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Posts posted by alligande

  1. It is a very common border collie problem. If you google these boards for reactivity you will find loads of threads with dogs having the same behavior. My first agility dog turned into a raving lunatic once we started training with other dogs really running. Members of these boards introduced me to a book called Controled Unleashed and we worked our way through some of the exercises and it really helped him. There are two versions of the book and I understand the puppy book is easier to work with, although called puppy it is still applicable to all dogs.

  2. All great advice, I will reiterate that the more fun you make coming back, the more they want to come back. with my 8 year old I still call him back on walks just for fun ... and then I let him go back to what ever fun he was having. We have all heard the increasingly desperate calls, turning to frustration then to anger "fluffy come, Fluffy Come, FLUFFY COME" by this point you can only wonder why fluffy will ever come back!!!

  3. New video to share, we started working on turns today. Anne made sure he fully understood the criteria of a front paw on the target before we were told we could move on to this stage. You can see the target is now smaller it is now 1/4 size of the contact zone. There are no verbals used yet.

    There is the choice of working with the the MM or a dead toy, with a dead toy Fens failure rate is much higher and he starts to shut down when I call him off, so we are working on that skill at home with regular tricks and play. He will need it for the advanced class.

    She would like to see more speed from him, but I think the way he learns the speed will come with confidence, it has with everything else. Her way of teaching certainly suits a thinking dog as they really have to understand the criteria versus some of the other methods of training RCs.


  4. Thanks for the videos. Looks like he is getting the idea. Do I hear a puppy whining in the background? :-)) I hope you will post a future update. I am very interested in how easily it transfers to running a course.


    Do you mind a few questions? The mat: what do you use? It looks light and flexible. Also, smaller than the contact zone. Is that to make the criteria (hit zone) harder for practice so that when the behavior is used on a course and the dog is more amped up, he can be a little 'sloppy' and still hit the contact zone? From a previous post, you said that each dog has a different contact requirement (all 4 paws, front or back). Do you know why they are different? Size of dog or ???? Why did she recommend front paws for Fen?


    Again, thanks for the update.

    You can ask as many questions as you like :)


    First that horrendous complaining is not a puppy but my older complaining that it is not him on the course, he has been an only dog for along time!!!!! Agility is his game...


    The mat: what do you use? It looks light and flexible. I am actually not sure what it really is! they sell it on rolls here and it is a some sort of non-skid but I have never seen it used in a house, only for agility! There are all sorts of different things being used.

    Also, smaller than the contact zone. There are two different sized targets, the one you see in my videos is 50cm which is half the FCI contact zone. We have also been working at home with a 25cm one but we have not advanced enough to use it on the board.

    Is that to make the criteria (hit zone) harder for practice so that when the behavior is used on a course and the dog is more amped up, he can be a little 'sloppy' and still hit the contact zone? I suspect you are right, but when you watch her dogs and the dogs from Shape Up Dogs (they recommended the course and took it with their young dogs) they all run all the way to bottom even in high pressure situations, so I think it might be really about teaching them to run all the way to the bottom so there can be no mistakes

    From a previous post, you said that each dog has a different contact requirement (all 4 paws, front or back). Do you know why they are different? Size of dog or ???? Why did she recommend front paws for Fen? With the little dogs she has required them to have all 4 paws, I haven't asked why but it looks like it was really what the dog was comfortable with, from the original instructions I think her ideal is back feet. Fen is a big lanky dog who's not really done growing at 14 1/2 months! and really knows where his front paws are, while he doesn't seem as confident with the back ones.

    The way the group works, I am really no longer looking at other videos, everyone posts under the same original photo, so you don't see the new videos. The Shape Up Dogs does it just by adding a new comment so you see the new videos and comments easily, plus we are now doing the beyond foundation class and the contact class so are rather busy!

  5. Here are a couple of videos of our progress, we were given permission to move onto the next stage so you can see some progression. One thing I have noticed is for an online class Anne is very flexible and has adapted what she suggests for each dog as their skills have evolved. I am very glad I am not auditing the class as you can't ask questions and think I would have moved on to soon and not done such a thorough job on the foundation.

    This was in the second week

    Week 3, trying to make the game more fun as he was obviously getting bored with simply putting paws on a target.

    And this is our most recent session, it's a bit long but it is basically unedited as I wanted to show his progress in real time.

  6. I think I am insane going down this rabbit hole, I started wanting a running Aframe and a stopped DW, but all the resources teach a running DW first with the Aframe being a sorted of bonus prize. I wasn't happy with with the way I had seen teaching a running Aframe with stride regulators and that was the only way I had experience with so I went hunting and found Anne Lenz who's method was highly recommended by some very successful handlers, after watching some of them I realized with the verbal skills and independence Fen is learning a running DW might be a possibility, I would never be able to do it with my older dog as he does not have the level of independence needed. If I can't handle it then I will go to stopped, which I am planning on teaching as well as I think it will be great to have both.

