Does Your Dog Love Dog Agility Tunnels

loving dog agility tunnelsIt doesn’t take long for some dogs to make it perfectly clear what their favorite dog agility obstacle is. For many they would say, if they could talk, that it is indeed the tunnel. There is just something about the tunnel that makes some dogs giddy with excitement. In fact, some will run in & out faster and faster just for the reason that they can.

With all the new tunnel games different venues are adding, it is getting easier to give tunnel sucks a game they go wild for. And for those of us that have dogs that love tunnels we scheme and plan for ways to get more tunnels at home for our dogs to enjoy.

We loved the stories you shared about your tunnel loving dogs as well and just had to share them so others can know it really is a common malady and it can be leveraged to our advantage when it comes to training.

LisaH shared:

One loves the weave poles, all jumps, tunnels, basically everything but the table ….. just too boring I guess 🙂 And the younger one can get sucked into the tunnels. It reminds me of a pinball machine when they get going, shooting in and out at high speed.

Sandi shared:

My Sheltie, Amber, also loves the tunnel. I just smile inside and out watching her having so much fun!!!

Mardi Harrison

I have two practice tunnels in the backyard, and my dogs love to chase each other through them. When I play tug with Bandit, he likes to take his toy into the tunnel, and then tease me by coming to the edge, and withdrawing when I make a lunge for the toy.

Mickey shared:

My dog Cheyenne, a sheltie/pom, is crazy for tunnels as well. It was the first event she qualified in at NADAC and still her favorite. She can get the “zoomies” and still stay on course.

Lucy

My sheltie also loves tunnels, though he seems almost equally taken with the dogwalk. Once, there was some gunfire in a field near the park in which our agility classes were being held. A shot rang out just as my doggie started the course. He went over the first jump, into the tunnel…and suddenly, my instructor said, “I don’t know where your dog went!” I did; he was in the tunnel, hiding from the gunfire!

cmespo56 shared:

I have 3 terriers and that is the most fun they have at agility training is the tunnels. So what I do is if they are not so good in something and we have time after class, we practice on the not so good and then when they do the behavior on the equipment they are supposed to, I end the class with letting them go in and out of the tunnels a couple of times. It lets them know that when they give an appropriate behavior on an obstacle, they then get to play and it makes all the difference in the world! I wish I had a bigger yard to have some equipment.

Posted in Dog Agility Equipment

What to do When Your Agility Dog gets Scared in Training

dog agility rocker boardWe had a viewer ask us a great training question about dogs losing confidence with one bad scare in training. For Wwgoodson it really was one of the worst things that could have happened to their 7 month old Boston Terrier puppy. Here is their full story:

“I started my second Boston Terrier puppy. He is 7 months old. He was doing all the baby obstacles with gusto the first few weeks. One night he accidentally stepped on a motion board just as a bigger dog was getting on it and it threw him off. He has been terrified of motion ever since. He is now transferring his fear to the dog walk. Any advice?”

This is a tough issue to deal with especially at this tender age. When a dog gets scared bad enough, that fear can translate to other areas of their life just as it did with this puppy. All is not lost if you take your time, slowly rebuilding the puppy’s confidence no matter what the scare was. In this case we have the following suggestions:

For the dog walk we suggest you train end behavior with a plank on the ground if possible. Or lower the dog walk, keeping in mind some will start to bounce when lowered so be sure to steady it so it does not move under your dog. If not, you can just use the ramp of the dog walk, having your dog jump as far up on the plank as they can/will safely and work on end behavior from there. Be sure to have lots of yummy treats and keep the training session upbeat and short. Make the end of the plank a really nice place for your dog to be. When you start trying the full dog walk, you can bait every  few steps so the dog is more interested in eating treats than being on the dog walk.

Another option is a contact trainer or Mini A-frame.  Having a contact obstacle in a smaller, more manageable size may help your dog overcome their fear, especially if they are a small to medium breed. Full sized equipment can get very daunting to a dog who has lost their confidence.

As far as movement goes, we suggest you use a buja board or rocker board, ‘dampened’ with towels – shove towels or something under the edges to make movement minimal. If possible make it firm to start depending on how badly scared your dog was. Shape interaction with the buja or rocker board and slowly increase the motion as he becomes more comfortable with the motion.

Regaining confidence after a scare on dog agility equipment is tough, but in the end, it’s worth it for your dog. Take it slow and keep sessions short and upbeat. You will have your dog’s confidence back and running hard before you know it.

Posted in Dog Agility Training Tagged with:

How Our Dogs Make Us Happy

A little off topic, but completely spot on, are the answers you gave us a while ago when we asked what your dogs do to brighten your day. You know, those things that they just do because they are dogs and love being around you. Those things that take away the cares of this world for a moment as we enjoy the unconditional love of our dogs.

