In this episode (43:30)
In this episode, Jennifer, Sarah, and Esteban talk about running other people’s dogs, including why and how they do it.
You Will Learn
- Why people ask other people to run their dog.
- Why you need the “keys to the car” to make it work.
- How your training and handling strategies depend on exactly why you’re running someone else’s dog.
- Why you should consider pet insurance for someone else’s dog.
- Why people co-own dogs in agility.
- Tips for a successful team approach to dog agility.
You're listening to bad dog agility bringing you trading tips, interviews and news about the great sport of dog agility. I'm Jennifer, I'm Esteban, and I'm Sarah, And this is episode 283. today's podcast is brought to you by HitItBoard.com and the Teeter TeachIt, 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.
Go to HitItBoard.com for the new Teeter TeachIt and other agility training tools and toys. Use discount code BDA10, to get 10% off your order. That's HitItBoard.com today. We're going to talk about running other people's dogs. And I want to start With the very obvious question. I've got Jennifer here In Ohio. Jennifer, why would someone else run someone else's dog?
I think there can be a ton of reasons for that. I see everything at local shows from a last minute handler injury out in the parking lot. Oh my gosh. I just, you know, slipped in a hole or fell in a hole and my ankle's sore or a lot. Yeah, right at the last minute there a conflict with like a work or school commitment.
I know a couple of times I've had my mom run my dogs. If I've had commitments with Ethan or, you know, my husband, I think I've seen at least on multiple occasions. I haven't had this personally, but travel, you know, you're going to nationals and you know, the I've taken people's dogs that our dogs have come in and their flight didn't make it,
you know? Oh my gosh, I'm not there in time. Can you run them on the warmup? You know, lots of reasons, people getting nervous, you know, Oh my gosh, I get nervous. And I mess up that second run of the double queue. Can you do it? You know, or looking at the course feeling like maybe somebody has a better skill set for the current course.
There are so many different reasons. Yeah. I think this Is a great topic because all three of us have run Other people's dogs, a lot of other people's dogs. And I know between me and Sarah, every dog we've ever owned has trialed. I think just about, I don't think I've ever been venture. So almost every dog we've ever had has been run by both of us in the trial setting.
Yeah. And that was going to point out because when she mentioned that I was going to point out, people may not really think of that as running other people's dogs, but I assure you that at least in our household, it absolutely is like, we have dogs. They, you know, they are mine or they are as sevens. You know,
they have one handler and a, when the other person runs them, it is different. Right. Well, Jen, I've seen video of your husband running a dog now, whose dog was that? So he's actually run a couple of different dogs early on. He was running my mom's Sheltie actually went to no sports, made finals splash. And then he took over a young confirmation dog that I had.
Then he moved on to a border Collie. And that is when the ACL door. And he has not really picked up a dog since then. I've been kind of keeping them nice and try to keep in bubble wrap as he's very injury prone. So, and he's run a bunch of different dogs and only one of them was one that lived in our household.
Yeah. That is so interesting. Yeah. So you can see that. I think it's really part of the agility culture. Like if you ask around, you'll find that a lot of people have, even, even for the pinch hitting reason that you, you say, you know, injury or something popping up, they're there, they're running late. It just happens so often.
All right. And so today we're going to talk a little bit about what to do or kind of how we approach things when we're running other people's dogs, because someone might come to you. So if you're listening to this podcast, you're handling so good. You're so awesome. Someone's going to come to you and say, Hey, can you run my dog?
But it might not even be that it may be like a classmate exactly. As Jennifer has explained. And I think that's probably the most common swap you get that are non spouses, someone that you train with in the same training group, they kind of, they're familiar with your dog. They've seen your dog. They know you're handling that, right. Y'all kind of handle the same way,
the same instruction, that sort of thing. And so the first thing I always think of everyone always tells me this. In fact, I think I've heard Jennifer used this exact phrase, keys to the car. So I'm always talking. I'm always hearing about keys to the car. So Jennifer, what are the keys to the car and why is it so important to the handler?
Who's running someone else's dog. Well, you did not hear that phrase from me. So I'm not, that is not my phrase. Cause I have not heard that one. It makes complete total sense. But you heard that somewhere else. Yeah. Think you run a fair amount of dogs. So that would be a common phrase, but no, no,
that's fine. Wow. Wow. Now I'm like, who's the blonde national champion told me about keys to the car. I know, I know Jennifer looking at me suspiciously. I don't know. I definitely use that. You use it then I'll I'll I'll bring the question over to you. Yeah. So I guess what I would say is the keys to the dog,
I'd be like, okay. The key to venture is his tug toy. The key to cause my border Collie, right? The key to, you know, our golden is food. And it's basically like, if you have this thing, then you have the dog, you know what I mean? But the dog is willing to work for that thing.
