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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, today I spent most of the day watching a(n??) USDAA agility trial! It was really fun. However, I noticed something kind of odd, and I thought I would ask you knowledgeable folks.

There were quite a few handlers who specifically "riled up" their dogs before their runs. Games of tug were almost always the chosen "energizer." This really surprised me, especially when I saw these super-energized dogs perform. Many of them seemed to have so much energy that they had a hard time focusing on their handlers. Now, for some, it seemed to be totally fine, but there also seemed to be some extremely over-energized dogs.

So, is getting a dog ramped up before a run fairly normal? I was just really surprised to see how excited some of the pups got before even starting their runs, and then it seemed like they had a hard time holding it together while running.

BUT. I also still have no experience whatsoever, so I'm sure a lot of it comes down to being able to sit and watch and not ever having done the work myself.

So, is psyching a dog up fairly common at agility trials? If so, what sort of things do you guys do to get your pups focused and/or energized? And apologies if any of this is dumb... I'm just really intrigued after watching my first trial! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Oh! And of course this was obviously separate from the folks who used tug as a reward after their runs. Saw that, too, and obviously that makes sense!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, guys!

I went again on Sunday, and there seemed to be fewer issues with over-excited dogs, but still plenty getting amped up. I think what I actually saw was a lot of dogs annoyed by their handlers while doing more complicated runs and specifically "Snooker," which after I read the rules of, I can understand why! Handlers definitely need to be on top of things for that.

It was so much fun to watch, too. I saw some really great runs, and it seemed like pretty much everyone was having a blast.

Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@Sha - We knew you'd have a good time! I always have a good time watching, except for when I see those people that are waaaaaay too competitive. I like to win too, but not at the expense of screaming at my dog.
Yep, those were the only runs I didn't clap for. There were some where the dog hit just about every bar and/or had to do the weave a ton of times, but I still clapped for them, because they were still having fun. But the angry handlers... nope, no clapping from me for them. Thankfully there were only a couple.

And yes, you guys were totally right! Plus, one of the owners of the facility introduced herself to me, and then introduced me to all the other owners, explained the various games to me, and made sure I met some other folks. It was great. I told them I'd be back (which they seemed particularly excited about--I think there aren't a lot of younger [is nearly 30 really younger?!!?] folks, so they're glad to have 'fresh blood'), and next time I'll possibly look into volunteering with bar setting and such, though since the next trial at that location is AKC instead of USDAA, I may just watch again to see how things are different.
 
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