Monday, May 16, 2011

We Take the Bad With The Good

Well we had an agility trail this weekend. We just did Sunday so that means two runs. This was our first trail after our three day extravaganza where we taught Gauis not to bark at judges... or ring crew... or helpless bystanders. And the verdict is, the lesson stuck! We had no barking this weekend. He did run off from me in Standard and sniffed the leash runner but then came right back and completed the course. So huge progress!

Now on the subject of our actual runs.... well they were sort of a disaster. But a fast happy enthusiastic disaster. Which is really sort of the best kind of disaster I guess. Here they are in all of their embarrassing glory.

Sorry it's really hard to see. Sean was far away for parts of it.

Sometimes I wonder if I should put my bad runs up here. But then I think, what would I learn if I only kept the good runs. The pretty runs. This blog is suppose to be all about record keeping. If I want to make progress I need an accurate account of where I am so I can know where I'm going. Besides Sean is a journalist and would never let me give you all biased reporting. So you get it all, the good the bad and the ugly.

Speaking of ugly look at this very unflattering picture of Gaius charging off the end of the teeter.

Gallery: OP Std 08 inch-B0511

So here's the breakdown.

Standard: Started off VERY enthusiastically. Gaius loves the teeter so having it early on is good for him. I was a little unclear about which jump to go to next which caused him to dart off (and sniff the leash runner as mentioned before). But no barking and he came right back. I think table after the A-Frame is hard for him because he's just going so fast and he slid right off of it but then hopped right back on. Next was the tunnel, which he refused to go through. But it had standing water in it so he was just being a prissy purse dog who didn't want to get his little footsie wootsie's wet, which I can tease him for but can't really get upset about. After that lovely weaves!

Gallery: OP Std 08 inch-B0511

Actually we had lovely weaves in both runs. Can you tell we've been working on that? Sometimes I feel like agility is a bucket with a bunch of holes in it. Once you plug one hole another shows up. But maybe that's what makes it fun. There is always something to work on. Well after pretty weaves he missed his dogwalk contact. Something he has NEVER done before, not even in class. I've known for a while that he needs work on his dogwalk contact so I'm not super surprised. I know how to fix that. His teeter was pretty too looking back at it, look how close to the end he got and let it drop out from under him. He dose love that teeter.

Gallery: OP Std 08 inch-B0511

All an all it was a disaster of a run, but a really fun disaster. I'd rather run him when he's having a blast and running his heart out, than get a Q with a run that had mediocre enuthsiasum where I have to cheer-lead the whole thing, and it's like I"m pulling teeth. He really liked that run.

Jumpers: Jumpers was less enthusiastic. It was a bit hotter, and it did start with weaves not his favorite. Then he refused a jump which confused me. Then my handling got wonky so I don't really blame him for that. I think he spent most of the run thinking "Mom, what the heck are you doing?" I count that one was my bad, being that every time I was being clear he sped up and looked like he was having a good time. My brain just wasn't in it. So we had I think one more refusal and were a bit over time. I sort of lost my place too somewhere in there. That's a bad mommy, no cookie for her!

His ears really do have a mind of their own during agility don't they?

Gallery: OP JWW 08 inch-B0511

Gallery: OP Std 08 inch-B0511

No Qs this weekend but a good time had by all. We have a two day trail next weekend in the same location and then the weekend after that it's a three day trail indoors. Then after that a Tracy Skelnar seminar. An agility filled month. I'll keep you all informed.


docsdox said...

how'd you get the barking under control? we're currently trying to work with Ramsay to curb his barking so he does it more appropriately!

Elizabeth said...

Took him by his collar and walked him out of the ring and put him into his crate without treats.

Solving that issue really all depends on what triggers the barking.

Is Ramsay barking because he's scared? Or excited? Or frustrated/angry? Or over stimulated?

With dachshunds, barking is a tough issue. It's really in their DNA. When they went to ground they'd 'work' the quarry by barking at it until the hunter arrived. All the earth dog judges I talk to say dachshunds are more vocal workers than other breeds. Asking them to keep quiet goes against their nature a bit, but that doesn't mean it can't be managed.

docsdox said...

I think he barks because of excitement. He likes to play, and gets excited when he sees a new playmate - human or dog. At home, he barks at anyone/anything who approaches the house - which is fine b/c we appreciate the warning. I just have to correct him when he does somehting silly, like bark at a little 5 year old running down the street in front of our driveway.

Outside the house, he mainly barks at other dogs b/c he wants to play. I try to hold him in a submissive position to allow the other dog(s) to sniff his hindquarters until he calms down, but this has been 50/50. i think we just need to meet more dogs until he figures it out...

Agreed with doxies being more vocal than the average pooch. Understandable, considering their original purpose of hunting badgers! But I believe there is a way to ensure the barking is more "appropriate". =)

Elizabeth said...

Sounds like he just gets over stimulated. I would ask him for a behavior something easy like a sit or a down and then reward him when he's able to ignore the distraction and pay attention to you (And be quiet). That reward could be food or a toy, or even being allowed to greet the person or dog. Make to start far enough away to allow him to be successful at first. We want to set our dogs up for success so we can reward.Then when he becomes more confident you can decrease the distance.

I would be reluctant to hold your dog down to be sniffed by other dogs. This can at times create fear of other dogs and make the barking even worse. What I would do is not approach the other dog with Ramesay until he has himself under control. Start far away at first and ask for a sit. When he stops fussing about the other dog and listens tell him he's a good boy and then say "Go Say hi" and let him greet the other dog now that he's calmer. This way greeting the new dog is a reward for listening and being calm :)

docsdox said...

Thanks for the tips. I've been able to get him to ignore other dogs barking at him while we're on a walk - by just verbal cues and distraction, so I think we're on the right track. I'll just have to keep some treats in my pocket to redirect him from barking at other dogs and introduce him to the concept of meeting other dogs gradually.