Obedience not for us? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-09-2015, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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Obedience not for us?

I have been training Simba for obedience for over 8 months now and I just don't think it is for us. After a disastrous show today I am wondering whether we should continue or not He does so well at home and so well at class but once we get to shows it is all gone out the window. He pulls on the lead during heal work to try and get to other dogs he see's in the distance. He leaves the ring during recall every time. He won't stay for even 1 second on sit or down stays. After the first show I decided we just weren't ready and we waited 4 months before entering another but they have all got progressively worse as we go on. Then I thought maybe if we enter a lot of shows he will get more experience which might help. I practice stays and waits anywhere I can so he can do the in any situation but I just don't think I should bother anymore. I even had to ask a lady if she would mind moving away from the ring at a show before we entered because Simba was crying and tugging towards her dog as he wanted to hump her.

The thing that frustrates me the most is that he does so well at class, at home and anywhere else I decide to work with him but once we get to shows he is like a different dog. And because he improves week after week at class I am thinking maybe he is just not happy at show and maybe that is his way of telling me he has had enough. I get frustrated and I don't want to be frustrated or angry at him when I know it isn't his fault but it is hard not to after all of the time and money I have out into it.

Maybe we should just stick to long walks and hikes and agility for fun. He is getting neutered on Monday so I can use the week while he is recovering to think about it!
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-09-2015, 10:53 AM
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It could also be that you are stressed and he senses it. It could also be that you need to get some friends together and do some practice in different settings. When you do it at home or in class it is all controlled settings. So when you go to the show it is something different and because 4 months apart isn't real regular he doesn't become accustomed to it. But in the end the main thing is it should be fun. and if it isn't fun for you then it isn't going to be fun for him. There are so many things out there to do with your dog. Keep it fun.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-09-2015, 01:15 PM
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I think they know they can get away with murder in the ring as you cannot correct or work with them like you should.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-09-2015, 01:20 PM
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Competition is not for anyone if you are not enjoying it. You can still do what you are doing with or without formal competition. No reason to compete if you don't enjoy it. If you do enjoy it, then the results and placement does not really matter. Because at the end of the day, you are having fun, and engaging in something social. People want to inherently get results in what it is they do. Sure you could change it up to maybe something more suited to your dog to get results. But at the end of the day, a lot of it is meaningless. How well is good enough? And what is really a fail? I dont think there is such thing. Just enjoy it. Maybe see it as a challenge. But no reason to question your effort. You work towards something. The fun is in the journey, not the destination.

Last edited by WesS; 05-09-2015 at 01:24 PM.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-09-2015, 02:05 PM
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Competition is not for anyone if you are not enjoying it. You can still do what you are doing with or without formal competition. No reason to compete if you don't enjoy it. If you do enjoy it, then the results and placement does not really matter. Because at the end of the day, you are having fun, and engaging in something social. People want to inherently get results in what it is they do. Sure you could change it up to maybe something more suited to your dog to get results. But at the end of the day, a lot of it is meaningless. How well is good enough? And what is really a fail? I dont think there is such thing. Just enjoy it. Maybe see it as a challenge. But no reason to question your effort. You work towards something. The fun is in the journey, not the destination.
This.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-10-2015, 01:40 AM
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ONE, just one, disasterous show & you're hanging it up???? Eh, get a grip! I think I experienced every way possible (with the exception of being excused type of behavior) to blow Novice A. It took us a couple of years to finally get our CD and I have some very funny stories from that. If the dog's good at home, if the dog's good at training and the only screw up venue is the trial -- it's the handler not the dog. (I know that story sooo very well.)
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-10-2015, 02:01 AM
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How often have you been able to proof him in a ring environment? Is there a club near you that has "fun matches" where you can practice with realistic distractions?

There are entire classes for handlers on how to handle performance and the mental game of competition. Don't beat yourself up for not being great at everything right off the bat.

I like to over-train for shows. That way the real thing seems easier. For down stays, I had a trainer help me and we proofed her with the trainer's dog running right in front of her, stepping on her tail, doing all sorts of crazy stuff. Probably overkill but it was an issue we really needed to work on.


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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-10-2015, 08:33 AM
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How often have you been able to proof him in a ring environment? Is there a club near you that has "fun matches" where you can practice with realistic distractions?

There are entire classes for handlers on how to handle performance and the mental game of competition. Don't beat yourself up for not being great at everything right off the bat.

I like to over-train for shows. That way the real thing seems easier. For down stays, I had a trainer help me and we proofed her with the trainer's dog running right in front of her, stepping on her tail, doing all sorts of crazy stuff. Probably overkill but it was an issue we really needed to work on.
I agree with this--you must work him in different environments, and work with distractions.

Susan
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-10-2015, 08:44 AM
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Wait...Stop....I've been where you are. The issue was not the venue. It was not the dog. It was my relationship with the dog. I would start playing games with him, in public, that engaged him and put the focus back on me. It' more than just proofing an exercise. You need to have the dog's head with you before he can be in the game.




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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-10-2015, 09:35 AM
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The other thing is that dogs (and humans) don't generalize well. Obedience at home is a different thing than obedience in competition until you TRAIN him to understand that they are the same thing. Hence the idea of proofing. This is just a variation on when you see someone that you kind of know in a brand new environment sometimes it is hard to remember who they are. Same thing. Go to the next match just to observe and train rather than compete. BUT you have to have fun. If your pup picks up your emotions he may just shut down.

Good luck.

Karin
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Rescue GSD - Freyja (Husband's Dog)
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