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Old 04-29-2014, 01:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Starting Agility - Preventing Injuries

I'll be starting my dog on some agility drills, was wondering if there is particular advice for building up and monitoring his physical condition.

I do a lot of physical training myself - run, bike, lift - and injury prevention is a big part of that. I'm a mammal, my dog is a mammal . . .
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Old 05-01-2014, 03:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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How old is your dog?
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Old 05-01-2014, 05:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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What is your agility instructor suggesting?

And if they are trialing and have raised/trained their agility dogs I'd just listen to their suggestions and tips.

It's SO obvious when you see people who think they know agility and just pretend they know what they are doing and teach a class (wrong and your dog may get injured) compared to those who KNOW what they are doing and work on all the proper foundation/flatwork rather than just using all the fun equipment.

DJEtzel has a good question about the age of your pup too.

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Old 05-01-2014, 05:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by MaggieRoseLee View Post
It's SO obvious when you see people who think they know agility and just pretend they know what they are doing and teach a class (wrong and your dog may get injured) compared to those who KNOW what they are doing and work on all the proper foundation/flatwork rather than just using all the fun equipment.

This is SO true! I've just started Agility. I think I know my dog, but my instructor can tell when my dog is about to quit before I do. She doesn't push him. She wants to end on a good note and not fry his brain or his body.

I really find it amazing.
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Old 05-02-2014, 12:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks, guys.

My dog is 3, and his trainer is me. This is just recreational - time commitments for organized events are pretty iffy.

I've started him on jumping up on hay bales in our barn. Actually, I had to get him to stop jumping up and down and up and down to begin teaching him to respond to commands. Loves jumping. I figured I had better get something going after he very nearly jumped up into the truck bed, over the raised tailgate, chest-high.

I've also got him going through a tire, just propped up on the ground right now. Sit-stay, and I call him through it.

Activities right now are straight-line movements with natural body movements. The goal is to get his muscles and connective tissue used to it. I have a lot of personal trainer texts for human fitness, which I am using as a pattern for his training: basic movements first, rest days in between exercise days, and nutrition to fuel a body in transition.

Last edited by beezaur; 05-02-2014 at 12:30 AM.
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Old 05-03-2014, 04:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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i would think you would want a pro trainer to teach the basics about injury prevention.
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Old 05-03-2014, 09:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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i would think you would want a pro trainer to teach the basics about injury prevention.
Where do they get trained on that information?

What I'm getting at is, how do I know I'm getting good advice from someone who claims to be a "pro?" My area has a few . . . un-pro "pros" that I am hesitant to ask anything from.

In every industry I've encountered there are people who call themselves experts because they have "experience" but have no idea they are doing things horribly wrong (I'm an engineer and have to deal with that professionally all the time). The problem is they "do" things but don't have the first clue about the principles of whatever they are doing.

These people are often looked to for advice because "they've done a lot of [X]" and know what they are doing. Unfortunately there's an awful lot more to it than that, with pretty much every profession I've had any contact with.

Psychologically what is going on (usually) is that people are blissfully unaware of how much there is to know, so they are literally unaware of the deficits in their knowledge. "Dunning Kruger effect" or something like that, it's called.

Can you tell it is my pet peeve?

Anyhow, what I have done is run my plan by a veterinarian. Not a training specialist, but definitely good advice on injuries and metabolism and a whole lot of other things. Big thumbs up there.

P.S. From Wikipedia:

Quote:
The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias which can manifest in one of two ways:
Unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than is accurate. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their ineptitude. . . .

Last edited by beezaur; 05-03-2014 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 05-04-2014, 05:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If you can go to an instructor who has been trialing with their dog for years, continue to educate themselves by going to seminars and clinics, and/or even go to trials yourself to watch you will learn alot.

Many of the trials in my area have dog chiropractors on site and they get alot of use by handlers who just tune up their dogs every month of so.
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Old 05-05-2014, 09:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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If you can go to an instructor who has been trialing with their dog for years, continue to educate themselves by going to seminars and clinics, and/or even go to trials yourself to watch you will learn alot. . . .
I don't really have access to that.

I probably could find someone, but not within range (I don't have huge blocks of time for this). Trainers in my area are often . . . "old school," to put it politely.

So it's me and my dog and my vet. That's actually why this is only a recreational pursuit for me. I would like to do events, but that is just not in the cards for me right now.

I would be interested to find out where the trainers get their knowledge. It has to be written down somewhere. I've found the dog behavior books by Lindsay to be enormously useful. I would love to find something similar about physical training of canines
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Old 05-05-2014, 09:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by beezaur View Post
I don't really have access to that.

I probably could find someone, but not within range (I don't have huge blocks of time for this). Trainers in my area are often . . . "old school," to put it politely.

So it's me and my dog and my vet. That's actually why this is only a recreational pursuit for me. I would like to do events, but that is just not in the cards for me right now.

I would be interested to find out where the trainers get their knowledge. It has to be written down somewhere. I've found the dog behavior books by Lindsay to be enormously useful. I would love to find something similar about physical training of canines
You can get a Clean Run magazine subscription (lots of good tips and articles written by trainers). Also this is a website where you can rent training videos:
BowWowFlix.com: Dog DVD Rentals | Dog Training Dvd | Dog Dvds | Rent Dog Videos
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