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Does Agility really help build a dogs confidence? Any one actually have a shy dog that does it? I'm thinking about taking agility classes in the spring with skylar. She is very shy and doesn't have much confidence- however she is great with other dogs (now) and is fine with people as long as they ignore her (talking to me with her there is fine)
However, she is still shy and doesn't have much confidence, i think it's her personality. We're doing some agility work in her foundations 2 class now, and she loves the teeter thing, and the wobble board, but there's an exercise ball thing at she got so upset and wouldn't look at it or anything.

So, does anyone have a "shy" dog agility success story? i just want to make sure i'm not getting excited about anything that's not possible for us to do.

Oh, and she's clicker/positive re-enforcement only trained.
 

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Yes it does but I would start slowly.

I went through that with my male who used to be abused and he has gained a lot of confidence. It will take time though. In the beginning we didn't do more than five minutes of training. To many it doesn't make sense to drive all the way to the Class and than quit after five minutes but it is important that the dog gains confidence.

At first I didn't do anything at all. I went on the training premises and he was allowed to look around and to get used to the premises. We did that two times. Than we started doing Obedience and Agility.

Most importantly do not put your dog under any pressure. Once he's succesfull mastered something, quit!
Give him the feeling of success, it needs to be a Key moment for the dog and you will see that with every day that passes by the dog earns more and more confidence.

No pressure, only success stories for the dog and lots of fun. But don't rush. Time and lots of patience is the key.
 

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I've known alot of dogs that get more confidence with agility classes. Specially with good instructors and clicker training. Really sets up the dog to be 'right' so frequently they start thinking they are Rocket Scientists and can do ANYTHING! (and they usually can :) )
 

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Dante is what many would classify as "shy." He's not shy, he has weak nerves - it was a genetic problem I knew about from day one and took him on knowing this. He's only had one class but it was incredible how well he did and how quickly he took to it.
 

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I think it does, but all you can do is try. I doubt it does with 100% of dogs so do realize yours might be in the minority where they don't take to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
we actually finished a pre agility class about a week ago, and Skylar loved it! she was afraid of the tunnel, but after a while she got used to it, still doesn't love it but tolerates it, haha- i think it's the sound it makes when she runs through. but she loves the teeters, wobble board etc. so we're going on to level 1 agility in March. :)
 

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I've done agility with several shy dogs and it was a huge confidence booster for them. Just make sure that the instructor understands and is supportive of letting her go at her own pace.

When Basu started classes his entire focus for the first 6 weeks was leaving the room! When he went through Advanced class he was a pro and his entire focus was doing what we wanted so that he could get the treat! :)
 

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we actually finished a pre agility class about a week ago, and Skylar loved it! she was afraid of the tunnel, but after a while she got used to it, still doesn't love it but tolerates it, haha- i think it's the sound it makes when she runs through. but she loves the teeters, wobble board etc. so we're going on to level 1 agility in March. :)
Glad to hear it went so well!

Is he toy driven at all? Cause a great way to get them to love love love the tunnel is by adding the toy as they exit. Balls rolling out and away as they exit are ideal. But if they only like treats a larger piece (that they can see) rolled out and away as they exit is also very motivating and drive building...
 

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Glad to hear it went so well!

Is he toy driven at all? Cause a great way to get them to love love love the tunnel is by adding the toy as they exit. Balls rolling out and away as they exit are ideal. But if they only like treats a larger piece (that they can see) rolled out and away as they exit is also very motivating and drive building...

wow, what a great idea, thanks! she is VERY ball driven, i never would have thought of that! I actually bought a tunnel for her to practice at home, so we'll try that!
 

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Good thread idea. I've been thinking about getting into it with Deuce but he's shy, too. He's OK with other dogs but is just like the OP's dog, he doesn't want strangers to reach out to touch/pet him.
 
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