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gripping during agility


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First, we just passed beginning agility! Yea! Our biggest issure right now, besides me, is Cody gets so excited. When he gets excited he starts to nip at my feet instead of paying attention. Any suggestions to break this habit?

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I have the same problem (barking & some nipping) with our border collie Tenaya, and big-time with our Collie pup, Willow. Willow barks AND jumps at me AND nips!

 

Our agility trainer says to stop abruptly when it happens and put the dog into a "down" for a minute....basically, "when you do that, the fun stops".

 

So far, it needs more work.

 

The one thing that seems to help a little for me is to run slower with one hand out on the side the dog is on, with my index finger pointed--that's my "Here!" target, which they both know, and it seems to keep Willow, especially, on the ground. But it isn't fool-proof.

 

So I, too, would like any advice from experienced Agility folks! (I am a complete novice at this!).

 

Deanna in OR

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I have a similar problem with Kirra - but in her case it's only partly excitement. Mostly it's frustration because I'm not giving her clear enough information soon enough. If I can get my handling right (big IF), then she stops nipping and runs confidently. Nothing like a nipping dog to sharpen up your handling.

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When Megan was in her first agility class, we had the same problem.

 

Our instructor had me put her on a down immediately when she did this. Sometimes, we did a down between every single obstacle.

 

With some time and more agility training, the down command worked. She doesn't do that any more.

 

One person in our class has real problems with leg pain and is very slow right now. Her dog nips at her feet with frustration because she is used to working more quickly. When some one else runs the dog, there is no nipping. Maybe it is also a case of your dog being faster than you are.

 

Since Megan is so fast and I am so slow, I also would use a wait command between obstacles when I just couldn't keep up with her speed. It would be subtle, but would slow her down just enough for me to catch up and direct her to the next obstacle.

 

I am not into competition so whatever speed suits us both is just fine with me.

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Just stop the behavior!!! Trust me, I don't even have a nipper and I got nipped this past week and it hurt. I still have the bruise to prove it.

 

I was so mad I didn't react quick enough. So after he nipped and actually bite me without breaking skin (but still hurt) I immediately put him on leash and the fun was over.

 

In our situation, we were doing an exercise to get him to send out without being right by my side...he got frustrated and nipped me in the leg. If this happens in competion, I believe you are out of the competion for good.

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One thing Deanna mentioned was slowing down. I tried that last night and it was some what helpful. I'll also give the down command a try. Any suggestions on how to work on this at home? He doesn't do this with me at home...I guess I might need to run through the house more often. Ha.

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I would give a correction immediately when it happened to let the dog know in no uncertain terms that behavior is NOT acceptable. Just leashing or downing the dog might not be enough to get that message through, but that all depends on the dog.

 

also, teach the dog to focus more on the obstacles and less on you.

 

-Laura

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Laura,

 

In my case where my reaction was slowed by the shock that he actually bite me, how do you suggest giving a correction after he has averted his attention to something else?

 

I realize I should have been more with it...I saw it coming but I didn't actually think he would make contact.

 

 

I'm working him at home on this same exercise of getting him more in tune with the obstacles than looking to me.

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oh, yeah, that WOULD be ideal! :rolleyes:

 

Hey Rachel, I'm going to an agility trial near Atlanta this weekend and am swinging by Rock Hill, SC to pick up a friend who's travelling with me. What is the best way/time to go to avoid race traffic??? I'm probably going NC 49 (it's shorter than I-85 for me) to I-485 to I-77 to SC, but I'm guessing that'll take me right through where the race is held. I'm travelling on Friday late afternoon and Monday late evening, will I hit any race traffic and if so, what's the best way to avoid it?

 

THANKS!!

Laura

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Laura,

 

49 to 485 will take you right through race traffic. I would try to get onto 85 South before you hit Concord/Kannapolis. It will be jammed up but they opened a new lane around Speedway Blvd so it might flow a little better. Stay in the left lane as the right lane onto Speedway Blvd/Concord Mills (Exit 49 - exit I live off of) will be backed up onto 85 for a couple of miles.

