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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-19-2013, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Frustrating training day..

Ever have just such a bad training day, where NOTHING goes right... that you start to actually think that giving up isn't that bad after all? Especially when it seems that you have *everything* working against you....? This is just gonna be a long rant, but I just need to let it out, step back, and evaluate everything, the positives, and the negatives, and just re-evaluate. *sigh*

So lemme sum up today: We go out into the field today to do obedience, and it sucks, because im a novice handler, and there is so much thinking that goes into it schH on my part......anyways. Berlin was just was so BLAH. No ball drive, no food drive, nothing, which is *so* frustrating bc he has it at HOME, a ton of it...just not in more distracting places... But I just felt like I made a fool outta myself. Like people already have this crappy working stigma attached to showlines, and here I am, proving them RIGHT. Ugh...and if his ball drive needs to be intensified, I just need to learn HOW. It sucks bc everyone else is way more advanced than us, so I dont get much help with the obedience...... I dont know how to engage with my dog and get his attention and make him wanna work for me, I guess. I feel like wtf have i been doing for 10 months? Nothing? And then...after that embarrassment...I bring him out to do bite work, and hes acting FEARFUL on the field. WTF?! Like he is always *so* confident, ive never seen him like...really hesitate. But he did. He was very unsure today..... I dunno why...So then, when he bites the tug, you let them 'carry', okay so I would, and weve had no problems before...but today, as soon as he'd get the tug, he'd try to BOOK IT off the field. So, he was practically pulling me, IDK what was up with him. I really dont. And then lets not forget im TERRIBLE at being a solid 'post' while holding my dog when hes doing bite work. How the heck am i supposed to fix that? Work out a bunch?

And then the other thing, he just NEVER wants to back into the car afterward. And then will howl, bark, whine foreverrrrrr.....Today I had to leave early bc after bite work he REFUSED to get in his crate. So i had to fold it up and put him in the car loose, and leave.

Bad days suck, and I hope he was just 'off' today. Maybe it was the heat...maybe he isnt feeling well...I dunno.

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-19-2013, 06:14 PM
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I know nothing about IPO but hopefully he has a better day tomorrow sorry you had a bad day we all have those blah days maybe he woke up on the wrong side of the bed.


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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-19-2013, 06:17 PM
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Maybe step back from the sport and concentrate on obedience first? Before my dog ever even tried out for the sport, she went through 4 obedience classes. I wouldn't even throw the new dog out there for at least a year. They also told me that even though she had it when she was evaluated, that could change in a month, a year, etc. Some dogs have it and some don't, some owners have it and some don't. It doesn't make sense for you to put everything into it if the dog is not enjoying himself. Today it was hot and just icky out, maybe that is part of it, but maybe he just isn't interested in the sport? Maybe he was just having a bad day, but it will be up to you to decide if its for him or not. You have a beautiful dog and if this sport is not for him, you will find one that is. The most important thing is that both of you enjoy it and have fun.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-19-2013, 06:18 PM
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Berlin Might have sensed you wasn't happy with him. Jonas gets that way If He senses I am frustrated with him. Keep at it, it will get better.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-19-2013, 06:44 PM
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I'm sorry you had a bad day. Too bad your club or group isn't more supportive in offering some help in obedience. If you are feeling intimidated(or judged) then I'm sure your emotions are going down the leash.
I've spun my wheels so much that I lost a couple years with my dog!
I think if the obedience session wasn't good, it carried over to the protection.
Recently, I started 2x's a week with 'pay to play" trainer, and he wants me to bring my dog in tugging and in drive for every ob session, and not be so trial formal! It's working. I do what he suggests when I go to my club, and there has been progress in 10 sessions.
Maybe getting with one of your clubs trainers for one on one or more sessions may help during this hump?
Berlin is still young, so don't get discouraged and try to enjoy the ride
If it was as hot in your area as it was here, I don't blame him for pitching a fit about crating....these drastic cold to HOT temps aren't good for the dogs wearing those fur suits. Do you run a crate fan?

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Last edited by onyx'girl; 05-19-2013 at 06:46 PM.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-19-2013, 06:45 PM
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Ugh, I hear ya. In fact this couldn't be a more perfect thread for me to read today. Had IPO training this morning, we are currently working "foos." Man oh man, Nox has a habit of dropping his head right when I move forward. So I am having to break it down into every millisecond. I had to give him the body language of moving forward (leaning forward while giving the command) and correct immediately, then release for the toy after I got focus. Sounds so freaking easy right?! But when you are in it, it's really hard to bring together everything, leash handling, eye contact, correction, position, body language, timing...sigh...I was so frustrated and felt like such a fool doing it over and over, with ME messing up everything more than the dog.

