Since I'm the post whore right now, and spilling all my guts out to you guys... I'm just going to get this off my chest as I'm really a bit upset... no I'm a LOT upset today.
I'm on our clubs agility committee. We had a meeting today, before I even sat down the other committee members jumped all over me about what to do with Remington, and all offered different opinions, of course. I was literally bombarded. They were freaking out because there is going to be a rep at our trial. The woman I mentioned earlier, who is a judge, was there (she's in our club) and she did a complete turn around on the advise she gave me the other day, about taking him out of the ring. Now she says I shouldn't do that, not with the rep there. Another woman, who has a dog that for four years now does nothing but get the zoomies in the ring, was almost yelling at me about it. Frankly I was speechless. I finally sat down and told them I appreciated their interest in my silly dog, but I was already working on retraining him.
I left lunch almost in tears. Should I scratch him from the trial completely, or go and just have some fun with him. I WANT to go and have fun.
I hate that I spent $198. I honestly thought this problem was behind us as he'd been working so well at home.
I'm kinda hating life right now.
Ignore what they say, especially from the lady whose dog has the zoomies...but with a rep there, I probably wouldn't pull him from the ring by his ears or his scruff. I recently started running Stubby naked. I didn't think he'd actually run away, but it was a safety feature for me. He was a green dog and I was a green handler. After running for a year, with him gaining experience and me trusting him more, I took his collar off for the first time at the Reliant World Series in July, a year from when we had started agility (and only maybe 4 trials). I'd stick a collar on Remy - and practice with it. I think dogs know that if they have a collar on, mom still has a bit of control. But also, if he runs with the collar, I'd launch myself on him and grab the collar before he could go towards the tunnel.
I wouldn't necessarily pull my dog from the trial. How soon is it? I think with better handling from you, clear direction, and working on not giving payment for the tunnel, you may have a different dog. I'd also consider for the next trial only entering 1 class per day (either JWW, Std, or FAST) which will save you in entry fees. In FAST, you could probably avoid the tunnel...even if you didn't Q, you could make your own course not anywhere near the tunnel and work on being successful! Or just run in and do the tunnel, if he does it correctly immediately leave the ring. I think that in agility you need to do what is best for your dog, and just because its a trial situation, doesn't mean that you can't use it as a training situation. My friend has a novice dog who in class is running excellent courses, but in a trial is super distracted. She was going to make her goal to do a few obstacles and leave, not the actual course, but chickened out at the last second...the dog did not have a successful run. That's just me, and I know its frustrating, and I'm sure I'll be there at some point but you have to get past this some how. Another option is that as soon as he gets out of the tunnel if he does his shenanigans, is to just leave the course, go back to the crate and stick him in there...no cookies or anything
I know you've tried a lot and are open to everyone's opinion. Hopefully with a combination of some techniques everyone has talked about, you can find a solution that works for both you and Remy.
Last edited by EMA; 10-08-2009 at 06:21 PM.
If it were me and he were mine, I'd pull him. Chances are good he's going to do the same thing, and the more he's successful at this behaviour, the harder it's going to be to retrain him.
So I'd run Ruger or Magnum and bench Remy for a little while until you can start to work on the stuff Dana posted.
Baloo - 5 year old black lab
Peanut - 7 year old minpin
Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
The trial is next weekend. I can't fix it by then.
These fellow committee members were seriously telling me, under no circumstances, DO NOT take him out of the ring. When I said I didn't understand their reasoning when BC people did it all the time, I got the same, "Don't do it, do not take him out of the ring, it's training and shouldn't be done."
You can probably get a gist of why I went home upset.
I don't know what I'll do. I'm thinking of running what we can run and just not making an issue out of it (to Remy, I don't give a rats ass about the other people at this point).
Magnum doesn't run.
I still subscribe to the fact that agility is first and foremost FUN. I think we can still have fun with it.
And I'm also, determinedly, not a quitter, which makes it really really hard for me to scratch him. I've run when I've been physically ill, because I won't quit. It's just the way I am.
Plus the fact, we Q'd at our last trial, on the 3rd day. He worked through it and ran a perfect course the last day.
if you can't bear the thought of withdrawing I think I'd set him up to not challenge the behaviour but let him run and have fun - so look at each course and see if there is a place you can take an off course at instead of a tunnel .. do snookers openings without tunnels, gambles without tunnels in opening etc
if he hits a tunnel and does his rolling just stand quietly wait til he emerges and walk off course with him .. no dragging, no cheerleading, no nothing - Out of the ring - put him away then later take him our and do the warm up jump with rewards for good behaviour
“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
Have you thought about NOT practicing with him anymore before the trial or maybe just the 2x2 weaves? Maybe he'll begin to wonder what the heck is going on. If he hasn't run it in awhile, he might be excited to be there.
Eiderdowns That's My Buddy
CDX, RE, WC, CGC, TDInc.
Can't do Snooker and Gamblers, it's AKC
I don't think not working him would make a difference. It's not like I'm burning him out on it, he loves working with me at home. And I'm doing newer things with him right now so maybe his little mind will really start to churn and I'll see some smoke coming out of his ears!
I once heard a judge joking around with stewards. She said did you ever hear the saying "God created dogs, the devil created dog clubs!" Case in point. You should do what you think is right.
Having said that, my instructor always advocates for not going in the ring when you don't think you can be successful because it reinforces incorrect behavior and makes correcting the behavior more difficult.
Anyway, I am a novice and just repeating what I have been told. You have far more experience than me. My advice is to do what YOU think is right.
Ann & Miles
MACH ARCHEX "Miles" (DOB 3/10/2006) UD RAE MXS MJS OF CW-OB3 CW-ARF CW-AR CW-ZR2 CL-1 (DOB 3/10/2006)
"Hartley" (DOB 7/21/2012) RN CGC CW-OB1
Well, if you are going to run him, it won't be the end of the world if he rehearses these behaviours one more time as long you fix it for the next trial.
I would use the false turn to get him focused on you anywhere near the tunnel. If he does his silly tunnel thing, I would say nothing and immediately walk away to the ring gate. Once he decides to exit the tunnel and looks for you, call him, make a HUGE fuss over him, race him to his crate and give him a huge jackpot. It may seem like forever waiting at the ring gate, but as long as you stay close and talk to him, he knows you are close and will stay in there anyway. As much as you will want to kill him, give him a huge party when he comes out and take him off course as you will both be flustered after that so there is no sense in continuing and having the issue leak onto other obstacles. JMHO of course
To err is human:To forgive, canine."