but in anything I've seen he's been fun and focused. I'm concerned you're being too hard on yourself. I'm glad that you're still getting more good than bad out of your endeavours.
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Old 07-16-2014, 03:23 PM
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Also someone slap me upside the head.

Summer knocked her first bar EVER last week and now I'm all 'Oh no, she's getting too old to do the sport now.'

Other much younger dogs knock bars all the time. The aussies in my class take out 2-3 most courses it seems. Summer was jumping 8", which is full height in most venues for her (she jumps 4" in everything but USDAA- another reason I may quit USDAA). It was a threadle and I cued weird and she took off WAY early and crashed the jump.

I'm being ridiculous. It's just she's never dropped a bar before. Not allowed to panic yet.
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  #3076  
Old 07-16-2014, 03:32 PM
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Cohen has taken down more bars/obstacles than she's left standing up on some courses. Not that you should compare your 10 year old pap to Crazyface.
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  #3077  
Old 07-16-2014, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sekah View Post
I'm pretty sure no one is going to be problem-free regardless of how they train their dogs.

You sound so down on Payton so often but in anything I've seen he's been fun and focused. I'm concerned you're being too hard on yourself. I'm glad that you're still getting more good than bad out of your endeavours.
Yeah, it's a negative-talk issue, I've known I've had it for a while. After a training session I am always going "this is what went wrong," because I think in terms of problem solving - what went wrong, so what do I need to do next time to fix it? I do it with both boys, but not Georgie. Georgie gets a pass because she is not my dog, so with Georgie, I flip into instructor mode, and I always always ALWAYS find something good to say about her. At our last trial she went up the a-frame like four times and took the dog walk one extra time too. I came out of the ring laughing and thinking she was so freaking cute. My mom was upset. I just laughed - think about all these dogs we see where people have to practically BEG them to get on the a-frame, they coax them one step at a time across the dog walk... not Georgie. She doesn't have that problem. Also she got her contact every single time!! What is there to be upset about?
But for some reason I just can't get that done with the boys. I previously was writing in a training journal and was making a POINT of writing down what went right, because if I didn't force myself to do it, I just wouldn't. It's not because I intend to be negative, just wanting to outline the errors and the solution... I need to get back into the habit of always making a note of what went right.


I love Payton and I know he tries very very hard to be a good boy, and I think he's a good boy most of the time. He can definitely be a difficult dog though. I joke about sending him to people who think they should just get a sheltie because shelties are "easy" agility dogs. OH REALLY? HERE, HAVE PAYTON. NO BACKSIES!!! But it doesn't change how much I love him. There's a reason I will have a hard time turning down a boy dog if the breeding I expect to happen takes place, and it's because I'd be getting a Payton half-bro and Georgie half-bro. I can hardly picture a better dog - unless it's a PaytonBaby. I really do love him and think he's fantastic, and most of the time I have very little doubt we will make a great team once he learns that agility IS in fact a team sport.

It's also worth nothing I have stopped posting videos because they are so disastrous LOL. But I do think after getting advice at the seminar, and so long as I can actually remember my new rules of what to do when things go wrong, we're going to get somewhere, and then I'll start posting video again hahaha.
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  #3078  
Old 07-16-2014, 04:21 PM
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Thanks for taking the time to answer. There's been such a flood of "dogs with trial issues" in our area lately, and mine is one of them. Watching the different ways people are handling it is interesting to me. I'm sort of limited in my response (I'm at my dog limit, so it is either Fix Gusto or Quit Agility), so I kind of wonder what I'd do if there were more options. I'm holding out hope that Fix Gusto is going to work. Or just "never retire Meg"!

Quote:
It was a threadle and I cued weird and she took off WAY early and crashed the jump.
Meg, who in her entire agility career has probably dropped less than 10 bars, has pulled all but one in situations like that. They've mostly been since I started running Gusto, because my cue timing is so different for the two of them. Not that it probably helps - but I really, really wouldn't worry!

Quote:
I actually really get irked by the 'oh he's not fast enough or good enough'.
I know you said it isn't directed at people here, but just for my own peace of mind, I want to clarify that my issues with Gusto's speed are NOT based on me not thinking he's not good enough; it's that I know it is a stress-based behavior, so I'm upset because I don't want my dog stressing. I don't want to fix it so he can Q (I mean, I do, but not just), I want to fix it so his confidence increases and he's having as much fun as possible.
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Old 07-16-2014, 05:26 PM
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I think it's totally up to the handler for what they want, speed wise. I have friends with border collies whose dogs gently lope around the course, not stressed but not fast. They like that, it suits them, they and their dogs are having fun. Me, I'm an adrenaline junkie person who hopes to have a crazy fast little dog.
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  #3080  
Old 07-16-2014, 06:00 PM
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Pretty much exactly what Beanie said minus the physical corrections.. I run a Vizsla. So many people told me if I was serious I'd be back with a BC because I'd never find success with her.

I HAVE to trial because her issues are only in high stress environments. We don't have fun matches or other venues. It's AAC or bust here. I'm driving 4hrs (each way) just to train for 2hrs with 5 other dogs so it's a trial like environment. I don't know where her stress came from but I refuse to give up. I am DETERMINED to find success with this **** dog just to prove everyone wrong. Screw them. My Vizsla will kill it. Someday. Maybe. Hopefully. Lol!
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