Luckily I have an amazing TD, for as hard as she is, she gives great direction and really helped me work through it. By the end I was able to go from stationary focus to movement and no head dropping. But it felt like FOREVER, longer than it should have anyways. So, I feel ya.

Sometimes if Nox isn't worked up for the toy it's because of some pressure. Obedience puts pressure on the dog, and some dogs can't leap out of the pressure into the toy drive right away. And there are different ways of "play" that my dog likes better, he loves to chase, so sometimes I'll throw the ball-on-string or tug and let him chase it, push it back into me, then we play tug a bit. He also loves when I swing it around in the air (tease him a bit) and then give him a grip.

As for the kennel, Nox also used to bark like mad when I put him in the crate at training. My TD told me to drag his kennel at home into the family area. And throughout the day, when I was around the house, kennel him. So he could see me. If he whined or barked I'd walk over, say, "knock it off" firmly, and sometimes jiggle the kennel door to get his attention. The idea was to put pressure on him that was worse than the pressure of the kennel. So he barked, got told to "knock it off" didn't like that, realized, "oh, if I bark, the pressure I receive is worse than being in the kennel." Two days of doing that, no more barking at training.

I know some may disagree with how I dealt with the kennel. It worked for my dog. He liked his kennel, would go into it and lay down throughout the day and slept in it fine at night without any whining or barking whatsoever! The only reason he was doing it at the training was because he didn't WANT to be in the kennel. Same with being in the kennel at home while I was out and about walking around. He was also stress yawning and panting, which isn't good for a dog. Now it isn't an issue at all. hth, and hope the next day goes better! ;-)
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-19-2013, 07:13 PM
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I would call it an off day and move forward from there. With my male, I know that if he has a rough time in one phase and I kind of linger onto those feelings of frustration, that it carries into the other two phases directly. For instance, I have a trial coming up next weekend. We will be going for our IPO2 the third time, having failed twice last season. I am obviously incredibly nervous, and our tracking yesterday was god awful because of it. I know for a fact that my dog can track, and that he is in fact very very good at tracking, but because he could feel my stress, his tracking was directly effected.

Knowing that he is so in-tune to my emotions, I made sure not to linger onto feeling totally freaked out that my dog bombed a track a week before trialing. So when we went out for obedience, instead of doing formal work, we just played tug with a few other quick things thrown in. We ended it on a good note and called it a good session. Brought him out for protection (usually his weakest phase) and he nailed it. I could put money on the fact that he only did so well because I didn't get visibly upset about his tracking and I didn't try and work the **** out of him in obedience.

The one thing that I've learned being in a sport like IPO and having a dog who really wasn't "cut out" for it, is that I can not compare myself and my dog to anyone else out there. Like you, my club is dominated by working line dogs, and Aiden is half show. He doesn't show nearly as much drive or power as the working lines, but we have worked very long and hard to get where we are and I am not embarrassed in the slightest to say that while we have failed publicly twice, at least we are trying. And that's more than a lot of the sideline critics can say in this sport.

Try not to worry about what you look like to other people, because really it just doesn't matter. Just go out there and do what is fun for your dog. I also have trouble getting Aiden engaged into play with me on the field, and I know how frustrating it is. Maybe playing monkey in the middle with his tug or ball and another club member would get him really excited about playing with you? I know Aiden likes it a lot and it helps to get his head in the game of being engaged in play when I know he is feeling out of it. Go out and play with him and teach him that the field is an awesome place to play and have a good time. Don't worry about the rest of the obedience yet or looking "good" in front of anyone else. Maybe in protection you could have someone else run the line for you? Never hurts to ask (unless you already have). Either way, I'd approach my TD and ask about different engagement exercises in obedience and some physical help in the protection. Don't forget that he's still young and this is all new to him and you're trying to teach him so much all at one time. With learning new things in tracking and obedience and protection, there are going to be some days where he is just plain tired or overwhelmed or not feeling so hot. Ya win some and ya lose some but you can't give up on him already, so hang just in there.

FYI, my dog literally tried to refuse the track yesterday, after weeks and weeks and weeks up tracking almost daily in preparation. He got to the scent pad and laid down, and he has never once done that a day in his life. We ended up finishing the track, but I was thoroughly freaked out and told my TD that I was pulling from the trial. She told me no, lol. She said that we had a crappy morning and that it's not enough to cause drama over. So we went back out there again this morning and guess who tracked his little booty off...

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-19-2013, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the advice/tips etc.

