I entered my female in a advanced obedience class to refine her skills so we could start agility. Thought it would be something my son would enjoy doing with her.
But I'm worried that she is just too tentative. She has the slowest come I've ever seen - she's right on the money, but you could go to the bank and come back before she gets to you
Last night we started working on a around the back finish. Even with the treat she is so tentative - my instructor even commented about it.
I really didn't want to redo this class. I'm assuming this would really be a problem in agility. Any ideas how to increase her comfort? One positive, she has rock solid down and sit stays - she doesn't move an inch
Sharon, loved by Moose & Sky
What will she do if on the recall, you run away from her? Or as she approaches you, toss a ball behind you?
I have often seen dogs gain alot of confidence in agility..in my last class I had a german shepherd that was very timid, shy and pretty much just wanted to hide behind her owner..at the start of the class she wouldn't even accept a treat from me...by the end of class she was going over the a-frame, jumps, tunnels and weaving..she didn't like the dog walk so we didn't make her do that and didn't even try the teeter..also by the end of class she was taking treats from me and enjoying them...
Maddy hated agility. Rally, obedience, hunting....all fine. She hated those obstacles...she's nervous and timid about things that can make noises (teeter totter freaked her out just seeing it...not even trying it!!!).
So keep in mind that not all dogs do well in certain sports. I thought it would build her confidence too, but instead it was an hour she dreaded and constantly pulled to leave every time we went between exercises. The ONLY thing she liked was the jumps.
This are great suggestions.Originally Posted by Belles mom
Also try tossing treats or toys between your legs (also helps get straighter fronts) and racing her. Walk away a few steps like you are leaving her for a normal recall, then crouch down like you are going to race and say "ready, set, ok (or whatever your release word is) and take off running letting her chase you. This game makes the dogs more attentive when you leave them because they are always wondering "is this the time that mom is going to race?"
One other thing, for recalls I use the BEST treat in the world. It has to be something they don't get any other time. Left over steak or chicken are really motivating. ;D
Karen and Lydia - those are some great suggestions. We are working on the around the back finish and getting her to follow the treats to come around has been very difficult. I guess I'll fix some steak and see if that doesn't perk her attention.
Jen - I definately won't push her. She just has so much energy I just thought it would be a good way to go for her. We may give it a go and see. I still have another month of obedience with her and the classes are just now getting put together. The club hasn't had any beginning classes in a while.
Sharon, loved by Moose & Sky
Obedience is soooo boring for the dogs. Well, maybe it's too boring for me and that travels down the lead Darwin does a recall exactly the way your describing it...pokey. Now, if you put a jump in the way, he's almost to the point of a butt-tuck!
I think your girl will LOVE agility!! A good trainer will introduce the dogs to everything slowly so don't worry at all about her tenative. Does she like to tug? Does she know how to target? Work on both sides of you? You can start lots of groundwork now and skip the obedience class if you want...lol!
Do the same thing for the around finish. As she gets behind you, toss the food out in front of you with your left hand This will get her to hurry. If it doesn't, try beating her to the treat. If you get it first, its yours (make sure you eat it or pretend to eat it). If she gets it first, she gets to eat it.Originally Posted by dakkerdog
That works great too! It worked wonders for Belle several years ago when she was getting frumpy about dumbell retrieves. (Well, maybe not eating the dumbell, but playing with it and tossing it in the air...it was MY toy, not hers!!)Originally Posted by rottnlabs
Sharon, I just wanted to ask, have you worked much with Sky in obedience?
I am not sure if you have, but if you haven't, it might improve her confidence.
Angus has always had a recall like he's been shot out of a cannon. It never fails to make someone who has never seen it smile or laugh.
When I first started training with Simon, his recal was sooooo slow. Death march. :-[ I did a LOT of running backwards and hooping and squealing and jumping up and down on the recall. Now, he comes at a trot. He will never be like Angus, but it did help.
Also, Simon is completely different about agility than he is obedience. I think obedience bores him to tears. Angus LOVES it, because the reward for him is the hot dog and whatever it takes to earn that he can get excited about. Simon doesn't really care that much about the hot dogs. But in agility, all the jumping and running and climbing over things is self-rewarding. ;D
Connie and "The Boys":
Angus, Yellow Lab, CGC, RE, CD
Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD
Gone ahead, but forever in my heart:
Crash, Pit Bull x Rottweiler x Golden Retriever