Qs about your dog sport!

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by Oko, Sep 16, 2013.

  1. Oko

    Oko Silence, peasants.

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Messages:
    2,138
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Guinea pigs, rabbits, rats, cats, dogs, oh my!
    Location:
    MA, USA
    Bored on the train, so thread time.

    For those who do dog sports, why did you pick your sport(s)?
    What are the pros/cons for you?
    Is it what you expected?
    What's the cost of participating like?
    How much time do you put in?
    How far do you travel for it?

    Annnnd anything else you want to add. Just curious. :D
     
  2. Linds

    Linds Twin 2

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Messages:
    7,099
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Illinois
    For those who do dog sports, why did you pick your sport(s)?

    *Mainly because Sara kept posting about it and it looked fun. I like training tricks and was looking for a sport I could do without equipment and at home. Once I started really getting into it I was hooked!

    What are the pros/cons for you?


    *Pros:
    It's fun, the dogs LOVE it.
    There is a never ending amount of ways you can train things and expand from you to the dog.
    I love a lot of the people in the sport, they genuinely seem like they all really just want people out there having fun with your dog!
    You can work on it in your yard and the house with tricks easily
    Builds such a great bond between you and your dog and a high level of trust

    Cons:
    Discs get expensive when you have a hard biting dog and comps also can be expensive, but that's any sport really.
    It's harder to train in the winter if you don't have a facility and seriously hurts much more when your dog is bouncing off of you and it's freezing out.
    It can be a little overwhelming looking at all the things you need to work on, improve and incorporate.
    Having to practice throwing skills by yourself.

    Is it what you expected?

    *Yes and no. Overall I think it's kinda what I thought it would be but like any sport once you start diving into it all these other things you never thought of or saw come to light.

    What's the cost of participating like?

    *I'm not deep enough to answer that yet, I'll tell you next year!

    How much time do you put in?

    I try to go out with each dog and work on something at least once a day. Normally I try to get a few short sessions daily with each of them.

    I also spend way more time than I would like to admit looking at youtube videos

    How far do you travel for it?

    Well, so far the farthest was a few hours away in Indiana but I imagine next year and the coming years I'll find myself going much farther
     
  3. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,965
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    1. Agility- ever since I saw it I wanted to do it. Always was something I was drawn to.

    Nosework- saw the intro class and thought it would be a fun diversion. Almost a year later and 5 class sessions later and I'm still doing it. Didn't expect that honestly.

    Rally- at the time couldn't find an agility class.

    2. Pros? Everything. Lots of great experiences, cool people to hang out with, my dogs gaining confidence and getting to go places and do fun things, me becoming a much better trainer...

    Cons- money. I spend... A lot on classes. And some on equipment.

    3. Yes and much more. I love agility.

    4. Yes it's expensive. Classes, private lessons, equipment, trials... I spend several hundred a month on dogsports and that's without many trials. It's be cheaper if I had my own big yard and full course for sure. But I don't so... Even limited entries at the last trial was $100. I sunk in $200 last week on private lessons and a new set of classes. I'm usually in 3 classes a time.

    5. My school is 15 mins away which is insanely lucky. My first agility club was 45 mins. Trials and fun runs so far have been within 45 mins or so but in November we have our first travel trial. So we will be doing hotel and driving in the day before.

    Phone so probably typos.
     
  4. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,965
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    I forgot time put in...

    I'm at the training facility 2-3 times a week most weeks. I work on nosework about twice a week on my own and agility is about the same. It depends. Lately we've done a lot of trick training instead of agility due to the heat and also my trainer is filming our tricks next week so I want them solid. Lol.
     
  5. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    Messages:
    6,405
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Minnesota
    For those who do dog sports, why did you pick your sport(s)?
    Well, I fell in love with this Alaskan husky thing...

    What are the pros/cons for you?
    Pros: Exercising multiple dogs. Really fosters teamwork, bonding, and trust between the dogs and me and between the dogs themselves. It's fun, amazingly fun! I get to go out and do it in beautiful, scenic places.

    Cons: Not always very convenient, not something I can just walk out the door and do around the neighborhood anymore. It's hard to start out with two green dogs and sometimes hard to run such a small team.

