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#21 alligande

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 01:39 PM

2 recommendations I got in NH are Bo-Gee in Raymond and Lo Baker in Manchester.
 
If I get any more I'll post them.


Lo Baker is a great trainer, I took a couple of seminars with her. I would definitely recommend her for foundation and starting out.

#22 Heartful

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 03:55 PM

This is a great blog about young dogs and agility. https://thecognitive...ional-maturity/

 

Some dogs are just not ready to do the work before they have a chance to grow up. Lots and lots of great suggestions here. 

 

Barking and biting are definitely signs that your dog is over threshold and there is absolutely nothing wrong with working him only to the level that he can tolerate without losing his mind. 

 

I know where you are! My 16 month old BC is just now able to work with me on some of the agility stuff without barking or biting...We constantly work on impulse control. But never with corrections. 

 

There are some GREAT on-line courses out there...Denise Fenzi, Stacy Winkler are two of the online trainers that I have experience with. 

 

Take your time and don't rush. Dogs can be GREAT at agility without being over threshold and so amped that they can't think...sometimes I think we focus so much on drive, that we forget to teach the dogs that they need to think and have some self control

 

Good Luck!


Tell me and I forget, teach me an I remember, involve me and I learn." - Benjamin Franklin

#23 CptJack

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 07:21 PM

This is a great blog about young dogs and agility. https://thecognitive...ional-maturity/

 

Some dogs are just not ready to do the work before they have a chance to grow up. Lots and lots of great suggestions here. 

 

Barking and biting are definitely signs that your dog is over threshold and there is absolutely nothing wrong with working him only to the level that he can tolerate without losing his mind. 

 

I know where you are! My 16 month old BC is just now able to work with me on some of the agility stuff without barking or biting...We constantly work on impulse control. But never with corrections. 

 

There are some GREAT on-line courses out there...Denise Fenzi, Stacy Winkler are two of the online trainers that I have experience with. 

 

Take your time and don't rush. Dogs can be GREAT at agility without being over threshold and so amped that they can't think...sometimes I think we focus so much on drive, that we forget to teach the dogs that they need to think and have some self control

 

Good Luck!

 

I love everything about this post. 

Yes.  This.  I saw a woman having trouble with her dog this past weekend say she would NEVER ask the dog to slow down and think because it would make it slow.    I think I sprained something in managing to keep my mouth shut and expression neutral.

 

And I was just going to post that link re: emotional maturity.  Be aware.   Acknowledge that just because they'e physically grown, even, doesn't mean they are emotionally there.  My BC at 3 is juuuust starting to be able to give me good stuff and I still make sure training sessions are short and include breaks to blow off some steam.  

 

In my opinion/experience real, solid, maturity around 3 is about right.   You'll see it coming before then, you'll think it's there before then, but then you hit about three and there's this thunderbolt of WHOA, because of how much has changed.



#24 dawnhill

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 08:04 PM

In my opinion/experience real, solid, maturity around 3 is about right.   You'll see it coming before then, you'll think it's there before then, but then you hit about three and there's this thunderbolt of WHOA, because of how much has changed.

 

Amen. I see that in herding and even general obedience. It's like something magic "clicks" at three.



#25 Heartful

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Posted 31 March 2017 - 11:57 PM

I love everything about this post. 

Yes.  This.  I saw a woman having trouble with her dog this past weekend say she would NEVER ask the dog to slow down and think because it would make it slow.    I think I sprained something in managing to keep my mouth shut and expression neutral.

 

And I was just going to post that link re: emotional maturity.  Be aware.   Acknowledge that just because they'e physically grown, even, doesn't mean they are emotionally there.  My BC at 3 is juuuust starting to be able to give me good stuff and I still make sure training sessions are short and include breaks to blow off some steam.  

 

In my opinion/experience real, solid, maturity around 3 is about right.   You'll see it coming before then, you'll think it's there before then, but then you hit about three and there's this thunderbolt of WHOA, because of how much has changed.

 Thanks! Aren't dogs fun?  They all need something different and require us to ALSO have impulse control :)  


Tell me and I forget, teach me an I remember, involve me and I learn." - Benjamin Franklin

#26 alligande

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Posted 01 April 2017 - 02:20 AM

I was told never to slow my dog down, advice I took but it can be interpreted differently it is not having an out of control dog, but teaching them the skills he needs, I did a lot of "capping drive" which is a concept that comes from the protection sports, they need to learn to think while high as a kite. I also worked through Linda Mecklbergs jumping skills which was a game changer in his independent abilities, a lot of dogs struggle when you add handler motion and it is a skill that needs to be taught.

