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Old 09-02-2014, 08:44 PM
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Southpaw Southpaw is offline
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Default Have your training priorities changed?

Just a random musing I've had lately as I teach Cajun... basically nothing...

I'm waaaayyyy more lax with obedience training with her than I was with Juno. I basically don't ever do it. I took a 6 week level 1 obed class with her when we first got her back in April, but I pretty much haven't worked on any of it since class ended! We start a level 2 class at the end of the month, mostly as a formality and because a class actually fit my schedule. Otherwise we've taken agility, lure coursing, and now a disc dog class lol. ALL FUN AND GAMES.

Now, she's a pretty darn well behaved dog anyway, and leans more toward the naturally obedient side than Juno ever did, so she doesn't necessarily need as much work as I put into Juno. But I find myself... just caring less about some things. I still like manners. But raising Juno I wanted PERFECTION and with Cajun it's more like, meh, just don't be a jerky out of control dog. lol. I'm finding myself putting more value on the goofy stuff. It's becoming more important to me to have a dog that is willing to try things and do sports, than it is to have a model citizen.

I suck at wording it but I guess what I'm mostly getting at is that I'm less strict. And I can kinda see myself maintaining this direction with future dogs.
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Old 09-02-2014, 08:55 PM
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Not really; I've (hopefully) gotten better at the skills I need to train the things that are important to me, but I have the same sort of goals for Gusto that I had for Meg. Both in terms of daily life (house behavior, hiking skills) and sports.
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:04 PM
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Soooo much so.

When I got Kaylee I had all these visions of doing Comp Ob and even when I got Traveler that was mainly what I was thinking along with Rally. I taught him attention heeling and fronts and all that jazz. I was more regimented dog training and control (not that it's bad, just not my thing anymore). But even now looking back I can see my heart wasn't in it and I was destined for other things since his heeling became all fancy pivots, backwards heeling and side stepping.

But since then I've gotten much more into the "fun" side of dog ownership (again, not that that other stuff isn't fun for other, just not me!). My priorities land more in goofy, crazy tricks, being able to be off leash so we can go hiking, loving water, biking companions, disc and so on.

I never saw myself competing in anything like Disc ever but I completely fell in love with it and with that has come a whole new set of things I look for and want to do and teach.

Basically, I haven't even thought about teaching Fergus heeling yet and he doesn't have a solid stay but he's started learning a rebound and already does leg weaves for the frisbee.
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:09 PM
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Well I've never been one for obedience. In general I'm pretty lax though I think I'll do more agility foundation work with Nextdog for sure. I basically don't care about much outside of agility and having a dog I like living with. *this includes off leash capable and on leash, well socialized dogs*

Never thought I'd enjoy nosework but I do. It's still not a passion of mine.

I think I've become a much better handler in both agility and outside of it. I definitely have more of a gameplan than with Summer. With Summer it was basically 'Oh that looks like fun, let's do that!'
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Old 09-02-2014, 09:23 PM
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I've always been 'obedience' minded. Since I was a kid I was training my dogs to do various things. I think I was 12 teaching our GSD to heel and to finish just for fun. Then I would set up jumps or lawn chairs to walk on and stuff like that.

The desire has only grown to compete seriously in obedience, but I feel like you really need a dog that enjoys obedience to make it worth it. Fiona is getting there, going through the teenage "lalala I can't hear you" phase and we are working on engagement and having fun and building a bond. I wish I had started trialing Romeo earlier, he LOVES obedience. I'm still thinking we might go out for our low level titles. Training with other people has come to a halt as everything in my life is up in the air right now.

Skye does okay with obedience and at one point I thought well maaaaybe we can trial in rally or on-leash obedience but I don't know. She doesn't enjoy it like the other dogs do. Zoie definitely not.

I'm dipping my toes into agility...I've learned to like it, I want to do it, I'm just not in love with it like I am with obedience. I guess my training priorities have changed from "DO EVERYTHING" to start focusing on a handful of things. I'm still having fun going out to lure coursing or barn hunts though.
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Old 09-02-2014, 11:10 PM
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Well, when I got Brisbane I had all sorts of competition sports planned for him. Things went downhill when, as a tiny curly baby puppy, he turned out to be a reactive nightmare dog. We started agility basics when he was a baby puppy, and I was continually amazed at how other people's dogs could stop moving, and didn't bite everything all the time, and sometimes just chilled at their feet.

