I've heard it a time or two that all of the obedience exercises (from Novice up thru Utility) are related to real work a dog would perform.
I'm not sure I can agree with this statement because the fact of the matter is that there are very few times when working with your dog in a real world scenario that you cannot give a command more than one time. Nor do you have to stand a certain way or hold your hands a certain way.
Some of the best working teams (police dogs, search and rescue dogs) work AS A TEAM, and the handler gives a lot of cues and commands and encouragement to the dog so the job gets done. (I'm not talking competition, I'm referring to actually working out on the streets in a job with a dog.)
In competition, in the name of fairness, they had to make some rules so that everyone did things pretty much the same way, so the judging could pretty much be equal between all competitors and dogs. Thus the one command thing, or the holding your hands a certain way thing.
Also, it's always bugged the crap out of me to see dogs heeling with their necks craned up in the air. IMO this is just plain unnatural. At some point, some judges really liked this "look" and so it became vogue. A real working dog needs to look where he's going (dog's have amazing peripheral vision, so the neck craning really is not something we need to strive for).
I guess, as in any sport or competiton, there are things we like and dislike about the games we play. And for some reason, we keep playing.
What's your opinion?
As you said, there are things in whatever we do that we'll like and not like. Look at Sunday's judge who took four points off of our Utility run for Caleb being slow. Mentioned it to my instructor and found out he has real flashy, fast working Goldens. Caleb didn't walk in or out on anything, but trotted. Do you realize other than our nq we lost a total of 4.5 points and 4 of those were deemed that he was slow! Stupid?! Yes, I would say! He was not walking but trotting the whole time. So what do I do? I could not show to him again. Or if I do know going in he likes a fast, flashy dog and we won't do well. I can list a few other judges that I know just don't like the way my dog works. So, I don't go out of my way to show to them.
In each sport things are taken to a limit for the sake of competition. Personally I cannot stand all the barking in agility or fly ball. Drives me nuts. I don't want a barky dog and I know a lot of totally out of control, loud agility dogs. Does it make agility all bad? No
I tell all my students you need to take and apply to your everyday life what is applicable and what will work in your situation. My dog and I work as a team. I seek to have connection with him while heeling (part of why people want the head up and the other for attention--you know where they are focused). What works in my life might not work in anothers. So we all take and apply as we need to. I challenge my students to take what they are learning and apply it. It has made it more fun for them.
The head up thing is one reason a lot of obedience people like field bred Labs and Goldens--they have longer necks.
My dogs don't bark in agility But I know what you mean. I can't stand flyball for that very reason. The one and only time I was at a flyball event, it was so loud I had a headache that made me physically sick. I will never go to another flyball event.
I don't know of too many agility dogs that bark all the time, maybe a few of the shelties and BC's, but for the most part, no, I don't see that around here.
Now, I do hear a lot of barking in crates at trials, and that gets to me!
Man Linda! The classes I have watched and the trials I have been to almost all the dogs bark. Even at the All-Star tournament you can hear the agility dogs barking. It isn't just the BC's and Shelties either. Holy cow! It is deafening! (where is the spell check? ) One show we use to vend at we were always by the agility rings. You could sure tell when agility was over--the quiet was so nice!
I think it's a Northern thing... you know us Southerners are very genteel and well mannered It just seems to hold true for our dogs as well
Um, come to think of it, I know of an Ohio Obedience Dog that really peeps and squeeks on go-outs
Last edited by ObedienceLabs4Me; 02-13-2009 at 10:42 PM.
I don't know how I ended up in this thread from Odds and Ends...but alas, glad I found it.
I've never had a dog who didn't watch attentively with their necks craned up at me. Even baby Ginny. I think it comes from keeping treats in my mouth. In any way, I've always been told that that is good attention, but I wonder, if I walked into a wall, they'd probably walk right with me, not paying any attention at all to anything else.
'Don't grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach.'
~ Michelle Held
Rhys, Ruby and Nola
My Goodness, the show I was at over the weekend, they were all howling during the national athem.Now, I do hear a lot of barking in crates at trials, and that gets to me!
Agree, Melissa. Marie teaches heeling that way because she said it's easier for the dog to stay in position, which I agree with. ESPECIALLY with Baloo. If he's not looking at me, chances are good he's not listening to me. Sort of like, "out of sight, out of mind" type thing. Marie does stress that it takes time for a dog to build up the muscles needed to do that though, so she cautions against expecting too much too fast.
It always makes me smile when I hear people talk about the politics in dogs. As much as I do see it there, I come from the world of horses and showing in hunter/jumper, and the politics there are ruthless. If you have a horse of a color not liked by the judge you could have the best round of your life and not even place, let alone win. And that's really common, not a rarity in the least. I'm going to hopefully be showing a flashy paint in H/J this summer, and I'm hoping most of all for judges that like a flashier horse, as thats the only way we'll have a shot. It's messed up because I should be hoping to have a clean round at a nice pace, get nice spots and all changes, but no... I'm just hoping for a judge that doesn't exclude me simply for the color of my horse. Sheesh...
Baloo - 5 year old black lab
Peanut - 7 year old minpin
Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue