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    Foothill Ranch, CA

ZoZo's Achievements


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  1. I've been working with my BC Jinx for three years to get him out of his box slamming tendencies. I've never seen a dog that had this problem as seriously as he did, he could be very reckless at times. He's very fast and he gets pretty excited. As mentioned by others, props and good use of them are essential. You should always use them in training. With help from a great trainer in our club, we've finally seemed to have found a combination of things that has helped turned the tide and is finally paying off in a good, safe turn. Lots of close box every week has been essential (he's always been great up close, it was the full runs where he fell apart) as well as lots of practice at different distances. At practice we keep changing the distance so he can't predict where he will be next, starting up close and working back and up again. This has helped keep the good turn up close becoming the good turn further back. Jinx uses an 10 inch practice jump 12 inches from the box with a three white plastic rain gutters ducted taped together and alternating black tape wrapped around it diagonally to resemble a sort of warning sign (which sits right in front of the practice jump). It's been a long, haul. At times, I wasn't sure if he'd ever really get it, but it's finally all coming together- he was in a tournament a couple weeks ago and ran like a Swiss watch all weekend. It was a great feeling to see him do so well.
  2. Like low quality human foods, salt is added in large amounts to increase "flavor" and is also helpful as preservative. Often listed as sodium chloride. My understanding is that there is plenty of salt to go around in non-processed foods for humans and animals and that large amounts are not really desirable.
  3. A small stun baton is a great idea, the noise alone is scary enough to deter most!
  4. I found the barking at flyball tournaments very disconcerting at first, now there is a whole part of my brain that pretty much ignores it. Sometimes I put in ear plugs. Almost all the tournaments we go to are outdoors and that is much better than indoors. I would never encouraged my dogs to bark, I always try and keep them as quiet as possible when they are crated at tournaments right up until the race is starting, but all that barking just comes with the sport- my dogs absolutely love flyball to bits, they love to race other dogs, they love to tug and they go bonkers thinking about it. The very idea that they will be racing or even practicing, gets them incredibly excited. If we're at home and I say "hey, who wants to do some box work?" They almost mug me trying to get to the door and be the first one outside. When we take them to practice, they start barking a block before we pull into the parking area. Obviously, if your dog is super excited, they will be running faster and be driving more than a dog that's indifferent or otherwise not very engaged with what's going on. Anyway, some of the handlers that scream are really much more annoying than the dogs.
  5. We've also had good luck with vrbo.com in finding a place to stay. We took our first real dog vacation a couple weeks ago and had a great time. It took me a while to find the perfect place in the location we wanted, where they are actually pet friendly as opposed to pets allowed with hefty fees (I hate that). We ended up at a small cabin in the woods near Lake Tahoe, CA. The owners were quite happy that we were bringing our two dogs and it cost less than most hotels in the area (most of which had a one dog policy, grrr). A fun adventure, the dogs didn't even mind the 9 hour drive each way. Jinx ponders the sublime beauty and serenity of the lake-
  6. We have a border collie on our club that does this as well that already has 3 years of tournament experience. She will spin occasionally, stop, look at her owner, sometimes go and complete the run, sometimes not. She is not a habitual spinner, that can be dangerous and I'm not sure if that can be fixed. That is a tough problem and will take effort from everyone to help mitigate. Every dog is different within this specific problem, so your team will need to experiment. Here's what we've done- in practice we tried another handler to run her to see if anything changed (that didn't help at all). We tried getting the owner/handler to hold the dog differently before starting (if she held the dog tighter to her body, it actually seemed to keep her dog focused better). We tried various positions for the dog to run- this particular BC seemed to engage better when she knew she was racing a specific dog, that is, if she was back in the line up, she was usually not racing a specific dog any longer and seemed to go haywire and spin more often. Having her run in first or second position helped and she tended to have fewer meltdowns at tournaments. Most importantly, we've also started to pull her immediately in a race (or practice) if she started to spin and put her in a crate that we have ready right outside the ring. Our back up dog ready to go in at the instant. The idea is to never reinforce the unwanted behavior. They do it right or the fun is over. We're still working on it, but she is getting much better and having way fewer meltdowns. The handler is also doing a better job of getting the dog excited too. The dog seems excited to us, but the handler can sense when her dog sort of hits a wall and looses some of her drive, it can happen quickly with her. It seems weird to me that this happens, as she is otherwise a 100% ready to go crazy and have fun border collie, but it does. A little extra fun tuggie play before the race is helping a lot. As I see it, there are very subtle triggers that cause this dog to spin. You need work through it all, find the triggers and replace them with other cues to keep the dog focused. Keep up the box work with this dog, five or ten minutes of box work a few times a week will make a big different over time and what dog doesn't need a better box turn? Some dogs just need to do it a bazillion times before it sinks in.
