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This is a discussion on Rally within the Dog Performance Sports forums, part of the Dog Shows and Performance category; We finished our private rally lessons and are back in a group OB class. Ringo has developed a serious preoccupation with other dogs. Our first ...

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Old 03-17-2017, 01:17 AM
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We finished our private rally lessons and are back in a group OB class. Ringo has developed a serious preoccupation with other dogs. Our first class was a disaster, I will admit. It was outdoors and there were just so many smells and other dogs and CATS. Oh, the cats. They will be the death of us. We were pretty much off in our own little world, working at our own pace, away from the others. Lots of crying and impulsive lunging, which, he realized, doesn't earn him anything. At the end, we were able to do a focused heel around the cones with moving sits and downs but boy, I was sweating bullets the entire time.

Second class was SO much better. He realized we weren't there to play, but to work. We were able to participate in all of the exercises. He had some very nice long-distance sits and downs. I didn't put so much pressure on him, and gave him lots of breaks to sniff around. It's hard to figure out what motivates him, aside from food. He is very independent-minded, yet SO smart. It's a dangerous combination. I remembered to jackpot when he thought about doing something, but made the right choice.

Today we had some extra practice around other dogs in a controlled setting. Taking turns staying on the wait table while the other dog ran through some agility equipment, and then vice versa. He wasn't very motivated - it was hot, he wasn't very hungry, and those darn cats were sulking about - but we were able to end on a good note. It's funny, because on leash he really wants to get to those cats, but off leash he leaves them alone - even runs away from them!

I was hoping to take the test for his CGC soon but he definitely needs more practice around other dogs. He's still a big crybaby, wanting to play and just being generally impulsive, but hopefully with time and maturity and exposure in these controlled settings he will settle down a bit.
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Old 03-17-2017, 07:54 AM
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Working as a trainer I can tell you, 95% of the dogs have an AWFUL time in the first class. The 5% that don't are either just generally super laid-back dogs, or mature dogs that have spent a decent amount of time working with their handler and have awesome handler focus.

We also have an office cat at the school where I work (although I might question why, there are mice everywhere), and Eddie loves to antagonize the dogs.

He's still pretty much a baby isn't he? You guys are coming along as such a great team.
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:47 PM
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Thanks! Yes, he just turned 1 last month. Sometimes I forget that he's still technically a pup, because he doesn't look like one anymore, but there was a 10 month old Aussie in the class that was just amazing. Complete focus. Of course, his owner has been training dogs for 45 years but wow. They were so fun to watch. The other dog in class is an 18 month old Golden Retriever SD, who is also very well-trained, so I feel like I have the class rebel haha. We were in group classes regularly from 2-6 months and then took a long break for private classes and it shows.

Sometimes I feel like we aren't where we should be with our training. We go anyplace that allows pet dogs (we aim for 3x a week) and sometimes he does well; sometimes not. Today, he was having a hard time at Petco. Earlier this week he ran some errands with me (hardware store, feed store) and was an obedient little angel. Today he was breaking his stays and acting like I didn't exist and just very distracted, so we kinda milled around for a bit and I rewarded for ANYTHING that he offered me but otherwise just let him sniff and check things out.
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Old Yesterday, 05:56 PM
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We are officially signed up for our first match comp on April 20!
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