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This also begs the question - if it is so important then why not modify the game for the dog rather than the dog for the game?

 

Probably a very appropriate option for some teams. That is what I have done for my noise phobic dog and it is most likely what I would do for an ETS dog if I ever have a dog with the issue.

 

But I can also understand why others would not make that same choice.

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Just because a dog prefers one activity of two or three activities this dog has sampled does not mean that you have found THE activity it REALLY loves to do (it's mearly showing a preference of the things you have allowed it to try). Nor does that mean this dog won't be fulfilled if it could never do that activity again.

 

From a practical standpoint, not everyone has the resources to do a complete retrain on a dog who has spent most of his or her life participating in one activity. And no, not everyone has the desire to start over at the heart of the dog's career.

 

As someone who cross trains extensively, I can tell you it is very challenging. I would not do it if I did not seriously enjoy the sports that I cross train.

 

Of course, there are always options, and if a dog really can't continue with one activity, the handler always has the option of trying others.

 

That said, I can completely understand why some would choose, instead, to seek to overcome the obstacles that the team faces in the original sport, particularly if health reasons are not a factor. It takes a lot of work, a lot of commitment, and a strong desire to cross train successfully. If the dog and handler don't both share a desire to go on to something completely new, facing the challenges in Agility may well be the best choice.

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Right, because that's exactly what I said. :P Wither up and die. I challenge you to quote me on that. And include post number, please. And this one doesn't count. :lol: :lol: :lol:

 

 

Post #624

 

That's not to say she would have withered away and died without it, but she would have missed out on something that was a source of joy to her that you were not witness to.

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... not everyone has the desire to start over at the heart of the dog's career....

As someone who cross trains extensively, I can tell you it is very challenging. I would not do it if I did not seriously enjoy the sports that I cross train... It takes a lot of work, a lot of commitment, and a strong desire to cross train successfully. If the dog and handler don't both share a desire to go on to something completely new, facing the challenges in Agility may well be the best choice.

Are we still talking about dog sports here? Cross-training? Seriously? Isn't cross-training when you choose a sport to compliment the training in another sport (ex. cycling and speedskating)? I'm not sure how that applies in this context.

 

Look, I think I've dabbled in more dog sports than the average (sane) person. With my last 4 dogs, I've done agility (lots o' titles), flyball (basic FDCH titles on two), herding (2 Open dogs, ISDS style field trials), traditional obedience (ASCA CD on one dog), rally-o (never competed, found it way boring), disc dog (competed in a few tournaments with one dog), and musical freestyle (competed in one event with one dog). My dogs displayed various degrees of drive for the various activities. Let's use poor old Bear as an example.

 

Bear was quite crazy about disc and flyball, enjoyed the food (bribery) of agility more than the activity. I pulled him from disc because I thought it a bit dangerous for him, given his size. I pulled him from flyball because he was too slow to be useful to the team and quite frankly, I couldn't stand the barking. I continued in agility because *I* liked it, though I moved him down as many jump heights as possible, and I only entered him in events that he kinda liked (ex. Jumpers and Snooker, no Standard, no Gamblers). Neither keeping him in agility nor pulling him from the other sports changed the quality of his life at all. He was a dog, he got food, water, exercise, shelter, love, and he mucked around in whatever organized dog sports I put him in.

 

I'm not saying whether I approve of putting contacts in dogs with jumping issues (or pumping a sore/injured dog full of Metacam, or putting my bitch on Cheque Drops to make her drivier/faster - yeah, it happens, don't kid yourself). Those are personal human decisions, and they reflect the goals and philosophies of the handler, not the dog.

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From a practical standpoint, not everyone has the resources to do a complete retrain on a dog who has spent most of his or her life participating in one activity. And no, not everyone has the desire to start over at the heart of the dog's career.

This isn't meant to be aimed at you, Kristine, but I have a bit of a problem looking at a dog doing a sports activity as a "career". To me, it is an optional choice on the part of the handler, an activity that you both should enjoy - but a dog's "career"? Obviously, there are people that take their dog sports *way more seriously* than I could ever take what to me is a recreational activity.

 

As for dogs missing something that they truly have enjoyed - my dogs are ball fanatics, and we play fetch a couple of times a day whenever conditions allow. They know that. They go outside and line up with totally concentration and focus, obsession really, on their faces - watching and waiting for me to get the Chuck-It and get on with it.

