Author Topic: Toy in the ring  (Read 2594 times)

Rsquared

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Toy in the ring
« on: June 01, 2019, 08:50:13 PM »
My dog Crispy is a very reactive dog who is scared of other dogs—especially big ones.  I don’t know if he didn’t get socialized as a puppy or if he had a bad experience with dogs before I got him when he was 9 months old, but he doesn’t trust dogs—even sweet old Scooter who he’s lived with for 2+ years now.

Much of Crispy’s agility trialing has been fraught with him running amuck and worrying about things happening outside the ring or staying fixed on the start line with an Exorcist-swiveling head scoping out all the dogs outside the ring behind him while I’m yelling to deaf ears, “OK!  OK!  GO!  CRISPY!  CRISPY! CRISPYYYYYYYY!!!!”

Today was a little different.  I got to bring a toy in the ring.  Thank you, NADAC!  Since we were using the double run format, round one I ran with a toy and round two I didn’t.  I’m happy to report that his round two runs were all Q’s.  This is a big improvement.  I think using the toy on round one helped him to relax and I now have hope that he may someday run in a trial with confidence.

However , I learned that using a toy is only allowed at the Intro and Novice levels.  I was wondering why this is?  It seems that if you’re willing to forgo a Q for using a toy that it shouldn’t matter what level your dog is at.  He’s got his Novice Superiors in Weavers and Standard and I would like to continue using the toy at the Open level if it will help boost his confidence.

Thanks for listening!

Ronni



Ronni in San Diego with Scooter, Ollie & Xtra Crispy (R.I.P. Sage)

Chris Nelson

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Re: Toy in the ring
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2019, 03:04:14 PM »
Hey Ronni,

It's mainly because it's so new for our people, that we want to ease into it.

I agree that forgoing a Q doesn't really matter what level it is.   

The issue we wanted to avoid is the unknown of whether someone having a toy in the ring is going to cause issues for the next dog coming in.

In my opinion from what I've seen, it doesn't affect anything.

But, if it was an Elite class, and someones NATCH was on the line, they would be pretty annoyed if their dog got distracted by another dog with their toy.

That's not to say it will never happen in the higher levels, but we definitely want to have an acclimation period and see how it goes first :)

Rsquared

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Re: Toy in the ring
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2019, 09:05:52 PM »
OK, I understand that you want to try this out during an acclimation period and I agree that it doesn’t seem to affect the next dog, though it possibly could under the right perfect storm circumstances.  I certainly wouldn’t want to spoil a NATCH run that was on the line.  So maybe you’ll consider toys for all levels but Elite? 🤔
Ronni in San Diego with Scooter, Ollie & Xtra Crispy (R.I.P. Sage)

Heidi Konesko

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Re: Toy in the ring
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2019, 04:22:21 AM »
Hi, ive been wondering what all of the rules are around using a toy in the ring.  Can someone give a recap, or point me in the right direction?
Heidi in NH
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Chris Nelson

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Re: Toy in the ring
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2019, 09:36:01 AM »
Hi, ive been wondering what all of the rules are around using a toy in the ring.  Can someone give a recap, or point me in the right direction?
Heidi in NH

A quick recap:

1)Toys can only be brought onto the course for Intro and Novice.
2) It is considered training, so you'll get an E and your 60 seconds of training time.
3) You need to declare it at the beginning of the run.   So you can't have a toy in your pocket, and then when things go haywire in the middle of the run decide to pull out your toy. 
4) Common sense and respect for other dogs is paramount.   Toys should be kept within a reasonable distance of the handler and dog.  Best example is that if you bring in a frisbee, you shouldn't be throwing it the entire length of the ring.    Same if you have a ball, you shouldn't be throwing it towards the start line where another dog could be lining up to run.
5) All normal safety rules apply, and the judge has final say.    So if you're throwing a toy while your dog is still on the contact, and they jump off the middle of the dog walk because of it, the judge isn't going to feel comfortable letting that happen again and will ask you to leave the ring for that run.

Chris Nelson

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Re: Toy in the ring
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2019, 09:37:30 AM »
OK, I understand that you want to try this out during an acclimation period and I agree that it doesn’t seem to affect the next dog, though it possibly could under the right perfect storm circumstances.  I certainly wouldn’t want to spoil a NATCH run that was on the line.  So maybe you’ll consider toys for all levels but Elite? 🤔

I wouldn't rule it out.    I think we'll have a MUCH better idea of where things could go in December.    We've had one weekend under our belts and no issues so far, and a lot of positive feedback from competitors.  So I think it's very possible to expand it a bit, once we have a solid view of how it's going to work in real world environments.

Kyle

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Re: Toy in the ring
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2019, 11:00:31 AM »
I don't know if there are certain "parameters" for a toy in the ring or not, but I sure had a scare last weekend while watching a dog with a toy. It was a ball on a rope. The rope was about a foot long. When given the toy, the dog was near the dog walk. I really thought it was going to carry the ball, with the rope dangling, across the dog walk. Thankfully, the dog dropped the ball before getting on it. I could just see that rope getting caught on the side supports of the ramp or the dog stepping on the rope partway across and having an accident. It was really scary.

We were also told in our briefing that a small toy may be attached to the leash. Gotta say, if I'm leash running, I'm *not* handing the leash to the handler!! I'm dropping it at the end of the run....I'm not a fan of being a "target".....

Just my humble opinions,
Kyle
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Sharon Nelson

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Re: Toy in the ring
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2019, 05:25:26 PM »

We were also told in our briefing that a small toy may be attached to the leash. Gotta say, if I'm leash running, I'm *not* handing the leash to the handler!! I'm dropping it at the end of the run....I'm not a fan of being a "target".....

