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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm curious about starting my 4 yr old Princess Buttercup in agility. I know nothing & have questions. Is this something we can do casually just for fun or is this about as serious as Olympic gymnastics? Any special traits make one hound more successful than another? Is it expensive? Are there events in Oregon on the weekends? What else should I be asking? Thanks so much, PB & Shelly
 

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Hey Ms. Peanut Butter,

methinking about it too! i'll be interested to know what ya find.

so far, we asked our friend who raises and competes Vischlas (ok, i know i spelled that wrong).... her response was, "You want your BASSET to do agility?" Hmmmph. as if there was something contradictory about that.

--Worm
 

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know nothing & have questions. Is this something we can do casually just for fun or is this about as serious as Olympic gymnastics?
Both actual it is as serious as you want to make it many enthusiats never compete or ask their dog to jump competitive heights, That said to compete it takes a knoledgeable trainer about 18 month of training to get a dog ready for the novice ring. but it high depends on the dog and the skill of the trainer. Mariah who was exceptional was competeing succesfully afte only 8 months of training and that on limit equipment but like I said she is a one in a million dog in many way some good and alot not good.

Any special traits make one hound more successful than another?
I can tell you this most the sucessfull basset in agility competetion have one thing in common they are/were relatively small females. Females out number males 4or5 to 1. At a basset invassion at a NADAC trial many many years ago 2002 there were Six bassets competeing. ! owned the heavest two there Toughy at 48# and Zephyr at 42# One other basset was 40 even and the rest between 35-40 lbs. Peanut the only basset to earn an AKC MACH (championship in a gility title) sub 35 lbs. Mariah is 42# when I got her from rescue she weighed 36# all the extra 6# is muscle on her himd end se is atypical of basset in this regard her hind end might be larger than her chest. So in terms of actual size sh is smaller than her weight would indicate.

other behavioral traits I thing are important is you want a dog with drive by that I mean not lazy willing to work at something .l It helps if they are intelligent because agility does require the dog to think and make decisions on its own as well.


Are their events in Oregon on the weekends?
oregon is a big state I would suspect there is likely one somewhere every weekend
keep in mind in agility there are a significant amount of sanctioning bodies with slightly to very different rules and obstacles.

the grandady of the all is AKC AKC requires the dog be AKC register failing that you can get an ILP (indefinate listing priviledge) if the dog looks like a pure bred sending two picture and i think 35 dollars and they well tell you if they agree an ILP allows you to compete in any akc perofrmance event obedience, rally agility tracking etc/ AKC now has a PAL progam as well that allow registration of Mixed breed dogs to compete in performance events However where they are allowed to compete at any given event is a the discretion of the club putting on the event that is they do not have to accept PAL register dog if they do not want to the can not refulse ilps however and most culb accept pals and the must say whether they will or won't on the premium

USDAA is the oldest dog agility sanctioning body with more physical demanding standard and course layot challenges that often are not allowed in other venues it is open to all dogs.

NADAC has agility games that do not involve jumping the course offer fewer technical challenge than many other venues but require greater speed.

CPE Canine performance events is basical USDAA lite lower jump heights more course faults allowed slower course times.,

TDAA teacup dog agility for dog 17" and under only compressed distance to give the handlers the same challenges as faced by running a faster larger dog

UKC has different obstacles sway bridge crawl tunnel does not require as much speed as other venues.

ASCA Austraian shepard club of AMERIca while a bbreed orgainzation agility is open to any dog one time tied with NADAC but NADAC made significat changes to the program ASCA stayed with the old rules.

Dogna Simillar to ASCA with slightly differet rules.

For a comprehensive lising see
Agility events

FWIW at most AKC trials a dog not entered is unwelcome that is not the case for most other trial organization but it is best to check the trial premium to be sure.

