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General => General Discussion => Topic started by: Dave Worldsbesjrts Dad on May 24, 2012, 04:03:18 PM

Title: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Dave Worldsbesjrts Dad on May 24, 2012, 04:03:18 PM
I have been running agility for about four years now so I am still learning.
After becoming hooked on this great sport I have often wondered why there are so few men involved. I am looking forward on hearing what all of you think.
Here are a few of my ideas.

1. To be a good trainer and agility partner you need to surrender a lot of your ego. You must understand that it is not about you it is about your dog and human team.  I think this is hard for many men my self included to do.

2. Agility in most venues is less about competing against others and more about  becoming the best team you can be.  I notice than many women are very happy running dogs that are not very fast but are out to enjoy the experience. I feel most men would not stay with it with dogs who are never going to be fast. I was blessed that my Jack Russel's love to run fast.
Had I started with a slow dog I do not think I would have lasted. My gut feeling is that there are more men in USDA running sweepstakes than in other venues.
3. Men are less apt to enjoy the social aspects of the sport.

I do not have any idea if the women of agility have any desire to have more men involved or if we are just tolerated.

Let me know what you think.





 
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: LJKing on May 24, 2012, 04:21:58 PM
I think you've hit the nail on the head.

An addendum to your "ego" point: A sociologist and dog trainer friend of mine who has thought about this also pointed out that dog training methods have radically changed in the last 10-15 years. Positive reenforcement techniques seem, in general, to suit women more than men. All that mothering and nurturing, don't you know. (Remember I'm saying "in general"....don't mean to say there aren't nurturing men!)  During that time, women have become the majority in sports where these techniques predominate, i.e. agility and obedience. I don't know about other dog sports?

Women are also more willing than men to allow themselves to look foolish in public, I think, and heaven knows we can look very foolish on the course.

Lynda in OR
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: TheQuestKnight on May 24, 2012, 04:41:33 PM
Hi Dad of World's Best JRT!!!

Once stupid, egotistical male agility person with 20+ years under my belt here . . .

I was SO FORTUNATE that my first competition agility dog was a WENCH that could be as big of a BITCH as a BASTARD that I could be!!!

My late Kali had an ego and an ATTITUDE that could match mine . . . and very often, she could find ways to keep me HUMBLE!!!

After MANY years of FIGHTING and LOVING each other . . . yeah, we were BOTH VERY STUBBORN . . . we came to NADAC and the "open" courses where she could run were what Kali had been wanting for 11 years!!!  NADAC rules and protocols demanded that I be "positive" and a respectable representative of the sport and NADAC to the general public . . . and I REALLY THANK Don Cuda for his "reminders" of that fact!!! <LOL>

I had the extreme good fortune to have a TOTALLY AWESOME partner in Kali that stood by me when I was being TOTALLY STUPID!!!  OK . . . she did get really frustrated a couple of times and she "tagged" me; but it was ONLY to get my attention to make me listen . . . which I grudgingly did! <G>

Kali took me places I never imagined that I could go . . . because of her, I became a judge for another venue . . . and eventually rose to the position of vice-president of that venue for a couple of years; but in all honesty, I was NEVER truly "happy" or "content" . . .

The time came that I left all of that behind and came to NADAC . . . an old handler with an old dog . . . and both of us had physical and mental issues . . . and NADAC is where we both "got healthy" because we once again FOUND THE FUN!!!

Before NADAC, Kali enabled me to earn all sorts of titles, awards and trinkets . . . but they really didn't satisy me . . . and if Kali couldn't eat them, she could care less about them!!!

In NADAC, we found the SHEER JOY of working as teammates, setting our OWN goals on a course . . . and NOT giving a hoot in hell if we Qed or got a ribbon . . . hell, we already had plenty of those!!!

What I finally found was a venue that FORCED me . . . kicking and screaming because I had a stupid ego . . . to remember my childhood and the SHEER JOY of playing with a pal!!!

