Help Please! Dog agility Question!?


I an training my little dog to do agility. She is about 68 lbs. (WAY OVER WEIGHT!). She is suppose to weigh 50 something but she is on a diet now. She has lost 10 lbs.! She is a blue healer/ australian shepard mix. I have only introduced her to the tunnel and jumping. But we have been doing both for 2 yrs. now. She was very scared of the tunnel before! But she is little measuring at about 16 ins at the shoulder. Anyway she can still clear a 3’9" fence with a little effort. ANYWAY she is very slow. I am talking like breaking down to a trot on a course of jumps. She also is trained well, but doesnt listen right away. If i say come, she comes like 2 mins later. Also, she NEVER listens when doing a course. She runs away. But I have down nothing to make her not like agility. Sometimes she runs away and rolls on her and if you grab her collar, she sqeels and scrathes you. So my question is, WHAT TO DO??????????????????????
Thank you so much for all of the answers! But the problem is with some of them mis I have already tried. Now that I think of it, she has fallen on the umps before, but she was very willing to do it again and I even set it twice as low. The only reason she has stopped a fence, was when she had no speed. Also I made a water jump once and she was scared of that. but after, she went right over it! "Mackenzie is 4 yrs. old." And I have tried the method where you put the long rope on her, but she always knows when it is on her, so then she never jumps with it on.
Also, I’m not really using a specific training method. Think of the method I use as a combo of all the other training methods. I watch animal planet all the time and get a bunch of ideas from them. Especially from the show Barking Mad.

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    9 Responses to “Help Please! Dog agility Question!?”

    1. Nora M says:

      If your dog is only 16 inches at the shoulder, she should weigh far, far less than 50 lbs. I have a well-muscled male Sheltie who is 16 3/4 at the shoulder and weighs 25 lbs. I wouldn’t do any serious jumping with her until she comes down to at LEAST 30 lbs.

      The reason she is running away, in all probability, is that she is stressed because you are putting training pressure on her. When she runs away (in practice), DON’T go grab her. Make sure any spectators ignore her. Instead, sit down in the middle of the course and call her, in a HAPPY voice. Make sure you have lots of cookies available. When she comes to you, give her a cookie, make her do ONE thing (a jump, a tunnel) and give her lots of praise. Then leave the course.

      Ignore the person who said she is "rebelling" and advises you to dominate her. Treating a dog this way is NOT going to get you a happy agility partner, especially if she is already stressed.

    2. sharon f says:

      Go to a dog traing school and get basic Sit Stay and come and work on that then do agility

    3. Loretta Z says:

      The problem is that your dog is still overweight. It takes a lot of physical ability to jump. Just think of your dogs wrists, elbows, and shoulders landing jumps. OUCH! That pain right there is the reason that dog doesn’t find agility fun. Everytime that dog jumps, she is probably punished by pain. Maybe set the jumps to 4" or 6" and continue working on the weight problem. I run a dog agility training business, and my overweight doggie students never jump above 10" until the weight comes down to a reasonable level. A 17" dog should be in the 30 – 40 # range if you want them to do agility. Good luck on the diet!

    4. Dragonfry says:

      Have you considered the possibility that maybe she really doesn’t enjoy agility. I know it sounds crazy but some dog just don’t like it. I have a dog that was pulling some of the same stuff. Slow as molasses, ignoring the obstacles, lackadaisical, really just bored with the whole thing. I trained her with nothing but positive reinforcement, tons of treats since she is a chow hound. But she’d rather fight with dogs outside the ring or jump on the instructor. I finally gave up and left her at home where she is happy as a clam laying on my bed all day. What a lazy Am. Bulldog. :p
      Try another ring sport, like herding or obedience. What the hack maybe even rally!