Is it expensive?
To have fun with it it can be done cheaply however to be competitive it is one of the more expensive dog sports. Weekly Casses typiically mor vary greatly via geographic areas run $100 or more for six week . what if ant equipment you want to train on you own is not cheap it help to have someone handy that can make it as well. Competeing cost are about 60 dollars a day for AKC 2 classes , 75 or so for 3-4 for USDAA etc plus travel expense and possibly hotels. You do not find too many poor people competing in agility but it not the enclave of the super rich It is however predominatly a female sport. Females out number males (humans) by at leat 4 to one generally greater but 10 years ago it was closer to 10-1.

What else should I be asking?
Every question ussual lead to a 100's more I would suggest posing this same question on the basset agility yahoo group. yes it does exist. Where in Origon are you there are at least two people actively engages at least until recently with basset hounds in agillity Chris Wallen of Monmouth, OR. Karin Pearson-King in the portland area you should be able to reach either on through the yahoo group.

some general myth about the sport. It general requires as much if not more training of the human to have success as it does the dog. Often the weakest link in the team is the human. It does help to have some atheltic ability. With more atheletic dogs and ones that are pred to work on voice command you can get away with being less atheletic if you train even more with the less atheletic breed it is harder to be motivating if you are not being chased, not impossible just harder,

The toughest obstacle to train is not what people think it is not the weave poles or the teate it is quite simply the vast space between the obstacles that present the challenge if all that was required was doing the individual obstacles allity would be realitively easy.

Agility [made to look easy

and not so easy
 

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Wow, thanks Mikey, whatta wealth of information.

Hmmm... maybe i oughtta try it. First of all, it's studly to be an athlete. that's a good thing. Also, my person says i seem bored these dayz. I liked going to 1st grade & 2nd grade (Puppy 1 & Puppy 2 classes), and i been on summah vacation for awhile now. we're not working on much at home, now that there's no homework. so I get mad when my person's on the computah too much, and lay my head on the keyboard. when i start drooling on it, that's when she pays me attention and says 'hey Worm, get off the keyboard!!' i also gets mad and antsy when she talks on the phone too much. i been dropping hints to pay more attention to me, me, me! i think she finally gets it, that's why the talk about agility classes.

well i just turned one and i'm 36 lbs so i fit the bill in some wayz. except i'm notta girl. Mikey, why are there more girlz than boyz in agility???? am i at a disadvantage being male...?

also, is it helpful to have strong hindquarters like Mariah? my person says she thinks my back legs are much, much weaker than my front ones. in the last wiener dog here, there was not as much difference (front still stronger than back, but back legs were decently strong). not me, tho, i don't even stand up like the other dogs in the other thread, nor walk on my hind legs...

we'll take a look at the other board too....
--Worm
 

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her response was, "You want your BASSET to do agility?"
sound like some one could us a "basset agility is not an Oxymoron" shirt



Next time ask her how many Vizsla's have earned a USDAA top ten award?

answer 1 William Gignc and Calvin 26" standard class 1999

and for how many Basset have won a USDAA top ten award the answer is 1
2005 Mariah and Michael Tefts performance snooker.

Performance Snooker Champion - Bronze 07/04/2009
Performance Relay Champion - Bronze 05/30/2009
Master Performance Dog 09/28/2008
Performance Tournament Master 09/14/2008
Performance Jumpers Champion - Bronze 08/31/2008
Performance Relay Champion 08/02/2008
Performance Snooker Champion 05/24/2008
Performance Snooker Master 05/24/2008
Performance Jumpers Champion 05/09/2008
Performance Relay Master 09/29/2007
Performance Jumpers Master 09/10/2006
Advanced Performance Gambler 05/28/2006
Performance Top Ten - Snooker 12/31/2005
Advanced Performance Standard 10/01/2005
Advanced Performance Dog 10/01/2005
Advanced Performance Jumper 04/30/2005
Advanced Performance Snooker 09/05/2004
Performance Dog 08/30/2003

FWIW Top ten is the top ten dogs in a the entire country (competeing in USDAA) regardless of breed for a particular game and jump height.
 

