What to do?

Discussion in 'Agility & Flyball' started by Jane Martin, Sep 29, 2015.

  1. Jane Martin

    Jane Martin Registered Users

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2014
    Messages:
    2,266
    After being totally rejected at beginners' testing for Agility, we have now been offered a place on the next beginner's class. However, my confidence was really knocked when we failed to get on the course a few weeks ago. In offering us the place a firm emphasis was put on us not wasting other people's time in the class of Chepi's recall hadn't improved. That has made me nervous, not because I worry about her recall but because they thought it wasn't good and the tone is a bit heavy. I just want to go and enjoy it. I think they have put me off the idea! Does everyone else have really competitive classes?
     
  2. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2013
    Messages:
    20,186
    Well.....

    I wouldn't expect to be welcome in a class where my dog disrupted others, and indeed I do go to bits of an advanced class, but I skip anything where I know my dog wouldn't be reliable and that is the basis on which I'm allowed to go. If I expected to join in everything, I'd pretty soon be asked to leave.

    So, I think it's ok for you to be told that you have some work to do before you can join a class. That's a bit different from it being competitive and/or trainers having a heavy tone though.

    What's the deal with the recall? They think it's not good enough and you think it's ok? Or have they made a mistake? Or could her recall be better?
     
  3. Jane Martin

    Jane Martin Registered Users

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2014
    Messages:
    2,266
    I think her recall was spot on when we went for the taster session - straight to me without hesitation but now I think about it, she was so excited that even though she always comes straight to me she will then bounce around me and not just stop and sit!!
     
  4. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2013
    Messages:
    20,186
    Oh well, I suppose it depends what's needed for agility, I don't know, of course....

    So just musing....unless it's very expensive and you don't want to risk it, you could go but seek very clear feedback on what you have to improve to get into the next class. But then you have to take that on board and apply it, I'd say. It sounds like they want to concentrate on training agility and are not going to train any obedience problems people might have?

    Otherwise, you might be better off seeking a different type of class, a different style of class perhaps. Maybe more of a fun thing?
     
  5. Jane Martin

    Jane Martin Registered Users

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2014
    Messages:
    2,266
    Thanks'. I will sleep on it!
     
  6. Pilatelover

    Pilatelover Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2015
    Messages:
    1,969
    Location:
    Coventry
    Oh dear Jane, that's not nice especially as you were looking forward to agility classes. It does sound to me as though they expect dogs to participate without being disruptive. Mabel's recall is good but she does tend to bounce about in Training class, similar to Chepi. I think sleeping on it is the right decision. Good luck.
     
  7. Naya

    Naya Registered Users

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2013
    Messages:
    9,628
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    They sound so different from the agility class I go to. Mine are more than happy to accept dogs that aren't 100% perfect. They understand that when dogs go they may distracted for a few mins, get bored if they are hanging around too long, and like to have a quick sniff before starting. They help you to have fun, learn a lot and learn handling skills and basic training for the dogs.
    In my opinion I wouldn't want to go to a class where I am made to feel that I don't deserve to be there and where I feel they are going to be critical as I wouldn't be able to relax and enjoy it. I think Harley would also pick up on my nerves.
    At the end of the day, if you were going to compete, I would understand their stance.......but a beginners class should be for just that.....beginners!
    Personally I would look for somewhere else. I drive a good 30-40 mins to get to my one......local ones are either not positive, too serious or have waiting lists.
    Keep your chin up x
     
  8. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2013
    Messages:
    20,186
    I do think that there are different styles of class, at varying levels - there are some classes that are happy to "merge" the basics with the sport elements (agility, gundog, flyball etc are all sports) and other classes that are just about the sport element, and you will be told about a basic obedience point "sort that out". The beginner gundog class I go to is a sort of "merged" class, but the more advanced one definitely is not.

    It's just about what suits you, your dog and what you are looking for, I think.
     
  9. Oberon

    Oberon Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2013
    Messages:
    14,195
    Location:
    Canberra, Australia
    Agility classes can have a very long waiting list and some can afford to set a very high standard for entry. That's how it is at our club. You wait a long time to even get a crack at trying out for the class and then your off lead control has to be excellent, and your dog rock solid around other off-lead dogs. On top of that your dog has to be lean and fit. Otherwise you don't get a look-in. With such high demand for the class they make the entry criteria pretty tight. There is a limit to how many dogs they can take in and still continue to offer a quality class.

