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So, dog sport folks ..... what have you all been up to these days, dog-sport-wise?  :)   I thought it might be fun to just share some what what we are doing.

My oldest, Dean Dog, who is going on 13 in February, although retired, still enjoys a bit of Canine Parkour here and there.  He is pretty limited as to what he can do, but he throws his heart and soul into what he can do, even simple Interactions like walking between two trees or something!!  He still does just a smidgeon of Musical Freestyle from time to time, as well.

Tessa, who I truly think I will always think of as my once-in-a-lifetime sport partner, still does a bit of Agility here and there.  We don't trial very often, but we are trying to finish up a few CPE Category Championships.  She still enjoys going to class every week.   Canine Parkour has really become "our thing" at this stage of her life (she's "about 10").  She earned her second ADP Grand Champion Title this past fall, and we are working our way through the Premier Divisions now.  She does just a little Musical Freestyle here and there, but that has never really been her favorite, so we don't do much - a demo video here and there, mostly.

Bandit has fun no matter what he does!!  Agility is his favorite dog sport, but he is SO FAST that working with him is like learning the sport all over again!!  We go to class every week, and we trial every now and then, but not too much.  With Bandit in Agility, I am more invested in the experience that we have training together than I am in trialing.  I do consider Bandit my "Freestyle Dog" these days.  He is my main demo dog for the videos that I create for my titling venue and online classes, and he is working his way through the PFS program himself.  We also compete a bit in WCFO - he needs one more leg in Novice.  And someday I hope to get more into the DCD Challenge with him (although my focus there has been on finishing up my work with the two older dogs).  We also dabble a bit in Parkour.  He has his ADP Championship Title, but we haven't really gone on into the Grand Champion Track all that much.

So, what about you?


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Hi Root Beer,  I am still doing Canine Freestyle, and enjoying it very much, but my border collie Kit is too old to do any kind of sport. She will be turning 17 the beginning of December, and while she is doing well she is no longer an athlete. I am dancing Freestyle with both of my small dogs these days, a  22 pound terrier mix and a 26 pound white fluffy dog of unknown origin. They are doing great at it, and I am proud of them. At the same time, I long to be working again with a border collie, and debate with myself frequently whether or not I will get another BC when I no longer have Kit. I miss dancing with Jester very much. He and I danced together for years and we worked so well together that someone could just put on a song and he and I could improvise and everyone would think it had been a choreographed routine. It was such fun.

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17!!!!!  That is incredible!!!  :)  

Isn't it interesting to work with the smaller dogs?  I sometimes work a bit with Rocky, my husband's Beagle Terrier, and it is so different.  He's very eager and fun to work with.  I end up using a target stick with him a lot because I don't feel like bending down to his level!!  Thankfully, he likes it!

I know what you mean about a Border Collie, though.  I miss Speedy in Freestyle, too.  He and I were similar to you and Jester in that - most of our last performances were total improv!!  Bandit is awesome, but we haven't meshed as a team to quite the same degree, although I have hope that one day soon we will.

I am glad to hear you are still enjoying the sport with your two small dogs.  :)

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I'm currently competing with my BCxbeagle in CPE agility. He's doing pretty well and we are almost completely in level 5. 


My youngest BC was herding for a bit, but the fields have been too wet for us to continue lessons for now. He is going through some skin related health problems, so currently only doing agility ring rentals. He is scared of the dog walk and teeter, so I let him just do tunnels and jumps for now. We may start nose work as well. 



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Root Beer, yes, she is 17 and still my loving girl. Doing pretty well, all things considered. Jester went downhill very fast once he started to lose rear leg strength; only lasted another 4 months after he started having trouble getting up the steps. When Kit started losing strength the same way I thought I would lose her quickly as well. But almost 2 years later, she is still here. :-)

It is indeed very different with small dogs. Having to bend over to give treats so often makes it necessary for training sessions to be shorter than I would prefer.

Also, while both dogs are happy to work for me; the terrier is extremely food-motivated, and the fluffy dog just likes to be with me no matter what we are doing, training is not like training a border collie. It often takes longer, not because these little guys are not smart...they are...but because what I find with border collies is that once the get the general idea of what we are doing, they learn everything after that point with lightning speed. These dogs seem to take the same amount of time each time I start to train a new behavior, although we have been doing it for years. They're great little guys, and audiences love them (especially fluffy white, because he has tons of "Awwww" appeal). It's just that the learning curve is so sharp with a BC that once you have trained some of them it is hard not to miss that speed when working with any other dog.

We are doing a little bit of Rally Free as well, just for fun. I am thinking about competing in Freestyle for the first time next year, perhaps. I never have wanted to, as I am not a competitive person, but I keep going to the competitions just to watch and it looks like so much fun just to try it out... Have you competed with your dogs in Freestyle?

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D'Elle, it is interesting to hear about your experience with your small dogs.  I actually find that Rocky, the Beagle Terrier, tends to learn faster than most of my Border Collies have.  It might just be his learning style.  Or, it might be his background as a free-running farm dog.  He had to learn fast when he was spending his days running free in farm fields because his survival depended on it!!  Or, maybe he's just naturally a fast learner.  In any case, I don't work with him much, but what little I have done really seems to "stick" quickly with him.  :)

I sometimes think it would be fun to do Freestyle competitions with him because, yes, people LOVE the small dogs.  And, even though he's half Smooth Fox Terrier, people always think he's a Beagle, and I have learned from going around with him some that a lot of dog sport people absolutely adore Beagles.  I hear, "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwww ..... look at the BEAGLE!" all the time when I have him out.  He would seriously entertain!!!  :D

However, he doesn't take kindly to the "down time" of dog sports, where hanging out quietly in a crate is expected.  So, I don't know that I ever will.  Yes, it could be trained, but .... husband's dog!!!  :D  But who knows what I will do?

Yes, I have taken part in Freestyle competitions since 2006!!  Although I am also not competitive, I DO enjoy the social aspect of Freestyle competitions.  Freestyle people are friendly and supportive, and I enjoy being part of that.  I compete through WCFO.  My Freestyle focus is a lot more about creation of art and expression with my dog, but I do enjoy a competition every now and again.  :)

I hope you jump in and try it.  :)


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My older dog is still competing in agility at 9 and amazing people how old he is, we are stuck in grade 2 due to huge inconsistency and only being able to compete on a limited basis due to living on an island,  to move up we don't just need clears we need some serious speed as well, our last point gained in agility was done at 4.6 meters a second which earned a point towards going to the Spanish championship but not progression.  My youngster is 2 1/2 and although entering competitions hasn't completed a full course as competition environments make his head explode and he forgets all his skills so it's all about making it fun, luckily in Spanish FCI we can take a toy in the ring to train. My focus is entirely agility, they do get to work sheep a couple of times a month which has been a great experience for all of us.

I am amazed how much training I am doing with my youngster to get the skills I want, when I started competing with Rievaulx coming up on 8 years ago, we went to class once a week and did a little at home, with Fen it's at least 4 times a week at the club between running contacts, independent weaves, strong verbal commands for a multiple variety of turns etc etc the list of skills just seems endless and we slowly work our way into them both learning more and more, while Rievaulx is also still learning new skills alongside his baby brother, while I learn to handle an even faster and more responsive dog, when I started to run Rievaulx I compared the difference between him and Brody as going from a chevy to a Porsche, now I have an F1 car! 

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