Rocky is have issues with the tunnel in class (first round of beginner agility classes). He was ok the first week when it was introduced but the second week they had abit of a twist in it (could not really see from one end to the other) and it has gone downhill from there (takes ALOT of coaxing to get him to go in a straight tunnel now).
Anyway, my question: I don't have a tunnel nor do I have room to go and buy one (no storage at my apt), but is there something I can use to practice (or a mini tunel I can buy or something) rather than JUST practice in class?
Get a tunnel for kids. They are pretty cheap and small enough to store in your closet.
Here is a link I found for one. If you google "kids tunnels" you'll find plenty more.
Pacific Play Tents Find Me Multicolor Kids Play Tent Tunnel
Also, your instructor should have your dog going back to the very basics on the tunnel again, push the tunnel up so it's very short, you can lay inside it with a treat. I think you probably rushed your dog and the bend in the tunnel scared him. Now you have to untrain his fear by starting over.
I see agility instructors let people rush all the time - they don't want them to get bored so they raise the bar as fast as the most confident dog can handle (often different dogs on different pieces of equipment)
totally agree with Linda - back to basics ... short compressed straight tunnels in class - I don't actually bend a tunnel now til I can send a dog from 10 feet or more out and through tunnel
at home you can rig a fabric cover between 2 chairs or couch back or whatever - just to introduce the notion of going through something - under a table ... whatever gets them going under will help ...
“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” H. Keller
thanks, will look into the kids tunnel.
I agree - we did go too fast,and the tunnel is straight again and we are rewarding greatly - but like you said we have to rebuild the confidence so it will take time and patience (and lots of praise/treats) so if I can do abit at home that would be great.
He really takes up alot of the tunnel, he has to duck in and his body tends to sway when he walks so he really moves the tunnel as well so I can see why it woudl put him off. He's gotten used to alot of things along the years but that is not one of them
I agree with the idea of using fabric - a sheet maybe - between chairs so that your pup has to go under the sheet and come out the other side and get a treat. Does he have a dog pal he might be able to "chase" through the tunnel? Anything that would make it fun and not scary. There should be weights on the tunnel ends during your classes so the tunnel doesn't move too much.
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Just make sure the diameter of the kid's tunnel is OK. I know a lot of them are narrower than a conventional agility tunnel and if Rocky is taller than 22" or so, it could actually worsen the problem if he gets stuck. I know a few years ago when I got one for Zeke the largest I could find was 22". It wasn't particularly useful because Zeke kept getting stuck and rolling around the yard in a cocoon.
I will start with teh sheet and look for the tunnel - Rocky is VERY tall (abnormally) so for a lab (24 I think??) so I would have to find a rather big kids tunnel - or I agree it will make issues worse. He is already having to really tuck in his head to go in.
thanks guys! I have been concentrating on my foster and the rally-o trial this weekend but will get moving on this (sheet tunnel/kid tunnel) very soon
Zeke is another leggy lab at 23" but thankfully "real" tunnels are 24" so he doesn't have to squeeze to get in. It doesn't look comfortable when the larger dogs do it (there was a Dane at the trial I was at last weekend).
Zeke RN, agility miscreant and CGC failure