Vito's 1st Master Agility Seminar

Vito and I ran in our very first masters agility seminar this past week.  It was pretty terrifying for me to enter with him since I had no idea how he would handle it.  I didn't know if Sad Toller would show up and then an internationally handling seminar would be terribly demotivating for him with it's abundance of collection needed.  Vito has done a handful of seminars in the past 5 years- Silvia Trkman when he was a young and happy teenager, Lori Michaels when he was in complete Sad Toller phase, and 2 Loretta Mueller seminars where he's been OK and then last one a year ago he was amazingly happy.

This seminar was with Rosanne DeMascio.  First run of the day was the simplest course she offered and Vito ran OK.  Actually at a pretty decent speed for Trial Vito.  And then he got his toy and I talked to Rosanne.  And his brain exploded as he realized it wasn't a trial!  Major screaming as Practice Vito suddenly made an appearance and stuck around for the entire seminar!  I think for everybody at the seminar it was their first introduction to this version of Vito.  A much louder and confident Toller.  Happiness :)
You can see the transformation in this clip of his first 2 runs:
Vito's still come a long way, so the difference isn't as huge of a yardstick anymore.

We still had plenty of issues.  Especially as the day went on Vito got more and more sticky on me.  Backsides and wraps became harder as his commitment point started to scale back further and further.  But it does show me that Vito really does understand them well, especially when he's fresh.  I worked hard on running out of them and having him chase me.
Montage video of the great moments:

I wish I could have gone to more days to see the advice she gave the novice dogs.  But overall this seminar did wonders for my confidence in handling Vito.  After we all walked the course, Rosanne would go over the options of handling with us all.  A few times made me think as I would be the only one wanting to handle in a certain direction, but I was also able to see that I'm doing a pretty good job of finding the most motivational lines for him.  And I tried out a few ways of handling that I know I wouldn't do at this point with him in a trial and had fun learning that he can do it, even if it's not the best option for him yet.

Karissa  – ( May 9, 2014 at 9:49 AM )  

Thanks for sharing your experience! I was so tempted to go to this seminar. None of my dogs have actually worked in that type of environment, though, and I would really be concerned about Secret lasting all day (because lets face it, she's never attended a class and she has never trained for more than 15 minutes at a time in her life). Hopefully some day I'll get over my fear of the unknown and give it a try.

You & Vito looked great!

Laura, Lance, and Vito  – ( May 9, 2014 at 12:04 PM )  

The duration isn't bad, not that different from a trial. There were 5 courses set up and Vito's turns were about 3-5 minutes depending on issues. A few people's were a bit longer but you could reward as often as you wanted.

My worry is always how his attitude will hold up on more challenging courses, but I still have that concerns in trials too. Apparently for him the toy factor negated my worries.

Karissa  – ( May 9, 2014 at 3:03 PM )  

Yes, but Secret is a dog who loves AKC because there are only two runs per day. :o( She has never liked the multiple-run per day format of USDAA and NADAC, hence my concern about trying to take her to a clinic. In my ideal world I'd take her & Kaiser and switch between the two, but not all clinics are cool with that.

Then again, I've also thought that perhaps attending a clinic with people like Rosanne, etc. would be good because perhaps they'd be able to offer some insight and tips on how to keep her engaged during multiple trips out of the crate.

I just don't want to blow a giant wad of $$ to have her hate it and trot through courses. But considering how long it's been since I have received any sort of instruction, I should probably bite the bullet.

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