Well we have survived our first of a 4 day weekend. Unfortunately we were politely asked to leave and not return for our sit stays, and down stays We are in a building where there is very high ceilings. So the echoing is very loud. He seems very distracted, and isn't calming down at all. When in the ring, he did all he could, on leash, and off, to try to get out of the ring. He did all he could to crawl under the gates, and there was nothing outside the ring that was trying to get his attention. I won't say he is 100% angel all the time. He is a young 2 yr old, but for him to act the way he was, I don't know how I am going to get through this weekend. He needs some Prozac, and at this point, not sure that is even going to help. Any ideas? This was suppose to be fun, but not sure if I should even bother with him tomorrow at this point.
I don't have time to go into much right now (going to dog class), but if you've signed up for 4 days, at least go tomorrow and get used to the "show atmosphere". Pull him from the class if you want to and just let him hang out in his crate, do some things near other dogs, but "out of the way" and walk around a bit - sounds like he just freaked at all the new things going on.
If showing is something that you are seriously interested in, you need to get him used to being at a show first. There are lots of noises and smells that are different at shows than they are in a training hall or in your neighbourhood/home.
I would pull him from the classes, but still take him to the building and let him chill out in his crate and get used to the noises and smells etc. Lots of praise, lots of treats. Walk him around to get him used to the flooring, but I wouldn't take him back into the ring in this state because he'll quickly learn that this is appropriate ring behaviour and that will be harder to fix in the long run.
Ollie has been going to training classes and shows with Henry and I as soon as he was old enough, just to get him used to all the new things. It can get pretty loud in our training hall, so it was perfect to get him used to it.
When he gets used to being at a show, I would enter him in some fun matches or show'n'gos where you can use treats/food in the ring just so that he starts equating the ring with fun and good times, you know?
Makes sense. It was a long car trip that we made to get here. We left yesterday, so that might of added to the problem Just have to see how he is tomorrow. Hoping it isn't anything medical, just him being scared that has caused this.
You are in a world of trouble at this point, but there are some things you can do. 1st thing is to ask for your dogs most default (easiest behavior) This is that thing that they can do without thinking (usually something like a sit but may be a trick etc). You ask for this thing and when your dog does it you make sure that you praise it like they just won you a million dollars. Everytime your dog looks nervous or worried you are going to demand this simple behavior and reward the dog for it. (some people use a nose touch to a hand, but it is something the dog does really well and is very easy for the dog) Work this around the ring and as much as you can. You will do this right before you enter the ring and as soon as you go into the ring. Youn will also do this simple thing right after the judge asks you if you are ready to begin before you say yes.
The onleash Heel you are going to do very fast, you will walk faster than you have ever walked before. When you start you will have your head held hi and be looking straight forward, Give a strong confident Heel comand and begin this speed walking. It is very possible that your dog may bounce off the end of the leash, but keep going. When the judge calls "halt" you will stop and now glance down to see if your dog is sitting next to you. If your dog is sitting there looking up at you then start off a little slower than your first start but still faster than you usually start. If your dog is not sitting next to you and is looking very paniced you should ask for that simple thing it can do and then when it ddoes it say to the judge "My dog is going to soil the ring please excuse us from the rest of the class" .
If you make it thru the on leash exercises then be quick and firm on your SFE, if your dog breaks here ask for a sit and return back around your dog. For the heel off leash again heel very very fast, don't stare at your dog, or even look at it. be quick to give a second comand or a third comand if needed. If your dog stops working and tries to leave you ask for the default behavior and ask to be excused due to a soiling the ring is going to happen.
The less time you are in the ring the less time there is for your dog to melt and the judge to start marking things off. The faster you heel the more your dog has to keep up and watch you and the less time and energy is available to worry or stress.
Kelly and Amber
Light, "weedy" individuals are definitely incorrect; equally objectionable are cloddy lumbering specimens. Labrador Retrievers shall be shown in working condition well-muscled and without excess fat. Females should weigh between 55 and 70lbs and Males between 65 and 80lbs. Height females 21.5 to 23.5 inches males 22.5 to 24.5 inches at the withers.
HR Greenwoods Sealion Tsunami SH "Wave" born 3-9-2010
Greenwoods Amber Wave VCD2 RA SH AX OF WCX CGC "Amber" born 4-13-2005
Go and get him more experience in the building. Do some heeling and sits and downs, etc. around the inside of the building. Work on keeping him calm and quiet and focusing on you.
Typically I haul my dogs to a year or two of shows before I actually enter them (because I'm showing my other dogs, so my pup got hauled along for the experience).
Don't give up. It IS supposed to be fun, so make it as fun for you and your dog as you can. If you elect to pull him from the class, relax and enjoy the show with him.
We had Maddy entered in one of her first shows for her CD in an indoor building. She totally freaked and during the stand for exam, walked off with me. We had only ever trained and competed before outside. Now we always compete inside. And she does fine. I would definately plan on going tomorrow, judge how he does when you walk in and you can always decide to not compete.
I can't remember where you trained prior to this? Is your dog used to being around other dogs? I know that if I didn't train in a training club with other dogs, we would never have been able to show successfully. I do all my training at home outside, but our club training is inside. Emilu only shows inside, the one outside show we had, she did terrible - go figure. I know when you asked about whether to first show 4 days in a row, I didn't think it was a good idea, but now, it sounds like just being at the show and getting your dog used to the atmosphere is a good idea. The advice that Kelly gave it good, but not if you've never trained like that. I wouldn't want to get in the ring and do something in a way that I had never done before with my dog. We're different enough in the ring without that. So it's a good idea to TRAIN that way, and then carry it into the ring. I'm still learning what to do in the ring to calm both Emilu and me down, and I like the idea of a simple thing they can do between stations for success and fun.
He has never competed before. He had been out of training (from a professional trainer) for about a year, due to the pregnancy, and birth of my daughter. We also just recently moved. When he was trained before we moved, it was with other dogs, and inside a high ceiling Garage/Barn. We have trained him, up to Advanced Obedience, and he has his CGC. When I thought about getting him into show, the stuff they are asking of him, should be old school. Nothing new that he has ever done.
My plan for him today, we are going to go to the show. We are going to try to go a bit early, says starts at 11, but I presume the judge will take a lunch, so 11am might not be when we go on. If she takes a lunch, would it be a problem to walk him in that ring when she isn't there? If the ring is empty just walk him around it? If he is still out of sorts, we are just going to call it a day. I will post later on how it goes. Thanks for all your thoughts and ideas. See what we can do.
If you tried to walk him in the ring, I assume you found out that you can not do that...a big no-no. I hope things went well, but I have to agree with the others, that he needs more exposure before competing again.
Karen and the gang
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