That's right. In fact, I just was introducing venture to a pet sitter and we had a tug toy and I said, this is the key to venture. Is this tug toy? And I tugged with him and then I handed her the tug toy and, and that was like the introduction to this new person. And then once she had the tug and she was talking with him,
she could have him give and get and he would, do you know anything she asked? Yeah. I think this is basically step one. When you run someone else's dog, you need to figure out what motivates them. Right. It's it's the first question I asked. I'm like, okay, so does your dog work for food toys? Like how does this work?
You know, even if they're in my, and I'm like, Oh, I don't, if I don't know them, you know, maybe you know them like they're around you. You've been watching the stock run for years, but you're like, okay, now I need the details. What kind of treats? And you know, the owners are usually very good about telling you exactly what their routine is.
They like this, but they don't like this. You need to give them this number. You know, the very prescribed stuff. But figuring out their motivation, I think is very key to getting started. So that big first step, Jennifer, if someone comes to you and says, Oh Jennifer, you know, I've got this poodle and I'd like you to run her.
W w what are some things you're going to ask right off the, So the first thing exactly, as you mentioned, okay, what's the motivation? Is it food? Is it toys? And sometimes it is, is as simple as saying, okay, transfer the toys to the other person, transfer the food over to the other person. But I have been in situations where it's not been that simple,
right? It's not just the motivated, there's other parts of the routine. So for a lot of dogs, is that, is it better if the owner is nearby and the dog knows where the owner is? Or is it better if they're totally out of the picture and I've been in both situations, I've been in situations where either I've been running dogs or I've seen other people run dogs where as long as the handlers there,
and the dog knows where the handler the owner is, the new handler is fine. But if the owner leaves, the dog gets very nervous. And then I've seen the opposite where there'll be in the car. And a lot of creating outside of the car, out of the car with COVID and everything, and the owner will just stay in the car.
The handler comes out, gets the dog, does the warmup goes in and does the practice jump? And the owner just stays totally out of the picture. So it's, it's those things too. You know, like I said, I worked with one dog. It would have been the last year. I really, this dog is out of control. Drive out of control,
drive for toys, eats food, thought the dog would work for me. Nope. We tried on multiple occasions at multiple different times. And as soon as I got like two jumps going away from the owner, the dog was like, Nope, mom's back there. Mom's back there. So, you know, sometimes it's, it's not just the motivation,
but it's finding out the routine, you know, little things can set a dog off. I think as something as simple as, you know, do you take the leash off and then line them up or do you line them up and then take the leash off? You know, you put them into something that's different or they're uncomfortable dogs that don't like those leashes over their head.
You do that. And the dog barks and goes, I don't know, this is different. I don't know about you. Why are you doing things so odd? So there's a lot to the routine that's outside of even just the equipment that I think a lot of people go, well, what are their commands? That's the first thing. What are their commands?
Well, there's so much more to it than what their commands are. And in many cases, the person that you ask to run your dog probably knows their dogs commands. As you said, it's somebody who's in class. Somebody that knows your dog really well. I think of like family members, you know, I've asked Jason to run the dogs, even though he doesn't really do,
you know, sometimes I'll see people bring their kids and get their kids in, or a lot of times the classmate or their instructor. Right. Almost nobody knows your dog, as well as your instructor knows your dog. So that at times instructors running students, dogs for various reasons. So I think there's a lot more to it than the obvious, well,
what are your commands? There's a lot more to the routine and the ins and outs, like you mentioned on that, that motivation. Yeah. That's so interesting. And I think we can make a distinction here between kind of the last second, last minute I'm stepping in for you and I'm going to handle your dog. I think the routine is super important.
Like, give me the details. Like what leisure we using? Like when do you take them out to the bathroom? How many minutes before, how many dogs should be in front of me? Like, I kind of want all that information. Now, if I'm going to work with the dog, long-term, let's say the dog is going to live with me.
Or even if they don't live with me, but I'm working with them like once a week or something like that, are they going to live some portion of the year with me then, then I think that's a situation where you might even change their routines. Right? You have to develop like your own routine with the dog, something that works for the two of you.
And, and in that situation, you have the time to do that, right? Like if somebody just comes up to you and they just hurt their foot in the parking lot, you don't have time to tinker. Right. You're going to take the prescribed, you know, thing and go, but if you're doing it, long-term, you know what works for the dog and their owner may not work for you.