I had a weekly trainer who told me to slow him down not run flat out as I had more speed than I needed, but I also worked with a "top" trainer who's opinion was entirely different, she wanted speed and a win, I chose her advice , what I find interesting is I thought he was fast when we started competing at 20 months, when I look back at video he looks so slow, he will be 8 in August and is faster than ever as he has gained confidence and skills. That said when things go wrong he looks like an out of control beast, he leaps, barks and occasionally bites when I get things wrong, it is always done out of frustration and he is always right, which is sad but very true and I made a decision to allow him to express his frustration with me, I regard it as training for me, handle well and I have focused silent dog, handle poorly and I might get bit!!

With my youngster I have a slightly different problem, he has always been a very mature dog and he has a huge work ethic, but at 12.5 months his growth plates are obviously not closed, vet and my dog physio both think it could be another 2 months so we have to wait to learn weaves and contacts. He is also a very different dog to teach, he starts out slow and thoughtful, I was actually concerned that he would more suited for obedience than agility, but once we got going it was obvious once he understands the trick then he just gets faster and loves to run.

#27 Blackdawgs

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Posted 01 April 2017 - 05:44 AM

Many dogs that appear fast are in fact frustrated and overaroused. 

Confidence and clarity (including clarity of handling cues) will build speed.



#28 CptJack

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Posted 01 April 2017 - 07:01 AM

Many dogs that appear fast are in fact frustrated and overaroused. 

Confidence and clarity (including clarity of handling cues) will build speed.

 

This. 

 

I'm not super experienced, but neither is the person I'm talking about and frankly I see little benefit in allowing a dog to continue to spin, bark, and lose it's head with frustration and extreme arousal. Yes.  Fast is good.  So is not having the whole thing being a frustrating experience for the dog and handler (if the handler is having fun, it's another issue, but that is OFTEN, at least in teams I know personally) not the case.  They're just overwhelmed, frustrated, and stressed out and feeling incompetent and helpless.

 

And frankly and from experience if the handler isn't getting cues out fast enough to keep the dog from spinning in circles and barking, you're not going to have fast TIMES anyway.  Yeah, the dog's moving fast but only the time they're moving through the course counts :P   All that spinning in circles, barking, or having to be called back is wasted time and the dog may as well be standing there. 


And it's not like speed doesn't come with experience (and confidence and clarity). 

 

I think phrasing it as "Slow your dog down" is probably wrong  though, because I don't think that's the goal so much as, well, clarity.



#29 mum24dog

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Posted 01 April 2017 - 07:59 AM

Alligande - Risk was the same,quite tentative until he understood what was wanted. My daughter was worried that he'd be slow but he's a quick learner.

 

Different stage now, he thinks he knows best. 



#30 gcv-border

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Posted 01 April 2017 - 10:18 PM

Re: barking and spinning on an agility course. Last weekend, I attended a local trial, and saw several dogs exhibiting the spinning and/or barking at their handler. Most were novice dogs so I didn't think much of it.

But one time, I was standing next to a couple people I knew. One is a novice handler, and the other is one of the agility instructors at the local dog training club. The novice asked why the dog was spinning and jumping and barking. The instructor said it was 'herding behavior'. [Then dog was either a BC or an Aussie.]

Wait! What?

I couldn't stop myself and had to say that it wasn't herding behavior, but lack of information from the handler (either no information, late information or information that the dog was not yet trained to understand.].

I still can't believe that many people will blame excitement, jumping around and/or barking on 'herding behavior' when these misbehaviors are displayed by a herding dog.

Jovi

"Folks will know how large your soul is by the way you treat a dog."  Charles F. Duran


#31 CptJack

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Posted 01 April 2017 - 10:44 PM

And the amount of spinning her not-herding dog does is... not insignificant.  



#32 Blackdawgs

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 07:48 AM

Sadly, many people who teach agility don't have the first clue about behavior.  Which is a tremendous disservice to students. And their dogs (and the instructor's own dogs).



#33 gcv-border

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 08:08 AM

And the amount of spinning her not-herding dog does is... not insignificant.  

 

Yeah, I know.

 

But still, I sometimes just can't help but put my foot in my mouth. :rolleyes:


Jovi

"Folks will know how large your soul is by the way you treat a dog."  Charles F. Duran


#34 CptJack

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Posted 02 April 2017 - 03:54 PM

Yeah, I know.

 

But still, I sometimes just can't help but put my foot in my mouth. :rolleyes:


I just... you'd think she'd know.  I'm GLAD you said something though!



