This is a great drill for getting your dog to come in to you before another send away! I like it because it can be taught with a simple course, and enables you to regain control of your course. I don’t think I would use it much in higher levels of competition, but for the first few levels it’s a great tool! (This might just be my Obedience background, though!)
While a bit of dirt never hurt the dog, it certainly doesn’t help you want to spend time with them! Try to at least wipe their paws off, and brush the mud out of their coats. The dampness of the mud can make your dog colder than you’d think when it’s lovely weather out. Mud cakes in my dogs’ paws and makes it hard for them to walk, so make sure you get it out quickly! I trim my dogs’ feet to make keeping them clean easier. Keep a towel by the kennels or in the car to save yourself some trouble.
It’s much easier to clean out of fur when the mud has dried to dust, and you can just brush it out. I’ve found a slicker or curry comb work best for my dogs. This also seems to be the worst time of year for burdock entanglements! Keep an eye out if your dog is prone to rambling in fields.
Tags: dog safety & health
When spring comes, I always feel alive and ready for anything. I walk my dogs, I run around like a mad thing, and sometimes I just sit on my porch (which still has snow on it well into April, usually) with my dogs and hug them, looking out at the green starting to show through here and there.
This video captures the early-spring feeling for me so well that I watch it over and over again! I feel young and like I can do anything, and that there is plenty of time to do it in. I hope you enjoy this film from Drs. Foster & Smith as much as I did!
Q. I’m thinking about trying United Kennel Club agility, but I’ve only done AKC trials in the past. Are the obstacles different at the Novice level?
A. The UKC’s first level, Agility I, uses many of the same obstacles seen in AKC trials. An Agility I course consists of 13 obstacles: six hurdles, six non-hurdles, and a pause table. The six hurdle obstacles may be chosen from 10 types: bar, bush, high, log, long, picket fence, rail fence, spread, water, and window. The non-hurdle obstacles for Agility I are the A-frame, dogwalk, teeter, open tunnel, closed tunnel (also known as the chute), and hoop tunnel. All non-hurdle obstacles are required.
Of the non-hurdle obstacles, the only one that is unique to the UKC is the hoop tunnel. This obstacles is a series of hoops held in place by a PVC or wood framework. The hoops are set at alternating angles to form a zigzag pattern when seen from above. The dog runs straights through the hoops like he would a tunnel. But since the hoops are not enclosed, the dog can incorrectly exit the sides at any time.
Many allowed hurdles are quite different from AKC jumps. While some UKC clubs may possess all the unique hurdles, many use the common ones- bar jumps, long jumps, and spreads. All UKC hurdles must be in 42″ and 48″ wide. The hurdle uprights of 36″ to 48″ heights may be separate, connected by a ground-level crosspiece, or supported by a separate base.
The bush fence hurdle is designed with a planter that holds live or plastic plants, or branches cut from leafy shrubs. After the 8″ initial height, additional planter boxes are added to provide the 14″ and 20″ jump heights (called divisions in the UKC). The high hurdle is similar to the high jumps used in obedience competitions. The log hurdle is made of 4″ PVC pipe that is 42″-48″ in length. Pyramidal stacks of 3, 6, or 10 pipes are used for the separate divisions. The picket fence hurdle looks like it sounds, but the ends of the pickets must be flat or round, not pointed. The rail fence hurdle has several displaceable (preferred) or non-displaceable (allowed) cross rails held between two uprights. The water hurdle has ramps and platforms that are positioned on either side of a water box or pool, which is about 48″-50″ x 28″, made from 2x2s and must hold at least 1.5″ of water. The window hurdle has the same frame as the UKC tire jump but it is covered by a panel of wood or heavy fabric that is 42″-48″ wide with an opening 14″-18″ wide and 30″ high. The panel is adjustable for each division. Detailed descriptions and specifications of all UKC obstacles are available online at: www.ukcdogs.com/website.nsf/rules/DEAgiliAgilityObstaclesDescriptionsan.
© Clean Run, January 2009
Q. I compete in AKC agility with my Poodle that weighs 2.5 pounds. She sometimes can tip the teeter plank and sometimes not. When trialing if she goes to the end of the teeter and the plank does not move, what would the judge do? What should I do?
A. An AKC representative offers this response: “An AKC teeter that is properly calibrated will go down when a 2.5 pound dog is at the end of it. There are several dogs of that size currently competing.
“If the teeter for some reason wouldn’t go down and the dog is at the end of the board, the handler should pick the dog up and politely ask the judge if he or she calibrated the teeter yet on that day. If the judge answers that it hasn’t been calibrated, they should ask that it be checked and if found in need of correcting, then the dog should be awarded a rerun, using the proper rules for reruns.”
The rules for reruns that apply to equipment malfunction can be found in the AKC Judges Guidelines, Chapter 7, Section 2. In some cases of equipment malfunction, the dog and handler may continue the run and later perform the problematic obstacle (for example, when a weave pole breaks while the dog is weaving). But in this case, the dog can’t continue; she is stuck on the teeter. The Guidelines state: “Sometimes the malfunction affects the dog or handler greatly, and the run basically stops at that point. In these cases, the equipment should be fixed, and the dog should be given and opportunity to perform it (one time) immediately, to reacclimate itself to the obstacle prior to completing the course or the rerun as described below. If the dog had incurred faults that would keep it from qualifying at the time of the severe malfunction, the handler should be allowed to simply complete the course at that time. If the dog was qualifying at the time of the severe malfunction, then the handler would be instructed that a rerun would be necessary. All faults incurred in the first run (up to the point of the malfunction) would remain in effect, and judging would begin at the point where the severe equipment malfunction occurred. Exhibitors must be briefed with rerun criteria as stated in stopwatch/e-timer malfunctions.”
© Clean Run, January 2009