Jump to content

Anyone Else Do Agility With Their Greyhound, Tips ?


Guest Amber
 Share

Recommended Posts

Guest Amber

Hi all

Fey and I have been going to agility class for around 6 months now, before that we went to obedience training class for 4 months to get the basics needed for agility.

 

Well, I swear we are getting worse at agility instead of better :riphair The other dogs are collies, spaniels, pick it up really quickly and are attentive to their handlers (being collies and spanners) and Fey being Fey runs around the barn looking for abandoned balls and toys, pees and then poops with excitement!

 

When I can get her to focus, it's usually because I've borrowed the toy that the previous dog on the course was using, cos that is what really interests her - other dogs' toys/balls - she sees them do the course with the toy, then she wants it!

 

But last night, nobody else was using toys, just food, so she was really sad and disappointed and unmotivated by the end. I have all sorts of squeaky stuffies, road kill toys, balls - she quickly loses interest in those in the class. With food she's more attentive but that only really does for slow work like practising a figure of 8.

 

So I'm wondering what to do? The other habit she has is not coming close and standing and waiting for me to throw the toy (I guess we do a lot of that on walks and such) . The trainer just says I am not training her right, but I notice he has given up trying to demo with Fey, cos she blanks him totally :hehe

 

I was getting a bit frustrated and fed up last night, and she was disappointed at no other dogs' toys, but on the whole, she finds it really exciting and we normally enjoy it, so would like to keep going.

 

Has any other agility hounds got any tips to motivate her? I was thinking maybe of a flirt pole with a bit of rabbit fur attached, or a kong on a rope with pate/cream cheese...but all she really wants is someone else's manky old ball

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's all about finding what motivates YOUR dog. Never mind all the other dogs in class (unless they have toys you want... in which case, bless them!), it's all about figuring out what gets your dog amped. And honestly, with sighthounds that often takes a lot more work than some other breeds. When I go to class I am still amazed (and a little jealous) of the people who can just drop a ball on the ground and then ignore their dog (well, they don't ignore it, but they don't have to actively engage). Would that work for Kili? Heck no. I can motivate her, and I can motivate her well, but dropping a ball on the ground does not make her tick. What DOES make her tick? Me running around and yelling, waving a toy like a total idiot. It's tiring and I look ridiculous but she absolutely loves this invitation to play tug. She's a sighthound... she can't resist someone running away from her with a tug toy. She also loves food, so I make sure to have some really awesome, fantastic treats. That's what works for us, you may need to do something else, but I encourage you to put your thinking cap on and start experimenting... A LOT! :)

 

Focus. This was a huge issue for us (still is sometimes) since she's such a baby dog and impulse control and focus don't happen to be one of her natural fortes. If she ignores me, leaves me, or otherwise disengages she wins a "not scary, but definitely unwanted reward"... an immediate trip back to her crate. I don't yell at her or anything horrible like that. It's not scary or really negative, it's just boring and unwanted. Actually, I did this at our trial this weekend during one of her runs. She got to a point where she wasn't really paying attention to me anymore. I either catch her (if it's going to be a quick, easy process) or I walk out of the ring without her (and the look on her face is always priceless) and I tell her "We're done", and she immediately goes back to her crate until her next run.

 

Working with a sighthound in agility is not easy, but it is doable with a little more effort and creativity. I think that's the thing about training a sighthound. You can't do it if you aren't willing or able to get creative... which is why so many dog trainers who work with more traditional breeds are often not as helpful to those of us with sighthounds. If this trainer has given up on you guys, I suggest you find a new trainer. I've never had a trainer give up on us. Together we would bounce creative new ideas off each other to figure out a plan of action. Some ideas work, and some don't. If an idea doesn't work, I just regroup and come up with a new one.

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

Like us on Facebook!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have started Agility with Snickers, tomorrow is our 3rd class. SHE IS SOO GOOD!!! :beatheart brave, bold and willing to do anything for a treat!

guess I'm lucky she is so food motivated :chow

I found a small size kibble for her Bait treats. She eats raw, so I wanted a high quality tempting morsel to keep her interested.

