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alligande

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Posts posted by alligande


  1. I loved the foundation class, it is intense and although spread over 18 weeks there is a lot of training to cover to keep up. My youngster does work hard, but not my like my older dog who doesn't ever want to stop. Any experienced agility trainer will have no problems auditing, from my observation it was not a class for a beginner human it was for beginner dogs.

     

    I saw the promo video for Sylvia Trkmans DVD and I would say take the Shape-up class first as it is the underpinnings of what is in that video. They have a very specific way the skills build and how they use them.

     

    I am not sure I would call it "international" obviously living in Spain and having ambition to be competive that is what we will compete on, but there is a wide variety of styles being successfully used, what I like about the shape-up concepts is that a reasonably fit 5ft 2" middle aged woman stands a good chance of getting round the course in a competive time with her fast dog and not frustrate him with late handling. We had a seminar recently where the two Brits who have American trained dogs used the opposite arm to handle a tunnel/dw discrimination like Shape-up would, our top Spanish trainer wanted a double blind and argued the opposite hand was slower, yet we were further up the course, than everyone else!


  2. Having used Derrett Handling, I was unsure that my dog would make the switch to send and go work that Shape Up Dogs uses. She has. :) I so can't wait for the summer class to start and it looks like there are a few folks here who are joining!!!

    Which class are you signed up for? I was happy to audit the foundation class as I felt I could do that without feedback, now we will be moving into more "real" handling I want the feedback as to how I can improve.


  3. It can be amazing how well being focused on your puppy works and having them in a safe place when you can"t be watching them. The first 2 1/2 weeks we had our youngster we were staying with my mother, and we were determined that our puppy would cause no damage, she though we were being mean popping him back in his crate when were not focused on him but admitted at the end that he had not chewed anything in her house, or peed on anything. By the time we got him home after 3 1/2 weeks of traveling from his breeder he had not developed the habit of randomly chewing things and was effectively house trained. I don't think we would have been as vigilante if we had been home and he would have learned some habits that were not good.


  4. Thanks! I'm starting the Shape Up foundations class with my 12 month old youngster, having heard good things about their teaching re handlers who are no longer able to really run.

    But updates on contact foundation stuff would be great.!

    Are you auditing or working? I audited the foundation class and have a working spot for beyond foundation, I really like their concepts and with modern courses either needing independence or be an Olympic sprinter to handle using physical cues, they use a nice balance between them. If you watch video of the Canadian international team this year you can see their influence, they are running but by using verbal cues and teaching independence they are able to be much further up the course and not have to baby sit turns, and their runs look really smooth and fluid. I am loving working their ideas with my 14 month old and starting to introduce them to my older dog, but I don't think he would ever make the transition fully as he is very sensitive to my motion.

  5. No website, I think the only thing she teaches is the running contact class. The Shape Up women recommended her, they trained their running contacts with her online class. I tried emailing her but got no response and so sent her a FB message. And she friended me, and one day she announced the class!!!! It was a little strange getting a working spot as she chose who got one, I basically grovelled. I suspect she was looking for people with agility experience who would be able to keep up. The class is taught through FB.

     

    There is a follow up course as well, if you have a working spot she guarantees you one on that.

     

    Anne Lenz is the German 2016 individual FCI world champion.

     

    I will provide updates


  6. I asked on here for ideas on teaching a running Aframe, in the end I signed up for Anne Lenz's running contact class.

    We are two weeks in and so far I am impressed by the attention to detail and her very responsive feedback. It is intensive though and if you can not train short periods most days then you will get left behind quickly.

    It is not just the Aframe but the foundation work seems to be really good for contacts in general and I thought it would be interesting to work through the process of teaching a running DW even though I suspect I will end up putting a stop, having both would be really though.


  7. I don't think the subject of rest and time-out has come up yet on this thread. One of the most important things you can teach and encourage any border collie is to chill, this is where the crate and x-pen come in. Play with your puppy, do a little training and then when you need to do your own stuff into the safe place they go, with toys to play with and kongs to chew.

    The best advice I read when I got my first border collie who was an adult of unknown age was that you get the border collie you create, so if you play with your dog all day long, long walks two times a day etc, that's the dog you will be living with. Border collies really don't need excessive exercise, they just need company and mental stimulation.