 

My guess is that 49 will be way too bad to travel this weekend. They are encouraging people to use 485 since it is now open...so probably not the way to go.

 

Hope this helps. Give me a call if you get stuck and want alternate routes through the city...I'll email you a private message with that.

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aargh!!! :rolleyes:

so you think traffic will be that bad on friday and monday (isn't the big race on Sunday?)? those darn nascar fans! :D

 

I can avoid NC 49 by just staying on US 64 all the way to I-85. I'm supposed to be in Rock Hill at 5pm, so was hoping to avoid rush hour in Charlotte too. wishful thinking? maybe if I go that way I'll just go hide in Steve's round pen instead of sitting in traffic! :D

 

Or I could go US 74 through Rockingham and avoid Charlotte all-together? It would add about 30 minutes to the trip though. Will there be bad race traffic on US 74 too?

 

-L (really hating NASCAR right now!!)

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Laura,

 

If all you add onto your trip is 30 minutes to Rock Hill then I would take that way on Friday. HOwever, on Monday...you can probably go through Charlotte. My guess is that most people leave Monday morning to afternoon.

 

Let me just put it this way, I live about 12 miles from work. On a normal Friday it takes me an hour to get home traveling 77 N to 85 N. On a race Friday I've always left early, and it takes me about an extra 30-45 minutes to get home. Although, this past Friday was not bad but I don't think that will be a good indicator about this Friday since it is a bigger race.

 

NASCAR fans were already camping out early last week, we drove by the speedway on our way somewhere. We don't leave our house all weekend during this time.

 

I would steer clear of 77 due to construction; althrough if you get on up around Steve's exit you may be ok especially going southbound...but I can' promise anything. It may be just as packed and it is only 2 lanes versus 3-4 lanes.

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Laura said... p.s...sorry for "hijacking" the thread, but it IS agility related!!

 

Well, not any more!

 

Heading to Ben Ousley's trial on Friday... easy way -- by the map -- is 85 south through Charlotte, then the four lane to Shelby... sounds like the best bet would be to stay on 40 and drop down to Dr. Ben's from the north...

 

bottom line question -- is it the best bet to avoid Charlotte totally this weekend???

 

Laura, stay tuned for my Seclusavil report...

 

Colin

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Oreo started nipping me when we first learned weave poles. It was new to him but he figured out immediately that I had no clue either and it really frustrated him. He would nip and bite my sleeves or arms.

 

I posted a thread about it here quite a while ago and got good advice. The best was for ME to smooth out my handling.

 

I also would make Oreo sit out of an activity in agility class immediately, which he hated but it really got the point across.

 

I am pleased and grateful to say that when we frustrate him he no longer bites. Instead, he does the chewbacca yowl at us to express himself.

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Oreo's Mom,

 

I too could tell that Keegan nipped out of frustration because he was doing little twirlies in the air like "now what".

 

Sometimes I think the problem is that he looks too much rather than listens and he doesn't take the iniative so if I don't tell him exactly what to do he gets frustrated...thus he nipped me.

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It's hard sometimes living with an intelligent, perfectionistic dog. :rolleyes:

 

Oreo also compensates by doing every "trick" in his repertoire, hoping to hit on one we will reward (not in agility, but in basic training stuff).

 

It's pretty funny - the more tricks he knows the longer that takes. We don't acknowledge it because it's counterproductive but it's hard not to be impressed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have had the same problem myself and seem to have resolved it. I have found that being consistent works. Say NO! everytime he tries to bite. If you don't teach him EXACTLY what you want everytime he does something wrong, then he'll begin to train you!

 

After all, everyone knows that Humans are only slightly more intelligent than Border Collies. You must be patient because it will take time... Good luck!

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