 

Good luck, it will be fun to compare note a little later on.

lorinda, mom to the ever revolving door of Foster greyhounds

Always in my heart: Teala (LC Sweet Dream) , Pepton, Darbee-Do (Hey Barb) , Rascal (Abitta Rascal), Power (Beyond the Power), and the miracle boy LAZER (2/21/14), Spirit (Bitter Almonds) 8/14

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Krissy, I just love watching videos of your dogs doing agility.

 

Thanks! Me too... but I might be a little biased! ;)

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

Like us on Facebook!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Amber

Thanks - well I would say in our first, early classes, her usual tennis ball or good treats worked fine, because at that stage, we were just doing single jumps.

 

It's since we've started navigating courses and going through the tunnel in the winter barn that we've had more of a problem, maybe because she is off leash in the barn, whereas she wasn't in the early classes in the field.

 

I do know what motivates her - it is other dogs' toys! - but that relies on the other people in the class using a toy and being willing to let us borrow it. Doesn't matter what the toy is, if another dog has been motivating on it, then she wants it too, really, really wants it! Unfortunately, the lady with the collie who always used toys and let us borrow after has moved on to a more advanced class.

 

She does get excited about her own toys and treats, but only for a limited period then the novelty wears off.

 

So I'm struggling to come up with more things, without having to spend out a fortune buying new toys every week, only for her to get bored with them after 5 minutes.

 

I don't think the trainer has given up on us, but he is deffo not a greyhound person and doesn't really 'get' her funny little ways. For instance he thinks she is afraid to come into my personal space, because sometimes she just statues or won't follow the 'lure' of the toy, whereas I think it's just one of her little quirks, she does in fact have a tendency to hang back , especially if she's a bit confused or unimpressed, but don't think it's her being afraid of getting into my space.

 

He doesn't run her because she doesn't co-operate with him at all anymore, although at first she found him interesting and did respond to him, now (for whatever reason) she doesn't, and she hangs back and ignore him if he tries to run a course with her (all the collies, spanners etc respond to him really well). I think that all she is thinking about is "where are the other dogs' toys??"

 

ps I will add though that a show cocker in our class is worse than Fey, and only goes a snail's pace for treats, so she's not quite as bad as that at least

Edited by Amber
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Again, you're talking about a sighthound, not a breed that has a naturally high toy drive, at least not in the sense that we use in agility. Lots of greyhounds like stuffies and chew toys, but again it's not likely that just offering a toy will be a huge reward. Not at first anyway. Kili always loved toys and playing with toys. But that didn't mean that it translated over to agility. It's actually a practiced skill for a lot of dogs. We did a sports fundamentals class (I highly recommend doing one for all potential agility dogs) in which we learned about the building blocks before even looking at any agility equipment. The dogs learned about crating and releasing from crates ready to go. We worked on start lines and "shadow handling" (basic handling but without any equipment to worry about, just getting the dogs following and focused). And we worked on play both with toys and without ("naked" or "personal" play). Kili would NOT tug at first, and now she's a complete tugging fool. Working on play and toys allowed us to build our toy drive to a useful level. But even now there are days when I pull out a toy reward and Kili goes... "ehhhh... I think it's a food day today".

 

Somewhere on my blog there are posts and videos from those early days going over some of the exercises we did from class. They may be helpful.

 

And I'm not kidding when I say you may need to act like a complete idiot to motivate your dog. Again, there are videos of us warming up. I'd be out of breath and exhausted before we even started the sequence because of how much running and yelling and tugging I did to get Kili going. We call it "heating the porridge". :)

 

I'm also always a huge fan of taking a competition class instead of "fungility" type classes. Not sure what type you're in. If it is a competition class that's great, if it's fungility you may want to consider a competition class. Not because you necessarily want to compete one day, I just find the classes are better and more geared towards motivating dogs. Everything should be done with that end in mind.

