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Whether you can attribute this energy level to his breed type or to his personality, if he's got it, he's got to use it. As with many of the most innovative and useful inventions, dog agility's birth was rather unintentional.
I hate to create an exclusive club here, but as with most sports, certain types are more conducive to success. As we discussed earlier, a lot of your dog's ability will be determined by his personality and energy level. You've probably gathered, by now, from the information contained in my site, that almost any food, activity, or pastime that adheres to a canine's natural lifestyle (as in that of his ancestors) is best. Once you begin, and continue to improve upon, your dog's agility training, you'll notice that he's more alert, vigorous, and confident. If you like group support and good advice (who doesn't?), then look up a dog agility club in your area. A seesaw, or teeter-totter, is constructed using a plank, attached and perpendicular to, a center support pole.
A pause box is used just like a pause table, except that it is simply a 3' by 3' square marked off with tape or other material on the ground.
Not a high jump, the broad jump is made by adjoining low platforms on the ground.The single jump is constructed of two vertical side bars, with one adjustable horizontal bar for jumping over. The double jump is fashioned after the single jump, but rather consists of 2 sets of vertical supports, placed one set in front of the other, with horizontal bars mounted at differing heights. Additionally, the triple jump is built using 3 sets of vertical supports and horizontal bars, at varying depths and heights, much like stair steps. Finally, a panel jump also uses vertical supports, but rather than a bar for jumping, a solid, removal panel is utilized. A-Frames are constructed from 2 planks, placed at upright angles, to form a rough "A" shape.
This type of courses generally consists of 15-22 obstacles, of varying types - contact, tunnels, weave poles, jumps, etc.
Two handlers with two dogs, or three handlers with three dogs are each responsible for completing a portion of a standard dog agility course.
Of course, each Dog Agility Association's rules vary, and not every one is offered through every organization. Before attending your first dog agility trial, there are a few things that you'll need to have in order. By now, you should have familiarized yourself with the standard agility equipment used by the association of your choice, and you should know what rules will be imposed during the trial. Take along whatever your dog needs to be comfortable while he's waiting for his big moment. Any part of the dog touches any part of a jump (obvious if a bar is knocked from the jump). The dog exits a piece of equipment without touching the contact zone with at least one paw. No matter your dog's category, skill level, or association affiliation, one concept rings true for all agility participators.
You know more of a road by having traveled it than by all the conjectures and descriptions in the world.
I have had two border collies, one as a boy when my family had the farm and she loved the freedom of the fields, I loved growing up with her. Jack is a rescue dog from working stock but is scared of sheepoh: He is 12 and weighs about 22kg. The collie I had before was from working stock and as I had sheep at the time I initially took him to sheepdog classes. I did go past here when I was staying on Cannock Chase but had a friend with me who doesn't like dogs so was forbidden from going in. However I think it will be easier to train a puppy to adapt to a life of fulltiming rather than an adult dog.
There is something so simple in the pride a child feels when he can finally hold a pencil and write his own name – those combinations of letters scrawled on the page that represent his identity.
As the mother of 4 children I’ve watched all of them succeed at different rates with their fine motor skills, and can relate to the studies that report boys tend to be slower at developing dexterity. These types of puzzles offer practice for fine motor skill development and eye-hand coordination, without bringing the kind of frustration traditional cardboard puzzles can.
Nothing beats making characters come alive with the wiggle of a finger, and finger puppets are easy ways to encourage fine motor development.
Mix all ingredients in the pan and cook until thickened on low heat (add food coloring if desired for different colors). This list has some easy to remember finger songs and poems that also help build counting and memory skills while getting those fingers moving. Kids love to feel the squishy sensation of the paints through their fingers, and finger paints help build dexterity and can be calming for those kids who need sensory play. When kids are developing their fine motor dexterity skills they need lots of room for mistakes, messes, and exploration.
Perhaps you have seen these gentle giants hitched to a small cart and festooned with ribbons, or perhaps you have seen one trotting calmly beside his master. For breed lovers and novices alike the Bernese Mountain Dog makes an excellent companion and playmate. The origins of the Bernese Mountain Dog are not especially well documented, probably because they are an ancient breed. Records show that the first pair of Bernese Mountain Dogs was brought into the United States in 1926 by Isaac Scheiss, a Kansas farmer. The Bernese Mountain Dog is an unmistakable breed, with his glossy black coat, white chest and feet, and brown markings on cheeks and eyebrows. The breed is also double coated, which means that the dog has both a soft and downy undercoat as well as a coarse and wiry outer coat. One of the selling features of the Bernese Mountain Dog is his excellent and gentle temperament.
