December 17, 2020

Episode 271: All About the Tunnel – Part 1

In this episode (31:41)

In this podcast, Sarah, Jennifer, and Esteban show why the tunnel may be a far more complex obstacle than most competitors realize.

You Will Learn

  • The handling impact of curving or straightening a tunnel.
  • How tunnels interact with different dog heights.
  • Whether you should train on light or dark-colored tunnels.
  • How to properly bag and anchor your tunnel.
  • What length tunnel you should train on.
  • If “tunnel suckers” actually exist.
  • Why handlers shouldn’t get too close to the tunnel.
  • How to cue tight turns after the tunnel.
  • When to time your verbal cues for the next obstacle after a tunnel.
  • How to handle common tunnel traps.

Mentioned/Related

- You're listening to "Bad Dog Agility," bringing you training tips, interviews, and news about the great sport of dog agility. (soft music) - I'm Jennifer. - I'm Esteban. - And I'm Sarah, and this is Episode 271. - Today's podcast is brought to you by HitItBoard.com and the new Teach It, an easy-to-use tool that controls the amount of tip on your teeter so you can introduce motion to your

dog in a gradual way, just in time for winter training. Order one now to receive a free feeding tray. You can also get $25 off a Hit It Board and $50 off the Move It. Go to HitItBoard.com to get the holiday 2020 promo codes. That's HitItBoard.com. Today, we're going to be talking all about the tunnel. And even though it seems like a very basic obstacle, a very basic

piece of equipment, there's a lot of nuance there. And so I want to start off with the most basic of tunnel questions. What kind of a tunnel should people be getting? And I think there's a couple things to look at here. Length and color are the two that come to mind and there's a lot of different brands out there. So the materials are gonna be different. The weight

of the actual tunnel is going to be different. So let's start there. Sarah, what are some thoughts that you have about that? - Well, let me talk about length first because I have a very strong opinion about length. - So size does matter. - Yes, yes. So we've, you know, in the past we've gotten tunnels and one of the thoughts that we had in the past was to

get a longer tunnel because it's more versatile. It can be long or you can scrunch it up and it can be short. But what I found when we did that was that it was really hard to bag it well and for it to keep its shape. And so for me, if you were gonna come to me and say "I'm only gonna get one tunnel," my suggestion would be

a 15 or a 16-foot tunnel, I think is kind of the sweet spot. It lets you do like a U-shaped tunnel. You can still do a straight tunnel and you just don't need all that extra length. And in fact, I think, in today's agility, in the past, people would actually make like S shapes out of the tunnel, which required a longer, bigger tunnel, but that has fallen out

of favor, maybe not even legal anymore. And so you really only see variations of a single curve, not multiple curves in a tunnel. And so I feel like that's the best size that works well for the majority of people. - I could not agree more. I just received an email last week from a person who's purchasing equipment for their field. And they said, okay, how many tunnels do

I need? What lengths? And my words were almost the exact same. You know, you have kind of the standard being 10, 15, 20 and the thought is 20 has a lot of versatility to it. But I told her if I was gonna do it, I'd grab a 15 for all the reasons that you mentioned. And you can get into issues. You think, okay, well the 20 one, the

20-foot one, you can scrunch up, but then with the little dogs and their feet in there, you're having it all bunched up and the issue with the bagging it. So I think the 15 or 16 feet is definitely the sweet spot, for sure. - Well, you raised an interesting point there, Jen. Let's say I'm a person who's gonna get more than one tunnel. So I think we're all

in agreement that if you're gonna get just one tunnel, probably shoot for something I guess middle-sized, 15 feet, nothing too short. You want it to be long enough where you can actually put a little curve in it, something like they'd see in a trial. What if I'm going to get two? What if I run a training group or something or I am an instructor and I say, okay,

I've got the money or I'm gonna replace my tunnels and I want two tunnels. I'm not gonna get three. I definitely want more than one. What do I do? Two 15 footers? Should I get a medium and a long? - That's a tricky question. I think for me personally, I would probably err on the side of the 20 versus the 10. And the reason being is because it's

gonna increase the ability to put it under a contact. If you do a 10 foot, you really can't put it under the dog walker under the A-frame real well. And even the 15 foot, depending on the shape, can be a bit tricky. But a 20-foot one gives you the ability to put it under a dog walk for a discrimination, put it under an A-frame, either parallel or under

