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Finny Farm? In Greenback, Tn? That's like 1 1/2 hrs ish from me so I definitely plan to take advantage of the trials there at some point. Depending on how this weekend goes I may even enter some this year. We're definitely going to stick with NADAC. It seems super fun and we can't even do AKC until Renegade is neutered because he's not registered. I don't know much about any other venues.

Finny Farm also has UpDog which I'd like to try at some point. Renegade is a disc nut. I don't know much about UpDog but it sounds fun.
That's the place! Right now the trials I regularly do are Blacksburg, Roanoke, and Yadkinville, NC, but I have an adult kid with his own transportation now who can easily do animal care for the ones that don't go, so Going to Finny is really appealing - plus I see a lot of stuff from her FB. UpDog, BarnHunt, FarmDog testing. I WISH I lived closer - it's only about 4 hours but is right on the edge of uncomfortable so I haven't so far. Planning, though.

And yeah, NADAC and AKC are about my options and I'm not doing AKC. Both because I don't want to neuter young and well. Other stuff that amounts to objection to giving them money.
 

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Slightly off topic from agility, but I know you have several dogs. Have you ever noticed whether spaying/neutering decreases drive in dogs? Toy drive, food drive, anything. Or if a dog is already pretty driven, will it stay that way? Renegade is my first dog that I've really ever trained and that's been medium/high drive. I'm a bit concerned that I'll lose that if he's neutered.
 

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I have noticed absolutely no behavioral differences with altering. The girls I spayed fairly young (under a year), but boys it's usually 3-8 YEARS old and I've never seen any real change except slightly better focus and needing fewer calories. Otherwise, no changes either positive or negative. I think a lot of what gets attributed to altering (not early stuff but in general) is just really the result of 'things that happen as dogs age' - and I mean both the good stuff and the bad.
 

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Emmybear _ How'd it go?
 

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Katie has been doing better in class, but still "shut down" towards the end of our second run last week. Today, our groomer discovered that she still had a stitch in her toe. I'm crossing my fingers that when that's removed she'll start to return to her previous level of agility enjoyment.
 

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Kylie broke 4 YPS in regular today (last class of the day, after 7 hours at the trial, in 85 degree heat), and is over half way to her NATCH points in that class. She broke 4.5 in Jumpers this morning. Molly? Got her novice jumpers title, but she also FELL ASLEEP at the trial and was a chilled out good dog. Nice day all around. We'll see how tomorrow goes - Kiran's coming with us, and I'm going to be stressed and extra exhausted, but should be fun.
 

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Kylie broke 4.5 YPS today in regular. For context, this was my 'big' goal speed wise for the year - in Tunnelers. Regular is not tunnelers. At all. So, you know. Holy crap, go little dog, go.



If I ever call her slow again, slap me.

And finished her Elite Jumpers title. That means from here on out, it's Jumpers Natch points.

She's also got more than half her regular NATCH points.

Molly got her open tunnelers title today.


And continued not to be stressed at ALL.
 

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I haven't done any real video in 6 months. Got some of Molly tonight.



I am extremely confident in saying progress is being made.
 

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Atlas and I finished his starter agility class - probably with honours, if they were going to give that out! Lol. He did *really* well and definitely makes me proud.

Just a quick question to see if anyone else has experienced this, and suggestions. He loooooves all the obstacles, except for jumps! He will take a tunnel if you go by it, he will go up and over the A frame, no fear (at all) of the teeter, etc. But will completely avoid the jumps sometimes! (Unless of course, there's a tunnel or something worthwhile at the end.)

At our last drop in class, we were working some jumps and he started off wonderfully, but by the end was opting to follow me around them versus going over. (I'm not discounting that he may have found them to be boring after numerous repeats of very similar sequences.) He is young (15 mths), but the jumps are quite low. I'm sure it's a combination of a bunch of different factors - they aren't fun/challenging, I'm pulling him off with my body (lack of forward movement on my part), and not cueing him soon enough. The ladies suggested I start telling him over sooner, and I will definitely try to get that going! Since I'm learning, and he's getting better and faster, I sometimes forget to cue ahead. (Running and trying not to trip in the pen is hard sometimes!) I'm hoping to borrow a couple jumps and try and build some value into them (jumps are awesome and you get lots of treats!) and maybe work at more distance when sending him so he learns to lock on and go versus trying to watch me and being pulled off.

I'll attach a couple video links from the last time, so you can see.

https://flic.kr/p/Yhb1Dm - start of class

https://flic.kr/p/XDvd9c - a full sequence, this is where they suggested calling out the jump after he exits the tunnel and to step beyond the jump to encourage him over it. You can see how keen he is to go over them to get to the tunnel though! (The run previous I was thinking I didn't want him so far ahead just yet so didn't call tunnel and he pulled himself off at the last minute - the ladies told me to just call it and let him go, so that's what I did time and it worked out very smoothly.)

Any suggestions or video links would be great! :)
 

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Both building value in them and calling ahead will help.

I suspect, without being positive, that most of your 'problem' right now is actually that when he can see a whole line going ahead and can choose his take off place on his own and adjust his own stride that he's more confident. And that when you're trying to set up and 'do jumps', late with your cues, you're in his space (at all, according to him), or you're trying to choose where he takes off from his confidence in getting over isn't there. So he pulls off the jump - or dodges around it.

That said, that's based on your text. I can't watch video right now, but will come back once I do.
 

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Nevermind - I got the video to load on this machine.

Yeah. You're late - like I'd be cuing 'over' the second he emerged from the tunnel in the first bit. You're also basically really, really close which isn't giving him room to pick a take off spot - or land, when you're asking him to jump toward you in the serp.

