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SecretBC

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Everything posted by SecretBC

  1. I just went to YouTube to find a quick example -- This is an EGC run that uses gates & barrels. Again, appeals to some, not to others. I was totally fine with EGC being its own entity -- But I don't want it integrated into "regular" agility.
  2. Yes, this. And barrels will be replacing tightly curved tunnels because apparently dogs are "wiping out" in the "slippery tunnels" with such tight curves. Instead you will now direct your dog to wrap around a barrel. I'm sure it does appeal to some people. It just doesn't appeal to me.
  3. EGC is short for "Extreme Games Challenges" or something like that. EGC uses nothing but hoops, gates, tunnels and recently, barrels. There are no jumps, no contacts and no weave poles. It was Sharon's creation and has been kept separate from NADAC -- the awards are not combined and EGC classes are not held at regular trials (although some clubs have been hosting EGC trials the Friday before a traditional trial). It has scoring that I can't even begin to explain because I don't understand it -- I've never played and have no desire.
  4. For crying out loud. For anyone who occasionally does NADAC but doesn't have the time to keep up with the ever-changing rules.... Per Sharon on the list this morning: Yes, that would be another non-traditional agility obstacle that is going to be making its way into all regular NADAC trials (vs. EGC where the barrel saw its inception, along with gates). I always figured they would end up taking jumps away (we see more and more hoops these days), but never did I think the tunnels would start to disappear as well. It's a ground speed obstacle -- but apparently since their 9 yps dogs keep wiping out in tunnels, now they are bad and dangerous as well. When EGC was first introduced, I told everyone to wait and see -- eventually it would make its way into NADAC trials. Well, here we are. Last year people rioted against gates and Sharon said she would limit their use to EGC (and had a pretty big pouting fit about it, I might add). Competitor grumbling be damned, it sounds like barrels are coming whether you like it or not. Clubs are going to be so enthused about having more "specialized" equipment to purchase and store. People who train at home now have to worry about one more thing to budget into their agility life. I'm sorry, but I don't have the time, money nor inclination to even consider this. I've been moving away from NADAC recently as it is, but the day that the EGC equipment gets merged into normal trials is the day I stop completely. I wrote that to the list this morning, but surprise, my e-mail didn't get posted.
  5. lol That would, indeed, be why I'm pushing us to do these different types of drills these days. My giant book of NADAC courses is gathering dust.... I did worry the other day that our distance skills might start to go to pot from lack of practice... Considering that Kaiser needs 2 Chances for NATCH and Secret needs like 6, I probably shouldn't abandon that just yet... Need to find balance, I guess. Meh, not planning on a NADAC trial until the end of July. We'll have time. Meanwhile we have a USDAA trial on Memorial Day weekend, but just a day. With luck Secret will get her first title and get out of P1 Jumpers! I'm excited to get to the fun courses in Masters/P3.
  6. A friend of mine recently undertook the GIGANTIC project of going through all of her back issues, ripping out and categorizing the articles and drills. It turned out *so nice.* And it *so handy* to be able to thumb through a binder and find exactly what you need. I want to do it, I really do. But I think I would cry. lol But I mean really, are my piles and piles of magazines doing me much good in their current form?
  7. It looks like the Canadian subscription price is $60/year vs. $48 in the United States. Alternatively, they offer a digital subscription for $29.95/year. I've considered it as an option to save money, but there is something nice about holding the print edition in your hand... Maybe some day I'll switch over and just print out the exercises I want to use. Seems like it would make a lot more sense! http://www.cleanrun.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=category.display&category_ID=380
  8. Well drat, it wouldn't let me include Luke's video in that post.... Luke doesn't care for this type of stuff, though, and I don't make him. He's eight and has only ever done NADAC in his agility career, so I'll let him stay within his comfort zone. He has fun and that's what is important!
  9. I know we have a few relative newbies to agility on the board, so I just wanted to give a shout out to Clean Run for anyone who might not be aware of it. www.cleanrun.com Clean Run operates a Yahoo Group, an online store that sells any agility-related material imaginable, and the best resource of all -- their monthly magazine. As someone who trains alone at home, I find the magazine and the exercises contained within to be an invaluable resource. One of my favorite articles is the Backyard Dogs series. It contains drills that don't require a large amount of space to set (about 50' x 50') and fairly simple equipment needs (several jumps, a tunnel and weaves will typically suffice). I've dubbed this my year of the Backyard Dog and am making a point to work as many as I can from current and previous issues. A couple of nights ago I set up the drill from the most recent (May 2012) issue. We had lots of fun! I appreciate that these drills push me out of my comfort zone and get me to work on skills that I typically avoid when I set up the "same old same old" all the time. We're learning lots of great new stuff -- even Kaiser. Anyhow, just wanted to share this great resource for anyone who didn't know or might be on the fence about the pricey subscription fee. You can learn a lot with these drills and a video camera. I don't have lessons available in my area and this is the next best thing.