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Also, my person says i seem bored these dayz. I liked going to 1st grade & 2nd grade (Puppy 1 & Puppy 2 classes),
FWIW our first agility basset was Zephyr she got started in agility because she too was board in formal obedience classes. Many other have found that rally obedience fits the bill better for their more active and easily distracted dogs.

Zephyr's first agility instructor was a bit sceptical as well so she had to take some private lesson that were also an evaluation before she could go to a group class.

Mikey, why are there more girlz than boyz in agility???? am i at a disadvantage being male...?
as for human IMHO you find more women in most performance events I think it is simply men are general happy just playing with dogs and women want to treat dogs like the men in their lives and attempt to train them to be perfect The advatage with dog is they actual have a chance!.. As for males vs female basset I think aside from the obvious and quite frankly I never seen a bar in agility come down because of Worrm-wood males tend to be larger than females . The rule of thumb is a dog that weighs more than 4 times it height should not do agility many basset fall in this catagory. at between 3-4 times height agility basset lie there is thought to be a increased risk of injury. Again there really is no sience behind this but peoples gut which may or maynot be true,


also, is it helpful to have strong hindquarters like Mariah?
yes but keep in mind that jumping will develop those muscle mariah did not start out that way. She was diagnosed with hip displasia and had a very asymetrical rear end in terms of muscle development chiropractic exercise changed all that.

On of the first things ie fundimental training that need to go on with a basset hound is hindend awarness, The dog must learn to use it rear and front end independantly, for most basset the rear end is like a caboose of a train it just comes along for the ride. There are things like backing up, pedestal work (think circus elepant pirotting around a pedestal. walking between the rungs of a ladder climbing hills etc that help . In that regard most basset need to be taught how to jump properly. Basset when jumping tend to want do do everything of the front end, which means to get elavation you need a lot of distance. To jump more vertical and collected meand to jump with the rear legs as propulsion. Personally I follow the Susan Salo jump training program but that are a number of other regimins out there as well.

in the video below is a pairs run between Buford a male about wormy's size and Macey It would have be a Qualifying run if Macey had not decided that the exit cate ment that is were I go to get a reward regardless of how many obstacle are left.
performance pairs
 

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WORRMY you from 'round San Fran . Sara Watson on the agility board is from that area and might be a good source for getting started.
 

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Don't think you can't try it if you have a heavier basset. All three of the dogs I've run were heavier than the ones Mike mentioned. You do want them to be fit, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hmm great info... but I am a bit overwhelmed. I'm pretty sure she isn't anywhere near trained enough to pull this off. We'd probably embarrass ourselves. I've just noticed she has impeccable body mechanics going up & down stairs, seems to have a strong backside, plus she seems to think she's half mountain goat!!
 

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I'm pretty sure she isn't anywhere near trained enough to pull this off]
you will be surprised actual for toughy strong formal obedience training was a detriment. Because in obedience every thing is done on one side where in agility the dog must be able to work on both sides. The point of agility training is to give you and the dog the skills to pull it off no dog c or handler new to agility comes with the skill to pull it off but I don't think there is a dog or handler that has the desire that can't pull it off with a little effort and training.

If you are one of those types that is self conscious when you or the dog screws up in a group of others I would suggest the following DVD's or look into private or semi private lessons They do tend to be more expensive. I personal find that bassets can use the down time that exist in a group class setting vs the constant work of a private or semi private setting. At a class I always bring a crate that is so the dog is either working or resting in the crate. it is no wandering about even on leash while I'm not paying attention and finding stuff to get into etc.
if you got a few extra buck to spend I would highly recommend

Grate games DVD
The much talked about DVD has finally arrived! Step-by-step training that is as easy as it is effective. Crate Games for Self-Control and Motivation features not only mature dogs but puppies as young as 9 weeks old learning

