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Below are the 19 most recent journal entries recorded in Agility Help's LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009
11:15 am
cooling beds
Does anyone use cooling beds at competitions? I'm looking at the Cool bed 3: http://www.cleanrun.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&Product_ID=1310&ParentCat=524
and the Zentek Cooling Mat: http://www.cleanrun.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&Product_ID=1989&ParentCat=524

The advantage to the Zentek is that it isnt necessary to add water. The medium Cool Bed takes 3.35 gallons of water comes out to about 26 pounds (if I remember right that a gallon of water is 8 pounds), whereas the Zentek wont.

If you use a cooling product please tell me about it! I tried a cooling collar that you soak in water, and its nice, I just dont like having to toss it after every tournament.
Wednesday, December 10th, 2008
1:13 pm
transition from fun matches to trialing
It's been quiet lately...

I was hoping for suggestions regarding transitioning from a classroom/fun match to a trial environment. I've been training my aussie for two years in agility, we've done several fun matches at our barn, and he's done great. I want to participate in a trial at our barn in February, and wondered if anyone had advice for transitioning. It is a CPE trial, we will start at level one. I was hoping to do at least standard and colors to start with.

We have a fun match next weekend. So far, his fun match performances have been great, he's not phased by my nerves and is very focused in the ring. I wear my bait bag so I can reward his contacts so I can keep them solid, and I haven't yet taken off his collar, but neither of these things are strictly necessary as far as I can tell for him. The matches are also small enough that I can keep him with me, and although there's a lot of activity it's not as hectic as a trial setting. So my plan for the fun match is 1. to leave my bait bag out of the ring 2. to take off his collar 3. to set up his travel crate and have him spend a bit of time in there even though it's not strictly necessary, and 4. to run without reinforcing contacts (unless he blows them, in which case I will go back and reinforce that he must complete them prior to going on).

Any other thoughts on how to prepare him? How about me?

Monday, June 16th, 2008
11:24 am
2 q weekend!
it was a pretty good weekend... i certainly am tired!
valkyrie did good. turns out she can't possibly be a purebred pit bull but some kind of border collie mix! she does that stupid spin in circles and barks! damn her. we'll get into that more later
the weekendCollapse )

gripeCollapse )


Current Mood: tired
Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008
4:10 am
last night valkyrie and i got back into the swing of things for agility. we are in some serious trouble. apparently in her three week vacation she has forgotten what contacts are. oh yes. and the getting out and working away from mom brings on the spins! must babysit every single obstacle. seriously folks running a full course with your dog is not fun especially when you cannot breathe!(allergies)
i know this was our first time out in a few weeks... but shouldn't she have retained a bit more than this? we have a trial in a week and a half! she even came back out the tunnel the same way she went in. gah. maybe she is just testing my patience? see how far she can string me along and we will have an amazing trial performance?
lisa and i plan to get together this week and work on contacts. i can do a little here with the touch board and stuff... but gosh this sucks.
oh yeah- her weaves. we hadn't gotten to full upright before the injury so i can't be too upset there... we'll get there. it just sucks. maybe we really aren't ready to be trialing... i just don't know sometimes.


Current Mood: can't breathe!
Tuesday, May 20th, 2008
12:00 am
what did i used to do before agility? valkyrie has hurt her foot and is on "bed rest" for the next week. today was day one and i am so bored! so is she. we normally have training class monday nights. talked to lisa- friend and trainer- and she said that everyone in class missed us. i don't have a clue what i used to do with all my time before agility. so i cleaned the house. and now that valkyrie has to be kept quiet we are working on our obedience stuff. long sits and downs. certainly not as exciting as tunnels and a-frames! but maybe this will be good for us. taking a break. maybe when her foot gets better she'll be more motivated to play.

note: valkyrie either has a foreign body stuck in her foot or she has a cyst that opened up. if it is a cyst there will be surgery to remove it. if it is a foreign body it should come out with the foot soaks we are doing. crosses fingers that it is just a foreign body. either way she will recuperate quickly and be back to agility in no time.

Current Mood: bored
Tuesday, May 6th, 2008
9:02 pm
hey everyone! i dont have a question really but i wanted to introduce my dog a bit if thats ok. this place doesnt seem all that busy o.o

shes in her advanced begginers class and doing VERY well! She has perfect contacts yet shes also really fast. loves the tunnel ofcourse loves the teeter (all contacts really)  we havent gotten the weeves down yet. we need to work with the channel weeves more. she does everything i ask her to perfectly and most mistakes end up being my falt not hers.

shes a 5 y/o border collie lab mix. knows a TON of tricks. we are inseperable i cant imagine living without her!
anyway our first trial is coming up in june! im so exited! ive only been to a trial once, a TDAA i was the gate steward so that gave me a LOT of good expeirience as to what to expect. if anyone has any helpful comments id appreciate it :)

and of course, and picture of my baby girl

Monday, May 5th, 2008
11:32 pm
nadac vs usdaa
ok... this weekend i went out and watched some of a USDAA trial and i was shocked at how many obstacles there were. i have only ever done NADAC and there is no chute, seesaw, table, slats on dogwalk and aframe. plus there was a triple and broad jump and oh my. and all the obstacles were a lot closer together than in the nadac trials. i didn't understand the snooker run AT ALL. and how come there is no tunnelers class?
and oh yeah, this trial was a heck of a lot bigger than any other that i have been too. which meant a lot more waiting in between. but there were three rings and it actually didn't move as slowly as i thought it would. overall i was pretty impressed.

Current Mood: content
Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008
1:26 pm
nadac trial results
so this weekend valkyrie was on. like the switch was finally turned on. we've done only 3 full trials and half a trial last spring(last year this time was our first trial and we only entered one run to see what we really needed to work on and how she would react with that many other dogs/people around) this was our fourth trial where we ran both days and did three/four classes a day. i think she gets it! but now i have a higher expectation for the next trial since i know she CAN do it.
the weekendCollapse )
so that was the weekend. now we're back to practice, practice, practice. we need to get those weave poles down! i haven't entered any other trials yet... anyone else here do NADAC? we live in ct and there aren't many trials near us. i am considering other venues. my trainer is going to a USDAA trial in a couple weeks... i'm just going to go watch and see what i think.
here is a picture my friend angela took at the trial this past weekend.
valkyrieCollapse )
sorry this got longer than i thought- cut for your friends page pleasure.

Current Mood: happy
Thursday, April 17th, 2008
5:25 pm
nadac trial
tomorrow valkyrie and i head off for a nadac trial in wrentham, ma. i'm going with some good friends one of which is our agility trainer. i'm so excited! i wish i could leave to go today! we'll be camping with all our dogs and it should be good times. i would like to get one qualifying run but i will be happy if we just go out and have fun. this is one of my friends first trials and we will be running novice against each other. her dog will kick butt. anyways, i just thought i'd share. let you all know how it goes when i get back!

Current Mood: excited
Thursday, January 31st, 2008
11:14 am
Hello Everyone
Im new to the sport of agility. ive been training dogs (mine or my friends for fun) for years but ive never actually done any competitions with a dog.

i started agility 3 weeks ago with my 6 year old Border collie Lab mix McKenzie. she is in good shape but ofcourse the extra excorsize of jumping and running and all that is more than she is used to. the main thing i wanted to ask is how to keep her as healthy as possible during all this. i dont want her last years to be painful and arthritic. just some simple advice on how to keep her happy and healthy would be appreciated.

things like what supplements i should give her or advice on how much to excersize her daily. she is on fish oil and i am thinking about putting her on some glucose supplements. im hoping to have a few more good years with her before i retire her and get a serious competition dog.

thanks guys :)

Current Mood: excited
Sunday, December 9th, 2007
6:59 pm
Incas first show...
Yesterday was Incas first agility show as Dog Vegas are running Grade 0 classes, for dogs between 15-18 months. What can I say?? She was a STAR!! (Its just a shame about the handler!)

Her first (ever) run was Grade 0 agility. I was worried about keeping her in the ring and not going after the dog in the next one (or at the start line, or 3 rings over..). She got all her contacts and did all the jumps, however, I tried to race her out of the tunnel which inevitably didn't work as I had my back to her - I should have turned facing her I know. I was certainly impressed with the little lady, just not so much with myself.

Her next class was Grade 0 Tunnel Happy. Happy she was but she wasnt so keen on the flat tunnel so in the end the judge had to hold it open. However, after that she flew round...its a shame we didn't start at the 3rd obstacle.

Her final class was Grade 0 jumping. Again she suprised me and flew round the course. She just had to take a slight detour to see if dad was standing where he used to be (which he wasnt as I told him to hide around the corner, hence the video footage being taken from far far away). Still, a fantastic note to end on as she recieved just 5 faults!!

Friday, November 30th, 2007
4:34 pm
brushette Beagle in Agility
This is our 3 y/o beagle. She LOVES her classes and is all about meeting new people. My favorite thing about having trained a beagle in agility is that fighting her natural instincts to SMELL everything has forced me to be a better handler. I'm always mindful that I have to make class and shows MORE fun and worth her attention. Unlike my Aussies who work because they like listening to me I have had to WORK to be worthy the beagles attention. Hounds are selected for pack socialization and the ability to use independent thought when trailing prey. 150 times she will do the teeter right when suddenly it crosses her mind to instead run to the far side and PULL it DOWN.

