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Full Version: Why we are taking the Play Class at FDSA in October....
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Just look at this girl go! However, she is only attentive as long as there is motion. I have no idea how to keep this engagement up.

Oh, yea. That is MY SPACE SENSITIVE DOG on our first time trying this ever.

I'm still positive I have an agility dog on my hands. If only I could find a venue that will let us take private non-class lessons and won't turn us away because "the soft ones aren't reliable in competition". Yea, I've heard that twice already in Charleston. And the one lady who wants us is booked solid with no additional time.

" the soft ones aren't reliable in competition" Wow, that is an awful attitude and frankly you are better off not being involved with a centre that has that attitude. I do not believe they could possibly have their hearts in the right place. Such activities should first and foremost be about the enjoyment for the dog and owner irrespective of whether you were to ever want to compete.
Sorry but, " the soft ones aren't reliable in competition", as an excuse to not give lessons is stupid.  Where we take our agility classes they encourage people with shy, insecure, dogs to do agility.  Agility is seen as a wonderful activity to build confidence in a way that is fun for both dog and owner.  This spring, I did a few private classes with Mattie and she loves it!  It is expensive so I hope to try out a regular class next month.  It was wonderful to see how happy Mattie was when she did something new.  I was surprised at how quickly she learned new obstacles.  I had no expectations so Mattie really amazed me and I bet you would see the same with Ember.  In the classes we have attended there have been lots of people that have no intention of competing.  I really don't know if I will compete with Mattie.   The emphasis has never been on competing, but having fun and learning new things with your dog.
So what they are saying is that they ONLY train dogs for competition, no other reason. That is a group I wouldn't want to be around anyway. They are not concerned about what is best for each individual dog. They want winners.
Yea I know. It's just this area. Lots of rich people who only have working dogs for sports purposes (don't exactly have sheep on Charleston). Very competitive area with highly titled trainers. It's a little disheartening. I'm looking at traveling to Columbia an hour and a half one way if I want classes. At least I know that facility and so does ember. It is the same facility where we went to the Fenzi seminar. The problem with that is in afraid the traveling will undo Ember and we may not get anything out of the classes. Or on the other hand it's so much traveling that we may not get to have time to acclimated every single time. I don't want the facility to be stressful.
Ember it is about having fun with your dog and building relationships, I call training nights a date night, lol.
Competition is not for everyone or every dog. I truly believe if you have to work so hard at a dog to make it it at least functional at a trial, then you have lost why you are doing this. Draco is easy, in this regards, May was not so we never Trial she enjoyed classes, I should say most classes. Classes that were rowdy and out of control were stressful to her.
Flynn I am not sure yet, he is sensitive. I will see how he goes, I am hoping to get him to a fun match.
But at the end of the day it will be his choice, this is just for fun, and bonding

As for classes, shop around, I am serious about that.
As you know I no longer teach at my old club, and teach out of my friends big training room. This was mainly because I didn't like the clubs philosophy. Dogs would enter the building off leash very excited and allowed to visit any dog they wished.
I am the other extreme, I believe how the dog enters set the tone. I insist on a calm entry on leash. My dogs are crated, most of my classes dogs are crated or they can sit quietly with the owner. The only classes where i do show a bit of leniency is puppies, however they cannot come in off leash and cannot play until a 5 min break or at the end. I think calmness and self control starts as a puppy.
All the dogs in my Advance classes are so relaxed, you have probably seen pics of them when we are outside searching all calmly lying next to their owners, this by the way what I believe A socialized dog should look like. I think what helps this is the dogs feel secure that their personal space is not going to be invaded.
We need to think about what we want and need from a club. Training styles, the biggie being positive training methods. Even squirting water at a dog for barking would be a deal breaker for me, it demonstrates a lack of training knowledge. How big are the classes, does the instructor teach, help each dog slightly differently understanding each team is unique. Are dogs allowed there own space.
Remember herders are over stimulated and stressed in chaotic surroundings.
When I look at training classes I have to take 3 things into consideration on how to proceed with each dog. The dog, the owner, the dog/owner as a team. I love this challenge. The first time I meet and work with a new dog the quick "game" of discovering all about the dog, it truly is a beautiful dance.
Then needing to adjust myself to meet the dogs need. Then seeing if the style the dog prefers the owner can adapt or whether some compromising has to happen.
Usually the very naughty,out of control dogs are very drawn to me, because we have the same energy, they love very fast quick training. I remember I had worked with a Newfoundland dog, OMG it was painfully slow for me. I had to take several breaks, lol.

Ember you are smart and help with your friend Deb, next time you have access to another dog, try some focus work and a trick see how different this "dance" is to Ember, see and hear what the dog is telling you, adjust, wait again for the dogs feed back. I confess it is addictive.

Enjoy it is a beautiful journey of discovery
I guess half the problem is I don't really want to subject her to classes just yet. I'm really looking for private instruction. And yea I Would love to work with other dogs and figure them out. Such good advice QD! Great read. Thank you. I love watching your training progress.
Ember wished we lived nearer, i think we could have fun
Quirkydog, I love 'date night'. When I would take Mattie to her class my kids would refer to it as the 'Mommy and Me' class. Appropriate since Mattie's world revolves around 'Mommy'.
(09-09-2017, 12:36 PM)Quirkydog Wrote: [ -> ]Ember wished we lived nearer, i think we could have fun

"Wished you lived closer" Haha, if only you knew how many times I wished the same. Nowhere in Australia have I found such a wonderful collective of awesomely loving and savvy dog people.

Now this is a bit creepy but also funny-
Recently I had cause to redo my Last Will and Testament Ughh So bearing in mind that the dogs future well being is paramount I got to the bit where I must determine "who" I wanted to give responsibility for rehoming my dogs. So there I am sitting with my solicitors office and I start giggling to myself, my mind went to, "I wonder what it costs to send dogs to the U'S or Canada ?", "I wonder if they would cope with such a journey". LOL

I know, I know, I overthink everything, bad habit and oh, I did come up with one person I would entrust this to.
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