December 9, 2022

Episode 315: Winter Training and Holiday Update

(Photo Credit: A. Wooten Photography)

In this episode (38:09)

In this episode, the BDA crew identifies top priorities for people’s winter agility training outside of the ring.

You Will Learn

  • What skills you can teach and/or improve outside of the ring.
  • Why winter might be a great time to get a new dog or puppy.
  • Why Esteban started the Wednesday Wrap Up
  • How the decline of USDAA and growth of UKI might be related.
  • How Jennifer qualified a sheltie for the AKC Invitational.

Mentioned/Related

(piano pop music) - Welcome to "Bad Dog Agility," (dog barking) a podcast helping you reach all of your dog agility goals. Whether it's competing under the bright lights of the televised finals at Westminster, or successfully navigating a homemade course in your own backyard, we'll bring you training, tips, interviews, and news about the great sport of dog agility. Are you ready? - I'm ready. - I'm ready. - I'm

ready. - The show starts with your hosts, Jennifer, Esteban, and Sarah. - I'm Jennifer. - I'm Esteban. - And I'm Sarah, and this is episode 315. Today's podcast is brought to you by HitItBoard.com and the new Teeter "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. Go to HitItBoard.com for the new

Teeter "Teach It!" and other training tools and toys. Use discount code BDA 10 to get 10% off your order. That's HitItBoard.com. - In this podcast, we're gonna be talking winter training and giving you kind of a holiday update, letting you know what's been going on with all of us here at "Bad Dog Agility," what we've got coming up in the agility world and really a mishmash of topics.

So, first I wanna start with winter training, and I want to talk about the impact that the season has on agility, how we do our trials all around the world, and how that impacts our training. And so, we're gonna start here kind of with a North American bias. Jennifer is way up north from where we are. To me, she practically lives in Canada. We're down here in the

south in Texas, and we're in the southernmost part of Texas. We're basically on the ocean, the Gulf Coast, right. - Right. And so she's up there, and she's probably by one of those Great Lakes, right? How far are you from a great lake? Can you gimme some-? - Lake Erie is one of the Great Lakes. It's like two and a half hours. - Two and a half hours

north of where you are? - Yes, yeah. - And Canada would be like - Okay. - three and a half to four. I'm not that close to Canada. I'm north- - Did you say three and a half? - I'm the Midwest. - Did you say three and a half for to four hours? - Yeah. - Just for perspective, it's like four and a half hours for us to

get from Houston to Dallas, which is also in Texas. (Jennifer laughs) So yes, you are basically in Canada as far as we're concerned. - Okay. Alright. Well, we are much colder, I will certainly say that. - Yeah, I see that you are wearing a sweater. I am in a tank top. You know, Dallas was actually too far north for me to live. - Yeah. In terms of weather.

Too cold. - Yeah. We had to do Houston. Okay, Jen, so what is the weather situation up there for agility people? How are people training? Are you guys still training outdoors? What's going on? - Well, we're not still training outdoors because we never did train outdoors. We really don't train outside in Ohio. You will occasionally have students who have equipment set up in their backyard and do some

kind of at-home training in their backyard. But pretty much all of the facilities, all of the individuals teaching classes and privates all have indoor locations, most of them climate controlled. Like, both of my facilities have both AC and heat, and we are running on turf. So, it's very always interesting when people talk about going outside or, you know, you go to a big event and we're like, "We've

never run on grass," because we truly don't. So, we are now inside, but we have them all year long. So, now it's just a matter of flipping from the AC to the heat. So, it's about like 45 degrees here today. So, it's a pretty nice day. It's super sunny. So, at least we're all happy and in a good mood when we see the sun. - Yeah, you know,

I feel like a lot of indoor facilities have come up definitely here in the United States over the last, say, 5 to 10 years. And so, I think a lot of trials have moved indoors. We've gotten a little spoiled with the footing. We very much like the even footing for both the handler and the dog. I think we moved a lot away from dirt, for example, except for

of course the AKC Nationals, which is always on dirt every year. I think that has probably more to do with venue size. Be able to host the number of rings that you need. - Exactly. - for such a large event. - Yep. - Right, and I would imagine something similar in, say, the UK where a lot of those huge trials are gonna be in those grassy fields where

you can have a million rings out there. - Right. - So, I think that's pretty interesting. Okay, so what if you're the kind of person who is in a part of the country where they don't have indoor training, right, and your local agility club kind of shuts down? So, what are the kind of things that you can work on or should be working on, and winter here is

