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Everything posted by Mariji

  1. My first agility dog has very solid 2o2o contacts but the way she does them is extremely hard on her shoulders. I toyed with the idea of teaching RC's. But not many people in my area have them successfully. So I decided to retrain my youngest who at the time had only just started competing and had 2o2o contacts, her contacts were much nicer but because she hadn't had 2o2o contacts for as long I thought she would be the best dog to start with. If it didn't work I wouldn't ruin my older dogs contacts. The younger dog now has a perfect running A-Frame which she never ever misses and a running dogwalk but it isn't as consistent. That merely comes down to us not having a Dogwalk to train on though. We have trialled for a while now and the criteria hasn't slipped and they are holding up reliably. So now I have decided to try retraining the older dog. She also jumps of contacts if released early so is a bit harder. I am using the Sylvia Trkman method and so far they are working great. I will still keep a stopped dogwalk as the contact area on the down ramp is too small I am sure she would miss it and afterall my problem is with the AF. I don't see why you can't give it a go. It is just repetition, we are training them on our agility break over Christmas so she doesn't compete using 2o2o while I am teach RC's at home and it doesn't confuse or contradict her.
  2. I honestly do not see how forcing a dog to fetch would even work in the first place. I know if I did that to my dogs they would never think it is fun which defeats the purpose. I would purely use a clicker (as it is my fav method) and shape them to retrieve any object then add a cue and use that cue on live game. There would be a brief confusion period I'm assuming but that wouldn't last long with practice.
  3. There is nothing wrong with toy drive and the same goes for food, even the more "obsessive" toy drive. It will be a fantastic asset in agility. I would try to create interaction in the toy. i.e. try turn the obsessions for say retrieving into tugging. Just anything that involves you a bit more than fetching a ball. Saying that I taught many of my agility obstacles with a tennis ball and it worked just fine. I would play small sessions with your boy who may I say is stunning Encourage him to tug and don't let him circle. Keep working on tricks in small doses as it does help them focus on working with you. You can play anything that needs control. So practice sit stays and release to a toy. Develop that through wicked distractions like dropping the toy infront of him. Teach a leave it just by shaping which teaches control as you could be swinging it around infront and they can't touch it till you say so. You may have to relaly figure out how he works. He may be obsessive at first because of the pent up energy so might need a run first. Or vice versa you may find he works better at the beginning and gets more obsessive towards the end. So us ethat to your advantage and keep your sessions short. But I would just go out and just play, tug, retrieving a tug toy and sit/down until you throw it again or resume tugging. Give him a behaviour to do instead of circling, it may take some pratice before he can control himself but he will get there.
  4. For me I don't use restrained recalls at all. I don't see anything wrong with them but my dogs have a speedy recall anyway and if it isn't I can amp it up without a restrained recall. I was also told to always sound excited but it doesn't work for me. I just ask my dog if she is ready and she will reply, then I know she is. Squealing at her will not do any good. She is a talker and I have learnt to accept that as long as it doesn't interfere with any commands, I just see it as her way of telling me she is rearing to go and for a dog that had motivational issues I am more than happy with that. My puppy on the other hand is the deadly silent kind. She doesn't look ready and is busy right up until I bring her into the ring trying to smooch kisses off everyone but when I lead out she has a devil look in her eyes and rips around at warp speed. Then is back to kissy girl the second we finish. As for the recalls I have never and probably will never use my dogs name as a recall. Mainly because If I need to get my dogs attention I will say their name but expect them to stay. In a restrained recall I would just amp them up saying "you ready, you ready you ready" then release with their release word. I would expect the holder to let go instantly when I release them. I don't see how it can mess up their release word.
  5. I am more than confident to say that had the conditions been like that at any of the venues I compete at it would have been cancelled for sure. We have cancelled trials over much less. I would never run my dog in conditions like that in fear of injury for my dog and myself. Although the video quality was spectacular, you could see every muscle in the dog working. I have never seen agility like that before and it sure puts a new perspective on what my dogs are willing to do for me.
  6. I know I would be annoyed if somebody hit or even attempted to hit my dog regardless of what they were doing. So I don't ever let my dogs get in that situation. You have no need to ask my dogs to sit, back up or get out or even ask them to do any tricks. As far as I am concerned I am the only person that is allowed to ask them to do anything. I am proactive in making sure they don't annoy anyone and there would be no need for any of the above to happen. Saying that I would have quite happily smacked a few dogs across the head because of their obnoxious behaviour, but it isn't usually the dogs fault, simply the owners crappy job at training the dog or managing the dog.