    Is it what you expected?
    Yes and no. It's a lot more fun than I expected, and it's been a lot more bonding than I expected. I didn't realize how much of a team we'd all be together rather than me being completely directive all the time. I didn't realize how the dogs would so clearly have different strengths/weaknesses. And I didn't realize how much our training for mushing would spill over into life in general.

    What's the cost of participating like?
    Initial cost of some of the equipment is pretty significant (scooter or other rig, skis). But once you get the big stuff, the ongoing costs of replacing harnesses, lines, etc. is actually pretty low for me with just 2 dogs. Entry fees to races has been very reasonable. One nice thing is that there are no classes (there are some mushing camps but they aren't "necessary") or need to rent space or use others' equipment.

    How much time do you put in?
    It depends on the season. Summer is a slow time for us if the weather is too warm to run dogs. Fall and winter, we are probably out 2-4 times a week. Each run all told, including not only the run but getting to and from the park and getting equipment ready beforehand and put up afterwards is probably 1.5-2 hours.

    How far do you travel for it?
    For training/practice around here, just 5 miles or so to the state park. For races, the farthest I've gone is about 3-4 hours. Next year I may do one up in the Arrowhead that would be about a 6 hour drive.

    Annnnd anything else you want to add. Just curious. :D
    ANY DOG CAN DO IT. :D
     
  6. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    6,216
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Why did you pick your sport(s)?
    In order of starting them....
    Rally - Bullied into it by friends ;)
    Obedience - Seemed the natural thing to do after rally.
    Agility - Tried it for kicks, fell in love
    Dock Diving - Big-Jumping Water-Loving Retriever made me do it
    Field - Bird-/Work-Loving Retriever made me do it

    What are the pros/cons for you?
    Pros- Working with my dogs, exploring all that we can do together, seeing how we stack up compared to others, having a blast.
    Cons- Time and money.

    Is it what you expected?
    I'm not really sure what I expected going in, haha. This all just sort of developed until one day I found myself way down the rabbit hole, unsure how I got there :p

    What's the cost of participating like?
    Brutal.

    How much time do you put in?
    Hard to say. Actively training specific conpetiton skills? Not a lot. But I've spent enormous amounts of time learning, researching, building relationships, keeping my dogs physically and mentally fit, and doing all those little things that lead up to a healthy and wonderful working partnership.

    How far do you travel for it?
    I try to stay within a day's travel (out and back) due to cost and simply preferring to sleep under my own roof.
     
  7. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2012
    Messages:
    3,048
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Too Many
    Location:
    West Missouri
    For those who do dog sports, why did you pick your sport(s)?
    I've only trialed in Rally. I have been geared towards obedience since I started 'training' my dogs when I was young. Taking a basic obedience/manners class, kind of made it's progression towards competition obedience or rally.
    I'm starting an agility class tonight actually (natural progression again, towards other sports), I'm expecting to like it, but I love obedience.

    What are the pros/cons for you?
    Pros...I get out of my house to do a hobby that I love. I have lots of fun, get to meet cool people, and better my relationship with my dog. The dogs get out and about. Cons..I guess the cost, and the time commitment. I have a hard time finding classes that fit my schedule, but I do a never-ending weekly drop-in obedience class so it is okay.

    Is it what you expected?
    Yes!

    What's the cost of participating like?
    I don't find classes too bad...my drop-in class is $10/week. Some of the facilities are kind of pricey and I balk at them...like 6 weeks for $150? 6 weeks isn't enough time for anything. My agility class is 8 weeks/$100. I prefer like "regional" clubs, versus a large facility.

    How much time do you put in?
    Once or twice a week classes. Trials I guess every few months once I'm ready.

    How far do you travel for it?
    So far I've traveled about two hours for a trial. I wouldn't mind traveling further but I don't need to, I'm not trialing every weekend and there are usually a few to pick from every month.
     
  8. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Messages:
    8,893
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 Pit bulls and 2 Malinois, We like to stay busy.
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Home Page:
    For those who do dog sports, why did you pick your sport(s)?
    (past)
    I picked Flyball because I had a high drive dog who loved to play fetch and tug.
    (Present)
    I picked agility due to it's availability.
    We picked Dock diving because the dogs were water rats.
    We picked IPO because it fits.
    We picked Obed because of the challenge.
    We picked Barnhunt for the fun.