a dead time for you? - Well, I think, I mean, the first thing that always comes to my mind, and a lot of it has to do with being an instructor and seeing a lot of people have issues with this particular skill, is the start line. Nobody wants to work on it. It's like, you know, not everybody's favorite thing to work on, but you can definitely do it

in all weather, in all locations. And there're a large chunk of competitors who don't have a reliable start line. So, I feel like if it's the wintertime , and you don't have access to a field and you're like, oh, what can I work on? Like, you have zero excuses. It is time to put in the work on your start line stay. - Mm, nice. - I always think

exactly what you said, which is winter is a great time to work on the things that you don't otherwise want to spend the time to train. So, start line being one of 'em. But, you know, sometimes people will come to a lesson and they wanna do the agility, they wanna do the running and the handling, but they have trouble with their start line routine or their dog won't

bring a toy back or the dog will grab the toy, the dog won't drop the toy. And you know, they don't wanna spend their 60 minutes getting the toy from the dog; or they won't let go of the tug toy because if they let go of the toy, they're gonna spend four or five minutes trying to catch the dog. Those are the types of things that we don't

want to always train, but winter's a great time to do those. You can do a lot of that indoors, whether it be, like, in the living room or smaller spaces or indoor rentals or the garage or the basement. So, the start line was the first one that came to mind for me. But I also think toy control and food control, you know, making sure that the dog will

go for a dead toy ideally, and the dog will drop a toy when you tell him to let go, that the dog won't leave in the middle of working to go grab a toy that's on the ground. Or same with food, you know, the dog doesn't leave the middle of the field or the agility course to go grab somebody else's treats at the side of the ring or

whatever. Like, this is a great time to work on those things. - I love it. I think you're both giving really good advice. And speaking of working in your garage, you know, we don't park our cars in our garage because now we've got a little turf. We converted it to a super mini indoor facility, if you can call a garage a facility. And I remember that we did

that because we were getting those puppies, we were getting basically two puppies at the same time. The golden retriever and the poodle, and I can't believe it, but now they're like basically four. Three? Four? Something like that. It's been a couple years now, but the point is, it was the wintertime, I think, that we laid all this down because, yeah, they came to us I think in, like,

January, February. Basically we thought it was too cold, so it was probably like 50, 58 degrees outside, and we were like, "This is unacceptable." - Well, and I love it. Well, because it's a contained space, it's small, you can drop kibble on it and treats and stuff like that, which I think is also a big deal. - Well, all of this is to say, or actually to lead

us to this question, Jennifer, is the winter an ideal time to get a puppy? - Oh. - Well, I do have an 11-week-old puppy right now. So, for me it kind worked - What!? I did not know this. - out as the perfect time. - This is news to me. How has no one told me this? Maybe you guys told me, and I just wasn't paying attention. -

Yeah, you just weren't paying attention. She sent a video. - I was gonna say, I don't think I told you. I did send you a training video though. - But you sent a video. - Okay, I'm gonna look at it. - Yeah, he's 11 weeks old. He's a repeat of Bee but a boy version. - A boy? - So, I'm hoping like a little mini swift. So yeah,

I'm very excited. But he is 11 weeks old now, so whether it's a perfect time or not, I have a puppy. So, the things that I like about the timeframe and working out for me is not so much, like, winter and weather, but the time that it hits within my show schedule. So, next week I'm headed to Invitational with Bee, and after that, January, February, they're pretty down

times for me for the heavy competitions. I mean, even the second half of December with all the holidays, Bee will get a rest for, you know, four to six weeks, like late December, early January, having just come off of a big show season. So, it's a great time for my seasoned and, like, my more adult dogs to have a little time off before, usually around February 1st, I

start ramping up for AKC Nationals, like six to eight weeks out for nationals. So, January and February, late December, they're all good times for me to dedicate my time on the puppy. So, for me it works out great just within the schedule as opposed to getting a puppy, you know, right before prepping for a World Team Tryout or going to Europe or AKC Nationals or whatever. So for

me, it's not really weather. I'm not gonna lie, I'm not looking forward to going out in like six inches of snow to get my puppy to potty train. But in terms of having the time to dedicate to the training for me, I think it'll work out really well. - That is super awesome. I feel a little extra bad that I did not know about this little dude. I