Or you may be able to adjust it to something that is, you know, that you're very familiar with. But, you know, I really liked what Jen said too about whether where the handlers should be, but, and, and it brings up yet another reason that people have people run their dogs, because I know you tried to run my dog like a decade ago,
right? First dog Denver. And you couldn't run them because in a run. Yeah. Because he ran the fence looking for mama and we, and we lived together. Right. We live together. And so I know a lot of people who will ask somebody out Weiler jelly run was an open with the Rottweiler. Who is your dog? Right, man.
She on grade for me, like every dog is different. Right. And that's another great point is that every dog is different, but that's why I know a lot of experienced handlers who have been through that. They needed somebody to run their dog and when they needed it, it couldn't happen. Right. Cause the dog was like, no. And so the experience handler kind of puts that into their training.
They're like, I need this dog in case of emergency to be able to run for somebody else. And so I'm going to ask, you know, trusted people to run this dog occasionally to make sure that this dog is comfortable with that situation appropriate for every dog. But I really liked that. You mentioned that with these two puppies were definitely being ambidextrous between Sarah and me.
I don't know which one of us is left and which one is right. But we can both run these dogs. And so I expect that if I went down with an entry, as I have done in the past, I remember had surgery on my toe. I tore The tendon there. I was out like six to eight weeks. I was running Gitchi at the time.
And basically get you just didn't try all know. Or did we have you or Susan run? Like, I don't even know, but you know, the season doesn't stop just because you're out for two to three months, you need to pick up your qualifications for national agility championship. Right. You know, working for a title that's less of a big deal.
But when you're qualifying for these big events, right. Sometimes you need a couple more legs and you kinda want to keep the high in shape too. Right. You know, and not like an impromptu vacation suddenly out of nowhere. So I think we've covered like what we do in the short term. So now the short term, you kind of have the dyes routine,
actually. There's one more step there's one more step. And it's what do you do now? You've been given the keys to the car. Jen, your rent is coming up. You got maybe an hour. How are you going to spend that time? Hen hen, everybody is listening. There's practice jobs. So what do you do with a dye that,
you know, someone just put on you, you know, let's say we're at nationals and Oh my ankle. And I'm like, Jen, I want you to do it. Sarah has to do the announcing for the finals livestream. We need her there. I need a handler. It's going to be you. So I think in the, well, let's say short that hour,
right? It depends on how naturally and how quickly I feel like the dog switches over to me. You know, if I just take the toy and I walk away and dog just the tugging, never even looks back for you. I, you know, go on a little bit of playing a little bit of tugging. Like you said, practice, jump.
All right. But to probably try to keep their routine pretty similar to whatever their owner would do. But if it's a dog who maybe seems a little are not quite sure, you know, go on a walk, go take them over to the practice, jump and don't wait until right before the run go over there, do a little bit reward and walk away,
go relax. Maybe put them in the crate. Be the one I find it really helpful. If the, if the handler's the one to go get them out of the crate, like you go open up the crate door and get them out instead of the owner, like handing them over to you where they're kind of looking at you like football, but where I,
why am I going over there? You know, practice, jump, put them up, go get them out again, go to the practice, jump again, walk them around. Just kind of say, Hey, I'm your new buddy? I'm your new play on here? And then the practice jump also gives you that chance to kind of figure out are they going to run at the same speed?
Are they maybe going to be a little more tentative? You know, you release them off the start line and they're like been a little unsure. So, you know, your dog might have one speed with you and a totally different speed for a different person, you know? And you would want to be prepared for that little bit of adjustment. So trying to figure out each other as much as possible kind of bonding.