    What are the pros/cons for you?
    No cons really, cost I guess but really we choose to do the sports and we could quit at any point. Dog sports are the way Denis and I spend our weekends together.

    Is it what you expected?
    Yup

    What's the cost of participating like?
    Agility runs cost about 20-30 per run and you usually do two-three a day at a trial. Classes tend to be about 100 for 6 weeks.
    IPO costs about 50+ per trial and 125-300 a year for membership to a club (plus score book prices).
    Obed cost 20-30 and classes range with agility classes.

    How much time do you put in?
    We train when we have time during the week each morning and we have set training on tuesday night for agility plus sat & sun morning for IPO.

    How far do you travel for it?
    It depends on the level of event. Normally we try to not go more than a few hours away for a trial (luckily we have plenty closer) but for a regional or national event we'd travel. We are trying to plan the ABMC nat'ls in may in Montana and the Barn hunt nat'ls in november at purina farms in MO.
     
  9. Flyinsbt

    Flyinsbt New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    Messages:
    886
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    3
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    why did you pick your sport(s)?

    I started with obedience because I read "Champion Dog, Prince Tom" when I was a kid. I started with agility because I figured my dog needed something to do when not doing obedience. Most of the other stuff we've done, I've tried because it was available.

    What are the pros/cons for you?

    Time and money are the cons to all the sports. The pros are that I get to have a good time with my dogs, make friends with people who share my enthusiasm for dogs, and get forced out of the house on a regular basis. More specifically:

    Obedience teaches a lot of useful life skills. People competing in obedience can be kind of stuffy.

    Agility is challenging, forces me to stay active, is super fun for the dogs, builds strong teamwork with the dogs. I spend a lot of money on agility.

    Coursing just makes my dog happy, and I like watching dogs run. It can be a bit hazardous to the dogs.

    Barn Hunt is super fun for the dogs, and actually the least expensive sport I participate in at this time. I like watching dogs do stuff that's natural and instinctive to them. I probably couldn't do just Barn Hunt, because there's not much training.

    Conformation is fun when you win, and my dog is a ham. But it's fairly stupid.

    Is it what you expected?

    Yes, pretty much.

    What's the cost of participating like?

    Depends on how much you choose to invest in it. I spend thousands every year on agility, between seminars, traveling to compete, entry fees, etc. I don't spend nearly as much on the others, because I don't spend as much time on them. Other than agility, the main thing I've been competing in lately is Barn Hunt. Entry fees for that are comparatively low, and so far, I've been able to compete at commute distance from home. There's no training, so it's been pretty cheap for me.
    Conformation can be insanely expensive, but I buy my show clothes at Ross, don't pay for a handler, and these days, I pretty much only show if I'm going to be there anyway. And the Bred By classes are usually cheaper to enter. So almost all my competition money goes to agility.

    How much time do you put in?

    Not that much, I suppose. I train agility about once a week. (more with a puppy, when they're first learning the behaviors) Other stuff I train here and there, if training is needed. I used to spend both of my 2 weekends off per month competing in some dog sport or another, but due to money troubles, I have been competing considerably less.

    How far do you travel for it?

    A drive of up to 2 hours would be normal. Further than that, if it's something I really want to go to. I've been known to drive a couple thousand miles for a specialty. The furthest I've traveled is from Portland, OR to Orlando, FL for the Agility Invitational. (that was by plane, obviously, I don't have that much time to drive)
     
  10. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Messages:
    5,798
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    For those who do dog sports, why did you pick your sport(s)?

    I love tricks. More than anything. I would so much rather train a sweet parlor trick than train a sit stay. Any day of the week. Disc dog allows me to do that, and better yet, we score better because of it!

    What are the pros/cons for you?

    Judging is very subjective. If a judge doesn't like you, that very well could reflect in your score. You also need to have tough skin, you can score in the top 10 one day, and the bottom 10 the next.

    Pros, the people. I love the people. Also, the team work that is involved. I'm not a fan of one-sided sports, I like to be working just as hard as my dog.

    Is it what you expected?

