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Rocsi has started really seeking obstacles- which is great, and earnedher Open Gamblers title last weekend- but the downside is that sheoccasionally spots a good line and just takes off.

Obstacle Seeking. I like that phrase. Spenser has done that a lot. "Oh look - they have a TEETER!" And he takes the two jumps on the way. Which is probably why we do much better at Gamblers than we might otherwise. I plan an opening course in my mind but go into it expecting that Spenser will make adjustments. And as long as he keeps going, mostly with me, there are no "mistakes". We always make minimum score so it's a matter of doing the gamble.I have found - on my sometimes extended learning curve - exactly what you say is true. I'm better in trials not going back to get a missed obstacle unless there is a reasonable way to do it. Spenser did have a thing for a while where he couldn't see weaves on the course. Would just blow right by them every time. Only in trials, never in practice. Thinking about it, it probably was a stress reaction but I took it to be willful and that he was blowing me off because he could.

I got suggestions from instructors that I shouldn't let him pick and choose his obstacles so we got into a battle of wills each time. I was told that when he blew past the weaves to pick him up and leave - either he plays with me or he doesn't get to play. As soon as I decided those people were wrong and that I would treat it as a stress reaction it has improved immensely.
Maybe they were right for their dogs but I tried it and it wasn't working for mine. And he wasn't the only one getting stressed.
~~Judy
Spenser - Carbor Talk of the Town, NA
Sassy - Can CH Carbor Back Talk
If you really want to go back and retry a part of the course - which you can do in NADAC- swing the dog back in a circle so the flow doesn't stop.

This is the point that I'm finally reaching Having a good instructor might have shortened my learning curve enormously but mostly I'm working a lot of it out on my own - with the resources here and talking to people. And as of yesterday, maybe a real agility instructor.
In AKC, if he's missed a jump by enough to not get a refusal, and I can get him back around it smoothly to go on, then I'll do that. But I'm much quicker now to scrap the run and just skip ahead and try to get in a good, positive sequence to finish.
Afterwards, I replayed my mental tape of the run, and realized that I'd inadvertently used a very harsh tone for the "Here!" to the DW, and thatit had shut her down.[/nq]Sunday's standard run for DH and Sassy didn't go well. And as he has reviewed it, he has found multiple places that went wrong - all on his part. I had just run a totally clean, fast run with Spenser which gave him his title. So half of DH's mind was outside the ring. When he finally got most of it back, halfway through the course, Sassy would not get on the table. And she LOVES the table.

It was the first obstacle she ever did and she KNOWS she does it right. He got a little harsh with her - entirely his own frustration - and that's all it takes is a "little". She physically stayed in the ring with him but she was gone. (He has apologized to her profusely since.) We really need to keep our runs split up a little more so we're not so distracted by the other's run.
It's a good thing our dogs are so adaptable to our mistakes.
~~Judy
Spenser - Carbor Talk of the Town, NA
Sassy - Can CH Carbor Back Talk
Boy oh boy do I ever wish I could get that into the beginning/slash novice trainers head where I am ... think it is going well, I am making the drive to the guy in the know, no matter how far.

From my experience, you should make the drive. We have tried to make do with something not bad but also not great - or maybe even particularly good. And in my case, it means a drive of 45 minutes each way to "not so good" or up to twice that to "much better" DH fought the longer drive for quite a while but has decided that, on balance, it's the better choice is I (and now we) really insist on doing this.
It's a lot of time and money but so is going to trials. And it's all a lot more fun - and therefore worth the time and money - if you do well. And by "well", I don't mean perfect. I mean well enough each time to meet what your goals are for that trial and to see progress over a season.
~~Judy
Spenser - Carbor Talk of the Town, NA
Sassy - Can CH Carbor Back Talk
Boy oh boy do I ever wish I could get ... to the guy in the know, no matter how far.

From my experience, you should make the drive. We have tried to make do with something not bad but also ... means a drive of 45 minutes each way to "not so good" or up to twice that to "much better"

Snipped part of some very good advice.
I think I am taking this advice. Though I can do both in reality. I may well do that
in the beginning for Reznor and see how that goes. I have heard way too many grand things about this trainer. The only downside I have heard is his field is
a bit sandy and when the wind blows that can be a problem with the dogs and people.
That is the only negative thing I have heard from one person who is a trainer friend of
mine.
Thanks Judy for this advice. You have made up my mind. And I am serious about the numbers of people, many being novices or beginners.

Gwen
Obstacle Seeking. I like that phrase.

I can't take credit- it's Debi's term. (Incidentally, if she ever does a seminar up your way, I think you'd find it useful.)
As soon as I decided those people were wrong and that I would treat it as a stress reaction it has improved immensely.

Kudos to you for paying more attention to what your DOG was saying than the human advice-givers.
Maybe they were right for their dogs but I tried it and it wasn't working for mine. And he wasn't the only one getting stressed.

That's another BTDT- Mw and I used to sometimes get a chicken-and-egg effect with weave stress in the ring. In our case, I cured it by making weaves part of backyard ball games.
I can't take credit- it's Debi's term. (Incidentally, if she ever does a seminar up your way, I think you'd find it useful.)

Dumb question - Debi who and what type of seminar would it likely be? There's a training center near Ithaca that does send me information on seminars in NYS and around so I can be on the lookout for it.
As soon as I decided those people were wrong and that I would treat it as astress reaction it has improved immensely.

Kudos to you for paying more attention to what your DOG was saying than the human advice-givers.

Yeah, if only I weren't so slow to catch on. It's fortunate that Spenser is so adaptable and forgiving.
We are now committed to making a longer drive one afternoon a week to some classes that I think are going to really help both of us and both dogs. One class there and we're both rejuvenated and working on some new handling skills and strategies. Boy do I need that!

~~Judy
Spenser - Carbor Talk of the Town, NA
Sassy - Can CH Carbor Back Talk
Dumb question - Debi who and what type of seminar would it likely be?

Not a dumb question at all! I forgot you wouldn't know who she is. Debi Hutchinson; her seminars vary but they're usually on motivational agility training. She is superb at tailoring her instruction to the individual dog and handler.
We are now committed to making a longer drive one afternoon a week to some classes that I think are ... class there and we're both rejuvenated and working on some new handling skills and strategies. Boy do I need that!

VERY cool.