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Old 02-06-2013, 12:08 PM
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Other Dog-Papillon in Agility afraid of Bigger Dogs

I hope that I posted this in the correct spot. Admin, if not, please let me know.

My predicament: My 3 year old papillon has been taking agility lessons, both private and group, for about 6 months. She is doing amazingly well and her trainer says that she/we are almost ready for competition. My problem: Piper is afraid of larger dogs. When she is in a private lesson, she flies. When another dog/dogs are in the lesson, she refuses the obstacles at that end of the arena. Back history: Piper was rolled a few times in a Puppy Kindergarten class by larger puppies, e.g. Mastiff. I was told by those trainers to "let them work it out." There are two dogs in the Group Agility class that have a high prey-drive and they growl when little dogs pass by. Some of the little dogs care, some do not. Piper definitely does and refuses at that end of the arena.

My trainer told me at my last lesson, "Well, you won't be able to compete with her as long as she is afraid of bigger dogs." All and any thoughts are appreciated as this little girl loves agility and is an amazing performer. Thanks...... Vicki.

Last edited by Amberbark; 02-06-2013 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:40 PM
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If your trainer is not offering any help for this, I would find another trainer who can help you desensitize her, and teach her to keep her focus on you, so that whatever is around is a non-issue. But that's what you need to do, teach her to keep her focus on you. If you can find a very friendly big dog to practice with it will help. Just being near that dog and rewarding her for being calm, rewarding her for looking at you, rewarding her for looking AWAY from the big dog, and so on. I'm no trainer, and I hope some of the other experienced board members chime in.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:33 PM
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Mine live with and boss Buddy around but they are not super excited about other people big dogs!
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:25 PM
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Thank You!

Thank you for your responses. I will certainly try your suggestions. Anyone else that may have input is appreciated. Vicki
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