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Everything posted by alligande

  1. Something else to consider is working with a rehab pro. My agility dog was diagnosed with mild HD nothing as severe as your poor boy but he was in pain and obvious discomfort. My vets initial reaction was that should cut back his exercise, no more agility etc. I then started working with a vet/physio but I actually made things worse as he was not used to working with over achieving border collies and their owners as I just did far to much as he had not provided a detailed plan. I knew there were dogs competing in the US and the UK with HD so I found a vet/physio who worked with us online in conjunction with our local vet/physio and the results were amazing, we have never done hydrotherapy, just simple conditioning exercises. We now work with a local physio who moved here, he has an appointment once a month for a massage and she adjusts his exercises depending on what she feels he needs. He will be 9 this summer and is still fit, strong and able to train and compete in the sport. My recommendation is not to go it alone with conditioning exercises, they can make a huge difference but it is very important to do the correct exercises with the right form and the correct number of repetitions.
  2. I can not imagine it being that big a deal, especially if you are getting the pup young. My pup came from a sports/hearding home 1/2 the litter went to agility homes the others went to farms. They were raised in the house with kids, played with toys etc, learned to tug. They did nothing really special though and were not the type to get sucked into all the puppy agility stuff, just provided a good allround home environment, vacuum cleaners, screaming kids, all the normal stuff. I have a friend with a 7 year old sports bred dog who has some really impressive working lines, she has spent her life as an agility dog, she even had to learn to be a pet when she came to my friends, she had never seen sheep until a few months ago and her instinct was unreal, and she just started working. The shepherd was smitten! so I really don't see how a few weeks early weeks can effect a well bred pup badly.
  3. Sorry I haven't been on the boards for awhile, Fen started knowing nothing about running contacts and he had never been on equipment, the only thing he had was an understanding of the 2o2o position so his learning curve has been huge. He is a thinking dog and so this technique is working very well for him. We are now into the second class and his learning continues well, he is getting faster as he gets confidence, and maintains an understanding of the criteria most of the time.
  4. My older dog has hip dispylasia in one hip and has been transformed working with a phsyio, my goals are different to yours which is to keep my dog fit to compete in agility but my physio works with a lot of older dogs and their quality of life is usually improved with increased mobility.
  5. My first agility border collie was a car chaser when we got him, and once agility started getting fast he really was a raving lunatic, I started taking a soft crate to training and keeping it covered so he could not get worked up, I also left him the car between his sessions. Over time and with patience and a lot of help from Controlled unleashed he settled down and could chill as trials. My young dog could easily become the same dog and I use have to work at keeping him under threshold, he was at a very big agility competition recently as a spectator and we use exposed him to things in very small pieces. It can be managed and you will not have to give up agility and really is very common. The shock collar is a very bad idea for something like this.
  6. I am late to responding to you, I am having an amazing agility adventure with my older dog currently. You have been given great advice, stick with an "real" person class for awhile it will help you immensely, agility is a really complex sport for the human, we can teach our dogs everything really well but if we have not figured out the game nothing will flow, it really is a team sport and both members need help learning their roles and a live trainer should help you make huge strides. I take online courses and find them really helpful as I live on an island where I am one of the more experienced handlers, they are really helping me push my handling and training to another level, currently my young dog is taking a handling class with Shapeup agility who are brilliant world class handlers for Canada but I don't feel the classes are that good for beginners, I am also taking a running contact class with Anne Lenz who is German and the current world champion, the class is great and could be taken by a beginner but obviously you need to be confident that you want to go down that route.
  7. Good move, I think the problem is that that many people have not realized there has been a huge evolution in dog training and the understanding of how all animals learn. Slowly people are learning that you don't have to be a bully to be successful when training animals, and we can only hope that with time trainers like her will no longer be in business.
  8. I am sure it is possible but I suspect like all things it depends on the skill of the trainer, the dogs learning style and if the equipment is in your garden. I personally feel there is a limit to what I can teach successfully and thoroughly without overloading my young man, by the time I get to my next dog I might be up for teaching more skills at the same time! He is currently learning RCs, handling and we started on weave poles last week. I go to my club early most weekday mornings and I am there for about 30 minutes, working with both my dogs, young one does some contact training and short sequences working on his skills and the older one is just polishing his skills and mine. At home we do two quick sessions on 2x2s.
  9. Jovi, her advice was not, not to teach a stop first, but to finish training the running before introducing the stop if he already stopped that would have been fine, basically don't do them at the same time. I had started introducing the seesaw before starting the course, my youngster is a late developer and I wanted to be sure his growth plates were closed before I started on the seesaw but he we had not progressed beyond him running over it with a slight tip. I have seen a couple of dogs in the group struggle to transition away from 2o2o, my youngster who has only ever been taught the position and had briefly been introduced to it on equipment defaulted to a 2o2o when he was confused by what was wanted. I think if I do end up with a stopped position after all this training it will be solid as he really understands run to the end of the board and I suspect will transition quickly.
