Agility Night No. 2 - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-20-2017, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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Agility Night No. 2

Well last night was our second night at agility. Hershey was so much more relaxed entering the building this time. No sign of nerves at all in fact while we were waiting our turn to go into the arena to start classes, he started crying and pulling to get in there. I think he remembered last week and was quite keen. He did really well. They introduced the A Frame last night and his first effort was great going up and then terrified going down. Second attempt was way better and after that he loved it. He loved it so much in fact that when we were leaving he pulled me over to it and up he went to do it one more time. He also did a great job on the weave poles and the curved tunnel. Great night on his part. The really bad part of the night, he got attacked by another dog. I think this dog is going to be a problem. He attacked another dog last night also. The lady that has him apologized over and over and is a very sweet lady who has rescued an incredible number of dogs over the years and this one is also a rescue. The problem is she is not very savvy when it comes to handling her dog. Three times last night she let him get away from her and he bolted all over the arena disrupting other classes and general being a pain. He has no recall and is beyond hyper. Then as the night continued his excitement switched to aggression and that is when the two attacks occurred. I was fast enough to grab Hershey immediately before any harm could be done, but the last thing I want is for Hersh to get a negative feeling about the class. I put him in it in part to help build confidence. He didn't act any differently after the incident so I think he just got over it immediately. I am hoping that is the case. I think though if this other dog continues to be a problem I will request being in a different class from her or ask to have her leave the classes. Am I being unfair to her by doing this? I am willing to give her a chance to work with her dog, but she doesn't seem to have the attitude needed to change his behavior. Although she was sorry, she kept saying he is a rescue he doesn't understand it is wrong. I really think he needs a lot more work with a trainer before attending our class, what do you guys think?







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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-20-2017, 04:50 PM
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I absolutely agree with you and wouldn't hesitate to keep my dog out of any class that her dog was in. I'd let the class owner know without a doubt, too, so that they understood how dangerous this dog is.

I don't understand why the class trainer would allow the dog to continue as is. Why haven't they stepped in already? The chance of injury and/or psychological damage is huge.

What a good boy that Hershey did so well, and very thankful that the attack last night didn't seem to connect to make him fearful. Next time that might not be the case.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-20-2017, 07:48 PM
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Nino also loves his contact obstacles. He will go out of his way just to use them because regular walking is so passť. What method are you using to teach weaves? The many different ways absolutely intrigues me.

Regarding the aggressive dog...before you make any decisions regarding switching classes, speak with the instructor and voice your concerns. Request that the woman be asked to bring a crate and instead of holding the leash during times he isn't off leash, have her crate him with a blanket over the crate. The dog sounds incredibly over-stimulated, which can lead to uncontrollable, hyper behavior and even lashing out. I don't like that you have to be the one initiating this rather than the instructor...do they not see an issue? It may be that the place I train is a bit more strict, but the instructors aren't hesitant in asking that an over-stimulated, exuberant, or misbehaving dog be placed in one of the crates in the crating area to mellow out when not working (removing them beyond the gating and 3 steps down into the ring that everyone else is removed). Even with two courses going at a time, this practice has resulted in a very mellow working environment with every dog in focus and behaving. Suggest this to your instructor.
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Last edited by KarMar; 01-20-2017 at 10:28 PM.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-20-2017, 09:17 PM
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Your first responsibility is the safety and wellfare of your dog. If the instructor doesn't insist that the dog is crated when your dos are on the course, IMO, tou have no choice but to switch classes or find a different facility. Likewise, I'd be sure that MY dog was in a crate at all times when that dog was out of the crate.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-20-2017, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your great feedback. I think I just needed to get confirmation on what I knew I needed to do. I will speak with the instructor next week about this. Our dogs are all still leashed at this point so it is worrisome looking down the road to when we are working off leash. We are only doing 2 or 3 obstacles at a time right now with 6 dogs in the class so there isn't time to crate and uncrate. We basically are asked to form a line do the obstacles and go to the back of the line. I will make sure I am no where near her in the line next week. Better yet she may allow me to go to a different class.







