Agility in the rain?

Discussion in 'Agility and Dog Sports' started by crysania, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. crysania

    crysania New Member

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    I'm going to my first outdoor trial tomorrow (only my 3rd trial). They're calling for rain. I'm not sure how much rain and how often. Has anyone ever done agility in the rain? Is it safe? I'm very worried about injuries. My dog is not really fast or out of control, but I still worry about her slipping.
     
  2. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    I wouldn't hesitate to pull my dog if it got really sloppy, but just regular old rain doesn't seem to start causing problems until a few hours in when the heavy traffic in the ring starts to create mud.
     
  3. 96 GTS

    96 GTS Custom User Title

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  4. crysania

    crysania New Member

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    Oh gosh I didn't even think about mud! So on wet grass dogs seem to do ok? I'm a panicky sort of person about my dog and her health so naturally I'm panicking about it. lol

    I'm hoping it'll just be light rain on and off or that the rain they're calling for will amount to nothing (it often has here..."Severe thunderstorms" become "sprinkles for a half hour" it seems).
     
  5. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    I would go and check the rings. If they are muddy and slippery I would pull. If the sod is holding up well, I would stay in. It would be more ideal if you could watch other dogs first.
     
  6. crysania

    crysania New Member

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    Thanks for the video! My dog is definitely nowhere near as fast as those dogs and they seemed ok. We also jump fairly low. She's a 20 inch dog and only jumps 16.

    We'll definitely be able to watch folks first. We're not doing the first game and so won't be going until a little later in the morning.
     
  7. Panzerotti

    Panzerotti New Member

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    I used to love going out to train in the rain at my old club because I knew I'd have the place to myself. :)

    If your dog isn't too fast you shouldn't have to worry too much. Just be aware of where the tight turns are in the course, especially if you run later in the class when the ground may be more torn up and slippery and you can alter your handling to slow your dog down at the possible problem areas. Your dog will probably adjust his stride himself though.

    I found a clip of a nice competitive run in the rain to make you feel better. :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAIHeJC2AW0
     
  8. crysania

    crysania New Member

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    (OMG that little Cavalier though! And the lady didn't even notice.)

    The dogs all seemed to get right back up and keep going. I'm pretty sure I'd be down for the count if I fell! lol
     
  9. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    Definitely this. I've ran Auggie in rain before with no problems. There was one particular place we trialed where it had rained the day before we got there and it had been disgusting that day. It was dry enough by the time we got there, but if I had been there when it rained, I wouldn't have run him. Nothing is worth a hurt dog.
     
  10. crysania

    crysania New Member

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    There shouldn't be any tight turns I would imagine. We're only at CPE level 1 so it's a lot of small turns and straight-aways. We're REALLY SUPER beginning folks, which is why this is a new experience for me!

    I think I'll go and check it out. My instructor will there so hopefully she can advise me if pulling out of some runs would be a good idea. I'm glad to see so many fast dogs not falling and so many who DID getting right up and keeping going no worse for the wear. My parent's dog has had knee surgery twice (not due to agility; she's just a poorly bred dog whose done damage to her ACL twice now by running around) and so I'm expecially careful with Dahlia!
     
  11. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    Just because a dog gets right up and keeps going doesn't mean they are no worse for the wear... two years ago I made the mistake of practicing with Auggie in the backyard with a light dusting of snow on the ground. He slipped and faceplanted HARD. Got up and kept going like it was no big deal.
    Next week I took him to the chiropractor (we go routinely, especially before trials) and his neck and shoulder were severely misaligned and his hips were twisting to compensate. He never showed me any signs of pain at all but as soon as she was done adjusting he stood up and shook and his tail wagged SO hard, like he was relieved it didn't hurt anymore.

    This is also the dog who had six bladder stones in his belly and was still doing agility, and it took until there were SIX bladder stones in his belly to even start showing me symptoms of a UTI.

    Dogs aren't always the best at telling us when they hurt... especially drivey, crazy dogs like many agility dogs are...
     
  12. crysania

    crysania New Member

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    That's true. Though that being said my dog is the biggest drama queen about anything painful. She acts like she's been shot if you grab her collar and get some fur pulled into it. She's definitely not a high drive dog, which I suppose is good for this situation.
     