  7. When I geta puppy it sleeps in a cat crate (as my puppies are usually tiny) for the first week on a chair next to my bed. I slowly increase distance away from the bed till the crate is on the ground by the door. Then the crat slowly works its way out the door to the dog room. I have never had a puppy wake me up bar once or twice to go to the toilet. I feed my dogs including adult rescues in their crates so it builds value for their crates and at night they rush to their own crates, I zip em up and leave them till morning. They get let out when I get up regardless of time, and never make a sound except if they are desperate to pee. Its just about being tough. Build value for the crate, by playing games or feeding in it then just lock em up somewhere relatively out of ear shot. They will get used to it. I know it sounds tough but you letting them out when they whine is not getting you anywhere I think it is good routine for the dogs and they always have a solid nights sleep. Being in a crate is a definite time for them to sleep even if we are still awake, they know it is time for them to sleep. I would perhaps just build some value for it, then leave it open in your room and eventually locking them in. If the whinging is too much for you to bear just put the crate outside the room until they stop. Dont give in! You'll have to start all over again
  8. We just got my partners brother to weld them. They didn't need to be fancy just solid and built to regulation size. I got 2 sets of 3 to make six. And when I was teaching the 2x2 I simply put just 2 poles on each set of 3. Worked just the same.
  9. We built ours and it added up to be alot cheaper than buying them here. We bought galvanised steel from the local hardware cut it up to competition specifications and got them welded. It was the best thing I ever did. As I trained my first dog on PVC poles and it was so difficult as she was forever knocking them over not too mention she also learnt to barge through them.
  10. I have trained all my dogs with 2x2's and wouldn't have it any other way! My first dog could do 12 in a few days but that was because I was so excited and rushed it. But she still is phenomenally fast and has wicked entries. I am currently training my other two and am going alot slower especially with the entries. My puppy is on 4 poles and I am staying there until her entries are unbeatable and she is consistently fast. She is a weave demon and flys through the poles, we did get a bit stuck for a day but she seems to have worked things out and has now got it down pat. My rescue is also learning poles as a way of learning distance as she is so clingy with jumps. It has taken alot longer simply because she has had no training all her life bar cattle work so is still mastering shaping. But even she is managing 4 poles, and as slow a process as it is with her she is lightning fast. I have shown 2x2's to my students and the results are amazing. I am definitely a pro 2x2 person. I trained all my dogs to weave with only food. My first dog was solely food trained and didn't tug for ages after but managed to speed her weaves up to warp speed on just food. My puppy is training using food and ocassionally when I am out the back playing with them I will send her through and reward her with a toy but her reward quite often is simply playing rough with me. The rescue is training solely on food as she doesn't know what toys are but the method works just as well. As long as you throw the food out ahead you should have no problems.
  11. I agree with using directionals, I just found I have never needed to use in particular left and rights, don't get me wrong I have trained with them and they work fine. I had toyed with a "flip" cue especially for independent contact obstacles and a fast dog it would be fantastic. But I just don't see the need to a left or right. If I am in the wrong place then I am a bad handler and to fix it I would simply get her attention then redirect her but that rarely happens as I always strive to get to the right place so she has the right information. We do have Gamblers and Snooker but even for that I don't see the need for a left or right. Sure your generic get out and here commands are almost a necessity but if my dog undertsnads my arm changes she will know to come into me when I change arms or to keep going out when it is straight. I just like the idea more that my dog can understand what I want from her without having to use left or right. All the runs I have seen where let and right is used is generally as a last minute resort because the handler is in the wrong place. I don't know anyone who goes out on course and uses it frequently in their planning of a course. I train with and am close to a couple of the people who represented Australia on the WAC 2010 team and I will ask them if they use left and rights. As far as I know they don't but it sure is interesting. I know I would get my butt kicked for being lazy if I used a left and right to tell my dog where to go If it works for you great but we compete at a high level without it just fine. I think we should have a thread for videos I would love to see how people handle their fast dogs in particular outside of Australia.