 

But, when Celt was recouping from a soft tissue injury and we did absolutely no ball play for some weeks, the dogs gradually began to turn their interest in other directions - their eagerness was rechannelled to walks and other activities. Eventually, they did not even glance at the Chuck-It sitting with its ball in the accustomed place on the porch.

 

I think dogs are very adaptable and I would hazard a guess (just based on my own personal and limited lifetime with dogs) that most if not all dogs would, when removed from an activity that they have *learned to love*, will find other activities that offer similar physical, mental, and bonding exercise and experiences just as rewarding. I don't think dogs worry about something that is no longer a part of their lives - they live in the moment and make the most of what is part of their lives. If you replace that activity they can no longer do with something they can do that provides the above-mentioned satisfactions (mental, phyical, and bonding), I believe they will be just as happy. Perhaps the dog that can be just as happy, has never had other activities provided that fill those needs.

 

JMO.

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This is very interesting.

 

 

 

I wouldn't put contacts in my dogs eyes. For one thing I wouldn't put 'em in my own. Between the dust and dirt in the atmosphere of my life I think it would be a bad choice.

 

 

 

My dogs need to see at a distance. Because they are often trying to find stock at a distance.

 

 

 

I don't know about agility. Have never seen it.

 

 

My Gunny is retiring, she isn't very shook up about it because I let her watch animals videos on the TV She still does some stuff around the place if its close. But she loves to watch the TV and sit on the bed. She has had to work hard for a living and I think she likes the break.

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Post #624

 

That's not to say she would have withered away and died without it, but she would have missed out on something that was a source of joy to her that you were not witness to.

 

OK. To re-quote - That's not to say she would have withered away and died.

 

How exactly does that translate to "the dog will wither away and die" to you?

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Are we still talking about dog sports here? Cross-training? Seriously? Isn't cross-training when you choose a sport to compliment the training in another sport (ex. cycling and speedskating)? I'm not sure how that applies in this context.

 

You haven't heard the term used to refer to training in more than one dog sport at a time? There are those who use the term that way.

 

I've heard the term used in that way on various training lists, and I've heard the term used in conversation with a good many dog sport enthusiasts.

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This isn't meant to be aimed at you, Kristine, but I have a bit of a problem looking at a dog doing a sports activity as a "career". To me, it is an optional choice on the part of the handler, an activity that you both should enjoy - but a dog's "career"? Obviously, there are people that take their dog sports *way more seriously* than I could ever take what to me is a recreational activity.

 

Sorry, Sue. That is an ordinary phrase that is often used to categorize that time during which a dog actively participates in a given activity. It's not something that I made up. It's a term that is used quite commonly. I didn't even think when I said it.

 

It's not really meant to equate participation in the sport with a paid job that one does to earn a living.

 

I guess it does imply a seriousness about participation in a given sport. I hadn't really thought about it in that way. But it does stand to reason that many people would develop some level of seriousness about a discipline in which they invest countless hours, classes, seminars/workshops, books, DVD's, discussion on internet forums, and even the time spent sitting around the ring week after week with their fellow participants chatting and hanging out. And, of course, the one on one time with the dog training, practicing, conditioning, preparing, and actually participating.

 

That seriousness doesn't exclude fun and it doesn't make it any less recreational. But I think it would be difficult to gain any level of skill beyond the most minimal if one did not invest some measure of seriousness into the endeavor.

 

The term "career" doesn't bother me. After all, we say that we "retire" them when we stop taking part in a given activity. One does typically "retire" from a "career".

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Could you please explain that? I'm definitely not grasping it.

 

Not saying, too dense. But yes, I feel that you do not actually see the point.

 

I'd say that if you would like to discuss that further, let's take it off the board.

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Not saying, too dense. But yes, I feel that you do not actually see the point.

 

I'd say that if you would like to discuss that further, let's take it off the board.

 

:lol: :lol: :lol:

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From a practical standpoint, not everyone has the resources to do a complete retrain on a dog who has spent most of his or her life participating in one activity. And no, not everyone has the desire to start over at the heart of the dog's career.

 

This isn't about starting over in another competitive/titling activity. It's about finding something to do to have fun with your dog. You can do that with a clicker and a handful of treats. You can do that by taking your dog for car rides. My dogs love going to Tractor Supply. It's simple.

 

As someone who cross trains extensively, I can tell you it is very challenging. I would not do it if I did not seriously enjoy the sports that I cross train.

