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She warned them, however, to make it happen only on command or on a cue. Eventually, the dog is going ... that you (or whoever is handling) are ready to catch when you aren't! Potentially either you orthe dog gets hurt.

I think your breeder's right on the money with that one. Even ON cue, I've had a couple of near-misses with Rocsi- then again, her version of "jumping into my arms" is sometimes literally hurling herself at me from several feet away.
The safest and most accurate way she does it is to sort of run up me.
Sassy would be likely to "hurl herself" at your chest. It wasn't something that we had thought through thoroughly - and it hadn't become an issue yet. But she has spring-loaded hind legs and can catch you (or even someone taller than you) on the chin jumping from a standstill.

The breeder's "voice of experience" certainly rang true with the warning!

It was an interesting thought to think of the jump to your arms as the last obstacle. I think if DH trains it that way, it will make it easier and clearer for both of them. I'm making a note to mention it to him.

~~Judy
When you are on deck with your dog, or three or four back - or any time you are standing there with your dog waiting your turn - do not crowd the other dogs and handlers standing there.

snip
And when they do call your dog, be ready. Don't be way back in the crowd talking with people. If ... at the gate, I do understand. But be aware of the order and be listening for them to call you.

This is something that drives me crazy! I keep Trip away from the ring gate until he is on deck. At a couple of trials there has been some moron doing something with his dog near the ring gate and in general getting in everyones' way. Maybe he is warming up, but it just looks like unstructured crappola. (Same guy, both trials.) Anyway I have to keep Trip even farther back due to stupid man and then the ring stewards are yelling for us and I'm having to yell back that he is there.
Beth
I had a similar plan of attack for Bonnie's ring bolting.

The problem is, she only did this at trials, so that was the only >placewe could work on it.

Same with Morag- it only happened at trials, so that's where we worked on it. Her first few months of competing were basically expensive practice, although there was steady improvement.
It took exactly six months- from April to September- before she got through all 8 runs of a trial without trying to leave.

With her, it was never a matter of distraction or simple zoomies- she would basically get overwhelmed. I'm not 100% sure of this, but I believe she may actually have been experiencing some sort of mild seizure on some of those occasions.
After going to an AKC trial this past weekend, I've ... people to consider before entering their dog in a trial.

Can I add on to this? At both AKC and NADAC. I'm hoping that what I'm seeing is mostly ... time for them to become friends. ...> PLEASE tell me this gets better with more experienced dogs and handlers? ~~Judy

nope.
Many of the people with the breeds that dominate agility have no clue that the behavior of their dogs may be offensive to other dogs. It becomes the job of those with dogs who need space to be 1000% alert to the location of other dogs, because their handlers certainly aren't

EmilyS
nope. Many of the people with the breeds that dominate agility have no clue that the behavior of their dogs ... with dogs who need space to be 1000% alert to the location of other dogs, because their handlers certainly aren't

Hmm. I'm not sure I would say this is breed specific to anything. I think a lot of people just get nervous and "forget" to see where their dog is.
With Viva, it sometimes looks as if I'm ignoring her, which I know some people think is awful (why are you letting your dog just hang there waiting?) but for us, it's part of the calming ritual of getting ready. I don't need to be fooling with her every second before we get to the gate, and I let her do what she wants as long as she's out of other dogs' space.
But I'll also say that with some ring setups it's just really, really difficult. For instance in Wichita, there's a narrow aisleway between the rings and loads of people and dogs jammed into it. It's pretty much impossible not to be bumping into both canines and humans it's literally a crush of people. I've been known to retreat behind the secretary's table (with permission of course) just to try to keep my dog from being sniffed, lunged at, or stepped on.
PLEASE tell me this gets better with more experienced dogs and handlers?

It's at its words at the middle level.
When you're beginning in the sport, you're watching the rules and the gate steward, and are careful with your dogs.

Later, you get cocky, letting your dog off leash where he shouldn't be, thinking that he's more trained that he really is, and sometimes showing up late at the start line.
The more experienced levels can be fun: The gate steward does nothing because the handlers are attentive. Often, the dogs know each other (though may not like each other), and there's a lot of camaraderie.

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
Hey, the judge this weekend turned around in Open, and there was no dog on the line. No dog at ... NOT allow the competitor to run when she eventually showed up (she'd been about 15 feet away talking to friends).

The judge's area of discretion is within the ring.

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
PLEASE tell me this gets better with more experienced dogs and handlers?

It's at its words at the middle level.

You know, this is so true about a lot of things. Back when DH was working customer service for an airline, in passengers the middle management level was totally obnoxious. Like you say, upper and lower were fine. And in business, I had a very wise man tell me that there was profit to be made if you were one of the big guys or one of the little guys. The middle ones struggled to compete with both ends.
But as it relates to agility, this means it's going to get worse before it gets better? Gack! Guess I'd better go to the gate with my patience firmly in place.
~~Judy
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