#35 MeMeow

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 03:02 PM

I've been following this thread with great interest. A few weeks ago I started taking an intro agility class with Nala and realized pretty quickly that asking her to go over even one or two jumps is overstimulating for her. 

 

Nala is a rescue we've had for one year. She's an ACD/BC mix and displays a beautiful combination of sensitivity and hard-headedness. She is probably about four years old. When we got Nala she was quite dog-reactive. She's made a ton of progress with desensitization and counter-conditioning, and can now sit quietly next to other dogs waiting for her turn. This feels like a huge victory, but I know that just being around other dogs is already quite stimulating for her. It's understandable that when she's in that environment and I start moving quickly, it's tough for her to keep her cool. 

 

I don't have big ambitions for her agility career, and am mostly bringing her to classes to give her some extra mental stimulation and socialization. The instructor has a lot of experience in agility but isn't that into the behavioral side of things from what I can tell. She has a very nice outdoor facility, does small classes, and emphasizes safety over speed, and I'm not sure I can find a better set-up locally.  But it would be less stressful and more fun, at least for me, if Nala could go over a jump or two without getting growly and trying to latch onto my pants, and the instructor doesn't have a lot of advice beyond "try to nip that behavior in the bud, it will only get worse". So, I bought a copy of Control Unleashed and have been following along here trying to figure out a game plan. The instructor is fine with me taking shorter turns to avoid hyping Nala up too much, but I'd like to build up her threshold a bit more.

 

The article about young dogs seems very relevant to her, because I have the sense that she is still developing maturity. But is that even possible for a dog who is well into her adulthood? I feel like she missed out on certain bits of socialization as an adolescent, and we're kind of filling in the gaps as we go. 



#36 gonetotervs

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Posted 09 April 2017 - 05:09 PM

A lot of barking and spinning is IMHO related to a lack of foundation in working at a distance. Poor pup wants to run and jump but doesn't know about "go on" or have any lateral distance skills. Some dogs naturally want to work distance and they really don't do much over-threshold barking. But a dog that has done just heeling or walks on a tight leash can get frustrated by having to be as slow as the handler.
While you are checking out resources, I would also check out basics of distance handling. Send your dog around a tree until you can do it from a 15 or 20 ft distance and teach your dog a " go" to get a stationary toy 20 ft away. See if that resolves stuff. It is hard to run and spin at the same time (lol).

#37 MeMeow

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 12:26 PM

A lot of barking and spinning is IMHO related to a lack of foundation in working at a distance. Poor pup wants to run and jump but doesn't know about "go on" or have any lateral distance skills. Some dogs naturally want to work distance and they really don't do much over-threshold barking. But a dog that has done just heeling or walks on a tight leash can get frustrated by having to be as slow as the handler.
While you are checking out resources, I would also check out basics of distance handling. Send your dog around a tree until you can do it from a 15 or 20 ft distance and teach your dog a " go" to get a stationary toy 20 ft away. See if that resolves stuff. It is hard to run and spin at the same time (lol).

 

Alright, you inspired me. This morning I took two of our "weave poles" and a bunch of treats and went to a local park. I practiced telling Nala to "go around" them, first on leash with me right next to her, then off leash, adding in a bit more distance. It is too soon to tell, but I think this might be really, really helpful.

 

When we started out she was in her super excited barking, growling, and nipping mood. But after 20 minutes alternating working on it and giving her some breaks to go sniff around, she seemed to get it, to the point that I could tell her to "go around" from 10 feet away and she'd run out and do it and come back super happy. She was still excited and jumpy and a little mouthy, but the intensity was way down and she seemed so much more focused. I don't know how it will translate to class next week, but this is incredible!! 

 

Do you have any resources on the basics of distance handling that you'd recommend? Given our success today I definitely want to learn more. Thanks so much for your help!



#38 alligande

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 01:18 PM

I take a lot of online classes, but for a basic resource I would recommend a book called "agility right from the start" it will really help you understand some of the principals behind what you are doing.

#39 CptJack

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 01:27 PM

Amanda Nelson does some distance handling stuff that is *not* NADAC specific and will help, too, if you want an online class.  She does some Fenzi classes and also 'fluid motion' seminars, I think they're called.



#40 SaraPea603

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 09:26 PM

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for the great advice! I didn't disappear, and I swear I read it all and I am working at it. You have all been so helpful and given such great and thoughtful advice!

In general so far I have been giving him time to mature more mentally and emotionally, and in the meantime we are working on the basics, foundations, and some low key fun projects. All positive and fun. None of that foolishness from the instructor before. He loves it!

Thank you again! I will definitely continue to follow posts on these boards!

~Sheldon~

~Cash~




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