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What's wrong with looking to get a more suitable dog when they look to add to their pack?

 

I guess from my viewpoint, I know people that have aquired dogs for the sole purpose of being more "competitive" in flyball, and these dogs are mostly crated when not actually flyballing. Like fulltime. One woman has 8 dogs, choosen for their breeding as flyball dogs, that when not training get cycled through an hour of outside time daily. and if one of the dogs doesn't perform, it's recycled for a newer faster one.

This probably isn't the norm, but does happen.

You also then see these people/teams leaving members out, or not allowing one of the handlers run their own dog because they can't manage a pass well enough, etc. Some members I know actually despise the team their on, but stay for the only reason of winning. to me, the fun has long since vanished.

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Definitely not the norm, even for the most competitive. Unfortunately a few bad apples give people the wrong impression of our sport, especially when those rarities are the ones who get talked about the most because they are so over the top. That happens in any sport/hobby.

 

I've run with 3 competitive clubs in two different regions (including regional champs), and none have kicked people off or shut people out for not being good enough. However, it is important to find a team with compatible goals, be it fun, titles or speed, so that everyone is happy. There are strictly "for fun" teams out there if that's your thing.

 

I see you're in Victoria Brad, what team are you on, if you don't mind me asking? I don't know many of the Region 7 people yet, having only been to a few tourneys out here so far, but I'm slowly learning. ;-)

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Laura,

Sigh. I see nothing wrong with getting a more suitable dog when they add to their pack. And I don't have a beef with folks who realize their dog isn't cut out for a sport and retire--two of my geriatric dogs are dogs who weren't able to make it to open in sheepdog trials. But I'd be willing to bet that there are plenty of excuses for moving a dog on (i.e., the dog isn't competitive, but there's some other reason named for rehoming). My two oldsters are still here.

 

And I'm sure you have fun competing, but like with any sport, those who are super competitive don't really have fun unless they're *winning.* So for me it is nice to know that there are plenty of people who don't care so much about winning, but just go out for the joy of it. The same goes for sheepdog trialing. I like to win, but that's not my main motivation for trialing.

 

FWIW, I like it no better when I see people with working dogs passing them on down the line simply because they couldn't *compete and win* with them. From my perspective, it's one thing to move a dog on because it doesn't fit in with the pack, doesn't mesh with the handler, or simply can't do the job (and from a working perspective the job is the actual work at home, not the trial, as far as I'm concerned), but quite another when the dog simply isn't a winner. It's obvious I have a different philosophy from many other folks in that regard, and if that comes across as too judgmental to you, I'm sorry, but the fact is that at least I'm judgemental across all venues and not just, say, flyball.

 

J.

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I see you're in Victoria Brad, what team are you on, if you don't mind me asking? I don't know many of the Region 7 people yet, having only been to a few tourneys out here so far, but I'm slowly learning. ;-)

 

We're a new team, Maximum Overdrive. It was created by two ex-members of Total Anarchy later last year. We work closely with Pawcific Storm, often mixing teams for open entries, sharing indoor training facilities, etc. The forth team in town is Rabid Racers, another fun team to hang out with (my GF runs with them).

We compete mostly in town and in Cloverdale, on the mainland. Are you competing in any upcoming tournies?

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Hey Brad, yeah we're coming up for the March U-Fli in Cloverdale. I'm on Unorthodogs (black & pink team). I'm the only one on the team with a smooth BC and I also have a cute red & white 5 month old puppy. Come say hi! :-) We're only running two teams, so if you guys need help, just shout.

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I know nothing about flyball other than it is a game played with dogs, and balls and involves a box that dogs push a button or something on to get it to launch a ball... I guess I knew there were some jumps involved also.

 

I am curious though... I am a Physical Therapy Assist by former trade and notice gait patterns...even when I don't really want to...

 

I seems the last dog had the most consistent gait and form. I am wondering if the others switching feet when they do jumps causes any troubles. Dog one switched feet coming down on the first jump, and sticks with that gait then. Dog 2 at the second jump switches from right to left landing. Dog 3 waits until the last jump and switches from left to right. I just sort of noticed and wondered if anyone else did, or if it even matters!

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Wow you have a really good eye Marty! Not knowing any of the dogs or how they run, it looks like the 2nd & 3rd dogs start on the right lead in order to pass the previous dog (one of whom really hogs the center). Then once passed, they switch to the left lead in order to turn left on the box. However, because of the camera position it was hard to tell, but appeared like the 3rd dog bobbled. Which way does your dog normally turn Zozo? The 4th dog had a late pass (maybe because of the 3rd dog's bobble), so didn't need to be on the right lead to pass. The first dog might just start on the right lead out of habit, especially if he's been taught to pass or might be racing the opposing dog or might be tired.

