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I am curious as to how many of you have gotten your dogs an AD certificate. I have read a few different websites about the endurance test but I have some questions and would love to hear your opinion on the importance of the title as well as your personal experience with the test. I know that it is 12.5 miles, they usually try and schedule it for early morning and they cannot hold the test if the temperature goes beyond a certain degree. From the websites, I gather that you get several brakes every 5 to 8 miles, and that you are timed on how quickly you get through and if you are to slow you are disqualified.
Here are a few of my questions.
1. How easy is it to pass the AD?
2. What is the best age for your dog to try?
3. Did you run the course with your dog or ride your bike?
4. During the brakes is it safe and recommended to offer your dog water?
5. How many dogs are usually going for the test at once (I realize the number will fluctuate depending on season, area, and advertising)?
6. How did you prepare yourself and your dog for this test (did you run 8-12 miles with them a few days a week? Were you building up the amount of exercise for several months until you peeked around 13 miles)?
7. Did you find that after building them up to this level that you had unknowingly conditioned your dog to NEED that much exercise regularly?
8. How important (compared to other titles and certificates) do you think the AD title is? Is it something you look for and are impressed by when looking at a pedigree?
9. How common are these tests (held only once a year or every few months)?
10. Percentage of dogs that make it compared to dogs that don’t?
I am sure I might think of a few more questions. Lobo will be 16 months in a few days and we definitely won’t be trying for the AD until later 2016. I am thinking it will be safer to wait and get his hips and elbows OFA’ed before trying such an intense physical exam. I am making a list of goals for us to accomplish in the next few years and the AD was a title I had looked into but have not been able to find as much info as I would like. I couldn’t find another thread exclusively on this topic but if there is one feel free to direct me there; also, if this is in the wrong section please move this post :D
 

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1. How easy is it to pass the AD?.

Pretty easy for a reasonably fit and healthy dog.

2. What is the best age for your dog to try?

Max age allowed is 6 years old. So any time before your dog turns seven.

3. Did you run the course with your dog or ride your bike?

I've never heard of running your dog. I believe that the rules are that the dog is to be biked.

4. During the brakes is it safe and recommended to offer your dog water?

the Judge will let you know if you can give water. Judge said no water when we did our AD.

5. How many dogs are usually going for the test at once (I realize the number will fluctuate depending on season, area, and advertisement)?

No idea. We had about five dogs, two of those where last-minute entries (on the day of the trial)

6. How did you prepare yourself and your dog for this test (did you run 8-12 miles with them a few days a week? Were you building up the amount of exercise for several months until you peeked around 13 miles)?

I Biked Keeta about two or three times a week. On weekdays I did shorter runs (3-5 kms) and pushed for speed for fitness, on weekends when I had more time we did more leisurely distances at a comfortable pace. I usually aimed for 10-14 kms (12.5 miles translates to 20 kms). I only did the whole 20 km once during training just to say that I did it.

7. Did you find that after building them up to this level that you had unknowingly conditioned your dog to NEED that much exercise regularly?

Nope.

8. How important (compared to other titles and certificates) do you think the AD title is? Is it something you look for and are impressed by when looking at a pedigree?

In the German SV system, the AD is part of the Breed Survey, and thus a requirement for breeding. Any breed-surveyed dog you see will have done (and passed) an AD. For the rest of us, we do it for the challenge, and just to get something to brag about and have fun doing it.


9. How common are these tests (held only once a year or every few months)?

Some Schutzhund clubs will offer them when they hold a trial. How common they are will depend on how many SchH clubs are in your area, how often they hold trials, and if they will offer the AD at the trial. You don't have to be a member of a SchH club to do an AD, but you do have to join one of the parent Organizations (I'm in Canada, so not familiar enough with the US counterparts to specify how to go about doing that.)

10. Percentage of dogs that make it compared to dogs that don’t?
The vast majority of dogs that are in reasonable condition (don't even need to be super-fit) will easily make it. When our club did an AD, all five dogs passed - two of the dogs were mixed breeds. Dogs usually fail due to injury (they start limping along the way), or at a paw check during one of the breaks. The most common issue that causes a dog to be disqualified are bleeding paws from running on pavement. A lot of clubs try to set up their course so the dogs can run on grass or soft ground, but that is tricky when the dog is tethered to a bicycle. For that reason, while training, I alternated between biking Keeta on dirt roads and paved roads to toughen up her pads.

Remember too that at the end of the AD, the dogs will get a 15 minute rest break, then will be expected to do a little obedience routinge- all part of testing the dog's work ethic, even after running an endurance event. it wasn't anything formal - the judge had us line up with our dogs, and called out a few basic exercises with some heeling. Again, none of the dogs had any issues .
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you so much! That is very helpful. OK so it is strictly biking, I wasn't sure.
 