    I honestly didn't think I'd get hooked so hard by it. I was just going to dabble, but that never happens with me. Other than that, yes.

    What's the cost of participating like?

    Comp gear so far has been the most expensive part. Chairs, canopies, mats, etc. Local comps are really cheap, the big comps are a lot more expensive. Nothing compared to agility though!

    How much time do you put in?

    I work my dogs pretty much once a day during the season, about once a week on the off season. We do toss and fetch every morning before work and try to hit up a park sometime during the day. Or if I can't do that, we train a trick indoors.

    How far do you travel for it?

    Our club has about 5 local comps a year, all relatively close to me (1-2 hours at the most). I'm starting to attend a lot more out of state comps, so far New Castle, IN is the furthest I've traveled. Next year I'm hoping to travel to Illinois, Colorado, Tennessee, Georgia and possibly Florida. If I can afford it. :)
     
  11. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Messages:
    30,965
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    a lot
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Home Page:
    I don't dabble well either. That's how deciding to try Mia in the intro to nosework class for kicks has become 'take both dogs through all the nosework classes possible, join a nosework mailing list, go to sniff and goes, order kits, participate in the nosework tread, and talk to people who train real detection dogs...'

    I wish there were trials here. I am sooo ready.

    I'm a bit scared I expand on to what we are doing. I'm afraid i will be hooked by disc especially. Seems right up my alley.

    The only thing I've managed to dabble in is rally and that's because I don't like it. Lol
     
  12. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Messages:
    8,893
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 Pit bulls and 2 Malinois, We like to stay busy.
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Home Page:
    I don't know if I dapple in anything but agility. That said I do love exploring.

    We're in IPO and obedience (which I consider to be closely related) full fledge.

    We do dock dogs when we can but we consider it our "for fun" sport. It's a blast to see what the dogs can do and how much better they can perform with advancements in handling but we're still pretty inactive considering the low number of jumps up here compared to the south west.

    Barnhunt is getting more and more active and it's a great alternative to tracking, based more on a hunting ability as opposed to a prey instinct(Course) and as opposed to an obedience exercise(IPO).

    After that we are excited to just be out there with our dogs and ever testing the versatility of the breeds we choose to play with.
     
  13. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    8,854
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Environmental Science
    Location:
    Vermont
    For those who do dog sports, why did you pick your sport(s)?

    I used to teach agility classes before I ever did it (yeah, one of THOSE places), and always wished I had a dog I could play with. Meg came along, and was the anti-agility prospect, but I tried anyway. It completely changed her life, and mine.

    What are the pros/cons for you?

    The people are phenomenal (mostly). The community feel is huge. The excitement is great. My dogs love it, and I can see it change them in ways I like.

    I wish I had more money to play more. That's a con, right? Access to equipment is also tough, especially living in a condo without land.

    Is it what you expected?

    So much better.

    What's the cost of participating like?

    More than I should admit to.

    How much time do you put in?

    1 hour class a week; 1 or 2 practice sessions which are 2 hours. Some seminars. Trialing. Work on some non-equipment skills at home a few times a week.

    How far do you travel for it?

    Kentucky is the furthest I've gone (17 hours) for Cynosport. I can generally trial 3 weekends a month within 3 hours, which is my usual comfort zone. I did 4.5 hours this weekend because some friends were chairing a trial I wanted to support, and the venue was so great I'll keep going.
     
  14. Toller_08

    Toller_08 Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2006
    Messages:
    8,359
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    For those who do dog sports, why did you pick your sport(s)?


    I didn't really pick Flyball. A friend of mine, who was a year ago just a customer, started talking to me about it at work and worked at me for like 5 months trying to get me to join. Then I decided to go to a practice once, didn't really know what to think, but liked the people and decided to stick it out and see what came of it.

    What are the pros/cons for you?


    Pros:

    The biggest one for me, and the main reason I play it, is just hanging out with my team mates/friends for an entire weekend. I love my team and all of the people in it and it's fun.

    Watching my dog have a blast doing something she loves.

    Cons:

    It's hectic. There is a lot going on at once.
    It's loud. Very loud.
    It's a team sport, which can be awesome, but it also means that if I screw up, I feel bad because it didn't affect just me. Thankfully I have a team that is really easygoing, but I still don't like doing things that affect others if I do something wrong.


