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Oy vey!

We haven't done an agility class since May, so we were a bit rusty (I practice on "natural" items but haven't built any equipment). From the second we stepped into the ring last night I knew the night was going to be trouble! Elsa immediately is whining, jumping, clawing in the air...trying to drag me to everything. I certainly don't want to damper her enthusiam, but I was like "OMG, I'm handling a monster!" I actually had rug burn all over my hands from last night!

6 people in the class. For some reason this collie rubbed Elsa the wrong way and she was getting revved up by the dog. Then there was this annoying little Jack Russel. It was actually tugging the owner's pants leg! Elsa definitely was feeling like she needed to bring out some regulation with that one.

The woman with the JRT was irking the heck out of me. For some bizarre reason she has trained him to stop on contact equipment when he gets to the yellow instead of at the bottom. I have never heard of this. Has anyone else? The woman kept saying "well that's how I CHOSE to train him" and the instructor kept saying that it wasn't finishing the exercise and he needed to stop with his front feet off, but the woman wasn't listening at all. So we get to the teeter. Of course, the dog gets to the yellow and stops...and the teeter does nothing since he weighs so little! I was giggling inside. He's just balancing in the air in the middle of the thing half turned around waiting for his owner...the instructor was like "and THIS is why I was telling you to finish all the way!" Some people.

Oh, then there is my little brat. She was just sooo spastic and excited to be back doing agility it was like her life depending on doing everything with as much exuberance as possible. We were doing the teeter with the table under it. She was flying over the teeter and downing so fast on the table that she was actually flying off of it. She kept catching herself so her back legs were still up there and front were on the floor looking at me like "OK, so I'm half on. This counts, right?! I mean, I DID stay"


Needless to say we spent most of the class tonint things down about by about a million. I was really great to be back at it, and obviously Elsa was thrilled too. Hopefully she got the heeby jeebies out of her system and will be a little more collected next week...and ignore the other dogs!

The woman with the JRT almost moved to the class after ours...I was hoping and a praying, but she decided not to. And I love the instructor. her first agility dogs were GSD's and she does it with a Mal now. She's a funny, sarcastic French Canadian woman. She kept going "and now it's Big Bad Elsa's turn!"
 

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Sounds like Elsa is going to be good!

Do you practice 2o2o at home? I found what helped my dog the best was teaching her to back up onto things using perch work. First I'd c/t for her 2o2o on the perch. Then I started c/t when she would back up to it, then for lifting her foot, then one foot on, then both. She'll back up onto all sorts of stuff now, it's not only helpful, it's kinda funny!

Some people do train their dogs to stop in the yellow instead of 2o2o. Many people feel it is less stressful on their joints. I've had two dogs trained this way but I'm not entirely happy with it. Especially my male dog with who the behavior has turned into him sliding down the aframe slat by slat waiting for me to release him to go. So this time around I opted to train 2o2o. I train the teeter differently from the other contact equipment and generally don't encourage a stopped contact on it. With very tiny dogs, you pretty much have to teach them to run up to the end and wait while the board falls. Very cute to see with a little 4lb Papillon :)
 

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We do practice at home. Mostly on the stairs. That's a good idea for the "back up" on the perch. I think I might need a more stable perch first, though. I just phone phone books taped together and they are quite wobbly and have seen better days.

Maybe if I saw the "stop on yellow" done correctly I'd think differently. This woman definitely (at least I can't imagine it's done correctly) hasn't done it right. The dog will stop and pretty much turn almost the entire way around on it to wait for it's owner, then turn back around when she "catches up." I guess lucky it's such a small dog that can pivot around on it while it's quite literally "teetering" in the air!

Seeing him do all the stuff was cute...I think it's mostly the owner. She was letting him jump and climb on pretty much everything and only half do all the equipment durnig down time. Just seems like a good way to get into some bad habits. This is the first time I've had a small dog in class with me. Usually it's just a bunch of Aussies and Collies. This class has quite the variety. Elsa and a German Wirehair are the two heffers in the class. Then a Collie. Then a sheltie and some smaller dog that I have no idea what it is (probably about 20 pounds?) then the JRT.
 

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Where are you taking classes?
Just wondering, we are in same area.
Eagle needs to go back to class soon too :)
He finished his first in May and we took a break and play on home equipement a lot.
Elsa and him sound so much alike- he just gets so raging to go he loves it but gets a little too happy for it :)
 

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This will work out as you keep going to class, agility is exciting and we want that.

I never remember (so sorry if I've mentioned this before :) ) but this is ANOTHER case for your pup that the clicker is just so vital. Because it should force us to be quiet and the dog instead gets all the information from paying attention, focusing and LISTENING for the click/reward. So much clearer and precise which is ideal for agility.

And we should click/treat TONS TONS TONS when we are starting out and learning everything. This helps so much focusing the attention back on us (me me me me) cause I have the clicker, I have the treats, and I'm clicking and treating like a madwoman so my pup start to better be able to tune out the exterior stuff that will be giving them way less reason TO focus on.

Real treats. A hungry pup. TONS of clicking/treating/positive clear feedback. I click cause they look at me, click cause they come near, click cause they go over the jump, click cause they get on the teeter, tip the teeter, go to the 2on/2off (ultimately ONLY the 2on/2off but TONS of click/treats as long as they are 'in the position).

GOOD luck, class will calm down.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Where are you taking classes?
Just wondering, we are in same area.
Eagle needs to go back to class soon too :)
He finished his first in May and we took a break and play on home equipement a lot.
Elsa and him sound so much alike- he just gets so raging to go he loves it but gets a little too happy for it :)
I'm out in Syracuse, so we probably are not at the same club. We take classes at the Sryacuse Obedience Training Club..
 
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