  10. Wow, please get to know pitties a bit better. Maybe then you'll lose the stereotype. They are wonderful dogs!
  11. This made me laugh. Have you looked into walking aids that might make life easier for your husband so that he will take Bennie for more walks? Something like an Easy-Walk harness or a Gentle Leader would probably help a lot, as they go a long way to discourage and prevent a dog from pulling. Maybe consider attending an obedience class together as a family (you, husband & Bennie) -- Not only is training together a bonding experience, but you could get lots of handy tips to help you deal with any issues you might be experiencing at home. Just be sure to shop around for a trainer who uses a positive/reward-based training method. Border Collies (heck, most dogs) don't do well with the old fashioned crank & spank trainers. Congrats, he's a cutie!
  12. Kibble size varies greatly amongst all the brands I rotate between. The only one of my dogs who has an issue with this is the little one -- he doesn't like the round flat shape of Natural Balance, but he deals with everything else well enough. For my two fast eaters I cover their kibble in water (it floats/sloshes around) to slow them down.
  13. Our second USDAA trial finally rolled around (our first that I posted about was back in February). It's official, we love USDAA! We did the whole weekend this time vs. one day -- and last time Secret only did Jumpers, Gamblers & PSJ, so lots of new stuff thrown at her this trial (we ran all of the P1 classes plus PSJ). I think doing both days went a long way towards helping both of my dogs (Kaiser played, too) get comfortable on the new equipment -- because by the second day they rocked. Coming from NADAC land, I love that the courses at even the Starters level give us more to think about. I've been getting so bored with NADAC for the past couple of years and the change is refreshing. Secret took Q/4 in Gamblers for her only Q of the day on Saturday. We had a table issue in Standard, a handler failure issue in PSJ and an obstacle-focus issue in Snooker. lol But she came back on Sunday to Q/1st in all three of her classes (Standard, Jumpers & Pairs). Yay, there is hope for us yet! This weekend was a test for Kaiser -- His luxating patella has been causing more problems lately, partially due to the arthritis that is setting in behind the slipping kneecap. I started him on Adequan a month ago to see if it would help, but not so much. I'll have to decide if it's in his best interest to continue on with USDAA. Our judge shared with us on Saturday (while Kaiser was getting measured) that there is discussion of changing height cut-offs and Kaiser, at 14", would just fall into the group that could run 8" Performance (what he runs in NADAC). He might hold back until that happens. I can never tell what is up with him -- I still think his jumping issue is largely stress and partly physical, because he jumps 12" (and 16" even) just fine at home. Oh well -- I'm happy that Secret seems to be just fine at 22"! I got video of everything but Snooker on Saturday -- Unfortunately nothing from our rockin' day on Sunday. But believe me, it was loads better. Full write-up including course maps are on my blog (link in signature) for anyone who might be interested.
  14. Shaping Success by Susan Garrett is a great read.
  15. They certainly can be, but not all of them are that way. My female, for example, wants nothing to do with most people and she's really not all that affectionate at all. A lot of border collies are very focused on their work and don't have time for all that love & fluff. Or maybe you are the center of their world when you have a ball, but other times not so much. Lots of dogs can be nice and fun and sweet. Dogs that have a lot fewer needs with regard to stimulation and exercise. The reasons you list, as the above poster noted, are not enough to jump head first into bc ownership. But again, do contact breed rescues and see about getting a sweet, mellow adult. That may fit your needs quite well. Just try not to be hung up on getting a "purebred" or a puppy.
  16. If you wish to have a border collie as your first dog, I would advise you to work with a good breed rescue to adopt an adult bc or mix with a known personality and temperament that will be compatible with your lifestyle. Adding a dog to your life is a big (but rewarding!) change. Jumping straight into a dog-centric lifestyle (which is required for many border collies and their people) can be a bit more than some people bargained for, which is why so many of them end up in rescue or shelters. I would try to spend more time with the breed before making your decision. BC personalities are very different than the Labradors and other service dogs you have likely been around. What, specifically, draws you to the border collie?
  17. As someone who works in a shelter, I can tell you that it is VERY STINKING HARD to correctly guess at the breed(s) of unknown puppies dumped on us. It's a guess and sometimes we guess right, sometimes we guess wrong. We've had a couple of wee ones come to us that we labeled as "labrador with some border collie thrown in there." Yet when those dogs grew up and we saw pictures or they came for a visit, they ended up looking almost completely border collie. This weekend a former adopter came by to do a dog meet with a new pup she was interested in -- the dog she adopted from us as a puppy was listed as a "collie/australian shepherd" mix. Uhh. In it's adult body it sure looked a lot like some sort of pit/lab mix. lol When you have no clue of the parentage, sometimes you just have to wait until they grow up a bit. My most recent foster puppy was guessed to be some sort of a border-staffy mix and I can see similarities between her and the OP puppy -- but again, they change *so much*. Even my known pure bc foster puppy from December is hardly recognizable anymore from the puppy he was when he was with me!