promise I'm gonna go back and look at that video. And I think this takes us very nicely to the topic of periodization. So, we often talk about giving the dog and the human handler the rest that you need after a season. And I feel like there's an opportunity here because of the holiday season. Most people- let's see, we have the Invitational coming up, we're gonna talk about that

in a week, we're gonna talk about that now in this podcast. But after the Invitational, and certainly for everyone who's not going the Invitational, you can kind of already be on break. Obviously, there are gonna be some local trials available to you. I know that in many parts of the country there are big New Year's Day, Eve, kind of kickoff the New Year agility trials. But even if

you are going to attend those, you basically have a very solid two to three weeks where it kind of fits in with everybody's routine all around the world. Things kind of slow down, and it's a good time to get your dog a break. Let them recover from all the little things that you don't know that they're dealing with, and just let a little recovery happen. So, I really

like how you put that in there. So, let's talk about the Invitational. So, the AKC Invitational is coming up not this weekend, 'cause we're taping this today. Like right now, I don't even know who won that soccer game, Croatia. And I think it's like- - The last time I checked it was, yeah, 0-0. Yeah. - So, the World Cup is going on, hopefully this podcast is going to

come out either today, same day, or tomorrow. But the Invitational is coming out, let me see. So, that's the 17th and 18th, that's gonna be in Orlando, Florida. And so, this is a big event for the AKC. This is where the top five in every breed are invited. Preferred dogs are eligible when they invite the five dogs. If one or two of them can't make it, they'll invite

the next two dogs. So, they have different rounds of invites that go out. And I love it because of the breed diversity. There's four rounds and then there is a finals, and this year Jennifer will be there. And I think it's been at least 10 years since I competed in this event. And Jen is gonna be there with Bee, is that right? - Yes. - Okay, I wanna

make sure I got that right. Who is a Sheltie, and why is that that a big deal? Well, your border collie, your Sheltie, your golden retrievers, basically all of your super popular breeds in agility. It is really hard to get in the top five. It's based on cumulative points, right. And you get additional points for, say, a double Q, right. So, consistency matters, speed matters, the amount you

show in trial each weekend matters. So, for these breeds it's extra tough to get in there. Jen, I wanna hear a little bit about your experience qualifying for this event. - Yeah, it was certainly a kind of maybe more unique situation than many people have. I think for a lot of teams they set out for that to be a goal, right. They plan their shows schedule, they plan

their years, they maybe talk to an instructor and think, I wanna go to Invitational. My situation came about a little bit differently because last January, I was scrolling through Facebook, and one of my Facebook friends that had a Sheltie posted the current standings for rankings for this year's Invitational. So, it would've been from July 1st through December 31st. And they posted it early January and they just were

like, "Look, I'm in the top five," or you know, I don't even know why they were posting the list to be honest. And I looked at it as a Sheltie person, I went, "Oh wow, look. Bee's at number 10." And I said, "That's kind of fun and interesting," because I wasn't going for Invitational. At that point, I was trying to get her mock late last year so that

she could go to Westminster. We were really developing and as a team, she's only three years old and I thought, "You know, well if six months into the qualifying period without trying, she's at number 10, what if I put a little effort into it?" So, I kind of grabbed my calculator and my calendar, and I did the math, and I looked at previous year's results and I thought,

"I think I can do this." So, I spent a really dedicated amount of time, energy, effort, money, from basically February through June of this year to try to make up for what I missed in the first half and get myself from number 10 up into the top 5. And we were able to do so, We finished right at number five. - Oh, nice. - We snuck in there.

It was a lot of showing, a lot of weekday showing, because essentially I was trying to cram it all in at the end. I think in hindsight, if I had planned over the 12 months and said, this was my goal, this is what I wanna do, and planned to kind of divide the shows up, it would've been a lot easier, a lot more doable, a lot less stressful.

