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Old 10-07-2012, 06:34 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Since the trainers were willing to allow you to come back I would say that's a good sign. If you want to go back and continue I wouldn't allow the one incident to stop you, especially if they're willing to help take precautions. But if you think you're going to be too uncomfortable then quit for now and try again later

Like others have said, dogs aren't 100% predictable and stuff does happen and most owners realize that. As long as you, the other owner, and the trainers are working together to keep them separate I wouldn't worry about it
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Old 10-07-2012, 06:48 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I certainly don't want a repeat performance. I think we likely all have stories of our dog(s) being attacked or at the very least on the receiving end of inappropriate behaviour, Jazz included. I have faith in the facility and trainers and don't doubt that their blockades will work. Jazz is not aggressive in everyday life. This is a first. Obviously the sport is very high stimulus and my fear is how will we truly know his passing is sound proof. Assuming down the road the instructors think he's ready to remove the blockade, I fear for that dog he's passing that first time. What if he's not ready? I don't want to put another dog in that situation. He did not bite this German Shepherd but to me that is irrelevant. He scared the living crap out of an innocent dog. I really want to pursue this with him but I obviously want to be responsible and safe as well.

I'm thinking I may call the trainer this week and talk to her. I'll ask her how the owner of the GSD feels about me coming to the last class. I also want to know how the dog is doing. If she doesn't want me there then I'll skip it. I'll also express my concerns to the trainer about the future and see how she responds and how she says we'll handle it. Keeping the dogs' safe is the most important thing.
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Old 10-07-2012, 06:50 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Carolyn, I think that's a plan, and your right, we've all been on both ends of the spectrum at times, and crap happens like I said.

Hang in there, let us know how it goes
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:07 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I've been on both sides of the leash with this one...had a very reactive dog a few years ago that attacked the neighbor's GSD and bit her neck. Neighbor was very understanding (more than I might have been!) but I was mortified. After having the reactive dog, I find that with my current "pack" I am much more aware of other dogs and the potential for an attack (serious or not).
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:41 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I'm actually surprised that in week 5 of the class they're already having dogs passing over the jumps. I think they're moving WAY too fast! Whether or not he'll ever be able to safely participate in flyball is something I can't predict, but there are a lot of steps leading up to the exercise you describe that seem to have been skipped over, and I would go back to the basics for awhile before even attempting that exercise again any time soon.

I took two 6 week classes with the flyball club that we're now racing with, and then I joined them at practices for a couple of months before being officially invited to join the club and race - from the first class to Halo's first tournament was a little over 8 months, so we took things very slowly.

Other than box work, which we do separately, the training progression looks like this.

Determining which way the dog turns, teaching over and back using a gutter, restrained recalls, usually for a tug reward (one dog at a time, other dogs are crated).

Passing recalls on the flat (no jumps) with 10 or 15 feet between the dogs: Each dog is restrained while the owner revs them up and runs away. One dog is sent and when they get to their owner and is tugging, the other dog is sent, so they're staggered. Extra people are stationed around to make sure neither dog veers off their path and goes towards the other dog.

Side by side restrained recalls on the flat: A green dog is paired up with a solid dog who will not chase, and won't do anything if they get chased. Dogs are again 10 or 15 feet apart, and the green dog is sent first so they don't see the other dog ahead of them. Extra people stand between the dogs, (if necessary) and will yell and run at a dog who starts to chase, directing them back towards their owner.

Passing recalls with the stagger decreased so the second dog is sent just before the first dog gets to the owner, and then gradually sent earlier and earlier so finally the dogs are released at the same time and they pass in the middle, but are still 10 or 15 feet apart.

Side by side restrained recalls on the flat, with the dogs being released at the same time, still 10 or 15 feet apart. Once a dog is okay with the passing recalls and side by side recalls being released at the same time as the other dog with a lot of distance between them, we start reducing the distance. At first we might stagger the starts again, working up to being able to run towards another dog, and next to another dog, 5 or less feet apart.

When we start working with the jumps, we backchain them, doing restrained recalls over one jump to the owner, then 2 jumps, then 3 jumps, etc. We do this with one dog at a time before adding a second dog running in the lane next to them. And we'll put wings on the side of the jumps to prevent the dog from running around them, or if the dog has a tendency to chase, we make a channel with plastic fencing along both sides of the lane so they can't run out, and station people in the runback area after the jumps, to discourage chasing and redirect the dog towards their owner.

It's quite a while before we have dogs passing each other in the same lane, and when we do, we go back to staggering them so one dog is restrained next to the lane while the other dog runs towards them over the jumps, and then after the first dog is completely past and tugging with their owner, the second dog is sent over the jumps in the opposite direction. Sometimes we split the lane with plastic fencing in the runback area so the passing dogs are physically blocked from making contact as they run towards each other.