it. So I think if I was going to choose, I would go for the 20. The other thing is a 10-foot tunnel in AKC cannot have anything more than a 45-degree curve, right? So in AKC, a 10-foot tunnel is suggested to be straight, but it can have up to a 45-degree turn. So a 10-foot tunnel does become a little bit limiting. Now, I am a huge fan of

straight tunnels. Anybody who has been at my building, I think we've had straight tunnels there for the last six consecutive weeks 'cause I'm a huge fan of them and that is one nice part about the 10-foot one, but with not being able to put a curve in it, a 10-foot one can be a little bit limiting on the other end. So I think I'd go 15, 20, and

light colors. - Hmm, well-- - Let's get to colors. - Let's talk about colors. My thoughts on colors, light versus dark. I'm thinking of a specific competition. It was an Agility World Championship years and years ago, more than 10 years ago, I'm sure, where they had black tunnels and it freaked dogs out. Like, these dogs, with the entire world watching, would not go in these tunnels. They were

like, nope, not doing it. And so ever since I saw that, because before that I was thinking, oh, light tunnels, of course. Why wouldn't you? They're nice and they're bright and they're colorful. - They don't get as hot in the sun. - Yeah, yeah, but now I make sure to carry a dark tunnel. So we personally, we have two tunnels for our yard and we've got a light

yellow one, a bright yellow one and then we have a very dark blue one. - Like a royal blue. - A royal blue, right. And that matters especially when the sun starts to go down and there's much less light. That one becomes very, very dark. It casts shadows and can be intimidating for some dogs. Jen, what are your thoughts on color? - So we have tunnels that we

use for trials and tunnels that we use for training. And given that there's so much about safety and trying to improve the safety for trials, we only use light-colored tunnels. Now, that's a recent switch we made, always trying to keep the exhibitor in mind and some feedback we got and trying to be top-notch as much as possible. So we only use light ones, but there is a concern

that, well, what happens when you go to another facility that has a blue one or somewhere else? So for training purposes, we do have some dark ones. We have a purple one, a pink one, and then the royal blue. We do not use them at trials. We do have like our, we try to keep our trial tunnels in good shape by only using them at trials. And I

personally have a yellow and a blue, so kind of one of each. So yeah, if the entire world could unite and say, okay, we are only gonna use light colored ones, then I would tell everybody to have light ones, but because we have to prepare for conditions that might not be as great as what we have, having a dark one to be able to train on is good.

The other concern with color that recently came up is we've got a lot of yellow tunnels and then when you put a yellow tunnel under an A-frame or next to a dog walk that has a yellow contact zone, we were having some issues with, you know, is the dog seeing the discrimination or do they even know they're there? And that's why we went to the colors, having the

pink and now we have a light blue 10-foot one and a light blue 15-foot one, I believe. I feel like we have all colors and lengths, but so when I say light in color, I don't want people to automatically assume yellow because yellow with a discrimination can be a little bit tricky if that's the color of the contact zone, as well. So another factor to take into account

with color. - Hmm, that's a really good point that I hadn't thought of. And I'm kind of of the mind that I would also like to see a little more standardization of tunnels, right? Where everyone's kind of using the same tunnel, same material, that sort of thing. So you don't need to introduce this variety into your own collection or training facility. The next thing I wanted to talk

about was maybe just a quick word on the actual material. You know, there's different durability of materials, right? Like if you leave your tunnels out, you're gonna need them to last a little bit longer. I know that you can go on the internet and for very cheap, I want to say as little as $20, you can get a very thin, almost a nylon. - It's almost like what

kids play in. - Yeah, yeah. - Like a pop-up tent sort of type material. - Right, so someone like Jennifer had a credit policy is never going to use this kind of tunnel, even in their most introductory of classes. But I understand that a lot of our listeners are either working with people where that is the tunnel that they're using or they've gone out and got this equipment

for themselves because they're looking at the cost of the tunnel and saying, you know, well maybe I don't have $200, $300 to spend on this very high-end, very durable with grip, competition-ready tunnel, but I can do this one for $40. And so you just need to be careful and understand that in general, it could be a little slippery, right? Not gonna hold up as well. There's gonna be

more wear and tear. Your dog's eventually gonna wear it out, put some holes in it. When tunnels start collapsing, at least the old ones, the ones that they use for duct-type insulation and all that stuff, they would get these strings on the inside and they would hang down and brush against the dog or your dog could get tangled up in them. So you had to go in and

cut the strings. And then at some point say, okay, there's too many holes in this tunnel. Hey, we need a new tunnel. So just keep in mind when you are looking at tunnels, you don't want to just price shop, but there has to be I think a sweet spot between safety, durability. You know, it may be cheaper now in the long run, but if it only lasts you

for a year, right? Especially if you're doing it for a training group or a class or a facility, you have so many dogs running through it, it may be worth it to invest a little bit more to get a little more use out of the tunnel. - I mean, I'll be even a little bit more forceful and say I don't think that it's appropriate for the majority of

