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CptJack

Not a BC - but agility and a shameless brag.

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Thanks, guys, she really is pretty stinking cute.

 

I probably should have used a more generic term - but I love the danged things, even when they're a Sunday evening after a really full weekend with a low drive dog :P Reallyreally useful. I even took Bug and played with HER in the ring a little bit (With hoops and tunnels)

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Kylie got her Elite Regular title today.

 

I am completely baffled by that, but there we are.

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congratulations! I think her ribbons weigh more than she does -- they are certainly bigger than she is. :)

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Thanks! She's no Tippet, but she's a neat little dog. Also a snot, but yanno. I'm proud anyway.

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OH! I forgot I have video:

 

 

The first run chops off right at "I have no idea where I am or am going", the chances run is kind of a disaster, and there are only 4 total runs out of 6 from 1 day, and there are DEFINITELY mistakes, but we've improved a lot I think.


Also got our Novice Weavers and Open T'n'G titles this weekend, and 2/3 of the way through Open Jumpers. Pretty successful all around.

 

Mostly, though, I'm proud that that jumpers run? Was run SIX of the day for her and she's historically gone 'naaaah' after about 4 runs in a day because she's always stayed a little wound at trials. This one she actually slept in her crate between and that seems to have helped.

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Thanks! It was definitely a good weekend, even with the sometimes terrible weather. Waiting on the trial photographer to get the pictures up so I can buy them + the ones from the trial before last and post everywhere in the world.

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Thanks for the vicarious pleasure I get watching you & Kylie run--she has beautiful eyeliner, btw.

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Aw, thanks. Her eyeliner is definitely stunning - and I'm glad you have fun watching the videos. It's taken me forever to be able to watch them without just being frustrated. All *I* see are my mistakes.

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The tunnel photo. :wub:

 

Irene is *incredible* with that camera, man, and I swear every set of Kylie she takes - I like more.

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Can you give me a link to her site? I want to look to see if there are any good photos of my dogs from the March trial. Thanks.

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I am going to turn this into Kylie's general agility thread.


Mostly because I have to say that I have no idea what was going on today but our lesson was *hysterical*. Don't get me wrong, I gained a lot of valuable information, got some good homework and it was good and fun and fine. The dog, however.

Well, my instructor is very fair to the dog. I don't think she has ever, in my life, actually said something going awry was anything but my fault. That's legitimate; it *is* my fault. Today, however, she actually said, "She's just wild and would rather bark at you than listen." That kind of says it all? Dog was not on the ball today and I'm actually okay with that.

Because what she was, was extremely, extremely, *extremely* happy and with a strong desire to run really fast. Me trying to make her run in patterns, on the other hand - (Bark bark bark). Who is this dog? I dunno, but not the one I started this journey with!

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I love having an honest instructor that you can trust when they say your dog is just not with it today. My instructor likes to say it's 99% of the time your fault and the other 1% it's your dog going awry.

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Mostly because I have to say that I have no idea what was going on today but our lesson was *hysterical*. Don't get me wrong, I gained a lot of valuable information, got some good homework and it was good and fun and fine. The dog, however.

 

Well, my instructor is very fair to the dog. I don't think she has ever, in my life, actually said something going awry was anything but my fault. That's legitimate; it *is* my fault. Today, however, she actually said, "She's just wild and would rather bark at you than listen." That kind of says it all? Dog was not on the ball today and I'm actually okay with that.

 

Because what she was, was extremely, extremely, *extremely* happy and with a strong desire to run really fast. Me trying to make her run in patterns, on the other hand - (Bark bark bark). Who is this dog? I dunno, but not the one I started this journey with!

 

You know, I don't buy into that "it's all the handler" stuff. I completely understand it as an attempt to remedy the tendency that many handlers have to blame their dogs for everything, but in reality it doesn't hold up. By what logic would the human make mistakes, miscues, and misjudgements, and the dog be pretty much infallible at reading everything perfectly all the time and be 100% willing to do everything perfectly all the time?