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

Like us on Facebook!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So this particular entry was about a couple of the exercises we did to work on impulse control, drive and motivation. There are some other posts that handle this as well, but I'm at work and this is the first one I stumbled across. :)

 

http://apexagilitygreyhounds.blogspot.ca/2013/06/10-months-drive.html

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

Like us on Facebook!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It sounds to me like you guys moved up too fast. I would take a step back and work more on focus in distracting environments and toy/tug drive. Also plenty of work with high reward for single obstacles. Get that drive back up before you start putting together multiple obstacles to earn a reward. When you do the latter, your rate of reinforcement drops dramatically - the dog now has to do a lot more work (and it takes longer) to earn the reward. If the rate of reinforcement drops enough, you lose your dog's interest. And suddenly the toys in the environment around you are a lot more exciting than you are.

 

As for the other people's toys, I think they should be off the table. They're just distractions in the environment she needs to learn to ignore. As far as you having toys to keep her motivated, cycle your toys. There was a study published recently that confirmed what we already know - dogs do prefer novel objects. You can give an old item some novelty by putting it away for a few weeks. I have a toy basket with a lid that the dogs can't open where toys get out away for a while. Also, our agility tug toys are never available anywhere except agility. Feel free though to have an unfamiliar dog play with the toy out of her sight so it does have some other dog spit on it, if that will entice her. And pay attention to the types of toys people are using that she covets and buy the same ones. I suspect it's less about their toys though than it is about not finding working with you reinforcing enough.

 

You can also get tug toys that have bait bags on the end to help to build toy drive. Also, get creative with rewards. If she does a series of a few obstacles, have a bowl with a good number of high value food rewards waiting at the end. Your trainer can hang out nearby to pick it up in case she tries to cut corners. ;)

 

Good luck!

Edited by NeylasMom

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We also hit a wall in agility about 6 months in with Marvin. We think he just got bored doing the same circuits over and over again. Moving up to a more advanced class worked for him, as did mixing up the reward treats. I recommend trying the Bear Bites (100% dehydrated beef liver) if it's a 'food day', as the stuff is akin to 'doggy crack'. I have to be really energetic with strong directions to get Marvin going, especially if there is a jump at the start of the run - he saunters up to the jump, and I am wildly cheering him on (I'm sure he thinks I am some crazy lady...).

 

Neyla's Mom - could I ask where you go for agility? We're buying a house in College Park later this month and would like to keep Marvin in some agility activities.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Neyla's Mom - could I ask where you go for agility? We're buying a house in College Park later this month and would like to keep Marvin in some agility activities.

Dogstar in Hanover, MD. For the record, I do agility with Skye, my mixed breed, not my greyhounds. Not that that should matter, just full disclosure. :lol

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

here's one for chuckles, during westminister the masters of agility trials were on and i was busy watching it. felix caught a glimpse as i said- "over....tunnel" out of habit and excitement(on my part). felix started watching the run and went ballistic. shaking, barking, howling as he did in class when we were doing agility.

 

i had no problem w/ motivation, it was a pleasure and praise. he was one of those dogs who from the peanut gallery was cheering on the other participants. that was a PITA- keeping him quite.

 

keep the motivational toys available but out of sight(in a bait bag) in between using them. they have more value then. if you instructor balks ask for suggestions,if you dog needs it, or needs to borrow a ratty old ball from a class mate- then be it. as long as your dog stays HAPPY. a happy dog will be motivated. every instructor works in their own style, some not so great for sigh hounds. is this a new or different instructor?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's really about what is motivating for your dog, but, as Jen mentioned, it might be a good idea to step back and work on focusing on YOU with distractions.

 

I'd like to do agility with Clarice. She's fearless as far as jumping, climbing, etc. And she's highly food motivated. However, our training place wants dogs to pass intermediate obedience (which focuses on keeping the dog's focus through distractions) before they're allowed to take agility.

Kristin in Moline, IL USA with Ozzie (MRL Crusin Clem), Clarice (Clarice McBones), Latte and Sage the IGs, and the kitties: Violet and Rose
Lovingly Remembered: Sutra (Fliowa Sutra) 12/02/97-10/12/10, Pinky (Pick Me) 04/20/03-11/19/12, Fritz (Fritz Fire) 02/05/01 - 05/20/13, Ace (Fantastic Ace) 02/05/01 - 07/05/13, and Carrie (Takin the Crumbs) 05/08/99 - 09/04/13.