 

I actually understand the idea of cross training (though I've never heard it called that in regards to dogs). On my SAR team before a dog can be certified they need to pass a slightly modified version of the FEMA FSA. It includes alert work, agility, an obedience routine, and directional work (a combination of agility and OB). After they pass that then there's the search portion.

 

You can read about the FSA here. FWIW, for a wilderness test we don't do the rubble portion and a couple of the OB/agility requirements are modified slightly.

 

Of course, there are always options, and if a dog really can't continue with one activity, the handler always has the option of trying others.

 

That said, I can completely understand why some would choose, instead, to seek to overcome the obstacles that the team faces in the original sport, particularly if health reasons are not a factor. It takes a lot of work, a lot of commitment, and a strong desire to cross train successfully. If the dog and handler don't both share a desire to go on to something completely new, facing the challenges in Agility may well be the best choice.

 

First of all I thought we were discussing this in regards to health issues in one way or another. Nobody said one should take a healthy agility dog that is competing successfully and enjoying the game and just quit. They said if the dog was having some health issue that was preventing them from being successful in a venue, that the dog would not mentally suffer from no longer participating.

 

When it comes to health issues it's not just about overcoming obstacles anymore. It's about the ethical handling of your dog. I know all about overcoming obstacles in training. But my dogs were fit, healthy and enjoying the training. I remember someone posting a year or so ago here about a "therapy dog" that was incapacitated and the owner pulled him around in the wagon and lifted him in and out, etc to do therapy work with him. According to her he was the epitome of overcoming obstacles. I saw a poor dog that was existing at the whims of his owner. Not saying that

 

As far as desire goes, the handler shapes the dogs desire in accordance with their own. No dog comes out of the womb as an agility dog.

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First of all I thought we were discussing this in regards to health issues in one way or another. Nobody said one should take a healthy agility dog that is competing successfully and enjoying the game and just quit. They said if the dog was having some health issue that was preventing them from being successful in a venue, that the dog would not mentally suffer from no longer participating.

 

When it comes to ETS, whether or not a health issue is in play has not yet been determined. An extensive range of physical tests have been done on a number of dogs who are considered to be ETS dogs. According to those medical tests, there is no detectible health issue. These are healthy dogs.

 

So, ETS dogs are not dogs that fall in to the category of a health issue preventing them from being successful. Why put them in that category? Even if it turns out that contact lenses make it possible for some of them to overcome the problem, is eyesight that requires the use of corrective lenses typically considered a health problem that merits dropping out of activities for which one would otherwise be suited.

 

Certainly there are health issues that make it necessary to change activities, or retire a dog altogether. On the other hand, there are circumstances in which it really does not have to be that way. Those who are trying different approaches to ETS are trying to determine if there are any "fixes" that would give handlers of ETS dogs a real choice in the matter of whether to retire the dog or try an approach that has helped other dogs and may be appropriate.

 

I simply don't see a general problem with that. Of course, I would not want to see a dog who was clearly bothered by use of lenses forced to wear them. But if the dog does not have an issue with it, why quit if it really provides a workable solution? I do understand the point of view of those who say that they would not use lenses on a dog no matter what even though I can't say that my position is the same. The notion that the dog should be retired with little or no effort to find out of the box solutions is the idea that doesn't make a bit of sense to me.

 

When it comes to health issues it's not just about overcoming obstacles anymore. It's about the ethical handling of your dog. I know all about overcoming obstacles in training. But my dogs were fit, healthy and enjoying the training. I remember someone posting a year or so ago here about a "therapy dog" that was incapacitated and the owner pulled him around in the wagon and lifted him in and out, etc to do therapy work with him. According to her he was the epitome of overcoming obstacles. I saw a poor dog that was existing at the whims of his owner. Not saying that

 

In that case, I would agree with you completely.

 

In the case of the dog in this video, who is quite eagerly running the sequences with no apparent care for the fact that he or she is wearing contacts, I simply don't agree that the same thing is happening.

 

Without some evidence that the dog is bothered by the lenses, any assumption that such is the case is only that. If anyone were interested, one could go on the Clean Run list and ask the owner of the dog who posted the video if the dog objects to the lenses in any way. He probably knows exactly how his dog responds to the insertion and removal of the lenses and whether or not the dog notices that he is wearing them or shows any signs of being bothered by them.

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That was my impression as well, that the idea was not to encourage people to run out and get contacts for their dog, but to show the differences in how the dog takes jumps when his vision is corrected thus helping show that dogs who are having this ETS are likely having a vision issue.