  12. I know that I don't need them. I disagree with your first statement, if you are consistent with your handling you should be able to direct the dog with just that. Also the general out and here command but the left and right doesn't really need to be used. Perhaps some people don't have a way of handling their dog that is very consistent but I try to maintain a particular method that the dog will always be familiar with and it works at a distance. Change of arm means turn so it makes sense that a straight one means keep going, if your dog can understand that there is no need for a left or right. As for obstacle discrimination that goes back to basic training, just simply teaching your dog the name of the obstacle coupled with your handling will get you and your dog through a discrimination. I am not saying generic agility commands are not useful just the left and right tends to be a last resort when you can't be in the right place to tell your dog where to go. I'm sure I would get told I was lazy by numerous instructors if I used Left and Right instead of working to get in the right positional cue. I'm not saying they don't work for some but they sure aren't a necessity. I could direct my dog through a serp on the other side of a course if I needed to with just my arm changes. Why would I trade that for a left or right command?
  13. I hear of people all the time having major issues with their multiple dog house hold. I have had up to 7 dogs in my house of a mixed gender and never had any issues. They all get their space and one on one time and I never have any issues. At the moment I have 3 Females but they are all by luck. I went out looking for a male in a litter picked a puppy and forgot to ask her gender, needless to say I didn't get what I went for but I'd never change it. My next puppy just picked her again before I knew her gender, and the last dog is a rescue I picked up and she is also a girl by chance. One day I will get the male I was originally searching for but I for now I have an all girl household. Even my rats and the cat are girls. I think it comes down to whatever gender you want really, either gender could work just as well as the other. I wouldn't pick a gender based on they might get along better because they may not.
  14. I suppose it is different for everyone but you will be surprised how hard it is to get a dog to stop barking. In many cases they are the very high drive dogs. In my case it has been months of me trying to build drive so I let the barking happen if it means she is motivated I seriously am happy to let her bark incessantly. Which is a big statement for me as my dogs are not allowed to bark at home, not even one warning bark, zip nada nothing. Luckily my dog will only bark/whine /every noise in between when training or shaping a new behaviour. She is dead silent while running a course except for the occassional what the hell are you thinking bark. I have a feeling my puppy is going to be a barker but I will see how she develops. It is just a vent of many dogs pent up enthusiasm. And if you are involved in the sports and it is your dog then you probably wouldn't have an issue with it. Saying that there is a fine line between barking on course and barking in a crate or whilst waiting your turn. That is just a nuisance. As for Flyball it would probably be something the dogs are feeding off each other. The atmosphere is ridiculously amped up and that is kinda what the handlers want, the barking just comes along with it.
  15. I think a JRT is a fantastic idea! They are beautiful and intelligent little dogs and would get along with a Border Collie just fine. They are both so similar so would burn each other out. They are very very high energy so will need alot of stimulating just the same as a Border Collie. My sister has one and she is extremely intelligent and willing to please. She is very high drive and can be quite motion sensitive so needs all the same training as you older dog to keep them focused on you and not on their surroundings so much. A JRT would be in my next top picks of dogs. I think if it grows up with children there should be no issues especially if they are socialised with children from the breeder when they are very young. I have 3 Borders that are not a breed people tend to recommend with children and all 3 are fine with my 18 month old. I have my 2 year old before he was born so it took a while for her to adjust and we played alot of shaping games which involved her having to touch him with her nose. And not just his feet or bum, she would have to hold her nose on his belly while he kicked his feet and waved his arms around. She is now completely okay with him and will tolerate him climbing on her. My puppy was raised with him and simply adores him. And I have a 9 yr old rescue that has never met another child as far as we know and while she stays out of his way I came into the lounge about 30 mins ago to find him sitting on her and she didn't even raise a lip at him. I think it is all in the way they are raised and of course the Breeder lineage can help too. I think they are just as biddable as Border Collies most just don't do the foundation training needed. If the puppy grows up with many different children every day then I don't see the anti children being an issue. You are just as likely to get a reactive dog out of any other breed.
