Thursday, January 14, 2010

some space

We had a small class last night, yet Oreo was still a bit off. Not sure why. The other dog in the class was growling in the crate while we were walking the first course, so maybe that made Oreo uneasy?

Still, Oreo was able to work with me. I simply used a lot more treats than usual. I waited for him at the end of each tunnel, and treated him just about every time he exited. As the night went on, he got more relaxed.

Our biggest difficulty seems to be the A-Frame. Even when it was the only obstacle, and it was directly in front of him, he went around it. He didn't even go on the side where I was. I don't quite understand what the problem is.

I did get Oreo to do it successfully a few times, but only in one direction. I made sure to reward heavily when he did it, but I wish I knew what was causing the aversion. Is it lack of cues on my part, or does he really not want to do the obstacle?

At one point, both Oreo and the other dog in class, went waaaaay off course. Instead of going over a jump into a tunnel, they went the opposite direction and started doing the weaves all on their own!

My teacher thought since the dogs were taking this initiative, it was a good opportunity for us to work on distance weaves.

So, on our last couple runs, I tried my hardest to distance myself from Oreo at the weave poles. I held back, and sent him ahead. Then, stayed 6 feet to the side of the poles.

Oreo did them with no problem, and I swear he was faster than usual.

Maybe Oreo wants some space?

We'll be going to take another class on Saturday. No league until next weekend.


Diana said...

Is not going over the a-frame something new? I would check all his toes and feet and make sure nothing hurts. Im always impressed that Oreo can weave no matter what. Yea!! Diana

Sara said...

It is relatively new. I'll have to go back and check my posts to see when it started. I'll check his toes & feet though. Thanks.

LauraK said...

That's awesome that you can do weaves at a distance- what a great skill to have!

Good luck in figuring out what the deal is with the A-frame. We'll be looking forward to hearing about your progress :)

madcobug said...

I hope you can figure out what his problem is and that he gets ok. Helen

Katrin said...

Do you run on slats or slatless? I would definately check his toes if you run particularly on slatted equipment. Toe jams into the slats are quite common and quite painful causing aversion to that equipment, mostly the a-frame. Also has he ever been checked for lyme? Anytime I see a dog start to do odd behaviors and especially be rather slow and pokey and avoiding and fearful, I tell people 'check for lyme' as those are some very common reactions to lyme. It's a simple blood test with a SNAP device.

Good luck!

Ricky the Sheltie said...

I used to not go up the aframe if mom ran ahead of me too much - even just a little ahead and I would just run after her. She started making sure she didn't pass the plane of the aframe until she was sure I went up. I hope it's something simple like that and not an injury.

Mom tends to crowd me in the weaves any where but home and I wish she would give me more credit for knowing what I am doing!

Sara said...

We do run on slats. Oreo is always checked for lyme at his annual physical, which is coming up. Hopefully, that's not the case, because ticks and lyme are a huge problem where I live.

I think I do need to be more aware of where I am, and if I am directing him where to go.

Sam said...

Hopefully it's just a one-time thing. You know how our sensitive dogs are.. sometimes you just can't pinpoint what it is.

I'm off to watch all of your recent videos now that my internet is fixed! :)

Lian said...

Hi Sara,

If Oreo would go up one side of the A Frame, I don't think there is any physical problem there. It could be something spook him from the other side which he refuse to go up?

Distance is always a good thing, I was told that give less pressure on the dogs, especially you know how sensitive the shelties are and that work beautifully for Saturn if I am AWAY from him.

Dad said...

Sara you are doing a great job. Mary and I have been looking at some of your previous video's and O what an improvement. Keep on going. Dad & Mary

Sara said...

The building is darker at one end when we train at night, and sometimes that tends to spook him a bit.

I'll see how he is during our day class on Saturday.

Thanks for the encouragement!

Dawn said...

Wow! What great comments on this dilemma! I'm sure you'll figure it out soon. Hope Saturday's class goes super!

Honey the Great Dane said...

I think sometimes maybe when we're with our dogs, we give off certain body language signals without meaning to do so and then they get distracted, trying to follow our signals...which might be contradicting what they are meant to do! Don't know if this is so in your case but I find that sometimes with Honey and our dancing - I have to really watch myself and what I'm doing. So maybe by giving him a bit of space, you're not bombarding him with so many "conflicting" signals and therefore he is better able to conentrate on the task at hand?


Honey the Great Dane said...
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Kathy said...

Way to go with the weaves, I have noticed herding breeds tend to like a little more distance to work then some breeds when they feel really confident, Chloe my sheltie was a very velcro type dog to start out with, but even then very sensitive to me being too close or moving toward her, but now days she really likes to not have me in her "bubble" where she likes to work, she loves to run in front of me and have me do a lot of rear crosses, which is weird because those were our things we hated when we first started trialing we could not do rear crosses at all, now I can push her off things a lot moving too close now, LOL. Anyway, interesting how dogs styles and what they like can change over time. Hope when Oreos feet feel better he will be more happy with the aframe.