Sunday, November 8, 2009

Better Days

Today was not a great day for team spotty dog. We started with Excellent Standard, and it was a nice, easy Peyton-friendly course. Unfortunately Peyton wasn't very happy with a few members of the ring crew and he was barking and frantic during most of our run.

For some reason, there are two ladies that we see at trials on occasion and Peyton freaks out every time he sees them. It's very odd...I remember during our Perry trial he would go nuts every time they walked by his crate - even when all of the windows of his crate were down and he couldn't see them. I can't recall ever having a bad experience, but for some reason he gets really upset around them. Today I knew we were in trouble when we went to the line and he kept trying to spin around to bark at one of them behind us and he stopped to bark at the other one during the middle of his run. He even started barking on the table and jumped off early.

We had our JWW run right after our Standard run and even though I tried to get him settled down, he was still very anxious and reluctant to go inside the ring. After one jump, he took off in the wrong direction to a tunnel on the opposite side of the ring. Definitely stressed - maybe tunnels are good stress relievers?

I'm really bummed. Not about having some bad runs, but to see him anxious and stressed out - that just makes me sad. I'm sure he'll recover, but it kind of made for a bad day.


Jenn said...

I'm sorry Peyton had a bad day. :-( I wonder what it is about those two ladies.... maybe they have some kind of scent that disturbs him? I know how hard it is to see him struggle. Just out of curiousity - do you ever think about just not running when he is having trouble at the line like that? Extra belly rubs to the pups tonight! And a cyber hug for you! :-)

achieve1dream said...

Sorry you had such a bad day. That's really strange that those two women upset him. I was wondering because he's a rescue . . . maybe he knows of them from before you found him? Why else would he react so strongly even when he can't see them? I hope you figure it out soon. Good luck!

Kim said...

Thanks Jenn! :) I did think about pulling him, but not until I put 2+2 together in the middle of our run. It's not unusual for him to be anxious at the start, but I just didn't realize until afterwards how anxious he really was. It's a little hard to think clearly when they are pushing you up to the line. :)

Then I thought about skipping our jumpers run, but I thought he might be okay since we were in a different ring. Then after he went off-course I thought about pulling him, but then got worried thinking that would make him more upset since I've never pulled him during a run. Geez, me and my thinking or my overly sensitive spotty dog - which one's worse? lol.

Since Peyton was rescued at 9 weeks I can't imagine he would have known them. I originally thought it was because they both wear leg braces, but then again - a lot of other people do in agility and he's never reacted that way to anyone else - plus, it doesn't explain the reacting in the crate when he couldn't see them.

Maybe something did happen previously (at one of our first trials) and I just didn't pick up on it. I'm tempted to ask them if they would help me work with him next time I see them.

Jenn said...

Hey Kim -
Believe me I do my share of over thinking with a spotty dog too - as you well know! And I know how hard it is to make a decision once you are in line never mind on the start line. I know how hard it is to convey intent in email - but I hope you know I wasn't criticizing and that I was just curious.

I would definitely ask those two if you see them again if they wouldn't mind working with you and Peyton for a few minutes! I have a great "game" that I learned at a Suzanne Clothier seminar this summer that would be perfect for these two and Peyton. Let me know if you want the details. I can't imagine Peyton would know them either - but what about smell? Steeler seems to react to people who smoke sometimes, and Keegan my lab once reacted very strongly to a womam who came in to class from working at a barn. He was totally freaked out - which caught me totally off guard - he had been around horses before so I wouldn't have thought that the smell would set him off. Maybe that there was the smell but no horse? Who knows what goes thru their brains sometimes!

Kim said...

Silly Jenn...I know you would never criticize, but it would be perfectly okay if you did! Sometimes I need to hear more than just the voices in my head. :)

And I would love to hear about Suzanne's game! Maybe a blog post is in order?

Anonymous said...

I agree, maybe if Peyton meets the two ladies it might help. If there is anything I can do to help, you know I will be there for you!!