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Wow, that was pretty brutal. It makes me sad, in a way, that people would so abuse the dog's willingness to work for them by putting them in such dangerous situations for no real important purpose....like you said...for a ribbon or something.

 

Looking at the stresses put on those dog's bodies makes me cringe.

 

Cindy in FL

 

 

 

What the h*** would any dog owner be thinking running a dog on this kind of course :rolleyes: Are they THAT desperate for a ribbon and a title!? I wonder how many handlers ended up seeing a doctor along with their dogs after this ordeal.

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I don't understand how the officials even allowed the competition to continue! In flyball we couldn't even run if the grass was slightly wet! A couple of times we were out on the grass with towels and trying to dry off the course, but if it wasn't dry, we delayed. Geesh!!! :rolleyes:

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I am often quite uncomfortable with competitions - too many people lose sight of common sense and/or too much emphasis is placed on winning that sportsmanship and care of one's animals (or self) are disregarded. Too bad those dogs have so much drive that they are pushing on in spite of unsafe conditions. Too bad those people have so much drive that they are pushing their dogs (and themselves) on in spite of unsafe conditions. You would think the governing body and/or trial committee would have stepped in and stopped the competition, wouldn't you?

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I'm sure I'll get slammed for this one, but it doesn't look all that bad to me. Look at the runs in FORWARD. Sure it's muddy and slippery, but mud is fairly soft. I've had dogs WORKING, in conditions that were much worse than this, mainly because we had to get a job done. The worst I saw was the girl that tripped over the dog, does this never happen when it's dry? Do you actually think that agility indoors on a floor is less hard on the dog?

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I did watch it in forward - I just felt the slippery conditions (for the dogs) should have been avoided. I think the people, overall, had more problems with slipping and falling, but I think it was pushing it to pursue ribbons with that amount of slickness.

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No flaiming here. The dogs do seem to be enjoying most of it, but if they are like my guys, would die before quitting what they are doing what they love. It's the handlers responsibility to decide when to say when. I think this was a little much.

 

Here is the forward version

I still don't think it's safe. This is how you pull tendons, twist knees, blow ACL's and kill a dog's confidence. My dogs are high drive and will go to the ends of the earth for me, but I can guarentee if either of them slammed into a jump hard enough to pull the whole thing down on them, they wouldn't go near it again. I don't see how the risk out weighs the win. I've run on wet turf a couple of times and have taken the whole thing with super caution. If the ring had looked like this one before stepping onto it, i never would have done it.

 

My pockets aren't deep enough for the kind of vet bills and possible retraining this might have caused.

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I think that at a regular competition, it would be canceled, but as this was the European Open, it's not as though the event could be rescheduled or anything. I understand they did not expect the rain and were trying hard to keep up with the mud by putting down sand, but it was kind of a lost cause.

 

I would say that for me, no, I wouldn't run my dogs in it myself - the footing looked pretty scary for dog and handler. I didn't travel for hours or days to get to it either though, after working my ass off to qualify for it all year. I must also say though, that some really amazing runs were laid down, despite the footing, and without injury to dog or handler. I also refrain from passing too much judgment, since I wasn't there. Also, I ran in a thunderstorm two weekends ago, and I never thought I'd do that either.

 

Yes, people do trip over their dogs and dogs do fall down / crash even on perfectly good surfaces. Remember Susan Garrett's dog Buzz and some of his crazy crashes? (Start at minute 4:50 in the video:

).

 

When I see things like how many horses die each year at the Calgary Stampede and it seems that a certain number of animal deaths is "acceptable" at that event, this muddy course doesn't seem *too* terrible to me, but I also suspect that out of fear for my own lack of coordination, I wouldn't have run in it. I step on / kick Piper often enough in GOOD footing, I think I would have accidentally stomped her to death if I ran in that.

 

RDM

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I'm sure I'll get slammed for this one, but it doesn't look all that bad to me. Look at the runs in FORWARD. Sure it's muddy and slippery, but mud is fairly soft.

