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Shandula

Stamina

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Hi everyone!

 

Hoping to pick the brains of more experienced Border Collie people! My BC is young (turned 2 in July) and I notice that she seems to have not stellar stamina when we are doing agility.

 

She's fairly lean (about 18" at the shoulder and about 34 pounds, I think she could lose a couple more, but she's not bad). I notice she seems to get tired after a couple of run throughs of jump grids/sequences. It isn't very hot and the jumps are fairly low.

 

I guess I'm just wondering if there is a good way to get her stamina up a little bit higher, some sort of conditioning program that someone knows of?

 

She has been evaluated by both my vet and a chiropractic vet who say she is in good health, and she doesn't collapse or anything, she just goes and lays down somewhere and pants.

 

Picture because I think she is so cute!

 

 

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Did your vet run a tic panel?

 

The first symptoms I see for tic borne diseases in our working dogs are loss of mental and physical stamina and the ineffectiveness of exercise to increase stamina

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Along with the physical suggestions above, how is her mental stamina? Young dogs can seem to run out of energy when their brains are taxed. If you take her hiking or other activities and she seems normal, perhaps it's her brain that is wearing her out and she just needs to mature some.

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Along with the physical suggestions above, how is her mental stamina? Young dogs can seem to run out of energy when their brains are taxed. If you take her hiking or other activities and she seems normal, perhaps it's her brain that is wearing her out and she just needs to mature some.

 

 

 

This is what I was going to say. Agility is *mentally* demanding and that can lead to, yeah, stress panting and needing a break. Maturity and allowing/encouraging a lot of play breaks and her to blown off some steam (throw a toy and have her/let her take a lap with it, or just let her decompress when she walks away and lays down) will do you a lot of good.

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Dear Doggers,

 

We ask these dogs to do their uttermost and are surprised when it exhausts them. In cool weather fit sheepdogs can work ten hours with brief respites. 8 minutes on the trial course wipes them out. Like Mark I'd advise a tick panel.

 

Donald

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I agree w/Cpt jack & Gloria ~ stress fatigue is a real possibility. Their suggestions are what I was thinking, too.

 

I'd start there, as it is the easiest and cheapest to do. If more frequent breaks, (include any silly games she likes, those work well for Gibbs) don't have any effect, then move into more specific medical evaluation.

 

All of my dogs have been affected by social stress. The different people and dogs that are around, (even if all dogs are crated,) the excitement of being at class if she really loves it or the stress of NOT liking it ~ those and other things really amp up the adrenalin and that can be very tiring.

 

Good luck, I hope it's something easy and you figure it out quickly!

 

Ruth & Gibbs

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I agree w/Cpt jack & Gloria ~ stress fatigue is a real possibility. Their suggestions are what I was thinking, too.

 

I'd start there, as it is the easiest and cheapest to do. If more frequent breaks, (include any silly games she likes, those work well for Gibbs) don't have any effect, then move into more specific medical evaluation.

 

All of my dogs have been affected by social stress. The different people and dogs that are around, (even if all dogs are crated,) the excitement of being at class if she really loves it or the stress of NOT liking it ~ those and other things really amp up the adrenalin and that can be very tiring.

 

Good luck, I hope it's something easy and you figure it out quickly!

 

Ruth & Gibbs

 

Yep. Molly can swim, hike, chase a toy, or train with me at home for roughly eternity. Agility is a really demanding environment for dogs. It's also high arousal, and is often paired with... how can I say this delicately? A handler who is not as clear as they might be, while also learning new things. So it's stacking a lot on the dog, that has nothing to do with physical fitness.

 

At 3 Molly, who is... more stressy than your average dog, can just about do about 15 minutes of work before she needs a break to run a lap around the large field, get a drink of water, or go roll around in the grass for a minute or so. Just about.

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Thank you so much for all your advice and suggestions!

 

She would train and shape/brain games forever, so I think maybe the combination of quite a physically demanding task + mental fatigue could be making her tired.

 

I also did some thinking and I'm realizing that she probably associates our backyard with more of a relaxed fetch/sniffing/relaxing zone, as well as her special toy is only in the backyard, so I was wondering if it becomes less about she's tired and more about having and getting her special toy. In class she can last for longer, probably due to excitement (she's very chill in her crate while waiting her turn).

 

I did a little experiment yesterday with my husband's help. We hid all the toys, took out crates, set up a little training sequence and ran it as a class. One dog out at a time, in and out on leash and noticed her stamina was WAY higher and she had way more drive to do the sequences, so perhaps the backyard is too chill an environment?

 

We did not do a tick panel, I could ask my vet, but I think he'd probably say it wasn't necessary. It is fairly warm where we are, so they are on flea and tick preventative all year long. Definitely something I could look into though!

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If I'm understanding this correctly and her tiring is occurring at a class or trial, then my interpretation of this is not that your backyard is too chill, but that the other environment is stressful for her and, as others have suggested, sapping her stamina.

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I think she's tiring out quicker 'at home'. I could also be misunderstanding.


Either way if she's specifically running off to lay down, you should also probably consider that it's avoidance behavior and the pressure of the other dogs/excitement of being in classes is what's keeping her in there.

 

Of course it really may just be that she's saying 'what do you mean we work here?!?!' but don't discount stress and avoidance. Especially since she's young and you're new. You can REALLY sour a dog fast on agility by pushing too hard and overdoing. It's got to be a game and they've got to find it fun. If they don't, you're setting yourself up for difficulty. I don't even know if that applies but it is very much something to watch out for.

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What I've learned and somehow need to keep learning is to stop BEFORE the dog does. Even if the dog seems fine.These are dogs who will run their pads to hamburger chasing a ball. Us humans need to put on the brakes because the dog can't.

 

My first bc did exactly the above ~ ran her paws to raw, bloody pulp while chasing a ball at a dog park. She showed no signs at all. She ran up to me and a friend said, 'did you notice the blood on her legs?'

 

Figure out a way to stop & take a good break very early. And do not accept that the dog is eager to get back to it. That's not reliable. It's very much a trial and error sort of thing, there are so many variables. Outside events, such as loud noises, too much activity/stimulation the day before, if the human is in a bad mood, etc. This is challenging, make no mistake.

 

Good luck!

 

Ruth & Gibbs

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Yeah, she tires out at home, not in class.

 

I feel like I should try to get some video of her doing sequences at home and also in class to compare. I personally don't see stress, but she's my first BC, so she could be showing it and I just don't see it.

 

We have class tonight, so I'll try to bring my husband as my personal videographer so you guys can see. :)

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