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Eat Poo and Die
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So we've been doing agility for maybe 6-7 months now, and Niz is a completely different dog in many ways. I started a thread last year asking about work ethic, because Niz had none. He lived to please himself and working for me didn't really satisfy him. Just by working with him in agility, he's a completely different dog. His food drive has gotten even bigger, but I don't need food or toys to motivate him. It's hard to explain, but he basically just wants to work for me. He still gets bored of repetition or small, tight exercises where he can't really use his long legs, but he'll do them anyways for me, and do his best at them. I don't even have to direct him to equipment, even stuff that he's not comfortable with, like the teeter, but he'll go ahead and do the trained behavior, and he doesn't expect food for it (when he expects food for something, he will let you know by poking, licking, or biting your fingers). He tries his hardest to figure out what I want from him, and once he figures it out, he'll just keep offering it, whether I ask for it or not. I have to keep calling him off of obstacles when we're just walking through class because otherwise, he'll just see something and give me the trained behavior.

Pretty much all the mistakes we make are handling errors, like me being too far ahead in a 180 to rear cross, and even though it bored the hell out of him, he did the same thing 5 times, until I got it right. He has so much patience for me, it's not even funny. And he's never the dog that decides to run off and do its own thing; he's never blown me off in class, nor has he refused to work or refused an obstacle unless I presented it in a confusing manner (I tend to not look where I'm going, and then I have to sidestep to avoid falling, and then Niz comes sideways to me). The only time we got close to trouble is when class was over and there's a girly pup that Niz likes that he was wiggling his butt for and she came towards him. I managed to recall him from that as well (he's naked in class--no collar).

I feel that in our experience, it's not the training itself that makes a dog a better dog, but the effects of the training that makes a dog better. I could care less about Niz knowing how to jump over a jump, but the fact that he puts so much of himself into trying to please me makes me feel so lucky.
 

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Back Off
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Wow great post!! I'm hoping the extremely low level agility will change my lack of motivation dobe too. Sounds very similar, however the few times I point to things and say 'over!' he actually chooses to happily jump over no treats, no bribes, anything. I think some dogs just want to do one specific thing!

Thanks for sharing :D
 

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Like a Ninja
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Woot Nizzer Butt!

Aunt Summer is proud of you, and mom for being a better handler, you don't have to trade her in anymore, you can take down that listing for "New Handler Wanted"

Jonesy says "U Da Dawg Dog"
 

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Eat Poo and Die
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Woot Nizzer Butt!

Aunt Summer is proud of you, and mom for being a better handler, you don't have to trade her in anymore, you can take down that listing for "New Handler Wanted"

Jonesy says "U Da Dawg Dog"
Niz sez "New handler still wanted. Dis one keeps running into my jumps."

Of course, the moment I hand him over to anyone else, like SO or our instructor, Niz is a complete jerk and bully, and will try to punch and jump on them to get the treat.....
 

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Of course, the moment I hand him over to anyone else, like SO or our instructor, Niz is a complete jerk and bully, and will try to punch and jump on them to get the treat.....
Wait...that's normal right :) Flirt is a beast with treats.

Glad to hear how well you guys are doing!!!
 
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Dedicated DoberFan
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Great read, thanks for sharing about your progress with Niz! :nicejob:


 

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mangujowa - Congrats you and Niz.
- what an inspirational story, of a solid change of events
- obviously communicating to each others well...and helping each other, along the journey
- when it works, it works - very nice job !!
 

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One Lucky Mama!
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Congratulations! You are doing so well together. This post really made my day. Thank you for sharing.
 
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