Exercise opinions needed

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Postby mnp13 » January 4th, 2007, 6:38 pm

I take the dogs running with me every night. Tonight Riggs has flyball class (we missed the one last week, so this is our first try and may be our last!).

Should I:

a. take him running with me so that I "take the edge off" so he is a little tired and hopefully less wired at class or will that make him less attentive and a general pain in the tail?

or

b. leave him here so he will be nice and fresh for class?
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Postby Jenn » January 4th, 2007, 6:43 pm

Is it possible you can just run him a little? That way you get the best of both, and he'll still have some energy if needed?
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Postby mnp13 » January 4th, 2007, 6:46 pm

2 miles or no miles...
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Postby Big_Ant » January 4th, 2007, 6:48 pm

2 miles.

Get him so tired that he'll not be reactive to the environment. He'll be focused on what you are doing.

All you need to do in your first session is determine if he would be 'interested' in it, and then work it up.

You aren't going to be expected to have him running the blocks on his first night, so that much energy shouldn't be required.

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Postby mnp13 » January 4th, 2007, 6:53 pm

we did some bitework and obedience this morning, I'm going to go running as soon as I finish this post and then we head to flyball an hour after that.

I'm sure he is beyond hungry (he gets fed once daily in the evening so that his food motivation is good for training), so I should have no problems keeping focus with food and his favorite red ball in exchange for a much less interesting tennis ball.

Ok, I'll give you a report when I get back!
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Postby luvmypitties » January 4th, 2007, 7:54 pm

Good luck!!!
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Postby ellie@ny » January 5th, 2007, 9:15 am

On January 04 2007, mnp13 wrote:Ok, I'll give you a report when I get back!


Soooo? :D
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Postby mnp13 » January 5th, 2007, 11:33 am

He did fantastic!! He has unending ball drive, so once he realized this was all to get a ball, he was all for it.

The instructor is GREAT. She is the one who has rescue JRT's so she's used to "terrier attitude" and enforces respect for my dog, not fear of him.

Even with tennis balls all over the place, people playing with their dogs and dogs running the jumps I actually got him to do a little heeling and focus work to get his brain back in his body.

Our only problem is the Visla owner who is a little out of her element. They are going to talk to her a little about paying more attention to where her dog is. We didn't have a "near miss" but we had a "this might be very bad" moment.

The woman who was holding the tennis ball at the box was funny. She would't hold it for him to grab out of her hand. I told her he would not bite her (on purpose) and she said she knew that and wasn't worried.. but his mouth is so big. lol

They decided to put the tennins ball in the box and he did it twice by hitting the platform to get it. No problems there!

I realize in those classes how great our breed is - I have not had a problem with Riggs or Ruby in any of the half dozen or so classes we have taken. They want to figure things out, try stuff and have a good time. One of the dogs was so nervous about the box that he pee'd right infront of it and wouldn't touch it. Then here comes my steam roller of a dog who was pushing the box backwards with the woman sitting on it!

They think he will be fine in class, since he is so focused on the ball. Their only concern is a ball getting loose and having him go after it at the same time as another dog in a race. They said if I decide to try and compete with him that we would try every senario we could think of to get him used to things and know what he's supposed to do.
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Postby Nelson » January 5th, 2007, 1:03 pm

Although dogs are not people, we do share many common traits with them. I'm sure all of us have felt days where you feel full of energy but "brian dead". Likewise there are other days where you feel very sharp mentally, but physically you feel so slow, as if you were underwater.

Each dog is an individual in its own right. Some dogs' performance/learning might be enhanced by wearing them out, while others might learn better/faster by not exerting themselves physically.

Personally, I would never exert my dog before a training session or trial. Especially for a physically demanding sport like Flyball! What I would usually do is take him there with enough time to get him settled. You wouldn't want mental and/or physical fatigue to improperly influence his learning process. Dogs are social creatures and if you implement a well rounded training program you shouldn't have to go in detriment to your dogs' capasity. On the contrary, you should build up to your dogs' strengths.

If you teach your dog how to behave in a proper way, you shouldn't have any problems getting the best from him without going way out of your way. Read my posts on "How To Teach Your Dog To Behave In Front Of Others" and you'll see how this is so important that it carries on to other aspects of training and daily life. Although I do ackowledge that not every dog owner/trainer have good behavioral and training forsight.

Other than that, HUGE CONGRATS on his 1st day training. It's always a good feeling when training goes well. Like you said, our breed is truly a gifted one when it comes to working ability.
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Postby Big_Ant » January 5th, 2007, 1:14 pm

On 01/05/2007 7:33 AM, mnp13 wrote:They think he will be fine in class, since he is so focused on the ball. Their only concern is a ball getting loose and having him go after it at the same time as another dog in a race. They said if I decide to try and compete with him that we would try every senario we could think of to get him used to things and know what he's supposed to do.

This would be my concern as well.

The Sch Trainer I work with made this my #1 rule for working APBTs with him. He told me a story how he had a personal dog (APBT) that he was working in the field. He went to an event, and while the dog was kenneled something ended up happening where the dog was out and was attacked and ended up fighting back with another dog (Can't remember how it got out, but I remember that it was NOT an irresponsible act on his part). So the dog was fine, but from that point on, when they worked the field the dog would get too hot if any dogs were surrounding the field. He ended up having to be removed from competing and just went back to doing training at the club only and no events.

