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  #11  
Old 02-28-2014, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by RRs View Post
My initial thought was "Seriously? You regularly attend trails with hundreds of other dogs present and your dog is still reactive? Maybe you need to work on training other than jumps and weaves."
Sounds like someone who has never had a dog reactive dog. If only everyone was so lucky. You don't "cure" dog aggression, in my opinion. All you can do is MANAGE it.
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  #12  
Old 02-28-2014, 04:06 PM
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Let me ask you this...where exactly have you been taking classes? Because the word "class room" you've used is what not I think of when I think agility. Where are you located?? How long have you been training in agility??

We have training places in New England that host agility trials and run thrus where you can just drop into that day. Like this place in MA - http://www.surefiredogs.com/about-us...raining-center They have trials and run thrus as well as classes. Sometimes they have over 50 dogs for their agility run thrus on a Saturday.

Or this place in NH...http://www.alldogsgym.com/content/view/31/ they have classes as well as trials and matches. This would be where you bang out all of the bugs for getting ready to run agility at a trial. I also recommend going to drop in run thrus at as many places as you can. That's how you proof a dog to be able to run in a trial setting.

If your trainer is competing in agility themselves, they should be able to tell you where drop ins and matches are being held.
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  #13  
Old 02-28-2014, 04:11 PM
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Honestly, I'd go. I'd park a fair distance away, and work him in the car first. Wait for him to get distracted by a dog going away and see if you can call/redirect and reward him. If not, work on LAT from the car. If you can't from the car, I wouldn't get out, but it will still be great training from inside.

If he's like "Meh." I'd get out and work him, let him hear the dogs barking, etc. near your car. Maybe take 10 steps closer to the site. Do random attention exercises, tricks and loose leash walking.

Then go home.

I would not go within 10 yards of anyone with a dog there, personally. I would be very embarrassed if my dog reacted at a place like that, and wouldn't want to find someone to apologize to after that.

Just keep it short and sweet.
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Old 02-28-2014, 04:22 PM
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There are plenty of reactive dogs that compete in agility. (and even more reactive owners/handlers) The first time I attended a trials I was shocked at how many times I was told by an owner/handler to give their dog some space because it was reactive/aggressive. I suspect some of it was out of concern that their dog might start something that my dog would finish. (She wouldn't - she is a sweetheart.) My initial thought was "Seriously? You regularly attend trails with hundreds of other dogs present and your dog is still reactive? Maybe you need to work on training other than jumps and weaves."
I'd say the same thing if I felt that your dog was crowding either of my dogs, or if I thought you weren't paying attention and it was about to happen. I own one reactive dog and one dog who is about the least reactive dog on the planet. I'd say it with either.

With my reactive dog (and yes, she's been to agility trials regularly, up to and including the national finals with 5 rings running at once), you probably wouldn't notice that she was reactive unless your dog was really in her face. She's learned to tolerate a lot from other dogs in crowded spaces at agility trials. But tolerance does not equal enjoyment, and I will do everything in my power to get other dogs to give her the space she needs to be truly comfortable. It has nothing to do with my concern that your dog might "finish it". It is my job, as her owner, to stand up for her. As long as I do my job, she never feels the need to get reactive, because there is never a point where her tolerance is pushed beyond her limit.

With my non-reactive dog - I want him to stay that way. He's polite and non-reactive and not one to try to visit or say hi to other dogs in a trial setting, and that is perfect for me. He doesn't need dogs getting pushy and in his space, even if his tolerance level is fantastic.

I think you underestimate the incredible amount of time many sports people spend working on situations like reactivity. Like others have said, you probably don't realize how many dogs at a trial have dog/dog or dog/human issues, because everyone is so on top of their dogs. It's one of my favorite things about trials!

