Tuesday, March 6, 2012

How Would You Handle This?

I thought of a lot of titles for this post - 'Everyone Loves A Car Crash',  'Rubberneck Paradise', 'Rough Agility Night', ect. ect. ect.  I think you get the idea :)

There were many, many good things and a few tiny little problems. 

Take a look at the course below (please!) and tell me how you would handle it.  How you would handle it with your dog and also with a dog like Tibby.  Or just with your dog, if you don't know us that well :)
  You'll probably have to click and make it bigger.  It was my first time drawing a course, so it's not exactly drawn to scale. 
(see all the little people and dogs at the bottom? Hmm, how about that?)

Here were the problems I ran into: 
1 - Tibby is waaaaay too fast out of the tunnel for me to beat her for some kind of cross.  Sure if I had a solid go on cue or what ever people train for this situation.
2 - The tire is suddenly SO TEMPTING!!  After ignoring it and going around it....now we like it???  I missed the memo.  Not complaining!  It's great!  Just saying....
3 - Jumping straight into a crowd of dogs and people.  DOGS!! and people.  Especially when said NEW DOG (joy! happiness!) comes in the door at the exact moment that Tibby is jumping straight at the crowd of dogs.  ooooopsy!

Things that I thought were great:
1 - Tibby was speedy!
2 - She was having FUN!
3- She did the tire + offered the weave poles (which didn't make it onto the video - boo) and then did the tunnel for fun.  For FUN?!?!  Yeah!
4- I thought our turn at 5 wasn't too bad.  I was saying tic - not sure if that helped her turn better or if she was just following my body language.

Of course, after 5 it all goes down hill.....:)

Watch the video and then tell me - Does that look like a stressed dog?  After we got done Fay told me that Tibby's zoomies were because she was feeling stressed.  First of all - that was not a complete zoomie.  Yeah it was slightly embarrassing or whatever, but she finished the course (eventually) and she wasn't totally wild.  Second of all - in my opinion she doesn't look stressed.  She looks like she found something more rewarding then me (and my meatballs).


Newdrim said...

Sooo how would I handle it with Tibby? Oh my, I think this was too hard for her. There would be a LOT of crosses. Since she doesn't have good sends I would run on the outside of tunnel 2. That means I would start with Tibby on my left for tunnel 1, then do a blind cross so I have her on my right for 2. Because I was on her right when she entered I would expect her to look for me on her right when she exits the tunnel. I could then perform rear cross as she is preparing to jump 3 (or front cross if I was fast enough), then again a front cross on the landing side so I would get her on my right hand again for the tire.
I would skip 6 and 7 because I wouldn't want her to rehearse this behavior. We could do another tire and the tunnel under A-frame instead :)

I'm a novice handler so this is not a recommendation of any sort. Just my imagination at work :)

If I was handling my dog I would start in the middle of tunnel 1 and send him in from there so I can be ahead, run toward 2 & try to send him in as early as possible, then run hard toward 3. I would handle 3-4 on my left, doing front cross between 4 and 5. I might ask handlers to move their dogs away from 6 and 7 because I doubt it's comfortable for dogs to jump toward a group of other dogs. It's just not polite canine behavior.

Yes, I think she could be excited and saying hi to dogs due to stress. I don't know if she is, though.


Elayne said...

This is a great exercise because it points out all sorts of basic skills that can train on your own. The handling is not all that difficult if you have the skills. First off, a lead out would be good. If you can't lead out right now because she's green then try sending her around behind you and starting to run before putting her in the tunnel so you can get ahead of her.

Next you need a good send and verbal obstacle discrimination skills. You need to be able to send her to the #2 tunnel so you can be past the tunnel exit when she comes out. You can get ahead of her but not if you have to go all the way to the tunnel entrance. This just takes practice and I feel your pain because my fast dog pulls off very easily with my motion. But it's just a training issue.

Or if you're going to be behind when she exits the tunnel you can train verbal directional cues, 'left' or 'out', and you can cue her verbally before and as she comes out of the tunnel. I've never had much luck training verbal directionals, I think it's easier to train the send and verbal obstacle discrimination but that's just me.

