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  #2081  
Old 02-01-2014, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by crazedACD View Post
I was reading last night and came upon a forum post (just through a google search) about a girl that was trialing her dog in rally. She was having a fear issue with jumping different jumps. Keep in mind this dog has an alphabet of titles around his name.

She Q'd and placed the whole weekend, and NQ'd in the highest level classes. Came home with a handful of ribbons, and then posted a picture of her OTHER dog posing with the ribbons because she was so disappointed in the dog she trialed. And then she posted 'a day later' she was feeling better and snuggled with him. And she's complaining that she wishes she had a 'normal' dog that would jump a jump.

So then someone posts 'Someday you will get your 'reward' dog!'... really?!

I know we all get discouraged about things with our dogs, it just really bothers me that people act like that...I mean, be thankful you have a dog that CAN trial to some extent. Be thankful you have a dog at all! Maybe it's just me but it makes me sad...I couldn't come home from a trial and shun my dog because he didn't perform well! I don't think at all it's a bad thing to want to be competitive and do well, it's just...gah! Appreciate your dog!
WHERE IS MY REWARD DOG. Squash was a real doofus during our skijor race today and the whole experience was kind of a thinly-controlled circus.


Oh, wait. It was still fun anyway. And all joking aside, this kind of thing makes me very melancholy.
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  #2082  
Old 02-01-2014, 10:08 PM
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  #2083  
Old 02-01-2014, 11:40 PM
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  #2084  
Old 02-02-2014, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by crazedACD View Post
I was reading last night and came upon a forum post (just through a google search) about a girl that was trialing her dog in rally. She was having a fear issue with jumping different jumps. Keep in mind this dog has an alphabet of titles around his name.

She Q'd and placed the whole weekend, and NQ'd in the highest level classes. Came home with a handful of ribbons, and then posted a picture of her OTHER dog posing with the ribbons because she was so disappointed in the dog she trialed. And then she posted 'a day later' she was feeling better and snuggled with him. And she's complaining that she wishes she had a 'normal' dog that would jump a jump.

So then someone posts 'Someday you will get your 'reward' dog!'... really?!

I know we all get discouraged about things with our dogs, it just really bothers me that people act like that...I mean, be thankful you have a dog that CAN trial to some extent. Be thankful you have a dog at all! Maybe it's just me but it makes me sad...I couldn't come home from a trial and shun my dog because he didn't perform well! I don't think at all it's a bad thing to want to be competitive and do well, it's just...gah! Appreciate your dog!
Eugh. Saw this attitude all the time in horses too, only 1000X worse. Lot of teenage girls who would freak out if their (perfectly nice, well mannered, competitive) horse knocked one rail out of three classes, having meltdowns at how the horse turned out to be such a "failure." And their friends would console them by saying one day they'd get that $35,000 imported Grand Prix Warmblood gelding who'd always know EXACTLY what to do and win in ALL competition. I always used to mutter to my mare "be lucky you're with me" when we saw those girls having temper tantrums and going crazy with the crop/spurs/reins because the horse forgot a lead change.

I find people who work with animals and take themselves too seriously/put way too much pressure on their animals to be perfect competitors, to be such a draining type to be around. My dad, who is not a dog competitor person at all to be fair, turned and whispered to me "it's just dog-jumping-games, get a grip!" when we saw someone almost haul off and smack her dog for botching a single element in an agility run (she held back, but you could tell she wanted to). Meanwhile, there was a giant Malamute who literally had to be picked up and carried out of the ring (I forget what happened exactly, he was having great runs before that, but something spooked him bad), and the owner was smiling and laughing and telling him he tried.
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  #2085  
Old 02-02-2014, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by SpaceMutt View Post
Eugh. Saw this attitude all the time in horses too, only 1000X worse. Lot of teenage girls who would freak out if their (perfectly nice, well mannered, competitive) horse knocked one rail out of three classes, having meltdowns at how the horse turned out to be such a "failure." And their friends would console them by saying one day they'd get that $35,000 imported Grand Prix Warmblood gelding who'd always know EXACTLY what to do and win in ALL competition. I always used to mutter to my mare "be lucky you're with me" when we saw those girls having temper tantrums and going crazy with the crop/spurs/reins because the horse forgot a lead change.