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Lucia answered most of your questions.

The AD is not a title. It is a requirement for the breed survey. The minimum I have ever done an AD with is 2 dogs. They can be larger, though I would have to read the rule book to know if there is a limit.

I generally wait to do the AD until after the dog has its OFA's so after 2.

Most AD are held in the fall or spring since there is a maximum temperature that they can be run. I think 72 F.

I have always offered my dogs a small amount of water (not a lot) and walked them before, during the breaks and before the obedience portion (which isn't really much obedience since a dog doesn't even have to have a BH yet to do the AD).
 

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I think the maximum number of dogs allowed for an AD event is 20. Also, the dog has to be on the right side of the bicycle for safety - it places them on the side of the road with the handler being between them and traffic, so make sure you train your dog on your right side.

Some dogs, if always on the left, will get confused on the right side and won't know what to do, so just get them comfortable with that before actually doing the official run.
 

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1. How easy is it to pass the AD?
Pretty easy, IMO, of all the things I've done with my dog this required pretty minimal training and effort on my part.

2. What is the best age for your dog to try?
Doesn't matter I don't think. I mean, I wanted to do breed surveys so this had to be done first. One dog was 20 months, one dog was 4 years.

3. Did you run the course with your dog or ride your bike?
I thought you had to bike? I did two dogs in one trial so I biked and held one leash and a friend helped me out by biking next to me and holding the other dog's leash.

4. During the brakes is it safe and recommended to offer your dog water?
Just a little bit, I never let my dogs gulp a lot of water immediately after exercise.

5. How many dogs are usually going for the test at once (I realize the number will fluctuate depending on season, area, and advertising)?
The trial I did had a lot, almost 20.

6. How did you prepare yourself and your dog for this test (did you run 8-12 miles with them a few days a week? Were you building up the amount of exercise for several months until you peeked around 13 miles)?
I biked both dogs 2-3 miles 2-4 times a week and then did one longer one like 6 miles about a week and a half before the AD. We trained *for* the AD maybe 1.5-2 months, but my dogs were/are physically fit and train and compete in other dog sports. It was mostly about toughening the pads on one of my dog, his feet have always have pads that wear faster (burns pads in flyball). Other dog was fine running and training on pavement.

7. Did you find that after building them up to this level that you had unknowingly conditioned your dog to NEED that much exercise regularly?
No? But see above, we didn't train that hard and my dogs already got/get exercise and training.

8. How important (compared to other titles and certificates) do you think the AD title is? Is it something you look for and are impressed by when looking at a pedigree?
Well I wanted to breed survey these dogs so it was necessary. I don't do it with dogs I'm not going to breed survey. I have plenty of other ways I'm already testing their fitness and stamina with actual titles.

9. How common are these tests (held only once a year or every few months)?
As common as Schutzhund trials.

10. Percentage of dogs that make it compared to dogs that don’t?
I think all dogs pass unless there is something wrong with them (fat, injured, some temperament issue like they are out of control around the other dogs, refuse to run next to a bike)

http://www.germanshepherds.com//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/extension/
 

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This is an older thread, but rather than start a new one on AD, I'm piggy backing. I was aware of the BH requirement and I don't know how I missed the AD when reading about IPO (IGP) as a sport I was interested in. Someone just mentioned it today. I am so very bummed out.

I have some physical limitations that would preclude me riding a bike that long (12.5 miles), and I certainly cannot run/jog. Assuming I could bike without putting myself in a lot of pain and risking injury, I live in a dense urban area and can't imagine where I'd be able to run a dog next to a bike anywhere near me without getting run over. Do I just give up on the idea of doing this sport with my dog, or have any of you in a similar situation found a way to over come this? Maybe conditioning the dog on a treadmill, then have a trainer get the dog used to running next to a bike and run the dog during the AD test?
 

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The AD is not a requirement to title. It is a requirement to earn a breed survey. If you want, someone else can bike your dog.
 

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Most of my breeding dogs have been breed surveyed and therefore have done the AD along with a couple of extra. Kira (HGH) had not had bitework or an AD when I did her koer last July - the AD is not required of a dog wiht an HGH (Herding title)....

Komet did his around 2 with no prep - he had been in herding training for a few months - so assume he was reasonably fit. Heiko Grubbe (SV) was the judge and he is a STICKLER for the AD - he rides a bike with the dogs. There were 2 dogs doing it, and the course was in an office complex entirely on pavement. The owner of his sire rode the bike - I am incapable! LOL

Most of my other dogs did theirs at my club in Ohio - a dirt/lightly graveled road apx 1/2 mile in length entering a park is used for all their ADs. Nice place, they have picnic shelters and rest rooms. Various friends and the club TD have done my dogs for me....one dog was handed to a friend/member a week previously, he rode the dog around the field to see if he would go with the bike....none were specifically conditioned, a couple had 2 or 3 rides before the test. A reasonably fit dog should have no problem doing it without too much prep.