But because I tried to cram it in, essentially almost five months, we had to really push. And Bee was just on fire earlier this year and getting lots of Q's and points. So, we were able to sneak in at number five. And then interestingly enough, we are now halfway, almost halfway for next year's Invitational because it's July 1st through June 30th, and we're at number three. So, we-

- Yay! - I always said Invitational might be like a one and done thing for me, but she's actually still doing pretty good for next year. So, it wasn't a planned thing. I'm very excited. We worked hard, she was awesome. And this'll be my first time taking my own dog to Invitational. So, I have shown other people's dogs, but this'll be the first time taking my own. -

Yeah, I think that's really interesting because of the breeds that you own. So, when we went to the Invitational, it was with our Rottweiler, Sammie. So, a very different situation to go with a Rottweiler versus going with one of those breeds that Esteban mentioned, like golden, border collie, Sheltie, poodle. You know, it's just a different amount of showing that it takes to get into that top five. So,

of course Jen is totally happy for people to say hi. She'll tell you if she doesn't have time, you know, like, you don't have to worry about it. Like, if she's on her way to the ring or needs to potty her dog, like, she will let you know. Right, Jen? - Absolutely. For me, I feel like this event is gonna be pretty slow paced. I'm used to running

like six and seven dogs at these big events, and I don't have that. So, I'm already like, what am I gonna fill all my time with? So absolutely, I'm gonna be watching, wandering around, shopping, so feel free to say hi. - So, Jen needs you to come talk to her. - Yes, yes. (laughs) - To keep her from falling into, you know, a malaise and then getting out

of her groove and all of that. So, don't feel bad at all. And then we also have our sponsored athlete, Jada, our junior handler, is going to be there, she's gonna be at the Junior event, which happens the day before. And she's going to- - Friday, - On Friday - the 16th. - with her two border collies and her golden. And so the way that that works is

if she wins with any of those dogs, then she can go to the regular Invitational, you know, the rest of the Invitational. - So she competes in the four rounds and has to win her way - Right. - in the final there on Saturday, Sunday. - Right, right. So, we'll be rooting for her in the Junior event to see if she can make it from the Junior event

into the regular Invitational event. Yeah. And so, that's "Bad Dog Agility" at the Invitational. - That's right. And I think now I wanted to talk a little bit about the "Wednesday Wrap Up." So, I've tried to do this a couple times, like every couple of years I pop out an article. But basically I, a little bit, want to get the blog going. I would like to do it

more on a weekly basis. I'm calling it the "Wednesday Wrap Up." But basically I think of it as a "Tuesday Morning Quarterback" type article. And for people who didn't follow that column by Gregg Easterbrook that's from, like, way back in the day, basically on Tuesday, he would follow the NFL. So, he would kind of recap all of the NFL action, and, you know, which is a weekend sport.

And so, he would mix in, obviously, his opinions. So, sorry everyone, you're gonna have to hear some of my opinions, but also (laughs) with pop culture, pop culture references, music, movies, things that are going on in society at large. And so, I'm gonna try and bring that back. And I think we pushed out the second one yesterday, right? And they've both done really well, a lot of interactions.

So, I think this is the kind of column that thrives on feedback and interaction with the audience, right. I think the audience does a lot of driving of the topics that are covered. - Comments on Facebook or, like, replies to the email. - Absolutely. And one of the things that we started with was the discussion around the World Cup. So, the World Cup is happening, it doesn't happen

every year. It's a big deal. You know, 30% of our audience at "Bad Dog Agility" is international, right, where the game is just huge. And so there's this whole discussion about soccer, as we call it here in the United States, versus football. - That's right. And I just wanted to highlight this because I thought it was hilarious. It's funny how we sometimes randomly come across things, you know,

like, we'll be looking at stuff for the podcast, and then we'll come across some interesting tidbit. And that's what happened. I was looking up football versus soccer and discovered that- You know, I feel like the whole world blames America, right, for calling it soccer. They're like, "Why can't the Americans call it football like the whole rest of the world?" And then I found this article that says that

the reason that we call it soccer is because of the British. I love it. It is actually all of our friends in the UK, it's their fault that we call it soccer. So, the two minute version of this article, and I will link to it in the show notes, and we linked to it in in your blog article, is that, like, we're talking way back at like the

1890s or something. It was Association Football, and there was this trend of shortening words and then adding "er" to them. So, Association Football became "a-sosh," like A-S-S-O-C-C. But when you look at that, they would say, "a-sock" and then they would, like, add "er" to it and then drop the beginning. And so, Association Football became Socc-er. The "Soc" from association, and "er" because they like to add "er" to

everything. So, apparently, like, the £5 note, they called a fiver; and the £10 note they called a tenner, and stuff like that. And so they called it soccer. And then that caught on in America and then the British changed their minds and dropped it and went back to football. - Went back to football. Mm. - (laughs) So, I just thought that was hilarious. So, all of us Americans