  16. Generally speaking if you have to use a directional cue in particularly left or right then you are probably not where you are supposed to be to tell your dog where to go. I have taught directionals but don't use them on course. It is simply my dogs left and right. Of course I have a "Go On' command but rarely use that either. I find just well excuted handling should be all you need. I am of course no brilliant handler and am still learning alot but I try to make sure my handling is correct which is difficult if you are running a really fast dog. I never say anything to my dog on course and our runs are one of the most silent I know but people always comment on that in particular because it means I am giving my dog enough information for her to know where to go in advance and it seems to really show how hard we work on our team work. Of course some dogs find chatting more helpful than hindering but my dog tends to think the latter. I just try to refrain from using them even if it means not getting a clean run as that just gives me something to work on for my next run. It is good fun to teach though even as a trick off an agility course. The only other words I use on course for my oldest is her release word and her contact cue which is simply "Contact". Occassionally I will say a very quiet good girl or yes as we had shut down issues a while back. But I rarely have time to think as she is so fast and need to concentrate where I am going and remembering the course. I never ever remember the course when I have finished running or anything that happened during it as it is all just a blur. As for my puppy all contact obstacles entail the contact (2o2o) so I don't need to ask her to do a contact as it is automatic so I just have to release her. So my runs with her are even quieter. She is a little devil when running and has an extremely serious face, so serious that I'm sure if I distracted her she would hunt me down and tell me off haha
  17. I think a huge part of it is not rewarding ahead. You don't want to indirectly teach you dog to check back at you constantly. Always reward ahead that would be a good start. My dog when we first learnt her contact she would hit the bottom and go into her 2o2o but like you say if I was away either behind or laterally she would curl around and have her feet off the side whilst still maintaining the general position it was straight. So I went back to re clicker train the position and clicking for when her feet hit the ground and she didn't move them. So she learnt the second her feet hit the ground which at first is always straight they weren't allowed to move. So she still will turn her head but her feet won't move. As for speed I used a tennis ball (her most valued reward) and rewarded only fast performances once she knew all position criteria. And I always threw it ahead so she would go racing over anticipating that her reward would land ahead of her. Then just work her with you standing at all angles.
  18. I am a complete shaping nutter and use it for everything. I see in my students that it is one of the hardest thigns to do is teach a dog to offer behaviours. Dogs natural shape in their environment so it is a learnt thing to offer nothing to their owner when learning something new. You just need to show him it is ok to move around and offer behaviours. I would start with some serious prompting. Throw treats on the bed and once they start sniffing it click and give more. Perhaps try to teach a nose touch to a piece of card, try shaping that with some prompting by moving it around to get them to look at it and click and treat. It is easier to move something smaller around to make it more enticing at first. The best thing you could probably do though is just click and treat for anything other than sitting and staring at you. For looking away or moving. Just ignore the dog till it goes to do something different. Just persevere. It will happen eventually, work little sessions a few times a day. use objects that are small so you can move them or show the dog. There is nothing wrong with prompting to get your dog to offer something.
  19. I don't know about using those sorts of gadgets but what I would suggest if you aren't already is just rewarding forward. Throw the reward ahead of him before he looks at you. That to me should cause the dog to be looking ahead for its reward no matter where you are. Perhaps even add a jump or table after the contact so he has something to look forward to if he already knows how to do the contact and if it is all about just changing your position then anything that would keep him moving forward would help. But if it was my dogs doing that I would just throw the food ahead and they would eventually be looking ahead for the food. After rewarding like that a couple of times he should click and realise it will always be out there. Perhaps eve a bait bag laid out ahead.
  20. I thoroughly agree! At the clubs I have trained at I was constantly told to be louder and excite, even squeal. I don't say anything except for the occassional obstacle command even then if I am doing my job right I should know where she is going. Myla just recently received her first title and and the judge commented on how silent my run was but that it was fantastic because I was in all the right places to direct my girl around the course fast and clear. If I get loud and say unneccessary things she isn't focusing on what she is doing, she is focusing more on all the stuff I'm saying. Maybe for a beginner dog you may need to encourage them around a course verbally but it is almost completely pointless for a dog with experience or a high drive dog.
  21. This is just me personally but if you gave him a quick brush over everyday then there shouldn't be any reason for there to be mats as such. Knots I could understand but matting shouldn't develop in a day. My dog are thick coated all over but they do have thick long tails and feathers but a quick 30 sec brush everyday and taking the burrs out to stop their fur tangling is all they need. One of my dogs is coarse haired, the other fine and thin. You could train him to stand still and put up with it. I just expect from my dogs even when they are puppies that they let me do it. They don't get to go anywhere till I am done and will let me move them around to brush them. Sure they protested when they were little but there's is no butts about it they have to be brushed. Perhaps just trim back that fine ear fur, he is mighty cute.