  8. Many of us have non-working border collies, mine are agility competitors, the important thing is what they where bred for. What these boards are anti is breeding for the show ring or sport, the only reason to breed is because of working ability on sheep. You will find loads of rescue collies around these parts, and plenty of dogs who's only job is being a companion.

     

    If your puppy is learning and having fun then you are not pushing too hard, if they find it stressful and aren't enthusiastic about training then perhaps you are doing to much or not making it fun. My young dog is 13 months and he has been training almost everyday since I got him at 10 weeks but only in small increments and only if he was ready to engage with me.


  9. Sometimes dogs have to fly, we moved to Europe so the only option was to fly. Since moving to Spain we have had a few foster border collies who have all flown to Germany, getting a good loving home is certainly worth the small risk.

    If you look at the numbers the risk of anything happening to a healthy dog is extremely small.

    My main grumble is why does PETA get asked their opinion on everything ... At least chose a reputable animal humane society.


  10. I need some advice from some experienced multi dog households. So far we have been very lucky with our young dog who is now 13 months and entire, he was house trained by 3 months and until yesterday had not peed in the house.

    We have a spayed female staying with us for 12 days and are a week in. Yesterday he peed close to her food bowl, in front of me, and this evening he marked in the living room also close to me. Both times it was more of a full pee than a male marking, but I am sure it is marking.

    This is a bitch who visits us regularly and we walk with, she is snippy dog, and my youngster is wary of her, I never let any thing escalate and on the surface all is good but I know she makes him uncomfortable.

    So how do I handle this, I have no clue, having not experienced this before, I am not looking to neuter my youngster.


  11. Honestly, and I'm not saying this to be snarky, but because I've been n NADAC too long I consider hoops and jumps as interchangeable for handling/line purposes. And other than the barrel not being out there, and equipment being different I... see no major differences between that and the novice regular runs I did with Molly at the end of last month, though, yes, the obstacle spacing is closer than we use now and a-frame and dog walk seem more narrow.

    Its good to hear it has stabilized, there was a period where it seemed like there where small rule changes every trail.

     

    The obstacles are identical to standard equipment. Nothing has changed there.

     

    There are huge differences in running a course with jumps and with the obstacles either being close or wide open like in your courses. In FCI we can face wide open courses, that mix in technical handling, in our local league we get tight and much closer spacing. As a handler you can easily be with your dog when the jumps are close, you can get front crosses in, but with a big dog it can be hard to make the turns. The handling style is very different.

    Not having jumps changes the handlers timing, my dog jumped 20" in NADAC, in USDAA 26" and it there was a huge difference handling those courses, in USDAA I could get crosses in, In NADAC I got spins as I was not able to be as clear with my handling.

    At the time if I had been committed to NADAC I would have spent a lot more time working on obstacle commitment and driving ahead of me, instead I had a dog who excelled at snooker as he was very responsive to my position and motion (still is, he is a challenge to drive). I regularly train at a lower height than he jumps at, if we can be fluid at a lower height I will have plenty of time at full height.

    I have already mentioned last weekends seminar which was conducted by a Spanish World team member, I ran the course with no bars (my big dog has been having a training break and I have to keep how much we work down) and it was huge a challenge, there were some sections that without the bars made it almost impossible for the human and so we put the bars up in those areas and it made things possible, jumps also tighten up the turns, without the bars his turns are much wider as he is running flat out.

     

    In my opinion the bottom line NADAC is its on style, specialized handling has evolved to run the courses (some of it transferable) many top trainers are not equipped to help students on NADAC courses, it is outside their comfort zone. The handling styles we started talking about have evolved to run "standard" agility, FCI, KC, AKC, USDAA UKI/UKA etc, most of the handlers that developed those techniques have never run a NADAC course.