Faunadael says:

Our Bluetick Coonhound is so typical of other Coonies: goofy, sensitive, entertaining and so much fun! He LOVES clicker training and we are starting Agility training. His enthusiasm makes me smile. When teaching him “to play dead,” he had a hard time lying on his side being perfectly still. (Um…”dead” dogs don’t wag their tails!) Of all the dogs I’ve trained, he makes me laugh the most.

Kernsmadhouse says:

Our sweet Cookie-monster (sheltie) is a hoot. She runs everywhere, loves to talk with grumbles and groans and whines. She is a sneak and will steal clothing and take it outside, never chews it, just takes it. Never a dull moment with this little girl.

Sandi Stephens says:

When I return home, my dogs always greet me with the same message, weather I’ve been gone 20 minutes or all day – “Mom, where have you been? We missed you!!” How can I not smile??

Gregg Freyland says:

Every morning when I come home from work Laine, my Collie, looks up at me from his blanket in the kitchen and his eyes just say “come and hug me Daddy.” As I do, he nibbles on my ears and tugs at my hair…gently, of course. As he stands up with his tail wagging he stretches for me as if to say “is it time to go play?” He loves his agility course and can’t get enough. We both hope for warmer weather with no snow on the ground. We practice as soon as the sun rises every day.

Michelle says:

Rocky brightens my day, everyday, when I come home from work. He tells me how his day was by talking to me in dog speak. Then he “wiggles” his bottom and greats me. I can almost imagine what he is saying when I walk through the door. I know no matter what a bad day I had he always will put a smile on my face.

Alcats15 says:

Beezer my first dog ever is a JRT. He is a very active sort of fellow. A few years ago we had an agility trial on my birthday and it was one of his first trials and honestly I was sure he wasn’t going to do anything but zoomies. But that day he got Q’s in all his runs! He made it my best birthday ever!

LISA says:

My ‘boxer bunch’ wakes me in the morning and greets me in the evenings when I come in from work. Lacey grabs her ‘jolly ball’, Sadie B grabs her frisbee, and Zip Man is wiggling his nub!
We head outside for a little romp. Sadie B is a frisbe boxer. We throw the frisbee for about 5 or 6 times. She catches it with out fail. Lacey runs with her jolly ball almost falling over it. Zippy is just a happy boy and hangs out with the girls. My dogs make me happy no matter what the weather…even in the snow…the run run run! Thank God for my Boxers!

DustyDuckDog says:

My Weim is my hairy alarm clock making sure that even if the electricity is off, due to a bad snow storm, that I am up in time to get ready for work. The best part of the day is when I return home to my happy girls. No matter how bad a day I have had, my Weim and labs greet me with toys and happy faces wanting to play.

WagMore says:

The weather outside is frightful! But slogging along in coat, scarf, hat, mittens and boots, Gracie and Gretel grin up at me, so happy to be out playing with me in the snow! There are no “bad-weather days” when you are a Berner in Alaska!

LisaH says:

It’s easier getting up on these bitterly cold (WI) mornings when I have the dogs to snuggle and who are so deliriously happy to be up and face a new day. 1st we snuggle in bed then once I am up I will go sit on the floor in the dining room and one will either back into or walk head down into my chest then melts into my lap for more love, while the other sits inches away also angling for some love and makes rooooo noises while waiting! They always brighten my day with their playing, and the more I laugh the more they run and prance with their toys.

Julie says:

My Dalmatian makes me laugh all the time. She brings me her (and all the others) bowl when she thinks its time to eat. She brings a toy or bone as a gift when she wants in my lap. When she has missed me, she gives me hugs and smushes her face in mine.

Kate V says:

My dogs always make my day better, just by being with me. I remember one day I had a particularly terrible day at work. I was frustrated and in a generally bad mood. I stopped on the way home at the pet store because I had some coupons that were about to expire. I walked out with way more toys and treats than I had planned on picking up. I remember thinking that I now understood how some women can go shoe shopping as a stress reliever. Because going home to play with my dogs with their new toys, and do some training with the new treats absolutely brightened my day. Their happiness is infectious. After a short time, I’d forgotten all about my bad day and bad mood. It was just me and the dogs, and all was right with the world =)

KimAndHolly says:

Holly brightens my day always 🙂 She always greets me after being gone at work all day as if she hasn’t seen me in years, and even the worst of days is made better coming home to her unending cheer! But my mornings are the best…each morning, no matter how grumpy of a mood I wake up in, Holly can change that with how she greets me. She rubs her body along the side of the bed and then UNDER my legs as I go to stand up. Back and forth between my legs and the bed she goes making Ooooh’ing noises 🙂 SO CUTE!

Hdsheena says:

My dog wakes me up every morning by making me smile. He climbs up and gently puts his chin on my shoulder and snuffles my face. As soon as he believes I’m awake, he leaps with joy and zips around waiting for me to get up!

Posted in Inspirational Tagged with: