What About the Yellow Dog Project

yellow dog projectWe had posted a question about what you thought about the Yellow Dog Project and got some interesting answers. However, in the years since there have been some dilemmas that have developed with the idea of “warning” other dog owners of your dog’s issues with their personal space. Honestly it is a shame that we even have to worry about the lack of respect people and other dog owners have of another dog’s space.

Now there is a new twist here in the USA since the implementation of the Yellow Dog Project. Juries are using the warning ribbons against the dog and their owner in the same way that Beware of Dog signs have done in the past. They say the dog owner is admitting they have a dangerous dog by using the yellow warning and should not have had the dog in public. This could get your dog labeled as a “known dangerous dog” title. This is one title you do not want to earn.

There is also the point that the general public will have no idea what the ribbon means and only like minded dog enthusiasts will know. That kind of misses the point. We would like to think that maybe it would be a great conversation starter to help educate the uninformed, but we as responsible dog owners already do our part in that area and by that time the ribbon would have not helped.

Further investigation leads to the fact that the yellow ribbon originated in pet hospitals, not to warn others of behavioral problems, but rather of a dog that had a physical issue so that other dogs would not be allowed to try and play with the dog. Then Sweden packaged the idea for all pet dogs. And here we are. Does the Yellow Dog Project or Yellow Ribbons really help keep other’s mindful of a dog’s space? And in reality, shouldn’t all dogs be extended that courtesy?

What are your thoughts?


Posted in Dog Training (General) Tagged with:

Where to Start in Dog Agility

dog agility venuesWe had a viewer ask our suggestion on which dog agility organization someone just starting out in agility should start with. When you have been in training for awhile, different times for different teams, and you feel you are ready too step into the competition ring, there are several options available to you as beginners.

For some teams this is a really exciting moment and for others it can be a bit overwhelming. There are differences in venues and everyone has their favorite. Our experience is that it really depends on the area where you are at. Most venues are really good with beginners, but TDAA is super fun for small dogs and CPE tends to be very low key and a great place for beginners to start. We also want to state that most training clubs hold their own fun matches and should be able to help you find “local” trials.

If you have not already, we highly recommend that you attend some trials either to watch and better, to volunteer. This will help you get a better understanding of how the trial is run. It will also help you decide which venue will best fit you and your dog. Without the stress of hauling your dog around, you can attend as many different venues as you can locate in your area. Then, when you have made a choice you can bring your dog to the next event and get your feet wet.

Here are some suggestions from other competitors that have been around the block a few times:

Lisa says:

In my area (central WI) we have almost entirely AKC trials and a person can run at least one weekend a month, or two if they don’t mind driving between 20 minutes up to 1 1/2 hours to a trial. I have found people to be helpful and friendly for the most part in AKC agility and I like being able to train and then work all the obstacles. The other venues are much further away and seem to offer few trials.

Michelle says:

If you have it in your area, I always suggest CPE! The people are super friendly and if you want to start with some easy courses and not have to worry about teeters and weaves on your first time out, Level 1 in CPE is great. It gave me a ton more confidence about going out at trials.

Taylor says:

For my first agility trial I ran in an ASCA venue and it was amazing, the people were supportive, the judge was amazing, and they have very spaced out equipment. CPE is also a very nice venue to run in that I ran in for my second show.

Get out there and give them a shot. You won’t really know what your team needs until you get out there and try. Good Luck and Clean Runs!

Posted in Dog Agility Competing Tagged with:

Tender Agility Dog Toes

We had a viewer ask a very good question, “Why is my dog sensitive to different surfaces?

This is such a good question because there are a list of reasons that could be contributing to the answer that it will take some investigation on your part to find the answer. We will start with some of the more obvious answers.

One is environment based. If your dog lives in the city either inside the house or out in a grass yard for the bulk of the day, they will have soft feet, just like you if you always wear shoes of some sort outside. Different surfaces will feel different and abrasive surfaces could cause the discomfort. Hot or cold surfaces too will be uncomfortable for soft pads as well. Our article No Feet No Agility Dog has additional help for keeping your dog’s feet happy.

Another quick check is the length of your dog’s toenails, if they are too long, running up and down contact equipment could be hurting your dog’s feet. Your dog’s nails should not make a clicking noise when they walk on hard surfaces, if they do, they are too long. It is a intricate process to get the quick to back off so you can keep your dog’s nails at a proper length. Get together with your veterinarian to discuss the best way to accomplish this. If your dog doesn’t like getting their nails done, you can read, Dog Agility Nail Care to get more help on teaching your dog how to accept nail trimming.

A more complicated reason is that your dog is timid of touching new surfaces. This will take slow and highly rewarding work to build your dog’s confidence in this area. You can and should introduce your dog to as many different surfaces as you can in your daily walks. Be sure you bring plenty of high value rewards and don’t make your dog touch new surfaces. Reward for interest, then interaction, and finally touching with feet until your dog will walk on or stand on the new surface. You will also need to help them acclimate to the agility surfaces starting easy like a coated plank or table on the ground. Once they are comfortable interacting and running on the flat surface, start raising the angle slowly until they gain confidence.

Take your time and in no time your dog will be confident on all surfaces.



Posted in Dog Agility Training Tagged with: