Need help with being quiet in the crate at agility class.
#1
Tasha does not like being crated at agility class and in our current class she needs to be crated. In the past we have been in classes with only a few dogs and all were very dog friendly so the students would just sit with their dogs on leash to wait their turn. The class we are in now is different, lots of dogs, a couple are very distracted by dogs out of crates, and we have one that is very fear reactive. We have been in this class for a little over a year and I thought Tasha would get better about being crated but she has gotten worse. The sound of another dog running the course gets her very wound up (whining and barking) and I don't know what to do to calm her down and keep her quiet.

One of the students will yell at a dog if it is barking. I think I have given this person a death glare enough that she won't yell at my dogs. Mattie can't handle yelling and I don't think it solves the problem. Yesterday I was offered a spray bottle of water to use to correct Tasha and I declined the offer. First, I don't think it will work. Tasha is very bold and sure of herself and excitement over another dog running will (I think) be enough that she will ignore the water. Second, I don't like the idea of an item I use around the house being used as punishment. I don't want Tasha to see a spray bottle as a bad thing and Mattie is already frightened of spray bottles so I don't want to encourage that fear.

Any ideas how to fix this?
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#2
Can you perhaps cover the crate so she can't see the "action" and just have the end that is facing away uncovered. Move as far away as possible ?
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#3
The crate is covered front and back. She can't see the dogs running from the back of the crate and I have to cover the front with a blanket because a few months ago she discovered she could set off the fear reactive dog by staring at him. She will ignore the other dogs and stare directly at the fearful dog....sigh...sometimes she is too smart for her own good.
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#4
I don't want to assume so just covering all basis. Stuffed Kong? Like, highest value treat possible? (canned food frozen, or pureed chicken + broth frozen, or similar?) Does she have to be IN the arena - can she be crated in the car instead?
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#5
What is she like out of the crate? Why do you have to 'fix' your dogs problem being crated and the other people don't have to fix their dogs problems with your dog not being crated? Could you find another class that is more accommodating?
My Star barks and bounces while waiting her turn at agility and nobody has complained, she would be the same crated, I wouldn't want to quash her enthusiasm for Agility.


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#6
The person shouting at other people's dog needs to be crated, lol. It is very exciting at agility and the dogs are in a high state of arousal. I expect noise.
I am dealing with this on the other side. I teach a group in scent detection, and we all crate our dogs. I have taken a break from teaching at another club, just too much going on. So a few of these students have joined us. However the club they are from does not crate. Actually one of the reasons I left. I asked they keep their dogs at their feet if not crating. But some of the crated group are uncomfortable with "loose" dogs.
The problem is people who don't crate often are oblivious to etiquette. As in don't let your dog get eye contact. Do not let your dog be blocking another dogs route back to a crate.
They would say they have friendly dogs and ours are not. This is not the case. I have an awkward discussion coming up Monday. The non crate people really are super sensitive about this.
I wish people could see how relaxed and smoothly are crated classes run.
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#7
Thank you for the suggestions and perspective. I guess expecting Tasha to be calm at agility class is kind of like expecting a child to be calm at Disneyland.

Have you ever had that one person in class that is really irritating? And, of course, she is the one with the chubby, middle-age, easy going dog where the rest of us have young, high energy dogs. I love all the other people. The reactive dog is really sweet and his owner handles him so well, I don't mind crating just so they can be comfortable.
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