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What I am asking, if your dog loves the game soooo much & amps watching other dogs run at class or at shows, how do you handle?

Going through this right now with my 2 yr old & seems she is losing her brain esp in class when all on course & split in groups to do runs. Her focus normally is great but crazy dog running, her watching or hearing, is getting her too excited.


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Personally, I like my dog to watch and get all revved up. In USDAA there's a relay course that one dog runs the first half and the other runs the second half (but they are in the ring waiting). I love running the second half because Mikko is so ready to go!

But, if it's causing a problem, then get some treats and work on things that you can do on lease while waiting. We do these things in our warm up- turning right and left, touching, get out, side, front, etc. You can keep his attention while working on skills you'll use in your run.
 

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I'm of the mindset that my dog does NOT have to be going crazy while waiting our turn to run in order to show that she's amped up. I find that a little annoying actually.

For Pimg, I maintain her focus by bringing a handful of treats over by the gate (but away from the gate, of course) while were waiting our turn. We work backup, sits, downs, stands, stretching, roll over, lineups, leg weaving, etc. Focus is on me- not the dogs running.

With Jinks, I sit next to the ring with him in my lap and treat when he quietly watches the dogs run. He's really good about it, but if he weren't, I'd backup to his threshold point and do the same. If dogs can learn complex chains of behavior then I think they should be able to understand that they are being clicked/treated for being quiet in the face of distraction. (Note- I would use a clicker if I'm far enough from the ring to not be a distraction for running dogs. I would not use a clicker close to the ring!) And then I'd just inch closer and closer with time. I'd move a step back if I've pushed the threshold too far.

Yes, I'm well aware that a Border Collie isn't a GSD, but I've seen Susan Garrett use this method with Swagger, who is arguably higher drive than many, many GSDs, and will arguably have more value built into agility than we can only dream of with our dogs. The method works. I've seen it both in video (PuppyPeaks) and in person (Cynosport 2011). She also used a head halter to turn his head back to her if he got a little over stimulated while watching.
 

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I'm of the mindset that my dog does NOT have to be going crazy while waiting our turn to run in order to show that she's amped up. I find that a little annoying actually.
No, I definitely don't like him to be going crazy- that is when I use what I wrote in my "If it's causing a problem" paragraph, lol. But I love when he watches and gets super excited without yelling about it too much.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Willy, Do as you do with warm up, tricks, obed, etc. If we sit idle just to watch, lots of treating & if she gets vocal, then we walk to do something.

At class rently as she plays the game more the more amped she is getting so, when we are all out on the course watching each other take turns getting hard for her if just idle & expecting her to stay clam & focus on me. Trainer wanting me to have her do that but imo, best to keep her focus on me doing something with her. 8/

She can be sensitive so I worry about correcting as I do not want to shut down her agility dtive.

Opions?
 

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Interesting with all the different class setups.

All the classes I now go to make us crate our dogs between runs. Been too many issues/fights PLUS no one listens to the instructor when they are working with other dogs because they are too busy outside the ring with their own. My instructors were fed up with having to say the same thing over and over and over....

So now we all haul in our crates before class and our dogs are crated between runs. So much easier on us AND our dogs. We can focus on agility (go figure) and not all the other crap the crops up with too many dogs too close and amped up.

Interesting how both dogs and handlers now learn much better. Go figure when we can listen to the instructor talk to each handler during their runs and learn from them as well as when it's our turn.

I use 'obedience' classes and general life socialization for the other stuff. My agility classes are too expensive and too short to waste dealing with other people, other dogs and the crap that brings. I want to learn and do agility!
 

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Oh yes, crating! This is probably the best for you to be able to learn- and to get the dog used to crating at trials.
It's been so long since I've been in a class I forgot that is what we used to do (unless my husband was there too, he would hold Mikko). For the last few years, I've been taking semi-private lessons so it's just us and 1-2 other dogs.
 

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I also have Pimg (and Jinks- covered with a sheet) crated at class. But Jen didn't specify what level of class this is. When we were in beginning classes, we definitely didn't crate our dogs. We always were individually working the dogs (such as back and forth over a jump) or were in line waiting our turn to try something (like a teeter board). For a beginner class, I doubt you'd be crating the dog, and I'd just take the opportunity to tug/interact with the dog being quite mindful of threshold! I doubt any instructor (worth their salt anyway) would mind if you didn't wait your turn in line physically in queue. Certainly the instructor would be fine with you working the dog in a corner or something- below threshold.

If it's above a beginner level class- then I definitely agree with the others: crating really needs to happen. I often learn quite a bit from watching my classmates run, listening to what my instructor tells them, and incorporating those lessons into my turn to run the course.
 

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My classes have the dogs crated also. I think it is less stressfull for the dogs and the humans.

All the classes I now go to make us crate our dogs between runs. Been too many issues/fights PLUS no one listens to the instructor when they are working with other dogs because they are too busy outside the ring with their own. My instructors were fed up with having to say the same thing over and over and over....

So now we all haul in our crates before class and our dogs are crated between runs. So much easier on us AND our dogs. We can focus on agility (go figure) and not all the other crap the crops up with too many dogs too close and amped up.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
No crating at this new place I started going to & we are in more adv level of classes. I have to *try* to keep her calm & focus on me. This can good or if a crazy dog out running & her sitting idle to watch, this is where I am having issues. Also the most is when all on course & we are taking turns. 8/ She see them going, right out there on course with them, & she amps. I only started classes with her back in Nov to get her used to distractions & sure is working! :cry: This trainer said, have her stay & focus on you rather than you moving to keep her focus. Well.............. easier said than done!
 
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