Author Topic: SPECIAL note to all judges and competitors  (Read 8355 times)

Amy McGovern

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Re: SPECIAL note to all judges and competitors
« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2013, 02:31:14 PM »
Amy; This is not forcing a 'stay' at the start line this is enforcing a safe start line.  What you are describing does not sound to me like a problem, the dogs that would be faulted for this will probably be very obvious.

Thanks!  I didn't want to force the stay.  She is in control :)  Thank you for clarifying!  (And yes, she isn't really dropped.  Usually, I carry her in, put her on the line, kneel next to her while I wait for the "good luck", and then stand up and run.  But "drop and run" is what people call it, when you carry the dog in.)

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Shirley Wallace

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Re: SPECIAL note to all judges and competitors
« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2013, 07:06:36 PM »
I wish I had a video of one of Whisk's tunnelers runs from about 6 years ago, and you would know exactly what Sharon is talking about.  He ran a half of a tunnelers course with his leash caught around his muzzle before I could stop him.  He was totally out of control - took off before I could even get the leash all the way off.  We were lucky that neither of us were hurt.  It was a real eye opener for me.  It was definitely not safe for either of us!
Shirley
Shirley Wallace

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SPECIAL note to all judges and competitors
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2013, 08:01:02 PM »
Thank you Ben for the reality check!  Looking forward to seeing you this weekend!

Karen
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KarissaKS

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Re: SPECIAL note to all judges and competitors
« Reply #18 on: April 28, 2013, 05:09:05 PM »
I dug up an old video that clearly shows NO control at the start line. lol



Thankfully we've come a long way with self control in front of tunnels since then.  ;)  Stuff like that could be dangerous -- I cringe when I see how Luke's neck wrenched around like it did when it got caught in the slip lead before I could get it totally over his head.

I see stuff like that all of the time. Many times it could be solved by people not using slip leads. Before I got her harness, I was using a quick release collar on my border collie because she was not a fan of slip leads being pulled over her head. She wouldn't bolt off, but she'd still yank her head backwards at the unpleasantness of it going over her ears.

I rarely ever do any sort of a lead out with Secret or Kaiser, but that doesn't mean they are out of control (well, the Klee Kai has his crazy days, lol). A simple hand around the chest while you unleash them should be more than enough "restraint" at the start if needed. I don't think this new rule will have any effect on the majority of teams out there.
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dogrsqr

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Re: SPECIAL note to all judges and competitors
« Reply #19 on: April 29, 2013, 07:30:42 AM »

My dog is jumping up and down (usually 2-3 feet in the air) and possibly barking in excitement at the start line because I am getting working to get her excited.  At 35 lbs she is not small enough to do a drop and run.  She also does rolls and various other contortions all in fun.  Again, she is a VERY NERVOUS dog so I do whatever I can to get her excited and take the stress out of the start of the course.  I have a new leash that has a different clip that makes getting it off easy, but I also have other leashes that I use.  As far as setting the dog back further, that doesn't always work based on how the course is set up.  I try to set her up back at least 3-4 feet so I have a good running start with her, but in some of the smaller venues that I compete in, it is not always possible or you are actually out of the ring itself.   

Simply dropping the leash on the ground with a dog that is a "release and run" is not the answer either because it could easily tangle in the feet of the handler or the dog.  With a motivationally challenged dog there is no time to nicely put the leash on the ground to the side.  My other option would be, get her excited,  take the leash off, put it on the ground then take some additional time to work to keep her excited.   This would take no more time than someone putting their dog in a sit/stay and then walking out to their position.  I am just taking my time back at the start line instead of walking out.

Audri,

I'm not sure I'm understanding your start line routine.  Hopefully your dog is not jumping up and down, barking and rolling around on the ground in the ring while the dog before you is still running.  I would definitely think that waiting for the "good luck" taking the leash off, reving her up and going would be the best option.  Doing all that other stuff while the dog before you is still running is an invitation for trouble. 

Gina Pizzo
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Tracey Kroll

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Re: SPECIAL note to all judges and competitors
« Reply #20 on: May 08, 2013, 12:46:42 PM »
I have seen the occasional run that I think this rule is seeking to address. Always scary when a dog runs with the leash attached!! I'm wondering if someone can clarify the not holding the dog by the scruff part. I have seen handlers whose dogs like to bolt take their arm and hold it across the dog's chest. It in no way looks harsh and wouldn't trigger the "gasp factor" by the visiting public but the dog also isn't in control because without the arm it would probably have already triggered the timer and taken a few obstacles (which may or may not have been the ones the judges selected <g>).  Holding the scruff is illegal, is body blocking with an arm or other appendage also faulted?