Build value in them but mostly, I'd say in this case 'earlier cues, more distance' is going to be what you need most. Well, that and maybe a touch less handler focus and a touch more obstacle focus.

He looks FANTASTIC for a baby dog though! Congrats on graduating!
 

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Note I'm no expert, but we had similar problems when I started. My instructor always yelled "GET YOUR HAND UP!!!" I noticed your hands kind of stay by your waist, or you'll point at the jump and then drop your hand, and Atlas follows your hand. Keep it up until he takes the jump. If you want to get that dog out, point with your hand! (Watch CptJack's videos. The dog is like fricken halfway across the field and she's got her hand up in the air directing the dog perfectly and omg) Open up! Make your body face that jump! Hands down means "come towards me" or stop.

In the serpentine, step farther away from the dog when he's coming toward you, he needs a bit more room to do the jump proper. You're blocking him with your body. That's when you put your hands down so he comes toward you a bit, then throw it back up to get him to take that jump.

One thing that helped me, I did the course without voice cues. Only my body. Guess what? Darn dog did better than with voice cues, because I was paying so much attention to how my body looked. They pay more attention to your body than you even realize. Once I started using body cues as my "main" communicator and voice as a "helper," it really started to change our performance.
 

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Thanks ladies! So very sorry for not replying - this weekend was just busy enough that I didn't have time to sit down and write a thoughtful reply.

I am going to jot down these points in my phone and go over them again before our next drop-in class (hopefully this Friday). It's funny because I tend to crowd the jump to take one of his 'exits' away from him, so will make a point of giving more space (and cueing sooner).

Lillith, good call about the hand up - I noticed it in the video but didn't put it together! I will also do that next time as well. I think some of that stems from puppy classes where he was smaller, and encouraging him to go through the tunnel (hand down) or over a bang board (hand down to keep his balance/attention on the obstacle) or even now to encourage contacts (though lately I haven't been using my hand, just stopping my body movement to get him to pause, as he's catching on that he needs to stop at the bottom). So now that I don't have to baby him quite as much (even though I want to, haha) I need to work on my position.

I think that because we just finished a starter class, and almost all of the other dogs weren't as, um, focused as Atlas (lots of zoomies by everyone else!) that the focus was introducing obstacles and a bit on our positions, but not as much as I need now. Hopefully the drop in classes will help with that too. The ladies touched on some of these points already, so hopefully we (me) can continue to improve!
 

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A lot of it's just lack of experience and confidence in both you and the dog. In fact almost every one of those issues that I pointed out (not crowding him, distance, getting out of his way, earlier cues) is down to trusting the dog to go where he needs to go rather than micromanaging him/body blocking him into the correct path and him trusting you enough to be able to feel confident enough to 'leave' you.

You can and probably should work on earlier cues and getting off him and building obstacle focus, but mostly?

He's not even 18 months old, yet, and it's a new game to you, too.

I will say the handling thing pretty much does not matter. I see people run with their arms down only occasionally 'flicking' out for an obstacle and people with their arms straight in the air (that one being me). Once you figure out what you're doing and it gets consistent the dog will learn to read it. There are 'styles' and 'methods' and all, but as my agility instructor has told me repeatedly: There is no real 'right' way to agility.
 

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In the next few months either my agility skills are going to take a leap forward or my head is going to explode from frustration - at myself. Which one will happen first is a mystery - just like WHY THIS IS SO FREAKING HARD FOR ME.
 

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Don't be afraid to stop in your course and give treats for the jumps as well. I see this a decent amount in the agility classes I have gone to. Some dogs don't find jumps motivating. The contact equipment usually gets a lot of treats as you work to train the contacts (so a lot of dogs will bolt to the a frame expecting treats), and tunnels often seem to be very satisfying to dogs naturally, but jumps often get neglected as far as rewarding goes.
So just because the instructor gives you a course to do, don't be afraid to stop and give a quick treat to help build his desire to take them.

My 19 month old standard poodle just started back into agility after a 7 month break or so. He was SUPER motivated start of class but his dang hair wraps piss him off in the tunnels and demotivate him, so as class went he got less enthusiastic. I've reworked his banding/wrapping and I'm hoping that makes a good difference next class.
 

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The trial I have this weekend is offering a special challenge - run the course and Q without helping course build or walking, and you get a pin along with your Q ribbon.

I think this sounds wicked fun and am probably going to try it. I also think I might have lost my mind.
 

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The trial I have this weekend is offering a special challenge - run the course and Q without helping course build or walking, and you get a pin along with your Q ribbon.

I think this sounds wicked fun and am probably going to try it. I also think I might have lost my mind.
That sounds REALLY fun! And a little scary! You'll have to let us know how it works out!

I'm taking Mr. Benjamin to his first agility trial in November (November 5). I'm half scared and half excited!
 

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Today was a weird one. We only got one q - but I saw so much crazy big progress in so many things I just don't care. She is doing stuff that was beyond us even a little while ago - like switching into a 180 (tightly, without spinning or me having to do a giant old U to get it) and switching out with huge amounts of distance and even doing a lot more distance than I've ever seen just - Meh. Screw the Qs. This was my Year of Yet, and the amount of better we are from last year is insane.
 

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Our Sept. 1st trial was cancelled due to the fires but we competed in one on Sept. 9th. Lucy did really well, getting two Q's in Advanced Snooker and one Q in Standard and one in Gamblers. Our next trial is on November 4th, an indoor trial and that is the last one for this year. I have her entered in four classes each day, Standard, Gamblers, Jumpers and Snooker each day. One more Snooker Q and she will be in Masters. Just hope we do not get a lot of snow before then as it is about a four hour drive each way. We will be staying in a Motel, too late in the year for camping.
 
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