...
As you develop an amazing working relationship with your dog, you'll see why crate games are the cornerstone of Susan Garrett's unbelievably successful dog training program and why they are now being implemented in dog training schools all over the world.
crate game the question of value

Crate Games, it is not just for breakfast anymore
would guess that CGs could be one of the most under-utilized program I have. I think most people are like, “oh yeah, I did that. . . next skill!” There are so many fundamentals to teach an agility dog, and you just can’t wait to get on with them all, so it easy to gloss over the less “sexy” ones in favour of the ones that appear to be more “agility-like.” I don’t want this blog to sound like an informercial for my stuff, but quite honestly everything in my program comes back to Crate Games so it is worth the extra time.
as a side note
Susan recommend a hard plastic airline crate and not a wire crate as used in the video

One KEY thing I would change if I was doing the DVD again is the use of the wire crate. I had to use the wire crates to make the DVD so you (the viewer) could see what the dog was doing. However, when I teach this to my own dogs I use a hard shell crate. That way I can be more enthusiastic and throw the cookies into the crate during the “You’re Out-You’re In” stage. Wire is not a problem, I know lots of people that use them with great success but I myself don’t use them much

With a solid foundation in crate games a dog has all the traditional obedience skills it needs to learn the finer points of agility.

Keep in mind in most handling systems in agility are based on the dogs basic reaction to humans. Ie humans runs faster dog runs faster human slows down dog slows dog. Human turns away from dog dog turns toward human, Human turn toward dog dog tiurn toward human. you can practice all this on the flat Ie no obstacles in you back yard with the dog simple basic fundemental training

Agility foundation training

While giving you the dvd option I still thinK a course with instructor is a better option though dvd often fill in the blanks in training that get missed But that is somewhat the learning curve with you first agility dog You are learning as much or more than the dog and have to make some choices with absolutely no reliable information in context to make decision like what type of handling system etc. The point is no mater what you do you are going to end up have to modfy or change it as you go along your first agility dog does tend to go through hell compare to subsequent dogs as you find out what does and does not work for you.

and for Jumping
Foundation Jumping 4-DVD Set

[weave poles

2x2 Weave Training 2-DVD Set


And if you ever do get started in agility and an instructore tell you "ojh you have a basset you do not need to train an end of the contact behavior" show them the following
Running contact
Which has cost mariah a lot of standard Q because of a missed contacts


I tend to overwelm newbies with tmI which I apologize for like I siad you can do and oractice agility just for fun as well and not get all wraped up in handling systems and the like and focus more on doing the obstacles and less on the space between And as far as the difficulty in traing a dog for the sport. It is harder to train a dog for formal obedience than it is for agility Other than Toughy or Zephyr non of my other agility dog had the necessary skill to compete in even sub-novice obedience while some of the skill over lap for the most part they are very different skills required, The more difficult part of agility training is refining and honing the skill to be competetive.
 

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Princess Peanut Buttercup-- i looked at Wikipedia and that had a nice intro to agility and pics of the equipment & explanations. i think we have Intro to Agility classes here, so we will try that. but agreed, so much to learn about.... baby steps first, i guess.

my person read about it as a kid, and envisioned getting a Shetland sheepdog to do agility with, but she ended up with me, haha.

MikeyT-- thanks for all the info on this and also for the referral. Is Sara Watson a basset person?

Detective Worm at work and i found this:
Product

is that her?

Also, it said on Wikipedia that the person has to get the dogs to go through the course WITHOUT TREATS. yikes! i don't listen if there's no treats available!!! but i can be an angel and quite obedient when there is food. do ya think it will still work for me to try this :confused:

--Worm
 

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Don't worry, Wworm, you still get treats, they'll just teach you how to wait for them until the run is over.
 

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[quite]Is Sara Watson a basset person? [/quite]

She is a lot like Mirriam [soundtracts) If there is an activity available she does with basset conformation, agility, rally field trials etc.


The think to remember about agility vs other dogsports in in general the training of the human is the more difficult aspect of agility training vs the training of the dog.

