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Old 02-20-2014, 09:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
Lilie
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: South Texas
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Default Handler Sensitive Dog & Agility

I wanted to ask this forum a question about Agility for my Lacy. There is only one other Lacy (to the best of my knowlege) currently in Agility in the state of Texas, so that breed forum wouldn't be as much help as I know this one would!

I started my first Agility class with my Lacy last night. He is two years old and we've been strictly training in Blood Tracking. He has high food drive. String Cheese is his crack. I can lure him with cheese to do just about anything.

He did very well in class last night. His difficulty was the fact he's never been in an area that was that highly concentrated in dog smells. We don't go to dog parks etc. So his little crack head was over whelmed with every inch of the field. But he never refused a request, so I think in time he'll get used to it and focus more on me....and cheese.

The problem I have is he is handler sensitive. So I can't be a cheer leader. The instructor said he needs to be more bouncy and excited about what we are doing and less excited about smelling. But when I try to excite him, his reaction is to break down. And example of this is running him through the tunnel. I give him the command 'tunnel' and he runs in - I race to the other side (because he doesn't do anything slow) to catch him and reward. While in the tunnel I made the mistake of saying, "Good tunnel!" and he reversed, plowed through the instructor and rushed to me. So she said to wait till he comes out to speak to him. So the next time I said, "tunnel" he raced through and when he came out I said "GOOD BOY" (while offering him cheese) and I was too excited and said it too loud and he dropped flat like I shot him.

So (sorry for the novel) my question is, how do I get a handler sensitive dog to focus on me (when he's been trained to focus on the track) and still be excited about the next command?
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