Monday, September 6, 2010

Mystery Solved

Gauis looks much larger in this picture than he usually does :P

No the mystery is not how Gauis became a boxer. That is Lisa and Lacey. The mystery we solved was whether Gaius hates agility outside, or if he hates running on mulch. Turns out it's the mulch! YAY. That's really great because a large portion of agility trails are outside on grass. So now I can sign up for those without fear. We learned this at the Agility Show and Go out in Belroi Virgina.

Now Linda (One of my agility instructors) say that Gauis doesn't hate mulch, he just is more enthusastic in a 'trail situation'. Which I'm sure is partially right. But in practice he's only pookey outside, not when we're inside. Even when its really hot (there is no air conditioning in the indoor facility). So it has to be more than just trail excitement I think. I think he doesn't like mulch....

This is Sassy, she is Gauis' girlfriend.
He loves her. She is cranky, neurotic, shy and snaps at him sometimes. So you know, a normal girlfriend. :)

I learned some other things at the practice trail. One of which is that Gauis really has a proublem barking at judges. Ugh, I don't think I'm ever going to escape this issue. He particularly seems to hate it when the judge raises his hand to call a refusal. Which gives the appearance of him arguing with a referee about a bad call when he flips. It makes everyone in the audience laugh. When he did it in his first run, I just grabbed him and jerked him off the course. Crate time! If you can't play nice you can't play at all. That didn't really work. Linda says that only really works when dogs REALLY love agility. I mean Gauis likes agility fine, but he doesn't care enough that being taken off the course is that much of a punishment.

The next run I just called him off the judge. That took a moment, but he finally got back to work and finshed his run spunky and happy. So I guess that's what matters. Linda says this is a better strategy for trails. And a lot more socialization with strange men. Which I hate. I mean you try walking up to people and saying "Hey, my potentially aggressive neurotic dog hates you. Do you mind feeding him a treat?" People aren't really chomping at the bit to help you. I'm lucky he's small and cute.

On our last dog scout hike we were moving along and these two female hikers came in the other direction. Gauis decided to go bark at them and I went to call him off. Of course, they thought he was adorable. I don't think its adorable. But anyway apperently they have a dachshund at home they wanted to tell me all about. Then the strangest thing happened. The shorter woman goes "He's so well behaved. How did you teach him not to bark at people. I mean we can't get ours to stop." I gave her the strangest look. I mean my dog was barking at them. Like that moment, while she asked the question. Screaming his head off. I gave her the only answer I could think of. "I have absolutely no idea." People are weird.

This is Juneau and his mommy Jennifer. She is the lady talking while holding the camera in the video.

Compared to that big issue all the other mistakes he made were cake. He screwed up his weave poles again. I don't understand how he can be so stellar at those in practice but not at trials. I think he's not used to doing them so fast. He's not collecting or something. Something to work on. He refused the A-frame again, but he hasn't been on one in a while so that doesn't really bother me. He slide off the table which got a big laugh from the crowd. That was just because he was trucking. How mad can you get when the mistake is speed? Even if he screw up his entire run he's a crowd pleaser.

So here's the video:

This is Digby. He is our trial buddy.

Oh I also made one of Gauis friend Digby's run. Digby is a norwich terrier and very feisty. So you can watch this video too if you like

P.S. Things I did not know i would learn while writing this blog. How to use basic video editing software. I have moved on from i-movie to edius.


Texas The Doxie said...

That's the biggest thing holding me back from Texas + Agility. We'd never make it through the course with people on the outside/in the ring with us.

I am looking into getting a basket muzzle for him so we can do just normal everyday socializing with him.

Texas The Doxie said...

And yeah that would be from me. Erin :)

Elizabeth said...

Agility was really great for Gaius' confidence with strangers actually (As funny as that sounds with the two videos. But he is in a ring surrounded by strangers and during his runs were really the only time I had any issues with him barking. When we started in agility, there was no way that would have happened).

I don't know if it's learning the obstacles that does it. I mean the teeter and the A-frame start out as very scary and daunting tasks for a little dachshund. When they conquer that fear, I think it just makes it easier to deal with others. Like people.

Also it's once or twice a week of guaranteed, 'we are going to work on socialization time'. There's no, I'm busy. Or Gaius is having one of his 'bad days'. I mean when you pay money for something, you just show up regardless.

I mean the first few weeks were tough. Gaius pretty much screamed his head off and that was about it. He wouldn't do anything, wouldn't take food. But it got better after that.

I guess I'm saying that you don't have to wait for Texas to be perfectly behaved to start. But getting the basket muzzle and getting out there sounds like a great plan.