German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
27,461 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I frequently say that about 1/2 of 'agility' isn't anything about aglity at all. But is all about the great work we did (or didn't know to do) in our dog's socialization. AGILITY TRIALS ARE NUTS! And I don't know any other dog trial venue that is the same, for the entire day. Tons of dogs, tons of people, shops right beside the ring having the wind blowing the smells of treats/bones/bully sticks right into the ring...... So to ask many of our dogs to focus and 'play' agility with us when they may be VERY uncomfortable in the environment is really asking alot (and why many of us have alot of issues in the ring).

So at the trial this weekend I actually remembered to bring my camera to show some of what I mean.

This photo shows just part of one row of our crating/tent area. We are all trying to stay in the shade of the trees. There is a road right behind us (nice for loading/unloading) so cars are driving by constantly, and parking and loading/unloading. The agility rings are off to the right on the other side of the tents.


This photos shows the normal coming and going around the trial site. These tents are the vendor tents with all the yummy treats/smells and toys. So this is a normal moment of people/dogs walking around (how many dogs can you count in the photo?). Note the orange fencing on the left side.


This is showing the same line of vendor tents along both show rings. So you can see how all of us walking around are right next to the dog running in the ring. And there IS a dog in the ring!


Next 2 photos are a normal shot of us waiting our turn to go in the ring. When it's sunny we tend to huddle with our dogs in the shade tent to help keep them as cool as we can. Even with a short leash ( I NEVER use even a regular 6' leash, only a 4') the dogs are right with each other. Can you see the Bearded Collie sniffing the BC's behind in the one shot. THIS is normal (we try to minimize it, but it's going to happen).



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
629 Posts
Re: Agility Socialization IS a must! (photos)

I know what you mean. It's madness really. Just out of interest are the rings always fenced off in the States? In the UK there is just a rope around the ring to let people know where it is but people (my pet hate) often sit right at ringside with their dogs actually IN the ring!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,224 Posts
Re: Agility Socialization IS a must! (photos)

It is madness, it is crowded, it is distracting, and it is pure chaos - Yet you hardly see any dogs act out (at least I don't). Your dog has to be SO obedient and SO focused on you it's not even funny!!

Tasha - in general - is not very good with people or dogs, she's one of them that just needs her space. But when we go to a trial or some other get-together, she's very well behaved. I'm not sure why but she's very quiet and can get close to other dogs within reason. I think it's just the relaxed energy of the people and dogs around her.

Although I've seen one incident when a Terv got off the leash and went off to run amuck.
Eventually wandered into the ring waiting line and took a chunk out of one of the regulars - a beautiful Blue Merle Border Collie I've seen competing with us quite often.
He was ok, just a little shaken but went on to compete (didn't too too well though, lol, but that's normal for him).

I agree completely, it really really pays off to have a stable adjusted dog in agility competitions. Although I know many people that take their dogs that 'need a little space'. Like the Terv.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
27,461 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Re: Agility Socialization IS a must! (photos)

Jayne, the rings are always fenced in at the trials I've been to, so I'm thinking it's a rule. But since this is typical at only about 2' (3'?)high, it's not a real deterent for anything but the smaller dogs. And since the exit and entrance are just open holes in the fencing, even the little dogs can get out if they want to!

And the big ones, after jumping out to visit the vendor tents, can jump right back in!



No new pictures of my Bretta Lee, here's some from a bit ago though:





 

·
Registered
Joined
·
299 Posts
Re: Agility Socialization IS a must! (photos)

Great photos to show just how "socialized" your dog becomes to all this chaos
That is why it is important to get them out and about as often/early as you can. When they grow up in this type of environment, they are totally comfortable in it. The last trial I was at (indoors), there was an expen with three dogs in it that WOULD NOT settle the entire trial. They were up and whining and pacing and barking the whole time. Two ex-pens over, my dogs were in dreamland (amazed me they could sleep through all that noise). And I realized how stressful it is to dogs unaccustomed to the trial environment. Being in that state of stress all day cannot be healthy for them! I guess some people just don't realize it. The only negative I see to all this chaos, is that my dogs are sometimes LESS focused on me in an obedience setting where you can hear a pin drop and barking dogs are looked at with horror
I guess they feel there just isn't enough action going on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,079 Posts
Re: Agility Socialization IS a must! (photos)

It's very common in my area for tape to be used to designate the ring rather than fencing. This is an AKC trial and you can see the orange tape:



This one's a little more elaborate, again AKC:



And sometimes it's as primitive as police caution tape, another AKC:



The NADAC trials by me always use tape instead of fencing, and they only run it along 3 sides so it's very easy to walk onto the course if you're not paying attention. Not that I've done that or anything.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
27,461 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Re: Agility Socialization IS a must! (photos)

Ack, I guess I was wrong about fencing being a rule (
Hate it when that happens
). Those were some GREAT photos that showed the alternatives that can be used though.

Too funny how when we think we are taking photos of one thing (our dogs jumping) the shot can show alot more (fencing at a trial, for instance!).
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
27,461 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Re: Agility Socialization IS a must! (photos)

Quote: Not all dogs care to have their space invaded by a strange dog and it doesn't have much to do with socializing. Having a couple dogs who don't care for it myself, it tends to be a pet peeve of mine when people just assume everyone's dog will be friendly.
You are 100% right and that was my point................