can now just flip the script and start blaming the British for calling it soccer. - Super cool. One of the other things that I was talking about in yesterday's post, and actually I guess we can link to that in the show notes page too, right, so people can go and find the article, but we are emailing it. So, if you're on the email list, right, then you get

the whole article right there in your email. You can just read it in your email. It'll have like some images, videos. I think, like, this one had Jennifer's run, one of her runs from EO Team Tryouts, which we will also get to. But one of the things we talked about was the decline of USDAA, right. So, the big event that happened this past weekend, there were two. One

was European Open Team Tryouts that's run by the AKC, that's for the FCI event, the European Open, which is typically held in the summer. And so, it's a team selection process for Americans. And then the other one was Cynosport, Cynosport, depending on how you say it where you're from. USDAA's signature - National Event. - National Level Event. And unfortunately they were on the same weekend. And I say

unfortunately because I do feel like the Team Tryout event sucked away a lot of the really good handlers that you would've seen at the USDAA event. So, we got lots of great reader response on USDAA. But the one liner on USDAA, at least from my perspective, is I think it's a little bit of a decline, right. The entry numbers seem to be going down, the availability of local

shows seem to be going down. They've tried to make some changes to be responsible to the fancy in terms of like jump height and judging and course design and things like that, which doesn't seem to have had too much of an impact. But I have to say that I am no USDAA expert, right. It has been well over 10 years since I've competed in a USDAA event, a

decision largely made on availability in my area where AKC has really taken over. - I was about to say, there's no animosity there. We used to go to that event, but the availability of shows combined with- you know, I think that there is an element of you only have so much time as a handler to devote to big trips, and you know, I think the last time we

were doing USDAA or I would say half of the national events that we went to were before we had kids. (laughs) Right? And now we have to split our - Absolutely. - time between agility and water polo for two different kids. - Right. - And so, is some just, like, availability of that there combined with, you know, things like Westminster, things like AWC, you know, or tryouts and

things like that. So, no animosity there, but one of the big reasons is the availability of shows. And I'm sure that that plays a factor for a lot of other people as well. So, it had kind of been a while since I'd looked at the size of those events, and I don't really have historical data here. I didn't find a really good way to be able to tell

the numbers, like, every year. But what I did do, just as a spot check, was I looked at the number of dogs entered in Biathlon Jumpers, and I took that because it doesn't have any buys because like if you try to go look at the number of dogs that were in Grand Prix, well, which Grand Prix, because the quarterfinals, a lot of people have buys and they don't

do the quarterfinals. And then the regionals, a lot of people have in queued out, so they're not in the semi-finals, you know, and things like that. So, I just kind of took like Biathlon Jumpers and then I also did a spot check on a team event where there are no buys and it looked to be about 300 dogs total. That was at Cynosport, and so, I was comparing

that to the US Open, the UKI, sorry, yes, UKI event. And that one had 970 dogs. So, and to me, UKI is and will always be the newcomer. (laughs) Like, I can't believe they're in their 11th year. I guess that's shows my length in the sport, I think of them as like the newcomer. But they clearly have been growing year after year after year with their big events,

with now their big national event really kind of- - I feel it's taken off. - Yeah. - Right, it has not been steady growth. You know, when UKI first came to the US, I thought "This thing might really take off and explode," and it didn't, right. I think there's been very slow growth, but then I feel like over the past couple of years, the growth has really picked

up quite a bit. - Accelerated? Yeah. - Jen, what do you think? - Without looking at the numbers directly in front of me because that's what you just presented, and just kind of more of an opinion-based, thought-based discussion, I would 100% agree that USDAA is on the decline, and UKI has grown over the years and yes, it does seem in the last couple years it's really taken off.

I know for me personally, I did Cynosports last year, so that would've been in fall of 2021, and that was the last USA I've done. So, it's been well over a year since I've done any. We really don't have easy access to any in our area, but we are getting more and more and more UKI. And the US Open, I know as an event itself this year went

to an extra day. So, even just the number of days that they need in order to host the number of dogs that they're getting, this is the first year that they went, basically, to five days. I think check-in was on Tuesday, and it was Wednesday through Sunday. So, even just the number of days is going to show the growth in it. And I think there's a ton of

factors, you already touched on a few. I think the fall becoming a very busy time of year for events is a huge factor for me myself, you know, you have potentially AWC, then you have Cynosports, then you have US Open, and then you have EO Tryouts and then, you know, potentially Invitational, and it just gets to the point where you have to kind of pick and choose. For

