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Kirby has been taking agility, she has an obedience background but we started agility earlier this year to build up her confidence. After 3 months off (at the Cape) she remembered all her obstacles and most of the commands, I was so happy and impressed. Our problem is that she doesn't want to take jumps or any obstacle on my right side but is terrific on my left.

I try to work/walk and do things with her on my right to get her more comfortable but if she blows an obstacle she starts to lose confidence and then we go to full "shut down" mode. Since I want to avoid that at all costs (she is incredibly soft and very very smart, learns things fast). So basically I have two questions or areas that I would love advice in:

1 - How do I get her to work comfortably on my right side?

2 - and more important, How do I keep her pumped "up" and positive when she blows an obstacle?

I try to stay happy and positive, and hide any negative or frustration I may be feeling but I know she starts to sense it. I want her to have fun and gain confidence - that's why we are taking class. Any ideas?? Please.... Thanks.
 

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1 - How do I get her to work comfortably on my right side?

I would practice lots of short easy sequences while on your right. Reward her frequently while she is on your right. Don't set her up for something she cannot do. Simplify!

2 - and more important, How do I keep her pumped "up" and positive when she blows an obstacle?

Don't do anything. She does not know she missed something unless you let her know. I would set her up for success and if it was too hard, back up and simplify. If you have to go back and make it easier once you get success REWARD! Do not move on without rewarding. If you cannot help but show frustration, then play tug with her or a game while you back up. I know it kinda seems like you are rewarding her for a mistake, but I have seen a lot of people do this with dogs who are lacking confidence with good success.
 

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Thank you.

She actually did very good tonight. Her first run she was all over the place but the second run she was spot on, if was Me who got lost, gave her bad cues etc, etc. I used the clicker and treated more frequently and she responded so well.

We had fun, no melt downs (for either of us :)) and she did her third shorter run beautifully.

I am renting the ring again this Sunday and will practice short sequences on the right side. My next question will be "how the heck do you keep up"? LOL - she will start out slow and then "zoom". She goes into a tunnel very slow but comes zooming out, I barely have enough time to cue her next obstacle let alone get ahead and do a front cross.... huh??? :doh:
 

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I have issues with Gabby trying to be on my left all the time. It is normal as we all do most of our work with the dogs on our left. So the dogs see it as the right place to be. However, Gabby crossing behind my knees is NOT good.

One thing I do and made a point of doing more of... When I walk my dogs they have a "heel" side (my left) and a "side" side (my right). For field work and because I ran into having an awkward time with Belle on my right, I teach my dogs right off the bat to walk on both sides, with a command. So I made a point when taking Gabby for a walk to make her walk on my "side" (right). That does help as it teaches her it is ok to be there. This is a non agility exercise you can do as well as what Jessica said.

I had stopped working Gabby on my right earlier this summer preparing her for her rally stuff. I just did exercises for rally on our walks. Then I got lazy. Then Gabby started cutting behind me and I realized I needed to fix it.

Also assuming you have a 'touch' command to your hand. You can also in any situation (around the house out of the blue) ask your dog to come and touch your right hand. Teach it that it is ok to be there.

I agree also with Jessica about not doing anything when she makes a mistake. Dogs tune in so easily to our emotions, you can be applying stress even when you don't think you are. Just go on, do something else come back and repeat where the mistake was made later. I had a horrible time with weaves on Belle because she was not good at them. I would worry long before we got there, and as a result, Belle would miss them because I put pressure on her emotionally. Once I was taught to stop, or improve, doubt I ever stopped, Belle improved to, I was able to allow her to weave and to make a mistake. I NEVER EVER corrected her when she missed a weave again. Just next time around I tried again. I also have a friend who pressures her dog, she insists she does not but the whole world can feel it.
 
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Thanks Maxs Mom - I am now very conscious of how "I am feeling" and stop immediately and play a little to lighten our emotions. It seems to work. Last night I made the mistakes so I would look at her and apologize she was very happy through all her runs. Maybe it was because there was no teeter last night!! :)

Kirby is the worst walking dog EVER, she bounces, cuts in front, stops suddenly, pulls, turns... you get the idea. I gave up, Darby walks her now, he doesn't react he just stops so I walk him and he walks her. Doesn't help with the right side stuff though.

I found that using the clicker to mark the jump or move is working great. It's nice to know that I'm not alone with with this right side issue and also working with a soft dog. I just love it when she does well and she knows it, she just prances and that tail it up and wagging. :)
 

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My two goldens are very routine oriented. It took a lot of time, but I was finally able to get them to walk on the opposite sides that they were used to. Since I walk all three of mine, we do have to have some semblance of order, so normally it's Jasper on the left, Jasmine in the middle and Danny on the right. Unfortunately, this caused some bad habits while walking. Jasper would only pee or poop on the left side of the walking path, which would mean we would have to cut in front of other people or walk completely on the grass off the path while Jasper finally decided where to drop one. Danny would start marking on the right side at certain points of our walks. I don't do marking while we are walking on leash, so I made them switch sides. Talk about a few very confused walks! But now they can walk on either side depending on what I want them to do and they do it without tripping me anymore!

My point is, switch it up. If they get too set in their ways, it's a lot harder.
 

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Oh goodness, they can get so set in their ways!! :) Kirby just will not "go" anywhere but in her back yard unless it's dire. She has never pooped outside the yard. Darby has turned into a marker - he loves to leave calling cards and isn't to finicky as to where he leaves them either - boys.

I will work on the switching up but as I said she awful on a walk so we'll keep working on that. She kinds "switches positions all on her own" without much notice - tripping hazard!! :doh:

Rented the ring again for this afternoon, just taking Kirby and will work until she looses interest (not the full hour for sure). She did so well last Thursday that I just want to build on that, keeping her happy is key and she had a lot of fun so..... cross your fingers for her!! :)
 
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