How do you KNOW? Or do you ever really...?
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Thread: How do you KNOW? Or do you ever really...?

  1. #1
    Baloo317's Avatar
    Baloo317 is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultHow do you KNOW? Or do you ever really...?

    I feel like I'm sort of at a crossroads with Baloo right now, and I'm not sure what's next.

    We've done pretty much everything we can do on leash, rally novice and pre-novice. He trains in agility (and is dang good at it!) and is trained pretty much through Open in terms of what he CAN do (rough and in need of major polishing, but still...)

    But here's the thing, I don't trust him off leash in a competition setting. He still gets distracted easily, loves to visit other dogs and people and his heeling attention is just not great at the best of times. (I'm experimenting with drive training for this, so far - interesting!! ) I have literally had nightmares about him jumping the dinky fences and stealing dumbbells, going to join another dog on THEIR agility run (Hel-LO Sophie!! :embarrass: :ugly. :scare:

    I can't tell if it's a 'him' issue, a 'me' issue or an 'us' issue, or maybe a bit of all of the above.

    I feel like we're at the point where he just needs time to grow up a bit. He's still a very young dog (and a lab, at that) and I just feel like he doesn't have the maturity as of yet to go into any higher levels of competition. I'm also afraid of trying to squelch that independence in him for a number of reasons, but I would like it to be MUCH more controlled and well managed before moving on.

    So where to go from here? On one hand I feel like I just want to keep entering rally novice and pre-novice stuff just for the experience, but on the other hand I don't want him to get uber-bored and start checking out altogether because it's just same old same old all the time. And I also really want to do the higher levels with him, and the little devil on my shoulder keeps saying "go ahead and try, who cares if he really messes up? Dogs mess up at shows all the time, no biggie..." :secret:

    So how do you know they're ready? How do I get over the fear and distrust of him off leash in that setting?? Should I just give it a break for awhile and let him grow up a bit and then try again later? *sigh*.
    Kate
    Baloo - 5 year old black lab
    Peanut - 7 year old minpin
    Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
    We're Superdogs!


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  3. #2
    lcspt is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: How do you KNOW? Or do you ever really...?

    You can practice off leash with a leash around your waist. Don't use the leash for corrections, it is only to keep him with you.

    Once he is doing well this way, practice heeling off leash in class or training and progress to many show and go's.

    Once he can handle "taking the show on the road" you may be ready to show off lead. Kona was ready at 2 yo but Bo will not be ready ......... different personalities.
    "In moments of joy all of us wished we possessed a tail we could wag." W. H. Auden

    Linda, Kona and Bo

  4. #3
    brody's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: How do you KNOW? Or do you ever really...?

    you know your dog best - if you think he needs to grow up do practises, do fun matches, do training (come on down to VareHarri Farm ( pronounced very hairy - yuppers it's the working name OMG) and have fun ... and ddon't show til you are ready

    Sally started young - and believe me she's NAUGHTY .. and FAST ... she never left the ring but she's on break now to mature (and cause of my crazy life) and I think it will be good for her

    Brody started competing a year ago - I could add up the number of trial days he's had easily .. and he now runs at masters level ..not many of the dogs who started with him got here quite this fast - and we had a slow start in many ways (faultless slow rounds for three months) - there are a few reasons for that but one was certainly his maturity

    Thea is my ultimate party girl - I have not and will not rush to show her - she has done some classes and done very well but I KNOW investing time in a solid foundation with her will pay in spades

    on the other hand if Fitz stays I could see him competing successfully with Sally and Brody next summer - and he isn't 2 yet

    just different dogs....

    have fun and don't rush - thats my nickle's worth
    http://andrea-agilityaddict.blogspot.com/

    “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

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    DefaultRe: How do you KNOW? Or do you ever really...?

    I'd say, don't rush, but work really hard on his attention and focus on you. Absolute 100% attention. I know I am going to have to go back and really drill Hoss when ever I decide to take him back into the obedience/rally ring. In the hunt field, he is focused, in the ring.....well.....Susan can attest to his antics.....