me, location is a huge factor. This year, USA went West Coast, and US Open has kind of been traditionally in Florida the last couple years, and I think they've kind of committed to staying there. Some people like to know where it's at and have that commitment to location many, many, many months or years in advance, comparing that to, like, AKC, who often does not release the location of

their nationals until after the qualifying period has already started. But yeah, again, without knowing numbers, I have to think that, absolutely, USA is in the decline. I know they're trying to do a lot for the venue, but I feel like it's just too little too late is kind of where I feel. - Yeah. Yeah. Me and Jen, we had a huge conversation about this where I asked the

question, "Jen, do you think USDAA is in decline?" And she said- - Yes. - Yeah. And that was the whole conversation. - That was the huge discussion right there. (Sarah laughs) - And that was it. So, you know, I think a lot of people kind of see it that way. There's a couple of other interesting things here. So, one: on Facebook, Greg Derrett, who, you know, the founder

of UKI and UKA in England. So, UKA is basically UKI, but in England. - Actually, UKI is basically UKA, but everywhere else. - Oh, okay. (laughter) - That's kinda more accurate. - I appreciate that. And he has sold off UKA. - Yes. - Right? So, it's been purchased by someone else who's gonna be giving it the fresh ideas I think Greg referred to and, you know, direction. Basically,

I think Greg's doing a lot of different things, and his attention is divided. And so I think it's interesting that he is holding on to UKI, right. So, he's seen the growth and development here in the United States, right. They've really invested in bringing this to the people. And so, that's where his focus is going to be. - Mhm. - So, I think that is very, very interesting.

And I saw on Facebook, because I think someone- I don't think I talked about the US Open or UKI at all in my "Wrap Up" article, but someone had mentioned that they felt like part of the decline of USDAA kind of coincided with the rise of UKI here in the United States because of the nature of the courses and that there's this demand right now with all the

Cup events that are popping up everywhere, over courses that are kind of big, require a lot of running, a certain style that is much more European than what we traditionally see here in the United States, right. So, maybe that had something to do with that. And- - So, what you're saying is they're not independent events that, potentially, UKI has pulled from the USDAA crowd in their growth. -

Right, I think even the most diehard supporters of USDAA are looking at what UKI offers, and saying, "I like that. I wanna be a part." - I 100% think they're connected. Like, there's no way those are independent events, you know? - Right. Right. - Yeah. - Because it goes back to there's only so many weekends, there's only so many dates you're gonna show, and, you know, say, previously,

like for me, I did AKC and USDAA and then balanced out normal non-dog activities. Well, when UKI came in, I couldn't add that in, right. My weekends were already- it was a choice of what to give up. And USDAA and UKI were a little bit more in line with one another than AKC in terms of offering games and different classes. And so it was a slow, like, well,

I'm gonna give up this USDAA to go over to do UKI. And I think that's kind of the shift. You saw a lot more crossover between the, the two U's than anything touching and bordering on the AKC end. - Right. - Yeah. - And, you know, AKC, like, they have a monopoly on certain events, right? And so here I'm thinking Westminster and the EO, the European Open, and

the Agility World Championships. So, if you wanna do those events, you're gonna do AKC. And so, then it's kind of like, well, like you said, now if you're going to add another event, well, you have UKI which, you know, has a certain style of courses and has the US Open and has the world- - WAO. - Yeah, WAO, the World Agility open, which itself became a, you know,

there is a huge rise there in terms of it being a premier international event. So, yeah. And it became your gateway to that event. So. - Yeah, I think another interesting aspect of this, and kind of where I'm leading all of this to, is this idea of two worlds. Because I think oftentimes here in the United States, you know, we just like to argue about things. And I

think there was a time where people felt like maybe we were fighting over the future of agility. What kind of agility was going to win out here in the United States? Are we gonna start being more like Europe? Are we gonna be running these courses every weekend? And is that going to crowd out a certain type of dog, a certain type of handler, right? Or are we gonna

be more traditional in kind of how we approach courses, and are we gonna be more diverse in terms of our breed participation and things like that? And I think that, essentially, not just with the three main organizations being USDAA, UKI, AKC, but we also have NADAC and CPE and other, you know, Teacup and lots of different ways that you can participate in agility, right. That when you look