    5. hotpinkpanther846130 says:

      first you should let the dog that you are the master and it is the does not know that.when it rolls over when you grab its collar it is rebelling,when it squeals,scratches,and runs away it is telling you that it thinks he/she is the master so you have to show him/her who’s BOSS!but yelling and screaming @ it will get you no where.start with the simple stuff.your progress is pretty good with her/ got it to go through half of the obstacles.Speed isn’t always the #1 thing but it does help.if your dog goes slow but completes the course with no mistakes thats good!but speed is good…the dog needs to trust you more i think to go faster.try to get your dog to enjoy the sport more!GOOD LUCK!

    6. London Catlover says:

      My best advice is to keep working with her. My neighbour had her Keeshound in Agility. Sarek always started out well but part way through would go off the course which meant disqualification. Tracy Kept working with him. She would take him out to the Middlesex Dog Agility arena and work with the equipment and finally he got his Agility ribbon and certificate so hang in there and good luck.

    7. sun_and_moon_1973 says:

      Try doing some basic training before continuing with the agility. It may be that she just does not want to do it or being overweight it is too much for her right now. You could also try doing shorter training sessions with her so she doesn’t get so tired out.

    8. watercurves says:

      When you are training her, if you call her, call her only once. Repeating a command can turn the command into multiple call words. Also, get an extremely high value treat when training. Don’t use kibble. Use her FAVOURITE treat, whether its a toy, liver, etc. When she does something right she gets a treat. Then after that only treat her when she does it more quickly then the time before. If she runs off the course or lies down, walk away. Leave her where she is, do not call her, and go out of her sight. If she is a clingy dog she will try to follow. If she is not, return in five seconds and lure her with a very exciting treat and tell her to do something easy (like sit, bow, etc.) to get her focused back on you and ready to work.

      Good luck and have fun!

    9. yonae12 says:

      Has she had any past negative or bad experiences on the course previously like falling down, being bitten by another dog or perhaps in doing a similar type of activity with previous owner?
      What kind of training method are you/have you been using?
      How old is your dog?

      The 1. squealing and scratching, 2. Breaking into a trot (hesitation), 3. slowness, 4. not responding to commands instantly make me think she is fearful of something on the course or something she associates with doing the activity. You will need to watch her closely and find out what exactly is making her fearful and cure her fear with positive re-enforcement associations like treats or tug of war or what ever rings her bells as you know her best.

      Have you tried taking out the tunneling out of her sight and see if she will do the jumps without stopping? If she does she still might be fearful of the tunnels.

      With the running away part, buy a 60 ft lead, have treats ready and when she doesn’t come when asked reel her in and when you grab her collar, give her a treat. Once she establishes the habit this will make things a bit easier too. Start out at 8ft length and if she scratches shorten it and work from there.

      Have you tried clicker training?

      Edit: Ok I have a few more questions.. have you already taken her to an intermediate obedience class with a professional dog trainer? Animal planet, national geo with the dog whisperer(not a fan of his myself but some are) and even stuff on the internet have good ideas for intermediate training. But it is so worth it to do a class in a group with a pro dog trainer. Sounds like your dog has the basics on leash but not off leash. I was initially skeptical and thought why pay the $60-100 dollars for 8 weeks but it is so worth it! Don’t be mad if you already have tried it, just trying to help! 🙂

      Two, you might want to try a different training approach from what you are doing now and go back to basics. If your dog isn’t going to come to you 6ft off leash, she isn’t going to come any greater distance off leash and with distraction. Work with her off leash very short distance with her favorite treat (or toy). Gradually increase distance and add distraction, if she fails once, work it so she succeeds five or more times in a row before stepping up to the next level. If you haven’t already, try clicker training.

      Here is the website with articles on how to clicker train:

      Three, experiment around with the kind of positive reinforcers you are supplying her. You might find she isn’t that thrilled with the treats you are offering and finds other things more entertaining. With recalls only offer the highest value and quantity when giving treats. As you most likely know that is the single most important command you can train your dog to remember and agility aside it could save your dogs life. Herding breeds are very intelligent but also in general love to chase cars.

      Hope that helps!

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