Author Topic: Toy in the ring  (Read 2624 times)


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Re: Toy in the ring
« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2019, 07:49:51 AM »
I personally am of the opinion that we baby people a little too much.    I'm in a bit of a mood tonight so maybe I'll regret saying that!

But we have sterilized things to the point that anyone can enter a ring and it's not 'our' job to make sure their dog is safe.    Which doesn't jive well with me.

No I don't want a leash runner to ever be a target.   But if that is something that a dog is even remotely thinking of doing, do I really want that dog running anyway?   
I would rather have the dog get suspended and the problem fixed early, then let it fly under the radar or be covered up by us 'helping' to make the dog seem better behaved then it is.


I mean I have a problem dog which may make me LESS tolerant of this in some ways, but dammit if I can work through the mess Molly was, other people can work through some training issues.

That said, I don't have a problem helping people teach their dog the correct behavior via training at trials and just taking the E.  Training in the ring doesn't have to be just obstacles and if they want to take the E and do that, great and let me help.

What do you even do with a dog who targets any toy they see in someone's hand?  I know it doesn't come up OFTEN in life but surely to goodness 'it is being held so go make a flying leap for it' isn't behavior most people want anyway!


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Re: Toy in the ring
« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2019, 10:38:29 AM »
Can’t some of this just be common sense?  Or don’t agility people really understand dogs?  Is a tennis ball as a handle braided into a leash really that big of a deal?  I know if I saw it becoming a problem I would either ask that my leash be dropped, discontinue using that leash or teach my dog they only get to grab the toy after they are leashed.  Dogs are pretty amazing at learning if we take the time to teach and are consistent.

If I was running leashes it would be gathered up with the leash and I would present the collar loop to the handler.  The dog wouldn’t even see the ball. 

Maybe I just live in an area where we don’t have problem dogs or people are smart enough to keep them out of the ring until they’re ready to be there.

Gina Pizzo

Common sense? I don't mean to be rude buuuut, they write movies, books and songs about people's lack of it. At the NADAC Trainer's Seminar we talked a lot about it. I would really like to believe it's possible.....buuuut.... And, no, I don't believe that a majority of agility people *really understand* dog behavior. That has not been their focus in life like some. Most have a dog or two and enjoy playing with them. Their level of training is quite different than, say, mine, or Sharon's, or Chris', or Amanda's or most likely yours (I don't know you or your dogs, so am making a big assumption). And, yes, a tennis ball can be a pretty darn huge thing to some dogs, whether it's attached to a leash or not. It could be their most favoritist, bestest, most wonderfulest thing (IOW - obsession) in the whole wide world.

I think its great that if you noticed a problem you would have the leash dropped. Other handlers may not be quite as observant or understanding of what behavior the dog is truly exhibiting and may *not* ask the unwary, innocent leash runner to drop it. Or, maybe the handler *thinks* they *are* training the dog to leave the leash runner alone - but just this ooooone time the dog just gets too darn excited and - whomp, chomp! Once again, we're probably not talking about you......

As far as just presenting the loop end and "hiding" the ball/toy.... You said dogs are pretty amazing at learning, and I totally agree. Let's pretend - this is the first time I have the ball attached to my leash at a trial. I have my young dog today. Yay! I've entered him in all 8 classes today - we're gonna have fun! Before I go into the ring I may show the dog the toy, and far enough away from the ring I might even let him play with it. He knows its there now. I'd bet that after about the third run today, where as soon as we get 10' from the ring he gets to play with that toy, he *KNOWS* its there. My puppy ain't stupid!  ;) And I'd bet a lot of other highly excited, over the top, ball/toy crazy dogs know it too. As a leash runner, I'm not even going to *try* and hide this thing. Nope, no way. Do I trust a stranger's training to keep my body parts safe from harm? Nope, no way.

I'd love to live in a place where there are no problem dogs and all the people have common sense! Where is this? I'm getting a moving van and coming there!  ;D 8)

Again, just my humble opinion,
Leona Valley, CA


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Re: Toy in the ring
« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2019, 05:42:22 PM »
At a trial today, several handlers took advantage of this rule.  This was mostly in intro.  My observation is that these dogs showed a real benefit from it.  The toy seemed to really help all of them.  Also, I didn't see any disruption in any other dogs.  The action was out in the ring and I didn't see any other dogs who were queueing up to even be aware of it.  I didn't obesrve every single dog, but I didn't see (or even hear about) any issues.  The handlers using the new rule looked to me to be using the toy to establish a happy, playful, and handler engaged mental state in the dog.

In summary, I'd say the rule was well used for good purpose with no negative impact to the trial or other exhibitors.

Richard Wolfe

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Re: Toy in the ring
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2019, 06:18:54 PM »
I agree with Ric.  There was only positive happening in the ring.  There was no hazard nor anything negative about it that I observed.  I was working in the ring in two of the classes involved.  One dog was very distracted on the first run but the toy brought him happily back to the handler.  The dog showed much more focus, not perfect, but much improved on the second run.

Thanks, Chris, for allowing this!!!!
Richard Wolfe
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Re: Toy in the ring
« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2019, 06:45:09 PM »
Yes, I totally agree!  The toy in the ring rule is very helpful to the dogs and handlers!  It reduces stress, helps to break things down and simply helps the handlers and dogs be successful and have fun.  Thank you so much for allowing this!

Lee Ann Jahansooz


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Re: Toy in the ring
« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2019, 05:32:12 AM »
Kyle I guess I would like to put responsibility back to the dog owner.  If their dog is going to maul the leash runner to get their toy their going to get at best E’d just like if the dog jumps on the leash runner and at worst written up if the behavior calls for it.  Unless they are a complete idiot they’ll figure out the solution or be gone.

I personally hate that people portray leash running as needing no knowledge or experience or direction.  Leash running is the job that can have the most effect on a dog and their performance.

There are clueless people here but they are usually clued in by the more experienced exhibitors especially if it’s something that likely to cause a problem. 

So let’s just say if you want to have a toy attached to your leash it gets dropped on the ground.  No different than if the leash itself is the toy.

Gina Pizzo

Bernie Doyle

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Re: Toy in the ring
« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2019, 07:46:00 AM »
From a judge’s perspective, I was very pleased with how handlers/teams used the toy in the ring and the “tugging option” during & after runs. They respected the guidelines & were aware of other dogs & “space”.

And, as Ric pointed out, there was definitely improvement between rounds. Happy, connected teams is ALWAYS a good thing!!

Bernie Doyle :- )
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Re: Toy in the ring
« Reply #22 on: June 13, 2019, 06:56:17 AM »
That's awesome. I hope things continue to improve. You can always do better, right?

Heidi Konesko

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Re: Toy in the ring
« Reply #23 on: June 18, 2019, 02:45:56 AM »
Just want to say that I've used a toy in the ring at two trials now, and i like how my dog is more focused and having more fun.  The first few rimes he didn’t seem to believe that he should get the toy, but then he got the hang of it.  I’m learning some strategies too: wear something with the right size pockets, start with the toy in my pocket and put the toy back in my pocket after playing so that my handling is normal and he never knows when it’s going to be a toy run, don’t throw it near the end of a run and interfere with the leash runner, remember to tell the judge that i am taking an e at the good luck, and a yellow tennis ball sized ball on a short rope is probably going to work best for us.
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