Quinn's Journey in Agility

Discussion in 'Agility & Flyball' started by QuinnM15, Mar 8, 2017.

  1. QuinnM15

    QuinnM15 Registered Users

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    We started off with 4 1:1 classes before joining group. She is a very sensitive dog though - being frustrated by the shaping (she gets frustrated very quickly when she tries multiple things and it not rewarded) could have thrown her off.
     
  2. QuinnM15

    QuinnM15 Registered Users

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    Glad to hear about off days! Our trainer said that many dogs aren't consistent every day/training class until they are mature dogs. I think if it happens again, I won't push her to continue!
     
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  3. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    Willow can be the same. It's far better to lure her than to shape.
     
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  4. Emily

    Emily Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Ella is exactly the same! She gets really frustrated and as soon as she starts to give me repeated nose touches or repeated drops, I know she's had enough! I find luring a lot easier for most things.
     
  5. charlie

    charlie Registered Users

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    Ah is that why Charlie sometimes whines when I'm trying to shape? x
     
  6. Beanwood

    Beanwood Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Probably. I use a lot of luring, it helps them get it right, and feel good about it. :)

    I agree with young dogs having "off" days. I remember well Benson's foundation gundog training. Despite all the signals he was completely distracted, we kept going. Boy what a mistake! I wish I cut my loses, and said instead "Hey dude, let's just go find a fab walk, maybe some soddige too!" :) We would both have been far happier!
     
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  7. charlie

    charlie Registered Users

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    Thanks Kate, I do use luring but obviously not enough. Luring it is :) x
     
  8. QuinnM15

    QuinnM15 Registered Users

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    Class #4

    On the weekend we watched some agility competitions, and hilariously Quinn was watching it with her head through the bars. I feel like watching those dogs may have inspired her! haha

    When we pulled up to the building, Quinn was whining which she hasn't done before and I take as a good sign that she wanted to get going. I had been wondering if she even likes the classes, and I think she does. This week went better, I bought some lamb tripe treats that are a HIT. Started on leash after last week's wandering, but she was focused again this week and did not leave me so we were able to be off leash again.

    Cone wraps - she still does not seem to like doing these, even with luring. It's weird, because weeks ago she was fast and able to do these without lure from either direction. We are struggling to understand if she is scared, not motivated, cue mixing up or what. I started luring very very slowly and we were able to complete the course by slowing down the wraps and luring. When she lost interest, I moved to some easy sits and heeling so she wasn't getting frustrated instead of forcing it.

    Jumps - she likes the jumps and will jump over anything now with the cue "jump". We completed a jump and ended on a plank with just rear paws on it and worked on a new cue "stop" to indicate where she is to stop. Then introduced a second jump.

    Weaves - we made a lot of progress here and the more she was getting right, the more excited she was.

    Teeter totter - getting braver, but still jumps off at the middle when it starts to go down. This will take awhile, as she is a nervous one!

    Introduction to the tire jump - apparently this is something that if your dog gets spooked, can take ages to recover from. With Quinn's personality, we had to be very cautious so started some shaping to get her to go near it on her own, sniffing. She put her head through and touched it with her paw which is pretty good for her (it moved and she did not like that). We will build up to this one very slowly.
     
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  9. kateincornwall

    kateincornwall Registered Users

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    That sounds so much more positive , and moving from one activity to another when boredom sets in , is always a good move too , well done to you both x
     
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  10. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    Sounds like a really positive session, well done :)
     
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  11. Beanwood

    Beanwood Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Wow! That is some progress! Especially on the weave, that is a tough challenge for both dog and handler :)
     
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  12. Naya

    Naya Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Really positive session by the sounds of it.
    On the seesaw (teeter totter) my trainer puts boxes underneath each end to make sure it only moves tiny bits to start off with, then uses smaller boxes as they get more confident to make it move more. It really helped Harley as she started getting half way then jumping off and it became a bit of a habit.
     
  13. QuinnM15

    QuinnM15 Registered Users

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    That's good advice - I will ask my trainer about doing this next week. Thanks!
     
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  14. QuinnM15

    QuinnM15 Registered Users

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    Class #5 (Last in the beginner session)

    We jumped right into some courses this class - Quinn and I were both nervous as Quinn's dad came to watch us (ok, maybe Quinn was not nervous)!

    Of the 3 courses, none contained weaves or the teeter totter (phew). I walked the course to see the numbers and determine best positioning to handle. The first set went very well, 3 jumps, change direction back over jump, 5 second stay on platform, tire jump, tunnel and jump. We started without the tire and I just cued her through the frame. She did well. On the first break when course was being moved around, I did some shaping on the tire jump and she was going through it after less than a minute!

    Next two courses we kept the tire in and I just slowed down and made sure she got a treat once jumping through the tire! We were not using treats to complete the rest of the course (except at the end, she was rewarded with treats and a ball).

    We had some trouble with some of the angles of the jumps on the final course (so did the other dog). I couldn't figure out the best position to cue Quinn to the less obvious next jump, but once we got it, we were able to move quickly. Part of the problem is Quinn is too fast for me, so I had to be ahead of her which can mix her up.

    We still have lots of work to do, but it's amazing how in just a couple of months you can train so much. I can't believe that at 15-18 months, I can put her in a stay and walk around a course with other people and dogs all around her and she doesn't move. Our start cue is me dropping my arm from above my head and saying "go"...if I move my arm just slightly, she will twitch but still doesn't move until cued. Good girl! Quinn definitely loves the jumps and the tunnel so we will continue training on our own over the summer and may enter some beginner trials and will start level 2 in the Fall.
     
  15. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    Sounds wonderful, Ashley :)

    I really think that doing some sort of sport (even completely recreationally, like I do) with your dog makes a massive difference for training "boring" things like this. A stay is rewarded with something absolutely phenomenal which can't easily be emulated without these activities. A chunk of even the finest prime rib just wouldn't be the same motivator.
     
  16. QuinnM15

    QuinnM15 Registered Users

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    I agree completely. Without even meaning to, we have a "heel" with the point of my finger, she walks at my side (I have done zero specific heel training on my own or in classes). I have even noticed that she is more responsive in general now- her recall is the best it has ever been and she is way more interested in where I am than usual (in the house as well as on walks).
     
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  17. charlie

    charlie Registered Users

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    That's just great Ashley, you sound so positive and well done Quinn amazing progress :) xx
     
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