May 3, 2012

Episode 1: Using a Crate During Training

Welcome to the inaugural episode of the Bad Dog Agility podcast.

In this episode (14:06)

Training Tip: A crate can be a very useful tool for dog agility training in a class or at home.

News Topic: The upcoming 2012 AKC Agility World Team tryouts.

Mentioned

Welcome to bad dog agility where the naughty dogs train I'm Sarah, and I'm a Stevan. We love dog agility and we love to talk. And so we decided to launch this podcast. We'll start every episode with a discussion about an agility training topic followed by one or two newsworthy, agility related topics. Sounds great today. We're going to talk about using a crate in your agility class.

So how do you use a, create an agility classes? Davon? I am so glad you asked, you know, I try to get there a little early, but my friends will tell you I'm always late and I'll spend the first five minutes of class setting up my crate. Uh, I make it a wire crate, you know, in the past I've had very,

very large dogs, like a rottweilers and golden retrievers only recently have I moved into these small border Collie class of a dog and I'll set up my wire crate and uh, I'll take my daughter to the bathroom and get my dog into the crate. And then I'll focus my attention on the class. But I like to use the crate in class for a variety of reasons.

I think the biggest one is most classes are going to last anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half. I think it's impossible for the dog to be focused. And on the entire time they need some downtime. They need some time when they don't really need to pay attention to you, they can, uh, kinda goof off or watch the action,

drink some water, uh, and do it in a place where they're going to feel safe. If you don't have a crate, that downtime is going to happen, but it's going to happen when your dog is on lead with you. And I don't want my dog to get in the habit of ignoring me. So by putting them in the crate, I give them permission to take their attention off of me and to rest and relax,

um, versus having them on leash, having them check out and ignore me while I talked to the instructor or while I'm planning my course or anything like that. So that's why I prefer to use a crate to just having my dog on lead. No, I totally agree. You know, it's really hard to walk a course when you've got your dog on a leash.

So I think what a lot of people will do, if they don't have a crate, they will put their dog in a settle or some version of a downstate. Some people will bring out a mat or a bed and put their dogs on that, but then it becomes a mentally draining obedience exercise for the dog. I think some downtime they need to not have to be thinking so hard about holding their position or holding their spot on their mat so that they can be fresh for the exercise.

I agree. And you need to be able to focus on the course, look at the numbers, plan your strategy without worrying about whether or not your dog is hopping off the mat. Well, um, I'm a woman so I can focus on my dog and walking in the course at the same time, but I could understand where you would want to have your dog put up so that you could fully focus on the course.

That's right. I've heard that women are better at multitasking. Something about having kids and stuff like that. Not just a rumor I hear at scientific, but no, that's a great point. And a couple other issues to consider is that even if your dog is totally awesome and has a great downstate, there's no guarantee that another dog who is, um,

off leash or escapes a leash or runs out of the field, you know, won't go up and, um, say hi to your dog, perhaps in an unfriendly way. And you don't. Yeah, you don't want your dog to have a bad experience, especially when you're in a novice class. If you're, if you're new to the sport of agility and,

uh, you're out there and you're with a bunch of beginner dogs, you don't want your new agility dog to have a bad experience. You want them to love this sport. You want them to love class and you just don't need that kind of drama. Totally agree. Do you think we'll agree this much? Every podcast? Um, no, but it's a great start and it makes me feel very hopeful for the future.

I think another added benefit is that by using a crate, you really imitate the show environment. You know, I think it's competitors. You want to make your training sessions as close to the real thing as close to the trial as you possibly can. And when you're at a real show, you're going to use a crate. Your dog is going to spend most of their time in that crate.

And you're going to take them out of that crate, warm them up and take them to their run and get them back in the crate where you're going to give them their reward. And if you introduce them to this concept in practice, I think the transition from practice to competition will be much, much easier. True. Another issue sometimes people will come and tell you,

well, Hey, I like to put my dog in a crate, but you know, my dog is a border Collie and it will really focus on the other dogs. And, you know, he gets, gets really riled up or excited inside his crate. And, uh, I think something you can do there is to bring a sheet or some kind of cover for your crate.

Again, you know, give your dog a chance to kind of relax, check out, take a break, give him a safe place to kind of hang out and wait until it's his turn next. Very true. I would not recommend silk or anything else, expensive that's right. Or anything big or thick, especially in those hot summer months. In fact,

a lot of people will bring out a fan and put a fan just outside of the crate, pointed out the dog, maybe what the dog a little bit. And that's something to keep in mind as well that if you have them in a crate, you know, if you're working, say out of your car, you know, you've got to your crate in your car,

consider leaving the car on running the AC. If you don't want to do that, make sure you've got some of the side doors open as well as the bags. So you can get some air flow through there. You know, don't just leave the back open. They're probably not going to get enough air that way, but you know, to, to bring a fan and just to make sure that they are,

uh, cool enough, especially in the summer months. So to sum up using a created agility practice. Good idea. Good idea. Do it. Our agility news topic of the day is going to be weekend coming up in Minnesota, the world team tryouts, the world team trials. That's right for the American kennel club. They will be hosting a tryout for the FCI world team that will travel to checklist Slovakia.

