|10-02-2013 07:58 AM|
|10-02-2013 01:07 AM|
|wildo||Backside to blind at 0:38- awesome!! That's a really hard move to get!|
|10-02-2013 12:11 AM|
Here's one of our runs from class last weekend. Definitely not our best, and I screwed up my handling both times (causing a dropped bar) but we got there and had fun doing it!
|09-16-2013 10:10 PM|
|TaraM1285||LOL. Maybe next time. I had a camera, but I didn't need the extra stress of being filmed!|
|09-16-2013 07:03 PM|
Great update Kristin! Sounds like aligning your mental game is working well! Great work!!
(BTW- video or it didn't happen.)
|09-16-2013 03:28 PM|
|TaraM1285||We had a great first day back to agility yesterday. Armed with my plans for staying calm, I managed to stay mostly relaxed. I felt my blood pressure climbing on the drive to the field so I focused on my breathing. I was a little early, so I got Tara out and played with her while the baby dogs were still on the field. She stayed in her crate while I walked courses and in between each run. We're a little rusty on our handling, but we were working as a team. I was focused on my dog and running the course rather than worrying about her interactions with other dogs for once. And for the first time ever, our last run of the day was our best run! Instead of a slow decline in motivation and teamwork, we were working together the whole time.|
|09-16-2013 08:34 AM|
Good luck, have fun, focus on GOOD things when you are with your dog around the agility stuff (filling her with treats? tugging? quick fast FUN tricks?).
I know in between runs I crate my dogs. That way there is zero stress/worrying the vast majority of class time cause my dogs are put away.
Using the crate, I only need to manage my dogs for the brief times we are on the course so that really helps me be able to listen and learn while the other dogs are having their turn with the instructor.
|09-15-2013 12:56 PM|
Thanks, Willy, for taking the time to answer so thoughtfully.
My stress and worry is completely in my head and pretty irrational. Tara's reactivity is so diminished that she often acts as a decoy dog for other reactive dogs in structured training sessions. She runs both off and on leash with other dogs multiple times a week without issues and can greet dogs nicely both off and on leash. It's all in my head. And yes, it would be so much easier if I just trusted in the training and in my dog, but I need an extra push to be able to do that. So the mental prep and relaxation strategies are just a way to set myself up for success, thereby also setting my dog up for success. She deserves a handler who can set aside all the baggage and stay focused on all the good things and stay relaxed while we're in the ring.
I do use mental games in my running (I'm a distance runner/triathlete), so that is a good idea to incorporate some of that stuff into agility too. Having a mantra to focus on has always helped me get through tough patches in running, so why not agility? Just need to come up with something good. Thanks again.
|09-15-2013 09:50 AM|
I think that with anything dog related, you can only rely on your training. If you think your training has covered the situations and triggers you know you will find at a trial, then you have nothing to worry about. If you know that you've skipped certain aspects and triggers- then you have a lot to worry about.
As an analogy- early on in my still admittedly young agility career (CPE Level 2, I believe) I came across a Snooker course that really messed with me head. My head knew that the 51 point option should be the hardest option, but when I walked the course- that option seemed like the easiest option to me. It really freaked me out and it was the first (and last) time I've gotten nervous running an agility course. I went to the line, butterflies and all, and just told myself to TRUST our training, TRUST our instinct, TRUST our skills. We ran that course and did come through clean with a 51 point Snooker run.
I hear a lot of big name trainers/competitors talking about mental game these days. For myself, I developed a mental game out of an obvious need to envision the course for memorization/planning reasons, and also because it just seemed natural for me to do so. But that one Snooker run really drove home the point to me that part of a mental game plan is TRUSTING your training. If you don't trust your training, then why train at all? YOU know if there are holes there, and YOU know that if you push your dog in the areas of those holes things will fall apart.
So I say perhaps check into some books on developing a mental game. And if that sort of thing is as obvious to you as it is to me (meaning- no real need to read a book on the topic) then just develop one. Envision your dog walking passed other dogs without an issue. Envision the hundreds of times you've done this in training- in many different locations/situations and saw Tara's successful, positive response. Envision walking over to the field with your eyes lovingly on her ready to deliver treats with lightening speed for her brilliant choices to not react to each passing dog. Just develop a mental game that embraces and acknowledges the time and effort you've put into training away this issue. And if there are holes in your training- avoid them like the plague! HAHA!
(Side note: one of my pet peeves in walking a course is hearing all the ladies complaning about a difficult part of the course because "well I just can't get there because [dog's name] just doesn't have a lead out!" Blah blah blah. Train hard, trial easy! Trust your training!)
|09-14-2013 08:33 PM|
|TaraM1285||I get stressed because she used to be quite dog reactive. We have worked through it to a great extent but I still get overly stressed and worried about it on the agility field when she's working off leash around other dogs.|
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