16-and-over dogs to run through a tunnel like that. Unless maybe, maybe, I don't know. We'll see if Jen agrees with me. Maybe if you made it your one and only straight tunnel where there was no curve, maybe you could do that because you know, then they're just running through it. But any time there's a curve, the dog is going to be running kind of up on the sides

and that material is just not going to work for a large dog and I don't think is safe. So I would actively discourage people. I think that maybe your eight-inch dogs maybe could use a tunnel like that. That's the only dog that I would consider and any other size, I would actively discourage from having a tunnel like that. - Yeah, I would agree with that. I think the

issue gets into the bagging. You know, you're banking up off the side, it gets soft and flimsy, and I do agree with you. I think possibly for a straight tunnel. My mom recently bought one last summer when she was training, one of those ones that you're describing. They're like nylon and they come in a little case and they're 40 bucks on Amazon and she'll just use it for

straight tunnels and not for long handling of courses, for short little drills, or even as like a possible off course, just to sit there to be as an off course. But yeah, I think I agree with Sarah. You really gotta be careful on that. That thing starts to move and roll or your dog pushes through it, you're gonna be in trouble. - Yeah, well, you mentioned bagging, so

let's talk a little bit about bagging. I think there's much more of an emphasis on bagging than in the past. I know when we first started, sometimes you'd only have basically two sets. So if you don't know what bagging for your tunnels looks like, basically you'll have a sandbag and then a second sandbag and the two will have a strap that connects the two. You throw the strap

over the tunnel and it's gonna hold it down in place. So you have a bag on either side of the tunnel. The minimum, I would say, these days is three, but I remember back in the day, especially with shorter tunnels or even with straight tunnels today, people who don't like lugging bags around or don't have enough bags, would do just the entry and the exit, right? Those two

points, but on a curve, you can see how that would work, right? The shape of the tunnel would change for each dog. Even if you had to do the same tunnel twice in a course, it could even change and shift around. So bagging, I think people are much, they take it much more seriously than they did before. I know that Silvia Trkman, for example, the great trainer and

competitor from Slovenia, even redid one of her DVDs and that was one of the reasons she cited. She said looking back on our old DVDs, they weren't that into bagging and it bothered her to see in the old videos the tunnel really moving around and she felt that that was one of the reasons her dogs weren't very fast through tunnels compared to other dogs, maybe their home equipment,

the tunnel was too unstable. And so the dogs kind of learned to slow down a little bit and not run as fast as they possibly could. So we have, I think, as a group in agility, like as a community, we're much more mindful of the bagging. Jennifer, what are your thoughts on that? - Absolutely, I couldn't agree more. I think it's been a huge, huge change on what

we've seen, even in just the last three or four years. I know with our straight tunnels, I mean, even if a 10-foot straight tunnel, we do four sets of bags. So like eight total bags, but four sets. A 15-foot straight tunnel, and we're just talking straight, we do five sets of bags on. A lot of times with the straight tunnel you're doing, you know, angles in so the

dogs are banking a lot more, but yeah, I mean, it's the awareness and I think that's going back to where I was saying about the safety has changed, you know, when we'd do black, 20-foot black tunnels with two sandbags to what we have now, it's a total difference in shift. And I will say as far as the bags go, a lot of what we are referring to in

this instance of added tunnel bags is for AKC and FCI and some UKI competitions. CPE, excuse me, CPE actually has rules against bagging. So I haven't quite figured that one out, but they actually do not allow you to have too many bags on it. They want the tunnel to give, kind of the theory that if you have a bunch of sandbags filled with gravel and rock, when the

dog's banking off of it, it's putting pressure that way that they want a little give. And I think there has to be a little bit of a happy medium, but yeah, I definitely think tunnel bags are where a lot of my equipment expense goes and one of the things that my course builders hate dealing with at trials because there's so many bags out there. - It's so heavy,