As for Talon - it's hard to say without knowing exactly how he behaves. I might go and work on the far end of the parking lot and see how things go. I wouldn't go inside unless he's super, super relaxed and focused, AND if there is a lot of extra room (one of the trials I've attended in a warehouse would have been perfect for this sort of work because of how much space there was). I wouldn't even try to go anywhere near the ring, no matter how good he is being. Among other things, you don't want another dog to react back to him if he starts up and wind up making his work regress. But I don't think working him outside is a bad idea, as long as you are willing to bail if any competitors start to look bothered.
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Old 02-28-2014, 05:00 PM
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Elsie's a very reactive dog, but she's doing well at trials. It requires a lot of play, training and management.

I'd vote go, but be prepared to leave if it's too much for him. Watch your dog, take lots of treats/a toy, and see what happens.
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Old 02-28-2014, 05:14 PM
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My two dogs are reactive. I'd almost call Summer snarky moreso because she just seems to want to lay down some ground rules. Mia is a lot more reactive and has gone after dogs when they get too close. We had an incident with a border collie last trial when the handler let the dog come up to Mia and I.

Last week we had a lady in our class with a pit bull who I guess is offended by keeping Mia away from her. She came up to tell me her dog wasn't aggressive. I felt bad but tried to explain that mine could be reactive particularly with large exuberant dogs (which this dog is).

So yeah.... Lots of reactive dogs of all different sizes out there. I feel your pain.
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Old 02-28-2014, 05:17 PM
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As far as the original question I think as long as your dog is under control and your not getting in the way or causing a scene it's be fine.
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  #18  
Old 02-28-2014, 08:16 PM
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My initial thought was that I personally wouldn't really care, but I would just be careful to heavily manage. I would hate to bring a fearful dog to a trial and have another dog react and throw my dog off his game, yknow? I did bring Fiona to a barn hunt, and a big confo show. I just wanted to get her out and socialized, she is a little reactive to dogs reacting to her so we worked on some of that. Actually barn hunt would be a good place to go, lots of terriers (read: reactive :P).

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Originally Posted by Babyblue5290 View Post
At this point I can almost guarantee no reaction in a classroom or pet store, but that's not really a trial atmosphere.
He probably won't react even as much at a trial atmosphere...well, in an area with a lot of dogs around. If you are off in the distance alone, and someone walks their dog towards you, he will probably react (if you aren't managing it). I'm more likely to get a reaction out of any of my dogs on a simple walk or if I'm alone at a park and someone is walking towards us with their dog. Anticipation and all that .

Quote:
Originally Posted by RRs View Post
There are plenty of reactive dogs that compete in agility. (and even more reactive owners/handlers) The first time I attended a trials I was shocked at how many times I was told by an owner/handler to give their dog some space because it was reactive/aggressive. I suspect some of it was out of concern that their dog might start something that my dog would finish. (She wouldn't - she is a sweetheart.) My initial thought was "Seriously? You regularly attend trails with hundreds of other dogs present and your dog is still reactive? Maybe you need to work on training other than jumps and weaves."
Yeah I don't really want other people's dogs crowding around my dogs, it is quite easy for something to happen in a second. And then if you're trialing, you don't want to end up with a bleeding ear or a pissed/scared dog and have to scratch out or have them not on their game. Not every dog is perfect.
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Old 02-28-2014, 11:49 PM
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Originally Posted by RRs View Post
Go for it. Especially if your plan is to stay around the perimeter initially until you are confident that your dog is comfortable.

There are plenty of reactive dogs that compete in agility. (and even more reactive owners/handlers) The first time I attended a trials I was shocked at how many times I was told by an owner/handler to give their dog some space because it was reactive/aggressive. I suspect some of it was out of concern that their dog might start something that my dog would finish. (She wouldn't - she is a sweetheart.) My initial thought was "Seriously? You regularly attend trails with hundreds of other dogs present and your dog is still reactive? Maybe you need to work on training other than jumps and weaves."
Not all dogs like having other dogs in their space. And that's not something you always "cure" by training, that's often an innate part of their personality, and it's something you manage. I feel like there are a lot of high drive, very successful sports dogs, who, while not outwardly reactive, do not like having dogs up in their face.

