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  #51  
Old 03-09-2012, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by SaraB View Post
ETA: You are not failing him. It is IMPOSSIBLE for people to critique training of any kind over the internet after watching 4 videos. Handling comes with practice and even though I've been doing this for years, I still get lost on courses and screw up my handling. The problem with agility is that it is a science and everyone has their own handling systems and training methods. You need to find what works for you and your dog. As far as I can tell from the videos, whatever you are doing is working! The speed, confidence and handling will come with time and practice just like everything else. Keep up the good work, you guys are going to be rockstars.
Thank you. Really and genuinely and from the bottom of my heart.
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  #52  
Old 03-09-2012, 02:16 PM
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Count me too that doesn't think you are failing your dog. I also agree with not amping him up, he is by no means slow but if he gets over threshold that isn't going to help him or you either. So you are being wise imo. Balance is the key and it looks like your on the right track, plus as you BOTH learn more skills, both of you will become more confident and faster. That is the law of learning anything, when first learning something you have to think about all the whens and hows. But the more you do it, you don't have to 'think', you just do and the result of that is more confidence So it builds.
One little tip (if I may anytime you have him pull off of something or do something you didn't expect, just calmly stop and look at your feet and body position (we call it freezing), often your body language will tell you some of the why
One thing I have my worrying/non confident students do (and yes there are many so you are not alone), is to keep a log book. Now this log book is not for you to list everything that went wrong or not right in a session. But list at least 3 things that the handler did, that they were happy about. Doesn't have to be big things, look for the little things i.e I was perfect in my positioning for the front cross and Steve read the information and nailed it. I lead out, 20ft, came back when he held it and rewarded him, good job to me for not pushing for more distance. I smiled at Steve and love how much he loves playing agility.
Break it down as far as you want to, nobody has to see it but rules are, there can't be 1 BUT in it, NOT on one negative thought or line. Trust me it works
Good luck and your doing great.
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  #53  
Old 03-09-2012, 05:48 PM
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I am very glad that Summer was my learners dog. She was the perfect in between kind of dog that is a joy to learn with. She was nowhere near a dog that you had to coax. But she keeps her head and while she runs, she doesn't go crazy and is a nice comfortable speed.

My first agility instructor with Mia ran slow dogs. And she was really not very helpful with the issues I was having with Mia. Everyone would compliment her and say she was doing awesome. Everyone else in class had dogs you needed to coax and Mia was flying. So I was always trying to work on a completely different skill set than them. This is the main reason we are starting over with new foundations. And this trainer has border collies so I'm hopeful she'll be a better fit to help me with Mia.

At least you and Steve aren't starting over.
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  #54  
Old 03-09-2012, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adojrts View Post
One thing I have my worrying/non confident students do (and yes there are many so you are not alone), is to keep a log book. Now this log book is not for you to list everything that went wrong or not right in a session. But list at least 3 things that the handler did, that they were happy about.
Oy, that's hard. I have SO LITTLE awareness of what I'm doing. Even watching the video it's hard for me to see. And I also have a hard time knowing what I'm doing right vs wrong because I simply don't know what I'm supposed to be doing. I mean, if my dog goes where I intended for him to go, I figure I was right, but beyond that....

Thanks Ado. I appreciate your vote of confidence. I really really want to do right by this dog. He's such an amazing guy.
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  #55  
Old 03-09-2012, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
My first agility instructor with Mia ran slow dogs. And she was really not very helpful with the issues I was having with Mia. Everyone would compliment her and say she was doing awesome. Everyone else in class had dogs you needed to coax and Mia was flying. So I was always trying to work on a completely different skill set than them. This is the main reason we are starting over with new foundations. And this trainer has border collies so I'm hopeful she'll be a better fit to help me with Mia.
This is a huge change for me in instructors because this one has a high, fast Border Collie that she runs. It's already been very helpful to be working with somebody who is experienced in running a dog who is similar to mine. None of my previous instructors had fast, powerful dogs like Steve.

It's also the first time I've been in class with another fast dog. The Sheltie is just as driven as Steve is, though he has a tendency to bark, spin, and herd his owner. Steve doesn't do any of that crap, and I am so grateful, because I wouldn't have anywhere near the patience with it that his owner has.
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  #56  
Old 03-09-2012, 10:59 PM
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Oh my, if you feel as though you are failing Steve, I don't even want to know what I'm doing to poor Kimma

In all seriousness, though, it will totally come with time. The video watching/body awareness will, too. I've been working at this stuff with Kimma for about a year total now, and I'm JUST starting to understand how my body positioning plays a role in everything. And I'm starting to really be able to transfer that in to watching videos of myself working her and figuring out what I'm doing wrong when she does "wrong."

I'm still so new at all of this, too, so I can understand where you're coming from. I'm also a perfectionist, so yeah. That doesn't help LOL. I am now, after a year, just starting to focus more on how much fun we have instead of how much we (well, I) messed up.

As long as Steve loves the game, you could never fail him
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  #57  
Old 03-10-2012, 09:14 AM
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I'm also one of those "two left feet" type of people. Only worse. I barely know what my body is doing as I try hard to not fall over jumps and keep an eye on what my dog is doing. It's really easy to become demotivated and hung up on your own limitations instead of just letting it be and just having some fun. Jeez, I've been struggling with agility for almost 2 years now and I'm still mostly clueless.

So, it's early yet. You guys look remarkable for how new the sport is to you both. And as I said on your blog, I'm positively envious of Steve's performance. I know it's not been easy to get there. And the two of you will really only improve from here on out.
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