right? They're more expensive than you would think, right? You've already shelled out for your tunnel and then the bags are so much more expensive than you would think that they would be, given that they seem like an accessory to the tunnel. But I was gonna bring up the same point just because I think that people will hear both opinions. This is something in the current debate where people

are worried about the safety of the dogs, but you have people quoting safety as the reason for two completely different strategies, right? One is more bags, one is less bags. And for the exact reason that Jennifer stated, that the people who want less bags and by no means, I don't think they're talking about way back when when we did two bags or three bags on a tunnel. They're

kind of responding to today's world where there's really like bags every couple of feet on the tunnel, right? So they're kind of reacting to the new-- - Like eight bags on a straight tunnel. - Right, right. They're reacting to the new shift and feeling like basically it becomes like a concrete tube that the dogs are running through because of all of that weight. I do think that probably

the majority of people are more on the side of more bags. So that's what you're going to see I would say at home, because I think that the majority of people do not have the same number of bags at home that clubs provide at trials. I think that maybe the sweet spot, there is four bags on a 15-foot tunnel. We always have one at each end and then

one at the one-third part on both. So what I don't like to do is put one in the middle because as the dogs run through, you end up with them making your U into a V or even almost like a W as they push each half backwards and then have to come around the middle one. So I prefer to have either four or five so that you have

one on each end, one at each third point, and then maybe if you have a fifth bag, you can put one at the middle point, but that's how I would do it. - Yeah. Before you even said the number, when you said a 15-foot tunnel at home, I said four. - Yeah. - I said four. I mean, if you have five, great. But yes, I agree with you

100% there. - But I wouldn't do three is basically what I'm trying to say. Yeah, I wouldn't do three. And so that's what we do at home. - Right. And I've got one more very important safety point for bagging tunnels and it's that, in my opinion, you should remove the strap. You can leave the bags in place, but I would relieve the pressure of the band that's hugging

the tunnel. - You mean like in between? - Yeah, yeah, like after you're done for the day, just because it can warp the tunnel, right? And so instead of having a perfectly round tunnel, what you'll have is it'll get a little more oval-shaped. - Right. - And what does that do? Well, it decreases the height of the tunnel and in extreme situations, you sometimes saw this way back

when, of course we're much more mindful of this now, if you fasten it in really tight, it can cause a kink in the tunnel where it's a solid three, four, or five inches lower in height. So of course, you know, we talk so much about safety in dog agility, The only equipment-related death in dog agility that I personally know about, okay, happened in Europe and it happened because

a tunnel was bagged in this fashion where it was fastened really tight. There was a kink, it lowered the height. A dog, a working dog, a larger dog came through it and sustained a neck injury and died at the run. So, you know, we talk so much about the teeter and the tire and all these scary things and what is the weave pole doing to our dogs' backs

and whatnot. The only death that I know about, equipment-related issue is this. So it's one that you definitely want to be mindful of, trying to maintain the shape of your tunnel as best as possible and do not ratchet it so down that that's gonna be an issue. I think this is more for small dog people, maybe like you've never thought about it and then now your person, your

neighbor with the Lab is coming over for the first time. Yeah, you may have those kinks in your tunnel. - Yeah, I think the point there is that there is such a thing as too tight. We don't want the tunnel to move, but there is such a thing as too tight. And I think that one thing that we have seen a shift towards in terms of bagging is

really wide straps, which should kind of eliminate that from happening. So something that I get-- - As opposed to bungee cords. - Right, bungee cords, or like a thin nylon, maybe two to three inches wide nylon. Now we're looking at things that are more like a saddlebag style where the thing that goes over the tunnel is just as wide as the bag themselves and that really is going

to help with that issue. It's not going to squish down your tunnel nearly as much. - Right, right. But again, that kind of stuff, accessories going to cost more. - Right. - Right. But now you're paying more for the safety, which I would do. - Yeah. And I would, I'll just tell you which tunnel bags that I like, because I really like them. And that is we get

these tunnel bags that are all one piece, which makes them much harder to move around, but you don't have to worry about the Velcro wearing out over time. In the heat of the Texas sun, when we used to use Velcro, the dog would go through the tunnel and the Velcro would just pop open, you know? And so I like the saddlebag style that has no connection at all,

that it's all connected and it's made for the size of the tunnel, right? The tunnels are a standard size and they have some that are made in Europe that are really quite inexpensive compared to the majority of bags that are for sale here in the United States. And so you just have to make the shipping work out. So usually if you get three or four people together, the