My current kids have a start line (although the Aussie would prefer not to), retired dog didn't but waited very patiently while I took off the leash and then we started together. That being said, I am course building at a trial this coming weekend where I had previously been a secretary for nine years so lots of people ask me questions, refer new people to see me, etc. Would love to know the answer to above just in case anyone asks me this weekend.

Thanks in advance for the info and as always, for the emphasis on safety!

-Tracey Kroll
Kansas City, MO
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Kyle

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Re: SPECIAL note to all judges and competitors
« Reply #21 on: May 09, 2013, 12:01:47 AM »
Sometimes I'm slow on the uptake...I should have asked this question awhile ago. Since it's being stressed that "the leash must hit the ground before the dogs crosses the start line" - what if I hand the leash to the leash runner (while my dog is in a stay)? It's just something I like to do rather than drop it or toss it. Will that be a problem?

I would just assume that if my dog breaks the stay and crosses the start line while I am handing the leash to the leash runner and before it's in the leash runner's *hand* then we've bombed...  :( 

Thanks,
Kyle
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Sharon Nelson

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Re: SPECIAL note to all judges and competitors
« Reply #22 on: May 09, 2013, 01:00:18 AM »
Sometimes I'm slow on the uptake...I should have asked this question awhile ago. Since it's being stressed that "the leash must hit the ground before the dogs crosses the start line" - what if I hand the leash to the leash runner (while my dog is in a stay)? It's just something I like to do rather than drop it or toss it. Will that be a problem?

I would just assume that if my dog breaks the stay and crosses the start line while I am handing the leash to the leash runner and before it's in the leash runner's *hand* then we've bombed...  :( 

Thanks,
Kyle

Handing the leash to the leash runner is perfectly acceptable!! 

Sharon
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Kyle

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Re: SPECIAL note to all judges and competitors
« Reply #23 on: May 09, 2013, 08:53:24 AM »
After re-reading the posts on this subject, the dogs/handlers who seem to be the most concerned about this issue are those who have "nervous", "stressed" or "motivationally challenged" dogs. My gut feeling is maybe a different technique could be tried to teach the "stay". There's a million different ways to teach a basic "stay" and maybe folks with nervous or stressed dogs need to find a different technique and "re-teach" it?

To me, "stay" is a trust issue. The dog needs to trust that one of two things will *always* happen at the end; I *will* return to you, or, I *will* call you. It's our job to teach the dog that one of those things will happen and that while they are "staying" life is still OK. If the dog feels that life is *not* OK while it's staying, that's a *training problem*. That problem is lack of trust for the nervous or stressed dog. Teaching those dogs stay is a bit different than teaching "Mr. Robust" to stay.  ;)  I'd say the steps used, the tone of voice, the body language, amount of reward *and* correction is going to be very, very different.

Just something to think about...finding someone to help you re-teach "stay" in a new way so that dogs don't have to suffer nerves or stress at something so much fun as agility...

JMHO, as always,
Kyle
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Linda W. Anderson

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Re: SPECIAL note to all judges and competitors
« Reply #24 on: May 09, 2013, 09:49:33 AM »
After re-reading the posts on this subject, the dogs/handlers who seem to be the most concerned about this issue are those who have "nervous", "stressed" or "motivationally challenged" dogs. My gut feeling is maybe a different technique could be tried to teach the "stay". There's a million different ways to teach a basic "stay" and maybe folks with nervous or stressed dogs need to find a different technique and "re-teach" it?

To me, "stay" is a trust issue. The dog needs to trust that one of two things will *always* happen at the end; I *will* return to you, or, I *will* call you. It's our job to teach the dog that one of those things will happen and that while they are "staying" life is still OK. If the dog feels that life is *not* OK while it's staying, that's a *training problem*. That problem is lack of trust for the nervous or stressed dog. Teaching those dogs stay is a bit different than teaching "Mr. Robust" to stay.  ;)  I'd say the steps used, the tone of voice, the body language, amount of reward *and* correction is going to be very, very different.

Just something to think about...finding someone to help you re-teach "stay" in a new way so that dogs don't have to suffer nerves or stress at something so much fun as agility...

