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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-27-2008, 08:17 AM Thread Starter
Chico and Cali
 
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Question for those who show dogs

Last night at the first class for Therapy Dog training, Cali freaked out. (She has already passed basic obedience and knows what to do.) She followed cues with great reluctance, even "sit".
This was a new room, with new dogs. She immediately became uncomfortable and we think it was due to the tile floor,which was kind of slick. She really didn't like the environment. It didn't seem to be the dogs, because she didn't make a peep toward them.
The floor at obedience class wasn't slippery and she had absolutely no problems there.

One of the teachers told me there is a product that some show people use to spray on their dogs pads, to avoid slipping. She suggested that I try it on Cali for next week's class.
She wasn't sure where to get this product.
I looked through PetEdge, but didn't find it.

Any suggestions?

Nan
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-27-2008, 08:33 AM
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Hi Nan,

The stuff that I use is made by Bio-Groom and is called "Show Foot" Professional Anti-Slip Spray. There is also some stuff call Paw Wax that is used by Mushers that also helps, but I can't remember who it is made by, I think it is by "Shaws" It also helps protect the dogs feet from gravel and salt that has been put on the roads as well as helps with the hot asphalt.

Here are a couple of links to each of the products.

http://www.google.com/products?q=paw...num=1&ct=title

http://www.google.com/products?q=Bio...oducts&show=dd

Hope this helps.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-27-2008, 09:20 AM
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Heather already helped you with the products, but something else came to mind too. Besides the floor, could it have been the sounds? Different buildings allow sounds to bounce around differently. Dogs have much more accute hearing than we do and if the room/building is not insulated well to absorb sound, it can be disturbing to a dog to experience the first time.

Hopefully, Cali will get more comfortable and confident with time too.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-27-2008, 09:27 AM
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They definitely can freak out with new things around them. I took Dora to a small obedience show for rally and all the dogs were freaked out in the last ring. There was a mirror in the corner so people who trained there could see where their dogs were when heeling. Well we were fine until we got to the mirror, where most of the dogs barked, Dora just stopped and admired herself Just practice on different surfaces and different locations (petco and petsmart are great ones) that should help get her comfy.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-27-2008, 03:22 PM
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I doubt it was the floor being slippery either. But with a hard surface floor and maybe hard walls too all the sounds bouncing around can be a bit overwhelming. Until one gets used to such commotion we try to get there early to acclimate. It's very important for the handler to feel strong and not submit to sympathy for the dog and shelter it by cuddling. Walks outside the building seem to help. Some take quicker to loud places than others. I wouldn't expect any kind of performance with a dog until it was comfortable. At first it may be better to just go and watch.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-27-2008, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks

Heather, thank you for the info on the products. I shall get some asap. I'll use it next week at the class.

Tom, Kimberly and Amanda,
In retrospect, I think you are right, that Cali freaked out because of the unfamiliar noises and sounds bouncing off the walls. It is a large empty room. The AC made the room very cold, too. It is a completely white room.
I'll take her to the location this week when nobody is there and try to get her accustomed to it.
I'll also take her around to Petsmart, Target and other places where she can go with her new "Therapy dog in training" vest to get her more used to sounds.
I'll go to class early next week to try to settle her in the room. And I'll take the advice about not expecting her to perform until she's comfortable with the setting.
Here's hoping we have a better experience next week.

Nan
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-27-2008, 08:56 PM
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Sounds good. Also you have to be really good at not reflecting any anxiety that is further picked up on. And don't worry about your dog. Only the dumb ones are not a bit unsettled the first time in such a new environment.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-28-2008, 07:19 PM
 
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The product I have used for slippery floors is called Tacky Paw. Most rings are matted or carpeted indoors or grass out doors so I havent had a slipping issue very often.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-14-2008, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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Not the slippery floor

An update on Cali's class and the slippery floor.

As Kimberly, Tom and Amanda suggested, it wasn't the slippery floor that was freaking Cali out. It was the sound and feel of the room and the class situation. I ended up not getting her the product tacky paw (to prevent slipping.)

We comleted the therapy dog training class. She did get better, but didn't entirely adjust to the room. It is the same room where she will be tested in Sept.

She gradually improved and by the last night did almost everything correctly.

Funny thing is she breezed through the beginner obedience class she took first. And it is the obedience part she falters on in this class. She gets a bit weird and just looks at me...when I say sit, etc. then she does it.

She does great in all other areas, passing a neutral dog, standing for petting, loud distractions with a walker and people arguing etc.

I have my doubts that we'll pass. Partly because of my anxiety. I was more confident when I did this with Chico. Don't know why..

I'm going to try anyway. The test is at the end of September , so we have more time to practice.

Cali is such a sweetie, I just know the people at the places Chico and I visit will just love her. So I hope we pass.

Nan
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-15-2008, 12:33 AM
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Nan, I'm sure you will - you're an old pro. Good luck and let us know how you do.


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