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yard work and play and fail

i'm late in getting these up... a home session we did 'em awhile ago. In the first one I wanted to work on distance with her RDW. She generally hates when I move significantly lateral. I want to have her worry less about where I am while she's running it. So, I still have to get in there to send her, but working with the ball at home, she mostly could care less how lateral I get. Maybe if I did this exercise more, eventually sometimes throwing the ball and sometimes not, she might get more independent.

In the second one--I'm pretty sure this was something from a class or trial (can't remember) that I wanted work on--Stella was having none of it. She'd given me the DW work and something must have happened at the gate in-between, because she's all about keeping an eye on the gate. This preceded everyones suggestions about what to do about THE GATE... maybe soon I can get back and try out some of the suggestions... in any case, except for the DW which Stella loooooves, she's not so big on do-overs. Why is that? Is it because she's a labradoodle? This second vid, well, I can laugh now.

(the gate is about 15 yards away)


( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 1st, 2013 05:37 pm (UTC)
In the second video, why is the toy not OUT and MOVING as you ask for the back side of that jump? As the dog (I'm looking from a camera very close to what the dog sees) all I see is "angry arm" pointing at the ground and telling me to come. I'm not seeing FUN! MY TOY! and when I get there I'll be able to play with it!!
That's what I'd want to see if I were the dog. RIGHT away, not for a reward, but for motivation.

How fun is it to play with you? Initially, in that video... the fun ONLY happens at the end. Why not in the beginning? She likes to tug on that thing, so making that a motivator is just as "right" as just leaving it for a reward. No?

You ARE being fun after. But before? Angry arm....
Nov. 1st, 2013 05:49 pm (UTC)
I'm not used to this motivation issue. I'm spoiled. Just the thought of doing some jumps no matter what no matter where used to be enough to get her all into it... yeah, lets go... until recently. so, yeah, learning how to re-motivate 101... so its a combination of crest fallen, tired, frustrated, impatient, in denial, and yes a little angry arm... I'm so blown out these days with dealing with my brother's estate that maybe I shouldn't be doing anything agility-wise with Stel, poor Stel.

Edited at 2013-11-01 05:49 pm (UTC)
Nov. 1st, 2013 06:04 pm (UTC)
watch that video again... and don't watch Stella AT ALL... only watch you. If you have to, put a piece of paper where she's sitting and ONLY watch you... how you lead out, how you release, how you ask her to come into you.

Do you have excellent reasons for this emotional state? ? YES YOU DO!! and no one will say that a break isn't a perfectly good response.

If agility puts you into a zen place, helps clear your mind of other things for a little while and makes you happy and laugh, then BY ALL MEANS DO IT!! NOW!

but if it's not. If it's just a bummer, or no longer a game, or a puzzle too difficult to solve for right now, I say bag it. Go for a walk, a hike, take in a stupid movie. GET A MASSAGE (I don't really know if that would help you, but others swear by it!)

You DO have things going on, and they're going to take away your focus. For me, agility was this incredible break in otherwise stress-filled times and I sooo can watch video from that really hard time and SEE myself being more at ease. Did we Q a lot ...? NOPE... but I could center myself and put my mind totally on that one task. It was a blessing for me. But I could see where it wouldn't be for everyone.

Watch yourself... only yourself. If you were the dog, what would you think?
Nov. 1st, 2013 06:25 pm (UTC)
I can't bare to look at myself now. nope. can't. and yes agility is that break you talk about or could be, but I seem to be creating problems for myself there that make it less of a break, even worse, because agility is my happy place, but then these issues make me only sadder. you are such good people to offer all this input... maybe i'll look later, i will... and honestly i think i even bring this state of mind/heart on hikes... she's been coming with me to clean out my brother's apartment... long hours napping, a chewy or two and then I take her squirrel chasing for an hour in Central Park--heaven.
Nov. 1st, 2013 06:31 pm (UTC)
Stella and Razor and possibly Pan need to start a SQUIRREL HUNTING club where they get two weekends a month where they do NOTHING but drink beer, lay around most of the day and then do 2-3 hours of INTENSE squirrel chasing and lots of barking. This would WOULD be heaven for our dogs. When I am in a situation where I can allow Raze to really just chase a damn squirrel the look in his eyes says it all "PERFECT!"
Nov. 1st, 2013 06:40 pm (UTC)
Jodah and Riley want to come too. OMG.
Nov. 1st, 2013 07:12 pm (UTC)
ok. i looked. its a good thing i can laugh at myself.