 

Mud is slippery. Those dogs are taught to run at top speed over the obstacles. They do not have care or concern for their bodies. That is why it is up to the human to protect their partner. Did you see the forces the joints were under? Wow, is all I can say & not in a good way.

 

I've had dogs WORKING, in conditions that were much worse than this, mainly because we had to get a job done.

 

Uh hem, EXACTLY- your dogs were WORKING & had to get the job done. They weren't leaping over obstacles & weaving thru poles for NO REASON other than a pretty ribbon or bragging rights. That is apples & oranges, IMO.

 

The worst I saw was the girl that tripped over the dog, does this never happen when it's dry?

 

Sure people trip when it is dry. Dogs have career ending injuries or injuries requiring major surgery & rehab all the time (so do handlers for that matter). That doesn't make it okay to take extra risk & subject your dog to a perilous situation for a ribbon or title.

 

Do you actually think that agility indoors on a floor is less hard on the dog?

 

Not sure why you are bringing up indoor vs outdoors??? For the sake of argument? Personally, I have stopped agility because my current dog was Constantly injured/coming up lame despite the fact that we never ran indoors.

 

ETR: Unnecessary comment on Agility vs Herding. It would only detract from the intent of the thread---the dangerous conditions in the video. Sorry for any offense it may have caused.

 

Cindy in FL

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Geez people, dogs get more hurt running through their backyards than in agility for the most part. I've run agility in all types of conditions and my dogs adjust just like they adjust to the ever-changing conditions they experience everyday running outside. For example, just this weekend I ran in an indoor trial with slippery footing. I ran my dogs for as long as they weren't slipping and didn't push for speeds that would make them slip. The dogs adjusted fine.

 

In mud, the humans have more problems with the footing than their 4-wheel drive counterparts. It's individual choice whether to run in any trial and that choice is mine and anyone else's who steps to the line. Instead of judging others, just worry about what you can control, and that's you and your own dogs.

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I am more than confident to say that had the conditions been like that at any of the venues I compete at it would have been cancelled for sure. We have cancelled trials over much less. I would never run my dog in conditions like that in fear of injury for my dog and myself. Although the video quality was spectacular, you could see every muscle in the dog working. I have never seen agility like that before and it sure puts a new perspective on what my dogs are willing to do for me.

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Exactly Mariji- your dogs are willing & there is no law against it. So you have the right to do what ever you choose with your dogs- as does everyone. You & I choose to put the safety of our dogs, who are willing to do whatever we ask of them -regardless of the risk, before running them under horrendous conditions for NOTHING but ribbons or titles.

 

I also have the right to speak out when I see something I don't like. I think it is wrong to run dogs in the conditions depicted in the video & I won't "mind my own business" when it comes to speaking out about it.

 

Cindy in FL

 

I am more than confident to say that had the conditions been like that at any of the venues I compete at it would have been cancelled for sure. We have cancelled trials over much less. I would never run my dog in conditions like that in fear of injury for my dog and myself. Although the video quality was spectacular, you could see every muscle in the dog working. I have never seen agility like that before and it sure puts a new perspective on what my dogs are willing to do for me.
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Sure accidents happen all the time. But if a dog was inured during one of those runs I'd be hard pressed to call it an accident- more like ego trumps brain cells.

 

Cindy in FL

 

Geez people, dogs get more hurt running through their backyards than in agility for the most part. I've run agility in all types of conditions and my dogs adjust just like they adjust to the ever-changing conditions they experience everyday running outside. For example, just this weekend I ran in an indoor trial with slippery footing. I ran my dogs for as long as they weren't slipping and didn't push for speeds that would make them slip. The dogs adjusted fine.
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To each their own. I won't work my dog on cattle because I don't want them to get kicked in the head. Can it happen? Yes. Does it happen all the time? I doubt it. Same with agility injuries. We wouldn't be out there if we thought it would hurt our dogs.