  10. My older dog is currently 62 lbs, I think he slightly overweight but he is very muscular, he is a big boy. My younger dog at 16 months is very slightly build but almost as tall as my big dog, he currently weighs 44lbs and I expect he will put on quite a bit more as he develops more musculature, he is a very late developer. Somehow I just end up with giant border collies.
  11. Our intro running contact course continues and I still really like Anne Lenzs approach. I always knew that teaching RCs was a commitment but now I am working through the process I would discourage someone from attempting it if they were not committed to almost daily training and having lots of patience. I think my decision to attempt running contacts will delay the start of Fens competition career as I won't compete until he understands the criteria and I suspect that is a good few months away. We started training the course 11 weeks ago (technically it's an 8 week course but the time has been extended due to Anne's traveling time) and we are still working with a board on the floor. In comparison in 3 months I would have been able to train a decent 2o2o. I have also not continued working with the seesaw as Anne's advice is wait on using a stop until the running criteria is solid.
  12. It is a very common border collie problem. If you google these boards for reactivity you will find loads of threads with dogs having the same behavior. My first agility dog turned into a raving lunatic once we started training with other dogs really running. Members of these boards introduced me to a book called Controled Unleashed and we worked our way through some of the exercises and it really helped him. There are two versions of the book and I understand the puppy book is easier to work with, although called puppy it is still applicable to all dogs.
  13. All great advice, I will reiterate that the more fun you make coming back, the more they want to come back. with my 8 year old I still call him back on walks just for fun ... and then I let him go back to what ever fun he was having. We have all heard the increasingly desperate calls, turning to frustration then to anger "fluffy come, Fluffy Come, FLUFFY COME" by this point you can only wonder why fluffy will ever come back!!!
  14. New video to share, we started working on turns today. Anne made sure he fully understood the criteria of a front paw on the target before we were told we could move on to this stage. You can see the target is now smaller it is now 1/4 size of the contact zone. There are no verbals used yet. There is the choice of working with the the MM or a dead toy, with a dead toy Fens failure rate is much higher and he starts to shut down when I call him off, so we are working on that skill at home with regular tricks and play. He will need it for the advanced class. She would like to see more speed from him, but I think the way he learns the speed will come with confidence, it has with everything else. Her way of teaching certainly suits a thinking dog as they really have to understand the criteria versus some of the other methods of training RCs. https://youtu.be/ZPtQ6aTlbmE
  15. Perfect spelling. I will try to remember to post on here when I see the next class offered. With all the interaction I have with her I know it will show up in my feed. Plus if you have a working spot in the first class you are guaranteed a working spot in the next level.
  16. You can ask as many questions as you like First that horrendous complaining is not a puppy but my older complaining that it is not him on the course, he has been an only dog for along time!!!!! Agility is his game... The mat: what do you use? It looks light and flexible. I am actually not sure what it really is! they sell it on rolls here and it is a some sort of non-skid but I have never seen it used in a house, only for agility! There are all sorts of different things being used. Also, smaller than the contact zone. There are two different sized targets, the one you see in my videos is 50cm which is half the FCI contact zone. We have also been working at home with a 25cm one but we have not advanced enough to use it on the board. Is that to make the criteria (hit zone) harder for practice so that when the behavior is used on a course and the dog is more amped up, he can be a little 'sloppy' and still hit the contact zone? I suspect you are right, but when you watch her dogs and the dogs from Shape Up Dogs (they recommended the course and took it with their young dogs) they all run all the way to bottom even in high pressure situations, so I think it might be really about teaching them to run all the way to the bottom so there can be no mistakes From a previous post, you said that each dog has a different contact requirement (all 4 paws, front or back). Do you know why they are different? Size of dog or ???? Why did she recommend front paws for Fen? With the little dogs she has required them to have all 4 paws, I haven't asked why but it looks like it was really what the dog was comfortable with, from the original instructions I think her ideal is back feet. Fen is a big lanky dog who's not really done growing at 14 1/2 months! and really knows where his front paws are, while he doesn't seem as confident with the back ones. The way the group works, I am really no longer looking at other videos, everyone posts under the same original photo, so you don't see the new videos. The Shape Up Dogs does it just by adding a new comment so you see the new videos and comments easily, plus we are now doing the beyond foundation class and the contact class so are rather busy!
  17. Here are a couple of videos of our progress, we were given permission to move onto the next stage so you can see some progression. One thing I have noticed is for an online class Anne is very flexible and has adapted what she suggests for each dog as their skills have evolved. I am very glad I am not auditing the class as you can't ask questions and think I would have moved on to soon and not done such a thorough job on the foundation. This was in the second week Week 3, trying to make the game more fun as he was obviously getting bored with simply putting paws on a target. And this is our most recent session, it's a bit long but it is basically unedited as I wanted to show his progress in real time.
