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Speed and no focus

Discussion in 'Agility/Obedience' started by chrystel, Jan 25, 2010.

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  1. chrystel

    chrystel Boxer Insane

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    Hello everyone.

    Oxford and I are doing agility practices on Sundays with a group.

    Oxford is the ONLY boxer :) and I have to say.. the only one on the leash. We can't put him off leash because of his tendency to charge at dogs.

    My problem is: once on the course, Oxford doesn't care of treats, toy, stick.. or even me :LOL:
    I'm dragged, obstacle to obstacle... speed, speed, speed.. and more speed.

    I drop the leash for the tire, chute, tunnel. If i'm not fast enough to get him, he keeps on going but doing whater he looooves: tunnel, chute, a-frame, chute again, tunnel again.. yeeeeee.. He's totally loopy in there!

    And I have to catch him! people are scared of him and I can not let him get into a fight with their dog (most of them small dogs).

    When he finally realizes i'm in there calling him, he comes all happy like "proud of me??? i went everywhere! are you proud of me? " his HUGE smile all wide and his butt all wiggly!

    I cannot get his focus. I try to make him slow down by stopping him after each obstacle. He doesn't get it of course!. Once i get his focus, he does everything fine! he's super great.

    I tried everything: cheese, smeely cheese, his favorite ball, hot dogs...

    I know he totally loves it! he's having the best time of his life in there... I just wish i had more control. I must look like a mess out there. They all laugh and say "wow, you got your exercise for the day!"

    totally.. i'm exhausted!
     
  2. larrygs

    larrygs Super Boxer

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    LOL Sorry, but I couldn't help it after reading your post. We have just started Agility with Layla. I described the first night as ADHD after a double expresso. Our second night was vastly better, yet definitely with a boxer flair to it. I can see us headed in your direction.

    In a previous post we had great advice on treats. Our standbys for obedience were not nearly "valuable" enough compared to other things.

    Perhaps those with more experience will be able to offer real help.

    I am pulling for you! Good Luck!
     
  3. IluvLucy

    IluvLucy Boxer Insane

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    Speed is great, but, as you have learned, without control you get chaos. It sounds like Oxford has a lot of extra energy. Over time he may lose some of the "enthusiasm" and settle down, but until then you should find ways to burn off some of that energy shortly before you go to practice. If he's already a little worn out you should be able to get more control. I can't really speak from experience though, I alway had the opposite problem!:LOL:
     
  4. Lanah

    Lanah Boxer Pal

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    Oh man I have to say I've had this problem at times with Leo. He is a fast fast boy and I have to really move to keep up with him. The thing is you have to find things to keep his attention. Leo has seriouse issues keeping his attention on me so what I do is when I go to class or if i'm just practicing with him myself, I come prepared. I always bring 3 different kinds of treats with me in case he gets bored with one kind and a few favorite toys. You really have to let them blow off some steam before they get to work so try a fun game of fetch before you start practicing or even just letting him run before you begin. So many new smells and other dogs make it so much more exciting for them its hard to focus on one thing. You need to keep him focused on you and he will be more inclined to listen lol its not easy sometimes I definately know how you feel Leo's first day in agility was like turning an elephant loose in a china shop but he has gotten so much better once I discovered how to keep his focus. Clicker training might help also, I've known a few people who have used that with problems like these and had a lot of success. Good luck!
     
  5. chrystel

    chrystel Boxer Insane

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    Thank you so much everyone!
    Agility is off for a couple of month.. because oxy may have torn his right acl.. bummer!

    we're practicing focus for the time being.. with at home obedience practice :)

    i hope he gets better.. he loves it so much! appicon
     
  6. larrygs

    larrygs Super Boxer

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    OMG, very sorry to hear about the potential ACL injury. Hope he heals quickly.

    We went through this when we had Maxine. She required surgery, however mended fully, and was very active later. Couldn't tell anything happened except for sitting a little crooked.

    I also hope it wasn't during agility.
     
  7. chrystel

    chrystel Boxer Insane

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    Thanks. Oxford is looking a little better.. No agility of course.. i want to keep him calm..
    When i go back, i won't do jumps for a while, so we'll do his favorite only: the tunnel and chute :LOL:

    We'll also do the walk-it and his least favorite.. the weave polls.. How are you dogs doing with the weaves? i think Oxy doesn't see the thing at all....
     
  8. larrygs

    larrygs Super Boxer

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    So far we have done very little with the weaves, only a little work on the entry. Our learning rate is somewhat restrained by the group and the lesson structure.

    Layla picks everything up extremely quickly and could do much more. She will do anything for a treat. I am going to set up some things at home to augment the training. Just built a seesaw, and weave poles are next.

    Our biggest problem during a sequence is keeping her at a slow enough pace so she keeps track of what to do next. She really wants to fly through things, ... LOL, and will make up a sequence if I am not clear. Her enthusiasm often brings a laugh to all.

    The other issue is while waiting for others. She gets real distracted on everything around us and tries to bolt to check it all out.

    Saying all that, last night was week 9 and was a lot of fun.
     
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