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007
10:20 am
crappy teacher??
Hello, while living in arizona I took about 6 months worth of agility classes. By the end of the classes we were running a 12 part course, and doing pretty well. I recently moved to washington, and found a teacher here that I am not too crazy about. Because I didn't learn "his" way of teaching, we had to start back at ground zero. It is now week 6 and we went over our first jump. For the past 6 weeks we've been practicing running in circles teaching our dogs to run ahead... which mine already does... There are only two other people in my class and it seems like we don't DO anything, he just talks the whole time! Is it just me or is this realllllllyyyy slowww?  At the rate were going it seems like its gonna take two years to get to all the obstacles... Winter time is setting in here so all the agility places aren't having classes. I am considering taking a break from this and trying flyball or something. I just feel so discouraged by this teacher, and I am worried that if i switch to a new teacher that I'm going to have to start back at the basics AGAIN. any words of advice...?
Tuesday, September 11th, 2007
11:09 am
Getting started
Hi there,

I am thinking of beginning dog agility training with my Australian cattle dog. She is athletic and eager to learn, so I think it would be fun for both of us. There is an indoor agility course near my house where people are allowed to practice, so that is a big plus.

What I would like to know is, what should my dog be proficient with before I even begin with agility training? What kind of training base need she have before she starts on the obstacles themselves? She will sit-stay almost indefinitely, and she heels offleash like a champ (we run around a fenced-in baseball diamond together).

Monday, August 13th, 2007
7:18 pm
crate for SUV question
I just got an SUV...I used to seatbelt my Aussie in the back seat when I drove an Altima...
I got a crate (brand not mentioned...yet) and strapped it tightly in the back with ratcheted tie downs...
The problem is this thing makes a RACKET!!! I actually have another crate which I used at first but it was really too big and wanted to get a smaller one just for the car...that wasn't nearly so noisy!!!
My question is:
Does anyone recommend a particular less noisy crate? I mean I used hair elastics to keep the latches from rattling but the whole crate rattles!! It's not a cheap crate either!!
Thanks in advance for any input!!
Michele & Roxy the Aussie
Sunday, August 12th, 2007
6:48 pm
New community for working Shetland Sheepdogs!
A friend of mine and myself have started a new community, for those of you who compete with your Shelties and/or have working Shelties! This community is open to anyone with a Sheltie (or a significant interest in Shelties,) who competes, or has an interest in at least one venue, including but not limited to: Conformation, Obedience, Agility, Rally-Obedience, Herding, Tracking, Therapy work, Service work, etc. etc. Additional information and rules can be found on the community profile. Please come join us, and have fun talking about the versatility of this wonderful breed!

sheltiesperform sheltiesperform sheltiesperform

Current Mood: blah
Thursday, July 12th, 2007
6:07 pm
Dead cats dogs found in pet food!
UPDATE: List of foods and actual lawsuit link:
Mars inc, Proctor and gamble co. Colgate Palmolive co. Del Monte foods,
co. Nestle USA, inc. Nutro Products inc, Menu foods, inc. Menu Foods Income
fund Publix supermarkets Winn Dixie super markets Petco animal supplies Pet
Supermarket, inc. Petsmart inc. Target corp Wal-mart stores, inc.


Thank you for the update madlovescience!

PLEASE don't watch the video if you have a weak stomach, it may be a bit much.


X-posted like whoa.
Monday, May 28th, 2007
6:42 pm
Notts Champ & Open Agility Show
I think its safe to say that Pippa did rather well this weekend =D =D =D

She came:
2nd in Med 1+2 combined Agility
3rd in Med 1+2 combined Jumping
3rd in Med 1+2 combined Agility
3rd in Med 1+2 combined Jumping
+ a clear in 1-7 combined Helter Skelter

Monday, April 30th, 2007
3:41 pm
New community
Hi everyone.

I just wanted to let everyone know about a new community called animal_training. Anybody with an interest in animal training is welcome to join, whatever their experience level, training philosophies or species of choice.

Our intention was to create a space where training enthusiasts can engage in civil debate, discuss training in theory and practise, and offer and ask for advice. It's not expected that everyone will always agree, but we're hoping to offer a place where differences of opinion can lead to constructive debate and exchange of ideas rather than judgment and flamewars.

If you think this sounds like something that would interest you, please come and check us out and feel free to make a post introducing yourself and your critters to the group.

Thanks :)
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