Poodle Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,304 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Have you ever had a distraction that was just too much for your dog to overcome? We just had that experience in class. The first 2/3 of class Noelle was outstanding. We heeled all the way around the ring, with my leash in my pocket, no treat in my hand, and she had continual eye contact with her head up and tail up. There were 12 dogs in our class over half of them were brand new, and she was still able to focus. I was so proud of her. Stand for exam, new trainer, no issues. Everything was awesome until...

Two flies bit Noelle on the butt. One would bite, then the other bit her. They kept biting her over and over. When they weren't biting her, she was worried they would bite her again. The last third of the class Noelle couldn't pay attention to anything other than the annoying flies. I wasn't upset with her at all. I know some trainers would be jerking the collar and demanding focus anyway, but I'm not that kind of a trainer. There is no way I could learn anything, or pay attention, if someone was pulling my hair. I don't expect Noelle to ignore biting flies.

Poor Noelle. That really was a fly in the ointment. What would you do if flies were biting your dog during class, or worse yet, a trial? Are there any other distractions that are just too much for your dog?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,202 Posts
With Frosty, once his attention is gone from something he's scared of, it's gone. I would have called it a night if I couldn't get his attention back in class.

I normally only enter him at indoor trials, but there was a local trial that had a covered patio. I had heard it's a really nice show and I figured it was a permanent cover on the patio. Nope, awnings. He's afraid of anything hanging over him; as a friend put it, he thinks the sky is falling. He was so spooked, he kept looking up and had his tail down while I was warming him up, I had to scratch his classes because I knew there was no way he'd snap out of it in time. He's such a funny dog. No other dog was fazed by it, and some even got really high scores that day.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
22,865 Posts
Oh dear, that sounds miserable for both of you. I think I might have stopped doing serious work and tried playing some games near the ring to let Noelle know that it was okay to be bothered by such an invasion of her personal space. If something that bad happened at a trial I think I would probably ask to be excused. I don't like to stay in a trial ring once things go off the rails.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,304 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
It is the kind of thing my little Muse would come up with just to torment me.

My husband pointed out we just had the county fair and lots of horses and other animals were in that building. It was super hot out and both the front door and back doors were wide open. So, biting flies were no doubt a problem brought in by the fair. We were going to have rally class afterward but Noelle was too upset to focus anymore so I took her home.

Maybe some of the flies will die off before next week. I would really hate for the ring to become a place Noelle is nervous about because of flies. Horseflies hurt! She yelped when they bit her. If the flies show up again, we will leave the ring and goof around somewhere else. I can't let the ring become a painful place. That really would be sad.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
22,865 Posts
Good plan to take her out and play around. I hope those flies die off and/or disperse before next week.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,086 Posts
Oh no - poor Noelle. I hope I would be wise enough to leave with Babykins.

Those horse flies really hurt when they bite. Were they just drawn to Noelle - or everyone? Were they drawn to Noelle because of her shampoo scent? Would bug spray help? Just throwing out ideas here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,086 Posts
Oh no - poor Noelle. I hope I would be wise enough to leave with Babykins.

Those horse flies really hurt when they bite. Were they just drawn to Noelle - or everyone? Were they drawn to Noelle because of her shampoo scent? Would bug spray help? Just throwing out ideas here.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Click-N-Treat

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,304 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
The flies seemed to be attracted to Noelle more than the other dogs. They just wouldn't leave her alone. Maybe she reminded them of sheep? Hopefully next week we will have less biting flies. I really felt bad because she was so glad to be back at our training club after a month away. Noelle actually yodeled for joy when we turned into the parking lot and she is usually silent in the car. Getting attacked by flies wasn't what either one of us had planned.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
182 Posts
Back when I kept a friends horse, during fly season, I would spray him with fly repellent. I don't know if livestock fly repellent is safe for dogs, but it might be worth asking your vet about using until fly season is over. Or maybe someone here knows a natural fly repellent.

On a side note, I never had a single horse fly until I got the horse and the very next day, there they were. How do the little fiends know? And yes, they hurt like the dickens when they bite.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
22,865 Posts
Flies must have the olfactory capabilities of blood hounds! They show up like crazy on my back door screen every time I cook livers for the dogs.


Skylar (and anyone else who does performance sports) it is way better to ask to be allowed to leave the ring than to try to make your dog work under bad conditions. You will know if that is what you should do when it happens. I have asked to be excused twice with Javelin in beginner novice because he had up stressed and was jumping up and mouthing my hand. If he does that when we are training I heavily correct him for that by putting him on a time out down stay. He actually hits the floor himself when I sternly say NO to him for that behavior. I think he understands that is a way to reset his brain, but I can't do that in a trial ring unless the judge is very relaxed about letting teams that are NQing do a little training and there is no AKC rep around watching them.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Click-N-Treat

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,733 Posts
Poor Noelle! It seems like those flies are drawn to light colored dogs. Out at the dog yard we had a basketful of dogsafe insect repellent sprays, right by the gate as you entered. The dog yard was in an area surrounded by acreage with livestock, orange groves, and a natural pond. Ugh, it was haven for insects. I even carried a bottle Benadryl in my pocket, just in case the bees or wasps attacked. Of course, this was not formal showing but, in the case of a "crash and burn", I would choose to take my dog aside and play a few rounds of easy earning treat games... then, call it a day. Those bites, hurt! I had completely forgotten that our German Shepherd had to wear a Defy, the fly dog collar to keep the flies off the tips of his big prick ears.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top