Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Second Day

The weather on the second day of the agility trial was perfect. Once again, Reagan had a very nice Open Jumpers run. We did not qualify, but she was happy and comfortable. I decided to do my own thing in Excellent Standard. I wanted to ask her to do something short and easy, so we could leave on a happy, positive note. We simply did two jumps and the A-frame.

We had some other problems at the trial site. Reagan noticed certain vehicles driving past the venue and was unable to fetch her toy.

It is disappointing to note that Reagan appears to be getting worse. Her first agility trial was her best and it has only declined from there. I am also starting to have problems at my agility field and the biking trail. I am now concerned that one of our encounters will lead to her bolting out of fear so she no longer has any off leash privileges.

People say she just needs more experience and to give her more time. This is simply not the case with phobias. Continued exposure worsens the phobia. Storm phobia is probably the best example. Dogs do not improve with repeated exposure to storms. You can counter condition and desensitize using recordings, but they are rarely successful. In Reagan's case, she has numerous triggers and new ones all of the time. I do not know how I would begin to desensitize her to all of those sounds.... especially as she adds new triggers to the list.

I am not sure how to proceed at this point. The reality of having a 3 year old stay-at-home dog is a real possibility. I honestly do not care if I cannot compete her in agility. I would be thrilled if she would continue to enjoy biking and jumping at the my agility field. But if she eventually refuses to travel (and we will be going back to the van soon), it will probably become a reality.


Sandy ~~~ said...

Just an idea...if you can find HAPPY times to travel, why not try tracking? Creel and I are going out for our first tracking training this weekend (with a bunch of Border Terriers, so that should look pretty darn cute!) and we are sooooooo excited. Greys don't track much, but they have a nose by golly and tracking to me is SO cool. It's the science of the whole thing that is goose-bumply and I know we will have fun. Such comaradarie among those tracking because no one is competing against each other. They are tests, not shows or trials so you do your best and have fun despite the outcome. Plenty of happytime during the training too, and time outdoors with your dog!

houndstooth said...

I agree with finding happy reasons to travel. My dog who was extremely skittish was always willing to go for a ride because we just might go through one of those "magic windows" where they gave us food. It kind of seems like, at this point, agility together isn't fun for either one of you. She may be feeding off your tension over the situation to some degree. It couldn't hurt to experiment some with some other dog sports and see if there's something that she really goes crazy for. I've seen greyhounds trying flyball, obedience, even one trying dock diving. (I was pretty skeptical over that one, but I guess there's always an oddball! lol)

We have a mother and daughter duo here, and riding in the car is not a favorite for either of them. The mother was older when we got her and she's never taken to riding in the car. At fourteen and a half, she's very content here on the couch by herself. Her daughter quickly realized that she had to go through the necessary evil of riding in the car if she didn't want to be left out. To her, it was worth it, because what we were going to was something she wanted to do. I don't know if that helps you any, but it helped us to put things in perspective with them. We took it at her pace, and she rose to the occasion and went beyond.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Unfortunately, tracking is just too slow. She is much better if kept moving. And its too quiet... makes it too easy to hear every train, car, bird, etc. Our tracking field is near railroad tracks and a well traveled road. Good luck though with Creel!

Currently, Reagan does see travel as a necessary evil. Getting her back in the van is priority #1. Agility isn't even a consideration if she won't travel, so I'm not going to work on those issues right now.

Houndstooth, did you know that Travis was a dock jumper? I will eventually post the footage I have. He's the only 100% greyhound I know of. Do you know of any others?

YD, sometimes with ♥Samantha and ♥June said...

I am sorry about the troubles Reagen has. Sorry I can't offer any help but I do hope that you can figure something out to help her.