  7. One of my dogs had a bad experience with the Lyme vaccine booster shot a few months ago. Both of them got the booster shot at the same time on a Saturday afternoon- Jinx was fine, he had no issues, but Zoey became very lethargic, almost lame by the evening (I had to carry her up and down the stairs) and remained that way until Monday morning. I was worried, but she was still eating and drinking normally, so I figured she would be ok. She seemed completely back to her old self when Monday rolled around with no issues, but I would never give that to either of them again.
  8. They do seem know when the time is near. Zoey knew a week ahead when our old cat, Angie, was getting ready to go. They never, ever socialized before, but a week before Angie died, Zoey just walked up to her, looked at her for a moment, layed down and started to lick the cats fur. She did that everyday for a couple of hours. The cat started to follow Zoey around everywhere. They never liked each other at all before, but Zoey became her very best buddy in her last days.
  9. Yes, complicated is the word. I am astonished at how much more complicated and complex flyball is than I first perceived it was a couple years ago when we started. Flyball training today is different than in years past and getting a good start with the right techniques will be a huge benefit to you and your dog. If you train incorrectly or not enough or spend too much time in one step or not enough time in another step, you may need to spend a considerable amount of time later to undo and retrain (with no guarantee that you will be successful). When some dogs get into a bad pattern (such as a bad box turn), it may be very difficult for the dog to do the correct thing in the ring later. Every dog learns at a different pace. Every dog in our club seems to have a different problem and it really takes a team effort to try and overcome those issues. Finding a good flyball team to get started with is essential. It's a team sport and you really do need the advice and support they offer.
  10. I believe food grade Diatomaceous Earth will get rid of dust mites.
  11. Looks like it's not available yet. The side bar in the link says "coming soon". Their web site says it's still in the approval process.
  12. They do seem very different to me. I have met several very nice Aussies, but I have seen more than a few Aussies in flyball, some previously in my club, that were extremely hard-headed. They often have significant issues in passing where they do not move to one side and allow the other dog to go by and also tend to want to go after particular dogs for no reason. But maybe that's just because all the nutter Aussies end up in flyball? To me, in general, they don't seem extremely eager to want to please their owner all that much. At practice, the Border Collies are usually focused on their owners with adoring glances while the Aussies look to be planning their escape.
  13. Your dogs have great turns! Tempe is nice and high on the box, good job! Flyball can be a wonderful sport for building confidence in a dog. Our over-doer, Jinx has really come a long way since we got him a couple years ago, it's so neat to see how they can blossom.
  14. From what I've seen, those are custom designed & manufactured by the people selling them. As they are sold in such small numbers, I would think it's unlikely you'll find detailed plans floating around for those.
  15. Zoey often crosses her front legs right before we start, it's just some thing that she does, no idea where that comes from. People do notice it from time to time and think it's funny. I was surprised to see that going on while she runs in this slow motion video as I've never noticed that before. I don't think it matters at all. Zoey turns right on the box and she did seem have a bobble on that heat, but not sure. The forth dog is Mia, the Aussie. Her owner was holding her up on the passes as she's a bit of a lane hog (I've noticed a lot of Aussies in Flyball have this trait). In another heat with a close pass, she did push Zoey out of the lane entirely and I had to rerun her. It's amazing how many things can go wrong in flyball. This tournament was a little strange as we ran an untried line up. Zoey and Mia had never passed each other before and we had not done any practice with these two dogs passing together (grrr). Not the recommended way to go into a tournament, but we had to deal with what we had. All we could do was hold up Mia slightly and run as clean as possible. As is turned out, that worked out well- our team came in first place in our division Saturday and Sunday!
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