JMHO, as always,
Kyle

Great comments, Kyle.  Back when my Yellow Lab, Dax, was still in service dog training 9 years ago (he was dismissed due to cataracts) our puppy raiser leader taught us to use "Wait" and "Stay" with the dogs.  "Wait" means to remain where you are until I call you or tell you to do something different, period.  "Stay," on the other hand, means remain where you are until I return to you, no matter how long I'm gone or whether not you can see me, period.  I use "wait" at the start line because I plan to have my dog move at some point.  My dogs seem to know the difference, although the old girl, Ezri, often chooses to disobey.  She has old dog privileges, thorough.=)   It is definitely a training issue and like Sharon said it could save their life.   Linda
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Re: SPECIAL note to all judges and competitors
« Reply #25 on: May 10, 2013, 07:50:22 AM »
After re-reading the posts on this subject, the dogs/handlers who seem to be the most concerned about this issue are those who have "nervous", "stressed" or "motivationally challenged" dogs. My gut feeling is maybe a different technique could be tried to teach the "stay". There's a million different ways to teach a basic "stay" and maybe folks with nervous or stressed dogs need to find a different technique and "re-teach" it?

To me, "stay" is a trust issue. The dog needs to trust that one of two things will *always* happen at the end; I *will* return to you, or, I *will* call you. It's our job to teach the dog that one of those things will happen and that while they are "staying" life is still OK. If the dog feels that life is *not* OK while it's staying, that's a *training problem*. That problem is lack of trust for the nervous or stressed dog. Teaching those dogs stay is a bit different than teaching "Mr. Robust" to stay.    I'd say the steps used, the tone of voice, the body language, amount of reward *and* correction is going to be very, very different.

Just something to think about...finding someone to help you re-teach "stay" in a new way so that dogs don't have to suffer nerves or stress at something so much fun as agility...

JMHO, as always,
Kyle

Kyle-while I appreciate your comments, you are slightly off base on some of them.  My dogs trusts me explicitly.  She is not nervous that I won't come back or that she can't come to me at all.  She is nervous about what is happening AROUND her.  She is afraid that one of the dogs behind her might charge her.  She is nervous that the people at the scoring table might come and hurt her.  I am not sure what happened to her when she was with another family from 4-8 months old, but what I was told was that she was left outside running all day to chase cars and bark on the "owners" front porch all day.  She was chasing the school bus, etc.  When I got the call that she was being returned (I was her original foster mom and she was born at my house), I said I would come pick her up after work.  When I got to the shelter 4 hours later, I came in and said "hello".  She came running to me.  It was later that I found out that for those 4 hours, she cowered under a table and would not come out for anyone or anything no matter what they did.  She has been lunged at by other dogs and now cowers behind my legs for the most part.  She does occassionly take the "best offense is a good defense" type attitude and can make a lot of noise, but in general, she is terrified of other dogs that she doesn't know.  If I put her in a stay at the start line she  is constantly looking around and behind her to make sure nothing is coming at her.  If something is amiss on course she runs from it, keeps checking back at it or totally stops to look at it to make sure it won't hurt her. 

And Gina--no I don't do that with another dog in the ring.  It is done before we enter the ring, then I begin the process again when the next dog is getting the leash on and walking out of the ring, while I wait for the good luck.  She is generally rolling around and jumping as I am trying to get her leash off because she is excited. 

Audri, Lily, Cee Cee and Toto, Calypso

Sharon Nelson

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Re: SPECIAL note to all judges and competitors
« Reply #26 on: May 10, 2013, 11:33:58 AM »
Kyle-while I appreciate your comments, you are slightly off base on some of them.  My dogs trusts me explicitly.  She is not nervous that I won't come back or that she can't come to me at all.  She is nervous about what is happening AROUND her.  She is afraid that one of the dogs behind her might charge her.  She is nervous that the people at the scoring table might come and hurt her.  I am not sure what happened to her when she was with another family from 4-8 months old, but what I was told was that she was left outside running all day to chase cars and bark on the "owners" front porch all day.  She was chasing the school bus, etc.  When I got the call that she was being returned (I was her original foster mom and she was born at my house), I said I would come pick her up after work.  When I got to the shelter 4 hours later, I came in and said "hello".  She came running to me.  It was later that I found out that for those 4 hours, she cowered under a table and would not come out for anyone or anything no matter what they did.  She has been lunged at by other dogs and now cowers behind my legs for the most part.  She does occassionly take the "best offense is a good defense" type attitude and can make a lot of noise, but in general, she is terrified of other dogs that she doesn't know.  If I put her in a stay at the start line she  is constantly looking around and behind her to make sure nothing is coming at her.  If something is amiss on course she runs from it, keeps checking back at it or totally stops to look at it to make sure it won't hurt her. 


Audri, I do understand where Kyle is coming from.  As a person who does re-hab with fearful dogs, I do understand why Kyle says that a stay is a "trust" issue.  I get a lot of dogs in the have fear, not of me, but from their surroundings.  It is my job to get them to trust me that the things that they fear will not "get" them... Sometimes it takes years for them to realize that I will not ever let those things invade their space or cause them harm.