Lee
 

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As Jax08 said, the AD is not required to do IPO/IGP. It is a requirement only for the breed survey (along with passing hips/elbows, conformation rating and title).



If you plan on breed surveying your dog for breeding or showing (conformation) then someone else can ride the bike. If the course is entirely on pavement (something I try to prevent) then your dog's feet will need to be conditioned to trotting on pavement. That can't be done on a treadmill, but I don't see why they rest of the conditioning couldn't be. The dog does not have to be used to biking 12.5 miles, though. I think the most I have ever done was 6-7 when conditioning my dogs. There are two breaks in the AD and most dogs seem to handle the distance with energy to spare.
 

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1. How easy is it to pass the AD?
With a fit young dog? Easy.

3. Did you run the course with your dog or ride your bike?
You have to ride a bike

4. During the brakes is it safe and recommended to offer your dog water?
The judge will tell you.It was November, we did not need any water

5. How many dogs are usually going for the test at once (I realize the number will fluctuate depending on season, area, and advertising)?
We had 4 or so
6. How did you prepare yourself and your dog for this test (did you run 8-12 miles with them a few days a week? Were you building up the amount of exercise for several months until you peeked around 13 miles)?
I didn't. I often do a 6 mile jog with my dog. Sometimes I will do it twice a day. Dog uses about ...oh...5% of the gas in his tank for that. 45 minutes of 2 ball or fetch are the only things that make him look like he had a workout, and that is sprinting the whole time. ONE thing I would have done differently...practiced heeling on a bike beforehand. It was baptism by fire for us. On the way out of the the fist leg I looked like Phoebe from Friends when she was learning to ride as an adult lol We got it down by the end. Harmony in pace and position was eventually achieved, seconds before i threw the bike in the woods and quit lol

7. Did you find that after building them up to this level that you had unknowingly conditioned your dog to NEED that much exercise regularly?
No, but we are fairly active anyway. We have done day long hikes up mountains, hours long.

8. How important (compared to other titles and certificates) do you think the AD title is? Is it something you look for and are impressed by when looking at a pedigree?
I did it because I liked challenges and the trophy was bigger than the BH we earned that weekend :) Like others said you need it for the SV Breed Survey

9. How common are these tests (held only once a year or every few months)?
It seems my club offers it when they do a yearly trial. I'm green yet, and have not attended other trials, yet.

Other questions you asked- someone else can run your dog if you can't. We had an older woman have someone run her Dobie.

It was fun, and funny at times :) I'll be doing it with each dog,and would take another's dog for them if they could not bike.
 

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Castlmaid covered the event pretty well. I’ll add a few things.

When I decided to do the AD I had never even seen it before. As with all my sports competitions I go for the win not just also ran. So I train excessively according to some. Playing hurt probably goes back to the first time I fell down as an infant. Fortunately my dog seemed to be of the same line of thought.


I did the AD many years ago but I don’t think much has changed.
It’s not a required title except as previously noted.
I did it partly as conditioning and partly as my dog had boundless energy. Just briefly, I didn’t expect to donthe AD. And full SCH III the same day, but it gives you and idea of the energy my dog had.

I was fortunate to be able to bike the distance and we practiced about three days a week for several months.

The day was very hot about 95 f and the judge nearly called it off. He said he would stop it if the dogs began weakening. We stopped twice to give the dogs water and for the judge to examin the dogs. At the end was a short obedience routine that he called out as we performed. My dog wasn’t even tired. The two Rotties nearly passed out. One dog was pulled.

Once back at the field they announced that the SCH III dogs were to go to the tracking field. We did and we passed, not spectacularly but I was happy.

We had about two hours off then the SCH III obedience was called. No problems here, not perfect but not bad.

We had another couple hours off and SCH III protection was called. We had a coulpe minor points off in the middle of the test but finished with a powerful courage test with a couple points off for “bothering the helper after the out”

Like I said play to win, when things get tough I just stay calm and play as hard as I can.

So, could you do this? 7-9 mph on the bike for 12.5 miles. On a sunny hot day it’s a test for you if you are not a biker. You will have to hold the leash in one hand (right) or more dangerously hold it under your hand on the handle bars. This means sitting and pedaling with no real hand power. I don’t know what the bikers call it but basically pedaling and steering with one hand. I don’t think you can use a “springer” No handler help. The dog has to heel at your side. Most likely on the right. So it’s advantageous to train a right side heel too. I do anyway so it was no problem even today with my Aussie. You have to make sure the dog doesn’t react to virtually anything. You don’t need to go down in the test with the dog alerting on a rabbit. Your dog needs to be able to follow another dog or lead the “pack” . You may be fortunate enough to ride in a pack. The judge will be in front either in the back of a van or truck....SUV today.LOL 9 pass. wagon in my day. Be sure to practice on both pavement and gravel shoulder of the road. Your practice will help condition your dogs feet. Many dogs don’t really get much moving exercise. I like to walk for my own health. We go 3-12 miles a day. The short side in the rain or below 0 days.