A cure for cancer can't come soon enough.--

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Lillypad

We have been working (and playing) at agility for about a year now. I mentioned this to a fellow agility friend the other day and her reply was "Oh that is no time at all. Most of us have been at it for many, many years and still there is always something to learn" So don't be too hard on yourself. And yes a sighthound (especially a retired racing greyhound) is far more of a challenge. I learned very quickly not to compare my hound with any of the dogs in our classes. Hounds are what the agility people call "an off breed" meaning not your typical agility dog (Border Collie, Aussie, Sheltie, and such). I also had another fellow agility lady say to me at last months trial, "Congratulations, a lot of people would have given up by now" I took it as the compliment it was meant to be, but thought it was a rather funny thing to say.

 

I reiterate everything that Krissy has said and have experienced much of what she has experienced with Killi and Summit. My girl had to learn to tug, it was a curriculum in itself. She is, however, very food motivated. You are lucky your hound has toy interest, but sounds like you need to manage it some how. As Krissy said, foundation and shadow training are very important and accomplish a great deal. Foundation work will build bonding, focus, confidence and enthusiasm. Foundation work has done wonders for both of us. If you are not getting the coaching that you think you need, then I hope you are able to find a different facility. Yes, unfortunately, agility trainers can be out of their element when confronted with the so called "off breed", but a good trainer will step up to the challenge with you, and find the best way to school your hound. Don't give up, it takes time. Especially if you are both novice, (such as my case). It may be frustrating at times (we can all say that for sure) but it is also very rewarding and ever so exciting when you reach those little milestones of success.

 

PS. It may be easier to help and advise if we could see a video or two of your classes.

 

And as a matter of interest, of the 30-35 dogs I am in regular contact with at trials, clinics, fun matches, etc , Lilly is the one and only hound and that makes her extra special in my mind.. LOL Best of Luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Oh that is no time at all. Most of us have been at it for many, many years and still there is always something to learn"

Time from start to first trial for most teams is at least a year. And that doesn't necessarily mean comfortable and running well. Kili and I still fight this battle sometimes since sighthounds don't exactly mature young. She's coming up 2.5 and has been in agility training since the age of about 10 months (well, since 8 weeks if you want to count all the foundation stuff since she was destined to be an agility dog from the moment her breeder chose her for me) and she is STILL considered a baby dog and a green dog. She STILL has major moments of puppy brain. After a year and a half of agility training and coming up to a year of trialing, we are finally starting to find a bit of rhythm and have some consistency in the ring.

 

6 months is baby foundation territory. After this thread I went to class last night and I had to laugh a little to myself, because I now almost have that dog where I can just drop a toy as a reward, that tries to steal the tug toy out of my pocket at the start line, that comes out of her crate LOOKING for the toy. This is not the dog I started with AT ALL. There are videos of me at training running around the barn hooping and hollering, waving a toy around and screaming "I'm faster than you! I'm faster than the greyhound! HA HA HA! COME AND GET ME SLOWPOKE!" like a freaking lunatic. And last night what did I do? Awesome weave poles, toss a toy, turn around and talk to my trainer while my dog rewarded herself running around shaking her toy.

 

Go to my blog and look up the tag "Kili disc dog". Go all the way back to the fall of 2013, which was the first time I said "yeah, I want to try disc with my dog". Her interest in the disc is limited, and on video I only have the good stuff... not the running around like an idiot with the disc held over my head screaming "It's MINE! All mine and you can't have it! It's the greatest disc in the whole world! I won't let you have it!", and not the days where I threw the disc and she wandered off to do something else... and even so you can tell she didn't have much disc drive. Now... when I pull out a disc she starts jumping and bouncing and trying to grab it out of my hand. That's something that just started a few months ago.

