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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My little tunnel man was at it again today. Showed in Bluffton at an AKC trial. Remington was in Novice Standard and Novice Jumpers. In both classes he delighted the crowd by doing the tunnel on his back, all four feet punching and kicking as he rolled around inside. The googball!

We would have Q'd in Jumpers except it took me too long to get him out of the tunnel. (over the course time by 4 seconds).

BUT, our goal was to keep him on course and in the ring, so we succeeded :)

Ruger had a great Jumpers course but refused the weaves THREE times and then did them slow as molasses. He needs just one Open leg to get his title.
In Excellent Standard he was really off, running way behind me and again refusing the weaves. I am really beginning to think he's getting close to retirement, he just doesn't want to play the games anymore. I'm going to have my vet do a full work-up on him as well this spring just in case something is going on that we can get a handle on.

All in all a good day though.
 

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Ruger is the one that has the eye troubles?
I bet there's a link...

Congrats on the "PQ" (personal q) :) they're the best kind of q :)
 

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Remington certainly sounds like he has fun in the ring :) I bet there might be a connection between Ruger and his eye problems too. Always a good time out with the doggies though.
 

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I retired my 5year old chocolate girl last February for the same type of behavior. We are one leg short of her jumpers excellent title. I was devestated. I kept doing agility with my little aussie and prepared her to show. Maddie was not allowed to do agility. I felt she had made her choice. When I moved in August to AZ, I decided to try another class with her. She was phenomenal. Fast and motivated. Couldn't wait to do agility. Still in AKC competition she had trouble with the weaves. It was suggested I try a venue that allowed me to train in the ring. I have done that. I get her super pumped before we run and when she does the weaves in the ring, major party. Each day is three runs. Last show she qualified all three times and had a jumpers run of 20 seconds beating out all of the border collies. We are working on having fun. AKC is so rigid that it made me lose what I love most about this sport....having fun with my dog. I am also developing a different relationship with the weaves. It sounds like Remington had fun!!!!
 

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Nice about Rem! Whoo hoo! Maybe he's growing up!

Remember Lydia pulled Murray for almost a year of competition. When she brought him back he was all charged and ready to go. Maybe he needs a vacation. I do agree about doing the full work-up to make sure there is nothing going on physically.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I really don't think it's physical because at home he runs like a maniac and jumps straight up in the air, I'm talking 10 feet sometimes, after his ball.

At shows he's super hyper outside of the ring, so much so that it's a bit annoying (he gets barky) and then when we enter the ring, he turns the on switch off. I'm truly baffled.

I do show him in other venues. We do USDAA and CPE. And we do all our agility for FUN, I am Miss Fun Handler out there, so there's no reason for his behavior.
 

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That is true, Linda. He is pretty excited outside the ring. Maybe give him some time off. Although you can't show as much as some of us because of the lack of shows in your area. Interesting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That's my feeling too. I don't show a lot to begin with!

I've already decided at our trial in April I'm only going to enter him in the JWW class, not in Excellent Standard. Tired of throwing away money I don't have (not that its really thrown away as we always have fun, but you know what I mean).
 

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Linda maybe what you are seeing is over arousal or a stress reaction. Sometimes it can look similar to excitement. Have you tried any calming techniques with him. Just a thought. I think you are a member at the agileateach board also, right? Maybe you can pose this question here.
 

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really don't think it's physical because at home he runs like a maniac and jumps straight up in the air, I'm talking 10 feet sometimes, after his ball.
but if it's ONLY weaves, then I would think there may be something going on. Can you get someone to video him weaving?

I'd also suggest a chiropractor and/or canine massage therapist... did wonders for my friend's shut-down aussie..
 

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but if it's ONLY weaves, then I would think there may be something going on. Can you get someone to video him weaving?

I'd also suggest a chiropractor and/or canine massage therapist... did wonders for my friend's shut-down aussie..
Do you think he could have some arthritis somewhere that is aggrivated by the weaves? They're certainly a very athletic obstacle, with prolonged stress on the joints.
 

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weaves put alot of stress on the spine and neck as well as joints - watch a dog power through them, and you can see their spine curving throughout.

But my bet is still on a connection between his eye issue and the weaves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
No, it's not just weaves at the trials. He actually stopped on course and refused a jump. I had to circle him back to take it, and he's SLOW... I mean I'm ahead of him by two obstacles yelling (encouraging him) to "come on, lets go!!!" I'm like a cheerleader out there for him and he's not holding up his end of the game.

At home, he blasts through the weaves and over jumps.

I'm just baffled with his demeanor recently in the ring (both obedience and agility).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Arthritis, possibility. He doesn't have good hips. Was x-rayed when he was neutered and the balls of his hips are actually squared off and sit only 1/2 in the socket. However, he's never been lame on his rear. But of course I realize it may very well be an issue, so much so that last year my vet and I agreed to give him Rimadyl through a trial. So we do that as a precautionary measure to help with any pain/inflammation he may be having. I have arthritis in my feet and have to run on Aleve myself. We're a great team :p

Stress outside of the ring is also a good possibility. But why now? He's been doing this for years. I do know that more than anything, he'd rather run back to the truck, as soon as we head that way, he's happy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Massage... you know its funny you mention this. I massage my dogs a lot. Magnum adores a good massage. Remington tolerates it. Ruger HATES it. Ruger doesn't like to be touched and held and rubbed. He's not a snuggler and looks pained if you hug him. He likes pats on the head, belly scratches and kisses on the lips, but not touching and hugging and rubbing.
 

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Motivation problems in the ring can be caused by stress. I went to a controlled unleashed seminar and there were many dogs with this problem. The give me a break game worked wonders for motivation. You set up a chair and a set of weave poles, jumps etc. You have the dog take the weaves and then with out any fanfare go to the chair and sit. Do not call the dog. When the dog reconnects with you get up and do the weaves again. It builds motivation. I did this with weaves in my house in my hallway. You do need to control the area somewhat. If the dog does not reconnect, or stops reconnecting you quit. This exercise changes the focus and motivation to be dog motivated instead of handler motivated. The CU book is wonderful and can really help with all kinds of issues inside and outside of the ring.
 

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If you aren't cheerleading during training time, that may be part of it as well... when Kaylie was doing agility, my instructor wanted me to get more animated and physically interactive with her..I tried that, and she literally stopped dead in her tracks, giving me a "are you INSANE?" look. If he thinks mom is going to act "weird" that can be a stress-inducer..
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Come to think of it I don't cheerlead nearly as much in training as I never need too, so maybe that is a problem. As hard as it will be, I will try to be less of a cheerleader at our next trail and give commands instead and see how it goes. This is a good point. Thanks.
 

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I have seen people just go out and run 3 or 4 jumps on a standard course and then party with the dog. It helps build confidence in the ring. You will of course get the whistle and an E. Its an expensive training lesson but can save alot of heartache later. The other thing that I have seen people do is never let their dog know it has made a mistake in the ring. If the dog takes a wrong course then you go with that and keep going. If the dog makes a mistake on the weaves you cheer it on to the next obstacle. I have even seen a person start a game of tag with their dog as soon as they were told "Go". Some of the really good places to train enthusiasm would be like CPE or Nadac or USDAA where you can get multiple runs of odd events. CPE has a Colors event where you run a course that only has a few (8-10) obstacles in Novice 1 with no weaves or teeters. You won't be worried about Qing there and can just have fun with your dog. Really short courses can really be fun for a dog and leave them wanting more.

Kelly and Amber
 
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