    I'm sorry you didn't get into the class the first time around, Jane. The high demand is probably a factor.
     
  10. Jes72

    Jes72 Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2014
    Messages:
    1,034
    I had some bad experiences at the agility club we went to. There was one trainer who I felt always picked on us and it was quite obvious she didn't like my dog. The little dogs were almost encouraged to jump up and bark constantly, standard poodles ran around a mock, yet if H did anything out of line I was reprimanded. Eventually I had enough and stopped going. We are now doing the kennel club award obedience training.
     
  11. SwampDonkey

    SwampDonkey Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2015
    Messages:
    8,126
    Location:
    leicestershire uk
    I tried a few clubs until I found one which I liked. There are plently of clubs just shop around. I like a relaxed happy club. Luckily were I am there are lots of clubs and many run courses for different standards, so you can pick and choose. The club i eventually settled for ran very competiative courses and also ones which let the dogs have fun. Does it have to be this training centre it sounds as if its made you unhappy?
     
  12. SwampDonkey

    SwampDonkey Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2015
    Messages:
    8,126
    Location:
    leicestershire uk
    Also my dogs were crap at agility they loved it but they would never be competative. Watching Doug dog the dog walk was funny and a bit scary. He was just so big and wobbley. I just enjoyed them enjoying themselves.
     
  13. Jane Martin

    Jane Martin Registered Users

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2014
    Messages:
    2,266
    I am not sure where other classes are but I will do a bit of research. This group is over subscribed; there is usually a long waiting list. I am still deciding! If we went it would only be 5 lessons to start with. I know Chepi enjoyed the taster session - oh I am not good at deciding!!
     
  14. charlie

    charlie Registered Users

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2012
    Messages:
    12,217
    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    I took Charlie to agility for a while, the class was small and only cost £5.00 per week. It consisted of serious competitors that take part in competitions nationally, owners that went just for fun, quite a few rescue dogs, one that had been on the 'dangerous dog list' and now competes, all sorts and none of us were ever, ever made to feel like or were told we anything other than very welcome. Charlie at that point had zero recall or manners and was still welcome :) It was a real mixture and the lady that ran the classes treated ALL the dogs exactly the same. She did 1 2 1's with nevous dogs building their confidence, eventually introducing her dog.

    Good luck Jane with whatever you decide. xx
     
  15. MaccieD

    MaccieD Guest

    I have to admit reading this thread stops the regret that I can't do Agility with Juno. I thought Agility was meant to be fun for you and your dog, sounds as if it is a very stressful experience for lots of owners.
     
  16. Jane Martin

    Jane Martin Registered Users

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2014
    Messages:
    2,266
    Well I am still undecided but leaning away from it. There is another class about 30 mins drive away so I might ask them if I can pop over and see the set up.
     
  17. Naya

    Naya Registered Users

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2013
    Messages:
    9,628
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    I would go and have a look elsewhere. Harley had her first 'class lesson' today and we had quite a few giggles with all of the dogs and some of their antics. We did get some really good work done, but also enjoyed the dogs enjoying themselves. I really hope you find somewhere you feel welcome x
     
  18. Beanwood

    Beanwood Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2014
    Messages:
    7,303
    Some agility classes are competitive. Traditional agility classes usually are very competitive! They are ONLY designed for dogs who are training to enter shows, or move through their grades. Now, the thing here is that in reality this is probably NOT the sort of class you want to go to...unless you really are keen on the competitive element from the get go. Actually, I am not sure really that the really competitive type classes are good for labradors, as everything is go, go GO!! Everything at high speed without the dogs actually having time to think. Bit like the difference between a 100m sprint and a playing rugby..or running a strategic long distance race.

    The other end of the spectrum are agility classes which are designed to harness the benefits of agility, and package those elements and skills into fun classes for all, they are great classes and you and Chepi are more likely to benefit from those. I go to one of those types of agility classes and so does Harley. The trainers are very forward thinking and appreciate that agility has much to offer our dogs, and not just centred around those dogs who are judged on how quickly they can get around a course.
     

Share This Page