Recently I asked a simple question on the pug agility list, "How to develop more obstacle focus", I mentioned that the dog I was specifically asking in reference to (Abby) is young and competing at the Ex. level, just because I know she's young and wanted people to understand this is a dog who, even though she's running at high level really is still learning some foundation behaviors, like most Ex A dogs.
I don't push my dogs to compete while they're young. Agility is just a part of daily life, it was mentioned that "at 2 years old Abby needs to be playing not training" Isn't training play? That sure seems to be what my dogs think. All of my dogs have moved up very quickly, I made the decisions back when Abby was only 1 and got her novice and open titles to move her up.....the novice courses weren't doing her *any* favors. Those courses are so wide open, that all she was going to learn was to ignore my motion cues.....because all I was doing was running like heck, trying not to lose her in a trap, too much time in novice and a dog like Abby would just end up very confused about the handling system she was taught. I moved her out of open because the courses really aren't much different in Ex, sure she would probably Q a bit less, since no mistakes are allowed, but who cares. There was no reason not to move her up.
I'm just frustrated because I've been accused of pushing my pugs too hard several times from "pug people" who don't even know me. I only asked the question on the pug list, simply because a lot of companion breeds tend to be overly handler focused and most people I know and train with are not running small companion breeds like pugs. Teaching a dog to to take obstacles in front of them without you right there to babysit is a foundation skill, just like performing contacts or weave poles correctly.....I'm not asking for anything unreasonable.
Abby's young and very motivated and I know this skill will come, just like every other bobble we've worked though. She went through a phases of running past the first jump if I led out, of not weaving at trials and running past the table.....just like most green dogs go through various issues, no matter what their age.
The pug agility list is a great resource, but I think I'll take any questions I have elsewhere.