|Barked: Wed May 16, '12 7:45pm PST |
|Hi all, Bruno and I have been taking a weekly agility class for about 4 weeks now- Bruno is doing pretty well on the obstacles so far, so that's not my question.
The problem is that he spends WAY too much time looking for food the other handlers have dropped, even digging in the dirt floor for hidden morsels. I try to keep him focused and do heeling exercises when it's not my turn, but if I don't directly engage him for even a second, he starts pulling me towards whatever he smells. It's really irritating. I love that he's very food-motivated in training, but I think he's being rewarded every time he finds something, and has less incentive to pay attention to me!
Do you think this behavior will go away as we advance in class and he gets more engaged in the courses(I plan to keep taking more classes after this one ends, even competing eventually) or something I need to address right now? It's really hard to avoid dropped food because as mentioned, it's a in a dirt-floored arena and anything can hide on the ground. I'm really worried that the first time we trial, he's going to ignore me and just look for food. (Though that's a very long way off right now.) He is not normally like this in public, he's just learned it pays off to sniff around in agility class.
I do carry treats for him in my pocket, but they just can't compete with dirty bites off the ground. And I really DON'T want to be constantly saying "LEAVE IT!" anymore.
Did any of you have this problem, and how did you fix it? I know I should work on "leave it" training, but every time he finds one I didn't see first, it undermines that.
PS- I hope it doesn't look like I'm complaining about my dog- I love Bruno, and otherwise this class is going GREAT- I look forward to it every week- I just have a little pet peeve.
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