Of course Bernese Mountain Dogs are very people oriented, which means that the breed does not do well when left alone for long periods of time. Bernese Mountain Dogs also get along very well with most other animals, including other dogs and cats.
Unfortunately the Bernese is not known for being a long-lived breed; his life span usually ranges between 7-12 years, with the oldest Bernese Mountain Dog living until 15 years of age. The breed also suffers from a higher than usual occurrence of musculoskeletal problems such as arthritis and hip dysplasia. The good news here is that many Bernese breeders are trying very hard to track the genes responsible for such problems and weed them out of the breed.
A couple simple things you can do to keep your Berner in tip-top shape is to provide plenty of exercise and a nutritious, well balanced dog food diet. The Bernese Mountain Dog is an intelligent breed, but he may sometimes need a few moments to think things through.
Because a Bernese Mountain Dog is such a large and strong animal it is imperative to begin your leash training sessions as soon as possible. At London's famous Crufts Dog Show in 1978, a horse-enthusiast was charged with entertaining the crowd between events. Generally speaking, if your dog is descendant from a working breed, and is of medium build, then his chances of doing well are greatly increased.
Giant breeds like Great Danes and Mastiffs usually have neither the energy nor the desire to participate.

Puppies are excluded from trials until they reach 9 months of age, and it's recommended that dogs older than 8 years of age enjoy their retirement - work free.
Agility enhances all of your active dog's inherent abilities, plus one added element - YOU. Dogs must be a minimum of 9 months old to compete, but that doesn't mean that every dog is ready at 9 months. Use toys to play fetch, tug-of-war, or Frisbee to reinforce commands and bring home the idea that work can be fun for your dog.
This will be helpful when directing your dog in the ring (you'll have the map of the course, he won't). The plank is weighted on the entrance side so that it will automatically return to the starting position.
Two other identical planks serve as the entrance to and the exit from this center plank, mounted at opposing angles from it to the ground. It can be any 3' by 3' table or platform, 8-30" from the ground (differs per height class). The dog must weave in and out of the 3' tall poles, in a zigzag fashion, entering with the first pole at his left shoulder.
If he's inadvertently injured on sub-standard obstacles, he will be skittish and fearful of ever mounting that apparatus again. If the dog is able to navigate the course without any faults (untimed), he will then be permitted to enter in the timed trial (test of speed). If you are under the age of 18, you and your dog can compete in this category to win medals or rosettes. The first half of the course is run in a sort of freestyle, where the handler pre-determines the obstacles that the dog will navigate, and the order in which it will be performed. He's clearing the jumps with ease, weaving like a pro, and his new slim, trim figure has all the girl dogs drooling.
It's conceivable that your run time may be changed, and it's always helpful to your agility career when you have extra time to spend with professionals, helping out and learning from them.
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My mum is a lovely lady and a great mum but how I shouted at her when she bought me a mars bar to cheer me up when Patch died.
I couldn't imagine not having Jess with me now - her sheer joy and exuberance is amazing (as you may have noticed!).
Also can curl up small enough to not get in the way and a reasonable size as a guard dog, we have a BC cross and a very naughty little barge dog, Crossbreed is never tied up nor roams, Miss Naughty constantly making a bid for freedom if not tied up!
Unfortunately he was rubbish at this, so I took him to agility classes instead which he loved and excelled at (apart from the weave which he had to slow down for and got bored with halfway through!). But getting to the point where your child comfortably uses a pen or pencil is a far cry from rolling the jumbo sized crayon across the page. My guys were always ready to run and kick the ball, while my daughter seemed more likely to sit and work on puzzles or crafts. You can create your own or invest in a few simple puppets to get your child’s imagination and fingers dancing. You can use these to entertain while waiting in the doctor’s office, in line at the grocery store, or as a bedtime ritual. Even though the smeared and sketchy creations of the toddler years might seem like they are eons away from masterful cursive writing, these games and toys of your child’s early years are important tools to help them reach these other milestones. She is also on an incredible journey as she home schools her 4 children, and is supported through it all by her husband of more than 15 years, Steve. It is thought that the breed began to develop when the Romans came into Switzerland about two-thousand years ago, bringing with them large, mastiff type dogs who eventually evolved into the Bernese Mountain Dog. In fact, this color standard is very rigid within the breed, and the only acceptable variation is within the amount of white on the dog's chest.