So they know that they're with you and using that practice, jump to your advantage. I think you also need to figure out very quickly whether the dog will have a start line, stay with you because that will change your approach to the beginning part of the course vastly. And there are plenty of dogs who would run agility with you, but self-control, it takes,
you know, and this extra pressure of having a new person, they might not hold that stay. And so you need to know whether you can depend on it or not. Yeah. I think that kind of has to be negotiated a little bit with the owner. You know, you never know what the dog's going to do at the start line. Jennifer already talked about it,
but your, your dog might leave to go look for the owner. Certainly I, you know, when I was running Gitchi so Gitchi, we shared with Susan Frazier who lives in basically new Orleans, Louisiana Mandeville, near new Orleans, let us, it's like five and a half hours away. She lives with Susan and Steve, about nine months out of the year,
I'd get her for two to three months, sometimes twice a year, an extra month or two, we need to get some cues for nationals or tryouts or whatever. So the vast majority of time she lives there, the couple of months she's here, you know, she sleeps in Hannah's bed and she's a part of the family, but she is when the first year,
the first couple of trials, she ran out of the ring. Like I sat her boom got up and just took off looking for Susan. I've had her in the middle of a run, right. Zoomed off the dogwalk and then started looking up in the stands where she knew Susan was. Right. And so you never know, is this the died that once the owner there and then they're fine,
they can run for you or do you have to hide the owner? And we were one of those. We had to hide the owner or have her not be at a trial. So even for the big events, I was like, Susan, no, you can't come. Are you kidding me? Like this is our first nationals. And you just want to show up,
you know? And so by the, by year five though, right, Susan could be anywhere, do anything stand next to me. And so you have plenty of time to build that relationship. So really, you know, in answering this question, you got to know how many times am I going to work with this dog? What kind of relationship this is going to be?
And so now I'm going to kind of transition over to that where Jennifer, we have like a more formal thing. It's not for the moment. I didn't turn my ankle to nationals, but I come to you. And this is the most often in my experience with people asking me to run other dogs, either they are hurt in more of a long-term way,
right? Maybe, maybe something like a hip replacement. Now there are a lot of great handlers that come back from hip replacements, right? But some people are like, I can no longer do agility, at least in the way that I want to for X, Y, and Z reasons, at least for this dog, I've got other dyes. I'm going to run them.
But this dog is like a little too little too fast, a little too spunky, a little too, whatever would you be interested in running them? You know? So that might be one reason. And then the other one is that they just don't enjoy competing. They love training. They love teaching the skills. They love Susan loved teaching. Gitchi the running contact.
I can't take credit for that. You know, we did some of the patchwork at the end, obviously that has to be done with a handler, right. But all the basics like 95% of the work done by her and Soviet Turkmen. And so, you know, they love the training. They don't love the handling so much. They're not too much into that.
And they derive great joy from seeing their dog do great things on the course that they feel like they can't provide that dog. You know, I don't feel like this is any different from my kid, playing basketball and learning how to play basketball from a coach and playing with a team. You know, I didn't teach him to do that. Right. They're not out there playing basketball with me and winning for the high school team.
I'm not on the high school school team. I'm not the high school coach, but I enjoy watching them play very much. I fully and completely support them. Right. I I'll do anything to help them out. So in that sense, I think Julia is very much like a true sport. Jen, what dyes do you have right now that you are running that are like other people's.
I have several dogs that I'm running to. Other people. If we look recently at the nationals, I had three border collies that I was running that I don't fully own. I co-own all of them, they pink being one of them. So I co-own pink with Sharon. She spends a portion of her time at my house. Typically when we're getting ready for big events,
she's at my house right now because we have the premier cup in a couple of weeks. So she'll be here until then. She'll probably actually stay all of June through Westminster. And then after Westminster, go back with Sharon. And then I had Jack Daniels and Jimmy B, who I co-own as well, but those two actually reside about seven hours away. So those never stay on at,
with me at my house. They come in and I just do the trialing and a lot of the training. So I do get to train all those dogs. It's not simply just show up in trial. I do get to train them. So I know those dogs so very well, but those three do not live with me 24 seven, like a Swift does,
for example, Swift is, you know, never gone anywhere else. He's been run by other people. I was thinking about it as you were talking, when I got pregnant, I needed somebody to run. We were trying to qualify for nationals. And at the end of my pregnancy, I was like, I need somebody to run them. And luckily we had practiced,
I do find it valuable if the dogs learned to work for somebody else. Right. So he ran with somebody else for that. But, but yeah, I got a couple of them that I regularly run for other people and not, you know, I've kind of been a short-term fill in on situations, but for those three, I am more long-term.
So I will have both pink and Jack Daniels at Westminster. So taking two of those dogs that don't live with me, but I get to train and compete with, and then two Shelties that are mine. Now, do you differentiate between the dogs that live with you nine, nine year dogs, but other people's dogs that live with you versus other people's dogs that just show up for your weekly practice,
they live in the area. And then also at the trials, as far as how you train or basically you're doing the same kind of things at work. Are there some things that you pay a little more attention to? No, I would say that they all get the exact same training. Arguably the dogs that aren't mine get better training because I will give their owners some homework.
