FLYBALL: Very Upset & Looking for Advice - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-07-2012, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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FLYBALL: Very Upset & Looking for Advice

As some of you know, I've been doing Flyball with Jazz. Today was our 5th lesson and it was a disaster. Jazz gets very riled up and barks a lot and pulls when the other dogs are running. From what I'm told, this isn't uncommon because it's a very excitable sport. I try to distract him and sometimes it works and other times it doesn't.

We were practicing a passing exercise where Jazz and another German Shepherd were passing one another while going over two jumps each. We've done passing exercises every class and Jazz always seemed very focused on me. This time however, Jazz attacked the female German Shepherd as they were passing. The instructors separated them fairly quickly but I'm horrified. The German Shepherd is a very sweet submissive girl and she was terrified. She was pacing and panicked in the corner while her owner and instructor tried to coax her to them.

I left in tears with Jazz but one of the instructors caught up with me. She encouraged me to return next week for our last class and to join the Flyball team since I had expressed interest in doing so. She said they would set up barriers so that he couldn't do that again and they'd keep the barriers up until his passing was soundproof. She said it could take 6 months or even a year but they'd work with him on it.

I know he's doing really well at it and he loves it but I feel so awful about what happened that I'm scared to continue Flyball with him. I keep replaying the scared German Shepherd through my mind and I don't want to be responsible for traumatizing a dog. I'm embarrassed to go back to class and worried about how the owner and the German Shepherd will react if we do. I just don't know what to do and I'm looking for some advice as to whether or not I should continue with him.

Jazz, Shiloh Shepherd, 5 yrs old, CGC HIC
Bunny, GSD X, 7.5 years old
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-07-2012, 01:50 PM
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crap happens I would just profusely apologize to the other owner, express your hope her dog is ok. If the trainer is willing to set up a good barrier and work with you and Jazz, take her up on the offer..If you think the barrier is to flimsy, speak up.

It can be a high energy high frustration sport for some dogs, but if he's good at it, and you want to continue, do so..Hang in there, we've all been mortified by our dogs at one point or another..

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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-07-2012, 01:56 PM
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I don't think you would have been invited back had this not happened before or if they believed it would not be fixable.
Dogs are dogs. They will get riled up.

I would make sure he got separated from the dog he attacked and I would soldier on.

Sorry Jazz did this. I would have been upset, too.
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-07-2012, 02:08 PM
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If they invited you back then it probably wasn't as bad as you think. If it makes you feel better apologize to the other dogs owner. I had a similar situation with my GSD, but it was play mode. We were in class and she boldly approached a very shy, fearful dog. The other dog snapped at my dog, but I knew it was out of fear. Later on when it was time for them to play, I politely declined because I knew my dog would approach the other dog again and I felt the dog had made progress up to that point, so I didn't want to make things worse. It sounds like they are doing everything they can to protect your dog and other dogs in this exercise. Maybe your dog was just having a bad day, it happens.

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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-07-2012, 02:30 PM
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If it were my dog that your dog attacked, and I knew you felt the way you did - I would be upset of course, but not at you or your dog but at the situation. I would feel a lot better knowing that you felt the way you do, and that you still want to take steps in working with your dog.

I say go there, apologize again to the owner, and do what you have to do to ensure that everyone is safe while learning.

Stuff happens - we have dogs, not stuffed animals.

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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-07-2012, 02:37 PM
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Sorry, I know you feel bad, but I would never let my dog run with yours knowing what she had done. I would never trust your dog to not do that again no matter what barrier you put up, it's not worth it for my dog's mental attitude. Your dog may well do this again, even with the barrier, and it can permanently screw up the dog she does it to even without contact.

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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-07-2012, 04:31 PM
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I've a weak nerve dog that some other more confident dog may take advantage of - they will see her scared and come snap at her. I was in a dog class today, that's what happened and every dog that did it, they did it MORE than once, on leash, even after correction. Each of those dogs were severely corrected, but still repeated the action some time later.

I'm sorry this happened to you. But being on the other side, I would not feel comfortable of letting those dogs near without a leash and you being right next to your dog as they pass by each other, as I worry this would set my weak nerve dog back when I'm trying to teach her to trust me and relax. If you do go back, please do not allow your dog next to the other dog without you being right next to your dog and being leashed and if he does do it again, he should be corrected accordingly and clearly.
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-07-2012, 05:29 PM
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My GSD was attacked a few months ago. We were visiting another sports club, first time there. I was working OB with her on the field (I asked the head trainer if it were okay to bring my dog onto the field, he said it was fine, they worked OB on multiple dogs all the time).

My dog was getting ready to do a long jump, a mal (handler lost grip on her long line) attacked her from behind.

Long story short, my GSD wasn't injured. My GSD is dog reactive (I've worked on it a lot in the last 4 years and she is much much better), I was so worried it would set her back, fortunately it didn't. I was so horrified (I think I was more traumatized than my GSD , not sure if that's a good or bad thing), I felt horrible for putting her in that situation .

I would never knowingly put my dog in that position, if there is a slightest chance that she will get attacked by another dog, she doesn't need to be on the field.

I am not trying to make you feel worse , but personally, I would only work your dog when there is no other dog around.
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-07-2012, 05:37 PM
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I think the OP certainly doesn't want a repeat performance and since the trainer is willing to put a blockade to stop it from happening, hopefully this will help.

I also have been on the 'victims' (I hate using that word but another escapes me at the moment),,end, Masi to this day, has a distinct dislike to anything "Golden", she was jumped on more than one occassion at a puppy class, and let me tell you, she has a memory like an elephant, it was a 'lax' class with a 'lax' trainer and I pulled her after two classes.. Something like that can leave a longlasting imprint.

So I can see it from both sides I think what will help the OP is the trainer is on top of it and is willing to help stop this from ever happening again.

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Danger Danger vom Kleinen Hain aka Masi
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Jakoda's Kholee
"Angel" Jakoda's Bewitchen Sami CD OA OAJ OAC NGC OJC RS-O GS-N JS-O TT HIC CGC
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"Angel" Harmonyhill's Hy Jynx NA NAJ NAC NJC RS-N JS-N HIC
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-07-2012, 06:02 PM
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things happen that we don't like when dogs are in
training. return to class and keep training. don't
wait for class to train.
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