    FCI in Spain has brought in new rules in grade 3 to encourage speed, to get a Q / excellent run you have to be in 10% of the top time so once you get to grade 3 every run is going to have to be fast.

  7. I have seen a lot of people fail with using ST's method especially when motion and speed and either give up or try another method. A number of top competitors are now using a target rather than running over a carpet, and are evolving how it is taught to make it more reliable, I watched most of the AWC on TV last year and ST's DW was not reliable compared to some others.

    If you want to work on solving your 2o2o issues, check out Amanda Shyne's online classes and book, she has some great concepts for making sure a dog doesn't get stuck. When my older dog was a youngster, I took a seminar with her, I had taught the contacts myself, her comment was I love your dog, I want him, but those contacts are terrible. I followed her advice and he does have great contacts.

  8. So we are at about week 4 and Fen and I are still working on the basic exercise from week 1 , in Fen's case she has made the criteria 2 front paws on the target. Different dogs have been set different criteria, the little dogs need 4 paws, some back paws and for us it is front paws. This is not for the feint hearted! I think both of us are sick of working on sticking paws on the target, unlike him though I do understand that this is the vital building block. I have had to improvise from her videos to keep it interesting for him, sometimes I had speed with wing wraps, I alternate between the manners minder and coming to me to tug, sometimes I throw the toy and generally finding simple variations to keep the game fun.

    I hurt my back before traveling to compete this weekend so we did not train today, but tomorrow after a break we will be back at it and if he is successful Anne says we can move on, it is a good job I am not auditing as I would not have stuck this single exercise out for so long.

  9. I know a lot about stopped contacts and just starting with running myself but watched a lot of people try and fail at a running DW. Before I think any of us could give any ideas or suggestions we need more info. How was the running DW trained what criteria was used, how well does the dog understand what is needed and how was the stopped position taught. I have watched a lot of creepy DWs and have a pretty good idea how they came about, but would like to know what you have trained and how you did it.

  10. Well done. You don't have to go back to square one if you compete in the UK. Are you coming to the KCI this year?

    We are now Pam, we are going to do the border collie classic and then KCI. I have actually had my hotel booked for months for KCI just keeping my fingers crossed it would all come together. He needed to be FCI grade 2 for the BCC and I did not want to bother coming to KCI as grade 3, also if we did not qualify for BCC, my plan was to wait till next year and compete at KCI with both dogs. It was getting really frustrating as I could not believe how difficult it was proving to get out of grade 1 with my experienced dog, but when judges think a giant M, is a decent course and no dogs get a clean run then it's not just us, but it does make you start to double your skills. The reason we had to start over is because we competed in USDAA and NADAC, if we had competed in AKC we could have transferred over, the same applies to KC, our titles did not transfer.


    Out of curiosity, in ANKC agility trials in South Australia/Victoria they have a grade called Open, which any dog can run in. I have come darn close to getting passes in it even before I got my novice title with Oscar. It is somewhere between excellent and master grades in difficulty, but has an exclusion zone, where you must direct your dog from a distance. Do either of the venues you compete in have anything similar?

    In Spain there are no games and I miss them, in the US both USDAA and NADAC the two venues I competed it had a titling class with a distance handling element, slightly different in each organization but the same concept.



    Also, you were able to run the next day in the higher grade? That is fantastic. We have to send off proof of our passes and pay a smallish fee to get our title, but we cannot compete in the higher grade (or continue in the lower grade) until that title is granted.



    You can run in the higher grade and be eligible to win but any points earned do not count, you are also free to stay in the lower grade if you feel your dog is not ready to move up and needs more experience and it costs nothing to move up. When we were in the US you could move up the next day in both USDAA and NADAC the two organizations we compteted in. I wasn't going to spend a moment longer in our private hell of grade 1, I walked the grade 1 course with a friend and it was once again not nice, yet the same judge had a really nice grade 2 course with just the right amount of technical handling for the level to make it interesting and a little challenging.

  11. The challenge of moving to a new country is you have to start all over again to get back up the grades. I compete in two different venues in Spain, RSCE (FCI) and a smaller one that works on regional leagues. Even when we were really where a novice team we struggled in starters/novice due to the very fast nature and limited turns of the courses and had much more success when we moved up.

    I started competing in FCI 18 months ago, and have to travel absurd distances to compete, well it's actually not the distance but the 7 1/2 ferry ride so it gets really frustrating when it goes wrong, at grade 1 you need three points to move up between grade 1 and 2 (grade 2 to 3 is harder) but they are very strict on refusals which has been a big cause of our lost points, we got our first in our very first trial in December 2015, and did not get another until this March, this weekend we escaped with 2 first places, 2 points and the win of the class. It was so much fun to run the grade 2 classes the next day, reminded me my dog and I really do know what we are doing

  12. I loved the foundation class, it is intense and although spread over 18 weeks there is a lot of training to cover to keep up. My youngster does work hard, but not my like my older dog who doesn't ever want to stop. Any experienced agility trainer will have no problems auditing, from my observation it was not a class for a beginner human it was for beginner dogs.