Right. So I'll work on and I'll say, okay, this week, you know, if you're going to take them back home, can you work on this skill and this skill and this skill? And they always, they're great. They go home, my dogs, you know, it's that whole, what is it? Shoemaker's kids run around barefoot thing where my dog,
you know, kind of sometimes, or, you know, get not getting as much training as maybe they otherwise would. But no, I do not train those dogs any different with any less persition or skill now, maybe time, right time I get less of, but then even more so to have the quality, because I need to have the quality because I don't have the quantity where with,
you know, Swift, I can go out to the barn whenever I want and have a lot more flexibility where with the other dogs, okay, they're coming in, I've got these, you know, two hours of the course of the next couple of days. And it really got to make it count in order to pay off at the show. So I wouldn't say that they are treated any different,
even when they are here at my house. Like you just said, they're running around on the couch in Ethan's bed. You know, I don't have any special adjustments that the, the non owned dogs have compared to my dogs. Yeah. Interesting. And you mentioned co-ownership so I wanted to talk a little bit about that. I also own with Gitchi or with Susan of Gitchi and it was me not Sarah's his name was on that.
Now we did that because there's a requirement. If you're trying out for the FCI jelly world championship, that you'd be the owner of record. And so I had to have my name added in order to compete with her. You also have to get the legs. It's not like you can qualify for the event for someone else. And then the PR then the other person shows up and runs them.
You know, whoever earns the qualify is the one they expect to show up at the actual competition. So that's why I had to do it. How does your co-ownership work with those dogs? My co-ownership at those dogs is simply because I have such a relationship with those dogs and those people. It wasn't based on like an international, like qualifying pink has done Wayo.
You do not need to be the owner. The others have never done any of that. It is more of a long-term partnership. It's a team, right? It's there's, there's the owner, the trainer, the coach, the fitness person, helping to keep them in shape. We are team pink. And so the co-ownership is just kind of being part of the team.
And I also, you know, I like co-ownership should something happened to me, my, you know, somebody on my dog or in the case of these dogs, should something happen to their owner. We know that legally they are absolutely welcome into my house as my pets from there on out. So that's kind of a secondary benefit is the legal aspect.
Should something happen to the owner? I always liked that part, but no, it, it is more of just, I always think of it's a team it's like, I kind of correlate it to in horse world. You know, you have like the trainer who's different than the jockey. Who's different than the owner is different than the investor, right?
It's a team. And so that's very much what it is. You know, any piece by themselves might not be great, but you put the team together, the dog, the handler, the trainer, everything, and you got yourself, a great team That is very, very well put. I really liked that. You know, I think of the team now,
your VAD, your chiropractor, like everything, your massage therapist really, it's amazing. What goes into the sport, Jimmy awards. You need to make everybody, You got to thank everybody. And so when you're thinking about a team, but especially on this coalition part, I think something that you need to do is make sure that you sit down and you set expectations with the cone,
or like you got to hammer out all those real Sarah, you're gonna say, Yeah, well, I was just, I was going to ask both of you, like what kind of expectations do you set? Because I think that, especially, especially for, for handlers who have a lot of a real high level success, you know, let's talk about Jennifer,
she's won so many things. She's been to the finals of nationals. Like she has a, like a multi page document that lists all of her finals appearances and things over her career. And so there can be an unrealistic expectation that, you know, that you just take a great handler and any dog and you know, they're going to go out and win everything.
And it's not necessarily true. It depends on the dog. It depends on how well the dog is going to run for that handler. And it depends on the dog's skill. Right. And how well they know all of these agility pieces. And so I think, and I think back to like, I have much less experience running other people's dogs, but I'll tell you one experience that I did have was going to the invitational with our Rottweiler.
I was, this was kind of one of the examples that Jennifer gave, but I drove this Rottweiler all the way to California. And if someone was supposed to fly and meet me because he was in medical school. So I was doing the long drive and he was going to take less time off and fly and meet me. And I was, I was halfway there.
I was in El Paso and he calls me and he says, they won't let me leave. You have to run Sammy at the invitational. I was on my OB GYN rotation and the director. Yeah. He changed mine. He was a real jerk. So just if you're listening, which you're not, if you are, you are awful. That's right.
So I'm like halfway to the invitational and I've never run Sami in a trial. Or at least I hadn't since like, she was in like novice and open and certainly not anytime recently. Right. But there was like a lot of pressure and expectation for miss on what we were going to do as a team. And it wasn't like, this was something that I wanted to do.
It was like, it was like desperate times. Right. And so I wondered like what it's like for you guys, when somebody comes and they're, you know, you have to kind of set expectations, I'll do this, but you know, here's what to expect. Right. Here's what I can tell you that, you know, here's what I can promise.