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Originally Posted by onyx'girl View Post
I'm sorry you had a bad day. Too bad your club or group isn't more supportive in offering some help in obedience. If you are feeling intimidated(or judged) then I'm sure your emotions are going down the leash.
I've spun my wheels so much that I lost a couple years with my dog!
I think if the obedience session wasn't good, it carried over to the protection.
Recently, I started 2x's a week with 'pay to play" trainer, and he wants me to bring my dog in tugging and in drive for every ob session, and not be so trial formal! It's working. I do what he suggests when I go to my club, and there has been progress in 10 sessions.
Maybe getting with one of your clubs trainers for one on one or more sessions may help during this hump?
Berlin is still young, so don't get discouraged and try to enjoy the ride
If it was as hot in your area as it was here, I don't blame him for pitching a fit about crating....these drastic cold to HOT temps aren't good for the dogs wearing those fur suits. Do you run a crate fan?
Well, they just are all getting ready to trial in the up coming months, and are focusing on their own dogs, which I dont blame em...the person who usually helps me and guides me along was out of town this week. So, i'm hoping next week will go better when I have some help. What do you do for this pay to play thing? Like obedience, and the reward is tugging etc? Cause thats what I usually do...and I make it fun for him, but today he just was not interested. Thanks for the advice, I have to remind myself he's still a puppy, even though he doesnt look like one anymore..And yeah, it was HOT today, 86..and just not too long ago it was way cooler! I was sweating, so i'm sure he was uncomfortable. I do not run a crate fan...I have been looking into one to buy, and found one on all-k9 i believe? Just concerned with him eating it/destroying it if he gets bored. Does it go outside or inside the crate?

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Originally Posted by llombardo View Post
Maybe step back from the sport and concentrate on obedience first? Before my dog ever even tried out for the sport, she went through 4 obedience classes. I wouldn't even throw the new dog out there for at least a year. They also told me that even though she had it when she was evaluated, that could change in a month, a year, etc. Some dogs have it and some don't, some owners have it and some don't. It doesn't make sense for you to put everything into it if the dog is not enjoying himself. Today it was hot and just icky out, maybe that is part of it, but maybe he just isn't interested in the sport? Maybe he was just having a bad day, but it will be up to you to decide if its for him or not. You have a beautiful dog and if this sport is not for him, you will find one that is. The most important thing is that both of you enjoy it and have fun.
See thats the thing, his obedience is stellar usually. I have been working on it for 7-8 months now...and he's been in a few classes already. He just gets bored easily, especially when there are other exciting things going on (other dogs, new people, new smells, females in heat, strange males etc etc etc...). Berlin enjoys it, today maybe not, but for the past two months he has. For me, him having fun and enjoying it the most important thing. If he wasn't, I'd stop in a heartbeat. The first few times I took him I paid close attention to how HE enjoyed it...and if he even did. He was doing great, loving it, was so proud of himself...so I dont think thats the problem. I think IM the problem. There is just SO much more that goes into this sport than I thought, and when you are out there, you have to think in the moment, and theres so much going on, and its just hard when your a total newbie at it. But, I am taking the time to read books, read online etc, as much as I can so I can get better, because maybe my un-sureness out there is affecting him? I dunno, but we'll see how next week goes, and see if it was just an off day for him or not...

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Originally Posted by DaniFani View Post
Ugh, I hear ya. In fact this couldn't be a more perfect thread for me to read today. Had IPO training this morning, we are currently working "foos." Man oh man, Nox has a habit of dropping his head right when I move forward. So I am having to break it down into every millisecond. I had to give him the body language of moving forward (leaning forward while giving the command) and correct immediately, then release for the toy after I got focus. Sounds so freaking easy right?! But when you are in it, it's really hard to bring together everything, leash handling, eye contact, correction, position, body language, timing...sigh...I was so frustrated and felt like such a fool doing it over and over, with ME messing up everything more than the dog.


I know some may disagree with how I dealt with the kennel. It worked for my dog. He liked his kennel, would go into it and lay down throughout the day and slept in it fine at night without any whining or barking whatsoever! The only reason he was doing it at the training was because he didn't WANT to be in the kennel. Same with being in the kennel at home while I was out and about walking around. He was also stress yawning and panting, which isn't good for a dog. Now it isn't an issue at all. hth, and hope the next day goes better! ;-)
The bolded part, could not agree with you more. Thats where I am struggling, with me. LOL. And I just need to figure out what my dogs likes, what makes him work...which doesnt happen over night. And for the kennel, I never realized until now...but his crate at home, he is ONLY in it when no one is home, or when he goes in there on his own to sleep at night. I never crate him when I am home....so he's never in there and sees me walking around walking away etc. That may work...I'll have to try that out. Thanks for the tips! Glad to hear that your training day got better

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-19-2013, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the encouraging response, Alexis! I think that he could sense my emotions (its nerve wracking being out there in front of people who are very good at this, and me being so new at it) and paired with the extreme weather, I think it just was an off day. I know I was visibly upset over the obedience problem, so it makes sense why he was acting so funny during the protection work. I didnt even wanna go out there and do protection today, thats how crappy I was feeling...

