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Kat's Dogs

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    Washington State
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    working dogs, behavior analysis, and veterinary medicine

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  1. Keep in mind that the above message is merely recruiting agility dogs; it is not a comprehensive discussion of the study’s design and analysis (and neither is this message!). You are correct – we are limited in how we can interpret some of the data we are collecting. However, the initial and still primary focus of this project is return to athletic performance after digit amputation in agility dogs, for which each dog serves as their own control. The amputation aspect of the study is far more extensive: we are collecting performance and veterinary records from these dogs in addition to the owner survey. The entire survey is 30 pages with over 100 questions; agility dogs with non-agility related problems that were NOT treated with amputation will only complete 3 of those pages. We opened the survey to owners of agility dogs with any type of toe problem to collect data characterizing all digital problems in agility dogs, which is valuable information for both agility competitors and veterinarians. Beyond the characterization of problems, we also hope to identify potential risk factors for agility-related injuries related to equipment and performance variations. The present study is designed as pilot research in this area (i.e., this study is limited in funding, time-frame, and scope but will significantly help focus future research efforts). As simba noted, this study does not intend to compare agility dogs to non-agility dogs, although if desired we can easily collect those controls from veterinary records in a retrospective manner. Katherine
  2. Hey agility folk! If you have/had an agility dog who has ever experienced any type of toe problem then you are probably eligible to participate in this research study. The study is designed to 1) identify potential risk factors for injuries, and 2) analyze the return to athletic performance of dogs who had one or more toes amputated for any reason. The goal of this research is to provide agility enthusiasts with information about common toe problems in the sport and to provide veterinarians (and dog owners!) with information to assist with decision-making in amputation situations. Your dog will not be examined if you participate. All agility dogs are eligible, regardless of whether the injury/problem occurred during agility or whether the dog returned to agility after recovery. All types of toe problems (injury, disease, infection, tumor, etc.) are eligible. For additional information you can visit the webpage here: Clinical Studies at the College of Veterinary Medicine If your dog is eligible, the online survey can be found here: Agility Dog Toe Problem Survey. The questionnaire takes approximately 3-5 minutes to complete for dogs who were not treated with an amputation, and 15 minutes to complete for dogs who had one or more toes amputated. Feel free to pass this information along to your contacts and let me know if you have any questions (by posting here, PM, or via email at kmartucci@vetmed.wsu.edu). And for good measure, here's a recent picture of Dazzle (who is still competing and doing well, although she is nearly deaf now) for those who remember her. Thanks!
  3. When Daz was a pup, must have been about 5 months, she took a misstep and fell in a lake. I could see her squirming around under the surface of the water, unable to figure out which way was up. I remember seeing her under the water and thinking "My puppy can't swim, my puppy is going to drown. here. now. today". It felt like it took me awhile to react but according to others I didn't even take time to put my camera down, I just jumped right in after her. Obviously, she was fine. Although I think it may have caused some of her swimming troubles later on... Popcorn, my little old dog, seems to have close calls every other day. I swear this dog is invincible. If she was a cat and had nine lives, she still should have been dead about 5 years ago. She was in a loft bed once (about 8' up) and all of a sudden she slipped and fell - despite her lack of flying skills, as soon as she landed she got right up and walked off. She once ate a couple of huge dark chocolate candy bars (remember she is only 10 pounds) and didn't even get an upset stomach. She somehow ate an entire jumbo container of hot chocolate mix. She nearly got run over, twice, when she bolted out the door one day. She has climbed up all kind of different shelving units and fallen off from various heights. She has been inside the mouth of a German Shepherd that attacked her - one tooth went all the way through her muzzle including her tongue.... And that is just a partial list. Yikes, I think I'll stop thinking about all her near-death expiriences now.
  4. Wow what a awesome pup you have, I voted for her, way to go and good luck to you both , that dog is amazing and so cute

  5. HEY! Now wait a minute, Woo was in a TV commercial wasn't he?!? That's something.
  6. Agility and Disc competitively. We also do Rally-O and some Competition Obedience for fun.
  7. Perhaps try a no-pull harness. That might work not only for the walking but if you want to get her attention too. Bottom line, as Liz was pretty much saying, is that it is time to step up the training. Both focus and the walking on a loose lead should be trained IMO rather than constantly managed with collar-popping or special training collars (like martingales, prongs, gentle leaders, or harnesses). A little time, a flat buckle collar, some positive reinforcement, and possibly the help of clicker or marker word can go a long ways... For working on attention around those kinds of distractions maybe try figuring out just how close she can get before you loose her attention, then start the training a little farther back than that and give her lots of praise for staying focused on you. Next time try to go just a little closer, again giving a lot of praise for focusing on you. And so on and so forth.... If she won't focus on you, just walk away and try again a little later and stay a little farther back from the distraction so she can be successful. Using a method like this is letting her CHOOSE to stay focused on you and ignore the distraction so in the long run you end up with a dog that WANTS to stay focused and ignore distractions. On the other hand if you just use a training collar she might learn that she needs to focus on you, but she would probably still rather go investigate more "fun" things.
  8. Rolled leather collars. Flat leather collars I do not like. I like how thin the rolled ones are and how easy they are on ruff fur. Especially for my little fluffy-dogs that mat easily, flat collars just don't do it for them. I also like my thin (they are sometimes called the "shoelace") leather leads. I find bulky leashes annoying, so I tried to get the thinnest, lightest ones possible - and those were the leather ones. Both the collars and the leads are about 2 1/2 years old and still in great shape - especially considering the abuse I put them through.
  9. That is great Sophie!! He did super! Especially for his first time out. An absolutely wonderful job you have done with him. I can't wait to hear more about his future adventures!
  10. Congratulations! The first Qs are always special. Plus him being able to work after fireworks go off - that is pretty impressive! Way to go Dean! Dazzle's first Q was also a Tunnelers - it is definitely her hands down (paws down?) favorite agility game .
  11. I use Photoshop CS2. I open all the files I want to use and just copy and paste them into a single document, then have a different layer for each photo and each background element to play with.
  12. Dazzle cleans up her toys. I shaped it with the clicker. I started with just a box and got her to reach in and touch her nose to the bottom of the box. Then I did another session with just shaping her to pick up a toy. Then I had both the toy and the box in front of me and shaped her to put the two behaviors together! I found that doing the nose-touch in the box first made for a more accurate drop then other methods I experimented with later. Now she is happy to clean up her toys but she doesn't really get that they should stay in the basket so within another 10 minutes they are all over the floor again. At least it gives her something to do: clean them up, take them out, clean them up, take them out...
  13. I found out (the hard way) that Dazzle didn't know how to swim when she fell in a lake as a pup. Many dogs just "know" (both of our Shih-Tzus could always swim just fine if you put them in the water). Daz on the other hand....she would always go out until as far as she could while keeping her paws on the ground, and if a ball was just out of reach she would even stand on her hind legs in the water to go father (I actually have pictures of it) - but she would NOT swim and didn't seem to know how. This past Thursday we went to the beach and I went out in the water with her, supporting her body and helping her out a bit to stay afloat and after about an hour of on and off practice she finally figured out how to swim. Then with some more ball tossing she started perfecting her technique (less paw slapping!). It took awhile for her to get the idea though. Maybe she's just weird, I don't know.
  14. This is what we do when we are bored. We also do stuff like hide and seek, finding toys by name ("go get your ____"), chewing kongs (or other interactive toys), agility, frisbee, get her to pose for pictures, etc...
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