Agility training

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Panzerotti, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. Finkie_Mom

    Finkie_Mom It's A Red Dog Revolution

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    Haha give me a few years, and maybe I will be ready :p

    Sloan looks great, too! When is your next trial again??? You definitely have to get someone to tape you :)
     
  2. Sekah

    Sekah The Monster.

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    The SG craziness from yesterday reminded me of something I saw on Facebook a few weeks ago. A young girl posted a photo of her young dog wearing a comfort flex harness, panting happily and surrounded by a few discs. The comments on the photo were immediately critical of her choosing to play disc with her dog while it wore that harness. The girl was defensive and the critical poster said something along the lines of, "I just have the best interests of your dog at heart".

    ... Really? You're posting in a public forum simply because you're worried about this stranger's dog (who you will never meet in person)? You feel more invested in this dog's safety than its owner? Are you now A Better Dog Person On The Internet?

    So, bringing this back to agility and the videos that have surfaced this week, I think the handlers need to take responsibility for how they run their dogs. I think if their dogs injure themselves, it is the handler who will have to deal with rehab or perhaps never running their dog again. And despite what people seem to think, it is the handler who cares more for the dog than a random person on the internet. I trust them to make responsible decisions and to be ready to deal with the fallout of the not so responsible decisions should something unfortunate happen.

    The sports flooring video was ridiculous and I have no idea how anyone thought it would be a good idea to hold a trial there. Running in the rain though? That didn't faze me.

    I personally have not scratched my dog from a run before. I tend to trial indoors on turf at a really nice facility, but I'll be outdoors next weekend. I've trialed in the rain before. My dog is fast but not a speed demon and aside from a few knocked bars it's never been an issue.

    I did stop taking classes at a facility with rubber matting. It was more out of frustration of it not allowing my dog to get up to speed and turn properly than out of a concern for her safety though. For the most part I trust her to be careful, and I plan to take care of her should anything bad happen. I plan to be reasonable, but not overly cautious, and I'm comfortable with that.
     
  3. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Denis is handling Sloan this weekend at his first trial ever (and he's sorely been lacking training time lol). It's a CPE trial so it's not a lot of pressure but it should be fun. I registered B and I may or may not run him.

    I'm excited to see what she and Denis do together, she really is a fun dog to run and runs beautifully for me but she is his dog and anyone who's seen her with me and then seen her with him tells me it's a world of difference. They say its clear how much she loves him so I'm excited to see this in agility as well.
     
  4. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    As a side note, Oh man, that crap about the harness hurt my heart. People are really needlessly vicious. One of the attackers of that girl has tried to challenge me on Malinois before. That didn't end well, know it all found she didn't know it all and I wasn't looking for a new leader.
     
  5. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    Dogs can't wear a harness to play with discs? Huh. Noted for future reference.

    I've had to deal with one agility injury in myself that caused missed work and trials (obtained while running on "the best mats they make" indoors - not a fault of the mats, just "what the heck just moved in my leg that shouldn't have?") and one injury, and a subsequent re-injury in a dog (first injury done while running in the woods, reinjured while practicing on indoor dirt). I just don't see agility in the rain as being inherently more dangerous than agility indoors. Have you seen how jump bars roll on mats? There are two dogs in our region who have been seriously injured by knocking a jump bar and then stepping on it after it had rolled away from the jump. On grass it wouldn't have rolled. I think the risks are different, but both are risky. It's a sport. They are dogs, and we are asking them to be athletic and bold.

    Have you listened to the podcast on the footing in that indoor space? Apparently the shine was some sort of non-slip coating, which according to people actually worked for the humans. Obviously did not work for the dogs. I have to say that Susanne Clothier's comments and reactions (in the podcast as much as her blog), between this and the whole "teaching a dog to hump on cue" fiasco, shocked and disappointed me. Pretty much my entire knowledge of her is based off that fantastic "But he just wants to say hi!" article, so I had kind of liked her in a uneducated way.
     
  6. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    For whatever it's worth, I'm pretty sure that "sport surface" trial was in Texas. Pasadena, IIRC.

    We don't have much in the way of outdoor trials here. It's trial indoors or don't trial at all. I prefer well groomed dirt first, good astroturf next, and good matting third. I won't run on bad matting and bad astroturf. If I run into it unexpectedly I will either scratch or attempt to compensate with conservative handling and sticky paw stuff for traction, which has seemed to help. But if I know about it I just don't even enter. Good grass is my favorite surface but while we practice on it at home, we don't get to trial on it, ever. Which is unfortunate. Also makes the "scratch due to weather" question moot for us, though.

    And what Webster can run safely on vs. what Mira can run safely on are two different things.

    I've never expected a refund for scratching my dog for poor surface. I've never been on a surface so incredibly bad that I felt such a demand was warranted. It was my call, and mine alone. If I were ever at a place with flooring as bad as that Pasadena trial though...yeah I would raise hell. That's just insane.