 

I don't think it affects (slows) dogs as much as horses since they're more flexible. Dogs regularly use a rotary gallop, moreso than I've seen horses do. It's not something we've ever worried about in training, so I don't think it really matters.

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So the way they turn from the box is something they are thinking of ahead of time, or is that all trained in with the "swimmer's turn"?

I was a little concerned about the wear and tear after watching, but thought the dog might be smart enough to switch it up to avoid overuse of particular joints ... but I know people physiology, and not dogs. It was very interesting reading about the way the pads wear.

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For the most part, we teach them to turn to their dominant side, so they'd likely be on that lead anyway and once they learn the turn they have to be on that lead going into the box in order to turn that way. Yes most dogs will prep for the turn well before it. I've seen some dogs who are very obvious about it. There are exceptions of course.

 

Leads are not something we really mess with though because it's usually not necessary, just let the dog figure out what works best for him. That's why I never really pay attention to them. It's not like horse racing, where the leads are switched on purpose for that extra oomph down the stretch. Although if a dog is tired, it might switch on its own. My dogs do that away from flyball, never paid attention if they do it in the lanes.

 

It is important with flyball dogs to work them to the other side to balance them out. We do this away from flyball though.

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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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FWIW, I like it no better when I see people with working dogs passing them on down the line simply because they couldn't *compete and win* with them. From my perspective, it's one thing to move a dog on because it doesn't fit in with the pack, doesn't mesh with the handler, or simply can't do the job (and from a working perspective the job is the actual work at home, not the trial, as far as I'm concerned), but quite another when the dog simply isn't a winner. It's obvious I have a different philosophy from many other folks in that regard, and if that comes across as too judgmental to you, I'm sorry, but the fact is that at least I'm judgemental across all venues and not just, say, flyball.

 

I pretty much sums up my point of view on the subject, as well.

 

I have to say, though, that most of my dog sport friends have one or more retiree's in their packs, and those dogs are happy and active pets and they aren't going anywhere. I know it happens, but I actually know nobody personally who has rehomed an older dog to make room for a young new sport prospect. And some of my dog sport friends are quite competitive. Most of us have too many dogs because we have a couple of older ones. I would not have adopted a fourth dog had I not seen that my others were all going to get old at the same time. Now I am very glad that I have a youngster even though I prefer to have three dogs.

 

One thing about the "play with the dog you have" idea that really gets to me is that people really do assume that I have Border Collies because I am into dog sports. What most of them don't know is that the dog I had when I got into it was a Border Collie. I never changed breeds. I'm not one of those people who would rather have a Husky (or whatever), but have Border Collies because they tend to be more "successful" at sports. But people make that assumption. I'm not saying anyone here does. In fact, here is one of the only places where I don't run into that sort of thinking.

 

I love venues like CPE Agility and WCFO Freestyle and APDT Rally where less competitive teams can be successful - at least at the lower levels - and teams who go out there and have fun is appreciated and supported. That's not to say that other venues don't foster that same attitude, those are the ones with which I am personally familiar.

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What irks me a bit is for some reason people think you have to stick with the breed you started with, or else you "sold out" or went to the "dark side." What gives anyone else the right to determine what breed of dog someone else should get? All we can do is educate someone to make an informed decision and support them in whatever choice they make.

 

A friend of mine has been very successful with her terrier and is top whatever in that breed. She has decided her next dog will be a BC because she wants a dog as competitive as she is, and guess what people, THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT. It's her choice and I'm 100% behind it.

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. She has decided her next dog will be a BC because she wants a dog as competitive as she is, and guess what people, THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT. It's her choice and I'm 100% behind it.

 

That's fine, and in fact how I ended up with a BC. I always wanted one, even before I knew dogs sports existed, the activities just sort of cinched it for me. My point was that I know people that get dog breeds they don't want, simply because it's faster than what they really would prefer.

case in point, our team constantly gets comments about one of us needing to buy a height dog. We reply that none of us really wants a breed that could be a height dog (the smallest we have is a coolie). We then hear that it doesn't matter, one of us HAS to get a small dog, because the team needs one and someone needs to make that scarifice in getting a dog they really don't want. Seriously?? I don't think so :rolleyes: Now these comments are presented in a light hearted joking manner, but not really.

But I do know people that have made this concession, getting a dog because it's a great potential flyball dog, not because they wanted a dog just like that. Not saying that they hate the dog, or don't treat it well, but it wouldn't have been their first choice if it weren't for the sport requirements...