Then Brisbane turned out to have all the angulation of a cardboard box on top of his winning temperament, and we switched to obedience where his "Worst Dog Ever" status became even more apparent. FYI, down stays don't count if your dog is laying on his back, and everyone else is likely to get all grumpy at your upsidedog distracting their perfect angels. After a few years of excellent practices and shameful competitions, we quit with zero Q's.

I always thought we'd get into rally, but it took a long time to catch on around here. Brisbane would love flyball and disc, but it would destroy his joints. We've done some herding lessons when they're available, and we do quite a bit of lure coursing. A lot has changed since his puppyhood, and I can now register my ridiculous mutt with the AKC and get him a coursing title.

So yeah, my training goals went from "serious competition dog" to "make Brisbane happy". Part of making him happy has been continually training, desensitizing, and helping him live with his anxiety and desire to bite stuff. He loves doing tricks and relaxation protocol and anything else I care to teach him. He has been an amazing foundation for understanding behavior and training, and I wouldn't trade our time together for the most socialized and trainable dog in the world.

But I am still reminded on a daily basis that he is basically worse than everyone else's dogs. Seriously, every post I read on here makes me realize what a monster he is.
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Old 09-03-2014, 07:44 AM
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I went through that shift the first year or so I had Watson. I wanted a perfect model citizen, but I also wanted to do sports. At some point I realized that sport activities favor a dog who is a bit nuts and always ready to try things. Manners favor a dog who is calm and steady, and doesn't try anything crazy. Watson isn't a naturally well behaved dog anyway, so I started to embrace the crazy. I still want him to behave well in public, and not be a PITA in the house, but I'm much less concerned about him being calm and perfectly behaved, and more concerned with building a relationship where he is free to be insane.

I thought I wanted a calm easy going family pet, but now I realize that I love a bit of crazy and I don't want to own dogs without that spark.

I've gone back and forth on whether I want to be competitive in sports though. Originally I just wanted to dabble and try things, then I got ideas about actually being competitive, and now I'm back to dabbling. There are some aspects of Watson's personality that are great for sports, but he's also challenging and requires more (and better) training than I can give him right now. Maybe when he's older and more mature we will get into a ring, but for now I'm happy with just playing around and working on things here and there. I actually do find obedience fun - I love working on heeling, though I don't think I'm very good at training it. I want to like agility, but I'm just not sure it's our sport because I don't know if Watson will ever be off leash reliable (which makes me sadder than all of the other stuff, because it's kind of the main reason we can't compete). He more or less follows me around, and doesn't run for the hills (which is better than nothing) but he's not able to be off leash and focus on training for the most part, and to practice that we need some sort of private lessons or access to a ring, which I can't get for the life of me.
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Last edited by Elrohwen; 09-03-2014 at 07:55 AM.
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Old 09-03-2014, 09:14 AM
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One of the biggest things I have now considered important is having pliable dogs. I handle the beejesus out of my dogs and foster dogs. I need them to be okay with that.

I heavily manage loose leash walking if I need to. I have one rule: you are not allowed to dig in and drag me. Other than that if the dogs are harnessed I don't care.

Being into competition obedience had made me put less priority on general good behavior. But I loooove precise fancy obedience with all my heart.
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Old 09-03-2014, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elrohwen View Post
I want to like agility, but I'm just not sure it's our sport because I don't know if Watson will ever be off leash reliable (which makes me sadder than all of the other stuff, because it's kind of the main reason we can't compete). He more or less follows me around, and doesn't run for the hills (which is better than nothing) but he's not able to be off leash and focus on training for the most part, and to practice that we need some sort of private lessons or access to a ring, which I can't get for the life of me.
If you haven't read Control Unleashed by Leslie McDevitt, I highly recommend it.
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Old 09-03-2014, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkspore View Post
If you haven't read Control Unleashed by Leslie McDevitt, I highly recommend it.
Yeah, I have it and read it :-) For the most part, the activities work well, but without the right set up (closed ring, no dogs for him to self-reward, etc) it's really hard to put the training into practice. I've just had zero luck finding anywhere to do private lessons, or group lessons where other dogs are crated. I can use the techniques in my own house and yard (the tiny part of it I've fenced off) but otherwise it's on leash, which isn't the same. Then as soon as he's off leash in a training facility he's zooming around and visiting dogs again.
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