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In the runs I observed the dirt kicking occurred twice in a single run.

Wow. I'm boggled! I've seen people getting cross at/frustrated with their dogs, but I don't think I've ever seen anybody kick dirt.
Since the same competitors continue to trial but no longer do that behavior I suspect that eventually the behavior was followed up on.

Interesting - and in line with what I've seen happen a couple of times. (IOW, the competitor wasn't cautioned in the ring, but WAS spoken to quietly later on.) In the case of the judge/competitor, I find myself wondering if perhaps the judge/judge passed it on to Sharon & let her deal with it..
I don't, and I didn't take this one that way. I was simply commentingthat I didn't find most of the issues you mentioned to be AKC-specific.

Oh, and BTW- VERY nice job with the tactful version* on the Agiledogs list. ;-D
*By which I'm referring to your description of the problematical behaviours- especially the dog that kept running out of the ring- not to venue mention.
He called her back, picked her up, thanked the judge and they left. (They didn't hold anyone else up so I don't believe this is what you're talking about.)

Yes, but calling her back and picking her up means she has a recall. The scenario you describe happens at almost every trial I attend (well not exactly, but a dog getting a little fruity and trying to leave the ring). And most of us simply feel empathy for those teams.

The difference here is that this particular dog had NO intention of coming back, didn't care a thing about coming back, and was far more interested in trying to harrass other dogs. His owner had to literally tackle him on a flyby to get him. So my point isn't that a dog should be able to stay in the ring 100% of the time, but that the dog MUST have a recall. You must be able to get ahold of your dog in a fairly prompt fashion.
FWIW, I've taught both of my girls to come jump on me after a run. If they're jumping on me and harrassing me, they aren't flying out of the ring to vent drive on anybody else.
I'll agree with this to a point. However, as the owner of a spooky dog, sometimes this just happens no matter what you do. The line is drawn when it adversely affects others.

Likewise, as the owner of a dog who spent six months bolting out of the ring, I'll agree to a point.
For me, the line is drawn not only when it adversely affects others, but when the dog can't be controlled AT ALL. There's a difference between dogs who bolt briefly, then come back and work again, and dogs who just keep running around.
Likewise, there's a difference between dogs who bolt to a specific person, or their crating area, and dogs who go after other dogs or run around randomly.
Finally, as both Robin and Judy state, the line is crossed when you're seriously wasting people's time trying to get a dog back in the ring.

When Morag would get overwhelmed and bolt, she would usually go 10 feet or so outside the ring and stop. I would stay in the ring and call her; she would pull herself together and come back in. At that point, however, I did NOT try to "fix" the run; instead, I would run for the exit, having her take whatever obstacles were logically in her path, and reward her. If, on any of those occasions, she had continued away from the ring, or had not come back in relatively quickly, I would have thanked the judge and left- which, btw, is what I did the time she left the ring and ran into her crate.
Heh. I had to rewrite it about 5 times. I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings if they read it and know it's about them.

I do think I'm going to drag out my old version of trial tips and update it for our newbies.
Finally, as both Robin and Judy state, the line is crossed when you're seriously wasting people's time trying to get a dog back in the ring.

Common sense and common manners are sometimes not so common. Some days it seems like rudeness has become a way of life.
And another problem is -and this is why an outline of basic behavior for Novice sometimes helps - is that if you are really new, you don't always have an appreciation of what effect your actions are having on others. The person who is spending 15 minutes chasing their dog around the ring may - giving them the benefit of the doubt here because I'm in a generous mood today - not realize that being held up is going to affect the dogs that were standing around waiting their turn to run. And that it also affects the ring crew and the judges. (But a dog that goes out and attacks other dogs should be asked to leave the grounds. I think both venues have rules concerning this.)
I have learned that using that last five minutes before our run to completely focus on Spenser (and vice versa) makes a world of difference in his behavior in the ring. If someone hasn't learned that - or doesn't need that for their dog - then they may not realize how important it is to me. Again, if someone else's dog comes out of the ring and attacks Spenser while on deck, we might as well leave ourselves. He's never going to settle in time to run.
But don't these people train someplace? If they are in a class that is supposedly preparing them for competition, isn't someone telling them basic etiquette stuff? I have to admit, the classes we attend don't cover this except in passing comments. But mostly they aren't training for competition. (We're waiting for a call-back on one that does.) So I read books that did at least cover the basics of what to do when you get to the trial. "Agility Training"by Jane Simmons-Moake and "All About Agility" by Jacqueline O'Neil both have sections on trial behavior. And after that, it's watch and learn and do-unto-others.
I know. Preaching to the choir here. Think of it as venting.

~~Judy
FWIW, I've taught both of my girls to come jump on me after a run. If they're jumping on me and harrassing me, they aren't flying out of the ring to vent drive on anybody else.

I've done something similar- I want my dogs to think of ME as the last obstacle.
FWIW, I've taught both of my girls to come jump ... out of the ring to vent drive on anybody else.

I've done something similar- I want my dogs to think of ME as the last obstacle.

DH has wanted to do something similar with Sassy. We were initially concerned that she would bolt out of the ring at the end of her run - because she was doing this regularly at practice - and figured this was a way of controlling that. Her breeder made an interesting point about it however and we are taking it into consideration.
She once handled a dog (in agility) that the owners had trained to jump into their arms at the end of the run. She warned them, however, to make it happen only on command or on a cue. Eventually, the dog is going to jump - either in the ring or outside it - and expect that you (or whoever is handling) are ready to catch when you aren't! Potentially either you or the dog gets hurt.
So DH still plans to work on it - but only on cue. It's not a Spenser type of thing but it would be very Sassy.
~~Judy
I'll agree with this to a point. However, as the ... do. The line is drawn when it adversely affects others.

When Morag would get overwhelmed and bolt, she would usually go 10 feet or so outside the ring and stop. ... judge and left- which, btw, is what I did the time she left the ring and ran into her crate.

I had a similar plan of attack for Bonnie's ring bolting. She rarely stopped but

often would go up to people who could then grab her. I would call her once or twice and if she didn't come back to me I'd thank the judge, leave the ring and get her. She never ran up to other dogs (people yes, dogs no), and never ran into the other ring. And she was easy to catch. I don't think we ever held up the ring for more than a couple of minutes. And it usually only happened the first one or two runs of a trial.

The problem is, she only did this at trials, so that was the only place we could

work on it. And my solution was similar to Sarah's, if she came back, she did the closest obstacle and we left and rewarded for coming back. She no longer leaves the ring, but will get the zoomies on occaision.

Mary
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