 

My point is... you have to build drive, you have to nurture enthusiasm, and you have to train the dog that you have, because nothing is going to make her a border collie. It is so doable to have an enthusiastic, driven greyhound. So doable. But it takes a lot of work, a lot of patience, and a lot of creativity. Oh, and A LOT of frustration! ;)

 

And as a matter of interest, of the 30-35 dogs I am in regular contact with at trials, clinics, fun matches, etc , Lilly is the one and only hound and that makes her extra special in my mind.. LOL Best of Luck.

 

Kili is the only greyhound in this area, however there's another lady that runs an IG and an Ibizan, and just got a whippet puppy. And there's a high level competitor that runs a whippet. But Kili still really stands out. Whippets are pretty par for the course in dog sports, and the Ibizan is good but he is more slow and steady on course... I mean, Kili just GOES. She's not always right, but by golly she does it all at full speed! My favourite was the last run this weekend, and the last sequence came out of a tunnel and then was a straight away of 4 jumps. There is no keeping up with a greyhound on a 20 metre straight away. So I just kept giving her send command. I'm a little biased, but I've watched that video a couple of times now and it still takes my breath away.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPRfD6gJJ0Y

 

To the OP: It IS doable, hang in there.

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

Like us on Facebook!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Amber

Ok thanks everyone! I will look at the videos and think what to do.i was keeping special high value toys just for agility and my trainer said not to, but to use them and get her hooked on them, tugging. Which I did and the result was zero interest in the same toy in class.

 

He doesn't understand my dog and is good in some ways but a pretty poor teacher in others eg presenting beginners with complex courses where we don't know where to go, let alone the dog. When we just practiced a figure of 8 over a single jump on monday, fey did really well with food.

 

so it's kind of a mixed bag. I think there is another agility club in my area, maybe i could try to find out about them.

 

eta i could try get a video of us but usually if she's loose, she starts by running off round the barn , peeing and pooping with excitement ! she was doing quite well off leash before Christmas but we had a month off when she got a corn and her focus has been pretty bad since we went back a few weeks ago. Maybe running her on leash would be better just now, tho it's physically a bit awkward with a leash.

Edited by Amber
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe running her on leash would be better just now, tho it's physically a bit awkward with a leash.

 

I wouldn't, personally. It becomes a crutch and the dog is well aware of when they are on leash and when they are off. There's a greyhound in one of my trainer's other classes, and they are in this vicious cycle. The owner won't run him off leash to start with because she says he'll just do zoomies, and so she wants to get his focus on her first with a few runs on leash. Then she'll take him off and he might do okay for a bit, but then he realizes he's off leash and he does zoomies. Now, there are two things to consider... the dog does zoomies because it is fun... but dogs will also do zoomies to relieve stress. There are exercises of course, which involve putting your dog back on a leash to work on these issues, but my warning is to be careful that it doesn't become a necessity. Agility is no fun with a dog on a leash. Not to mention it's kind of dangerous.

 

A) If she has a tendency to do zoomies, exercise her before class. I never have enough time to exercise Kili before evening class, so I accept that she's probably going to be a bit more of a wild child (but I do not accept her running laps and truly doing zoomies). Before a trial though... I run her HARD for 30-45 minutes to take the edge off. I would run your dog before class to cut down the zoomies.

 

B ) If she zooms, she wins an unwanted reward. For Kili that means an immediate trip back to her crate for a time out. This isn't scary, but it sucks because she LOVES agility, she loves working with me, and she loves running. The last thing she wants is to get put back in her crate with no reward. Then I get her back out again shortly after (30 seconds to a couple of minutes) and try again.

 

I took an Agility University online course on focus and teamwork. It was amazingly helpful. It was taught by Tracy Sklenar, and she is just awesome. I highly recommend checking them out.

 

ETA: Also, something that I loved that Tracy taught us, is to bring our your dog's inner naughty. Find something that your dog LOVES that gets her excited that she probably isn't allowed to do normally. For example, Kili is NOT allowed to jump up on people. However, when we play together I let her put her feet up on my chest when she tugs. She absolutely loves it. That's her "inner naughty". Another dog in our class liked to growl when playing (disclaimer, make sure your dog is growling because it's fun and not legitimately because it is toy possessive!).

