First Competition

Discussion in 'Off-Topic & Chit Chat' started by nicerodriguez, Apr 19, 2008.

  1. nicerodriguez New Member

    I'm getting very nervous now. I will join my first competition in a week's time. I'm reading all I can from this site but I think I am getting more confused now. We're joining a frisbee competition where the dog who catches the most frisbees in two minutes will win. I don't know if I should feed him less towards the competition because he has the tendency to ignore me and the treats I give him when his appetite is satiated. I don't know if I should pay less attention to him towards the competition because he seems to be alert to my commands when I ignore him and then suddenly notices him. My dog and I sleep together (I never meant for him to be a competition dog but a companion). I'm thinking maybe I should let him out of the bedroom towards the contest. Then I worry if his aggression towards other dogs might surface on that day and whether I should try spraying him with water this last week to dampen his hostility. My dog is a rescued street dog and although it's been stated many times that mixed breeds can excel in frisbee and more, it's not the belief here so he's got to disprove the public's perception here. I may have stated it many times already even if it is embarrassing. Some mixed breed dogs are slaughtered here for meat even if it's illegal. That's why I want Poypoy to do well in this show because we have no choice but to educate some sectors that dogs are good playmates not food meals. You see I'm not a public person and am really nervous, but I am training myself too because I want to believe this dog and I have stumbled on each other for a reason. Maybe I'm just dreaming. Our photo even made it to the Philippine Star, a national newspaper here but since I am a newbie here, I cannot post the link to said article. It shows us during our beginner frisbee class. Any training suggestion would be appreciated.

  2. Jean Cote Administrator

    Since this is your first competition, you should take it easy on yourself and your dog. Take this opportunity to check things out, learn and understand how things go and just simply have fun. Nobody really wins first place during their first competition so you need to stop worrying about all the things that could go wrong or how to get it perfect, instead try to think of who you will meet or what you can learn during the competition. You'll get the perfect opportunity to observe other handlers and how they do it, so that you can emulate what they do later on if you wish. :)

    I'd say practice with your dog plenty before your competition, but make sure that your dog is having fun. :dogbiggrin:
  3. nicerodriguez New Member

    Bye Bye Worries

    Hi Jean:

    Thanks. This is exactly what I need--a fresh viewpoint. Half of my worries are now gone after reading your post. I am not that obsessed about winning anymore. We will just have fun and do our best. Again, thanks for your kind input.
  4. Jean Cote Administrator

    No problem. :)
  5. stormi Well-Known Member

    I agree with Jean. The main thing (in my opinion) is for you and your dog to enjoy the experience. As difficult as it is try to relax and act 'normal'. Most dogs sense their handlers nerves and will act in an uncharacteristic way.

    If you know that giving your dog a little less attention and less food improves his attention on you then use that to your advantage just before competing, but dont overdo it as Poypoy may wonder if he is being punished? I know Storm works better if she missed her breakfast on the day of a competition...then she is more focused on getting her reward (food) after she has worked and so tries harder. Other than that I treat her the same. It's about getting to know your dog though. With Storm I give her very little training for the week before a competition so she is really keen to work. Breeze needs a heavy session 2 days before a competition to take the edge off her. With time you will get to know what Poypoy needs.

    Most of all, I really hope both you and Poypoy enjoy the experience :)
  6. goldencheddar New Member

    Make it a special day

    Try not to be so nervous! plan on making it a special day. Make sure someone goes with you to video you and PoyPoy. Take "special" treats you know are the top on his list. Think through your routine you will have on the day, like I will leave him in his crate or the car until 10 dogs ahead of me or 15 dogs ahead and then get him out and potty him and rev him up. I don't know what your routine will be and maybe you don't either, but I know I have one now that helps my dog do her best out there. I had to experiment with lots of things and think about what she needed. I think of it this way. When I go to get her out of her crate at a trial...will it be an upgrade for her to come out and play with me? Believe it or not, what I do now that makes it an upgrade for Cheddar to get out of her nice warm quiet crate is to put Canon, my other younger alpha dog, in the crate with her. She is glad to get out and will do anything to stay out. I also pick a spot for treats after the run and show her the treats and the spot and she knows when she gets finished with her run, she gets that GREAT treat. Waiting also is her favorite toy. I have to pack these things and be ready with them to keep her happy. With this routine in place, she does not have time to be aggressive with the other dogs or to even notice them. She is looking at me. I hope it goes great for you. Have fun no matter what.:dogtongue2:
  7. szecsuani Experienced Member

    I completely understand your worries. Our first competition is on the 24th of May.
    I can't say anymore clever things, Jean said it all... :D:D:D:D
  8. CollieMan Experienced Member

    On the day of the event, I would ensure that several hours pass between the last feed, and the actual event. Aside from keeping his attentions, eating too close to the event will just make him more lethargic.

    As everyone else has stated, come the event, just enjoy it. You might enjoy reading some of Silvia Trkman's articles. She competes (extremely successfully) in agility and has the philosophy that the winning is largely immaterial. What is important is that it's FUN, FUN, FUN! :)

    Don't put so much pressure on yourself, would be my advice. Good luck on the day. :)
  9. l_l_a New Member

    Nicerodriguez - first I want to say congratulations on being in the newspaper! You are doing a great job educating the public in your community that dogs are more than just meat!!

    I understand you want to make a good impression, just take it easy and try to relax and focus on having fun with your dog.

    If you're worried about your dog acting aggressively to other dogs, how about on the days leading up to the competition try and bring your dogs near other dogs (e.g. if your neighbors have dogs you can bring yours over?), not so close as to elicit an aggressive reaction from him, stay far enough away that he's not tense about them and feed him really good food to help make him associate seeing other dogs with good stuff. However, this technique usually takes a long time to take effect, so another thing you can do is to practice having your dog watch you with all his attention, that way if on competition day there are other dogs around you can have your dog watch you so he's not staring at other dogs.

    Also on the day of competition you might want to arrive early so your dog has time to sniff around the place and check it out, and go potty, and so on. Being in a new place can be very distracting, so if he's already checked it out and it's not new anymore then he can better concentrate on you during your performance.

    Good luck!!
  10. nicerodriguez New Member

    We Won!

    Hey Guys,

    Thanks for all your help. Poypoy and I won 3rd place in the Metro Manila elimination rounds of the Alpo Frisbee Challenge. I read all your posts and the reason why we've been quiet was because I felt that we were already doomed to lose. You see Poypoy got sick a few days before the fete. He had diarrhea, was vomitting and lethargic these last few days. There was no point training him so I just relaxed and left it to the higher powers. My apprehensions was replaced by concerns that he recover his health soon for I couldn't worry any other way. When the day arrived, I ignored him a few hours before our turn in the field, fed him less and when it was playtime, I just went crazy with excitement (had fun). The top winners were already pros in the game. My streetdog won and the shelter people were so happy for us. We're even appearing with the other winners in a morning show tomorrow. The finals will be held in Baguio, dubbed as the Dog Meat Capital of the Philippines. My dog is going to Baguio--where his kind are slaughtered--with an award in tow. Just one thing I don't really enjoy in competitions is waiting for our turn--it feels like forever. Again, many thanks.
  11. sarhaspups New Member

    CONGRADULATIONS!! That's great news and good job to you both!!! What a team you are!! WTG!!

Share This Page

Real Time Analytics