I'll send notice the Czech Republic. Is it not Czechoslovakia anymore? Is it officially the Czech Republic? You're way behind the times. My friend. I see, I see that's in Europe, right? I believe so. Okay. We're American. So it's okay for us to not be a hundred percent sure. How many years out of date you are?

Google will tell me. All right. And while she does that, um, I'll tell you that that FCI world championship is going to be later on this year, but the team selection will happen, uh, right there this weekend, there'll be two automatic spots awarded. And, uh, the remainder of the team for both this small, medium and large Heights will be selected by the AKC.

The trials is definitely something I think every competitor should see once if you live in the Minnesota area and you're not busy this weekend, I think it's worth it to drive a couple hours and, uh, check out the competition very inspiring. Uh, I've been twice and I've never competed. I've been kennel help, but every time I leave feeling so excited and so motivated and so ready to go train my dogs,

it's worth it just for that little jolt of energy. Yeah, absolutely. It's like going to any big event, whether it's the AKC invitational or AKC nationals, you come back, you see really great dogs and you come back very fired up and ready to go. World team trials is also different because there's just the one ring. Um, so you can watch the whole entire thing from start to finish.

And even if you're competing in it, you can watch the majority of the dogs that are running before after you. Um, and the atmosphere is just very supportive and there's cheering and excitement. Um, I dunno, you've actually competed in it. What do you, what you think, uh, you know, I totally agree. I remember going the first time,

uh, with the Rottweiler and thinking, you know, what am I doing here? And it's going to be really stressful. Everybody's going to be super stressed out. And, uh, you know, I'm sure a lot of the handlers did feel a stress, but everyone was very supportive. Everyone watched every single run, everybody got collapsed and, you know,

I didn't feel in any way left out or belittled. And I just had a really great experience. I met a lot of new friends and people that we see only at those kinds of events, you know, those, those big national events because they live in a different part of the country, you know, and, um, it was just a really great experience.

And, and like you said, at a typical trial, you may not get to see dogs outside of your height and at the big national events, even you're pretty focused on your ring. And when there are 250 something dogs and the 20 inch class, and you have a 20 inch doll, or you may not get the opportunity to, to see your friends compete in a different high class,

but here everybody watches everybody else. And the atmosphere I think is just really, really good. It's a great place to, to see kind of a showcase of the current handling styles, the current contact styles to see the best running contacts that are out there competing today, to see the best stop contacts that are out there competing today and to really kind of compare and contrast different handling.

Um, and you're going to see it with the best handlers in the States. That is definitely one of my favorite parts about it. You know, I love competing in agility. I love trawling my dog, but I also love being a spectator. You know, I don't understand why ESPN doesn't have a dog agility website, cause I can watch that for hours.

You know, I haven't had my favorite dogs. I may not know your name, you the handler, but I will know your dog's name. I will know a lot about your dog and I will watch your dog at different competitions. And for those who can't go to Minnesota, I'm sure it's available on, on, uh, on the web. It usually is.

I assume, well, we shouldn't assume, you know, one of us should probably be looking, looking it up while the other of us is, uh, talking. That's true. But, um, in past years they actually broadcast on the internet for a small fee. Usually somewhere in the neighborhood, I want to say between like 20 and $30,

you can get the entire weekend. All the runs usually available a video on demand as well, at least one year, they had commentary. Very good commentary. You can sit there in your pajamas early Saturday morning and watch the most awesome dogs in America, uh, attack some of the most difficult international style courses around. And it is great. It is must see TV.

Yep. And you can see it on agility, vision, agility, vision.com. We'll have the coverage for looks like $24 and 96 cents 96. That is interesting. Uh, but anyway, yeah, so anybody can watch it. Anybody can get that jolt of excitement, by the way. Also you are woefully out of date, 1993, Czechoslovakia Czechoslovakia, peacefully dissolved into Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic really.

So it says Wikipedia. So it must be true. I had no idea. Well, I'm sure we're going to be back on the air right after the tryouts, talking about everything we've seen in the most exciting runs, according to us, I think that's true. I would definitely be watching this weekend, which means one of us is probably going to be watching the kids while the other one of us is watching the tryouts.

I wonder which one will be, which we can draw straws. I expect the books will be cooked. Well, I don't know. I don't really know what that means, but, um, I would like to take this time to wish all of the competitors, uh, in case you do happen to hear this podcast before the tryout, you know,

good luck, safe trip, have a great time, enjoy yourself and don't feel any pressure just because everybody's going to be watching that's right. And we should let everybody know who is listening all one or two or zero view that, um, you can go to bad dog, agility.com. We have the training videos. They're all about agility. We will have this podcast up and we would love to hear from you in comments,

uh, what you think about the site, the articles, and most importantly, what you would like to hear on this podcast. That's right. If something's interesting to you newsworthy, or you have a training issue or question definitely drop us a line and we'll talk about it on the podcast. Sounds like a plan. All right, until next time happy training.

Thank You for Listening!

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