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SecretBC

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Everything posted by SecretBC

  1. You haven't seen ANYTHING. Go to a NADAC trial where there is a wrap at a hoop. A freaking WRAP. You would not *believe* the comments and grumbling made during the course walk. Comments like, "This is NADAC, we don't have wraps in NADAC" and other stupid stuff like that. I even heard comments like, "I've never trained for a wrap!" I wanted to smack those people. NADAC courses are boring as hell. Personally I was happy to see something new. God forbid....
  2. As pieces of European courses start to matriculate into the agility scene here in the states, we will see far more purpose in all of the "fancy handling moves" that Europeans have been using for years. Many moons ago folks in this country considered a front cross "fancy" and perhaps even unnecessary.
  3. In my experience, most people who work at chain pet stores know just enough to make them consider themselves experts -- When in actuality they are blooming idiots who don't know anything about dog behavior or psychology. And of course, PetSmart does not sell the Thundershirt, so why would the manager wish to promote it to you? Secret has one. It helped her a great deal -- to the point where we don't need to use it nearly as often because she doesn't get nearly as stressed as she used to. She's okay now if a storm rolls through at night when we're in bed (ie: she stays in bed), but I'll still put it on her for daytime storms (or fireworks) because that seems to bother her more. She is a bathroom hider, but she just curls into a ball by the shower.
  4. I don't use them on Kaiser because he's a sneaky little turd that will take off to grab obstacles if I take my eyes off him. I use them sparingly on Luke, although with him I use more distance handling than anything. Secret is not the type to deviate off course in the flash of an eye and they seem to work quite well for keeping up her drive and motivation. I don't tend to use them in areas where an off course is highly probable, but simply as a way to give my knees a break if a front cross feels a little tight.
  5. I went two years never doing a front cross at a trial and would fight like hell when my agility trainer pushed me to do them in class. I swore it couldn't be done. Luke was a big fast dog and I didn't know what I was doing. Then time passes and you learn to handle better. You figure out how to stay ahead of your dog and cue properly. Now I handle almost exclusively with front and blind crosses. It's all part of learning the game.
  6. Is her chewing habit a symptom that she's bored/frustrated? Is she taking out her excess energy on objects around her? Maybe she needs more exercise? More mental stimulation? Otherwise, my plan of action is to have a house full of appropriate chew items and nothing else. I have antlers, Nylabones and recreational bones available in my house at all times. Now that everyone is grown up they don't get used all that much -- until a foster puppy comes through and suddenly everything belongs to Secret again and she has a desperate need to chew on all of them at the same time so the puppy can't have one....
  7. I have no idea where all of these aggressive dogs are, either. I see a lot of stupid, naive handlers who can't read dog body language, but I see very few (if any, really) truly aggressive behavior from dogs. I see appropriate reactions to rude dogs who barge into another dog's space due to handlers who are completely vacant. I see handlers who obsess over keeping their socially inept dogs away from other dogs. I see dogs that throw off such spastic, frantic energy (think: young untrained Labradors....) that they set off the dogs around them when walking through the crating area. But aggression? No, just stupid people. It's an irritant of mine from competing in NADAC, where "safety" is taken to the extreme. Because people are apparently completely incapable of being accountable for anything, NADAC has oodles of stupid rules to keep everyone safe from themselves. They say it's an insurance thing due to the high number of incidences of aggression in dog agility, which I find ridiculous. There are people bringing untrained, unmannerly dogs to trials, but I wouldn't peg them as aggressive. Just annoying.
  8. Secret has a Thundershirt. She retreats to the bathroom if she feels the need and I've learned that she's better off staying there until she feels ready to come out. Forcing her to be in the living room with us doesn't make things better -- although when she's wearing her Thundershirt she'll usually come out on her own eventually. Thankfully this merciless heatwave we are experiencing at the moment means the house is shut up tight with the air conditioning running. I do not attend local fireworks shows because I stay home with the dogs to make sure they don't lose it. Now that we have a dog door, I expect Kaiser to go outside to watch. He's odd. He has never been bothered by any sort of noise.