  12. Please ignore the atrocious handling, poorly trained and stressed dog in the video - I knew no better back then it was our first ever trial. What the video does show is that the course looks like any organizations novice/grade 1 class, no hoops, no barrels and the spacing and handling is what you would think of in agility terms as "normal"


  13. Or maybe I just haven't noticed. What kind of changes have you seen?

     

    There were no barrels last time I competed in NADAC, my first year or two competing you rarely saw hoops in regular agility, but they were becoming more and more common. The extreme games were just really getting going and were not offered regularly, but the influence was starting to be seen. Sharon Nelson had a very clear agenda for what she saw agility as, AKC, FCI, KC agility are very different beasts as they are run by committees and change is slow, that version of agility has evolved through course design rather than rule changes. NADAC at the time being owned and ran by one person she could change it to suit what she saw as right and for a period of time there were continuous minor rule changes.

    To be honest I think NADAC is a love it or hate it organization, I only competed in NADAC as starting out it was the only organization that had a good number of trials locally that was not AKC, then a new indoor soccer facility opened and USDAA arrived, at the time I had no clue how different it was. I only continued to compete in NADAC as I liked the people who put on the trials and enjoyed the atmosphere, but I hated the courses. The only thing I miss is tunnelers which is a blast and maybe one of the funnest things you can play.

    It is also a great venue for a dog starting out as you can train in the ring, but with the style of courses diverging that is probably harder to take advantage of. I know with my young dog I would not want to run him on a NADAC style course as it would cause him frustration as his foundation training so far has been geared for a very different style.


  14.  

    What I have found is that since all of the instructors stated teaching using OMD, the courses that we work on in class have morphed into very tight courses with a lot of wraps, tight turns, backsides, and back forth back forth back forth, and very little flat out running through long, straighter, or more flowing, sequences. And that is all we work on now.

     

    Bandit did his first CPE trial this past weekend and he was literally glowing after we left the ring.

     

    I realized that it was the first time in his life he had ever actually RUN Agility on a full course!!!

    . .

    I am currently stuck in grade 1 in FCI with my experienced dog due to this phenomenon, outside of grade 1 the only time you see a flat out sprint across a course is as a trap for grade 3 dogs (grade 3 is harder to get in you need 9 clean runs in the same year and they call everything) in grade 1 we usually have a flat out sprint all round the course, I have run one without needing to do a real cross! So all our fancy training means nothing when your dogs head has exploded and he doesn't want to weave as it's stopping the fun, got one of my precious points on a course where only two dogs had a recorded time (the other was my training/traveling partner) as you had to handle, nothing challenging but there were some reall control points.

     

    There is very little you can take from OMD and many of the other handling styles and use in NADAC. NADAC has eveloved into its own branch of agility, most of the other flavors are variations on "standard" agility that competitors the world over would recognize and the techniques work for. NADAC is evolving in a different direction. I started in NADAC in 2009 and then it still looked like "agility" very few hoops and by the time I started competing with Rievaulx in 2011 hoops had started to become standard, I last competed in 2014 and it has changed substantially since then.


  15. Like the others have said don't feel that you have to start a class to do proper socialization. Sometimes a puppy class can be the worst place for a young pup to be if it is not a well run class, meeting well behaved adult dogs can be much better. All you need to be doing is getting out and about, nothing forced just exposing your pup to the world and the way he is going to live. My youngster has never been to a formal class, but when he was a puppy he got exposed to lots of things as part of his daily life, as a one year old he is a very social dog. We did go through a period when he was 7/8 months when he decided the world was scary, some of that was a fear period and some was that I had stopped taking him out and about as it was summer and very hot, I made a bit more effort and we got through it.


  16. BTW, if anyone can explain to me how to handle using OMD with the dog 5 - 10 feet ahead on course that is not constantly back and forth like a pinball machine, I will be happy to listen . . .

    I am at a loss on that one as well, in their promo material they say the system can be used for any dog/handler team but I haven't seen it yet. OMD have become all about slick marketing, I was intrigued by their ideas to start but the idea of learning 30+ combinations is just beyond me and now living in Spain and training with different Nationalities I have realized that lots of people use the same turns but with different names, who started which, who knows. We have had lots of conversations that go you want a "what" followed by ahhhhh you mean a blind then a half front cross .... that's a -----------

     

     

    Tracy Sklenar, the coach for one of the US world teams this year and owner of Agility University online classes, lives in my area, but does NOT teach local classes. DAMMIT. She is so busy with everything else. BUT, the last time she gave a clinic in our area (10 months ago?), she was saying that the trend is to always keep running forward (no or only a few deceleration cues) and use verbals, hand motions, and ?? to handle the dog. [sorry not to be more specific since it was just a short snippet of conversation. Nothing on a detailed level.]