Quote:
The one thing that I've learned being in a sport like IPO and having a dog who really wasn't "cut out" for it, is that I can not compare myself and my dog to anyone else out there. Like you, my club is dominated by working line dogs, and Aiden is half show. He doesn't show nearly as much drive or power as the working lines, but we have worked very long and hard to get where we are and I am not embarrassed in the slightest to say that while we have failed publicly twice, at least we are trying. And that's more than a lot of the sideline critics can say in this sport.
And I couldnt agree with this more. I know he is his own dog, and its very unfair to compare him and I to anyone else. Sometimes, its so hard not to though. And today, I did. Its just hard because I have to work harder and find ways bring out that drive in him, and figure out what works for him, and what makes him want to work for me. I know that drive is there, I just need to figue out how to channel it into obedience. We are so new in this though, I am not giving him a chance and I cant throw in the towel yet without atleast trying to figure him out. The monkey in the middle game sounds fun, and it sounds like he might enjoy that, so I will ask someone to help me do it with him next week. And as for the protection, the past few weeks someone else has been holding the line for me, and then i'd grab it once he got the tug and run with him so he could carry. But it was affecting him because he wouldnt hold the tug for long. Today, since I was holding it myself, and for the most part, holding him back (he pulled me a tiny bit), he was carrying the tug alot better, and not letting it out right away. I just need to figure out the best way for me to hold the leash, and figure out positioning and what not. Its just so hard to do that when theres so much going on!

Quote:
Don't forget that he's still young and this is all new to him and you're trying to teach him so much all at one time. With learning new things in tracking and obedience and protection, there are going to be some days where he is just plain tired or overwhelmed or not feeling so hot. Ya win some and ya lose some but you can't give up on him already, so hang just in there.
Yeah, I keep forgetting how much he is learning, and how new this is to both of us. Thanks for the awesome advice, and we'll stick it out Also, its nice to know that there are other dogs out there who just dont wanna do it some days. Its hard because at my club, I only see working lines out there, so I only have that to learn from. And then, I sometimes think I expect too much out of him. I think we'll get there, we just may take longer, or may have to go about a different way of doing things..but we'll do it.

BTW, good luck with Aiden at your trial! Its awesome to see how far he's come and its really encouraging to see you and him not give up, despite what you and him have been through.

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-19-2013, 07:52 PM
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Thanks for all the advice/tips etc.



Well, they just are all getting ready to trial in the up coming months, and are focusing on their own dogs, which I dont blame em...the person who usually helps me and guides me along was out of town this week. So, i'm hoping next week will go better when I have some help. What do you do for this pay to play thing? Like obedience, and the reward is tugging etc? Cause thats what I usually do...and I make it fun for him, but today he just was not interested. Thanks for the advice, I have to remind myself he's still a puppy, even though he doesnt look like one anymore..And yeah, it was HOT today, 86..and just not too long ago it was way cooler! I was sweating, so i'm sure he was uncomfortable. I do not run a crate fan...I have been looking into one to buy, and found one on all-k9 i believe? Just concerned with him eating it/destroying it if he gets bored. Does it go outside or inside the crate?
For my 'pay to play', I pay for 12 sessions, can go whenever I want(scheduled with the trainer) and he does groups of 6 dogs max.
He wants the dogs in drive, thru tugging, force out if needed, and straight into heeling with focus.
If the dog drops the head or eyes, you quickly run to the right backwards(you have a loop in the line so when the end hits, it is a pop on the collar) so the dog will self correct back to the 'safe' zone, heel position. It doesn't take long for the dog to keep that focus! And reward often. If you are correcting the dog while in heel position it causes conflict.
This doesn't work for all dogs of course, but the ones that need drive building in heeling...it is worth trying.

Battery operated crate fans are fairly cheap at Walmart. The batteries(8 D) cost more than the fan, but I've only had to replace batteries 2x's in one season. There is a hook on the fan and you put it outside the crate. It keeps the bugs from swarming the dogs too, epecially if they are wet!

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