This means that the Bernese is well suited to the cold and snow, and loves to frolic outside in winter conditions. These dogs are known for their sweet and mild nature, and make wonderful family dogs because they are so good around children. He isn't hyper, but because of his working background he does need some focused daily exercise for about 30 minutes. As with any dog though it is important to make sure a puppy is well socialized and exposed to other pets in a positive environment.
One of the main health issues Bernese owner's face is a significantly higher risk of cancer. In fact, one study found that almost 11% of Bernese Mountain Dogs had arthritis by the time they were 4 years old. Be sure to check with any potential breeders you may buy from, and ask them about any health problems present in the parents. It is also important to be sparing with punishment while training a Bernese, because they are so people oriented they react very badly to being scolded or punished. Originally the dog was used both to protect farms and to pull dog carts full of milk to neighboring farms and villages.
The Bernese love to pull while on leash but with some proper training they will happily trot along-side you. You should teach behaviors such as sit, stay, down and the recall for your dog's safety and to set up a correct start to your owner-dog relationship. I've personally enjoyed watching a Bernese dog cart parade, and there's nothing as joyful as ribbon festooned dogs who are smiling and simply happy to be around people. Your ancestors sprinted from saber-tooth tigers, traversed rushing rivers, zigzagged through dense forests, and chased food of their own. Among the best breeds for dog agility training are: Terriers, Shepherds, Collies, Retrievers, Sheepdogs, Spaniels, Poodles, Schnauzers, Cattle Dogs, Pinschers, Corgis, Canaans, Malinois, Papillons, and Tervurens. Short-nosed breeds like Boxers, Bulldogs, and some Terriers have difficulty with activities that require heavy breathing.
So, that means it's doubly beneficial - because it caters to the natural order for you and your pooch.
The attention that you require from him will strengthen his bond with you, reinforce basic obedience commands, and improve his communication ability. If your dog consistently obeys standard commands such as sit, stay, down, heel, etc., then you may be ready to embark upon the agility express. Consider this: If your dog's breed is expected to reach its maximum weight at under 50 pounds, then he won't be finished growing until he's 9-12 months old. Experts maintain that most dogs will need 6-9 months of daily, committed training before they're ready for the real thing. You wouldn't join your first fitness club and sign up for the advanced class on the first day.
Also make sure that he's confident in commands to indicate fast, slow, right, left, up, down, heel, away, etc.
Well then, you certainly can't ask Spot to be ready for an agility trial unless he's already familiar with the equipment. If he shows up to a trial and is introduced to foreign equipment, he will be unable to perform. You'll start as a novice, on a simpler course, and move on to more difficult courses, if you choose to do so. Within this agility class, levels range from beginner to senior, and build in difficulty and number of obstacles. When the judge indicates time, the dog must then switch to a pre-determined course order, much like standard agility.

As he accumulates Q's, or Qualifying Runs, he will be able to move onto the Open and Elite categories.
Hopefully it will turn out to enjoy agility as much as my previous collie did - and there's always heelwork to music. Fine muscle dexterity gradually builds in children, and can be the source of frustration for kids who aren’t yet able to master these skills.
If you want to create your own sculpting clay for the kids, try this recipe my boys still use. Don’t forget to save a few samples of their preschool masterpieces to display at graduation to show how far they have come!
If you love big dogs, but require a gentle and temperate companion who loves children and adults alike, perhaps you should think about making friends with a Bernese Mountain Dog. For thousands of years the breed was used as a general purpose farm dog, until their numbers began to decline around the turn of the 20th century. But this also means that the Bernese can easily become overheated in hot weather, and should stay inside on warm days. This means that you cannot leave a Bernese in the backyard while you go watch TV; he will quickly become agitated and possibly destructive.
In fact, over half of Bernese Mountain Dogs die from cancer, as compared to 27% of other dogs. Owners of the breed should be prepared to face a dog with possible joint problems at a very early age. Any good bernese mountain dog breeders will be more than happy to share health information on the puppies and their parents.