I also understand where you are coming from in trying to keep the dog safe and not expose her to those things that she is afraid of.  To not allow her to be exposed to those things that she fears and keep her close to you also works with many dogs.

There are so many ways to work with fearful dogs.  Kyle and I tend to work the dogs around the things that they fear and let them learn to trust us that there will be no harm done from those "things"...  I have several dogs in the training program right now that came with massive fear issues and many of those fear issues is fear of people or fear of other dogs.  Those dogs can now be in large crowds of people and other dogs and they have lost that fear..... they are not going to go up to a strange dog or person, they totally ignore them and they also have to trust that a strange dog will NOT ever come into their space and no strange person will ever try to pet them or feed them or invade their space.   They are happy, joyful and confident in their surroundings.  I am their protector.   No other person pets them, feeds them or comes to them to talk to them.... so they don't need to fear strangers anymore.  I have crated an environment where they trust that bad things don't happen to them.  Even if I walk away (like in a stay) they trust that their space will not be invaded  by other dogs or people.

But this is what works for me and that doesn't mean that it will work for everyone else.  I work only on the mental state of the dog and that is my focus.  I know that Kyle works much like I do with dogs.  But that is "our" comfort zone, so we use the methods that work for us.

I also know that Kyle didn't mean to cause any insult when she said that a start line stay is a matter of "trust".... in our training methods, that is exactly what it is... for us..... if the dog trusts us and our methods then they can be left and be fully confident that no harm will come to them when left and therefore no reason for fear.   But if I didn't have total confidence in my own training methods then it would never work for fearful dogs.

Whatever methods you use, if you have confidence in your methods then you are well on your way to helping your fearful dog..... if you are confident, then they can become confident.

Sharon
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Kyle

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Re: SPECIAL note to all judges and competitors
« Reply #27 on: May 10, 2013, 11:41:34 PM »
Thank you Sharon, for saying what I didn't. You hit the nail on the head. Sorry to Audri if I offended, it was most certainly not intentional. Having rescued, trained, worked with, placed and owned many dogs (too many to count) that sound quite similar to yours, I am quite sympathetic to them...it breaks my heart to see dogs be frightened of the world around them.

Sincerely,
Kyle
Kyle
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Re: SPECIAL note to all judges and competitors
« Reply #28 on: May 11, 2013, 11:41:06 PM »
Kyle you didn't offend me and I didn't mean to sound like you did and Sharon thanks for the insight.  I do rescue and have had probably 500 dogs through my house in the past 7 years, but very few of them with the fear issues you have had to deal with.  The exception is Lily.  When she came to me, she would sleep nose to nose with me and never left my side.  I can't tell you how many times I tripped over her!  She now allows me to be about 5-6 feet away from her, but she still won't tolerate me behind a closed door.   Couple this with the fact that she is a very soft dog and any type of correction from me, even unintentional such as a dropped shoulder or a look, is a major cause for her to shut down. 

I do try to take Lily and my other dogs to as many places and events as possible.  In general, Lily has begun to enjoy these outings.  We have a wonderful dog store in our area that holds many events each year and has yummy treats so Lily especially enjoys those outings. 

Unfortunately, Lily has also had some very bad experiences with dogs lunging at her or staring her down while walking with her or running by and crashing into her crate while she was in there.  We have also had instances of walking by crates with dogs lunging and barking from within.   While I try to control these circumstances and move her away or try to comfort her with petting or treats, I can't always control what the other handler does with their dog.  Lily is by no means perfect in her crate.  She is barky if another dog walks by, but I do keep her covered to minimize this and also try to crate in an out of the way spot.   

We have come a looooong way in 4 years of agility with her and I credit agility with building her overall confidence.  It used to be that even going to the start line was a stressful thing for her.  She would be panting, yawning and looking around all the time.  Now, the start line is a relatively happy place, but I doubt that I will ever really get a "happy" sit/stay out of her.   But, if I get a happy dog at the end of the run, I am happy with that. 
Audri, Lily, Cee Cee and Toto, Calypso

Re: SPECIAL note to all judges and competitors
« Reply #29 on: June 07, 2013, 12:07:53 AM »
I'd like to add more people need to be "aware of the stare."  It is easy to miss, and border collies are prone to it.  But I have seem many people with dogs staring at another dog to intimidate them and the owner does not even notice.  This happened at a trial recently where an exit from a tunnel was close to the start line, and a couple of dogs exited the tunnel right into an intimidating stare that put them off course.  If you don't know what the stare is, learn to recognize it.  While I mentioned border collies, there are not the only ones.
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