    Yep. And you keep your eyes peeled and keep them appropriately fit and give them time off when they need it. Be responsible.


    The worst injury we've ever had, by far, was on a clear sunny day, moderate temperature, excellent grass turf, when MacNut ran full tilt into a concrete block as I sat on the grass quietly 50 feet away.

    The second-worst injury when also on a clear sunny day on perfect footing when Kim decided to head off Mira, realized she wasn't going to stop, jumped over Mira instead, and landed funny. That was when I struck her from agility 13 months ago and put her through PT to give her time and opportunity to heal. And in the meantime, her spot on the agility roster was usurped by the Webby-man, so she's hasn't been back. Yet.

    Agility gods be good, we haven't had an agility injury yet. Innocuous recreational time seems to be what gets us.
     
  7. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    Pasadena isn't in California? I have revealed my incredible lack of knowledge of geography west of Lake Champlain :eek: What can I say, I don't get out much!
     
  8. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    I'm pretty sure there is a Pasadena in CA too...
     
  9. OutlineACDs

    OutlineACDs Crazy Dog!

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    There is a Pasadena, TX. It's on the outskirts of Houston and Galveston (kinda inbetween the two). After I saw the comments in this thread I saw the video of the run. I have to say, it was pretty bad. To my knowledge, this was the first trial ever held at this place, and I'm sure they moved to draw more entries with an air conditioned, indoor facility. I bet they won't do that again.

    I do wish the judge or someone would have spoken up, or the competitors refused to run. I wasn't there though, so maybe the video Suzanne Clothier posted on her blog was one of the first few runs on that surface?
     
  10. CaliTerp07

    CaliTerp07 New Member

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    I am fortunate to have a dog with really good self preservation. She runs like the dickens when it's straight, but when going into turns or curved tunnels or what have you, she's really good about slowing down just enough (when I cue her early!) or choosing to go wide on turns instead of slip and slide (when I cue late).

    As a result, we've never had an issue on surfaces that people often complain about. We train on rubber matting, so maybe she's learned from day one how to control herself just a bit better? There's a small facility that does NADAC games trials in the winter on the rubber matting, and the border collie people won't enter because their dogs slide into walls. Lucy's just as speedy when she wants to be, but she controls herself nicely in that facility (helps that it's solid cinderblock walls around the ring, so she's not tempted to run into them...) There's also an astroturf indoor soccer field we're running at next weekend that people aren't huge fans of, but Lucy has historically done well there.

    You have to know your dog. I would not run her in the rain because we had huge dog walk issues when she ran over an unstable one at a bad training facility (gah!), and I would not want to risk her doing that again. I'd do tunnels and jumps in the rain no problem, but I don't want her falling or slipping on contacts. Other people might not have that concern with their dogs' running styles.
     
  11. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Yeah, apparently it was this trial: http://agilityevents.net/resources/pdfs/1305gckc.pdf , the Texas Pasadena.

    The video that Clothier posted was the 7th run of the 16" class, according to the person in the video (see BadDogAgility podcast). And a *lot* of competitors did refuse to run and many of them raised a huge stink until the trial was reworked to allow all the dogs to run all classes on the other, turf, ring. But obviously some people ran it, even after seeing others run.
     
  12. Flyinsbt

    Flyinsbt New Member

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    Between those, a person would never be able to trial again. The sport surface was indoors, SG was outdoors... that's pretty much everywhere.

    Our local trials are almost all on dirt (indoor arenas), which is varying degrees of good. Depending on how it's prepared, it can be softer or harder, pebbly, etc. Generally, I think it's a pretty safe surface for dogs, though it can be harder for humans to run on. I know people who will pull if they don't like the way the dirt is prepared, but I've never seen the need. We do still have a few that are outside on grass, and the Rose City Classic is run inside on very nice rubber mats.

    I'll run on pretty much any surface, and I don't think I've ever scratched a run because of the surface. I've made different decisions based on surface, ie; the RCC used to be held on carpet, and I ran one day of it once (my 2nd actual agility trial, and I'd only entered the one day), and decided that dog shouldn't run on carpet. I went to another trial which was held on carpet a few years later, and didn't enter that dog, but I did run another dog I had, who was slower and more cautious. She did fine.

    I've run in the rain, more than once, and it's not been much of a problem for my dogs. I did use to train outside, and we ran in the rain then, so my dogs were used to it. I train in a barn now, so I might be more wary of it. My dogs are fairly sure-footed, though. I've actually seen more trouble with dry grass, which tends to get really slick, and I'm not sure I'd run on it again.

