OneMind Dogs customer service receives many agility related questions on daily basis. We picked a couple of the most popular questions from the last month and answered them.
"My dog does not have consistent contacts in a trial, can you help?"
This is a very common problem. The first things you will need to check are your routine and frequency of rewarding your dog in training, and your own behavior in a training situation compared to trials. Make sure you have the same criteria for your dog's obstacle performances in both training and trials.
"I know the OneMind Dogs techniques but still can’t see where to apply them on the course, can you help please?"
There are many ways to deal with learning the application of the techniques on a course and each person has a different way of doing it.
One way is to draw your dog's lines on course maps and also to draw your dog's line each time you learn a new technique. That way you start to think "this line I drew on this map looks exactly like the one I drew for X technique last week, maybe I can use that technique there".
The more you draw these lines for your dogs when thinking about the techniques, the more you picture them automatically without thinking and just start visualizing them as soon as you are walking a course, which makes decision making much easier.
Then once you have decided what handling to do where, stick to it. If it works, great! If not, make a note of what situation you tried what technique in, write down why you think it didn't work and what would work better in the future. If you don't have an answer, submit it to the discussion forum: members of the OneMind Dogs pack can give you recommendations for what may have worked better.
It is all a learning curve and it may take some time before you can pick techniques and handling choices on a course without even thinking about it, but it will come and until then, just enjoy the process.
Take the online learning program "Next Level - Understanding lines and choosing techniques" to learn more!
"My dog is afraid of the teeter after a bad experience, what can I do?"
Agility dogs need to be comfortable on different kinds of surfaces on fields and obstacles. You can let your dog get used to moving surfaces outside the agility field first. Find tips for training from our foundation video about surfaces. You can also familiarize your dog with the sound of the teeter separately from the actual training.
When you're teaching your dog the teeter you can divide the training into several different steps to make it easier for your dog. If you need help teaching the teeter from the start you can get some great tips from the obstacle training video on the teeter.
Janita and Jaakko have written a great article on this issue because their dog, Chi, was also very afraid of the seesaw. Click on the link above to get some tips for overcoming a fear of any agility obstacles.
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