Winky @ Westminster (agility) - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-13-2019, 05:08 AM Thread Starter
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Winky @ Westminster (agility)

Probably not the result they wanted (lol) but it wasn't lack of skill, he was just hanging out and enjoying himself

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry...sCUEcwvz4nRVGM
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-13-2019, 01:34 PM
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The thing is, to qualify for this event, the dog has to be GOOD at agility So when it slows down on course like that, it's NOT having a good time. It's stress. The owner was just making the best of it, and the little dog was just doing the best he could in a CRAZY environment. THa't not what a dog looks like when they are "having fun" on course.

I am sure this team is perfectly capable of putting in a great run under more typical trial circumstances, but not that day under those conditions. Crowds are notoriously poor at reading stress in dogs.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-13-2019, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Karen

Very good point - dogs can be stressed even when they don't look stressed.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-15-2019, 01:23 AM
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I gave up agility this year with Ollie for that very reason. He was so excited to go. But when he got out on the course he would just drag himself around. No excitement or enthusiasm at all. He loved to see everyone, but didnít enjoy the sport. No more agility for Ollie.







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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 12:28 PM
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At agility class, Shama seems to be having fun one minute then completely loses interest and sniffs around while on the course. I keep at it as a bonding thing between Shama and me, but we haven't done any trials since we got our first AKC qualifying run at the National Specialty in August. Not sure when we'll start trialing again. Poor Winky. I'm sure that crowd was so much louder than anything he'd experienced before. Hopefully he's more relaxed now . . .
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-17-2019, 01:50 PM
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I felt bad for him when he was at the top of a couple of ramps, he looked at the crowd, which seemed to roar at him, and looked confused about where he was but pulled himself together to move on. What a sweet little guy!
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 08:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShamaMama View Post
At agility class, Shama seems to be having fun one minute then completely loses interest and sniffs around while on the course. I keep at it as a bonding thing between Shama and me, but we haven't done any trials since we got our first AKC qualifying run at the National Specialty in August. Not sure when we'll start trialing again. Poor Winky. I'm sure that crowd was so much louder than anything he'd experienced before. Hopefully he's more relaxed now . . .
As I said, to qualify, he has to already be an accomplished agility dog. I'm sure he'll be fine at his next "normal" agility trial! Westminster is a lot for anyone!


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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 08:10 PM
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I don't want people to think there was anything terrible going on here either. He didn't shut down completely. He kept working, he kept connected to his handler... he just worked at a speed that could not possibly be his normal speed or he'd never Q. I'm sure his owner knew he was stressed once he was out on course, but then you are always making decisions. Is it better to pull your dog off course? Or continue? In a case like this, where he kept working? She made a perfectly legitimate decision to keep going... and you can bet he got tons of hug, praise and a cheeseburger (or the doggy equivalent) when he got off the course. He's fine.

It's just that I DO think it's important that people recognize that what they perceive as "cute" often isn't what the dog is feeling.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 04:16 AM Thread Starter
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big venue nerves

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Originally Posted by krandall View Post
As I said, to qualify, he has to already be an accomplished agility dog. I'm sure he'll be fine at his next "normal" agility trial! Westminster is a lot for anyone!
We had thsi same problem eons ago when we used to show horses - not much can prepare you for that sort of environment. You might be fine in your normal outdoor arenas with crowds, but it's a completely different environment at the state show in an indoor arena with the sheer number of people, different echos, etc.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 08:28 AM
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We had thsi same problem eons ago when we used to show horses - not much can prepare you for that sort of environment. You might be fine in your normal outdoor arenas with crowds, but it's a completely different environment at the state show in an indoor arena with the sheer number of people, different echos, etc.
Absolutely! And some horses love that environment, while others just want to curl up and die. The guy I still have now grows an extra two inches when he struts his way into the Coliseum at our NE fairgrounds, to the sound of the live organ. He loves the crowd. The horse I had before him... didn't show in the Coliseum. Only outdoors. he couldn't handle the big, indoor with the crowds all around.

More often, they are somewhere in between if it's something that you can introduce them too slowly, (in the case of horses and the Coliseum, it is open for you to take your horse in to introduce them to the space, without crowds, before and after show hours during show weeks. But that's not how dog shows like Westminster run. Winky got his chance this year... if they offered all classes (not sure they did) he would have had 4 chances in that ring. T2B, FAST, Jumpers and Standard. No in-ring warm-up ahead of time. Maybe he got better in other runs that we didn't see. We don't know. Or maybe he and his owner decided it was too much for him and he was withdrawn. We only see that snapshot.

But then he won't have any chance to be exposed to that setting again unless they decide to compete there next year. So there isn't much opportunity for dogs to acclimate to the environment.
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