I don't know if you remember... when i was taking Silvia's RDW classes i did all that videoing and i hated that i sounded angry all the time (and I wasn't angry at all) when i verbal cued the DW... and Silvia suggested that if I repeated the cue a few times walk-it walk-it walk-it I wouldn't be able to sound angry. and that seemed to work... but in the first video here, I am sounding like that again... boo me... i have to work on this harsh way I give verbals... but the body language is unmistakable---not a happy camper
Nov. 1st, 2013 07:55 pm (UTC)
Right, totally.
And of course, your dog is used to YOU being you.. And your voice is part of that. Even if you don't use the sound tho, your cue for release just doesn't look fun (to me). A toy twisting around the ground might add some fun to it!
Nov. 1st, 2013 05:59 pm (UTC)
and ok, this here is the thing about tugging after... tugging after all the way back to the starting spot also makes it then tugging before (in my head, but obviously not hers)
so then I get the toy back from her and she only really likes running for a toy when its running along the ground... a toy in the hand shaking? eh...
Nov. 1st, 2013 06:08 pm (UTC)
you could easily have that toy active on the ground before the backside of the jump. All you really want for her to do after the release is come to that backside... the toy can be THERE and rolling around on the ground (maybe tie another piece of felt to it or something, if it's not long enough) and she can grab it. Because ALL YOU REALLY WANT right now... is for her to happily and actively release from her stay to come TO YOU!

The jump is soooooo far down on the list. Way down like 20 levels.

The top of your list is Stella, do you want this? And Stella am I not a barrel of good times? And Stella I noticed you don't care about the gate, or anything else, just this really awesome toy on the ground!

And after 5 reps of COME REALLY happy to this TOY!! you can then keep the toy in your hand and ask for the jump and then REWARD!

I just feel like the disconnect is the only thing to work on right now. Not the mechanics of jumping or startline stays. you KNOW she knows those things. Now it's only a question of "let's play!" or not.
Nov. 1st, 2013 06:34 pm (UTC)
sound like i'm making up excuses? I'm not really... there should be a clean run article or something on the ways people can make toys come thrillingly alive in different situations
Nov. 1st, 2013 06:36 pm (UTC)
Rub it all over a squirrel before!!! hahahahahah. OH my, that could turn out really bad in lots of ways...
Nov. 1st, 2013 06:44 pm (UTC)
i've been on the lookout for a taxidermist who would do squirrel roadkill non-toxically
Nov. 1st, 2013 06:46 pm (UTC)
That's a super gross, but super brilliant idea... wow.
Nov. 1st, 2013 06:34 pm (UTC)
I suspect what I've got to say is a repeat of what nosemovie is saying, so I'll keep it short and sweet. But it looks to me like Stella is disengaging, and the gate is just an excuse (ie it's not all about the gate). It *looks* a bit more stress related to me: sometimes it's sniffing the ground, sometimes it's off to the other side of the yard. I don't know your dog as well as you do, so you can just ignore this if it seems off-base.

She seems to do it right as you turn around. Can you keep the connection with her when you walk out by walking backwards, doing silly walks, creeping forward like you're ready to sprint, etc? Practice silly games that don't have to do with the agility, like "ready set go" restrained sprints, etc.? If that were Riley, I'd guess that she was worried about the startline stay (which is always a source of stress for Riley), but Stella could easily be different.
Nov. 1st, 2013 06:47 pm (UTC)
yes, thanks! i have been able to think of doing that kind of thing in the past---usually something I have to do something like creeping out with full suspense, those last couple of runs at the end of a weekend at a trial--but mostly my imagination is shut down now. I have hope I won't be like this forever
Nov. 1st, 2013 06:51 pm (UTC)
*hugs* you won't. I can't even imagine. But it will get easier to live with, it has to.

I'd say if it were *me* I'd try to avoid doing anything with my dog that stressed either of us out, and do lots of fun games together, things where there's no right or wrong. If that's agility, that's great, but maybe just ignore some rules for a bit until you both feel better about it.
Nov. 1st, 2013 06:57 pm (UTC)

That's like the best advice ever... for pretty much anything. :)
Nov. 1st, 2013 07:14 pm (UTC)
yes, we've gone back to some trick training, which Stel thinks is fun... i need to make a list of some new tricks for us to learn... not that we mastered all those ones in Silvia's classes, we didn't but we need some immediate gratification tricks along with the works-forever-in-progress...
Nov. 2nd, 2013 03:09 am (UTC)
The DW video looked good. There is lots of good advice here for the second video, but I do know how Stella can get fixated on the gate. And then if you're not feeling great it's easy to have that get you frustrated and down. Tricks are a good break idea.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )