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    agility, dogs

Laurelin's Achievements


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  1. Oh damn. I didn't realize what sub forum this was on at first. I'm so sorry to hear of Lou's passing.
  2. We have just started heeling here with my non BC. I always hated obedience and heeling but find if you teach it the right way it's a lot of fun. Hank loves it. We are about 12 weeks into rally and now some novice obedience. So definitely not experts! What happened for us is I signed up for a rally class not knowing you were supposed to have a heel already and the first day the first exercise was heel across the room. So we winged it. Lure/pocket hand and pivot work at home and he really has a pretty nice heel. Sometimes sloppy on the fronts but with some wall work he's gotten really pretty good at it. We were supposed to do a rally trial this weekend but have been sidelined sadly. So it'll be a while before we test it in trials. I find I like a flashier heel because that's when I have an engaged dog usually. We probably won't ever have a real cranked up IPO style heel- he's small and I'm not aiming for that, just rally. I think it looks really flashy though. Overall heeling and obedience work has been really great. I think if taught well it's something that can really help your relationship with your dog. Something about it really clicks for Hank. He is far sillier in obedience class than elsewhere. He adores it so we'll keep on trucking on. Never thought I'd be looking at obedience trials. lol
  3. There's some good facebook groups where they get dogs and post videos, etc of evaluating the dog. High drive dogs is another. I agree with the arousal vs drive thing mentioned above. Hank is over the top a lot. Most of it is over environmental stuff and it's often not usable really. The trainers and people I work with often classify him as very high drive but I don't think he is at all. Like I said, took me about a year to get a grasp of what was going on. I am glad I got my shelter mutt but no, not always an easy sport dog. But I also think he's a great dog and I do honestly think we'll get there one day. We will see. I think getting any dog is a risk to some extent.
  4. To be 100% frank and honest, no I didn't get what I was looking for in a lot of ways. I DID get a fantastic dog who is changing basically all my training methods and forcing me to be a better trainer and handler. But as a sports dog he is hard. And as a pet dog he is hard. I would do it again for sure. I am very very glad I pulled him and he wasn't put down (a real possibility) but on the other hand, I am also adding a puppy next year. I knew going into getting Hank that a puppy was also likely to happen in a couple years. Hank will be about 4 when puppy comes home. He's 2 1/2 now. The good of him: - He's very talented. The most athletic dog I've had. He learns SO fast it's unreal. He is FAST. Border collie fast when he's on. Clocking in around 4.5-5 yps with stopped contacts. He is hardy. Perfect size. His energy level is absolutely perfect for me. I call him my turbo powered lazy dog, it's great. He's game for a lot- lure coursing, barn hunt, nosework, agility, obedience. He likes it all (except Frisbee). Very food motivated and moderately toy motivated. He loves people. Loves to cuddle. The bad: - He's very hot or cold. He overstimulates very fast and is very high arousal. I think I didn't have a good grasp on arousal vs drive. Hank is more arousal than drive...I think a lot of people miss this in him and it took me a good year+ to realize. - He's kinda intolerant of dogs. He will fight in some circumstances. He does not diffuse situations at all. - He's food obsessive/possessive - He is headstrong and not very handler oriented at all. He's very much not biddable especially compared to like a BC. (or papillon) - He is environmentally focused almost completely vs handler focused - Exceptionally high prey drive - Climbs trees/can escape - Stressy in new situations - Spooks randomly at things (can't figure out what and when he will) - motion reactive - can't be off leash. No off leash hiking with him at all. Quite frankly, I don't think I am a terrier person. I like ACDs a lot but I really am thinking I'm a BC and papillon person and after Hank I may well only have those two breeds. ACD x terrier is imo a pretty hard combo. I've always loved the hardy sport mix types and he's a lot like them. But I think moreso in other people's hands.... The biggest issues are recovery time, not enough drive to overcome stress, and the dog-dog issues. I tested him by playing ball with him in the shelter. He played but kept going back to fence fight. <--- sign there of a few things. I got food out and he lost it. Flailing and so excited. I think the strength of his response was a sign that he might be too food obsessed and would be possessive. If I did it again I'd A) be only looking at pure herders (ACD, ACD x BC, or BC). probably go through a rescue with evals. C) Go for something a bit more toned down. I'd put more emphasis on a dog that is really paying attention to me vs energy and excitement over toys and food. I think we'll get there. He's still young. Basically the point I'm at now is he could do anything IF I could have his toy on me in the ring. Then he will drown out the noise of all the stressy stuff. But right now he really can't perform without the toy.
  5. Just real quick an updated picture! Those eyes just slay me.
  6. Oh that is very sad. I definitely remember you and Kit and have wondered how you guys have been and what you've been up to. She was a neat dog.
  7. I will say it's not all perfect. It hasn't been. He's been a steep learning curve and looking back there were some signs that he wasn't the most adaptable with novel environments. He's grown into a dog that doesn't really like other dogs invading his space. That's a concern. He's not nearly as naturally focused as my herders or my papillons. He's very edgy. Very athletic. Very intense. Hot/cold about things. But it's coming together and we're figuring it out. I would do it again but next up is a puppy for sure.