Before Kali passed away, she mentored my new boy . . . Pellinore . . . and he is every bit as "bad", "attitudinal" and "humbling" as my late Kali ever was . . . and it's PURE JOY to run with him!!!  NOT because we may Q; but because we are BOTH ALWAYS "pushing the envelope" of our skills . . .

Pelli and I both have egos . . . but we've learned how to keep them in proper perspective . . .

I guess than because men have more testosterone, they want to "win" and "prove something" . . .

I can't speak for other men, but my late Kali taught me that the ONLY one that I had something to prove to was HER . . . I had to prove my worthiness to her in return for her unflagging loyalty . . .

After we connected on that level . . . all of the rest of the crap that so many males of our species strive for became easy . . .

Working with one's dog ain't a damn bit different than living with one's spouse . . . it invovles COMPROMISE, HUMILITY and a desire to constantly work on the RELATIONSHIP to keep it VIBRANT!!!

I've been lucky . . .  I married a TOTALLY AWESOME gal . . . I my first dog that taught me SOOOOOOOOOOO much was another TOTALLY AWESOME gal . . .

Sincerely . . .

Al & Pellinore . . . and Kali at The Bridge Bar & Grille
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Ed and Tres on May 24, 2012, 05:10:28 PM
I have often wondered about this myself.

I believe it may be explained by some of these:

Men have too many other hobbies to pursue, hunting possibly with dogs, fishing,  football, baseball, you name it.

I agree some men may not have the patience for dog agility.

I disagree with your slow dog comment. I run a beagle and he was very slow in the beginning. I did NOT give up. I kept working at it and we did better and ran faster. Dino is getting older and we'll likely not never see Elite but we are a FUN team

I don't consider myself extremely social and many men are more social than me so I disagree with the social explanation.

And going out on a bit of a limb, as a man, sometimes I enjoy watching the woman running more than the dogs.
So that should be a plus for participation by men!

 
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Jean Sather (McCreight) on May 24, 2012, 05:29:26 PM

I do not have any idea if the women of agility have any desire to have more men involved or if we are just tolerated.

Let me know what you think.

Up here in Montana we are blessed to have a number of men involved in agility -- and we LOVE 'em!!!  Really helpful when it comes to moving equipment, fixing equipment, etc.....  Plus they are just fun to have around ....

And it seems that all of them have a pretty good sense of humor so "feeling foolish in public" doesn't seem to be much of an issue ..... (not mentioning ANY names to protect the innocent!  ;D)
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Dave Worldsbesjrts Dad on May 24, 2012, 05:40:52 PM
Great replies thanks for sharing lets keep em coming
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Marj Vincent on May 24, 2012, 05:55:11 PM
Well Ed, I can only speak for myself, but I enjoy watching men run agility.   ;)  And as far as the social aspect, I agree with you...I don't think men would get into agility if they weren't comfortable with being social. It is after all, a very social sport. I have made more life long friends, men and women, in agility than any other sport I have ever played. And I have been involved in sports my entire life. 

I do think women have more patience than men when it comes to training dogs, be it agility, potty training, basic manners, obedience, or whatever. My mother used to say "Patience is a virtue, possess if you can, seldom found in women, never found in man".  I find this to be quite true.
 
There may not be many guys involved in agility but I take my hat off to any man that is involved with agility because he wants to share in what his wife is interested in. ;D 
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Ed and Tres on May 24, 2012, 06:35:38 PM
There may not be many guys involved in agility but I take my hat off to any man that is involved with agility because he wants to share in what his wife is interested in. ;D

And that is why I'm a little odder I am a single guy with a male dog.

About half the men I know in agility also have a wife also at the trial, I'm there just with my bud.