 

I consider there to be an equal potential for mistakes, miscues, misjudgments - and yes, even personality quirks - to be mine or my dog's. That does not mean that I "blame" the dog (I really don't consider honest recognition of lack of utter perfection as "blame"), but that I recognize that sometimes it really is me, and sometimes it really is her . . . or him - I guess I need to start saying him, too!!

 

And we can both have "off days" and we can both make mistakes, and that's perfectly fine.

 

Now, was it that she would "rather" bark at you? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe she was overly excited. Maybe she was frustrated. Maybe she was in a hyper mood. Maybe for some reason that wasn't apparent to you barking made perfect sense to her at the time!! :D But the idea that her barking was not necessarily being caused somehow by you . . . I have no problem with that!

 

Tessa was "off" at our trial yesterday. And that was fine. Some days I'm "off". Yesterday she was. No problem! :)

 

I allow myself this particular liberty, and it works well for myself and my dogs.

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Eh, with Kylie if something is going wrong it's me about 99% of the time - or more.

 

Bottom line, the dog does what I tell her to do. If she's NOT doing something, it's because:
A-) I haven't taught her

B-) I've killed her enthusiasm or confidence

C-) I'm miscuing.

D-) My timing is crap - ie: too early/too late.


C or D are most likely but happen.


After a couple of years of knowing us both and seeing us at least once a week often 3 times a week? Yeah. The 'dog would rather bark' was actually pretty danged on point. Not 100%. What the dog actually wanted to do was run in front of me, play bow and bark in order to engage me in a fast moving game of run and chase, rather than do agility. ESPECIALLY what was on the lesson agenda (so the agenda changed). Yeah, some frustration in there but mostly because she was being asked to do stuff and didn't wanna and even that was mild because 'dash in front and bark' is typically just a solicitation behavior from her (I recognize fully that is not always the case with all dogs and all scenarios, and Molly sure as heck does get in front of me and frustration bark, but Kylie ain't a BC). Over excitement, a little, but in the sense that she was happy, in a good mood, it was cool and clear and in a giant big old field of open space. PLAY WITH ME!


Mostly, though, it was made clear to me that *this time* things going wrong were not:


A-) Lack of training/clear understanding on her point.

B-) Lack of confidence.
C-) Bad handling/direction mechanically Ie: I wasn't saying one thing with words and another with my body, or just not telling her what I thought I was.

D-) Bad timing.


It was, actually, the dog just wanting to run around and be a goof after a couple of weeks off (ETA: not months! weeks, sorry), rather than play agility in particular. S'Cool, but it's nice to know that it *wasn't* me. Because frankly? She's my dog. She does what I tell her, have taught her, or have trained her to do. NONE of that means she can't have an off day (and yesterday was one), but an off day and handler error are very different.

 

Handler error happens a whoooooole lot more than off days in agility, in my experience both with me and other people. Particularly when you include inconsistent training, unclear criteria, accidental miscues with timing/body language, exerting too much pressure or inappropriate methods for the dog, or about a billion other things that are on the trainer.


So basically, I'm with my trainer :P But that doesn't mean I don't think off days happen and sometimes it's not the dog. Yesterday, it was the dog.

Edited by CptJack

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TL:DR summary: I don't think I actually disagree with you, I just expand 'my responsibility' here to include the dog actually understanding what is being asked and adjusting to their strengths/weaknesses, both in handling and training. Some things are harder for some dogs than others. Hence it's usually the result of SOMETHING on the human end of the equation. Not always, clearly, but usually.

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I think about it this way. I make wrong turns on the road sometimes even when I know where I'm going. Sometimes when I speak, what I say isn't what I intended. I make type-o's even though I know perfectly well how to spell.

 

So, why wouldn't my dog, at times, perform incorrectly even when I am abundantly clear? How can it be that a dog would never really mean to go left and sometimes go right when sometimes we do it?

 

And, again, I am not saying this because I want to assess "blame" to my dogs. It really is a matter of being realistic. I consider my dogs to be at least as fallible as I am. And I like that because we are in this together. It's not a mistake-ridden handler with a perfect dog. How sad would that be?