    When I took Tess to World Team Tryouts, which is held on artificial turf, she had some trouble with that surface. We'd practiced on turf before we went, but the turf at Tryouts was harsher, and she managed to tear her stop pads on the practice day. Not badly, but enough to be a bit tender. I know now to toughen my dog's feet if I ever go again. And not play tug on that turf. I did run her anyway, and she did alright, but I think turf is not a great surface for her. Interestingly, when we were at Purina Farms for our Nationals a couple weeks ago, their flooring was turf, and Tess still seemed a bit slippy on it. I was sure that Pirate, who is faster, would struggle, but he actually did great on it. Tess did slow down (because I was slow, not because she was slipping), and then she did alright with it.

    My dogs have injured themselves in many dramatic ways, but never a real injury from agility. They've needed a chiropractic adjustment after doing something spectacularly stupid, but that would be the extent of it. I do kind of feel like their potential to get hurt in agility is so much less than what they do to themselves if I don't police them. However, if they were continually stressing themselves the same way in agility, I would choose to retrain, or not run on that surface/equipment/whatever. They're just pretty creative about finding new, rash things to do.
     
  13. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Well first practice after a month's break. Overall it went really well. It was also our first practice that was really hot and the girls seemed to handle the heat really well.

    Summer is freaking fantastic. I don't even know.... she is so talented and getting faster and faster and faster. Easily the fastest dog in the class. Never knocks bar. Totally confident and happy. Also 5 years older than all the dogs in class. She does tend to go careening off course though lately. We really need to work on her wraps. But she is SO FUN to run and so easy to run. I love it. I really do wish we'd gotten to it while she was young. I can only dream of what training a 1 year old Summer would have been like. If I could have a dog right now, I'd want a one year old or puppy Summer. Wish that were possible....

    Mia's a lot more sensitive sometimes and always has been. If something starts to go to **** with Summer she's still all 'YAYAYAYAY AGILITY!' and right back on course at the same speed like nothing happened. Mia starts to get frustrated and slow down when things go wrong. But she ran well except for her jumpers run which was last. She stopped in the middle and peed for about a minute straight. Then she reluctantly finished pretty slowly. :/ So after class I took her and did one last sequence of jumps and she ROCKED it. I have no idea what it was about the jumpers course that she just checked out on. The other runs went fabulous and Mia saved my butt on our first run of the evening about three times. I had some bad handling going on. lol My trainer even mentioned how I was so lucky I had such a good dog, haha.

    Of course 'slow mia' is still faster than all the other dogs in class other than Summer so I don't know why I worry so much.

    Both my dogs suck at weaving. :( No idea why I am so bad at training weaves. I've tried channels and 2x2s. All the other dogs are doing the weaves much better than mine but mine are way ahead on everything else. Makes me feel frustrated because save the weaves my dogs are trial ready. Grrr got to get creative on this one....
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2013
  14. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    Keep an eye on her and make sure this was just an accident and not that she has a UTI or something brewing. Auggie started slowing down and acting "off" in agility right about the same time he started giving me signs (in retrospect) of a UTI. He never peed in the middle of a run but he DID start refusing weave poles... something he'd never done before. It could just be her being sensitive, I'd just watch her!
     
  15. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    She's been acting a bit weird since getting sick on thursday. She got constipated at the park and has been straining a bit to poop.

    She's also been doing the butt scooting on the ground. Making me wonder if her anal glands are acting up. That might be another thread though, lol.

    She had been drinking a lot between runs and didn't go pee before class at all. Not at home at the potty break or before class when I tried to potty them. Summer also peed during one of her runs but of course she kept going like nothing happened afterwards.
     
  16. DenoLo

    DenoLo New Member

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    I almost think weaves can be harder in some ways with little dogs because there's a few extra steps in between each weave. I know Lola didn't really "get" weaves until we shaped them. Which in retrospect had it's downfalls, she still looks up at me after each weaves when she's on the right. But the glances are getting quicker and quicker, so I have no doubt that we'll have nice weaves on both sides ..eventually lol. She did them in a trial in Snooker shortly after I started shaping them and I was so surprised.
     
  17. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    Scooting the bum and excessive drinking are also a sign of vaginitis and/or a UTI in dogs. Trim any hairs around the vulva, use a non alcohol baby wipes and clean her, put her on good probiotics (not plain yogurt, you need more than that right now) and cranberry relief powder (purchased at any holistic pet store). If she doesn't improve in a few days, she might need antibiotics.

    Good luck
     
  18. MandyPug

    MandyPug Sport Model Pug

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    Izzie qualified for nationals.

    [​IMG]

    =)
     
  19. Flyinsbt

    Flyinsbt New Member

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    CUTE! And congrats!
     
  20. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Hmmm, that might be a good thing to check out. Now that I am thinking of it when I was gone Saturday for four hours she went and peed on the potty pad, which is really unusual for her especially for such a short time. Last night I went to bed at 11:30 and at 5, Mia was crying to go outside. Also unusually short time for her to hold it.

    Congrats Mandy and Izzy! :D
     

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