Here's what I can't promise. Right. Like, especially they come in, they're like, I need you to run this because we have to have this queue, you know, for nationals. And I just hurt my ankle and you know, like, so what's the, what's the expectation setting that you do on what the Results first? Oh, I think that is another one that it's,
it's so team dependent. And I know for me, I have been so fortunate that I have only run people. I've run a ton of dogs over the years. And I can't think of one bad scenario where I've had a disappointed owner. Right. I mean, I, the way I look at it is, you know, your doing a favor for them know,
they're not hiring you, right. So they're not like paying you at least. I, you know, I don't think of it as a job. It's not a paid, Hey, I am hiring you. And I have this expectation. You're doing a favor. You're helping out. And I think when you're doing a favor and helping out, and maybe that goes back to like,
is this a short-term? Is this a long-term? But I've always had people be, you know, incredibly appreciative, no matter, no matter what I do think it, it does depend on, is it the short term, like, Hey, just this run cause I'm hurt. Well, the worst case scenario is the dog wasn't going to run and was going to NQ anyway.
So you're not going to do any worse than the dog being marked absent or as a long-term relationship. Even the long-term relationships. Did it start in the beginning or did it evolve later in life? And I've had both of those, right. I've had situations where it's like, Hey, we're going to, co-own this puppy, here's this puppy at eight weeks,
we're going to go on it. I'm going to train it. You're going to handle it. And then I've had situations where the dogs, maybe two or three, and it was one of those, you know, I think this are really has the potential to be amazing. I get really nervous when I compete. It's not enjoyable for me to lose sleep and wake up with an upset stomach because I'm so nervous to compete.
It's far more enjoyable for me to sit back and, you know, let you run the dog. And it's, you know, it comes in later into the dog's career. So there's so many different factors, but that, that has to be something clearly that set up early on. You don't want a situation where, you know, you're pouring your heart and soul into somebody else's dog,
and then they get upset, especially if you're still running your dog. Right. Because, you know, I run my dog, I run other dogs. Every time I run another dog, it's just taking away that little bit from my dog, my warmup time. I cool down time, you know? So, you know, try it, do a trial run.
I'd recommend, you know, if anybody's sitting there and thinking about getting into that and do a trial run, say, Hey, I'll commit to this month. We'll see how it goes, do a couple of trials. And if you feel like it's too much pressure or taking away from your own dog, maybe you reevaluate and say, you know, or two dogs in the same height,
maybe your dog is a 12. You don't want to run another 12. But if your dog's at 12, you might take on a 20 or 24 inch where you'd have a little bit more time where in some cases, maybe that's worse. Cause it means your day's longer. You know, there's so many different factors to it, but yeah, I feel,
I think having very clear expectations of what both parties are looking for is super, super important. Is that like a prenuptial agreement? Yeah, a little bit. I mean, I think that it also shows that it's not just dependent on the personality of the owner and it's not just dependent on the personality of the dog. It's also dependent on the personality of the handler.
So like for myself, I can see how I get would get more nervous running somebody else's dog. Because I don't like if I mess up with my dog, like that's just between me and my dog. Right. That's fine. And I can be okay with that. But being worried about disappointing, somebody else is harder for me. So then I think personality wise,
you know, that comes into play too. Whereas if you can be a little bit, you know, if you have the personality to, to just go out and be like, I'm going to do my best and what happens happens, then it can be a little bit easier. Yeah. Very interesting. Very interesting. And you know, we have made the point and anyone who's familiar with us and our dogs,
both Jennifer's and mine. We've had a lot of success with these dogs. So oftentimes it's going to be the scenario where, you know, they come to you with a speedy dog and they're, Hey, we want to see what the star can do with you. But that's not always the case. A great example, Jessica is you runs this. I think there are German short Hair Bailey Really good dog,
but she runs this dog and this dog is, you're not going to mistake this dog for pink. Right. You know, the dog is nice, but they had finals at both Westminster and the Nashville agility championship. So it's not always about running the speedster who could possibly all win at all. You know, you're going to run into lots of people running lots of other dyes for a wide variety of reasons.
We've all run someone else's dogs at the national agility championship. And between me and sorry, not just each other's dogs, you actually ran GRI, who was Gitchi his mother at the national Giulia championship. The year that I was running Gitchi cause I didn't want to run Both. Gitchi angry. Cause you had GRI in previous, in a previous year at nationals and then you were,
were running Gitchi and you didn't want to, you know, you really wanted to focus on Gitchi. And so then I ran green and I had her for a couple of weeks before and did, in fact, our nationals prep course I did the entire prep course that that other people did with GRI to get myself. Right. Somebody goes back and they buy that course.