  8. Just a update real quick. We took about 8 months since the last trial attempt to try again and this time it went really well. We just did NADAC touch n go and tunnelers. Hank Q'd! in touch n go with a run of 4.5 yps which I thought was a pretty good starting time on a course with contacts and a smaller green dog. The rest we missed but because of handling things. I didn't want to reset him because my goal was confidence building and working on being a working team vs getting a Q. So we skipped some obstacles. But I was thrilled with him and we had a blast. HE had a blast too. He also earned his CA (coursing ability) and RATI and RATN in barn hunt and passed his birch ORT. Almost done with his CAA (2nd coursing title). We're taking a break till the fall after trying one more agility trial in 2 weeks. So we'll see how that goes. Then break until Novemberish when we are trying for an NW1 in nosework. He is fun! Pretty good at everything except for Frisbee but that's ok. EDIT: Nextdog will definitely be a BC though! Terrier/ACD is a... combination.
  9. I basically do what is available. Which is pretty much AKC now. USDAA here is very few and far between. (1 trial last year, so far none this year) It's like 90% border collies it seems and handlers that know what they're doing. Me and my elderly papillon kind of stuck out a bit. Very competitive. I like the games in USDAA and the course times are fast. It's also not very small dog friendly with the jump heights (I know not a big deal for BC people but was a pain with papillons). Summer's performance height there was her normal height in other venues. To drop to 4" she would have had to run as a veteran, which she is old enough for but she was a new dog and I a new handler and we weren't ready for that level of course. I felt very limited there running an old tiny dog. I do find USDAA to have the most fun courses, often pretty challenging handling. I actually really love NADAC. It's laid back but also challenging and fast. However, only 2 trials within a few hours from me a year. It's much less 'sea of super competitive people with really fast BCs'. Lots of rescued mutts here. They have some weird obstacles but Hank intuitively got the hoops. And after one brief foray into trying to jump on top of the barrels, he seems to have gotten that too. AKC strikes me as vanilla agility but I am trying my first AKC show next month so we'll see. Seems to be a little more stuffy and full of 'breed people' into titling their breeding dogs. Of course a decent number of people trying for MACHs or nationals. There's about 25 AKC agility trial days a year in state which is far and away the most of any venue. UKC is very... weird. Lots of weird obstacles, very slow. I have used it a bit for ring experience but wouldn't trial there beyond level one. So many weird obstacles. My old papillon did TDAA, which is small dogs only. Very slow course times. It was good for her, but I wouldn't seek it out unless I had an old toy dog. lol Have gotten comments that it's not 'real agility' but I don't care, we had fun and it was better suited to her. TDAA actually has a lot of local trials. Hank is small enough to do TDAA but I think he is far too fast for it. I feel like either it would be dangerous for him or running tight courses would slow him down for AKC/USDAA/NADAC. He debuted in NADAC at 4-5 yps (TnG) and TDAA usually has a course time in the 2 yps range. There's a few really fast dogs running it but they're smaller strided. Hank has a huge stride for his 15" height. We tried it once and he basically wrecked the course and threw the tunnel bags off the tunnels. So yeah... probably not. We have no CPE or I'd have started there. Looks like a laid back venue. ETA: My trainer's teaching is geared towards USDAA style courses.
  10. Her appeasement behaviors are really different and a lot more sulky. She's a complicated little creature. She reacts the same way as she does when she tries to sneak up on me and lick my leg without me seeing her. If I say 'hey!' she gets all wiggly then runs off and tries again.
  11. The other day I was able to direct Hank (cattle dog x terrier) to go get me toilet paper (I was stranded!). He went and got me a roll and brought it back to me. I was very impressed. I've never asked him to do anything like that before. My younger papillon does incredibly intelligent things constantly but they are self serving. She is one of those that will survey the environment and use whatever she can find to open doors, gates, climb, etc. She is ornery! One of my favorite incidences is when she locked my other papillon in a crate. She very calmly watched Summer walk into the crate then shut the door and locked it. Summer pitched a FIT. It's a running gag at classes and things that I always try to secure food away from her and yet she always somehow gets to it. Still haven't figured out how my 10" dog can climb my countertops in the kitchen (won't do it while I'm home) but she does. Somehow. I really think she's smarter than me sometimes! And what is funniest to me is she LOVES being 'caught' in a plan. I see her start sneaking and I will ask 'Hey what are you doing!?' She gets all wiggly then promptly behaves. Till she knows you're not paying as close of attention anymore... She also used to stuff my shoes full of tennis balls and carry them around from room to room. I don't know if she figured it was fun or if she realized she could carry more that way? My other dogs just aren't the same. (Poor Summer is a sweetie but not very brainy at all)
  12. I have one dog that really seems to need hugs (Hank the terrier x ACD I think). He gets overwhelmed sometimes and I've found that a hug will 'ground him' so to speak and bring him immediately out of his anxiety. I almost wonder if it is acting like a thunder shirt would for him. When I've started offering him more hugs especially in new situations, he has become a lot more comfortable faster.
  13. Dogs can still be dogs and get Christmas gifts. (And hugs and kisses) Maybe I missed something but when does giving the dog a christmas gift mean you're not treating the dog like a dog?
  14. I bought Hank some toys from Cabela's a few days before Christmas. I put them up on the bar in the kitchen. I decided to test out leaving him loose while I was gone for about an hour. I came home to find him waiting at the front door with something in his mouth. Of course I ask my sister, "What does he have?' And yep, he had gotten into the toys and was just having a BALL with them while I was gone. He was so proud. His favorite is a weird rubbery stick with a plush raccoon head and tail on it. So long story short... he got nothing at Christmas.
  15. Sometimes I get the feeling that my 15" tall mutt likes to show off. When he's being serious he's much closer. He's very athletic though... 2nd day home I couldn't find him. Called for him and he came jumping about 8' out of a tree. He also does this for fun.
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