  18. I think I am insane going down this rabbit hole, I started wanting a running Aframe and a stopped DW, but all the resources teach a running DW first with the Aframe being a sorted of bonus prize. I wasn't happy with with the way I had seen teaching a running Aframe with stride regulators and that was the only way I had experience with so I went hunting and found Anne Lenz who's method was highly recommended by some very successful handlers, after watching some of them I realized with the verbal skills and independence Fen is learning a running DW might be a possibility, I would never be able to do it with my older dog as he does not have the level of independence needed. If I can't handle it then I will go to stopped, which I am planning on teaching as well as I think it will be great to have both. FCI in Spain has brought in new rules in grade 3 to encourage speed, to get a Q / excellent run you have to be in 10% of the top time so once you get to grade 3 every run is going to have to be fast.
  19. Heartful, can I ask why you teach a target and a position? Most of the techniques I have seen taught are basically one or the other. The theory been if the dog really understands the position it doesn't need the target as it has learnt to drive into position and you don't need to fade the target, so I am curious about the benefits
  20. I have seen a lot of people fail with using ST's method especially when motion and speed and either give up or try another method. A number of top competitors are now using a target rather than running over a carpet, and are evolving how it is taught to make it more reliable, I watched most of the AWC on TV last year and ST's DW was not reliable compared to some others. If you want to work on solving your 2o2o issues, check out Amanda Shyne's online classes and book, she has some great concepts for making sure a dog doesn't get stuck. When my older dog was a youngster, I took a seminar with her, I had taught the contacts myself, her comment was I love your dog, I want him, but those contacts are terrible. I followed her advice and he does have great contacts.
  21. So we are at about week 4 and Fen and I are still working on the basic exercise from week 1 , in Fen's case she has made the criteria 2 front paws on the target. Different dogs have been set different criteria, the little dogs need 4 paws, some back paws and for us it is front paws. This is not for the feint hearted! I think both of us are sick of working on sticking paws on the target, unlike him though I do understand that this is the vital building block. I have had to improvise from her videos to keep it interesting for him, sometimes I had speed with wing wraps, I alternate between the manners minder and coming to me to tug, sometimes I throw the toy and generally finding simple variations to keep the game fun. I hurt my back before traveling to compete this weekend so we did not train today, but tomorrow after a break we will be back at it and if he is successful Anne says we can move on, it is a good job I am not auditing as I would not have stuck this single exercise out for so long.
  22. I know a lot about stopped contacts and just starting with running myself but watched a lot of people try and fail at a running DW. Before I think any of us could give any ideas or suggestions we need more info. How was the running DW trained what criteria was used, how well does the dog understand what is needed and how was the stopped position taught. I have watched a lot of creepy DWs and have a pretty good idea how they came about, but would like to know what you have trained and how you did it.
  23. I will email you closer to the time, after all this time and advice I would to meet you.
  24. We are now Pam, we are going to do the border collie classic and then KCI. I have actually had my hotel booked for months for KCI just keeping my fingers crossed it would all come together. He needed to be FCI grade 2 for the BCC and I did not want to bother coming to KCI as grade 3, also if we did not qualify for BCC, my plan was to wait till next year and compete at KCI with both dogs. It was getting really frustrating as I could not believe how difficult it was proving to get out of grade 1 with my experienced dog, but when judges think a giant M, is a decent course and no dogs get a clean run then it's not just us, but it does make you start to double your skills. The reason we had to start over is because we competed in USDAA and NADAC, if we had competed in AKC we could have transferred over, the same applies to KC, our titles did not transfer. In Spain there are no games and I miss them, in the US both USDAA and NADAC the two venues I competed it had a titling class with a distance handling element, slightly different in each organization but the same concept. You can run in the higher grade and be eligible to win but any points earned do not count, you are also free to stay in the lower grade if you feel your dog is not ready to move up and needs more experience and it costs nothing to move up. When we were in the US you could move up the next day in both USDAA and NADAC the two organizations we compteted in. I wasn't going to spend a moment longer in our private hell of grade 1, I walked the grade 1 course with a friend and it was once again not nice, yet the same judge had a really nice grade 2 course with just the right amount of technical handling for the level to make it interesting and a little challenging.
  25. The challenge of moving to a new country is you have to start all over again to get back up the grades. I compete in two different venues in Spain, RSCE (FCI) and a smaller one that works on regional leagues. Even when we were really where a novice team we struggled in starters/novice due to the very fast nature and limited turns of the courses and had much more success when we moved up. I started competing in FCI 18 months ago, and have to travel absurd distances to compete, well it's actually not the distance but the 7 1/2 ferry ride so it gets really frustrating when it goes wrong, at grade 1 you need three points to move up between grade 1 and 2 (grade 2 to 3 is harder) but they are very strict on refusals which has been a big cause of our lost points, we got our first in our very first trial in December 2015, and did not get another until this March, this weekend we escaped with 2 first places, 2 points and the win of the class. It was so much fun to run the grade 2 classes the next day, reminded me my dog and I really do know what we are doing
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