  9. Go for both rounds of Regular. Round two is just a reversal of round one -- and usually it runs better in one direction than the other, so it helps to take two shots at it. Most dogs find NADAC Jumpers courses to be very motivating with their soft flowing lines. There isn't the stress of weaves or contacts, so most green dogs excel there. I'd try it at least one of the days, although numbered Hoopers would be similar for a dog who likes hoops.
  10. It's not a breed thing, it's more of a "this is how I was raised" thing. Personally, I would never dream of feeding only one meal a day. It is not an inconvenience to me to feed my dogs twice a day. Puppies get fed three times a day. My dogs eat on my schedule. Breakfast can be anywhere from 3:30 a.m. (if we are driving to an away trial) to 8:00 a.m. and dinner can be as early as 4:30 or as late as 10:00 p.m. They deal.
  11. Great in theory, but I learned the hard way that this creates a giant mess if you have a dog that likes to chew on plastic. Of course this was discovered after most of the ice had melted and my entire crating area was flooded. I have both a ChillyBuddy for Kaiser and a Cool Coat for Luke (Secret wasn't around yet when I bought them and I haven't gotten one for her yet because I don't trial outdoors much anymore). Hands down I feel the ChillyBuddy is a superior product, but they are expensive in the larger sizes and because of that I feel the Cool Coat does just fine. I would say that Kaiser tends to feel cooler than Luke, though, and that the ChillyBuddy retains its evaporative cooling effect longer. Most outdoor trials in this area have pools and/or hoses available to cool your dog off throughout the day. I used to go to one trial that was located next to the river and that was wonderful! Until the whole town flooded one year and we no longer have trials there. Now I am poor and choose to spend my limited trialing funds in the comfort of climate controlled facilities.
  12. Have to agree with that. I am exhausted after working with Secret (our training sessions are under 10 minutes) because of all of the cheerleading, tugging & playing I do to keep her up. I also put on more miles with her because she does best when I stay ahead and near to her. My small dog is my fastest dog (especially when you compare leg length) and I am rarely winded with him. He requires no effort and I am able to use more distance with him without sacrificing speed. Fast dogs are a lot less work!! They come with their own quirks (Kaiser has a lot....), but overall they are less tiring. You may have to hustle on course with a fast dog, but you'll be on the course a good 10 seconds or more less than the person losing their breath cheering on their slow dog. This was all glaringly obvious to me on the first course at NADAC Champs in 2011 -- It was 40 obstacles long and everyone was moaning and groaning. I (not a fit person, by the way) got through it easy-peasy with Kaiser and didn't understand what all the fuss was about. I could have used an oxygen tank when I got off the course with Secret.
  13. Looking forward to an update! Fun-raisers are their own little world -- Very relaxed and low key. I would assume that most fun-raisers would be running the numbered Hoopers these days (essentially Jumpers with Hoops), but I suppose there could always be exceptions. Hoopers counts for nothing unless you get your Superior titles in all levels and go for the All Around. Because of that, I find myself not entering it ($$) but my boys love it. I'm debating letting Kaiser do it at our next trial to finish up his Open title. He got the Q's he needed to do Champs in 2011 and we haven't ran it since. Hope we get video!
  14. If she is otherwise trustworthy when you are away, a simple baby gate can block access from going upstairs. I agree that the indoor urinating is likely due to anxiety of being away from you, in which case crates certainly can make them feel more safe & secure. Train the dogs separately. A quick fix for walking would be something like the Easy Walk harness or a head halter. The first place to start is a beginner obedience class. From there your options are endless -- You can continue on with obedience, get into something like rally, or maybe decide to play in a sport like agility or flyball. If you find a good training school that offers all of these things you can start at the beginning and work your way up. At seven months old, be careful with your frisbee play. A dog that young should not be jumping up to catch flying discs. It does kind of sound like you haven't installed any boundaries for your young dog, so now is a good time to start.
  15. I wouldn't punish Dusty, but I'd correct the behavior and redirect him into doing something more positive. I don't allow humping in my house.
  16. In places where they actually have ABC classes, the Kelpie seems to be the overwhelming dog of choice in the large dog classes. And yes, there have been jokes that soon they will have to make an "anything but Kelpie" class. Maybe they should just break the divisions by what YPS each dog averages. Then my slow border collie would stand a chance. The only reason it's a big deal is because in Europe they used to require *wins* to advance to the next level. Other breeds couldn't beat the border collies, so they separated the BC into their own division to give the other dogs a chance to get their wins to move up. The Kennel Club has started a new program that allows people to move up based on points vs. wins, I guess, so it's not quite the issue that it used to be. In the United States it's not required that you win ANYTHING to move up or get any big awards (you could argue the case of the Super Q's in Snooker for USDAA, but even "slow" dogs can get those) ---- So I really don't ever see ABC classes or divisions happening here.