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Once I found herding I was hooked & agility lost it's shine for me. That constant stimulation- always looking for "the next jump" - can create a dog I am not fond of. I much prefer the type of dog that is created when brought up in a herding environment.

 

While you are of course entitled to your opinion, its kind of hard not to feel insulted by comments like this...

 

I have owned some 8 agility dogs in the past 20 years who were calm, well-behaved, happy, healthy normal pets none of whom have had a serious injury from agility. In fact, the only dog I have owned with serious behavioral problems was raised in a "herding environment." (I don't blame that for his issues, of course.)

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You are right. I do not want to offend agility enthusiasts. I have edited my post to reflect this.

 

Please accept my apology.

 

Cindy in FL

 

 

While you are of course entitled to your opinion, its kind of hard not to feel insulted by comments like this...
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The music on the "forward" video is ... quite special.

That's why I turned it off as soon as I realized what was being "sung". Makes me wonder what the intent was to choose that particular piece of "music" for the video clip. A comment about the conditions, maybe? Or just a general attitude?

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To each their own. I won't work my dog on cattle because I don't want them to get kicked in the head. Can it happen? Yes. Does it happen all the time? I doubt it. Same with agility injuries. We wouldn't be out there if we thought it would hurt our dogs.

We all make choices, and I certainly understand yours. We work dogs on cattle because we have cattle, and got dogs to help us on the farm. And they certainly can get kicked or worse. That said, sheep scare me - I've been hurt worse by a sheep than a cow, even an angry cow, but I realize the dangers are there.

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A comment about the conditions, maybe? Or just a general attitude?

 

I wondered the same thing. I also wonder ... why would the handlers risk running their dogs in that? Where are the judges? If no one is worried about dogs or handlers breaking limbs or necks, what about just liability concerns? The sanctioning organization allows these types of conditions without fear of being sued?

 

Trying to draw a parallel between ... this ... and stockwork is a non-issue. Agility is a game.

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Maybe ignorance is bliss, but now I can't resist asking, what are some of the more common ways working with sheep can hurt a dog or a person? (I just mean farm work and training, not at a trial.)

 

B.

 

- I've been hurt worse by a sheep than a cow, even an angry cow, but I realize the dangers are there.
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I don't know how likely it is that a sheep might hurt a dog (other than to get a solid butt in, and that can be lethal in the wrong place), but I've been run into by a sheep going from Point A to Point B, and my leg was badly injured - the equivalent of a hamstring tear. Five years or so later, it still can give me trouble. I think my concern with sheep is that when a sheep decides to run for it, he/she puts their head down and goes - and it doesn't matter what or who is in the way. Cattle (the cattle in my experience and our cattle, anyway) tend to go around people. It's just a personal opinion because of my experience, and I should have said that clearly.

 

Definitely, a cow being the size they are and a dog (or person) being the size they are, means that a cow can do real damage - if she can catch the dog. That's why cattledogs have a limited useful life span in terms of working - there comes a time when one must be retired for their own sake.

 

I know a man with an Australian Cattle Dog. Buddy was floundering in his training until his owner got some good training of his own. One day, at the stockyard, an angry mother cow decided to do a job on the man, and was well on her way to killing him when Buddy took her on and drove her off. His owner spent several months in the hospital and a long time recovering from multiple broken bones and other injuries. But he knows Buddy saved his life and is very grateful.

 

I had a cow that did not like my moving her and her calf, and I was being to dumb to take her head-shaking warnings (and the dog with me was older and not getting involved). She finally charged me, knocked me down, and proceeded to rub me into the ground. Once she figured she'd gotten her point across, she moved off me and let me up. Stupidly, I tried to move her and her calf (and a few other animals) again, and she threw me over the fence. All in all, really scary, potentially lethal (but she had better self-restraint than I was showing), but less damaging than what that sheep did to me.

 

Heads, hooves, weight, and impact - both cattle and sheep have them all, but cattle have them in spades due to size.

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