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10 weeks
58 Lessons
382 Students

Ultimate Puppy Program

Ultimate Puppy Program

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Comments (2)

  1. Daryl SIMOURD

    This looks amazing. Unfortunately, I didn’t do that when my puppy was little. He’s 1 year old now and so much bigger and faster than your adorable puppy. I am nervous about letting him off leash while we practice – if he get’s distracted, he may get a long way away from me in a short period of time. I was thinking that using a long leash may work?
    My other question is, sometimes when my pup gets distracted, he elevates quite quickly into barking and not able to listen. I have completed your reactivity course and I wonder if there is a difference between excited and reactive. Any suggestions in this case?
    Finally we had a situation last week and I am looking for ideas about how to handle it better. We are in agility, and have just completed the 4th class. There are 2 or 3 other dogs in the class. Last week, one of the other owners brought her 2 young boys. They were quiet and calm while they watched, and my dog noticed them and was getting a bit distressed. I moved him away and fed him treats while we waited for his turn. He still was a bit agitated. He went through the tunnel perfectly and then turned and ran toward the boys, barking. They were calm and slowly and quietly walked away, he continued to follow barking. I walked quickly (should I have run?) behind to catch up. I finally was able to get a hold of him and we moved away until he calmed down to eat treats and then we went outside for a bit of a break. Interestingly, later in the class we were on another piece of equipment and they were sitting in chairs and he didn’t even seem to notice them even though they were much closer.

    1. Steffi Trott

      First of all yes! Please use a long line whenever needed. Safety first, nobody benefits from ending up with a missing dog. You can do all of these games on a leash.
      What you say about barking sounds like over-arousal? Over-arousal in the sense of very high HAPPY excitement and very high STRESSED OUT NEGATIVE excitement (in the sense of reactivity) can actually look nearly identical (and they can also quickly change from one to the other). In those cases, is he still able to take treats or is he “gone” and you can only get his mind back when you move away from the distraction?

      I also do competition agility and teach agility and what you describe is a very common scenario. I have to say that I as an instructor would have probably tried to grab the dog right after the tunnel, or positioned the boys differently, or somehow else tried to diffuse the situation. Agility can bring out a lot of intensity in otherwise very docile dogs as it makes them so excited (combine that with the excitement of a new place, uncertainty about other dogs and people etc.).
      My black Border Collie Kix who you see in the video has done agility for 5 years. She is a very sweet dog who minds her own business at all times but agility definitely turns her up a notch 😉 and she is not into being all friendly and sociable as she is into doing her “job”.
      Anyway, I think you as the handler could not have done anything differently and it would have been up to the instructor to manage that situation better. In the future, I would see if you could maybe have the boys toss some treats to your dog before class? Often, once the dog sees that the others are no big deal, he can then focus on the task on hand (like it seems he actually did when you worked on the other piece of equipement).

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