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Old 12-07-2014, 07:18 PM   #21 (permalink)
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UKC events can be entered by going to the UKC site. You can download regs from this page and look for events on this page
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Old 12-08-2014, 04:30 AM   #22 (permalink)
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what an interesting thread...you folks here are so dedicated to helping everyone enjoy the poodle experiences to the max!! Thank you
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Old 12-08-2014, 05:49 AM   #23 (permalink)
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spindledreams thanks for those notes about the differences in UKC novice obedience. I think there are a number of factors that people should account for in deciding on a venue. First, of course is availabilty of that venue in reasonable travel distance. But the differences in exercises is important too. Part of why I waited until well into 2012 to do AKC rally excellent with Lily was to make sure she didn't have to do an honor exercise. I just don't like the idea of ordering one of my dogs to an on leash sit or down stay and having them want to obey my order if the working dog ends up going out of control in the ring (which would have been possible in rally excellent since the working dog is off leash, I also don't like having one dog on and one dog off leash).

I think people can use my original links to get events searches and the rules for the various venues I discussed. One of the important things is to be very familiar with the rules and actual ideal performance of each exercise in the venue you want to show in. Just last week I took a utility class at my club. We don't teach the exercises in these classes but rather work with the class instructor and each other to practice and improve the dog's execution of the behaviors. For those who are newer to utility with their first dog (me a year or so ago), we offer guidance on very basic things as we work with each other. The person who I worked with is a green handler and she doesn't know the language for the orders. I suggested to her that she study the rules so she becomes familiar with what the judge will be saying to her and also so that she can give orders appropriately to the person she is working with.
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Old 12-09-2014, 05:39 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Default preparing for your first trial

Ok, so you have decided that you are ready to enter a rally or agility or other trial with your dog. What do you need to do to be absolutely ready for the day of the trial.

First test your dog under trial like circumstances by entering a match if possible. My obedience club schedules matches in the weeks leading up to trials that we are hosting. There will be a judge (I often work to judge matches) and although they won't score you (if it is a "B" match, show and go or fun match) they will give you feedback and if you want them to treat it just like a trial they will. You will be scored if it is an "A" match. You can also use it as a training opportunity if you know your dog is weak in one exercise. I have also been at agility trials that run B matches on the first day of a trial after the regular event ends. The entry fees for matches are much lower than for trials. One of my favorite trials to go to are those hosted by the Syracuse Obedience Training Club in upstate NY since they always host match time in the trial rings on Fridays of the weekends of their Sat/Sun trials.

Another really important thing to do is to make sure your dog will be relaxed at the trial. If you are interested in something noisy and high energy like agility go to a trial with your dog and walk around the venue with them. Make sure you stay out of the way of the chute and the ring exit and don't interfere with teams that are getting ready to run, but do let your dog learn what the atmosphere will be like and pay attention to reading your dog for signs of stress. If (s)he seems really stressed out by it all then work on classical conditioning exercises in that highly distracting environment to help your dog refocus on you. Although there are others, I recommend Leslie McDevitt's Control Unleashed games. Leslie McDevitt: Control Unleashed®: Home Page

Since you will walk through the courses for agility and rally it is essential that your dog be comfortable relaxing in a crate. Practice this by taking the crate to class and setting it up and having your dog rest in it while waiting for your turn. Let your dog see and hear that there are dogs working nearby. You don't want to have to rely on asking someone to hold your dog while you do your walk through. Also dogs are rarely allowed into the restrooms with you so you need a place to safely leave them when you go off to use the facilities or buy something for lunch. For multi-day trials you can view your crate and chair (good idea to have a chair for yourself too) as a campground of sorts. You can leave those things set up without worry (although hide your rosettes when you aren't around, I've had a couple stolen (including last year at PCA!)). I always leave water, food, treats and an extra set of feed buckets at the trial site so I don't have to carry those back and forth, and more importantly don't have to worry about forgetting them. Duplicates of those dog care essentials also stay at my hotel.

Here is a picture that shows what the crating areas can look like. Being prepared will help you minimize your own stress and therefore will help you bring out the best in your dog when you step into the ring together.

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Old 12-10-2014, 04:00 AM   #25 (permalink)
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This thread is fantastic and full of so much useful information! Thank you Catherine (and everyone else who contributed) for all the wonderful facts and links. It is a bit daunting when you are taking that first step (paw!), so to have great resources to turn to is very helpful. Thanks again!

Heather (and Cooper)
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Old 12-11-2014, 06:40 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Default At your first trial

Now the dig day of your debut with your dog is here. If the trial is in day trip distance of your home, make sure you know how to get there and how long it will take. Then add at least an hour to your travel time to figure out when to leave to make it to your ring on time. This gives you a buffer for bad traffic, but more importantly is also the time you need to set up your crate, settle your dog and check in at your ring.

Settling your dog should include walking through the venue while talking to him or her to let them know that this big noisy place full of dogs is no big deal to you and shouldn't be to them either. One of the biggest mistakes I see new handlers make is in not helping their dog to understand the new environment enough.

I go to many events that are not one day there and back kinds of venues. I often will enter for two or as many as four days at a big cluster. It is essential that I do everything I can to keep Lily's life as routine as possible. I go the day before I show to trials like this. Whenever possible I set up the day before the trials start. I will walk around in the buildings and/or grounds to show Lily the lay of the land. I show her the rings we will work in and walk around them with her. You are not allowed to practice in the show rings for the most part, but you can do things to help your dog be familiar with the working setting.

If the club hosting the trial has a match before the trial, think about entering. This is the biggest favor you can do for your dog. He or she will think that the work environment is not so alien if they have had a chance to practice there.
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Old 12-11-2014, 11:38 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I think Lou would be an extraordinary super champion agility gal! she does crazy athletic things with such ease!! She is really amazing! Apollo tried his best but she is lightning fast and way more graceful on her jumps and landings


She jumps really really REALLY high like a horse! and lands gracefully like .. So gently the paws touch the floor!

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Apollo tries to keep up, running after the ball when playing fetch, but Lou is soooo much faster than him! I actually have to ask her to wait so he can have a turn to get the ball too! hehehehehe
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Old 12-12-2014, 01:29 AM   #28 (permalink)
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I think human women are more graceful than men too. Medium size girl spoos are famous for jumpy-jumps. Mine goes 6-8 feet in the air and lands like a feather. Different if you get in the way! 50lbs of dog from 6 feet up can flatten you.
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Old 12-12-2014, 01:35 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericwd9 View Post
I think human women are more graceful than men too. Medium size girl spoos are famous for jumpy-jumps. Mine goes 6-8 feet in the air and lands like a feather. Different if you get in the way! 50lbs of dog from 6 feet up can flatten you.
Eric.

Well said!! Lou & Apollo are 62-65lbs now I think LOL.... I can still carry them, but barely ! last time I measured / weighed them was a long time ago, they are now 2.5 years old

And they do "bodyslam me in the backyard sometimes enough to make me fall on my butt a couple times!! lol "
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Old 12-12-2014, 03:20 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Great info! I'm going to start bring a crate to Lily's agility class. Never thought of doing that, but now I know why the more experienced woman in class brings a crate for her collie!
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