 

I think there is something very healthy about regarding both members of the team as being capable of greatness and capable of error!! :) There are times when I mishandle and Tessa just shines!! In those cases, I give her full credit! There are times when I handle correctly and she gets an idea of her own. It's rare, but it happens and when it does - well . . . that's her. In those cases nobody gets blamed even if I recognize that she made a mistake on that one. (Yesterday . . . purple tunnel . . . all Tessa!! But that's cool. The near miss after the front cross - that was all me. That was cool with her. We're a team - neither of us are perfect.)

I realize that this is a very unpopular point of view, but I do find it to be extremely helpful.

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I am kind of comfortable 'arguing' with you, because I suspect we both enjoy it rather than getting angry about it.

 

It's not helpful for me, largely because I have literally never had a scenario where the dog did something wrong, as opposed to not doing a thing, that a minor adjustment in my handling didn't lead to the result I wanted - at least not once the behavior was trained and understood. Seriously, not even once.

 

Now, I have absolutely had the dog not want to play at all, or get zoomies or what have you, but off courses, missed discriminations, knocked bars, obstacle performance themselves? Nope. Every. Single. Time. I've been able to adjust something in my handling and remove the issue entirely. Maybe my dog's Just That Good - but I kind of doubt it.


It's not that she won't blow me off - she doesn't often, but she will - or that she won't get zoomies and run wildly, she'll do that, too. But if she's actually taking a wrong obstacle, missing a contact or entry, popping poles, or going the wrong way, it's me and my handling or training - *almost* always.


But that almost is in there. I'll admit to that. If she trips in the weave poles she usually ends up popping 3-4 poles down the line because her mechanics are off and while she is 95% great at switches (tandem turns, rear crosses with a turn away to an obstacle, whatever), about 5% of the time and for the occasional whole day I get a 360 spin instead of a clean lead change, and I really don't understand why but it's probably not my handling in another 90% of the times it happens.

 

That said, my first go to is "What am I doing to make the thing happen?" Because the answer is nearly always in there. It's not even a philosophical thing. It is usually me.

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I am kind of comfortable 'arguing' with you, because I suspect we both enjoy it rather than getting angry about it.

 

Oh, absolutely!! :D It's all good natured discussion!

 

It's not helpful for me, largely because I have literally never had a scenario where the dog did something wrong, as opposed to not doing a thing, that a minor adjustment in my handling didn't lead to the result I wanted - at least not once the behavior was trained and understood.

 

Seriously, not even once.

 

That is quite something!! But can see why that experience would make it so you don't share my point of view.

 

Tessa has definitely made mistakes when I have handled correctly. Sometimes there are extenuating circumstances that are beyond our control. One time it was clear on the video that the way the sun was shining into the building through an opening made it very likely that she could not properly see the tire that she efficiently ran around. I actually consider it quite sensible on her part not to jump into it - that was back when she was still jumping 20 - when she probably couldn't see it properly, even if I was sending her to it.

 

But other times there has been nothing apparent, and even my instructor - who has a good eye for such things and does hold the position of, "it's almost always the handler's fault" - will watch a video and say, "Tessa was just being silly there". Not "silly" in the sense that she was trying to be a clown, but she herself made a mistake.

 

So, since it has happened with all of my own dogs - especially with a dog who works as hard as Tessa does to pay attention to me and be right - I definitely have a different perspective.

 

That said, my first go to is "What am I doing to make the thing happen?" Because the answer is nearly always in there. It's not even a philosophical thing. It is usually me.

 

 

My go-to probably isn't all that different. If possible - and it usually is - my first go-to is, "Let me look at the video to see what the heck happened". I am always open to the possibility that there was something off in my handling, and very often that is the case. And if I can't see it, I will usually send it to my instructor and say, "did I do something here that I'm not seeing?" And sometimes she sees things I don't. But not always - and it's definitely an apparent mistake on Tessa's part a lot more than 1% of the time!!

 

I can see where our different experiences give us different perspectives on this.

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