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    ObedienceLabs4Me is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: How do you KNOW? Or do you ever really...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Belles mom
    well.....Susan can attest to his antics.....

    Hoss--antics?

    Even now with Caleb I am going back and working on foundation attention and heeling drills. I do a lot of drills. With Micah I am working on the foundation things but now I'm starting to go different places so he learns to work through that, too. It takes time, that is for sure! I also work on me being more fun for my dogs than going and checking out whatever--another dog (Goldens for Caleb), a tennis ball, etc. I want my dog to want to be with me working, so it has to be fun for them. That is me though.
    Susan
    UCDX GRCH Dunn's Marsh Caleb of Waltona UDX3, OM3, RAE Canadian UD, RE
    FallRiver's Micah of Waltona GN RAE, Canadian CD, RN

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    DefaultRe: How do you KNOW? Or do you ever really...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yellow Boys Mom

    Hoss--antics?
    He's such a goof butt. Good thing I love him so dearly!! If I keep Red, well, I can only imagine.....makes Hoss look like a perfect gentleman!!

  9. #7
    ObedienceLabs4Me is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: How do you KNOW? Or do you ever really...?

    I'll just never forget the look on your face as Hoss went running for Laura's Shelty. She would not have been amused, that is for sure! He's a hoot all right! Got to love those yellow boys!
    Susan
    UCDX GRCH Dunn's Marsh Caleb of Waltona UDX3, OM3, RAE Canadian UD, RE
    FallRiver's Micah of Waltona GN RAE, Canadian CD, RN

    www.labmed.org


  10. #8
    brody's Avatar
    brody is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: How do you KNOW? Or do you ever really...?

    the focus thing is great and needed but in agility you need to be able to have a dog that can focus on you with quite a distance between you

    thats something brody struggles with to this day - he doesn't like to be very far away from me ever

    Sally, on the other wild immature hand, can take direction from the middle of the ring (usually 110 feet) and go into the far corner to do an obstacle...

    finding the balance can be tricky in agility

    and I am the best best thing in Brody's world - agility is the best best thing in Sally's world ...which both have pros and cons in this crazy sport
    http://andrea-agilityaddict.blogspot.com/

    “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

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    Baloo317's Avatar
    Baloo317 is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: How do you KNOW? Or do you ever really...?

    Quote Originally Posted by conrad
    you know your dog best - if you think he needs to grow up do practises, do fun matches, do training (come on down to VareHarri Farm ( pronounced very hairy - yuppers it's the working name OMG) and have fun ... and ddon't show til you are ready
    VareHarri!! It's perfect, I love it!!

    Does that mean you're putting up an agility field at the new place?? We'd LOVE to come out and play with you guys, so fun!!

    I have gotten fairly good at being more engaging and fun for Baloo than most things, but the doggie visitation drive I'm finding very difficult to beat. He's SO dog-social, that running over and greeting another dog is strongly self-reinforcing for him, even if I'm fast enough to grab him before he can really initiate play. Very frustrating.

    It's also fairly exclusive to certain situations. In class he's about 90% reliable, but at shows or other large gatherings of dogs that percentage drops significantly. It's also probably a bit of a socialization issue, but it's hard because theres just not a lot of large gatherings of dogs that I can take him to.
    Kate
    Baloo - 5 year old black lab
    Peanut - 7 year old minpin
    Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
    We're Superdogs!


  12. #10
    kaytris is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: How do you KNOW? Or do you ever really...?

    at the risk of sounding broken record-ish, PREMACK! If you can find a training partner (Felicia?) who is willing to help ya out, use the opportunity to play with Henery as a reward for heeling, staying, whatever.

    as for when you're ready, fun matches for obedience, or is there an option as in agility, FEO? for exhibition only - it's expensive, but useful. In agility, you go in, do as many obstacles as you like, thank the judge and then leave the ring to reward your dog. It's a good starting place to transition to competition.

    Sophie and I are still working through some focus issues (I get ring nerves, she leaves to go visit the ring crew who are relaxed and sane) but I hope to get back and try AAC as well as CPE in the new year, and we'll likely begin with FEO in AAC..

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