At the stops the judge will check the dog’s eyes and ears for signs of excess heat. Then he will examine the feet for wear. So the dog needs to be comfortable with this.

If you can find a water bottle with a built in dish it’s great. I have one I got at Petco. Carry an extra bottle of water. Carry water for yourself.

I don’t remember the collar. I had either a fur saver or nylon flat collar and soft 6 foot nylon leash.

Wear some kind of hat and sun screen. Suitable shoes. Bikers wear funny shoes I just wear athletic shoes. If you want to wear gloves, I guess it’s ok.

Make sure the bike is in good shape. With all the time dog training I didn’t have time to mess with it so I took it to the bike shop. I told him it better not break down or he would be dealing with me AND my dog. LOL

As for yourself, you will have to determine what you can do. A good marathon runner could do it with out a bike. Take a ride on a bike. There should be some bike trails around and you can ride on the road side. Just start with an easy ride say a mile. The test will be pretty level but you may have some ups and downs. Bump it to two miles. Then pick up the pace to the 9 mph rate then add distance. It’s only a little over an hour ride. Call it 45 min out 45 min back. When you can do that without huffing and puffing, you are ready. If you are not a rider it may take a while.....the event is a test not a Sunday afternoon ride to A&W.

As for the number of dogs, I think the most I’ve ever seen was 6.

The event is not offered at all trials. You may want to talk to the trial host before the event and they might add the event ....just for you.

Age of the dog, I wouldn’t do it before 2 1/2 years with GSD, Rotti, Dobe. A Mal or any Belgian dog 2 years min. You might have to check the rule book for sure. My Aussie could have done it at a year not that I would have tested her. Just make sure the dog is sound. It would be terrible to have a dog have a bad physical experience on this test. It is a test for structure and stamina for the dog so it is real and reasonable. That’s what it’s for.

I guess that’s about it. If you have other questions please ask away.
 

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You can use a Springer. Have used one in every AD I have done.
 

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Age of the dog, I wouldn’t do it before 2 1/2 years with GSD, Rotti, Dobe. A Mal or any Belgian dog 2 years min. You might have to check the rule book for sure. My Aussie could have done it at a year not that I would have tested her. Just make sure the dog is sound. It would be terrible to have a dog have a bad physical experience on this test. It is a test for structure and stamina for the dog so it is real and reasonable. That’s what it’s for.

Is that because of concerns that the growth plates are not fused/closed? What is the earliest you would start biking with a GSD just for exercise?
 

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Thanks Ms. lisa. I don’t think they had been on the market or weren’t popular yet in my time. The judges simply said they wanted loose leash no excessive pulling or lagging. Just a natural pace.

Chip, yeah, the growth plates are the issue. I say that as second hand info as that’s what I’m told. We took our dogs on short bike rides before they were a year old but not fast or long. Just for exercise. It’s easier than us walking many miles. My Aussie at a year old wasn’t even tired after several miles of walking. I use pulling on the leash as a trained exercise, then alternate with close order heel, both left and right sides. It’s also a mental exercise. The GSD’s normal walk is faster than our comfortable walk so a slow bike ride at the dogs easy pace won’t hurt them. Today’s working dogs are much more sound than they were years ago. Bad hips and elbows were rampant then. Many dogs were retired before they even started.

The more modern breeders have done a pretty good job of breeding out these problems even though it’s still a concern.
I’d still go with nothing hard until at least 18 months. There are plenty of other exercises to train for as a youngster..

I do a lot of training right in my living room. Retrieve, low jumps, weaves. I block in the dining room table with six chairs. Then toss a retriev object so the dog has to weave in and out around chair legs. I hide toys and have her search for them. We try to do a lot of fun things. We have a record snow on the ground now that’s up to her neck. I use a 60’ and 100’ leash and let her run in the field. I do recalls and let her plow through the snow. 15-20 minutes of this is very tiring and has a side benefit of cleaning her coat.
 

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That's interesting. I do the same, letting my dog pull when on a walk like the German show dogs are trained, but he just does it naturally and that way, he get the exercise of pulling and doesn't get confused when we train the focused heel. He pulls just hard enough to get some resistance, but not so much it becomes a pain. My plan is to wait until he's 18 months and the weather is cool to start with the bike. Thanks.
 
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