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Karen Smith

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About Karen Smith

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  1. I think your trainer is right when she says that she will bring a target for the other side of the jumps. You need to practice getting your dog to run on towards the target. We start our young pups teaching them to run onto a toy giving a command which means 'go on'. When the agility training starts we put up a line of jump wings without poles and get the dog to run down through the wings towards the toy in the same way. Once the dog is running towards the toy confidently you can start to jog alongside the dog. If he's sure about what he is doing he should continue to run towards the toy. Gradually the distance can be increased and poles on the ground introduced. Be sure to jog down both sides of the jump alternately so that he becomes accustomed to the handler being on either side. If you have the sort of dog that has a tendency to look back at you, then personally I wouldn't keep the toy in my pocket to throw at the last minute or else the dog could keep looking back to see when the toy is going to appear. Karen Smith and the TouchAnGo Border Collies UK
  2. Hi Heather Although 'technically' there is nothing to stop a dog winning a class and therefore progressing with faults, in practice it never happens. The class numbers are such over here that you have to achieve a very fast clear round to have any chance of winning. Class numbers are on average: Elementary 150 Dogs Starters 250 Dogs Novice 400 - 800 (yes 800!) dogs Intermediate 300 - 800 dogs Senior 100 - 300 dogs Advanced 25 - 80 dogs As each judge is limited to judging 450 dogs per day, when numbers exceed 450, the classes will be split into 2 or 3 parts, so on average class sizes at novice / intermediate level tend to be around 200 - 300. It's quite an achievement to win one of these classes, and there is no way on earth that you would manage it with faults. Karen Smith and the TouchAnGo Border Collies UK
  3. In the UK there are 5 levels of agility. The first level, elementary, is for new handlers and the dog has to achieve a 3rd place or higher to 'win out' of this class. The second level is Starters and again handlers who have not previously won out of this class can start here. From this point onwards dogs have to win to progress through the classes. One win in starters wins you out of this class. The third level is novice and this is where handlers who have previously won out of starters will start their new dogs. This is the largest class, and you can find between 200 and 400 dogs in this class. You have to win at least 2 classes with at least one agility win (not jumping) to win out of this class. If your dog can't do contacts then you remain in this class for evermore! Winning out of novice qualifies you for seniors. You don't 'win out' of this class, and once you achieve this level you will stay there with that dog forever. If you are lucky enough then you may also qualify the dog to work the advanced class as well as this one. There is one further level, advanced, and to compete at this level you have to win at least 4 classes higher than novice. 2 of these wins must be agility (not jumping). This class really puts you in with the 'big boys'. So you see that in the UK you have to win classes to progress. It is for this reason that many people turn to Border Collies to be their new agility dog. This is a shame really, because by their own admissions some of them don't even like the breed! Karen Smith and the TouchAnGo Border Collies (ISDS Registered) UK
  4. In the UK there are 5 levels of agility. The first level, elementary, is for new handlers and the dog has to achieve a 3rd place or higher to 'win out' of this class. The second level is Starters and again handlers who have not previously won out of this class can start here. From this point onwards dogs have to win to progress through the classes. One win in starters wins you out of this class. The third level is novice and this is where handlers who have previously won out of starters will start their new dogs. This is the largest class, and you can find between 200 and 400 dogs in this class. You have to win at least 2 classes with at least one agility win (not jumping) to win out of this class. If your dog can't do contacts then you remain in this class for evermore! Winning out of novice qualifies you for seniors. You don't 'win out' of this class, and once you achieve this level you will stay there with that dog forever. If you are lucky enough then you may also qualify the dog to work the advanced class as well as this one. There is one further level, advanced, and to compete at this level you have to win at least 4 classes higher than novice. 2 of these wins must be agility (not jumping). This class really puts you in with the 'big boys'. So you see that in the UK you have to win classes to progress. It is for this reason that many people turn to Border Collies to be their new agility dog. This is a shame really, because by their own admissions some of them don't even like the breed! Karen Smith and the TouchAnGo Border Collies (ISDS Registered) UK
  5. 'Angie, my trainer, and her dog Bosworth do agility. She also competes in Obedience, Dancing with Dogs and yes, a form of tracking. His KC registered name is Touchango Supanova' As the breeder of Boz, I thought it would be good to mention that Boz is ISDS registered and from sheep trialling lines. He comes from a fairly versatile litter. 4 of his brothers/sisters are advanced/senior level agility dogs, another brother has won a novice agility and also obedience classes. His other sister works sheep on her owner's farm. Proof (if you needed it) that dogs from working lines are the best! The one thing that the litter wouldn't excel at are conformation competitions! ISDS Border Collies = Brains before beauty. Karen Smith and the TouchAnGo Border Collies UK
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