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Old 01-14-2013, 08:12 AM   #71 (permalink)
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Specman I occasionally take a "core" class which builds muscle tone and body awareness. In this class there are all sorts of little obstacles/workout challenges. For example one station will have balls of different sizes that the dog puts his paws on and balances. Once he has that down lure him to leaning left and right to stretch his back. Another station walk on a slightly raised plank (just a few inches off the floor). Have him put just his front paws on then lean. Next have him put just his back legs on then lean. Another station mats of different sizes and thickness. Have the dog walk from mat to mat not touching the ground. Another station large ball which the dog puts his front paws on and walks around the ball by moving his back legs. While you have him try all these new things treat and praise lavishly. The change in Swizzle's confidence level was nothing short of amazing and it is great for his physical conditioning. Let your imagination be your guide in creating more core stations. The dollar store and ocean state job lot has a lot of stuff that is great for that. Also just use what you have on hand. I have used an old tarp to get Swizzle use to different floor textures and sounds. He has jumped a stuffed horse toy that neighs. Hope this helps.
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Old 01-14-2013, 09:42 AM   #72 (permalink)
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I apologize for my last post. I see that there are a lot of resources on the web teaching a dog to target with his paw. I just need to get to work and teach him! It seems with most things in agility it is operator error and not the dogs fault.
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:57 PM   #73 (permalink)
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I do lots of operator errors (like falling down in the middle of a decent run) even though I am starting to earn titles. Just keep your sense of humor up. Be patient Specman. I am sure you will start to see more and more changes in Max as you continue. I think he is lucky to have found you!
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:12 PM   #74 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Specman View Post

My question is do any of you have suggestions of exercises that I could work on with Max at home to make him a little more receptive to new things? My agility instructor suggested clicker training him to touch a Post-it with his paw but I have no idea of how to get him to do that.

I know that puppies exposed to new things a an early age do much better in the world. I am no sure how much exposure to the outside world he got with the breeder but, I would like him to be not limited by his timidness.
You might want to give the book Control Unleashed a try. It has a lot of advice and exercises to help nervous and reactive dogs, whether too hyper or too shy. Many of the activities have been great for me and Sugar, who also tends to be cautious about new things, especially after he was attacked by another dog at 7 months old. There's a puppy version of the book, too.

Don't give up; Agility will be worth it!

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Old 01-15-2013, 07:44 PM   #75 (permalink)
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Specman - Pls don't apologize for asking any questions!!!! Even what seems simple might be an issue someone else is experiencing too or give another idea to an approach!

Consistently back training is helping with Bella. She has a yes I can do that and does a little more each time - had a positive experience with correctly entering the dog walk today and offering the tunnel which was great! She acted happy and not frightened which was fantastic! Small steps but its the small things that matter - just love my girl!




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Old 01-19-2013, 04:05 PM   #76 (permalink)
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We are just back from today's class and little Bella put herself to bed in her crate after sleeping the hour drive home :-)

Had a great 10mins before class started with the trainers working one on one with Bella on the A-frame. As her fear is so deep they put the entire frame on the ground and played first touch then restrained recalls across the frame (she loved this). We are getting there with patient teachers that keep it positive!

We played the bang game with the teeter and Bella was very reactive so we've got a lot of work to there as well. I am learning a lot about what I'm doing wrong as a handler - wayyyyy too much luring in several areas. As a positive the handling sequences in jumps went very well.

We have a lot of homework over the coming two weeks (next weekend instructors are at trials).

I do have a question though.... when do you know if agility is just not for your dog? Bella used to love this but with her fears I wonder how much longer do I keep pushing this? Thanks for any thoughts!
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:06 PM   #77 (permalink)
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I used to work with Peeves in agility along with Lily. Then he fell off a very low dog walk and I could tell after that that his heart was never in it again. Lily has had falls but been willing to get back on the equipment she had the problem with without too much coaxing (although it took time to get her confident on it again). Look for the gleam in her eye and the posture of her ears (Up is good.) It may be that you will end up just focusing on jumpers with weaves type courses for a while. I find that Lily gets charged up by watching other dogs run because she want to have at it. Hope this helps you figure it out. I wouldn't give up yet. It has taken me way over a year to get to where I like what I see and to spend money on trials.
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:56 PM   #78 (permalink)
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Minnie, it sounds like you are in a similar situation to me. Max is good at agility with the exception of the obstacles! I talked to his instructor and she felt that agility would still be good for Max and I signed up for another session.

One thing that I am finding is that a shy dog he cannot get enough reps on obstacles that frighten them in the class. I am looking to buy a tunnel to practice at home and hopefully get him more confidence with this one. It seems that once he becomes comfortable with an obstacle he does better.
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Old 01-20-2013, 05:14 PM   #79 (permalink)
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Swizzle is shy too. Just take things slower and only move to more challenge once she has built up more confidence. It has not been all that long since the a frame incident. Does she seem proud when she has mastered an obstacle? Is she reluctant to go to class? If you feel she will work through it continue. If she is miserable and you don't see that improving then find another activity you can enjoy together. I Agee short very positive reps making the obstacle easy will help (short tunnel, towel to lessen the bang ect) gradually increasing difficulty.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:27 AM   #80 (permalink)
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Max was freely going through a tunnel last night! Granted it was a 4' tunnel I got on Craig's List but an improvement none the less. My wife and I were at opposite ends of the tunnel and coaxing him through with treats. We will keep working on this a see if he will run though the tunnel besides me. Hopefully the real deal at agility will be a little less intimidating!
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