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View Full Version : agility delimma....



jld
16th January 2008, 01:39 AM
I have a question to those of you who do agility, or to those of you who really know the cavalier's personality. I have been doing pre-agility with my now 10 mo. old puppy. Up until now, it has just been obedience training (18 wks. ). She did well on the obedience part. She stays, comes, stays with me, does the target etc. This past week we began the beginner agility which is very basic...tunnel, the baby board, the very low jump (really it is on the ground, practically), and the tire which is also placed on the ground for her. She acts scared to death of the tunnel and the tire. At first she went through the tunnel and then just refused!! Nothing we can do will get her to go through the tunnel or tire. Her personality is shy and rather timid. She approches people with caution, however she likes other dogs. My question is to keep going to these classes hoping she will eventually learn to like it, or just accept that her personallity is such that this is just not for her. They are so nice at the agility training. They never force a dog to do anything...she has been trained with the clicker method and rewards. I am absolutely fine with giving it up, as we were just doing it for fun anyway. And, she has learned so many good commands. I just wondered if anyone else has had similiar problems. Thanks for any information. Judy and Dixie

debjen
16th January 2008, 02:31 AM
Agility is fun and very addictive so if at possible I would keep at it..luckily my guys are not afraid of anything on the agility course but I teach an intro class and the tunnel and tire are scary to a lot of dogs.. a couple of things you can try.. I don't know where you are at but if you have a store like a Toy's R us go and get a children's tunnel or something they can crawl through also a hula hoop to use as a tire or some dryer vent hose for a tire... at first just have them out so that your pup can get use to them.. then start to click and treat for approaching...touching going in or over..also if you have your own tunnel you can put treats inside of it to get your pup to go in..However do not do this at your class as you will have people mad at you when their dogs stop in the tunnel to smell the food..*G*..as long as your trainer is not forcing you to do anything your dog is not ready for and your dog is happy keep going to class...and before you know it your pup may be doing this..some other things you can use for a tunnel is a box that is open at either end..a garbage can with both ends taken off..

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v521/debjen/RobbieTire2.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v521/debjen/RobbieTunnel2.jpg

jld
16th January 2008, 04:16 AM
Debjen, those pictures are great.....I would love it if Dixie would do that. Thank you so much for your advice and encouragement. You have some great ideas. I will try those. I do hate to give up, as it does look like so much fun. It is just discouraging when she is the only dog that won't do some of the activities, but she is the most timid too. Have you seen some dogs that eventually get over being afraid? I will keep you posted, and thanks again for the advice. Judy and Dixie

Caraline
16th January 2008, 05:42 AM
I've got no words of wisdom, but I did have to comment on those awesome photos Debjen. :rah:

debjen
16th January 2008, 06:10 AM
Debjen, those pictures are great.....I would love it if Dixie would do that. Thank you so much for your advice and encouragement. You have some great ideas. I will try those. I do hate to give up, as it does look like so much fun. It is just discouraging when she is the only dog that won't do some of the activities, but she is the most timid too. Have you seen some dogs that eventually get over being afraid? I will keep you posted, and thanks again for the advice. Judy and Dixie

Most definitely most dogs learn to love the tunnel and tire even those that are initially afraid of it..just give her some time and build up her confidence..just remember baby steps and don't push too fast..I actually had Robbie in a tunnel when he was about 3 months old...just had one in the living room and he would follow Riley (lab) through it..


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v521/debjen/firsttunnel2.jpg

debjen
16th January 2008, 06:10 AM
I've got no words of wisdom, but I did have to comment on those awesome photos Debjen. :rah:

Thanks

frecklesmom
16th January 2008, 03:22 PM
When I got a short tunnel, more for stimulus and fun, I had to figure how to get Freckles (puppymill boy) to get close to it. Dropping treats didn't work b"cuz there were 4 other mouths ready to inhale them. I ended up grinding the good treats in a coffee grinder so I had a nice powder and then applied that frequently in the tunnel-matter over mind -LOL-the tunnel became a favorite place for him and a natural part of the daily chase routine.

Karlin
16th January 2008, 10:48 PM
She is still very young and also in the stage where they do get fearful of certain things. If she doesn't want to do a piece of equipment, just leave it while she builds confidence on the others. She isn't competing and this is a fun pre agility class so there's no need to require her to do anything. :) She will probably have no problems with them after a while. In general you never want to make a dog do something they don;t want to do and never force an activity on a worried dog. The point of agility should always be FUN for you and your dog! :) It takes time and patience for them to do some pieces and some dogs won't ever do certain pieces -- but don't let that hold both of you back from doing all the others for now.

CavyMom
17th January 2008, 02:15 PM
I'm glad to hear you're using the clicker/positive reinforcement method, it's really the best way to build up a dog and get it's confidence a boost! Anyway, as for your problem with the tire and tunnel - Get a toy tunnel as others suggested, if she's afraid of it, take a step back, use your clicker, reward her for looking at the tunnel, for playing near the tunnel, or anything associated with the tunnel. When she's comfortable being around the tunnel, slowly shape that behavior into actually running through the tunnel, and go from there :) The tunnel, the chute, and the tire I find are very often the things that'll scare a dog in the beginning. Also at this stage, I would also recommend getting a board and just lay it on the ground, and then slowly prop it in the middle very low to get her use to the idea of a teeter. With a dog that has a more timid personality, the key is going as slow as possible and taking your time, it'll pay off in the end!!!

Laura&Lia
21st January 2008, 07:31 PM
It's normal for a puppy of his age. Lia was scared of the chute and the tunnel. Eventually this fear disappeared with treats and praising. Good luck with the agility training.

P.S.: Now Lia does agility like a pistol...LOL