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Thread: Is it worth the hassle?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Bunbury
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    Default Is it worth the hassle?

    Well Maggie is actually fine at home. She fits into our world well. When we go for walks we have the beach and an off leash park which she is great with and is now responsive.She gets loads of exercise and is happy and a pleasure, not destructive and just likes to mooch around with me
    She is not good on lead and still pulls ahead but improving.
    BUT at obedience training she is mega distractible and far more interested in anything but what I am asking her to do. One of the other participants has a child who goes over the other bit of the oval and kicks his ball around ( mega distracting for a ball obsessed BC).
    I get that is fine but it doesn't help as also the two pomeranians who are continuously off lead and bouncing about.( Not doing anything awful just, distracting)
    We have done obedience 1 and 2 (twice lol) The group was small and she was Ok ish but totally unreliable if off lead for example doing agility every now and again, through the tunnel and OFF!!
    I started Intermediate yesterday with some trepidation, a group of ten about half of which are really quite impressive. The others mixed with Maggie sharing bottom of the obedience stack with a GS from our previous class.
    It was awful, she pulled and jumped and twisted, didn't hear anything and mowed through the jumps ( must have been funny to watch though) I hated it and worked really hard to stay calm.I nearly left half way through but stuck it out and she was very slightly better by the end ( marginally). My arms ached and my hands hurt by the end.I did move away and go through simple sit and lie down sequences to try and focus her..but
    I am thinking I won't go back and work a lot harder on her obedience off leash and try again in the next cycle about 3 months away.

    Am I wimping out? It just was NOT fun at all.I think she would enjoy agility but she is very scatty still at 12 months and self willed.
    I don't want it to be a chore as like I said we are fine at home in our normal routine, I just thought it would exercise her brain. However she turns into a lunatic and my brain is mushed..lol

    Any advice?
    Last edited by farrview; 06-02-2013 at 02:11 PM.

  2. #2

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    'farrview' - your question - Is it worth the hassle?

    Depends very much upon what you would like to be able to do with you pup in the future. All pups are worth the hassle and all it takes is some training and heaps of patience.

    Remember that Maggie is still what I class as a 'baby' and then don't forget her breed. With GSPs - they really don't get a brain - sorry - start to mature - until approx 3 years old.

    So Maggie being silly and not paying attention - purely an age and training thing. She will grow out of it - but also keep the training up. I was sure my pups at that age suffered from memory loss Really frustrating ! All you can do is keep up with the training!

    As far as agility is concerned - I would concentrate on the obedience side first - at least until she has finished growing. You don't want her to have problems with her joints later on.

    Some links for you:

    This one below is from this forum - to remind you what she is going through at the different ages:
    http://www.dogforum.com.au/puppy-dis...-calendar.html

    K9 Pro is an excellent website - so have a good look around:
    Dog Behaviour Articles | Steve Courtney Dog Training

    Look at:
    TOT – Triangle of Temptation
    NILIF – Nothing in Life is Free
    Behavioural Interrupter
    LAT - Look at that/this/here

    Then my favourite - Kikopup - makes things look so easy – so have a good look around her website.
    kikopup - YouTube

    Have fun !

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Hunter Valley NSW
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    Default

    farrview, my opinion, and strictly my own opinion, would be to either move back down to the lower obedience classes, or defer obedience lessons for a couple of months and work at home on ensuring you have reliable focus on you when you want it. I think your frustration is borne of asking too much of Maggie at the moment. Best of luck with it all.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Bunbury
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    Default

    Thanks chevbrock, that is my concern. She loves being with me and just being but gets sooo overstimulated in the big class.
    It is frustrating and embarassing ( border collies having this rep for being soo smart, which she is, but not so easy to train as a young un when there is a party on!)

    Thanks for your links Riley, maybe my title wasn't very clear. Training is a hassle, exercise can be too but it goes with the territory and I love hanging out with Maggie. It isn't about how much work but what is best for her training.
    I guess that is why I posted as maybe I am putting us both in a situation she isn't ready for. I did express my concern to the trainer before I enrolled and she suggested bringing a long lead. I did but it is not a situation it works in, too many dogs and people.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Hunter Valley NSW
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    Default

    Not at all, Farrview. No matter what your decision will be, I think you are doing really well and Maggie will turn into a fantastic dog.

  6. #6

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    This isn't completely on topic but sort of in the ball park. Why do competent dog people take their dogs to obedience classes rather than just train them at home? I only ask cause i've never been to an obedience class and am interested in what i might be missing out on.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
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    Our club obedience classes are all on lead until each dog has passed grade 5 - which involves a couple of off lead stays, and a short distance recall.

    There's no point letting a dog that doesn't come back (in that environment) - off lead.

    But dog obedience classes - at least the ones where all the dogs are kept under control 99% of the time - are great places for distraction training. At the moment - you're way too close to the other dogs, you're frazzled and your dog is too.

    I would get there early, and train some basic moves sufficiently far away that your dog can still pay attention - and over time I would vary how close I was but gradually decrease the average distance until my dog could be calm in the group.

    That's what I'd do now. That's not what I did when I joined the dog club. I got in the circle and me and the dog played tug with the lead rope going around the circle with everybody else. I ran a lot - just to keep her focussed on me more. So I'd do about three laps to everybody else's single lap.

    Once I got into agility - I met a bunch of people with much better training methods, and I started learning about those with their help and loans of dvds and then doing courses with some of the people who made the dvds.

    I can recommend a book called "control unleased" by Lesley McDevitt. I think there is also a dvd if books are not your thing.
    Clean Run: Control Unleashed®

    cleanrun sometimes have free shipping on it. There's a bunch of DVDs there as well.

    The general rule with agility - is to have all your foundation in place - a great recall, a solid start line stay, crate games (calm dog in crate), and shadow handling (running with you and changing direction as you signal as well as running away from you and back to you when you signal... all before you go anywhere near a jump or tunnel.

    If you ever want to compete in agility - it helps if you get all the naughty behaviours sorted before you go near the equipment so they're not paired together. And your dog needs to be able to do what you want when there are loads of other dogs running and barking all around outside the ring (and sometimes inside).

  8. #8
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    Bunbury
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    Hmm looked up Unleashed, the postage cost nearly twice as much as the book!!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Adelaide
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    clean run can be good like that - I only look at their free shipping lists. will post in your other thread

  10. #10

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    Farview, Agree with Hyacinth re getting the basics sorted before you get anywhere near agility equipment. Sounds like you really need to work on Maggies focus as a starting point. "Look at Me" game is great for that.

    MMJ, distraction training and socialising cannot be done alone at home - hence taking young dogs to where they can meet others and work with distractions, in a, hopefully, well controlled environment.

    Our club has a rugby field adjacent to it and we often have balls floating over the goal posts, hitting the shed roof with a huge bang and then bouncing into the middle of the class - can't get that distraction at home.
    Nev Allen
    Border River Pet Resort

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