As a handler before and sometimes today I expect a lot from my dogs on competitions and training.
If some mistake(s) happen I will still finish the course happy (not as happy as I would be with a winning run) but I will have the same attitude as always to reward my dogs and play with them because they deserve that.
As I mentioned in my blogs before WE ARE DOING AGILITY BECAUSE OF OURSELVES, NOT BECAUSE OF OUR DOGS and in this point we have to reward them for everything.
Yes dogs are doing mistakes. But that is normal!!! Is any human able to work all the time without mistakes?????? NO, NOT FOR SURE!
As a judge, competitor and trainer I can see a lot of different treatments to the dogs.
Maybe as a trainer not that much because people who are attending my seminars know they are not allowed to be hard to the dogs but as a judge and competitor I can see it more often.
When you are standing in the ring and people are running your course and some misunderstanding
happened ,some of the handlers are blaming the dogs. you can clearly see that on their faces but in that moment they didn’t see their self how stupid they were handling that even, I who build the course - and I know the numbers, could not guess what they want.
Judging contacts is not that easy and I am always, if I am not sure, trying not to judge it. It’s interesting to see peoples reactions if you judge or you don’t judge the contact.
If the dog is in the contact with one toe, and you don’t judge, handlers will continue to run but if the dog miss the contact with one toe and I will judge it they will stop and scream and put the dog back on the contact.
SO WHAT DO YOU THINK? THAT THE DOG UNDERSTANDS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEING IN OR OUT OF THE CONTACT FOR 2 cm?????????
Maybe to ask yourself if it was your fault or if you trained your dog well enough???
As a judge I needed to throw out a few people from the course because I didn’t like the attitude and how they were treating the dogs.
As a competitor I am not pleased when my dogs are missing the contacts but I am also not blaming them. I know that my Border Collie doesn’t have reliable running A frame contacts and if he misses I will not blame on him. I will go out, play and be happy. Not in the same way as if he would be clear, but still positive because I know mine and his weaknesses.
I go crazy when my Malinois misses the up contact, but not on her. I go crazy on the stupid rule which gives you a mistake. If she jumps the down contact on the dogwalk I will not blame her because now we are training running contacts a lot and 2o2o not that often and it’s normal that she will miss it sometimes because of less training it.
As a competitor I see even more bad things. People getting angry on the dogs when they go out from the field, putting on the leash and still screaming on the dog “what did you do there or there”.
I don't uderstand what people are getting with taking the dogs out from the middle of the course?
They are punishing them or showing them they did something wrong and dogs are understanding that?
DO YOU REALLY THINK YOUR DOG KNOWS THAT HE JUMPED THE CONTACT 30 sec AGO AND THAT HE WILL UNDERSTAND WHY YOU ARE ANGRY?????????
Do you think dogs are waking up in the morning and thinking “today I will make my handler ridiculous on competition and I will make mistakes on the course” ?
They can't always have great days, just like we can't. They are making mistakes because of us, maybe not trained good enough or just being less concentrated in that moment. For me it’s just a normal thing and part of agility and training.
And NO I DON’T THINK I AM great with my dogs and that I am not doing some wrong things but at least I am trying to find out what was wrong and why they did something.
Just try to put yourself in their position and think why they did some mistakes.