 

I only skim the CR list so I might have missed something.

I didn't notice any difference in the display of "ETS". The only difference I saw was that the dog took off early at different times, but clearly was still taking off early with the lenses.

 

It was pretty clear to me that the dog isn't focused on the jumps at all most of the time; paying more attention to the handler or whatever else is out there. It's laughable to me to think that people believe it's possible to rule out training/handling as the cause of this horrendous syndrome.

 

Maybe he was distracted by the music playing in the background that made it difficult to hear what was going on in the video.

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Sam's training as a full access service dog is the most intense training in which I've personally been involved. Eg, I have not personally had any contact with SAR or other public service canine training.

 

Minimum standards here: http://www.iaadp.org/iaadp-minimum-training-standards-for-public-access.html

 

I have found, indeed, from a practical standpoint that these are indeed minimum standards. Sam is already beyond this (um, except that darn sit/down/stay). But he has miles to go on the public access training *I* need. This does not count individual assistance task training.

 

So you'd think I'd be eager to preserve this if he required medical intervention to keep going - a blown knee, something like that. But if there's any question that he might be in pain while doing his job subsequently, Sam's buddy Lynn the Border Maltriever gets moved up into the harness to access training.

 

Of course Sam would get maximum medical intervention. And through his help we've entered a world of activities we can choose to continue depending on his range of motion: lure coursing, dock diving, stockdog trials, obedience (rally probably).

 

Would Sam know the difference? Absolutely. This is hard, hard work and still he knocks things over to "paws up" and stick his head through the harness collar. The pack weighs three pounds, not a lot but he wears it all day, and he not only begs for it, he knows when something is missing from it.

 

Sam badly bruised a toe a couple months ago and it took forever to heal. He would look fine and we would go out with just a cape and harness and he'd be limping in a few hours, especially if we were walking on gravel. He healed up just fine once I realized exactly what it was. Before then it was horribly frightening and heartbreaking.

 

This is precisely what I do not want. it has completely changed my perspective on this issue. My life without Sam is very limited. But there is no justification for improving my quality of living at the price of one twinge of preventable ongoing discomfort on his part. Notice I said preventable.

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  • 1 year later...

Just have to post. I have a dog with ETS and so do ALL of her 15+ full siblings. I did active agility with her AND a lot of stock work. The ETS never affected her ability to work stock, be it on the ranch or at a trial. It DID affect her agility but not severely. She placed at multiple national events over many years. That all being said, I think the agility folks are going way overboard and there is a renewed push to fund some sort of research. Really? How about researching some debilitating things like epilepsy...

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Just have to post. I have a dog with ETS and so do ALL of her 15+ full siblings. I did active agility with her AND a lot of stock work. The ETS never affected her ability to work stock, be it on the ranch or at a trial. It DID affect her agility but not severely. She placed at multiple national events over many years. That all being said, I think the agility folks are going way overboard and there is a renewed push to fund some sort of research. Really? How about researching some debilitating things like epilepsy...

 

Well, if you read the original post the swabs are for epilepsy too.

 

I don't compete in agility so don't have a vested interest for it. Seeing as I don't think sporting collies are going to be going away anytime soon, I can see why they would want to breed it out.

 

Not one of the working dogs I grew up around jumped like agility. A few had to jump the occasional fence but that was it. I don't think ETS was an issue for them ;)

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Just have to post. I have a dog with ETS and so do ALL of her 15+ full siblings. I did active agility with her AND a lot of stock work. The ETS never affected her ability to work stock, be it on the ranch or at a trial. It DID affect her agility but not severely. She placed at multiple national events over many years. That all being said, I think the agility folks are going way overboard and there is a renewed push to fund some sort of research. Really? How about researching some debilitating things like epilepsy...

 

There is a follow up article on this in Clean Run Magazine this month. You might be interested in checking that out.

 

Like it or not, a lot of people are interested in research on things that affect them, or their dogs, personally. Especially if there were potential to actually help the dog as a result of the research, or, at least, the potential to understand the issue better.

 

I am far more interested in research on noise phobia in Border Collies than in ETS or epilepsy because I live with, train, and handle a severely noise phobic dog. That doesn't mean that I don't see the inherent value in study of life threatening health issues (like epilepsy). But my personal interest lies much more strongly with the issue that affects my own dog on a day to day basis.

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