I find people who work with animals and take themselves too seriously/put way too much pressure on their animals to be perfect competitors, to be such a draining type to be around. My dad, who is not a dog competitor person at all to be fair, turned and whispered to me "it's just dog-jumping-games, get a grip!" when we saw someone almost haul off and smack her dog for botching a single element in an agility run (she held back, but you could tell she wanted to). Meanwhile, there was a giant Malamute who literally had to be picked up and carried out of the ring (I forget what happened exactly, he was having great runs before that, but something spooked him bad), and the owner was smiling and laughing and telling him he tried.
That is sad. Man, I've wanted to get my dog into agility because it sounds FUN. Of course if she was a fabulous agility dog that would make me happy, but so would a really crazy, bad run if we were enjoying ourselves.
Maybe it's a weird comparison, but it reminds me of some pageant moms and all the overwhelming pressure they apply, trying to live through their kids and all.

Disclaimer: I am not talking about agility people who try really hard to do well and get those ribbons. I'm talking about the kind of people mentioned here who flip their **** because their dog isn't perfect.
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  #2086  
Old 02-02-2014, 09:51 AM
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She Q'd and placed the whole weekend, and NQ'd in the highest level classes. Came home with a handful of ribbons, and then posted a picture of her OTHER dog posing with the ribbons because she was so disappointed in the dog she trialed. And then she posted 'a day later' she was feeling better and snuggled with him. And she's complaining that she wishes she had a 'normal' dog that would jump a jump.

So then someone posts 'Someday you will get your 'reward' dog!'... really?!

I know we all get discouraged about things with our dogs, it just really bothers me that people act like that...I mean, be thankful you have a dog that CAN trial to some extent. Be thankful you have a dog at all! Maybe it's just me but it makes me sad...I couldn't come home from a trial and shun my dog because he didn't perform well! I don't think at all it's a bad thing to want to be competitive and do well, it's just...gah! Appreciate your dog!
Please read the whole thing before you decide I'm a jerk.

The reality is - when you are putting a ton of time, money, and effort into something, and it goes badly, you sometimes get frustrated. Now, I've seen the people who really "worry" me. There's a relatively big name competitor around here who, when something goes wrong in the ring, his dogs drop to the ground and/or bolt out of the ring to get away from him. There's nothing about that I find okay.

But the dog doesn't care if he didn't get his picture taken with his ribbons. I have times I am so frustrated after a trial, but I won't and can't show it to either of my dogs. They are soft, and I'm digging my own grave if I do. But after they get their cookies and walk and get put back in their crates, I will sometimes find a friend to whom I can vent. We talk about 'easy' dogs versus hard dogs to train and compete, and try to work out how often the easy ones come (every third dog, about, so I will sometimes comment that 'my next dog is going to be a good one!').

I love my dogs beyond belief. If neither one of them could trial ever again, they would have lifetime homes with me despite the fact that I have a two dog limit and that would me no more agility. I'd take a bullet for Meg, and Gusto is darn near that level of 'heart' dog now as well. But yes, I get frustrated sometimes. I choose not to make it (too) public, and never in front of my dogs, but I've gone to my car to cry out of frustration. I've vented to my friend that I thought I was doing *everything* right with Gusto and laying all the right foundations, and I still have a dog with some weird, tricky issues.

And then I go love on my dogs and make a new training plan and keep trying. But if you caught me during one of those bad moments, you'd probably be posting about me. I think that, until you've spent hours out in single-digit barns training; taken a second job to pay for classes; driven through blizzards to get trials; spent hours and hours making training plans - you don't always realize just how much your heart gets tied up in this stuff. As long as someone isn't taking it out on the dog in a way that the dog notices, I try hard not to judge.

And yes, I try to improve myself. I've seen how much better Meg competes now that there is zero pressure on her or me; she's completed every goal I've ever set out for her, and I truly no longer care what happens in the ring as long as she is having fun. If I could get that attitude about Gusto right now, I would. I can't. I'd be a millionaire if I knew the secret to it.

So no, I'd never choose to publicly air my frustrations (usually - heck, there's probably a Facebook post or two I'm not proud of) like that girl, but...I get it. I try not to judge. I've been there.

There we go, now I can be called a jerk if you made it through all of that
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  #2087  
Old 02-02-2014, 10:32 AM
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LOL, BB, I definitely don't think you're a jerk. Being disappointed and frustrated when you've invested so much into every aspect of a sport is understandable. Taking it out on the dog (in the example a DAY later she was feeling well enough to snuggle with the dog) is beyond my understanding. Not appreciating your dog, I don't get.

