How To Correct Your Dogs Stay On The Agility Starting Line

How To Correct Your Dogs Stay On The Agility Starting Line



Does your Agility Dog Stay everywhere but on​ the​ starting line? My "over the​ edge Border Collie",​ started breaking her start line stays after about one year of​ trialing. I had to​ go back and examine the​ cause and what lead to​ the​ deterioration of​ her start line stay.

As I pull pieces of​ the​ past,​ I realize that at​ first I asked my dog,​ Rip,​ to​ Sit-stay at​ the​ start line. But she began to​ lean and scoot,​ so I changed to​ a​ Down-stay. She did this for a​ while until she began to​ crawl and creep. Then I would walk away for a​ lead out,​ but I would continue to​ face her,​ by being face to​ face,​ that would help her to​ hold her position,​ well it​ did for a​ while. Then I started getting breakaways,​ she would no longer wait at​ the​ starting line,​ as​ soon as​ I started to​ step away from her side,​ and she would be off. That's when I pulled her from trialing.

Why did her behavior get worse at​ the​ start line? Because I started to​ negotiate with my dog,​ way back when she moved from the​ Sit-stay,​ I should have made it​ clear that the​ Sit -stay was the​ only behavior that would bring the​ reward of​ running agility. What I mistook as,​ "Oh,​ I'm asking too much for my edgy dog to​ Sit-Stay on​ the​ line." She took as,​ "Mom,​ doesn't really mean what she says when we're in​ this fenced ring with lots of​ people around." So,​ she began to​ test every behavior I asked for on​ the​ line. Dogs will do what we allow.

If your dog begins to​ break its start-line stay,​ whether that is​ a​ stand,​ sit,​ or​ down,​ STOP immediately. Don't run your run. I know you've paid your entry fees,​ but you'll be spending a​ lot more time and money fixing the​ problem when it​ gets worse. For some dogs,​ taking them off the​ course is​ deterrent enough to​ get back on​ track. For other dogs you​ may have to​ "train" your stay in​ the​ ring,​ of​ course you​ also,​ may be called for training and excused from the​ ring,​ but it's most important that your dog know that the​ fun can not and will not start until the​ Stay stays.




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