Also seems many men have female dogs. Not all but many.
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: SpringCrew on May 24, 2012, 07:37:11 PM
Well I can only speak for myself, but as a man, I have a lot more patience than my wife.  I wish I had the patience I had when I was young!! ;-)  Guess I'm just a grumpy old man now.  :)  My wife and I started dog training together.  Agility became my thing when classes fell on the night she worked late.  Guess we are the odd couple, wife following the husband to the trials.  We have made many friends all over the country because of this sport.  I think it has caused great changes in me.  I was always the shy guy that never said much.  Now if someone starts talking about dogs -- I don't shut up ( just ask Chris).  ;)  Of course, I'm not normal unless you put an Abbey ("Abbey Normal"  from Young Frankenstein) in front of it.  It is true that most exhibitors at shows are women, but we do have several guys in NC and VA playing the game.  I do think there is a need for nurturing, that is more common in women, and it just takes a man's willingness to put in the effort.  I can honestly say I don't regret a minute of it!!  :-)

Tim Spring
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Mary Kapner on May 24, 2012, 09:04:47 PM
My husband would love to do agility but his work schedule (always on-call) makes it impossible.
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Sheila & the Shelties on May 24, 2012, 09:31:04 PM
A very interesting question--one I have pondered off and on.

As far as I am concerned, men are not just "tolerated" in agility.  I'd like to see more of them in the sport.  I see more of them than when I first started, but most, as Ed noted, are part of a husband/wife couple doing agility.  Another interesting point have seen quite a few women try to get their husbands involved in the sport, but with one exception, they have not lasted.  It HAS to be THEIR idea.

This is all my opinion, but:  I think a lot of it has to do what I call "the manly men" culture.  Have worked in a profession dominated by men (law enforcement), I've noticed there is a code of conduct involved in being a "manly man."   I think many men are swayed by what other men or society thinks of the activity.  Football, yes!  Embroidery, no .  It takes a unique person to buck the tide.  (Anyone remember Rosey Grier?).  Also, if an activity is predominated by females, I think makes it less likely for other men to get involved in it---why are they doing something that mostly women do? 

And perhaps the need for patience, nurturing, and the willingness to look foolish is part of the reason too.  None of those are "manly."  (I personally disagree!) And the competitive spirit is important.  I read somewhere that humans are hardwired to "win" (both men and woman) as winning meant survival.  Most men define "winning" as prevailing over someone else.  The social aspect may be important too.  Most women have friends to "talk" with.  Mun have friends to "do" things with--sitting around and talking is not their cup of tea.

I realize these are stereotypes, but most stereotypes have some truth in them.

Another thing I have found interesting is that no matter the activity, even if men are in the minority, they end up in the supervisory positions.  I wonder what the proportion of male judges to female judges is.  I'd be willing to bet the proportion of men to women is higher than in the group of competitors.

As for men having predominately female dogs think that is a whole 'nother topic.  I have a theory about that, and I think it's how we see ourselves in our relationshop to our dogs.  Most people tend to favour one gender of dogs over the other, and I think it's a sort of anthropomorphization of the relationship in some aspects.


And what is your name, worldsbesjrt?  Here's an example of how women predominate in the sport--when I first began reading I assumed you were a woman, as no name was supplied and it IS mostly women involved, until you made a comment that indicated you were a man.    8)
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Joe Fisher on May 24, 2012, 10:10:32 PM
Umm..thanks Jean...I think...lol
Joe



Up here in Montana we are blessed to have a number of men involved in agility -- and we LOVE 'em!!!  Really helpful when it comes to moving equipment, fixing equipment, etc.....  Plus they are just fun to have around ....

And it seems that all of them have a pretty good sense of humor so "feeling foolish in public" doesn't seem to be much of an issue ..... (not mentioning ANY names to protect the innocent!  ;D)
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Shirley Wallace on May 25, 2012, 03:51:01 AM
A very interesting question--one I have pondered off and on.

As for men having predominately female dogs think that is a whole 'nother topic.  I have a theory about that, and I think it's how we see ourselves in our relationshop to our dogs.  Most people tend to favour one gender of dogs over the other, and I think it's a sort of anthropomorphization of the relationship in some aspects.