Just my humble opinions,
Kyle

That just happened recently at a non-NADAC trial.  Leash runner, not even trying to hand the leash to the handler because the dog was on course........... left the course to go "get" his toy on the leash, missed and got the leash runner.  The leash runner was dong nothing but quietly and calmly walking across the ring.

I think that the judges might need to brief the leash runners that the "toy" needs to be carried in a way that the dog can't accidentally see it.  And yes, I do think that if a toy is attached then putting the leash on the ground should be the only option for them.  Not a leash in the air for the dog to target to as the leash runner tries to give it to the handler.

We need to keep those leash runners safe!
Sharon
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Chris Nelson

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Re: Toy in the ring
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2019, 10:25:24 PM »
I personally am of the opinion that we baby people a little too much.    I'm in a bit of a mood tonight so maybe I'll regret saying that!

But we have sterilized things to the point that anyone can enter a ring and it's not 'our' job to make sure their dog is safe.    Which doesn't jive well with me.

No I don't want a leash runner to ever be a target.   But if that is something that a dog is even remotely thinking of doing, do I really want that dog running anyway?   
I would rather have the dog get suspended and the problem fixed early, then let it fly under the radar or be covered up by us 'helping' to make the dog seem better behaved then it is.

dogrsqr

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Re: Toy in the ring
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2019, 05:02:39 AM »
Can’t some of this just be common sense?  Or don’t agility people really understand dogs?  Is a tennis ball as a handle braided into a leash really that big of a deal?  I know if I saw it becoming a problem I would either ask that my leash be dropped, discontinue using that leash or teach my dog they only get to grab the toy after they are leashed.  Dogs are pretty amazing at learning if we take the time to teach and are consistent.


If I was running leashes it would be gathered up with the leash and I would present the collar loop to the handler.  The dog wouldn’t even see the ball. 

Maybe I just live in an area where we don’t have problem dogs or people are smart enough to keep them out of the ring until they’re ready to be there.

Gina Pizzo


Sara Langston

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Re: Toy in the ring
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2019, 06:29:53 AM »
Hi, ive been wondering what all of the rules are around using a toy in the ring.  Can someone give a recap, or point me in the right direction?
Heidi in NH

A quick recap:

1)Toys can only be brought onto the course for Intro and Novice.
2) It is considered training, so you'll get an E and your 60 seconds of training time.
3) You need to declare it at the beginning of the run.   So you can't have a toy in your pocket, and then when things go haywire in the middle of the run decide to pull out your toy. 
4) Common sense and respect for other dogs is paramount.   Toys should be kept within a reasonable distance of the handler and dog.  Best example is that if you bring in a frisbee, you shouldn't be throwing it the entire length of the ring.    Same if you have a ball, you shouldn't be throwing it towards the start line where another dog could be lining up to run.
5) All normal safety rules apply, and the judge has final say.    So if you're throwing a toy while your dog is still on the contact, and they jump off the middle of the dog walk because of it, the judge isn't going to feel comfortable letting that happen again and will ask you to leave the ring for that run.

Thanks so much for the recap, Chris.  Helps a lot.  One question:  How should the handler "declare" that this is a "toy run"?????  Should they tell the judge, the scribe, the gate person???  Not clear on that.  Thanks. 

Sara
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Janice_Shavor

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Re: Toy in the ring
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2019, 06:32:37 AM »
At the trial this past weekend, the judge clearly briefed that if you bring a toy into the ring, you hold it up and wave it so the judge knows you have a toy.
Janice Shavor
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Chris Nelson

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Re: Toy in the ring
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2019, 10:14:32 AM »
Hi, ive been wondering what all of the rules are around using a toy in the ring.  Can someone give a recap, or point me in the right direction?
Heidi in NH

A quick recap:

1)Toys can only be brought onto the course for Intro and Novice.
2) It is considered training, so you'll get an E and your 60 seconds of training time.
3) You need to declare it at the beginning of the run.   So you can't have a toy in your pocket, and then when things go haywire in the middle of the run decide to pull out your toy. 
4) Common sense and respect for other dogs is paramount.   Toys should be kept within a reasonable distance of the handler and dog.  Best example is that if you bring in a frisbee, you shouldn't be throwing it the entire length of the ring.    Same if you have a ball, you shouldn't be throwing it towards the start line where another dog could be lining up to run.
5) All normal safety rules apply, and the judge has final say.    So if you're throwing a toy while your dog is still on the contact, and they jump off the middle of the dog walk because of it, the judge isn't going to feel comfortable letting that happen again and will ask you to leave the ring for that run.

Thanks so much for the recap, Chris.  Helps a lot.  One question:  How should the handler "declare" that this is a "toy run"?????  Should they tell the judge, the scribe, the gate person???  Not clear on that.  Thanks. 

Sara

What's been working best for me is the handler just waves the toy around at the start line.

Honestly as long as the judge can see you have a toy when you start the run is the big thing.

I just don't want people going out for a Q, and then pulling a toy out when the run goes sideways.


Heidi Konesko

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Re: Toy in the ring
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2019, 12:17:01 AM »
I would like to surprise my dog with the toy by pulling it out of my pocket during the run, so how about if the handler gives the judge the “E” signal at the start line?
Heidi in NH
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Sara Langston

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Re: Toy in the ring
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2019, 06:26:50 AM »
Thanks, Chris.  Good idea, Heidi. 

Sara
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