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Guest Dynamite Tess

A Good Day for my Girls

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Guest Dynamite Tess

Today, my Pepsi, working with my husband, ran her little heart to come 2nd at an Agility trial. That means she has now won out of Elementry Class [courses with 2ft jumps]and can only enter Starters and Novice. Unfortunately for me [who was hoping to run with an arm injury] I strained a muscle again holding Tess on the start line so we finished the same course with 10 faults as I couldn't signal her, and was running in some considerable pain. However, Danny ran her for me in the Starters Jumping class and came home with a clear round rosette but no place.

Thank you for allowing me this little boast....................Okay, so you had no choice, but I'm sure if I'd said 'Can I have a little boast please', you'd would've all said 'Yeah, go on'............I'll shut up now. Regards, Val

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Guest PrairieFire

Congratulations Val -

 

I really do know how much effort your sport takes, and salute your little girl (and yourself)...

 

Bill Gary

Kensmuir, Working Stockdog Cneter

River Falls, WI

715.426.9877

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Guest PrairieFire

BTW -

I don't consider a working dog (in any sport) to be a Barbie collie...and your Pepsi is obviously a working dog... you just don't have to worry about the manure when she finishes her training...

 

Bill Gary

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Guest Dynamite Tess

PrairieFire

I am taking your advice and am looking into where Danny and myself can go and watch sheep/stock dog trials in our area of England. In fact my husband surprised me by saying that ever since we've had the girls he's always wanted to go to one of these trials. Being self employed finding the time is one of the major drawbacks. The one thing I've discovered so far is that herders over here are now leaning towards using dogs like Pepsi who is smaller than the average BC and smooth coated. I have told Inci in an e-mail that a few months ago a sheep farmer came over to the field where we were doing our agility training and showed a great amount of interest in Peps. She was at that time still extremely shy, and only jumping to please and not because she enjoyed it. I guess this farmer saw the potential in her then, and we can only just now appreciate it.

 

Sand! PrairieFire, sand is what I have to worry about. Most of our training is done in a Riding Stables now which is covered in sand. I don't have a 'posh' outfit anymore. In fact, I have no 'posh' clothes at all. I love the colour black, so jackets, sweaters, jeans even boots and trainers, are all black......and doghair..........and sand!

Regards, Val

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Guest PrairieFire

That's certainly cool, Val - I think you will be astounded at the trials - even the local ones...

 

If you have a hard time finding something, I'm sure either Inci or myself could provide some leads.

 

My Craig dog is 32 lbs just out of the watering trough and a semi-smooth, so I have no trouble believing that's the best kind...

 

Just got back from a trial here in Missouri and saw some bloody great Border Collies.

 

I had forgotten how small in stature my Craig is...but he more than makes up for it in heart!!!!

 

Sand, huh? Hate the stuff, doesn't hold enough water or nutrients to grow grass on...what good's dirt if you can't support a sheep is what I say...

 

Bill Gary

Kensmuir, Working Stockdog Center

River Falls, WI

715.426.9877

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Sand! I understand! I'll swap use of our farm and sheep (Pepsi and Tess can experiment!) if someone will groom my dogs after the morning walk so that they can enter the house. We have sand, and loam, and lovely tall alfalfa that holds the morning dew so that dogs can run through it and THEN roll in the sandy lane. Of course, with both dairy cows and sheep, there are other substances to roll in, too!

I have several tri-colors, but by the end of our 2-mile morning walk, all the dogs are black, brown, and white (even the Great Pyrenees livestock guardian dogs).

In the U.K., is there a "standard" surface for agility courses, or does it vary from turf to sand to rubber matting indoors? Just curious! Do people in agility also do obedience or tracking or herding?

Nancy in Michigan (U.S.)

P.S. You can find trial locations and dates at the ISDS website. I lived in England for 18 months and regret not attending more trials during my stay. Your proximity to the top handlers and dogs has a lot of we folks in NA jealous! To us, used to commutes to work of 100 miles sometimes, the distance from Kent to the Highlands is minor!

Hope your sore arm heals quickly!

 

Nancy in Michigan, U.S.

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Guest Dynamite Tess

Hello Nancy

Angie, my trainer, and her dog Bosworth do agility. She also competes in Obedience, Dancing with Dogs and yes, a form of tracking. My brain has gone blank for the moment but the other trial she competes in consists of, a bit of obedience and a bit of jumping. Then it's scenting and a half an hour track where the dog has to find various articles on route. As they go through the levels of this particular trial, Bosworth gets to have letters after his name. His KC registered name is Touchandgo Supernova and his letters are CDEX. Very soon now he will be Touchandgo Supernova CDEX UDEX. I also do obedience. Another of our club members does Flyball,Agility and Obedience. Where I live most clubs hold their winter agility trials in the sand filled Equestrian Centre and usually have access to a field for spring and summer. Of course the Crufts agility, being run indoors has a different flooring altogether, a type of green baize matting.

I will check out that web site tomorrow. It's getting a bit late here now. Also PrairieFire thank you for your offer of help.

Goodnight everyone and sweet dreams. Regards, Val

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'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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Val, congrats on yours and Pepsi's recent accomplishments. I understand the pride you feel. Monty received his first qualifiying round in jumpers at a Trial in August. I am interested in how you progress from level to level. Here in Canada, you have to get three clear rounds(in a set amount of time)called qualifying rounds, in each event.(starters, jumpers, gamblers, team, and snooker), in order to move up to the next level(which is advanced, then masters, etcetera). Is it the same way in England? A bit off the topic, I find it amazing, how loyal these dogs are to you. I was at a trial in October, and he just wasnt himself. He wasnt paying attention, or showing any interest. I was getting more and more frustrated, and thought I should drop the Agility scene! A week and a half later, I found an abcess on his neck the size of a plum!!(after surgery, it turns out it was from 3 blades of spear grass) However at the trial, Monty still managed to get a first place in a starters round and a third place in jumpers!! How guilty I felt!!

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Guest Dynamite Tess

Heath

I haven't forgotten to answer your question, but to be honest I'm not 100% certain myself. I will check the facts and get back to this thread when I have them. Regards, Val

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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

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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

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Karen, thanks for the info. It sounds fairly similar to Canadian rules, but I have one question. When you say they must "win out of their class" by earning a 1st, 2nd or 3rd place, do the runs have to be clean (ie: no faults) or can they move up as long as it is a "winning" place run? I might not have been too clear earlier, but here, to move up to the next level you must achieve 3 clear rounds on a "standard starters"course. It doesn't matter if you get 3 clear rounds on any of the games or jumper courses(only later on you must achieve these as well)-those are basically bonuses in which you can earn a qualifying ribbon. Its the standard courses you must run clean. Our largest group would be in the "advanced" level, then the Masters level. These dogs are trying to become "Madd" dogs(Master Agility Dog of Canada), basically your group of 'the Big Boys'. There is one more level-very difficult to achieve-the Agility Trial Chmapion of Canada - I won't get into. Anyway, sorry to ramble on, but I find it very interesting and would love to be able to travel to differant countries with Monty, to play in their games. Is anyone in Australia seeing this that can add their rules? Thanks-Heather

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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

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