Sunday, June 12, 2011
There is a Jack/Rat terrier mix on my flyball team. He has been in training for about 1.5 years and runs beautifully...by himself. He can run with other dogs, but not head to head. Specifically, if he is headed toward the box and the same time as another dog, he will turn around and chase the other dog.
We have tried lots and lots of things to help him in general. He is very over threshold in the flyball environment and a generally stressed dog. His handler has done lots of work to calm him in less stressful environments with clicker training. We have tried some control unleashed games (give me a break, premack to go chase dogs and "look at that"). We had some success with these, but not enough consistency in playing the games, led to minimal success.
We recently figured out that his main problem area is between the 4th jump and the box. We finally figured out that doing full runs staggered, building up to head to head always ended up with a chase.
My newest plan is to be really conservative and try to never set up situations that he can chase other dogs, which is very rewarding for him. We will be doing head to head box work with him completely surrounded by gates and the focus on the handler game (alternating ball retrieves head to head). I would love to have him racing sometime this year. I think we can do it!