Thursday, May 2, 2013


I had class the last two nights. I think its getting to hard for me to do all this.   I was really tired on the way home last night. Then Ive been up since 3am with Fibro pain. Ugh, it sucks.  I did make it through the day at work.  I really  need this school year to end. These kids just keep coming to the nurse for no real illness at all. I just dont understand it. I can do reports in my nursing program . I was trying to see how many hours a certain student has spend in the health room.  So when I ran the report, I pulled up kids that had more than 15 visits to the nurse this year.   A total of 89 kids popped up. They have accounted for 1,977 visits to the nurse this year. And there are just under a 1000 kids at my school. Thats a lot of visits by just those 89 kids, plus seeing kids that really need to come to the nurse.

Back to talking about dog class. I set up these two courses that I pulled off of Lexi and Bentley's blog.

Java didnt get my forward send to #4 at first, so we had to practice that a little bit. But the next time she ran great.  My crosses were late and I think I should have stayed on the inside when running #16-17 instead of front crossing.

Then we set up this course.

This one Miley struggled on. She dropped bars several times because I didnt cue the turn before she took off and then tried to turn, or I told her "tight" after she took off. Ugh.  So anyway, there were only a couple of us in class. One person's dog, who's dog runs very nice,  dropped a bar. The dog rarely drops bars. He is very careful. When he dropped the bar the handler said, "No sir, We do not drop bars". (emphasis on "we")  But the inflection in her voice was like, We dont drop bars like that other dog does.  Now remember I was feeling really tired so I probably heard it wrong or took it wrong.  I felt like the handler was harder on the dog then they should have been. The handler wasnt mean to the dog, so I dont want you to think that.  So the next time the dog ran, he lost some of that spring in his step if you know what I mean. He still ran nice but something was lost. (The handler is way better than me and Q's all the time. So maybe she knows something I dont) It still hurt my feelings.  I know Miley drops bars but Im not going to tell her off for doing it. Its usually my fault anyway. Plus I feel like dogs try really hard to do what you want and arent trying to drop bars. Anyway , who is going to remember if Miley dropped a bar in the end.  I want her to come to the line with the joy and excitement she always has. Thats what I want to remember.  Its not that I dont think dogs shouldnt be corrected but you better be darn sure it wasnt your fault. And then that gets me on to something else.  Im tired of people saying their dog is "blowing them off". Dogs dont blow us off. You have to figure out what is the problem. Is you dog not motivated?  Why? Does he not understand what you want? Is  he stressed?  Its your job to figure it out and work through it. 
 This week someone else told me they pinched their dogs ear  for being distracted. I didnt say anything but I wanted to say,Holy crap ! Why do they think its ok to do something to their dog when maybe their dog just made a mistake. I was sitting with someone not to long ago at a trial. She was pulling her dog from course all the time. I couldnt figure out why.  So she ran the coruse and she didnt do a big enough lead out. So her dog came out of the chute and didnt know where to go because the handler was right next to the dog. So the dog barked and spun.  Normally she told me she would pull her dog for that behavior. I was kinda shocked. I told her this was just my opinion, but that error was hers. She didnt give the dog information so what was the dog suppose to do. That wasnt the dogs fault.  Then her dog didnt wait to be released off the contact but waited the second time over. She told me usually she would pull her dog for that too.  I told her I could understand that but dogs make mistakes just like we do. She stopped the second time, so she was trying.  Then she told  me she hasnt been able to complete a course at a trial, for a long time, because she keeps pulling the dog.  Her trainer told her if you accept those mistakes at a trial , your dog will always do them. Hmm, "Hows that working for you?"   She didnt pull her dog all day that day.  Her dog ran great, IMO. Was it perfect, no but it looked pretty good to me.


corbinwooten said...

Yay! Glad you used the course maps I posted. It was cool to see someone else run a course I ran. You and Java were perfect out there.

What you mentioned is the reason I never (except for that once that I posted about a while back) pull Lexi off the course. It is so hard to tell when it is your fault and when it is your dog's. I assume it's my fault about 99% of the time, at least when it has to do with handling. Obstacle skills I guess are a bit different.

When my dogs drop bars I usually mark it with "oops watch your feet" but it's always in a pleasant voice, just as a reminder to think. I agree that our dogs want to do the right thing, just can't always manage it. I tend to call Lexi out on things like that a bit more because she tends to stop thinking out there, so it's just a reminder.

Also, I'm sorry that you still aren't feeling well. That is really hard. Are there any other job opportunities out there? I'm really stressed at my job too and it's so hard to find anything.

loralei913 said...

Very nice with Java! That looks like a tough course to get through with a novice dog and you did very well.

I think about the various reasons a handler might have for pulling their dog. I don't think it is always about (or doesn't HAVE to be about) punishing the dog. I still look back to the day I was trying to set Spy up for a straight on weave entry when I was going through a phase of calling her to me, then sending her. She was headed right for the weaves, probably would have made the entry and was kind of ignoring (for lack of a better term) my efforts at calling her to me so I could send her in with less speed. So I got desperate and called really hard, causing her to veer at me and she could no longer make the weave entry at all. I left. Not to punish her for missing the entry. That was all my fault. But at that time I could not allow her to rehearse taking two tries at the weave poles. Someone who was watching made a comment about how it wasn't her fault she missed it, in as nice a way as she could. I don't think she understood even after I told her why I pulled her. And with Marron, if she's being slow and stressy, I pick her up and leave. Not to punish her, but that is her way of telling me she doesn't want to run that day and I have made a promise to her and myself to listen, not to force her to run if she isn't feeling up to it. You don't want to run, you don't have to. You get a kiss on the head instead of cookies though. Rather than go through all the gyrations of trying to figure out what is wrong and fix it, I don't bother asking why, we just don't run.

So I think leaving the ring *CAN* be for many reasons. But people overuse it for punishment. And sometimes they should be leaving for other reasons, or finding a different way to alter behavior.

Chris and Ricky said...

People get strange ideas about what to do with their dogs and I don't understand it most of the time. It should be always fun and a game for the dogs and the people should feel that way too.

Sara said...

People sure know how to suck the fun out of agility. I think sports in general are just taken too seriously. Thats why I rarely trial, because I can't stand to watch other people whining, yelling, complaining about everything.