Jump to content
BC Boards

Agility crazys

Recommended Posts

I have an 8 year old Border Collie who did agility classes at 1-2 years of age. He was doing sequences and while really fast, was quite good. I stopped to focus on Rally and Obedience and would now like to get back into Agility. Tried a class last Monday but it wasn't a good fit. My dog is very fast and high drive. While I am looking for an instructor who can help me become a better handler I would love to hear of some excercises that I can do with him to help him focus. If I am too far behind him, or he doesn't understand my command he spins and barks. I have a tire jump, many single bar jumps, a teeter, a closed tunnel and an open tunnel. Recommendations of videos/books for high drive, fast, crazy dogs would be welcome!!!!!!!!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If he isn't understanding your commands you are progressing too fast! Yes he might be the fastest border collie ever but even they have to start at the basics. You haven't done agility is 6 years...


Go back to square one.

Go back to doing cues/exercise on the flat

Go back to making sure he knows his job on each obstacles.

Go back to basic jump work.

Work those contacts.



Haha agility isn't obedience or rally. You can't just focus on the dog. Your job is to direct him through the course and trusting that he knows the basics enough to listen to your cues. Not at your pace but the dogs. Sometimes you will be 3 obstacles behind... and yes they ARE aware of your cues still. So what type of focus are you looking for? I would think with what he has done so far he would be focus on you? Lol


If all else fails you can join online classes. Daisy Peel has some awesome online classes.



Don't accept sloppy work from him either when he is hyper. Hyper-ness is NO excuse! He needs to learn to work through it.


If he is loosing his mind and can't work give him a kennel break. Since when their minds are gone there is nothing to work with and they need to settle down. (I love mat games and control unleash! My dog knows when he is feeling overwhelm he can go to his mat instead of loosing his brains).


Also Don't keep rewarding him when his mind is gone. Work/attention IS reward.


Don't forget when you are getting frustrated they can tell which can make the matter worst.


If you are overwhelm practice without the dog or give yourself a break.


haha it is hard to give suggestion without knowing more.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi there,


I would recommend checking out Agility_U. Tracy Sklenar has a class going on right now called Learn Your Dog, it is for novice dogs learning to sequence. It is great! There aren't any working spots left but there are observing spots. They are in week 3 now but you could work at your pace to catch up. You can also sign up for Campus Center there which offers a variety of info plus you can submit one 5 minute video per week for Tracy to review and offer suggestions on. It can be a compilation of anything (I put together little clips of different things I've been working on). Tracy will also develop a specific plan based on what you're working on, strength, weakness, etc. So, if you signed up for Campus Center and audited the Learn Your Dog class you could video the exercises for that and submit them weekly for Tracy's review. She also has a lot of good info and exercises for getting your dog to focus in a variety of environments. I can't recommend her enough!!


Best Wishes,



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Spinning and barking is a very common problem, something that I am very familiar with. I think the advice you have received is good. You need a two pronged approach, your partner needs to relearn agility, you have taken a huge break and the difference between rally/obediance and agility is huge due to the speed you are both moving at, and the amount of independence an agility dog has in making decisions. He needs to go back the beginning small sequences, grid work, contacts etc, and most importantly get used to working with you moving at speed. Clean Run has Susan Salos DVD about introducing movement to jumping available on-demand, but I think you might need to go back further and do some earlier jump work to be sure you dog understands his job. At the same time you need to learn how to handle a fast moving dog, my own dog is 5 and we have been training and competing together since he was young and I am still learning how to drive my fast and large dog.


I have audited and participated in Daisy Peels online classes and she is very good, her basic handling courses are great and she now has some available free.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good advice so far. I will just add a couple of comments.


If your dog is like my dog, he is thinking 2 or 3 obstacles ahead - so you have to communicate to him much earlier than you see other handlers working with their dogs. For example, it is common to see a handler give their dog the 'weave' command after the dog has finished the obstacle before the weaves. With my dog, if he is on a path to the weaves - even if there are 2-3 obstacles between him and the weaves - I will tell him 'weave'. He knows that it is his job to TTFJ (Take The Freaking Jump(s)) and hit the weave poles. With a fast dog, early information is key.


My dog doesn't spin or bark if I don't give him early information. He just flips me his paw and decides on his own course. :rolleyes::) He has no intention of slowing down so I either get with his program or I am left in the dust.


Online classes: I check the longevity of the online class before signing up. And that is because I can never keep up due to time constraints, so I need more time to work through the material. I will only sign up for online classes that leave the material available forever. So if I want to go back and review something a year later, I can. I made the mistake of signing up for one that was available for 6 months and when I went back to it about 7 months later, it was no longer available. Of course, you don't get the instructor's feedback after the course ends (if you sign up for that level), but it can be helpful to be able to go back and review at your leisure - even a year or more later.


And yes, just want to emphasize that you probably need to go back to basics after such a long period.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...