Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Thanks and....NEXT!

OK....so I loved the feedback from my first question...so onto my next :)

Do you run your dog regardless of the footing that you find at a trial?

Do you run your dogs in the rain?

Are there places you won't run your dogs?

Do you think surfaces are all a training issue?

Would love the feedback!


Monique said...

No, I do not run my dogs on all footing. Yes, I will scratch if I think it is too slippery. No, I don't think it's a training issue.

Wet grass is my least favorite surface. If I am asking my dog to run 5-8yps, it can be unreasonable to ask her to do so on wet grass.

Additionally, I don't run my small dog (a 9" Pap) in grass I think is too long. I made that decision after doing so for the first time and reviewing video. In the tall grass, she had to either bound or "swim" from obstacle to obstacle and I didn't like how it looked movement wise. I don't think many large dog handlers would run their dogs grass that is 1/2 to 2/3 withers height? :)

Lastly, I don't run my Pap on hard stubble or abrasive sand type footing. It slows her down and she becomes cautious, which I don't want to rehearse. While this may be a "training issue," those surfaces are not available for me to "fix." At some point, I think we all need to understand and accept the dogs we have :)

Stick It Border Collies said...

Okay so i will admit i am kind of getting into this question of the day thing..LOL

Anyway...No i will not run my dogs on anything and everything! There are definitely surfaces that i don't feel are safe to run on.

Running in the rain...it all depends how much rain there is. Standing water ABSOLUTELY NOT! If it is drizzling, or even raining (but not pouring)I will run in the rain. I know some people won't run in rain at all, but i do train my dogs in the rain at home so they get use to the difference in the footing and the slipperier equipment. My dog is also not going at 5-6yps. If my dog was moving that fast then i would probably consider not running them. Also i think you have to look at the dog itself too some dogs adjust better to the difference in conditions and others do not along with there are dogs that have no self preservation and i would be skeptical to run them in rain.

I will not run my dog on rubber mates. Now there are certain mates i will run on. I am not sure what is specific about the ones i like, but i do watch lots of videos, get reviews on a place, and try to do a fun run at a place with mates before I run there. There are some mates that when watching videos you can see the dogs slipping or hear them putting in extra strides to compensate for the flooring =(

No i don't think that surfaces are a training issue, unless you choose to not train your dog on anything but one surface then well i guess that is the person deal for not getting there dog aware of different surfaces. There are some surfaces that I don't have access to so i can't train on them and those are the ones I try and stay away from when trialing.

There are some surfaces that our dogs are just not going to like that is all that is too! (Just like you could try and make hotdogs the best food in the world and I still would not like them) No matter what you do they aren't going to run on it or run at their full potential, but i think we as handlers also need to realize maybe there is more going on then what we think. Maybe the surface makes them uneasy, hurts or whatever it may be, but we don't know that and the best way for our dogs to communicate that is by doing something that will get our attention.

Also this doesn't pertain to surfaces, but I won't run in a building with poles!

barjor said...

1. I have run my dogs in pretty crappy conditions, however, I don't "push" them if the conditions are particularly bad (slippery or wet). I don't worry about Qing in those conditions but rather treating it as a training experience.

2. I don't run my dogs over dog walks or A Frames that don't have slats. Other than that, I am open to most things.

3. I do think that dogs need to be exposed to all kinds of footings.

Personally, I don't see a problem with bad footing as long as you don't expect your dog to run the same as if the footing was wonderful. I would do more shaping if needed. But I also train my dogs how to jump off the dog walk if needed. And this past weekend at the trial (outdoors, wonderful grass, warm no moisture), my dog bailed off of the dog walk because he couldn't hold the up ramp. It's not a problem for me. He landed on all four feet and we continued.

endzonedogs said...

Katie, you are funny...I love your comment that you admit you are getting into the question of the day. You crack me up. :-)

My rule on surfaces that I've developed over the course of time is that I don't run on any surface where my dogs can't dig in. So, no stall mats, no obedience mats, etc. There are mats that really are okay to run on with my dogs. I learned the hard way about running on surfaces that are slick - yes, the dogs can get through the course, but if you are honest, the fast dogs are fishtailing as they try to make a turn after a jump. I have a hard time watching dogs run on this kind of surface, now. Reason ran on surfaces like this in the past and he ended up having to have one of his toes amputated because he had a ruptured ligament. I had absolutely no idea that anything was wrong because it was not a weight bearing toe and there was never any lameness or limping. Just one day when he was turning to the left on a two jump practice session, that toe dislocated because it could no longer support a turn that direction. The bad thing was that he had not run on a bad surface in agility for 2 years prior to that - so he probably had torn that toe ligament a while back and it never healed. We can't know what is going on inside our dogs (as you well know because of what went on with Even).

So, I have different rules about rain with each of my dogs. Under no circumstance will I ever run Reason in the rain because of his age. Also, I probably would not run Schema in the rain if the contacts were not rubberized simply because of her speed and inexperience. It would also depend on the approaches to the dogwalk. Score adapts much better to wet surfaces and he has more experience than Schema, so it would just depend with him.

I have run my dogs in muddy conditions (standing water/mud) and it was really hard for the handlers to move through the course, but the dogs had very little trouble.

I am honestly starting to pay more attention to the equipment these days. The rubberized contacts helps issues like this and there are enough trials these days where I can now pick and choose which ones have the rubberized contacts.

endzonedogs said...

Regarding bailing off contacts. I also taught my youngest dog to bail her contacts and she is very good at that if she can't hold on. However there was one approach that she misjudged earlier this year and with her speed, she slipped on the upside and because she slipped on the way up and landed on her shoulder, she did not land on her four feet because she could not bail like she has been taught.

This is definitely inexperience on her part, but because she has such a fast dog walk and she is fearless, I wouldn't hesitate to pull her if I thought the approach was bad and the ground was too slick. We only have 5+ months of outdoor agility trials here in Minnesota and so there is 7 months of mostly indoor dirt/soccer arena trials the rest of the time.

Courtney Keys said...

I have a 9.75" dachshund (yes, he's a real agility dog!) and I am careful about where I run him. I would never run him on carpet, even though a couple big shows here in Texas have that. Not enough padding or traction for a dwarf dog and his inherent structure issues. Most trials here are indoors on dirt and that surface is fine. I second the no tall grass for a short dog, also. He came up lame after an outdoor trial with tall grass and while I don't think it was purely an acute injury, I do think the extra effort he had to make to get around took a toll on him. He was out for 6 months and we never really figured out what was wrong - I suspect a muscle, possibly ilopsoas, strain.