|Barked: Sun Jul 28, '13 11:01am PST |
|First of all, in just a year of on again/off again training, your dog should not be running courses. The first year or so of training should be spent building a solid foundation which includes flat work, building value for obstacles and building control. Obviously your dog seems to have value for the obstacles but no control to counter it. As you are finding out, this is a huge issue, and it won't just stop at start line issue, it can progress to a dog that has no regard for the cues you are giving and she may begin hurling herself around the course, taking off course obstacles and missing contacts. This can be dangerous.
At this point I would work on control away from agility. Have her sit and throw a toy. Can she stay until released? Have her sit and run away with a toy. Can she stay until released? Once solid on this type of stuff you can start with one jump or one tunnel. Set her up and walk away. Can she stay? If yes she gets to do the obstacle and then be rewarded with a tug. If not, do not let her take the obstacle and self reward. You can also practice running between obstacles without her being allowed to take any of them. Reward lots so she learns that being with you is the fun part of agility and that just because equipment is there that does not mean she gets to take any of it.
For now, I would not be doing any more courses with her until her control issues are dealt with. Yes, it will be hard to go to class and only work on control but it will be much more frustrating in the future if you don't start seriously working on this now. I would also suggest using a head halter between her turns in class to keep her calm and focused on you. Control issues often begin outside the ring while watching other dogs run, so you might want to look at that as well.
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