February 28, 2024

February 28th, 2024 Wednesday Wrap Up (Reader Mailbag, Puppies vs Adult Dogs, Avatar Review)

Reader Mailbag
First, a big THANK YOU to everyone who submitted a podcast review for us! We really appreciate the positive feedback and support you have given us over the years.

Second, thank you for all the responses to last week’s question: do we really need a teeter in dog agility? I think we don’t. However, an astute reader shared, “I say the teeter will stay because it’s attractive to the general public. The table was an easy goodbye. Nobody gets excited watching an amazing table performance.” A few people shared my opinion but most competitors wanted to keep the teeter around.

I think there are a few different factors an organization should consider when deciding whether or not to remove an obstacle. Are there safety issues with the obstacle itself? Safety issues with the tire led to re-designs of the obstacle itself. Does the presence of the obstacle overly limit course design options? Think about how the popularity of running dogwalks has led to mostly straight entries and exits, which require more space. Do spectators enjoy watching this obstacle? Weaves are arguably the toughest obstacle for dogs to learn but also spectacularly impressive to casual spectators of the sport. And of course, are competitors complaining about this obstacle? Goodbye to the table.

I think the movement of the teeter creates an intense fear in a subset of our dogs that cripples their enjoyment of the sport, and I don’t think that’s fair. It’s an obstacle, like the tire, that harkens back to the entertainment one might see at a circus, with a flaming ring and more. The sport has evolved beyond that. I think the teeter is also unfair to smaller dogs in that it takes much longer to perform and generally requires more training, while also creating differences in times that ensure no small dog will ever beat a large dog (think Westminster Grand Champion, where an overall winner is determined by yards per second). Spectators enjoy the teeter but it doesn’t have the flash of the weave poles–I don’t think the teeter will be missed by casual fans. Lastly, it’s relatively difficult to judge, and teeter-related judging errors have led to the incorrect dog winning major competitions across all organizations.

Puppies vs Adult Dogs
We got some great feedback on last week’s podcast episode, “How Top Trainers Get Their Next Agility Dog.” One of our listeners reached out with this observation: “I listen to your podcast every Tuesday when it comes out and enjoy it. This week you talked about how top trainers pick their next agility dog. I thought you should have mentioned that many great agility dogs are mixed breed rescue…You get to see the dog, see how they jump and run and how they are built. You might even get a mix of great agility breeds. And you can get started a lot sooner!”

This listener brings up an excellent point. Welcoming an adult dog into your home, whether it’s a mixed breed from a rescue, a breed-specific rescue, or a purebred dog, comes with several advantages. Inspired, we immediately taped a podcast about it. Tune in to episode 335, “Getting an Adult Dog for Agility,” to hear the conversation we had between us.

Our overall message? When searching for an agility dog, maintaining an open mind and flexibility is key. Sometimes the most suitable agility partner isn’t a puppy but an adult dog.

Sarah’s Corner–Avatar: The Last Airbender (No Spoilers)
Sarah here, and I LOVED IT. Our family devoured all eight episodes in less than four days, and the first season gets unanimous thumbs up from us, although the intensity of our enthusiasm does vary a bit. I was completely enamored with it, head over heels in love. Meanwhile, Hannah and Esteban enjoyed it as well, though they were a tad nostalgic for the original series.

Collectively, we felt it did an outstanding job of capturing the essence of the characters and their relationships, which, in my eyes, is the cornerstone of the series. Yes, the adaptation introduces some changes to the storyline. While purists might balk at these adjustments, we found that they generally enriched the narrative without compromising the integrity of the original three-season arc.

For those who are fans of the martial arts and the unique bending abilities featured in the original, you’re in for a treat. The live-action bending sequences and fight scenes are executed brilliantly. I highly recommend watching.

Email me at team@baddogagility.com with your comments and questions!

Happy Training,

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