  22. I have seen some real horror stories at the park. My number one worst had to be a couple of boys who brought down their Labradoodle and little Shih Tzu. Sure they were too young to have been dropped off with two dogs but the dogs were fantastic and the boys had great control over them. A lady comes in with her what looked like a Dali X it ran straight for the Shih Tzu which was completely minding it's own business and attacked it. The lady didn't take a second glance and I had to run over and separate them. the poor boy was in tears as his dog was screaming at the top of it's lungs and limping. I was utterly furious, I could have slapped this woman and her dog. She didn't say a word or even look our way. I had to calm the dog down and check it to make sure it was ok and calm down this poor little boy who was terribly upset. We also recently went to the park with a girl (12) who I do private puppy lessons for. There were only about 5 dogs as we went early and 3 of them were Beagles. One of the beagles was leaping at her face continuously and eventually bit her on the hand hard enough it swelled and bled. The owner didn't even look his dogs way, I could have quite have easily given it a boot in the gut. When I go to the park my girls are well mannered, my oldest isn't allowed to chase other peoples toys and my puppy is put on leash if she is being annoying other wise all 3 of them have wicked dog manners and are just there run. If my dog attacked another for no reason or was leaping at some poor girls face let alone biting her they wouldn't be allowed down their again. And I would have alot of apologizing to do.
  23. Your routine sounds fantastic. As long as you mix it up and keept them short I see nothing wrong with a couple of short sessions a day. I would do a bit of agility with my girls everyday for 5 mins maybe a couple of times a day if we are doing something new. Right now I am doing Weave Poles with Seek so we do it just once or twice a day for about 5 minutes. I am shaping tricks with Myla so we do a 5 minutes session once a day with some frisbee practice and core fitness (she is on rest break from possible injury) and I am teaching tricks with some contact work with my puppy Echo. I train once a day everyday as I said what we are training varies. We play games constantly to keep it fun and switch it up between tricks and agility. As long as it is heaps of fun there is nothing wrong with it. Our training sessions can even be just games of tug or frisbee. Sounds like you have an awesome routine.
  24. That is fantastic Root Beer! In essence it is what I did with my girlie. Made it ultra fun, added more games and treats and did each obstacle on it own to build up that value. You explained just how I want too, but I am terrible at explaining thing, I would highly recommend trying to build that value back up slowly. It really does work.
  25. I know exactly what you mean. We have a few dogs at our club like that. People marvel at the drive but don't realise that all that drive makes the control part hard. First I wouldn't tug with her, I have only ever seen that fuel the fire and psych them up even more. Food is generally more demotivating, although I can argue that point with my dogs, in high drive dogs you'll find that tugging just sets them into a frenzy. I would only ask for calm behaviours, whatever your criteria is you'll get. She shouldn't be allowed to play agility if she's clawing on the end of her leash, screaming at the top of her lungs or any other nonsense behaviour. Start with away from agility before you ask for that control on the equipment. Practice walking around the equipment sitting at a start line and various other calm behaviours. If she isn't calm then she doesn't get to play, saying this you may have to start at a point where she can't even see the equipment. Try shaping basic behaviours, it may teach her to be a little bit more patient. Shape something new at your classes. Once you've got her to a point of being calm before you even start, you can work on each obstacle. Teach her contacts and make sure she knows them, you will need them when running courses trust me. If you've built enough value in contacts it will be one way to slow her down. Break each obstacle into tiny pieces, for the seesaw I would teach her to contact at the end by jamming a jump bar on the other side to hold it up. Then back chain across the obstacle. That way if she goes flying across it full speed it doesn't matter she should stop to contact on the end. That's why I see the contacts behaviours as so important as it may be your only means of stopping a screaming freight train when on course. If you don't want her to bark don't accept it, I know that may be hard and you may only get her to be barking quietly but it would be best to start now and be consistent! My 2 yr old screams on contacts when nose touching so I took away the nose touch as she can't hear me release her and now she just growls under her breath. She screams at me if I ask her to come back to me and set her back on course and I just wait till she is quiet even if we are running a course at a competition. My criteria is more important than the comp. You should never lower your criteria just because you are at a comp. On the weekend in a Games run I had to score 200 points in 50 sec, we had only a couple of seconds left and had an A Frame and 2 jumps to do. She went flying over the Frame and one back foot slipped off the contact so I waited until she put it back on before I released her even though I knew we only had a couple of seconds left to finish. You should always be consistent especially with a high drive dog. Try tiring her out before you run. Take her to release some energy before you train and then ask for some basic behaviours. If she cannot even do those then there's no point in asking her to do anything harder. She will learn she has to play by your rules to get to run and your rules mean being calm before you start. As for on course I don't think there is much you can do except building a fantastic foundation of all the obstacles so she can't hurt herself.
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