Instead try to work with positive reinforcement, because a Bernese loves nothing more than a pat on the head or a treat.
Thus, the breed can be trained to fulfill many rolls, from cart dog to light herding to agility. If you think this could be the breed for you, good luck finding the Bernese of your dreams! It's a timed event, consisting of a roadmap of several obstacles, which your dog is asked to negotiate in a particular order, without fault, and under a judge-determined time limit.
That rabbit, when chased by a hungry canine, will hurdle rocks, slip under fallen logs, teeter on natural bridges, climb sheer slopes, and squeeze through brambles and thick brush. On the other paw, if your guy would rather lie on your lap and not break a pant, he may be better suited to a low-impact sport, the spectator type. The physical demands of the dog agility courses will hone his coordination, increase endurance, and improve his overall health through physical fitness. If your dog isn't confident in you and the commands that you use, he'll never trust you when you ask him to enter a dark agility tunnel.
Likewise, breeds that are expected to tip the scales at over 50 pounds aren't likely to finish their upward pound-climb until they reach 10-14 months of age.
A little belt-cinching may be in order, and your veterinarian can offer the best food plan for your little chunk. Never focus on the prize, but rather, on the special bond that you will establish with your fun-and-fitness partner.
Likewise, if the equipment that you're using to train doesn't meet Dog Agility Standards, you will be sabotaging your dog's performance under the lights.
As he reaches the center of the plank, his weight will cause the plank to shift, like a seesaw, and he will walk down, and off the exit side. Contact zones of 36-42" are required on the entry and exit sides, and grips or ridges are necessary to help the dog in navigating up one side and down the other.
Run them as if you were at competition, then, when trial day comes, there will be no nasty surprises for your dog. Take some time to play, so that he's not brimming over with blinding energy, and some time for rest, so that he's alert.
He will earn a "Q" if he completes a run under the judge-determined Standard Course Time (SCT), without a single fault. For your dog, this trial is just another run in the park, another practice in the back yard.
However, parents can go a long way to helping all of their kids reach their full potentials when it comes to motor development. It was then that some Swiss farmers realized how valuable the breed was, and moved to resuscitate it.
Also keep in mind that this double coat means a lot of shedding, especially when the seasons turn. They provide a calm and reassuring presence for people in hospitals and nursing homes, and are quite content to sit and be petted. Other tendencies of this people-centric breed include leaning and rubbing on family members, and becoming your second shadow. Of particular danger to the breed are cancers connected to the lymph nodes and bone structure. However, comfortable bedding and ramps into a vehicle or other high places can help alleviate the pressure put on the dog's skeletal system, and sometimes medicines are prescribed as well. And all of that exercise will improve his behavior off the course - because as we all know - a tired dog is a good dog. Keeping this in mind, asking a puppy to clear regulation-height agility jumps before he is finished growing is a risky endeavor. Gradually introduce equipment, one piece at a time, in the form of short agility tunnels and low jumps. By purchasing, renting, borrowing, or building quality benchmark equipment, you will elicit a performance of equal excellence.
Don't let nerves get the best of you - so that the crowd, and the judges, can see the best of your dog.
These farmers were from the hamlet of Bern, which eventually led to the breed's name (Bernese Mountain Dog).
I recommend employing the positive, non-violent and super effective clicker training techniques when training your Bernese. Considering the hardy survival of the canine population in the wild, we can deduct that they've been considerably successful in chasing those quick little guys. With time and continual success, tunnels may be lengthened and bars raised to regulation level. You may also build your own, as long as you're certain that it conforms with the Agility Standards put forth by the Agility Association with which you'll be competing.
When you've got one that exhibits everything necessary for dog agility training, you're going to have one happy tail-wagger in that ring. These canine loving farmers began registering and showing their dogs as early as 1902, and the dogs quickly gained admirers on a global scale. The Bernese Mountain Dog is also a large breed, ranging from 85 to 165 pounds and measuring upwards of 2 feet tall at the withers.
This will not only build your dog's fitness and difficulty levels at a manageable pace, but will prevent injury and frustration. But, by all means, grounded equipment, like tunnels and boards, can be tackled as soon as the basic commands are mastered.
And, remember, if your dog approaches obstacles with his head or tail down, or if he shows any reluctance at the sight of the agility equipment, then it's not fun, and it may not be the thing for him.

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