Not a great day

Discussion in 'Obedience' started by Emily, May 28, 2017.

  1. Emily

    Emily Registered Users

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    We had our first attempt at Rally Advanced today and it didn't go well. There were a lot of things going against us (it was freezing cold and windy, there was a bird show being held at the same place so people were walking past with birds in cages all day, there were kids running around everywhere, the GSD club decided to meet today at the same place etc.) and I think it affected Ella from the moment we got there.

    In hindsight I wish I pulled the pin early into the day but we didn't...

    Ella was leaping around like a bit of an excited lunatic and, it sounds silly, but this is often Ella's reaction when she's a little stressed or overstimulated. I spent a lot of time rewarding calm behaviour and getting her relaxed (or as relaxed as possible) before going into the ring.

    Then it was our turn. Off came the lead and off we went! She was working pretty well but I didn't feel that she was 100% focussed. She went on the wrong side of a couple of cones so we retried a station and did it successfully. She sniffed at the toy in the figure of eight but didn't pick it up (that was a major success for us!) and she went over the jump really nicely too. By this time we were about three quarters of the way through the course and probably on target for a pass. Then we turned the corner and started heading back towards the ring exit. Suddenly Ella drifted ahead of me, I tried to get her back to heel but she just started trotting towards the exit. As she got to the exit (I obviously didn't want her running off) I recalled her and she span on the spot and sprinted towards me at full speed. She ran straight past, around the back of my legs and straight to the exit where the steward caught her. At this point I wanted the ground to swallow me up :(

    We quickly got out of the ring, back to the car and headed off soon after.

    Ella has been a little 'off' all day and I'm thinking it was all too much for her this morning. Poor girl
     
  2. Joy

    Joy Registered Users

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    Oh poor you. I do sympathise / empathise with your feelings of embarrassment. However, it does sound like a really difficult situation -Molly would have been going spare with birds going past! (Who on earth thought combining a bird and dog show was a good idea?!) And it sounds as though Ella did most of the course well -great to leave the toy. Big congratulations for having a go.:)
     
  3. charlie

    charlie Registered Users

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    Sounds like a badly organised day all round to have so many events running in the same place - crazy. So sorry you feel so down about the day but I think all of us would have struggled in that environment so don't beat yourself up at all. It was too much for you so Ella will be feeling it too. Hugs to you both :hug: xx
     
  4. selina27

    selina27 Registered Users

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    I have huge admiration for anyone taking part in these competitions, so I say well done to you for pressing on despite less than perfect conditions. I go to pieces just in front of my normal trainer :)

    Hindsight is, as they say, a wonderful thing.

    Sometimes in life you need to push out of comfort zone to find out what can be achieved. (Says she who can't do it) !
     
  5. Naya

    Naya Registered Users

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    The fact that Ella managed to do three quarters of the course is a success. I doubt if Harley would do that much!
     
  6. drjs@5

    drjs@5 Registered Users

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    My thought s too!
    When we did a bit of agility this type of thing was a regular occurrence.
    Too many distractons is tough unless you have perfect focus (and for labs, that is soooo hard)
    Well done for trying. Don't give up.
     
  7. Snowshoe

    Snowshoe Registered Users

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    Whoa Nellie, that was an awful lot of distractions. I guess it's hard to control what other groups rent a facility but there was way too much going on. I imagine there were people running Novice courses too? It must have been horrible for them but they were on leash. Probably worst for the Advanced group.
     
  8. edzbird

    edzbird Registered Users

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    Well done you! You picked out loads of positives from your "not a great day". It sounds like it was a very challenging environment.
     
  9. kateincornwall

    kateincornwall Registered Users

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    Good for you , for having a go in difficult circumstances . Even the best dogs have off days , so please dont worry over it , tomorrow is another day x
     
  10. Beanwood

    Beanwood Registered Users

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    To me it sounds like Ellla did a grand job, in spite of all the distractions, and being a little "off". At the end of the day, she went round most of it correctly,at advanced level that is a real achievement! :)
     
  11. Kelsey&Axel

    Kelsey&Axel Registered Users

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    Tomorrow is a new day :) with all those distractions though, it sounds like she did pretty great!
     
  12. Oberon

    Oberon Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    I reckon that you both did really well.

    She's still pretty young and her ability to concentrate will only improve.

    Keep at it :) You're making fantastic progress!
     
  13. Karen

    Karen Registered Users

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    Ah, we've all had those days, whether in a competition or test, or just going for a walk... Full of admiration for you taking the plunge, and you should definitely carry on. I know in the past when something has gone wrong on a test or in a competition, although I swore never to try it again, when I did it was inevitably much, much better than the first time around!
     
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  14. Xena Dog Princess

    Xena Dog Princess Registered Users

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    Emily, from what you've described it actually sounds pretty good. Ok, so it went to pot towards the end, but it doesn't sound terribly out of control. The racket from the bird show must have been terribly exciting for a city dog (hundreds of cockerels crowing is LOUD). You did exceptionally well under the circumstances. Definitely not a wasted experience, so don't beat yourself up.
     
  15. snowbunny

    snowbunny Registered Users

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    It sounds like you did BRILLIANTLY! :clap:
     
  16. Emily

    Emily Registered Users

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    Yep, there were rings for novice, advanced, excellent and masters. My friend had her GR (same age as Ella - 2) in the excellent ring.

    My friend is actually a dog trainer (100% +R and an amazing mentor!) and her girl River failed miserably too. We were chatting afterwards about how crazy it was and how both dogs were showing their stress. She explained (hopefully I get this right) that some dogs 'stress high' like Ella and her zoomies/lunatic lunges and some 'stress low' like River and how she appeared disinterested and wandered off sniffing in the ring.

    Thanks for all of your kind words, we'll keep working at it and will hopefully see some success soon! :)
     
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  17. snowbunny

    snowbunny Registered Users

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    Interesting. My observations of Willow are that she can go either way. Her reaction to something that has scared her can be frantic leaping at me, or it can be shutting down and cowering.
     
  18. Emily

    Emily Registered Users

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    I guess it's not unreasonable to think that a dog could go either way depending on the type of situation or level of stress.

    It was actually your description of Willow's leaping nose bop that first made me think of Ella's lunatic lunge in a different way. After a LOT of observation, I think I can really tell when she's stressed and how she acts. Without your description I might have still been thinking that she was just a nutter. Although... She is bit of a nutter ;):D
     
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  19. Snowshoe

    Snowshoe Registered Users

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    At our first obedience correction match the novice, open and utility rings were all in a row with just a flimsy, see through fence between them. Just our luck, as Oban was heeling off leash across the middle of our ring (novice) a dummy was thrown for the golden in the next ring, in open, lengthwise of his ring. It went right past Oban's nose. He would have gotten the dummy before the Golden but the fence did slow him down. Oban was doing very well till then, sigh.
     
  20. Emily

    Emily Registered Users

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    This photo sums up the day perfectly! Ella had been in a drop and the photo was taken just as I'd asked her to begin walking at heel again. She looks like she's exploding out of the drop! :eek:
    rps20170531_171617.jpg

    (photo courtesy of Sal Robinson - posted publicly on Facebook)
     

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