As Mirriam says you work up to but there is in genera lots of treats involve in agility train. With the herding breed often play is tlhe reward. The basic Training methodology Is use which is and ,why you see lots of referrance to her, was developed by susan Garrett. Which is basical reward for motion is motion the reward for position is food. But you can reward motion with motion in the form of food with either a food tube or a jackpot toy which holds food. Tug is generally the play of choice in agility for a reward and there are tug toys made specificaly that act as a food reward as well

For a few ideas on how to incorproate food with toy and transfer the valus of food to the toys see;


HOW TO CREATE A MOTIVATING TOY

2×2 Weave Pole Training with a Food Only Motivated Dog
One of the best food-toys on the market to start a dog that is truly unmotivated by toys is the “Tug it”

toy. I am a big fan of this food transition toy. The Tug-It is an awesome way to move away from exclusively using food, to incorporating a toy in your training. Even if you never make the transition, you can just use Tug-it stuffed with food for all of your regular training.[/guotel]
 

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Cool! thanks Mr. Mikey for the cool info & for the encouragement Mrs. Soundtrack.

so happy to hear i can still do it, being the food-motivated guy i am (and not really motivated by anything else, well except maybe purty basset gals like Paisley, but she's in Ontario)....

Mikey-- is that the Sara Watson person u mean in the link above??
just want to check w/u before i contact her.

if so, we might be acquainted already, kinda sorta. i believe i get emails from her from a different basset forum....
--Worm
 

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Bay Area Agility Trainers

Hi Wworm,
I think you are on the SF Peninsula. If so, there's at least two Agility Trainers nearby you might want to check out. One is Anne Kejava at Jumpin' Java (in Redwood City). The other is located at Ace Dog Sports--Sandy Rogers. She's in South San Francisco. The San Bruno Dog Training club--they have classes at the College of San Mateo--does a beginning/back yard agility class some times. I think you can find most of the contact info on the web--if not, and you are interested, send me a pm. There's at least one other in this area, but I suspect they may not be Basset friendly.
I don't compete in Agility, but I've been to Anne's classes. Very welcoming to all breeds.
 

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In Dallas there is at least one dog training business that holds "agility for fun" classes that aren't competitive at all. You may be able to find something like this where you are.

This is who I am referring to for those in DFW: Classes & Registration
Agility JUST FOR FUN:

This class is JUST FOR FUN. Not for anyone that is serious about competing in agility with their dog. We will be working on jumps, a low dog walk, tunnels, etc. It would be nice if your dog will come when you call them, and will sit and stay, but not absolutely necessary. This will be a fun time with you and your dog. This is a 6-week class to introduce all the obstacles.
 

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We will be working on jumps, a low dog walk, tunnels, etc.

Foundation competition classes spend most if not all the time on things that are not agility obstacles the the only real agility obstacle being jump in jump training.

Those thinking about doing agility for fun generally are board in competition foundation classes.
 

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Hi Wworm,
I think you are on the SF Peninsula. If so, there's at least two Agility Trainers nearby you might want to check out. One is Anne Kejava at Jumpin' Java (in Redwood City). The other is located at Ace Dog Sports--Sandy Rogers. She's in South San Francisco. The San Bruno Dog Training club--they have classes at the College of San Mateo--does a beginning/back yard agility class some times. I think you can find most of the contact info on the web--if not, and you are interested, send me a pm. There's at least one other in this area, but I suspect they may not be Basset friendly.
I don't compete in Agility, but I've been to Anne's classes. Very welcoming to all breeds.
Wow! Thanks for the references, Mrs. Sharon. mecan't waits to get started!

... and while i'm at the San Bruno Dog Training club, i'll break into the Youtube headquarters with Boomah's nitting stick & my Brat Pack using all their ninja skills, and we will GET those videos back fer ya, Lucy & Lottie...!!!! (ok, it's just a dream, but still....)

--Worm
 
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