at it, we have so many different organizations here, and in that way we are really fortunate because a lot of other countries simply do not have the number of competitors, the organizational structure, and the varied opinions and perspectives on the sport to provide that, right. But here in the United States, we do, and I think instead of viewing it as a situation where we all need to consolidate,

right, I think competition, even between organizations, has forced them to adapt and respond to each other and be more responsive to the fancy. I remember that that was one of the reasons that UKA even came into existence in the first place on Greg Derrett's part. They needed something where the Kennel Club, the KC there in England would have to respond. They could no longer have the monopoly on

dog agility there, right. And it would make them better as an organization and more responsive to the competitors. And so it brings us to this idea that I have of, you know, two worlds. I think the reality is there are many, many worlds. But if we look at two worlds, meaning, okay, big international courses, people who are running around and handling their dog in that manner, lots of

backsides, throttles, that sort of thing, running contacts is the norm, versus the more traditional, and I just mean traditional in that that's how agility started, right. Stop contacts, technical work, a lot of focus on the games, gamblers, snookers, things like that. I think we can really co-exist. And so, I think that ties in nicely into the holiday season. - Aw. - Yes. - Peace on earth, goodwill to

men. - Alright, well I think that does it for this week's podcast. Very quickly, let's take a quick look ahead. So, we already mentioned that Jennifer and Jada are gonna be at the AKC Invitational this upcoming weekend. - The 16th and the 17th. - Right. So, competition wise, that's what's going on there. I know that for our VIP members, we have Cassie Schmidt, Agility World Championship team member

for the US, talking with our VIPers later on this week. And then, you know, it's the holidays for us. Well, I guess one big thing we have coming up, and I'm not sure if we're gonna have a podcast next week, is we are waiting to find out where our kid is going to college. And I'm gonna take just a minute here because we have longtime listeners who have

been with us, well before we even had a podcast, showing and trialing in Texas. And Isaac, who is that senior, he's 18 now, Hannah's 12, and so she's in seventh grade, but he's a senior, and this is his last year with us. They remember him on Sarah's back as she would walk courses here in Texas. Do you wanna talk a little bit about that? Are you gonna start

crying? - No, no. - Totally okay. - I'm not gonna start crying. - Don't cut that out. - No, no. But yeah, it's crazy. I've already had a couple of people, every once in a while, they'll hear us say something about Isaac- - Remember you used to do the joke - Yeah. - at the end of the podcast? - Yeah, we should bring 'em back. We should bring

'em back for, like, a retro- - Retro one joke. - Yeah, yeah. - Right. But I think, you know, what's coming down the pipeline is not just Hannah but Ethan. - Yeah, I know, right. - Right. - I was gonna say, you might need to have the passing of the torch on the joke, you know, like, Isaac comes in - Yes, yes. - A special episode. - does

one last one, and Ethan can have his joke debut. - Oh, yeah. - I love it. - They should do like a knock-knock joke where Isaac can do one side and Ethan can do the other, and that will be the crossover event. (Jennifer laughs) - This is going to happen. - Yes. - This is going to happen. Well, in any case, go ahead. - No, I was just

gonna say, yeah, I was thinking about Jen and what this means for her, just in that I feel like she's coming behind us in terms of, like, life experience, right? She's looking at us fretting college and being like, how can that happen? And you know, oh, and Ethan's so young, but it'll come. - It happens so quickly. - It happens quickly and slowly. It's like a weird thing.

- It happens very quickly. Because for me, the very first podcast that I was on for "Bad Dog," you guys used in the photo, a one year old birthday photo of Ethan. - Yeah. - So, it was about having a kid and going to dog shows. And we used his photo from his first birthday for my first ever podcast, and now he's eight. - Oh my gosh. -

Oh wow. - Yeah. It's crazy. - That's crazy. - That is crazy. - We're in shock. We're in shock. - That's is crazy. But next week we'll get the word on his early decisions. So, hopefully that'll be good news. And as soon as we know, I'm sure we'll let everyone know where he is going off to school. - Yep. And that's it for this week's podcast. We'd like

to thank our sponsor, HitItBoard.com. Happy training. (piano pop music) - Thank you for listening to "Bad Dog Agility." We hope you enjoyed today's episode. For more information, updates, and links to all our socials, just check out our website, www.BadDogAgility.com. If you have it already signed up for our email subscription, we would love to have you join the BDA community. Until next time, take care. (piano pop music)

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