  13. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    I've trialed in the rain far more than I'd like to have - I do live in Vermont after all! I've had some judges who do a great job adjusting their courses to be sure that the wetter/muddier/run on the most parts aren't the same for every class. Particularly the weave poles can get muck pits where dogs dig their feet in, and they often get moved every class or two because of it.

    My greatest concern is always the contact equipment. I worry less if it is rubberized; if it isn't, I check to make sure it is well sanded. Meg is a dog who generally takes very good care of herself, so I don't panic too much with her. She won't let herself get hurt. I did pull her from a trial last April when it was 33 degrees and snowing. I ran a class or two where I could keep her off the contacts, then left for the day. Water is one thing; slush and ice is another!

    Bring lots of dry socks and shoes for yourself, and watch your dog to see how she seems to be handling it. I wouldn't panic :p
     
  14. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    I would certainly be careful if my dog had a previous injury and I too would check the rings and make a judgement then.

    Most of the time the dogs are fine, handlers sometimes not so much lol.

    Look at this pic closely, yeah that is rain and why it is so grey.

    [​IMG]

    Another pic from that weekend. Normally he didn't over jump, but I believe he was making sure he didn't hit a bar :)

    [​IMG]
     
  15. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

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    I used to train at a club with a die-hard trainer, she NEVER cancelled class. Personally I don't mind rain too much and I don't mind cold, so there was one class where it was cold (temps just above freezing, I think) AND drizzly, just miserable, but the trainer and I were the only ones brave enough to go to class. We did NOT work contact obsticles - Luna usually has really good footing, but just to be safe we stayed off of them - but besides that it was just fine.
     
  16. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    Haha, nothing to do with agility, but one of my old schutzhund trainers used to tell us all "If it ain't raining it ain't training!"

    Needless to say we rarely had a class canceled due to weather :p
     
  17. crysania

    crysania New Member

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    Thank you everyone! We did go to the trial and it did rain and we did have fun. Nothing got muddy and I didn't see any dogs slipping or handlers falling, though I was still overly careful when I ran so we were slower than usual. So we decided to do our three runs (Standard, Wildcard, and Colors).

    We got two Q's (Wildcard and Colors) and one NQ (Standard). And had I not panicked slightly and thought that her stepping over the dog walk after missing it meant that she had 4 paws on and so went on without retrying it, we might have Q'ed on that too. Ah well, live and learn! BUT...my girl who has balkeed at the A-Frame and dog walk at the last two trials (this was only our third!), got on the A-Frame AND the dog walk (in Colors). I was incredibly pleased with her.

    If anyone wants to see her run in Standard it's here. Just a little note: WE ARE SLOW. She was an extremely low-drive, chill and mellow dog. When we got her it was obvious that everything she did had been controlled (she's an adult rescue) and so she had to learn how to relax and do things without constantly checking in with me. She's come a LONG way since we started!
     
  18. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Good update.. but what advice I would give to a newbie trialling in rain..

    I have done trials in pouring rain. I have done one where it was alternating between rain/sleet/snow..

    If its CPE low levels you should be fine. A few caveats though, will your dog get zoomies? If so if the ground is slick you still risk injury (know your dog though.. my guys are tight and balanced so I don't worry about sliding too much). Also will there be thunder or will the precipitation be 'punishing' to your dog? If the adverse weather will make your dog less than happy to play I would also consider not running a green dog.
     
  19. crysania

    crysania New Member

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    Yep we're at the lowest level of CPE. And Dahlia? Zoomies? Well, if you see the video you'll see that's not likely. She's a slow and stately dog! lol

    I think they would cancel if it if it were storming. Or at least postpone something. That's just dangerous so I would hope no one would continue if there was a thunderstorm in the area. Heavy rain would be aversive to her and I probably would have avoided that but light rain doesn't bother her. Thunder does freak her out so even if they didn't cancel I would pull her until things passed.
     
  20. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    IME they stop whilst the storm is right there. But I have run quite a few times with thunder in the distance. Though she doesn't' look like she would have zoomies, but I have met a few dogs who are slow.. except when they get excited and zoom off.
     

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