  18. The weaves are challenging for pretty much all teams starting out. They are by far the most unnatural thing we ask our dogs to do in agility. But with enough work and consistency, any dog can learn to weave independently of our position. It comes in handy -- such as when you have a dog that needs to have his dog walk contact babysat, so you have to leave him in the weaves to get into position for that. lol (video evidence below) Great advice given here for driving ahead -- but again, it's another one of those things that tends to get better with time, especially if you have a naturally "drivey" dog. They figure it out, to the point where you sometimes get a dog which is TOO obstacle focused and just keeps on blasting down the line when you've cued for a turn.
  19. Don't waste your money on a small bag (unless you are just "testing" a new food to see how your dog does on it, at least). It is so much cheaper to buy the large bag. Example -- Wellness core costs @ $32 for a 12 pound bag in my local store. The 26 pound bag goes for $56. If you purchased two 12 pound bags it would be $64 and you'd be getting two pounds less than if you purchased the big bag. Just do the math as you stand in the aisle -- I can see not wishing to buy a 30 pound bag of food if you have a Yorkie, but a medium sized dog will go through it in less than two months. For best keeping, store the food *in the original bag* inside an air tight container. My three dogs go through a large bag in about three weeks, so I dump it all into a Rubbermaid type bin in the garage.
  20. But be careful because if the puppy is like my most recent foster, it got to the point where if I said any sort of praise while she pee'd she would immediately stop peeing and run to me for a treat. lol Which is all fine and good until she pees inside 10 minutes later because she didn't empty herself outside. I quickly learned to not make any eye contact with her while she was going and to praise her as soon as she stopped. Girls, I tell ya! My boys always finish peeing before coming for their treat!
  21. PS: Puppies don't wait when they have to go. They don't wait for us to put on our shoes, they don't wait for us to grab a coat or umbrella. With a puppy in the house I keep a pair of slip on shoes by the door and if a coat is needed I grab it with one hand while carrying the puppy with the other and put it on once we get outside. Time is of the essence when you have a puppy that needs to pee.
  22. Potty training is not rocket science, but it does require a LOT of effort in the first few months. And typically, as soon as you relax and think, "Okay, my puppy is trained now," you will stop watching and there will be an accident in the house. Bottom line, potty training is more about training the human than the dog. You must learn the signs that the dog has to go and then take the dog outside. If the puppy is distracted outside, puppy stays on a leash. If puppy doesn't eliminate, you either watch puppy like a hawk in the house or you use a crate. Even if the puppy JUST went to the bathroom outside, puppies are notorious for going again rather soon -- so quite honestly you can't ever "relax" while a puppy in training is loose in the house. You must always pay attention, watch for signs (they all have them) and take puppy outside. Reward for potty outside, correct if you catch them in the act inside, hit yourself with a rolled up newspaper if you find it after the fact. You can be as lazy as you wish during potty training, but expect it to take much longer and to invest in a lot of carpet cleaner. My puppy routine: Wake up, go outside. Feed breakfast, go outside. If still awake in 30-60 minutes, go outside again. Hopefully the puppy naps.... Wakes up, go outside. Try to wear the puppy out so it sleeps -- go outside again. Repeat until dinner -- go outside. Hope puppy falls asleep on couch. Inevitably it will wake up; go outside. More couch, then one more trip outside before bed. We go outside A LOT when there is a puppy in the house. Bordering on ridiculous, perhaps, but they learn quickly and we don't have accidents in the house. If I am busy doing something and can't watch the puppy, the dogs are either outside or the puppy is in a crate. Puppies are also crated at night and I get up as needed to let them out.
  23. Lucky for you that frantic barking is pretty much expected in flyball. Dexter will fit right in.
  24. Which flavor of TOTW are you feeding? Protein source can make a huge difference from dog to dog. If your dog is not thriving on one particular protein source, it may be that trying a different flavor is key. I've heard several friends say that their dogs have horrid gas on the Prairie formula of TOTW, but are fine on others. I rotate my dogs' food with every bag so that their systems don't get overly sensitive to change (common when you feed the same thing over and over and over again). All of the flavors of TOTW are included in my rotation, as well as Wellness Core, Natural Balance LID and Blue Wilderness. Nature's Variety (I think I fed the chicken formula) was too rich for my crew and caused a bit of loose stool & gas, so I have avoided throwing that into my rotation again. With the others, I'm able to switch back and forth without a problem.
  25. I have no earthly idea what that woman is doing. She isn't changing arms at all, she starts with the dog on the left arm and picks it up with the left arm. She more or less is doing a completely pointless turn. I would have just used an RFP to get the dog's attention for the turn. But whatever that woman is doing, it is NOT a Ketschker. I'd like to see it not in slow motion to see if it makes any more sense. I doubt it.
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