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x11 11-28-2012 04:49 PM

formal obed compromises agility?
my dogs have a blast running around agility courses (never trialled). i also play at some formal obed. seems to be a lot of contradictions to the training especially with the turns. does anyone do both with same dog and does it present any problems?

wildo 11-28-2012 05:10 PM

I really dislike reading replies that start out with "Well, I don't do the thing your asking about, but I'll chime in anyway" but, well... I don't do obedience but I'll chime in anyway.

There are LOTS of people who do both, successfully, without issue. In many ways it is no different than a SchH dog doing therapy work. The dog is quite capable of figuring out what "game" it's playing- whether that be running really fast and jumping over stuff, or staying by my side sitting on command doing the most boring sport ever.

llombardo 11-28-2012 05:30 PM

I find that the obedience helps with the agility. Mine has gone through lots of obedience and she is focused. I think that focus helps get us through the course. As far as different commands in obedience and agility, I don't have a problem with my dog knowing all of them and using her brain. The agility instructor always tells me to let her think and make a decision....I'll be darn if she doesn't do the right thing every time:)

x11 11-28-2012 05:40 PM

it is the dog responding instantly to yr body position/cues at speed around turns and choosing correctly from a variety of obstacles in its face i thought would be the bigger problem than getting sloppy in a sit or down.

Mikelia 11-28-2012 05:53 PM

I am just new to trialing in both venues but I think each one compliments the other. German shepherds were designed to excel at any activity presented to them. Eli and I are consecutively working on agility, obedience and nosework titles. Both agility and obedience teach body awareness. With ob it is close but very precise, I find that has transferred into better turns and wrapping in agility. And agility teaches them to love working the game with you, which transfers excitement into the boring game of ob.
And I don't think the dogs get confused at all. Eli knows the difference between agility obstacles, repetitive heeling and being let loose to search.
But ultimately, it is up to how you present each 'game' to the dog. Harsh training is going to confuse the dog, no matter which venue you are training in. I chose to do agility with him as we were losing his 'umph' with the obedience, and it worked out beautifully :)

x11 11-28-2012 06:04 PM

makes sense, i have had my dog want to fight me a bit to heel on my left side when i want no side bias at all. ps i am possibly the least hard trainer there is, and the bassids know it.

Liesje 11-28-2012 06:49 PM

I will say that I have MAJOR problems with Nikon's agility because of his obedience, but this is not *because* of agility or obedience, just the way I trained. I did a lot of obedience before he started agility. I was rather impatient with his agility, and the place where I trained agility is not a competitive facility, so in a 6 week course you basically rush through all the obstacles and then start running sequences. Agility buffs will cringe but let's face it, I was the *only* person in *all* the agility classes/levels that actually competed with my dog, everyone else had "pets" and just wanted to have fun running "courses" that were basically half a dozen obstacles in a big circle. I did not do a lot of flatwork or foundation work with Nikon, other than basic jumping technique (because I needed this for clearing the 1m hurdle in SchH). Nikon LOVES agility but holy crap he basically has a panic attack if I try to handle him on my right side, lol. He gets so lost and then he starts getting anxious because to him, he's only correct on the left. I did some CPE with him but we started at Level 1 where I could get away with running my courses with him almost always on my left. If I have time/money to get back into agility with him I'll basically need to start from scratch with flatwork, maybe train him hand targets so he is comfortable on either side. He's had so much more obedience than agility and had a high level of obedience before starting agility so yes, it is an issue for us but one that I created, not one that is inherent to either sport.

Now my first GSD, I got her when she was 3 and she had already been trained on all the agility obstacles and just had basic obedience. So she was the other way around. I never had problems handling on either side or doing crosses (well she didn't really like blind crosses but was fine front and rear). When we did a herding seminar the herding judge commented on how well the dog moved in *either* direction (the first skill we had to show was putting our dog on a long line and walking the dog like a horse around the arena in both directions and almost all of the dogs could not go around on their handler's right). This dog had agility first and much more agility foundation. We did obedience too and I never had problems there, she knew heel/fuss was on the left and she did both types of finishes.

I_LOVE_MY_MIKKO 11-28-2012 06:54 PM

I have seen dogs have the same problem that Liesje had-the dog not willing to work on the right. My trainer has worked with a few dogs like this and while it took a lot of work to get through it, they are getting better, but it can create a lot of extra work.

x11 11-28-2012 06:56 PM

thanks you just confirmed a theory i had, a dog will have less problem going from agility to obed than a dog going from obed to agility.

imo and i am by no means experienced i think agiltiy is possibly one of the best foundations for any venue.

Liesje 11-28-2012 07:00 PM


Originally Posted by x11 (Post 2641759)
imo and i am by no means experienced i think agiltiy is possibly one of the best foundations for any venue.

I agree. If you train them both at the same time with both in mind, I think you'd be fine. My problem was that for Nikon, agility didn't happen until his obedience is basically what it still is today and I didn't keep agility in mind while doing the obedience. Also he sees a lot more pressure in training than my other dogs, he gets more +P and -R so being in correct heel position (on the left) is "safe" for him and when he's not quite sure where to go, that's where he'll try to go. With agility we just started learning obstacles, it was my fault I did not take the time to make him really understand the handling *between* the obstacles regardless of right or left.

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