He said that the APBT was the hardest working dog he had, and very very good, but once he hit that "switch" and got hot he couldn't work him in the field for competition.

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Postby Big_Ant » January 5th, 2007, 1:15 pm

Nelson,
Excellent Post!
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Postby luvmypitties » January 5th, 2007, 1:20 pm

sounds like you guys had a great night!!! Let us know how he progresses!!
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Postby mnp13 » January 5th, 2007, 1:40 pm

Good post Nelson. I'll definately go re-read that article.

In regards to tiring him out... well, that was a pipe dream (read: I should have known better). He showned absolutely no signs of having been exercised at all. He did crash hardcore when we got home. He went straight to his kitchen crate to be fed then made a bee line for his bed. Normally he likes to cruise the house for a while but had no interest in it last night!

Much like his bitework, if I break through his "hyper focus" on a target/object he will listen to me. The challenge is breaking in. Once I've succeeded in breaking in, I can keep his focus on me. He really does work very hard to figure out what I want, and then tries to do it (well, most of the time! ;) )

I think the hyperfocus will help with flyball if I can channel it appropriately. if he doesn't miss his ball we'll be in good shape. How could he with a mouth like this?

Image

Image

looking at those pictures, I can see why she was a little intimidated when he came in to take the ball from her!

As usual, I got the "how old is he" question... no one ever believes me when I say almost 6!
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Postby luvmypitties » January 5th, 2007, 1:48 pm

Oh my goodness that is a big mouth!! Great action pictures though!!!
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Postby Malli » January 5th, 2007, 2:41 pm

I kind of thought (I'm late coming into this) since it was his first class that the exercise might be good to relax him a little and take a little of his intensity away that might get him issues with the dogs at class? Wouldn't the first step (talking hypothetically now, since its already happened) be to get him accustomed to the environment and have the experience be a positive one, and then once that has been established to ease off on the pre-class exercise and start with the focus and training?

Say for instance, she hadn't exercised him and because if the new environment + that he was spun and edgy from no exercise ended up in her having to correct behavioral issues in him lots in the first class; wouldn't this then lay the groundwork in the dog's mind that "this isn't a fun place to be" and make the next experience at class more aprehensive for him, and possibly, that aprehension could also make him more reactive?

I apologize for the poor sentence structure, just got off 3 days of graveyards, no sleep yet...

but, my feeling is that the exercise might take the edge of the reactivity of the dog making the first experience less tense, why do you guys think otherwise?
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Postby SisMorphine » January 7th, 2007, 8:37 am

I have heard both exercise and don't exercise from trainers I highly respect. I'm not sure which is the way to go. I mean, if I walk Wally in the morning for at least 45 minutes he's done for the rest of the day. Mike is usually out for at least half the day when he gets walked for 30 minutes or more. IE: Training = Useless when exercised first. I also know from watching others train, even with high drive dogs, that when the dogs are getting tired they are not focussing as well and the obedience, and all else, goes down the drain (which is why you keep training sessions short and sweet).

BUT what I wonder is, with a high drive dog, and it not being super hot right now, if you exercise them first, but give them plenty of time to recoup, would that help him focus? Because at that point he would no longer be gassed, so I would assume the exercising would just take the edge off? I think this is why the other trainers recommend this. Not to bring your dog to class panting because you just exercised it, but to exercise and bring to class after they've recovered from the exercise to take the edge off. I dunno . . . I'm kind of thinking out loud here now . . .
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Postby concreterose » January 7th, 2007, 3:00 pm

I always run vicki two miles (outside or on the treadmill) before agility. It does nothing to tire her out lol
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Postby SpiritFngrz » January 7th, 2007, 5:24 pm

That's cool! Congrats on the training!

I was just going to say when Satin runs close to 4 miles in the morning, she is a little tired, but she is nowhere near devoid of energy. She still has plenty of it to spare- although she doesn't do any training afterward. If she didn't get her exercise though I think she would be a lot less well-behaved and even crazier than she is. I wouldn't like to see that!
That said, like Riggs, she crashes at night. She puts herself right to bed, it is nice! lol
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Postby mnp13 » January 19th, 2007, 4:42 pm

We had our second flyball calss last night. We did not go running beforehand, and it made no difference. He's hyperstimulated by all the tennis balls flying all over the place, but with a little effort he will focus back on me.

Getting the ball away from him is proving to be a HUGE challenge. He is outing pretty well off of a couple of his stuffies, but a new stuffie? Nope. He outs off of his brown tug, but not off of his polar fleece tug. He'll let go of the red ball, but only for the other red ball, or for the brown tug, which he will let go of.

ARGH!

We'll get it....

Last night he did about 3/4 of the course, starting in the middle and finishing the full way back. I know, it's "just" fetch; not exactly rocket science. But it is a lot harder than it looks!
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Postby Malli » January 19th, 2007, 8:16 pm

especially with a stubborn dogs ;)
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