  17. Well, to be fair, some of the more obscure breeds out there doing agility are a LOT of work. If you love agility and keep plugging away with some of them, it's because you LOVE that breed. Let's just take hounds for example. The majority of hounds are exceptionally difficult to train/trial because it goes against everything they were bred to do. There is no doubt that the average hound owner would have a much "easier" time if they chose to do agility with a breed more suited for working *with* humans vs. independently and following their nose. But because they happen to love living with that breed AND they enjoy doing agility, they keep plugging away. This is not to say that owners of border collies don't have their own struggles, but people who own off breeds are often blind to this and see BC as "easy" dogs to train. I run an off breed -- It doesn't get more off than an Alaskan Klee Kai. Kaiser is a quirky little Northern breed and has all of the personality quirks and training difficulties that come with it. It is only due to my stubborn nature that he turned into the nice agility dog that he is today -- I couldn't even keep him in the ring the first year and I kept plugging away. Note that my next dog wasn't a Klee Kai, though. I may one day, but to me agility was more important than the breed. For some people it's the other way around.
  18. I clickered the snot out of Secret starting her second day with me. She was my first border collie and I'd seen about a million YouTube videos of awesome tricks these dogs could do, so it was my goal to turn Secret into one of those way cool trick dogs and play with that until she was old enough to do agility. Hindsight being what it is, I wish I would have spent more time playing with her. Installing toy drive vs. building her natural food drive higher. She is a very, very, very thoughtful dog and internalizes a lot. Had I known better, I would have tried to bring out her wild side earlier. Now, I know a LOT of dogs who had extensive early clicker/trick work and they are the driviest dogs on the planet. With the next puppy I will simply try to be more mindful of these characteristics and focus more on goofy play vs. structured training time. And I will use food rewards as little as possible. The nice bonus of all the clicker/trick work that I did is that I'm able to use those tricks to build her up at trials now and get her to stop stressing about everything. Still would prefer she tug, though.
  19. Weird... While you can't find any sort of actual contact information on their website, if you look up the business it shows the IP address is based out of Australia. Have they set up shop in Australia to avoid US commerce law but distribute from US warehouses? No other way they could advertise their $3.99 shipping. This is not a company I would support. Especially if what you posted (grammar and spelling errors) is copied and pasted from their reply to you.
  20. My last two trials were in New Berlin, WI. I am tossing around the idea of going to the Regionals in Chicago. Both kids could run PSJ on Saturday and then do the Starters/Advanced classes on Sunday. Too broke to go three days and run Team. ;o)
  21. Which of the regulations do you not agree with? Requiring crates during all forms of travel may prove cumbersome for those who aren't used to doing so, but one can't deny it is certainly in the best interest of the dogs to be contained safely. The rest of it is almost identical to what we have going on in Wisconsin. It's pretty standard, basic care. And again, if one isn't already providing these basic necessities in their home then the animals are receiving substandard care. If one fears they could not pass inspection, perhaps there is something amiss with one's animal husbandry practices. It doesn't require individual kennels. Compatible dogs may be grouped together in groups of up to 12 adults. There is no reason to believe that a personal dwelling would not be considered "adequate housing" for dogs of this number. The average person has nothing to be concerned about. The commercial breeders do, as they are least likely to meet the space and exercise requirements.
  22. I realize I'm being nitpicky, but if you NEVER breed any of your intact females, you are NOT subject to a seller's license. You are subject to your local municipality's kennel & licensing laws, but the proposed legislation only applies to sellers of animals. If it's allowed in your area you could have 10 bitches and not worry about this legislation if you never breed them and produce puppies. Just saying.
  23. The 25 page document posted above clearly states repeatedly that none of this proposed legislation affects anyone with four or fewer breeding females. If you have four or fewer breeding females, you are welcome to fly your puppy 5000 miles around the world without being subject to legislation.
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