shipping is going to make the per bag cost be more reasonable, so that would be my recommendation. - You can put a link to that in the show notes page. - I'll put a link to that in the show notes. - Okay, so now related to that, heights of dogs. So, Jennifer, do you see differences in how dogs either perform the tunnel or how you would teach a

dog a tunnel when we're looking at the very big range of heights and breed types that we have in agility? - That's immediately where my brain went as we were discussing how the tunnel bags will pull a tunnel down. There's also leeway in diameter of tunnel. So the standard tunnel was 24 inches, but AKC does allow the 26-inch tunnel diameter and you can buy tunnels in 26. And

when they first were offered, we got some and I was like, this is great. Let's give these big dogs, these weims a little bit more leeway and very quickly we went, maybe this isn't a good idea, because if not everybody is getting 26-inch tunnels and they're expecting that extra room and then they go somewhere else, you're gonna have all that same issue. So we no longer have the

26-inch tunnels and I think unless everybody agrees to go that route, I just don't think it makes sense to make the dog think that they're gonna have extra room and then not. It's also looking at a little bit on the rules, why AKC has that two-tunnel limit that was recently changed after the removal of the chute that you can have a third straight tunnel, but I know people

would always say, why only two tunnels? We see these European courses that use four tunnels. In AKC, the rules are two passes on a tunnel because it sets such a disadvantage for the large dogs. You know, your weims, your dobes, your Rhodesian Ridgebacks who you will see weight shift, decreased speed, duck to go in. We see a lot of dogs, you know, Papillions, or some of the small

border collies who will accelerate through a tunnel. We think, oh, these little Jack Russells, they see it and they love it. And think about a dog who's 25 inches tall. I mean, they don't just duck their head. We're talking withers. So they're now having to slow down and bend their upper arm and drop that shoulder back to go through a tunnel. So, yeah, I absolutely see a big

difference. I've only experienced a few dogs who will show a kind of displeasure for where they will avoid a tunnel or they'll look at it and go, I'm not sure. Most of them still enjoy it. They just have to work harder and go slower. But yeah, I mean, for sure, with a large dog, I'm gonna be a lot more careful about the number of reps and my dog's

desire for it than I would a little dog. - Yeah. Yeah, I think that's a great, great point about large dogs in particular. In general, agility is a sport for medium-sized dogs. The equipment specifications were kind of built with those dogs in mind. When agility first started, I don't believe there was an eight-inch class and certainly you weren't thinking about very large dogs, say like Great Danes. I

think also for the AKC Invitational, which actually just happened this past week in Florida, for the most part, they look to only have a one tunnel on a course. - Sometimes none. - Sometimes none, right. Very, very rare for this kind of competition, like a national-level competition and that is done very specifically because the AKC Invitational is an event where the top five of every breed come, so

we have a lot of breed diversity. Whereas when you're looking at these European courses that Jen was talking about, I don't want to make up numbers here, but like 90% of those dogs are gonna be border collie, right. You get to a big championship event, but here you're talking about all of those dogs, right? Labs, Weimaraners, German shepherds and a lot of them are gonna be very, very

big at the shoulder, right? So you can imagine if a tunnel is 24 inches, but my Rottweiler is 24, 25 inches at the shoulder, they are going to have to stoop down. They lose time. And that was something I didn't know about until we got the coach's eye. And after my Rottweiler had retired and I started doing these very cool overlays and side-by-sides, and then I realized we're

keeping up with the best border collies here, here, and here. Where are we losing time? Every time we hit a chute. So I felt that, you know, I was happy that they got rid of the chute for safety issues, but also for fairness issues, right? Between competition. It doesn't make sense to have two dogs that have the same speed, jumping ability, skill set as far as handling, and

then because one is taller than the other, that there's going to be some kind of a penalty there. There's this fairness issue there, as far as I'm concerned. Okay, so we talked about height. I think that's really, really good. And the last thing I wanted to ask you about, Jen, related to the piece of equipment itself was this idea of a grip, because I know that they have

now tunnels that are gripped, but not all the way around. Some of them is like half grip. Do you have any experience with these tunnels and what are your thoughts on that? Because tunnels, especially when they get wet, can cause slippage, right? And if your dog slips, they can hurt a toe, they can jam a shoulder. You know, things can happen in the tunnel. Injuries do happen in