For me it would never be a super competitive thing. Just fun. Maybe I'd have a different opinion if I actually was involved, but as it stands now I don't get why it's oh-so-super srs bsns if a dog is not perfect for agility.
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:41 AM
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I get both sides. I cried after our really bad trial because well.... it's just hard sometimes when everything goes wrong. And it's hard not to get somewhat jealous of those other dogs that seem to just be perfect at everything. I'm sad right now because my old dog decided to semi-break and is limping right before our supposed TDAA debut. I guess we'll aim for next month. *sigh*

There's a lot of blood, sweat, and tears poured into agility for sure.

On the other hand, I think some people take it way too seriously and at the end of the day it is just dogs doing a pvc pipe obstacle course. I've seen some people who seem to only value their dogs for what they can do in the ring and it's sad to me.
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  #2089  
Old 02-02-2014, 10:42 AM
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LOL, BB, I definitely don't think you're a jerk. Being disappointed and frustrated when you've invested so much into every aspect of a sport is understandable. Taking it out on the dog (in the example a DAY later she was feeling well enough to snuggle with the dog) is beyond my understanding. Not appreciating your dog, I don't get.

For me it would never be a super competitive thing. Just fun. Maybe I'd have a different opinion if I actually was involved, but as it stands now I don't get why it's oh-so-super srs bsns if a dog is not perfect for agility.
I can also see where they are coming from. I struggled a lot with that when I was showing my previous horse. I would train 1-2 hours at least 4 days a week and we would go to a show and blow it completely. There was ONE time out of 6 years that I felt proud of him afterwards.

I love that horse til the end of my time, but no matter how hard we worked he just couldn't excel and it was extremely frustrating. Tons and tons and tons of money, time, sweat, tears, and blood went into the work we did. I appreciated the effort he put into trying to do it right, but sometimes that just didn't outweigh it. I always loved him but sometimes the best part was when he was in the trailer out of my sight on the way home.

There's a reason I haven't debuted Rider in Rally. Why? Because I don't want to invest the time into a dog who probably won't make it. I still love that dog to death, but it's not worth it to me to spend the money and take the sport seriously when we won't get anywhere. Take it or leave it. I'd rather love on my dog and accept his fears rather than put more stress on both of us.
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  #2090  
Old 02-02-2014, 11:25 AM
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LOL, BB, I definitely don't think you're a jerk. Being disappointed and frustrated when you've invested so much into every aspect of a sport is understandable. Taking it out on the dog (in the example a DAY later she was feeling well enough to snuggle with the dog) is beyond my understanding. Not appreciating your dog, I don't get.

For me it would never be a super competitive thing. Just fun. Maybe I'd have a different opinion if I actually was involved, but as it stands now I don't get why it's oh-so-super srs bsns if a dog is not perfect for agility.
But maybe it was just talk. I mean, I've had a bad weekend, gone to training Tuesday night and had a rocking super Gusto, and made a comment like "Okay, I love my dog again." But obviously, I loved him before that too

I started agility just for fun. I started with a dog (Meg) would would freak out when the flooring changed from carpet to hardwood, and who couldn't walk over a plank on the ground because of her fears. Half our early classes, I ran my trainer's dog because Meg wouldn't come out of her crate. It couldn't ever be anything but fun for her, because there was no way agility was going to happen otherwise!

So it was "we are just going to do a class for confidence building"...then "well we will do a trial but she's never moving out of starters"..."well we made it to advanced, but she's never going to be a masters dog"..."we made it to masters but she will never Q"... to my little superstar who walked boldly into the stadium at Cynosport and who has a Championship ribbon bigger than she is. My whole chest gets tight just thinking of how much she's done for me, just because I asked her to, because she would NEVER have chosen agility on her own. She is such a huge blessing for me.

And I still wanted to bang my head on a brick wall when she suddenly developed a fear issue of the chute for no obvious reason, or when she'd pop the weave poles to bounce over to me and play bow. I didn't love her less, or not appreciate her, but there was certainly intense frustration!

I'm probably reading too much into all of this...I tend to do that. But I hope that if someone overhears me during a frustrated moment, they don't think I don't love my dogs or decide I'm a bad person.
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