Halo didn't actually have a pass until the weekend before her first tournament! And it was pretty big, we've been working on reducing it over the past few months - she'll be in her 6th tournament in 6-1/2 months the weekend after next. I got a couple of 1 foot passes in her last tournament, but usually it's more like 5 or 6 feet.

I totally understand how terrible you feel, I'd be horrified if my dog did that too. But if this club feels like he has potential in the sport, I'd give it another try. But maybe slow down the progression so he has a chance to succeed, and fewer opportunities to fail.
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:01 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I've never seen flyball and just watched some videos on youtube. I see what you mean about passing. Sometimes we did something like this on the agility A-frames at training. Once Molly got a little snarly, but has not repeated that behavior. Then another time at training, a new young dog ran way too fast at Molly. She started in on the dog, and it sounded terrible, but no fur flew or bite wounds. I felt really, really bad. It was the new dogs 1st day and I was afraid it's owner would not return because of me (they did). We took a time out off the field, and our trainer then got all the dogs and owners in a circle and asked them to raise their hands if their dog ever got naughty like mine - well over half the group raised their hands. So as others have said, dogs will be dogs. Definitely go to your last class, it seems like your trainer has a good plan, sounds like yours is not the very first dog to behave this way.
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:53 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzybunny View Post
I certainly don't want a repeat performance. I think we likely all have stories of our dog(s) being attacked or at the very least on the receiving end of inappropriate behaviour, Jazz included. I have faith in the facility and trainers and don't doubt that their blockades will work. Jazz is not aggressive in everyday life. This is a first. Obviously the sport is very high stimulus and my fear is how will we truly know his passing is sound proof. Assuming down the road the instructors think he's ready to remove the blockade, I fear for that dog he's passing that first time. What if he's not ready? I don't want to put another dog in that situation. He did not bite this German Shepherd but to me that is irrelevant. He scared the living crap out of an innocent dog. I really want to pursue this with him but I obviously want to be responsible and safe as well.

I'm thinking I may call the trainer this week and talk to her. I'll ask her how the owner of the GSD feels about me coming to the last class. I also want to know how the dog is doing. If she doesn't want me there then I'll skip it. I'll also express my concerns to the trainer about the future and see how she responds and how she says we'll handle it. Keeping the dogs' safe is the most important thing.


Very considerate of you. We've been on the "receiving" end with Zoey 3 times, twice in one class with the same large male GSD. The owner/dog were removed. We understand poop happens, but we would have liked to hear at least something from the owner.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:58 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Thank you for all the feedback and I do appreciate everyone's perspective. I'll keep you posted on the situation.
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:32 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I'm not totally clear on what happened....you say your dog was "passing" so you mean both dogs were in the SAME lane and your dog was passing in, like they do during a real race? If so I'm not sure how barriers could be used, with dogs already passing in the same lane.

If they invited you back I would go back. These things happen. To me the issue is that you have not been going that long and are already passing into other dogs. Nikon has already competed in three tournaments and just last month started passing into another dog (he's always been fine with dogs passing into him). When Pan did his first pass into another dog they collided hard. There was no attack or bite but you could hear the wind get knocked out of both of them. I'm very cautious with passes. Our trainer/captain is always shouting at me to go, go! and I'm always passing late. Nikon did a two foot pass last week and I probably had my eyes closed (especially since he passed into a 10lb mini-Aussie!). When it comes to passing I really have to trust my dog and our team captain and just let go when she says so, but I've now seen her train enough dogs to trust that she's not rushing my dog and I know that I am a very cautious, risk-averse person which is now getting in the way of my dog's progress. He cannot run the lead-off spot forever and he's really not the best dog for it.

I appreciate the feedback here but I wonder how many of you actually do flyball? I'm not saying dogs are getting attacked all the time but it's generally not a sport for weak nerved dogs or weak nerved dogs or weak nerved people. Dogs that have already been attacked and are now wary around other dogs wouldn't be participating in the first place. I'm guessing the "attack" here is not the same as what a lot of you are describing (being out and about with your dog and getting attacked). These dogs are in a high, sometimes frenzied state of drive and these are not calculated attacks. I'm not saying it makes it OK but in order to fix this issue you need to understand flyball and the training, it's not the same as dealing with an attack when you are at the dog park or out on a walk.
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:04 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Also, when I started, we simulated passes from day one but not using actual dogs. At our first place we had these life-sized stuffed dogs that we placed in the lane to force the dog into the runback lane when doing recalls. Then we just had people stand there or hold a small ring gate and we make sure to have new handlers always use the runback lane for doing recalls so by the time the dog is ready to start working passes, it is natural for them to move over and yield the lane. How and when we start real passes depends on the dog. Nikon only has eyes for me so he's never had an issue with dogs passing into him, even close or early passes. Pan on the other hand would drop his ball early with a close pass into him so he started out by passing into other dogs (running last) whereas Nikon struggled passing into another dog and is just now getting comfortable with that. Falon's Kastle has never shown issues passing either way so it only took him a week or two of passing in practice before he was reliable in any spot on the team.
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