    I saw the promo video for Sylvia Trkmans DVD and I would say take the Shape-up class first as it is the underpinnings of what is in that video. They have a very specific way the skills build and how they use them.


    I am not sure I would call it "international" obviously living in Spain and having ambition to be competive that is what we will compete on, but there is a wide variety of styles being successfully used, what I like about the shape-up concepts is that a reasonably fit 5ft 2" middle aged woman stands a good chance of getting round the course in a competive time with her fast dog and not frustrate him with late handling. We had a seminar recently where the two Brits who have American trained dogs used the opposite arm to handle a tunnel/dw discrimination like Shape-up would, our top Spanish trainer wanted a double blind and argued the opposite hand was slower, yet we were further up the course, than everyone else!

  13. Having used Derrett Handling, I was unsure that my dog would make the switch to send and go work that Shape Up Dogs uses. She has. :) I so can't wait for the summer class to start and it looks like there are a few folks here who are joining!!!

    Which class are you signed up for? I was happy to audit the foundation class as I felt I could do that without feedback, now we will be moving into more "real" handling I want the feedback as to how I can improve.

  14. It can be amazing how well being focused on your puppy works and having them in a safe place when you can"t be watching them. The first 2 1/2 weeks we had our youngster we were staying with my mother, and we were determined that our puppy would cause no damage, she though we were being mean popping him back in his crate when were not focused on him but admitted at the end that he had not chewed anything in her house, or peed on anything. By the time we got him home after 3 1/2 weeks of traveling from his breeder he had not developed the habit of randomly chewing things and was effectively house trained. I don't think we would have been as vigilante if we had been home and he would have learned some habits that were not good.

  15. Thanks! I'm starting the Shape Up foundations class with my 12 month old youngster, having heard good things about their teaching re handlers who are no longer able to really run.

    But updates on contact foundation stuff would be great.!

    Are you auditing or working? I audited the foundation class and have a working spot for beyond foundation, I really like their concepts and with modern courses either needing independence or be an Olympic sprinter to handle using physical cues, they use a nice balance between them. If you watch video of the Canadian international team this year you can see their influence, they are running but by using verbal cues and teaching independence they are able to be much further up the course and not have to baby sit turns, and their runs look really smooth and fluid. I am loving working their ideas with my 14 month old and starting to introduce them to my older dog, but I don't think he would ever make the transition fully as he is very sensitive to my motion.
  16. No website, I think the only thing she teaches is the running contact class. The Shape Up women recommended her, they trained their running contacts with her online class. I tried emailing her but got no response and so sent her a FB message. And she friended me, and one day she announced the class!!!! It was a little strange getting a working spot as she chose who got one, I basically grovelled. I suspect she was looking for people with agility experience who would be able to keep up. The class is taught through FB.


    There is a follow up course as well, if you have a working spot she guarantees you one on that.


    Anne Lenz is the German 2016 individual FCI world champion.


    I will provide updates

  17. I asked on here for ideas on teaching a running Aframe, in the end I signed up for Anne Lenz's running contact class.

    We are two weeks in and so far I am impressed by the attention to detail and her very responsive feedback. It is intensive though and if you can not train short periods most days then you will get left behind quickly.

    It is not just the Aframe but the foundation work seems to be really good for contacts in general and I thought it would be interesting to work through the process of teaching a running DW even though I suspect I will end up putting a stop, having both would be really though.

  18. I don't think the subject of rest and time-out has come up yet on this thread. One of the most important things you can teach and encourage any border collie is to chill, this is where the crate and x-pen come in. Play with your puppy, do a little training and then when you need to do your own stuff into the safe place they go, with toys to play with and kongs to chew.

    The best advice I read when I got my first border collie who was an adult of unknown age was that you get the border collie you create, so if you play with your dog all day long, long walks two times a day etc, that's the dog you will be living with. Border collies really don't need excessive exercise, they just need company and mental stimulation.

  19. Many of us have non-working border collies, mine are agility competitors, the important thing is what they where bred for. What these boards are anti is breeding for the show ring or sport, the only reason to breed is because of working ability on sheep. You will find loads of rescue collies around these parts, and plenty of dogs who's only job is being a companion.


    If your puppy is learning and having fun then you are not pushing too hard, if they find it stressful and aren't enthusiastic about training then perhaps you are doing to much or not making it fun. My young dog is 13 months and he has been training almost everyday since I got him at 10 weeks but only in small increments and only if he was ready to engage with me.

  20. Sometimes dogs have to fly, we moved to Europe so the only option was to fly. Since moving to Spain we have had a few foster border collies who have all flown to Germany, getting a good loving home is certainly worth the small risk.

    If you look at the numbers the risk of anything happening to a healthy dog is extremely small.

    My main grumble is why does PETA get asked their opinion on everything ... At least chose a reputable animal humane society.

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