I finally decided to accept that Toklat really isn't crazy about agility. He does it for me, and I have to cheerlead and dance and "whoopeee" the entire time we are on a course. And this is in practice in comfortable places. It was just time to face facts: the amazing little athelete with the best contacts in the state (quite literally - some of the top teachers have said he has the best contacts they have ever seen), doesnt' want to do agility. He probably could do okay, but he doesn't really enjoy it, and that takes all of the fun out of it for me. After running him with the cheerleading I am EXHAUSTED.
So we started in attention class. I decided to take the class because I didn't feel motivated teaching him at home (i.e. I never did it). While i find the class somewhat boring and repititious, Toklat ADORES it. Nothing he loves more than staring at my face and eating, and thats what its all about.
How am I ever going to learn to handle him without talking to him?
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I finally decided to accept that Toklat really isn't crazy about agility.

Well sad for you, but wise of you. Not all dogs love it.
He does it for me, and I have to cheerlead and dance and "whoopeee" the entire time we are on ... of the top teachers have said he has the best contacts they have ever seen), doesnt' want to do agility.

I hate to say it but probably one of the reasons he has good contacts is because doing the obstacles isn't his primary motivation. So he is in no big hurry to get to the next one.
He probably could do okay, but he doesn't really enjoy it, and that takes all of the fun out of it for me. After running him with the cheerleading I am EXHAUSTED.

I understand that. Is he a bit of a perfectionst? Hates to be wrong? On a scale ranging from reckless to sensible where would he fall?
So we started in attention class. I decided to take the class because I didn't feel motivated teaching him at ... Toklat ADORES it. Nothing he loves more than staring at my face and eating, and thats what its all about.

Sounds really consistent to me. Toklat sounds a lot like Oso.
How am I ever going to learn to handle him without talking to him?

Smme way as you came to this decsion. You pay attention to your dog. You'll get it.

Diane Blackman
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How am I ever going to learn to handle him without talking to him?

I've come to the point where I rarely talk to our troika anymore, I just use hand signals. Hand signals don't work if the dogs don't pay attention. I see Toklat's interest in attention class a big step in non-verbal communication. You'll just need to decide what kinds of signals to use and start teaching them with the known verbal cues. It takes almost no time for them to adjust. I think the dogs like the non-verbal stuff better anyway.
Their favorite audibles include made-up songs with their names used frequently, their favorite DEENERTIME song and the way I call them back into the house by whistling the "Antiques Roadshow" theme. Who knew they longed for a fanfare?
Toklat ADORES it. Nothing he loves more than staring at my face and eating, and thats what its all about.

That's what my little private student is like. I've never seen a puppy so eager to work. It doesn't matter what human is holding the treat (mom, dad, or trainer), he loves staring into their face and eating. :}

Canine Action Dog Trainer
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I finally decided to accept that Toklat really isn't crazy about agility. He does it for me, and I have ... that takes all of the fun out of it for me. After running him with the cheerleading I am EXHAUSTED.[/nq]Been there, done that. It took having a pup that truly enjoys the whole game to really convince me. While Bodhi would do it for me, he is so much happier just vegging out, playing frisbee in the yard, and not stressing. It took me a long time, even after I knew, to make the decision to let him be "retired" - I didn't want to seem like I was quitting on him, dumping him for a "better" dog, and so on. I still take him to an occasional class, in hopes of maybe seeing signs that he wants to play - and while he's happy and peppy for me, I'm still working way harder and he's still not doing it 'cos he loves it.

So he has his MX and half his MXJ and a handful of NADAC titles and a big old grin. He doesn't care, even if I kind of still do... Meanwhile, babydog had his first clean standard run ever for a nice blue ribbon in AKC Ex A this past weekend. When I don't mess him up, he is amazing.
So we started in attention class. I decided to take the class because I didn't feel motivated teaching him at ... Toklat ADORES it. Nothing he loves more than staring at my face and eating, and thats what its all about.

LOL, that sounds like a class all my dogs would love! How great that you found this for him. I assume this class goes on to something else, like obedience? I think Bodhi would excel in that, because its always the same thing, which I find terribly dull.
How am I ever going to learn to handle him without talking to him?

Duct tape?
Christy
I finally decided to accept that Toklat really isn't crazy about agility.

Well sad for you, but wise of you. Not all dogs love it.

I watch people drag dogs around the course who don't like it and I think bad things about them. It occured to me the last time i was practicing with tok and shrieking praise to get him to enjoy it that i was one of those people. I know a trial would be awful for him.
He does it for me, and I have to cheerlead ... contacts they have ever seen), doesnt' want to do agility.

I hate to say it but probably one of the reasons he has good contacts is because doing the obstacles isn't his primary motivation. So he is in no big hurry to get to the next one.

Maybe!
He probably could do okay, but he doesn't really enjoy ... me. After running him with the cheerleading I am EXHAUSTED.

I understand that. Is he a bit of a perfectionst? Hates to be wrong? On a scale ranging from reckless to sensible where would he fall?

It IS the perfectionist in Toklat that makes him not like agility so much. I kept thinking he would like it better as he got more confident, but it doesn't seem to be working.

Hey, if I can learn to keep my mouth shut that will be a miracle!
Toklat ADORES it. Nothing he loves more than staring at my face and eating, and thats what its all about.

That's what my little private student is like. I've never seen a puppy so eager to work. It doesn't matter what human is holding the treat (mom, dad, or trainer), he loves staring into their face and eating. :}=

It seems to be a handy trait.
I am glad to have found a sport that Toklat likes, so I don't feel like I am giving up on him. I am just giving him what he wants.
Meanwhile, babydog had his first clean standard run ever for a nice blue ribbon in AKC Ex A this past weekend. When I don't mess him up, he is amazing.

That IS amazing.
So we started in attention class. I decided to take ... my face and eating, and thats what its all about.

LOL, that sounds like a class all my dogs would love! How great that you found this for him. I ... like obedience? I think Bodhi would excel in that, because its always the same thing, which I find terribly dull.

Yes, its a two class series designed to help dogs learn to heel with attention on your face. And yes, its DULL.
How am I ever going to learn to handle him without talking to him?

Duct tape?

Oh yes! Sadly, in the obedience ring they appear to lack a sense of humor.
How am I ever going to learn to handle him without talking to him?

I've come to the point where I rarely talk to our troika anymore, I just use hand signals. Hand signals ... cues. It takes almost no time for them to adjust. I think the dogs like the non-verbal stuff better anyway.

Toklat is an amazing communicator. Its his finest skill. He understands a tremendous number of words and gestures and constantly tries to follow your conversation. He is also extremely competent at talking back. My problem is that i give training feedback constantly. In obedience you aren't ALLOWED. EEK
Their favorite audibles include made-up songs with their names used frequently, their favorite DEENERTIME song and the way I call them back into the house by whistling the "Antiques Roadshow" theme. Who knew they longed for a fanfare?

I don't know jack about antiques, but i LOVE the roadshow. Imagine, people's garbage is worth 30K!!!
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