Next I would do a lateral send between 3 and 4, meaning I would keep shoulders facing forward and run laterally towards 4. Then I’d do a front cross between 4 and 5 and then 6 and 7 should be easy. However in your case those dogs standing ringside are a huge distraction. From the video it’s impossible to see if you were late cueing 7 and your dog sensed the mistake and ran off out of stress/avoidance or if she simply saw the other dog and thought greeting it would be more fun. The reason is unimportant, you just need more experience training for distractions. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about, such a common problem for dogs starting out. Ask your instructor if you can take advantage of the distractions by doing just a couple of jumps with the other dogs nearby then make the sequence more complicated as she starts to focus on you more.

I wouldn’t give her treats for coming back after she runs off. I’m speaking from experience here, I did that with my first dog and it causes a world of problems. The dog learns he can run off, do what he wants, come back when he wants and still get a treat. I understand why you’re doing it because I did the same but it’s not good training in the long run. I also wouldn’t reward her at the start line right next to you before you start because you’re training her to need you by her side. I made that mistake as well. You can leave her at the start, lead out a bit, then go back and treat her and this will teach her that she gets treats when you leave her.

Lots of great feedback on stuff to work on out of such a simple exercise.

Diana said...

I dont think she looked stressed. I think she got more confident as you went along which increased her speed.

For the course I would have lead out down the tunnel a bit or my dog would have been to far in front of me to get that second tunnel. I would have used an "out" comand to push her out the the second tunnel and then did a serp after the tunnel.
I dont think there was anything wrong with how to ran it. Every dog is differnt so you have to run it for your dog.

Laura, Lance, and Vito said...

I think she looks great! Definitely getting faster!

Your course problems are just because she's a green dog! In order to really cue #3 you needed to be past the tunnel entrance and able to take a step towards her to push her out. So if this was set up in a place where you could really practice, I would work on that send out to the #2 tunnel so you could be a distance away and not have to run around the aframe :)

Your other option if you didn't have that skill would be to do a front/blind cross before #2 so you'd run on the other side of the tunnel/aframe and would rear cross #3.

Zoomies can be a sign of stress as a lot of dogs do them when they're not getting the information they need in time on course. But my guess would be it's just too distracting to jump into a crowd of people and dogs.

Loretta Mueller said...

Nothing wrong with how you attempted to handle it...if you want when you are out next week we can work this. She was missing the send to the tunnel--for sure a skill that needs to be trained :)And personally...I wouldn't want to jump my dogs into a group of handlers and dogs...but that is my personal choice. Just thinking about reactive dogs having a Tibby coming at them :)

I would handle it basically the same way you did...except running more :) I might have placed my front cross after 4 instead of between 3 and 4 like you did (which worked WELL FOR TIBBY! Great job knowing your dog!).

She didn't hav stress zoomies in my opinion...she was distracted because she was jumping into a group of dogs that she wanted to say hello to.

If you have the skills that is not a hard sequence...you were mainly missing the OUT to the tunnel that you needed to get into place for the #3 jump...that was it. You have the rest.

Her speed was AWESOME! And she looks good. Basic baby dog stuff C--no worries :) Don't let it frustrate you...seriously...if you want to work it next week let me know :) I'll even video for ya! LOL


Catalina said...

Oh my goodness guys! You have given me so many options and ideas - AWESOME!!

I never thought of a lead out - I think that would have worked better. One person in class did a blind cross at the tunnel and I thought it worked pretty good.

The hard part for us with the #2 tunnel was for some odd reason Tibby was positive I wanted her to do the A-frame. Even though we have never done the A-frame in class. Maybe because we have been doing a lot of RC training?? So I had to get very up and personal to drive her into the tunnel.

I wasn't embarrassed by our run! I thought it was fun and Tibby running off wasn't a big deal - I mean really? As soon as we turned toward the #6 jump I knew what was going to happen. I wish Fay would put up some fencing or something. All the other dogs run on leash, so they don't have a problem.....YET.

Also if she had just turned the course the other way, so dogs weren't jumping so much into the face of the other dogs it would have been a little easier. I mean it is a beg. class!

Very good points and ideas every one :) Thanks for commenting!

Loretta - Yeah I would love to run this again and maybe I can try out everyone's suggestions. :)