    Is it what you expected?


    I think so for the most part. I didn't really have any expectations, but I guess there is slightly more to it than I realized. And it's louder than I expected haha.

    What's the cost of participating like?


    For one dog, it seems to usually cost me about $60 a weekend but that includes food and stuff generally too. But compared to some other dog sports, Flyball seems pretty inexpensive to me. Even practice isn't pricey as we only cover the cost of the rental of the building, so it's usually $15 per day at most for two dogs. Cost will likely depend on where you are located though and how you train (classes, just with a team, etc.).

    How much time do you put in?


    Really not that much. When Dance was new to it, we went to practice once a week and I took the box home as well once or twice for a week each time. It really didn't take her long to catch on, and she naturally seems to have a nice box turn, so now we just go to practice two or three times a month and mostly just because I like going and because I take Journey too. But for a trained dog, there doesn't seem to be much time involved.

    How far do you travel for it?


    So far the farthest we've travel led was three hours. Usually tournaments are within an hour or so where I live.


    *I wouldn't really call Flyball 'my' sport though haha. I enjoy it, and it is fun, but mostly I go for the people. It just happens to be the only sport right now that I actively participate in.
     
  15. GatorDog

    GatorDog Member

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2013
    Messages:
    570
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Occupation:
    Too many!
    Location:
    WI
    I chose Schutzhund/IPO because the person who bred my first GSD suggested that we check out her training group. She had an "Intro to Schutzhund" class and we've been hooked ever since.

    -The time committment is both a pro and a con. Currently, I am training 5-7 days per week. Wednesday nights we start training at 9pm and dont get home until 1 or 2am, then we are back on the field Thursday afternoon at 3. Traveling for trials usually consists of a 3 day weekend, and the larger regional/national competitions can be 4-7 days off. I say its both a pro and a con because the pro is that I have the access to be able to train and practice what I love as much as I do, and my dogs achieve much more success because of the frequency in my training. The con is that it is completely and totally life consuming, and it can be conflicting with family/work time if I allow it.

    Other pros:
    -The amount of knowledge in relation to dog training and animal behavior that I have gained in the last 4 years is pretty unbelievable. I have been lucky enough to meet some really incredible people who have taught me some pretty amazing things that I know I would have never learned if I hadn't become involved in this sport.
    -The bond with my dogs is very much different because we spend so much time working together. I feel a true partnership when working with them.
    -The people that I have met while traveling around for training has been a huge bonus for me. I have made many new friends within my "dog family". I found my new young dog through training connections and even met my boyfriend through the sport.

    Other cons:
    -It's emotionally exhausting for me, as a woman. Pre trial nerves get to me pretty bad and my first failure was heartbreaking. I have since calmed myself during trial, but only very slightly. It's absolutely horrifying for me to go out and perform a routine out there alone in front of a ton of people.

    I can't think of any other cons right now. I really just love my dogs so much more and love everything that I have learned from all the people that I have met so far.

    Before I took the sport seriously, I was just going to the club once a week to train, so the level of the success that I achieved was to be expected. The first club that I belonged to was more of a social group, so I didn't expect too much from my own dogs, mostly because I didn't know any better. Once I realized that you get out what you put in, I changed clubs and started achieving success, my own expectations changed. I now view myself as a competitor, rather than someone who just dabbles in the sport.

    Not too bad. Club dues are usually between $250-$400/year. Trial entries are between $50-$75 typically. Most money is spent on gas. Initially, the cost of training equipment was brutal, but now that I have everything that I need, I hardly buy any more equipment at all and have had to buy hardly anything for the puppy.

    As I said above, I am currently training 5-7 days per week. Over the winter, training will slow down until we can get back outside again. At home, I practice multiple times daily, from 10-30 minutes with each dog.

    I travel all over the place lol. All over the New England Region, and all over the country for the bigger championships. Right now, I have one weekend over the span of the last 6 weeks or so that we have been home. And even then, we still train all weekend long. We still have two more months until the hectic trial season even begins to come to its close.

    Becoming involved has been the best decision I've made in my life so far, and I know it has totally changed me forever.
     

Share This Page