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Agility issues...

449 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  BKaymuttleycrew
Chloe is a 3 year old Toller; very independent and energetic. I have been training her on homemade weave polls, jumps, and an Aframe for 2 years. I finally found an instructor and thought it might be time to find out what we should be doing.

We have had 5 30 minute private lessons. The first 15 minutes is me walking the course to learn it, with Chloe in a kennel. Then I do it with her. It isn't working well.

She hates being in the kennel with stuff going on outside. I suggested that my wife could take her for a walk, or even show up 15 minutes after me, but the instructor says that isn't how it is done. I tried taking her for a 5 mile walk before class in hopes of calming her down, but it doesn't change anything.

When I take Chloe on the course she is eager to do it, but since I really haven't learned all 17 stations, I have to stop and look around after each one to know where to go. Chloe finds that frustrating and will occasionally act out by just running around. I have asked the instructor if we can do the same routine each week, so I actually know it, and concentrate on improving rather than just struggling to find my way through it; or maybe do a shorter routine so maybe I will able to know where to go. She says that is not how it is done, and I will never improve by doing the same routine over and over.

I have come to the conclusion that I am wasting time and money, and getting Chloe upset; we will never learn anything by this process. If this is truly how agility is taught, then it clearly is not the sport for us. I would appreciate some insight into this issue.
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First off, I will ask you what are your ultimate goals for Chloe & agility? Do you have your sights set on actually competing? or is this really just for a fun activity for you to do together?

If competing is in your future, then I would think that you should have started off with a 'foundations' class where (it's my understanding, I've never actually taken one) there is little to no actual equipment introduced, but you learn lots of handling techniques that you will need. I would also be more likely (if competing is the goal) to follow the strict guidelines of the instructor.

If you're just in it for the fun? Nah! She should make it an enjoyable experience for the two of you. Especially since it's private lessons, what's the point of being so inflexible? I took my Beckett through an agility class (semi private, 2 of us participating) and while the instructor helped us work through things, if we wanted to do our 'own thing' or change things up a bit - her opinion was "Hey! This is YOUR class."

Again, this is coming from the perspective of someone who has absolutely NO desire to compete in the sport. We were just trying to have fun.
No interest in competing. She is a very bright dog, and I just thought she would find it interesting. Sadly, she found it horribly boring.
In that case, I'd have an honest talk with your instructor. If she's not willing to bend a bit to make your experience a good one (and I mean for both you & Chloe) then I'd be looking for another agility trainer. As long as you're not doing anything actually dangerous, then I wouldn't be all that worried about what's "proper" to do in an agility class.
My Beckett is 11 years old, and horribly dog reactive, so he doesn't get to go many places. This was just something for him to do one on one with me. We both had a great time. If you find a trainer with the right sort of attitude, I'm sure you & Chloe would have a fun time with it as well. Keep looking!
Actually just the opposite. She sent me letter telling me that I couldn't continue unless I was willing to do precisely what she wanted. Chloe peed once and she warned me there would be fines if it happened again. I don't know how well she can run in diapers.

I have built a lot of apparatus and will continue at home. I am also looking into sheep herding. Apparently Tollers are good at it.
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