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For Novice A Agility Competitors

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Old May 24th 04, 03:26 PM
Robin Nuttall
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Default For Novice A Agility Competitors

After going to an AKC trial this past weekend, I've got some suggestions
for Novice A people to consider before entering their dog in a trial.
This is specific to AKC where Training in the Ring (TIR) is not allowed.
I also have a couple of suggestions for some NON Novices!!

1. Before even thinking about coming to a real trial, make sure your dog
will COME WHEN CALLED. Having your dog take off from you at the start
line or during your run to zip out of the ring, posture aggressively to
other dogs, try to pick a fight, then hold up the whole trial for 15
minutes while refusing to be caught by you or anyone else is NOT
fun--not for the dog, not for you, not for the judge, not for the rest
of the competitors.

2. You really can't deliberately touch your dog during the run and get
away with it. Chuffing it upside the head for refusing to go on the
teeter, then picking up and plonking it down onto the teeter even
*after* being whistled by the judge is a really, really bad idea.

3. Kicking dirt at your dog because you are mad isn't terribly good

4. When the judge advises in the briefing that trying the weaves more
than 4 times is probably not a good thing, she generally knows what
she's talking about. Think about what you are doing to your dog by
trying them 5, 6, or more times. Ditto trying to force the dog to do

These are for everybody

5. If you are about to finish your MACH, don't stop at the end of your
run and turn your back on your dog to yell "did I Q!" to the judge while
your dog runs amok outside the ring getting in other dogs' faces.
Further, when told by the judge that yes, you WERE clean until you
performed above stunt, but have now been NQd for not controlling your
dog, don't have a screaming tantrum because you were stoopid.

6. Give your dog enough room to take the first jump! With the advent of
electronic timers and starts that actually start with jump 1, I'm seeing
more and more people sticking their dogs *right* in front of the
jump--sometimes less than 5 feet away--then expecting them to take it.
I'm seeing lots of dropped bars, and even when the bar isn't dropped
you're asking your dog to do a vertical lift from a standstill. It's not
good for your dog and it means your dog will not be crossing that jump
at full speed.


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