Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 31

By Tom Francis and the Windy City Agility Club Instructors Note: Some dogs will pass up 10 treats for that special toy. If that description fits your dog, check with your instructor for tips on working with toys as rewards during class. Managing Nature Calls When arriving at class, your dog will typically have been in the car for a while and be ready to visit nature. This time is well spent. If your dog does need to relieve himself after he is in the building you have two scenarios: • Best case: Your dog will let you know it’s time for a walk, but you will lose some of the class time that you paid for. • Worst case: Your dog will soil the course, then everyone loses course time. Guess who gets to clean up? Note: Agility class is a new place with lots of new people, lots of new dogs, and lots of neat stuff to do; all are very exciting and stimulating to a dog. So, one trip to potty will probably not be sufficient, especially in your first several classes. Watch for your dog’s signals and respond accordingly. During Class Listen to Instructors © JOEL R. BOGART While working my way through beginner agility classes with my Aussie/Shepherd mix partner, I was deeply impressed by the insights and willingness to share that characterized the instructors of Windy City Agility Club. Agility clearly has many matters of etiquette, as do other sports, which have evolved to make the entire experience more productive and enjoyable. Our agility “manners” were instilled along with other essentials as we progressed through the classes. In the spirit of “wishing that I knew then what I know now,” I volunteered to compile what I learned through the generosity and patience of the instructors so that it could be shared with other newcomers to agility. Here is the result of that effort. Editors’ Note: While it is not permissible to make copies of Clean Run articles without the written permission of Clean Run and the author, we are making an exception with this article. Clean Run and the authors invite you to share this information with friends, students, club members, and so on, as long as you give proper credit. They have considerable experience and have become instructors because they love to see dogs and handlers learn, succeed, and have fun along the way. Watch and Learn from Others A class may commonly have a beginner dog paired with an experienced handler. This is usually one of several dogs they have (agility handlers tend to have multiple-dog households). Watching these people work with their “new” dogs is a great learning experience. Manage Your Dog Agility class is a shared environment with dogs and handlers of different stripes, spots, patches, preferences, and temperaments. Being aware of and respecting those differences is essential to a productive and enjoyable class experience. Agility class is not puppy play time. Classes other than agility encourage direct interaction between dogs. If that is what you are seeking, these venues can be great fun and we encourage you to go. But agility class is not one of them. To that end: • Be respectful of each dog’s space. Some dogs do not like other dogs in “their space.” Allow a minimum 3’ to 4’ buffer zone between dogs. • Dogs are to be on leash at all times, except when the instructor has given consent to be off leash for training on specific obstacles or running the course. Before Class Managing Meals and Treats The maxim, “A hungry dog is a motivated dog,” encourages some people either not to feed their dogs before class (they get plenty to eat during the class) or to feed them a smaller meal, or perhaps a meal at an earlier time than normal. You might use another variation depending on an individual dog’s feeding schedule. What is best for your dog can be learned only by trying different regimens. Keep track of what works and after a few weeks you will know the best schedule for your teammate. Treats are one of the primary motivators for agility training (praise and toys being the others). Soft treats are the best choice, because they are less likely to cause choking when gulped by an excited dog. If your dog really prefers hard treats, break them up into small, easy-to-swallow pieces. As a courtesy to other students, please try to retrieve any treats that have fallen on the course during your run. Your dog will be glad to help! Treat bags that hang from your belt are very handy. Should you decide to enter competitions, however, no treats or treat bags are allowed in the ring. Your dog may take the absence of a treat bag as a clear signal of “no treats today” and act accordingly. For some dogs, the presence or absence of a treat bag is not a problem; so you will see some handlers using treat bags regularly and some avoiding them. December 08 | Clean Run 31

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clean Run Magazine - December 2008

Clean Run Magazine - December 2008
Think Outside the Box (and the Ring)
Editorializing: Just One More Run
Tip of the Month
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Backyard Dogs
Trainer’s Forum
Cece’s Gym Exercise of the Month: Treadmill Walking
Handling Your Dog in Awesome Style, Part 9: Common Sequences
Agility Class Etiquette
K9 Kudos: Seeing Spots
Foundation Fundamentals: Flatwork Skills Wrap-up
So You Want to Raise an Agility Star
Canine Health Care: FAQs
Conquering Ring Nerves: Feeling Overwhelmed by Big Goals?
Retraining Agility Skills
Skill of the Month
Walking the Course…Backward?
Agility Organization Update
Using Silent Running to Improve Body Language
Letter to the Editor
Course Diagram Keys
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Clean Run Magazine - December 2008
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 2
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 3
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 4
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Editorializing: Just One More Run
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Tip of the Month
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Backyard Dogs
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 9
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 10
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 11
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Trainer’s Forum
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 13
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 14
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 15
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Cece’s Gym Exercise of the Month: Treadmill Walking
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 17
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 18
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 19
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 20
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 21
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Handling Your Dog in Awesome Style, Part 9: Common Sequences
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 23
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 24
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 25
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 26
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 27
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 28
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 29
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 30
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Agility Class Etiquette
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 32
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 33
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 34
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 35
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 36
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 37
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 38
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 39
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 40
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 41
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - K9 Kudos: Seeing Spots
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 43
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 44
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Foundation Fundamentals: Flatwork Skills Wrap-up
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 46
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 47
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 48
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 49
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 50
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 51
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - So You Want to Raise an Agility Star
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 53
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 54
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 55
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 56
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Canine Health Care: FAQs
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 58
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Conquering Ring Nerves: Feeling Overwhelmed by Big Goals?
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 60
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 61
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 62
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 63
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 64
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Retraining Agility Skills
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 66
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 67
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Skill of the Month
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 69
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 70
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 71
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Walking the Course…Backward?
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 73
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 74
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Agility Organization Update
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 76
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 77
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 78
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Using Silent Running to Improve Body Language
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 80
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 81
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - Course Diagram Keys
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 83
Clean Run Magazine - December 2008 - 84
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