I can't remember if she was the demo dog. I think that the course had already run and I went and read it all. I was like, Hey, I have a whole prep course designed to get people ready. That's what I'm going to do with this dog. Gotcha. All right, Sarah, one other thing that I think people don't think about is a responsibility for the dog.
So as part of what Jennifer was saying about setting expectations, I think care of the dog is like a big deal. Usually they're going to be like a, the owner will come to you and say, this person feeds this or that food and you have to decide, what can I give this dog raw food? Or is it going to be like,
well, you know, if they're gonna live with me, they need to be kibble. You know, those are all little details you're going to have to iron out. But one thing that we like to always put in there, if a dog is went to live with us or train with us for any length of time, is this issue of pet insurance.
So course a little bit about that. When we, I think the first time we did it was, was with Gitchi because she came to live with us and we just said, we're putting her on pet insurance. You don't have to pay for it, but we're putting her on pet insurance because we don't want to have to be in any situation where anything happens to her.
And we're debating whether we should, you know, go to X, Y, and Z links at the vet. Should we do the x-ray or should we do the blood work, you know, or talking to you or deciding who's going to have to pay for that. We'll just know that it's going to be covered. And, and so it was just kind of really just something that peace of mind there.
Yeah. And it's just something that we kind of thought of. And then since then we've had several dogs come to us and we've done the same thing with each of them. We've had several we've did some puppy raising with a couple of puppies. Yeah. They come, they stay with you until they're like a year old. And then they get placed with wherever they're going to go.
Right. And, and for an after having done it with Gitchi, we did that with these puppies as well. And I view it almost like almost like liability insurance, you know, for us, but that's not something that we asked the owners to pay for. That's just our particular arrangement. It was just something that we, we didn't want to have the responsibility of the dog without having that safety net for us and for the handler and in hard cases,
like it has been very, very useful. We have saved owners, lots of money by having them on pet insurance because things have subsequently happened that were even after the dog went home, like Gitchi had, like, how do you say that? Yeah. Like a, A loss of balance. Right. And she came back from that and, and that happened after she left our house,
but right. Because we had put her on, I don't think it had anything to do with agility. It's one of those things that happens to dogs. Right. But it, but it definitely ended up being worthwhile to have her on that insurance. So Yeah, we've covered a lot of ground, but I've got one more topic I wanted to ask Jennifer about.
And that is when you're working with a dog long-term is very different from short-term short-term I'm going to take a lot of handling advice from the owner. You know, if the dog does the dog prefers, guess what I'm going to do, rears, why do they do I need to stand this certain way and make my arm this high and 0.2 fingers instead of one.
And that's the dog needs. I am going to do that. I'm going to do whatever you say in the short term, especially if I'm a pinch hitting for an injury or something like that. Certainly long-term, especially over years. I said this way, there can only be one boss. Okay. And that boss is going to be me. Okay.
I'm going to be in charge of the dice, handling the training, how all of that goes. You cannot give me advice about, I mean, you know, occasionally I'll humor you maybe in the beginning, you know, what do you think about this or that, but not really. I'm not, I'm not really listening. I'll be honest. There's only one boss here,
Jennifer, what's it like when you're handling dogs that you cone, how do you, how do you structure that? What do you recommend for people who are, who are in the same boat? I think it's one of those things you definitely have to talk about in terms of expectations. You know, if you come and you're like, Hey, I need you to be my puppet.
I'm going to call the shots. You just need to go out there and do what I say against my advice. I'll just be the puppet. And if they said do the rear and I would have done the front and the rear doesn't work that's on them. I think that, as you mentioned, is really best suited for the short-term or you don't really know the dog and you really are just replacing the handler in the short term,
do what the healer would do. But all of the relationships that I have for long-term handling I'm functioning as both the handler and the trainer. So that means that I'm going to control. That sounds like a bad word, maybe controlling something right word. But I'm going to be advised in directing and guiding both the training, the handling, you know, and I kind of alluded to that earlier where I said,
I will work the dog and then I will send homework home for the owner. And I will say, okay, here's what I want you to work on. And they are to kind of do what I say, not to go out there and say, well, by the way, I decided to put a running dogwalk on it. And it wasn't going to tell you about it.
