An agility share & a question

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addieNmel
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An agility share & a question

Postby addieNmel » Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:23 pm

We went through a run through at a somewhat local trianing venue ( a different one than we normally use) and did 2 run throughs.. addie did great on the course! We're trying to get ready for our first trial. We're going to start with CPE at the end of March.

heres the link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tDM891x ... e=youtu.be

I have a question though.. I know this part is more training, but its agility related.. and it may be just a matter of acclimation.. Addie was screaming, howling, whinning and generally carrying on when I crated her for the walk through ( minus her). She goes a bit biserk in new environments. She sfine at our training facility. She does have mild seperation anxiety, but I leave her home alone ( free roam of the house) while i'm at work ( no more than 4-5 hours at a time) and doesnt rip up anything, or have accidents etc, never has. She seems colostrophpic though, which is weird and tends to have a minor panic attack when left in the crate. I've had her in a crate since she was 7 weeks old.. not sure what the problem is. The only thing I can think of is the only time I ever crated her is when I left for several hours.. when she was younger she did sleep in the crate however every night, and was in the crate at work ( I left her out every 2 hours) but when she got older it was streight to 4-5 hours.

I see what may have went wrong.. is there any good tips of re-acclimating her the crate and calming her at trials? I dont want her to bark her head off there. We're working on making the crate fun at home...any good suggestions about A) making the crate fun again and b) calming her at trials / different environments?

At least she focuses while on the course LOL... I am proud of her, she did all 12 weaves and the teeter perfect! ( we have had some trouble with them..)

Thanks so much :)

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Leslie H
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Re: An agility share & a question

Postby Leslie H » Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:11 pm

I have crate screamers. They're not anxious, and have no real crate issues, but both my younger dogs hate missing out on things. At trials, I crate where my dogs can't watch what's going on . It's worth getting there a few minutes early(ier) to get a good spot. I am teaching Scheme a "mat" behavior, where she gets treats for lying quietly on her mat. So, if you can teach her a calm behavior at trials, and then later, pair it w/a calm crate behavior. However, my dog's bad behavior isn't anxiety based, this may not be helpful. You and your dog both looked so happy at the run through, and you do such a nice job of praising her, you're very upbeat.

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addieNmel
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Re: An agility share & a question

Postby addieNmel » Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:28 pm

Thanks so much for the tips, I think its a bit anxiety related and a bit excitement related. She gets over the top at times. What you saw was actually our second run through.. though even in the first, she did pay attention to what I was asking her, which makes me think its not 100% anxiety related.

I've heard a lot about ' crate games ' the DVD, going to look into finding one to watch.

I appreciate your help and encouragement! Its nice to hear what other people think about our runs ;) I was worried even though addie seems to enjoy it, she was a bit stressed.. LOL.. I worry too much.

Any more input / suggestions from other seasoned 'agility-er's' about calming at trials would be wonderful!

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FransterDoo
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Re: An agility share & a question

Postby FransterDoo » Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:04 pm

Mine are all just super wound and excited and well, it spills over.

I crate away from the action as much as possible and provide a visual barrier like facing the crates towards a wall with just a walk way or making a "wall" out of an x-pen and dark sheets.

Or I just cover everyone's crates with cheap flat sheets. I'll also use small fans to create some white noise. Hank is in a plastic crate b/c he will suck in a sheet and shred it.

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Mooresmajestic
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Re: An agility share & a question

Postby Mooresmajestic » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:27 pm

Do you happen to know anyone with a dog who is a polar opposite? A friend of mine had a crate screamer, when we went places we would make sure she was next to Vi who can and will sleep through anything, anywhere. We would cover the screamers crate on all sides but the one next to Vi and the back and sides of Vi's crate. It really seemed to keep her be quiet when Vi didn't react to things and just kept snoozing away. The two dogs aren't friends, they don't play or even interact more than once in a blue moon on the training field, so there was no friend factor involved. It just really seemed to help having a "been there, done that, take a nap cuz we gotta work hard later" dog next to her. It wasn't an instant fix, but noticeable enough after one day to make it a regular thing. Now we like to put her (vi) by all the newbe dogs so they can benefit from her lazy....er....calm personality.

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DogNerd
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Re: An agility share & a question

Postby DogNerd » Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:07 am

It sounds like your dog might be similar to mine. Mine throws a fit when I leave her in her crate in a new environment. It is a stress behavior and not the excited screaming because she wants to run agility. What I do is crate her in my car when that is appropriate, and I also always give her something to work on in the crate (antler, frozen kong etc..) When I have to have her crated in the facility, I do cover her but I also reward her for being quiet and gradually build up duration. With the cover, she can't tell for sure when I walk away, so I will step away, count to 5, then walk back and reward etc.. and build up to longer times away. Just the normal stuff like you have probably already worked on with her with the crate. My dog doesn't have a crate issue, she kind of has a me issue. She is pretty sticky and doesn't like to be away from me. She is absolutely fine left at my house and in familiar surroundings but with the stress and the arousal of a new environment - especially an exciting new environment, she kind of reverts to that needy, can't-let-you-out-of-my-sight behavior.

The good news (sort of) for you about just starting out, is that you probably aren't going go into the ring until later in the day. I suppose it will depend on how they do it in your area but at least out here, higher levels start first and then they work down and the lowest level is the last to go in. That gives you time to sit with her and acclimate her and practice walking away and returning and just getting her used to the large amount of down time that you will likely face at trials :).

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addieNmel
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Re: An agility share & a question

Postby addieNmel » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:36 am

Dognerd & Moores, thanks so much!

Dognerd- sounds exactly like Addie. Shes so worked up in new environments. At least shes not completely over the threshold where she doesnt listen to anything, but shes still pretty darn worked up. I didnt have a kong with me last time ( we just went through a run through) so I'll make sure I have something distracting when we go. She'll be crated next to a calm dog too, hopefully that'll help a bit. I know the first trial is going to be nuts! But at least as you said, we should be toward the end of the day ( I saw our level ones are at the end, high levels first), so maybe she'll have worn herself out and calm down by then.. LOL ( i'm sure i'll be worn out too). I'm hoping with a bit of acclimation she'll eventually be fine. I'll make sure I praise anytime shes quiet. She was pretty hyped up for the very first agility class we ever did too.

Thanks guys!


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