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Oreo is competing now

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Hi. Just an update from a very old post of mine (re: Oreo peeing on agility equipment). Oreo and my daughter have competed in 3 agility trials so far. Two UKC and one NADAC.


Thankfully, Oreo has done NO peeing on the agility equipment at the trials. Apparently he is either too busy or realizes it's not his to pee on.


Our major problems with him are keeping his focus so that he finishes all the obstacles and to keep his focus on my daughter and not me.


It seems that no matter where I stand when they're competing at some point he has to run over and check on me. I don't talk to him or look at him and actually turn my back on him when he does this. If I'm not in the spot where I was previously, he runs around looking for me - once he even went out of the arena and into the bleachers. :rolleyes:


My daughter has become very determined that they WILL finish the course, though, so by sheer will power she pulls him back to focus on her.


Several people at the trials mentioned that members of their family can't even come to the trials because the dogs are too distracted. Has anyone else experienced that?


That said, I've decided we will have to work through this because I'm not going to stay home or go hide.

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I handled a BC called Meg who didn't belong to me. My problem was that her owners husband handled Megs brother Shane and Meg ran from the ring each time to find Shane. Same deal if we were training. I started taking Meg out one on one and asked her owners not to give her any conflicting commands. It worked coupled with a few months being on lead and she never was distracted after that. She was always a bomb proof dog and she could have been watched by thousands like at Crufts and that never distracted her.


Due to a dispute I no longer handle her but I went to a show in March to watch her. She won't work for her owners husband.... she saw me doing score outside of the ring and she bounded over to me. A very different little dog to when I handled her.


Anyhow I'm getting off track but if it is only your daughter running in the ring with Oreo then only your daughter should be interacting with oreo at a show and at training. One on one sessions as simple as a play at the park will help Oreo bond to her and you should see improvement. When he does run to you, ignore him totally but if he still jumps push him harshly away. Never give any verbal communication to him when he runs from the ring to you.

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Thanks for the quick response and the insight.


I haven't trained or worked with Oreo since we decided my daughter would be the one competing. He also sleeps only in her room and at home he gets most of his attention from her.


I've have tried totally ignoring him at home but it's no fun for either of us. I don't interact with him at trials either - I'm just the chief go-fer and equipment toter. I do know that I could never roughly shove him away from me though.

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yeah i second that last one, i was at one trial where a mate of mine had his border collie in the ring for the first time and the dog did the first obstacle and then just took off straight to the family, then the second one exactly the same thing so the third time the family decided they would move when the dog was just about the start so this time the dog was running everywhere looking for them so the 4 time (it was a double trial 2 jumpers and 2 agility) he took the dog to the car and they waved good bye together but the dog still ran off looking for them The family hasnt watched another trial since hes not game enough

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A similar situation was just discussed on the Yahoo Clean Run group under the heading "Running to Daddy". The main things that I took from the discussion as it relates to you were:


1. You're doing the right thing by being present while your daughter runs the dog but ignoring Oreo when he detours to you. It takes time for this behavior to extinguish, but it will...as long as you're consistent.


2. Often the reason the dog leaves the handler is to verify where the missing person is. Some people think it helps if you stay at the start line. That way the dog is not concerned about where you are during his run.


You shouldn't have to ignore Oreo when he's not doing agility. He just needs to learn that during agility the only rewards he'll get will come from your daughter.

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Maggie has never actually run out of the ring, but it has been quite close. My parents aren't such an issue now since I'm at college and Maggie stays and works with me, but my bf, now that's another story!


The last trial we were at I looked at the course and found a place for him to stand that wouldn't distract her off course, but would instead cause her to go faster at a key point. It worked well, but I also was very aware for the potential for an off course, so we worked on attention and tricks for about 20 mins before our run w/o my bf nearby.



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Thanks for all the feedback - I really appreciate it.


By trial and error, we have decided that I should stand with my daughter and Oreo at the start line. That way he knows where I am. I stay there until they are well underway and gradually move slightly towards the finish line - where I hope to see him.


We don't have another trial till mid August, but since he's actually improving each trial, we are getting hopeful and starting to have fun.


There's a local photographer who goes to most of the trials and then posts the photos he takes. He took a few of Oreo and Oreo looks like he's having a blast! It's fun for us to know HE's having fun.


And his new favorite obstacle is the sway bridge - it'll pull him to it nearly every time. :rolleyes:

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I had a simalar problem with one of my dogs at Flyball, if she saw my Mum outside of the ring she would be off to say hi . We worked on having my Mum closer to the ring until the dog could run with her in sight.


I am glad to hear Oreo is improving though, keep up the good work.

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