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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-21-2017, 12:29 AM
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Thank you all for your great feedback. I think I just needed to get confirmation on what I knew I needed to do. I will speak with the instructor next week about this. Our dogs are all still leashed at this point so it is worrisome looking down the road to when we are working off leash. We are only doing 2 or 3 obstacles at a time right now with 6 dogs in the class so there isn't time to crate and uncrate. We basically are asked to form a line do the obstacles and go to the back of the line. I will make sure I am no where near her in the line next week. Better yet she may allow me to go to a different class.
From the first puppy agility class on, all work is done off leash where we train, but even so, it surprises me that they would allow someone in the class who is unable to control their dog on leash, let alone off leash. Once you do get to off leash work, any other dog should be out of the ring you are working on, so there would potentially be less to worry about there (though I would crate Hershey when the problem dog is off leash, even if you are out of the ring). I wouldn't feel comfortable standing in a line of 6 dogs even if all were well-behaved. Standing close together, not moving, while all on leash could potentially cause problems. Could you remember your place in the order and stand about 10-20 feet away to work on some tricks or obedience stuff?

I do hope for your sake you can switch to another class, but I hope even more that she asks the problem dog's owner to leave the class and come back when the dog is better prepared. That would be the most fair to the other 5 paying students.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-21-2017, 07:23 AM
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Wow. That's on the instructor and policies of the place you're in. Lola starts an Agility Foundations class tomorrow, and in the agreement you sign with the club, it clearly states that any aggression will result in the dog needing to leave. Everyone also has to bring a crate in case it's needed with over-stimulated, over-enthusiastic pups. Lola has had some Rally classes there, and due to being in a smaller, indoor place, all dogs are crated when not in the ring. Because Watson can be reactive with some dogs, he's done some nose work classes at the same place because the crated area is sectioned off with screens since they offer that class to all dogs, including reactive dogs and dogs prone to getting over-stimulated quickly.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-21-2017, 07:34 AM
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Honestly, this doesn't sound like good agility instruction. Agility is an off leash sport. If dogs cannot reliably stay with their owner, they are not ready for agility. AND the dog running should be the ONLY dog in the ring.

In the case of a dog who might get over stimulated or distracted, a short thin line might be attached to them so they are easier to catch, but there should be no on-leash work. Dogs need to learn to drive through (or over) obstacles, which is not possible on leash. All you will accomplish with a leash is to slow them down. Likewise, a leash should not be used to hold them on or "guide" them over an obstacle. They MUST learn to do it independently.

Honestly, I'd be looking for a different place to train. This sounds like a place that "plays" at agility rather than serious training.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-21-2017, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Ollie"s Mom View Post
The problem is she is not very savvy when it comes to handling her dog. Three times last night she let him get away from her and he bolted all over the arena disrupting other classes and general being a pain. He has no recall and is beyond hyper.
This is exactly why most serious agility schools require that their "students" attend obedience training and demonstrate a high level of competence in obedience. Obedience competition is not as exciting or as entertaining as agility competition but obedience proficiency is the foundation for agility training. Perhaps Ricky will compete in agility someday but I have chosen to work our way through the tedious and often times monotonous repetition of obedience trials. I don't think he is ready for the serious and disciplined rigors of agility training yet.

Yes, it does sound like the facility in question is an agility playground rather than a serious agility training school. There is the real risk that Hersey could be hurt either by other dogs or on the equipment itself. I would recommend a different facility, it is just not worth the gamble.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-21-2017, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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You all are giving me a lot of good advice and food for thought on the agility program I am in. It is nothing like the agility classes you are describing. It is held in a huge horse arena with 3 classes going at the same time. There is no agility ring at all. They set up equipment in 3 separate areas without any physical separation, no fencing or anything like that. They do not set up a full course until you move up from beginners. They only had 1 jump, a tunnel and the A framed set up for us. Then we line up and do the three. It takes no time at all for each dog to complete this once they are comfortable and if you crated a dog it would be your turn by the time you put him in the crate. Obviously not ideal and not at all like you are describing.







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