Not sure if that's as bad as I feel it is, but for me, my dogs are my family, and those requirements come first. I'm all for getting a dog, from the breed you want, with the best potential, but the underlying theme should be that it's a dog you want. My new pup was picked from a litter bred for stock work, but I still wanted the dog for it's "pet ability". If for some reason BCs suddenly took second place in herding to a more capable breed (ya, right :D), I wouldn't try to "upgrade" to that better breed.

Am I making sense? Haven't had coffee yet :D

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She has decided her next dog will be a BC because she wants a dog as competitive as she is, and guess what people, THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT. It's her choice and I'm 100% behind it.

 

Yes, that's her choice. But it wasn't mine. And I don't appreciate it when people automatically assume that it was just because I have Border Collies and I'm involved with dog sports.

 

I do have to say that anyone who can deal with terriers can probably adjust nicely to a Border Collie! LOL!! Yes, I'm biased, but here I am taking for granted that I can be! :rolleyes::D :D

 

My friend and I laugh at that whole "dark side" thing. One of these days I am going to get a t-shirt printed with an almost entirely black image of Speedy (he is almost entirely black, so it works!) and a quote from Darth Vader and I'm going to wear it around Agility trials. Perhaps, "You are unwise to lower your defenses!" or "I find your lack of faith disturbing." or "I am your father".

 

It's part of the culture and it's not going anywhere. Might as well have fun with it!!

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Geez Brad, you wrote that at 11am, how late do you wake up and get coffee? lol I've had "height" dogs who brought the jumps down to 14" or 15". Luckily my teams since then have had terrier people.

 

We can go on all day about some of the rarer "bad" aspects of flyball, but I think this is where others who don't compete get the idea that these things are the norm, and they're not. The more unbelievable something sounds, the more likely it's not that common. After all, the mundane isn't such a juicy rumor, is it? ;-)

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lol, it's my day off, and I hung out in bed for a while with the gang. Ya, I don't mean to sound like it's the norm, in flyball or any other sport, just makes me shale my head when I do see it. Especially for me, although I'm fairly competitive, and like to run fast, I don't care about winning the T, and I have no idea how many points my dog has. I plan to retire form the sport one day still not knowing. :rolleyes: for me, it's a social activity for me, and a great way to spend quality time with my dogs, not about points or titles or reputations. although we're getting a rep for drinking afterwards....hmmm:)

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I go on vacation for a week and this thread morphed.

 

Summary highlights:

 

1. Picking a team that fits what you want in a club is key. I play NAFA and U-Fli but play with different clubs.

 

My NAFA club is FBI which hubby and I now run as the owner is not as much into flyball now. The majority of club is out for points/titles and being competitive in our individual divisions. I would prefer to field a fast team BUT we have many slower dogs on the club and we don't want to sacrifice the other dogs getting points.

 

In U-Fli I play with CIA which is more competitive overall. We field a fast team but also have enough fast dogs to field other teams that can get points.

 

I think by playing with 2 different clubs I can get my "fix" whether it is fun or competitive.

 

2. I started flyball because if my ACD. My next dog was a rescue bc/mix (RIP Charlotte). From there I went with a toy poodle, a borderjack and now a border collie. Yes I got the borderjack for flyball BUT my dogs are pets first and luckily he has been what I wanted and more so. If I had to retire him tomorrow he would still have a home here. My ACD will have to retire soon because of age. My BC is a freaky. She has many issues and after 4 yrs is starting to actually compete in tourneys on a regular basis and having fun. She may not be the fastest thing but still one of our faster dogs and getting faster every tourney as her confidence grows.

 

3. Rehoming dogs: If the dog does not "fit" because it just does not work out within the pack then rehoming is best for the dog. I know someone who has done this with her dogs. I also know someone who has rehomed dogs under the guise it is better for the dog but I really believe it is because the dogs is not working out in her plans for them. I don't agree with it but I will support the person. I mean my BC does not really fit into my house, she causes conflict and she is not a dog that competes really (she is getting there though). She is still my pet and she will always have a home unless things get much, much worse on the conflict side. This goes for all my dogs. If aggression starts and can't be controlled then one of them will have to be rehomed. Luckily if I have to do this my mother would take the dog. Rehoming is not all the common but does happen. I would rather see the dog rehomed to a more appropriate home than be left crated most of the day and not have much of a life.

 

Overall, I have fun in flyball but for me I enjoy the training aspect more than anything. I enjoy training and really don't care about running dogs in a tourney. I would prefer to actually find someone else to run my dogs :rolleyes: I want to attend tourneys and socialize and maybe have a couple drinks - haha

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