Edited by krissy

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

Like us on Facebook!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Amber

Haha yes the zoomies are the issue! We don't use crates but i could leash her up and take her outside of the barn for a few seconds as a time out?

 

I usually end up laughing at myself running about trying to catch her though and kind of laugh it off to cover my embarrassment, so she probably thinks oh great, mum's laughing and enjoying these zoomies too lol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Haha yes the zoomies are the issue! We don't use crates but i could leash her up and take her outside of the barn for a few seconds as a time out?

I usually end up laughing at myself running about trying to catch her though and kind of laugh it off to cover my embarrassment, so she probably thinks oh great, mum's laughing and enjoying these zoomies too lol

Sounds about right! I refuse to chase my dogs. It just becomes a game. I will call once and if she comes right back I will often allow her to continue with the course. If she continues to ignore me, I won't chase her and I won't call her again. I simply leave. In trials that means walking out if the ring. In class that usually means walking out the door. That usually gets her attention.

 

If you don't use a crate I'd bring a blanket and use it as her "crate". Train her to lay on it between runs, and I'd take her back to it for a time out if she zooms, but no rewards or attention. The crate is nice because she goes in and I can just turn around and do something else for a minute until it is time to get her back out.

Edited by krissy

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

Like us on Facebook!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Amber

We went tonight and i kept her on lead, so she couldn't run off. It was ok i guess but she's not enthusiastic any more since none of the other dogs use toys, she just seems bored and sad and wonders why she is there. I'm also getting fed up of the trainer saying that I'm not trying. I am trying, i took a bag of special toys inc a real rabbit fur dummy, which she was interested in for all of 10 minutes and then didnt care for but i really did try to get her motivated.

 

I think I'm going to look into other clubs with hopefully a more encouraging trainer, as i find this guy discouraging and neither of us are enjoying it any more. I don't think there is any point if she's not having fun and I'm being criticised and not enjoying that. It's not as if we are doing it to compete, the idea was to have fun and improve our bond but TBH playing and training by ourselves without that trainer on my back is much better.

Edited by Amber
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A motivating trainer is very important. I have always had fantastic trainers. I don't always 100% agree with them on suggestions, but they have always been encouraging and accommodating. It is important to me that a trainer doesn't look at us and go "oh, a hound". I expect them to be more like "Oh! A hound! That's awesome that you're working with an off breed!". If they're not interested and don't believe in you as a team, then who is going to prop you up when you feel frustrated? It has always been my trainers that have gotten me through rough patches in my own motivation. I still keep in touch with my trainers back home after moving out west. I send them videos of Kili from time to time when she has a big accomplishment and they're always happy to hear from us and see our progress.

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

Like us on Facebook!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Amber

Yes, i looked on agility.net and there are several small clubs but i don't know which one to contact, i don't know the trainers. Maybe i should just phone some and guauge how they are on the phone.

 

Just felt deflated after the class tonight so i don't see any point in it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Call and speak with them and then ask to observe a class without your dog with you so you can observe their teaching style, what the facility is like, how they handle dogs that are struggling, etc.

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
Guest Amber

Ok, an update. So we stuck in with the class and the past few weeks, Fey is performing much better. She is keen to work for her own toy or food. We've not been using the toys (squeaky tennis ball and assortment of tuggy squeaks) outside of the class at all, so maybe that's why.

 

The problem is though i really don't agree with some of the trainers 'old school' methods. I hasten to add he doesn't do anything harsh to my dog, i think he knows i won't stand for that but he sometimes goes on and on with peculiar stories about how hes controlled abgressive dogs and that a dog needs to be a bit scared of the owner. Well i don't agree with that. Mostly the class is quite good, but i can't really listen to all this stuff (it's not every class, but some he goes on like this).

 

To be honest i kind of get the impression a lot of agility people are quite harsh handlers.

 

also last night a new dog, 11 month old pup, worked off leash and kept running over to jump all over my on leash dog wanting to play and being annoying...will be joining our class, well we soon got fed up of that.

 

So I'm enquiring about a different club run by a young woman who competes up to Championship level. I've asked if i can observe a class.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...