    That is what the Canadians from Shape Up are teaching, the idea that you train independence, and your motion supports the verbal but the dog understands what's required. If you run a large fast dog it makes a huge difference being able to leave and go, so you can be in position for the next critical set of cues. An example is the way my youngster is learning back, back means go back and jump, my older dog goes back but doesn't commit to the jump in the same way.

    In another example this weekend we had two American dogs mine and a friends border collie who understand the use of an opposite arm/threadle arm and at the seminar this weekend, we were working on a discrimination that is rare in Spain but common in NADAC the Dog walk, tunnel side by side, but it came with an added challenge of having to layer a jump and send to a tunnel, as the dog walk prevented you physically from getting there (tricky bit of course design) the handlers with the threadle arm where able to blast of and being much further ahead than the other teams who were putting in a blind to a half front while running, that was the way the trainer wanted it done but he did admit that when trained the threadle arm worked well.


  17. You don't need to work with them for very long, a few short minutes to start while they are learning whats expected of them. Spend time hanging with your pup, playing with them or just teaching them to hang out and watch tv, its all important stuff. Don't fall into the trap that because your pup is a border collie it needs loads of exercise and loads of stimulation, best advice I read when I got my first border collie was you get the dog you created.


  18. To be fair to Greg he still handles like that and is very successful, even with an ageing dog that is slowing down. Don't know how long it will last though as all the new top handlers coming through seem to be considerably younger and fitter. Our visiting instructor trains with the Team GB squad and Greg has tried to persuade her to switch to his system but she prefers the mix and match approach.

     

    I've been involved in agility for nearly 20 years and have seen fashions come and go and come back round again so I treat "new" systems with a sizeable chunk of scepticism.

    No disagreement on his success Pam, but when I have been watching him recently on tv during recent internationals he looks like he really has to work hard to get to where he needs to be compared to those who use a combination of techniques and taken on board some of the newer ideas. For all my grumbling about Susan Garrets sales techniques her success and ability to adapt and take on new ideas to stay competitive is impressive and she has a good number of years on Greg. Agility is such a young sport and it is evolving all the time which makes it really interesting.


  19. I am not a fan of "systems" either, fundamentally agility is made up of three crosses, front, rear and blind and everything else is a combination of that. I started agility with a very average trainer and learned a front and rear cross and gradually added more skills, I trained my current competition dog with a lot Linda Mecklbergs motion based concepts which at the time I really liked as I was able to get my big fast dog round the course without having to think about verbals. At the time I competed in NADAC and USDAA and the style worked for USDAA not NADAC.

    I just finished Shape Up agilitys foundation course with my puppy and really liked their style, the modern FCI course has become both fluid and technical and you either need to be bloody fast or have great verbals and their handling style has been tailored so they can compete at that level, we now live in Spain and so this is the style of course we now have to work with. This weekend I put it to the test, I did a seminar and with conventional handling (think OMD and European international) we were all doing a ketchker, to threadle the dog, then a front cross to get the next jump with a tight turn into weaves and so I tried the same sequence with my baby dog using Shape Ups threadle command worked perfectly and I could be much further up the course, all I had to do was run in a straight line, worked just like they said it would!

    I have never been a fan of Greg Derrett, it has always been too prescriptive for me, an English International judge made an observation to me that GD is anti blind crosses as he still has DVDs to sell and he can't change his handling system without having to redo every thing, which is what Susan Garrett had to do.

    I love blind crosses, I run a big fast dog and there are many places on a course that it would simply not be possible for me to get to where I needed to be without them, they are certainly not appropriate in every circumstance but with modern courses they are a very important tool. When I started agility in 2009, blind crosses were verboten but a year later when I started with my current dog they were becoming acceptable again.

    I am a big believer in trying things out, I have taken seminars with speciality NADAC trainers, and although I would never use most of the skills it is always interesting to learn and you never know when you will find something that works for you, at a seminar I am always willing to try the trainers ideas, I might never do it again, but you never know.

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