The fact is, at an agility trial, things like this will happen no matter how vigilant we are. My goal in the socialization isn't that my dogs are going to love 'rude' behavior like this. Instead my goal is for my dogs to put up with it when it does occur. Cause the fact is I can only prepare and control MY dogs, not everyone else's. And by choosing to expose my dogs to an agility trial environment, I take the good with the bad and have dogs that do well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
683 Posts
Re: Agility Socialization IS a must! (photos)

Good post! I went to my second agility trial this weekend and it was at a brand new indoor sports facility. The scent of rubber was nauseating for the people so I'm sure the dogs didn't know what to think. The rings were surrounded by glass(?) and they put caution tape xxxs across it so nobody would walk into it. The footing was shiny plastic grass with black rubber bits mixed in as dirt. That was a new experience for us. In the middle of the trial, a horrible thunderstorm came through the area and the thunder shook the whole building and rain pounded on the roof. Then there was all the normal commotion of an agility trial, people coming and going, dogs everywhere, stewards calling out. You can do your best to prepare, but something will always catch you offguard.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
27,461 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Re: Agility Socialization IS a must! (photos)

http://www.avsabonline.org/avsabonline/images/stories/Position_Statements/puppy%20socialization.pdf

2008 Position Paper from the American Vet Society of Animal Behavior

Quote:The primary and most important time for puppy socialization is the first three months of life. During this time puppies should be exposed to as many new people, animals, stimuli and environments as can be achieved safely and without causing overstimulation manifested as excessive fear, withdrawal or avoidance behavior. For this reason, the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior believes that it should be the standard of care for puppies to receive such socialization before they are fully vaccinated.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
27,461 Posts
Discussion Starter #11

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,495 Posts
Originally Posted By: MaggieRoseLeeI frequently say that about 1/2 of 'agility' isn't anything about aglity at all. But is all about the great work we did (or didn't know to do) in our dog's socialization. AGILITY TRIALS ARE NUTS! And I don't know any other dog trial venue that is the same, for the entire day. Tons of dogs, tons of people, shops right beside the ring having the wind blowing the smells of treats/bones/bully sticks right into the ring......
The first time I did agility with my dog in a show was at a county or state fair. It was crazy. My Golden's first run, in the middle of it she saw the people pressed against the ring fencing and decided it was her job to go around and greet them all (didn't help that she smelled one of our family members were out there.)

I've found two things which are even crazier than an agility trial... One is the pet show in my area every year. It is 2 floors of ALL types of pets including shows for dogs, cats, birds, etc... They have human food vendors and pet food/treat vendors as well as vendors for everything else you can possibly think of, breed rescue groups, breed club booths, training club booths, small animal booths (rats, ferrets, rabbits), miniature horses, etc... In the midst of this they have different performance events like agility, freestyle, dock dogs, weight pulling, and sometimes breed specialty shows. One year my Golden met a miniature donkey while walking around the show (she fell in love with that donkey!) When I went to the household cat show last year, someone walked their GSD right across the show, directly in front of the judging table while a cat was out. Luckily the cat on the table was my cat Church who totally ignores dogs.

The other thing I've found which was crazier than an agility trial is a walkathon for one of the big humane societies. They also have vendors, dog contests, sometimes "fun agility", sometimes frisbee or agility demos, food vendors, and of course thousands of dogs and people all walking together. I used to do an agility demo at one walkathon in Michigan but it wasn't as huge as the ones we have here.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,708 Posts
Great post & something I'm up against right now. I want to enter my boy Storm in the NADAC (indoor) trial in June here in town & part of me says, do it & another says, not sure. He is dog reactive at times. Only seems when they run right at him, get in his face or bubble. Trainer says, he will focus & be fine once your on the course. He does fine in class with some real crazy dogs that have gotten in his face lately.

I entered him in a rally trial coming up next weekend & will see how that goes I guess.

Most of the time people keep in crates/x-pens till their runs & have seen some dogs that seem like they don't know any obed. .

Neat pics..................
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
27,461 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Glory B-socialization at the agility trial (video)

Ok, finally got this put together from LAST weekend's indoor agility trial. She was such a good girl!

Click here for more Glory B !
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,155 Posts
Re: Glory B-socialization at the agility trial (video)

OMG...you're one of THOSE people...with a pup who is too young to be at a trial AND on a flexi lead!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
Re: Glory B-socialization at the agility trial (video)

Jenn, I can't believe you are friends with Toby and her Berners! I just got back from doing vet work in NM with her a couple weeks ago. I thought that was our TBAC trial a couple weeks ago at first.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
27,461 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Re: Glory B-socialization at the agility trial (video)

Originally Posted By: sleachyOMG...you're one of THOSE people...with a pup who is too young to be at a trial AND on a flexi lead!!!
Yup, that's ME!!!
And the flexi was for that trial only, she's now on only a 4' or shorter at trials. I NEVER use a flexi on my adult dogs but for the puppies and sometimes getting all tangled the flexi is sometimes better.

And I'd never wait until they are older to socialize them in a trial environment. Between the crating experience, tents/sunshades, indoor vs. outdoor, all the people/sights/sounds, that only come up at at trial.................. I want to start when my pups are happy and enthusiastic and still going with the flow!

And Glory definitely is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,271 Posts
Re: Glory B-socialization Hiking at 14.5 weeks

Originally Posted By: MaggieRoseLee
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dc3pNhDOuwU

Just from today!
This is fabulous. HILARIOUS that Bretta kept getting the stick and then putting it down in front of anyone so they would throw it! Love it, so funny Kelso does the same thing with a ball it is uncanny!

What good dogs, they are beautiful and very well behaved
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
27,461 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Anyone with updates for this sticky?
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Top