And everyone's definition of "reactive" is different. Out of my three dogs, Missy is the most dog selective/dog aggressive. She doesn't like other large females. She doesn't like rude dogs, pushy dogs, loud dogs, jumpy dogs, etc. We'll go to the park, the pet store, whatever, and she's just fine seeing other dogs, being in proximity to them, she ignores them - zero issues. She has issues when they get in her "bubble", and I'm fine with that. It gives me plenty of time to stop approaching dogs/owners and tell them that she's not friendly. I consider her dog reactive, but most people are surprised when I tell them that.

Jack used to make an absolute scene in public when he saw another dog - barking, spinning, whining, growling, crying, the whole nine yards. He was excited, and frustrated, and his behavior reflected that. But he LOVES dogs. He greets them very well when he's allowed, he gets along with almost all the dogs he's met, etc - we just had to work on appropriate behavior in public.

And even with all of this...I usually do not let my dogs greet other strange dogs in public, even my "perfect" dog who's never met anyone she didn't love. I don't know you, I don't know your dog, I don't know if you have an adequate grasp of your dog's temperament. Especially if it's in a situation where we're working on training - no. Just no.
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  #20  
Old 03-01-2014, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by AgilityPup View Post
Ask the trainers of your class if they have some dogs that they could work with you with. New dogs. If you train with an agility club, ask if you could come work him while they're running. I know personally I have worked with my dogs with issues at trials, but any time I did, I was also there competing.

I would assume that when you see dogs 'amped up' you will see him closer to threshold, where he is a herder. So I would ask the people in the class or the trainers if they know a good, dog friendly dog you can barrow. I have done it with Psyche (been the good, dog friendly dog) and worked on getting her all up and ready to go around other dogs who were dog reactive so owners could work on controlling their dogs there.

OR! Another possibility is to go and make friends with some people at the agility trial and ask them if you could come out with him someday when they practice and do what I said above.

If he hasn't been around dogs doing agility before, I would start with one or two dogs at a time anyway, instead of a whole trial.
Yeah, he'll definitely be closer to threshold. I'm going to go this next weekend and maybe just walk around watch and talk to people. Well...if I can get the courage to talk to people, we will see how that goes. But at the very least I figure it will give me an idea of the layout and whatnot.

He has been around dogs doing agility before, as well as disc competitions. However, never an agility trial area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJEtzel View Post
Honestly, I'd go. I'd park a fair distance away, and work him in the car first. Wait for him to get distracted by a dog going away and see if you can call/redirect and reward him. If not, work on LAT from the car. If you can't from the car, I wouldn't get out, but it will still be great training from inside.

If he's like "Meh." I'd get out and work him, let him hear the dogs barking, etc. near your car. Maybe take 10 steps closer to the site. Do random attention exercises, tricks and loose leash walking.

Then go home.

I would not go within 10 yards of anyone with a dog there, personally. I would be very embarrassed if my dog reacted at a place like that, and wouldn't want to find someone to apologize to after that.

Just keep it short and sweet.
That's pretty much what I was thinking of doing. I won't bring him out if he isn't doing well and if it doesn't go well we can bail at any time without any regrets. Thanks

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Originally Posted by BostonBanker View Post
As for Talon - it's hard to say without knowing exactly how he behaves. I might go and work on the far end of the parking lot and see how things go. I wouldn't go inside unless he's super, super relaxed and focused, AND if there is a lot of extra room (one of the trials I've attended in a warehouse would have been perfect for this sort of work because of how much space there was). I wouldn't even try to go anywhere near the ring, no matter how good he is being. Among other things, you don't want another dog to react back to him if he starts up and wind up making his work regress. But I don't think working him outside is a bad idea, as long as you are willing to bail if any competitors start to look bothered.
To be honest, I wasn't even planning on going into the trial the first time out. Evewn if it went really well and he was doing great, I think that might be pushing my luck a bit. So I think we've decided to go and see how he does and if he doesn't do well we will leave and rethink.

THanks!
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