tunnels. - I don't have any experience here within the United States with the tunnels that are like half-gripped, but I know exactly what you're talking about because at the last World Championships that I attended, when we had our training day, they had some of those tunnels there, which were basically like, they were half one color, but it wasn't like lengthwise. It was like, the top was one color

and the bottom was another color. And the bottom was where the traction was. So when you set your tunnel up, we didn't realize it at first, we just kind of set it up and it was like, oh, it's a split-color tunnel. And we had to end up rolling it because the grip was where we wanted the dog's traction to be and I think we had it on the

roof of the tunnel or something. (laughs) - Like a-ha, look at those Americans. - Yeah, I know. So somebody came in and educated us on that. So I have seen those, and you actually, on those, it was interesting because one of the tunnels, we rolled a little bit because it was a curve. And when they were banking, you actually kind of had to have the traction side up

on the edge. So, within the States, I haven't seen tunnels quite like that, but we do have different tunnels, different companies selling different grips and traction and texture. And I think there's so many factors there, inside, outside, you know, you talk about the tunnel getting wet, which makes me laugh because our tunnels are inside. We never have wet tunnels. (laughs) But yeah, absolutely outside, that's an issue in

the morning. And I think, you know, I hate to say you gotta, you gotta test things out because I don't think you can, as an individual, those of you listening, can test things out and just go through tunnels, but get testimonials, talk to people. Just because something says true grip or I have grip or for sure grip or great traction, whatever they're selling it on, make sure that

you can talk to people that can say, yeah, that grip is nice. So certainly I'm a fan of, you know, you almost could have, we went to rubber contacts how many years ago for better tractions, what almost seemed like rubber-lined tunnels, you know, or something like that. But that is certainly a factor that we've taken into account. I know at my facility we've gone through three, four, five,

six different brands. We'll get 'em, nope, don't like 'em or use this one only if it's straight or okay, use this in puppy classes and say, this one has the best traction. Let's save it for trials or whatever. So grip is certainly becoming kind of the next thing people are trying to improve about that piece of equipment. - Yeah, I would agree. And it does raise the price

quite a bit and it does make it a lot heavier. So when you're looking at your home field, those are going to be considerations for that. And before we get off of the piece of equipment itself, because there's one more point that I wanted to make about bagging, and I feel like this is the kind of thing that you learn through experience. So I'm hoping to save people

from the experience and that is your dogs are paying attention to those bags. So when the dog is coming from kind of more extreme angles to get to the tunnel, we have had dogs that basically ran into the side of the tunnel because the bag that was at the entrance of the tunnel was maybe a foot back from the entrance, right? And that's the kind of thing where,

until it happened to us, it never occurred to us. We just kind of put the bag sort of near the opening, as long as it was holding it together. And then after that happened to us, we realized these dogs, when they're coming from extreme angles, they see that first bag and they assume that the entrance of the tunnel is right next to it. And so now we're always

very careful to bag literally right at the entrance of the tunnel, not have a little bit of the tunnel sticking out past the bag. - Yeah. - Yeah, we also do contrasting tunnel bag colors at entry and exit. So if it's a blue tunnel, we use yellow bags. If it's a yellow tunnel, we use red bags on entry and exit to make sure for that same reason, too.

- Yeah. Yeah, I was just going to say that. Very interesting, like the visual tricks. It was like, to me, this is just like jumping, right? So some dogs look at the bar when they're jumping and some dogs just look at the wings. - Right. - So if you fiddle with the wings or you change how the wings look or you add an extra set of wings but

don't put a dark bar across it, then suddenly they completely misjudge the jump, right? So different dogs are using different visual cues that we are just not aware of and you weren't aware of for years and years and years, all the different things that go into it. The closest thing that I can get to people for sports is basketball 'cause the back board will look different. Rims will

look different. If you go to different indoor gyms, the space between the back board and the stands are different. It looks different outdoors. So there are people who only play indoors and when they go outdoor courts, they suck because everything is like blue sky and it just looks weird, right? And it completely throws off your shot and you don't realize how much you aren't looking at the rim,

you're relying on a variety of visual cues to perform a specific behavior and your dogs are basically doing the same things here in agility. So you want to get as much generalization as you can, but also keep safety in mind. So I think those are very good points. Okay, we have talked exhaustively about the tunnel. I feel like we did a really good job there. Congratulations, team. -

All right, well, that's it for this week's podcast. We are going to continue our discussion of tunnels next week, where we talk about the handling of tunnels. We'd like to thank our sponsor, HitItBoard.com. Happy training. (upbeat music)

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