But when did you know, you're to train what I recommend, or maybe it's fitness, Hey, let's strengthen this, let's do this. But I agree with you. You can't have a situation where the dog's getting, you know, different information from a training standpoint. The way I look at it is the owner came to me because they felt that I had the knowledge and the experience to do the job.
If they trusted me enough to come to me and say, will you run my dog? Then you need to trust me enough to do what's in the best interest for the dog, from the handling and training standpoint, you can't say, Hey, you're good enough to run my dog, but you're not good enough to make the decision. So I'm going to tell you what to do.
So, no, I agree with you a hundred percent on that for those long-term things, you know, there has to be a discussion about who's going to get the call, the shots on the handling and on the training, you know, for sure. So, you know, That's why your dog, yeah. You're going to have to relinquish some decision-making.
Yeah, on course. I completely agree. And definitely this goes back to setting expectations. You know, you gotta, you gotta figure out how this is gonna work between you. If I'm going to work with your dog long-term and I see a problem, I'm going to change it. I'm going to convert them to my whatever handling system you're running, or you think you're running,
I'm going to convert them to mine. Right. The reason I run my system, the way I do is because I think it's really, really good. Okay. And so why would I use your system? Right. I probably think my system is better. And so in the long-term, that's kind of where I'm going with that, but it's this idea of figuring out who's going to make the decisions and understand too,
that if I'm the handler and I have to make some kind of compromise, then I think it would also be unfair for me to complain about it. You know, if I took the dog and I agreed, I'm only going to ever do rear crosses, it doesn't make sense for me to, you know, lose a Ryan or NQ or something and be like,
well, if only I th I had not done a front cross there, this is all their fault. Well, don't run the dog back. Right. You agreed to do it and only do it with rear crosses. So, you know, you kind of want to be fair on both sides, but this is about setting expectations and you can always renegotiate,
right. So you tried it out a little bit and then you're like, Hey, this isn't working. Can we try this? Can we try that? Or, Hey, this isn't gonna work. You know, let's end this partnership here, but I think if you're very upfront and you're open and you're talking about these things, that's always a lot better than harboring any kind of resentment or letting things drag along.
So I'll, I'll give people that advice there. Okay. Actually one last question. I'm going to ask you, Jen, someone had a very specific question. They are running another person's dog. The owner has a bum knee, very fast Aussie on the young side, got some ability and the dad's not gonna live with her probably only gonna see her at trials,
maybe some practices. Would you say that it, that it matters, or how would you do it between a training, like one obstacle training, short sequences, longer sequences or coursework? Like how would you, how would you divide up the training time? Like where's the biggest bang for their buck in your opinion, if you were in this situation, taking over in this spot Early on,
maybe even just for one session, I think it should be obstacle performance. So either shorter sequences or single obstacles, like, you know, dogwalk, what is the performance? If, if the dog's going to do it too on 12th, like at what point does it start slowing down? Does it tend to want to do a, maybe an early release?
Like it'll hit it stop, but goes before the release, running a frame, you know, stop Bay frame. Do I need help with
let the dog find the entry. And like for my dogs know, you're going to find it, whether I'm ahead or behind. So kind of individual obstacles, really kind of figuring out strengths and weaknesses and what needs to be done there. And then after a short session of that, or a short bit of that, I think you need to go into longer sequences and coursework.
This is a short-term relationship. The goal is going to be trialing and getting cues at a trial. You're not necessarily going for pretty, you're not trying to, you know, move mountains in terms of the dog's understanding, right? You're not, your job is not to come in and say, Hey, can you retrain my A-frame? Your job is to take what's there,
run the dog. Maybe don't send the dog home with any less skills over the three or six month period that that needs healing up. But your job is to be queuing at trial. So you need to practice and train kind of for trials and more coursework. So I think after, you know, individual performance, I think going into some more lengthy stuff and figuring each other out as a team,
not necessarily breaking everything down and trying to tighten up that stride, you know, or tighten up that turn half a stride, take what's there in learn how to control. That's perfect. Because when I was listening to you, when you first started talking about the obstacles, I was like, well, you know, I really think full coursework is really where you need to be,
which is where you ended. But then as you were describing the things that you're looking for in the individual obstacles, you're basically discovering the things that then you need to know to plan out your full coursework, right. To the inventory. Right? Exactly. Exactly. And so I think that's, yeah, I think that was literally like the perfect answer.
Yeah. All right. Well, if any of you people out there get asked to run somebody else's dog, or if you're considering asking somebody to run your dog, I'm sure that there are things in here that, that maybe you hadn't thought of that will help you kind of figure out this whole thing and whether it's the right move for you and the dog.
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