An interesting idea, Sheila.  Years ago we had a musher friend who would NOT run a female dog on his team.  He said that when he had to "get after" a dog for biting snow or slacking off or something, if it was a female he felt like was beating his wife.  So he never ran a female in his team.
I need to add that training methods in sled dog racing, as in other dog sports, has greatly changed since we started in it 35 years ago.  Might be some vocal getting after, but we rely more on positive reinforcement.
Shirley
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Dave Worldsbesjrts Dad on May 25, 2012, 05:25:55 AM

And perhaps the need for patience, nurturing, and the willingness to look foolish is part of the reason too.  None of those are "manly."  (I personally disagree!) And the competitive spirit is important.  I read somewhere that humans are hardwired to "win" (both men and woman) as winning meant survival.  Most men define "winning" as prevailing over someone else.  The social aspect may be important too.  Most women have friends to "talk" with.  Mun have friends to "do" things with--sitting around and talking is not their cup of tea.


And what is your name, worldsbesjrt?  .    8)

My name is Dave

I think everything you said is partof the reason men do not do agility..
the reason I got involved was because I had a very activity JRT who needed  an outlet for his boundless energy before he drove me crazy. We started doing Jack Russell racing, go to ground and lure coursing. The JRTCA also offered agility so we tired that. There are few JRTCA events so we started to more and more agility. The first thing I noticed after I understood the game was the Q's are more important than being first. So it is in some ways like playing golf by yourself you compete against par. At the higher levels you compete to win championships. I think many men as you state what to overcome not just a natch but other teams. This does not happen in agility except at the highest levels. ie Nationals.  The JRTCA does one thing that helps solve this problem of needing  to win the local trail level
by offering a major award for the High Point Champion. They add up the score from two standard runs and one jumpers or game run. And a champion is declared at each of the two jump heights. I would love to see NADAC do something like this. It would feed my need win. Very important to us men.
Title: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Steve Stochaj on May 25, 2012, 12:25:22 PM
Agility woman are scary.

Steve
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: TheQuestKnight on May 25, 2012, 01:58:03 PM
My second thoughts on the subject . . .

The gals like to celebrate by going out for cake & ice cream . . . species not-with-standing . . .

The guys like to pile on each other and whoop it up to the point that someone generally gets a black eye, cut or worse . . . just witness football, baseball, hockey, soccer, basketball, rugby . . .

Now it that happened in the ring or our canine partner tore our shirt or ripped the pocket out of our trousers, we'd get an "E" for being "out of control" <LOL> . . . hardly seems fair . . .

Al & his BCs, past and present . . . and HARD PARTIERS ALL!!!
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Sheila & the Shelties on May 25, 2012, 03:51:59 PM
 :o
Agility woman are scary.

Steve

So you are saying more men don't become involved in agility because agility women are scary?  LOL   :-*
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Jean Sather (McCreight) on May 25, 2012, 05:42:58 PM
Agility woman are scary.

Steve
NADAC Agility: where the women are strong, the men are good looking, and the dogs are above average ..... :)
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: gm5bkc on May 25, 2012, 08:18:37 PM
I think part of the answer is cultural.  A lot of boys grow up going hunting in the Fall, so they tend to think of dogs as hunting partners.  Our family doctor is an example of this, he has a hunting dog and his girlfriend has an agility dog.
I grew up bird hunting but not with dogs. Our dogs were family pets and not field dogs.

My wife and I got a 2nd rescue dog last year to help our special-needs rescue dog adapt to the world, and the new dog has boundless energy.  We started agility to give the dog exercise so WE could get to sleep at night!  My wife is with the dogs all day so I signed up to take agility lessons with the new dog to help bond with her.  We both go to the lessons, although so far I'm the one running around with the dog.

I've found that Agility is awesome for bonding with your dog, and I continue to do it because the dog is so enthusiastic about Agility!

Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Cindy on May 25, 2012, 08:31:02 PM
NADAC Agility: where the women are strong, the men are good looking, and the dogs are above average .....

Now I want a t-shirt with that!

Cindy and the Beagles
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Dave Worldsbesjrts Dad on May 25, 2012, 09:49:31 PM
After four hours at the poker tables where one could as the same question in reverse why so few  women at the tables. I thought of one more big thing. If you look at many of the sports activities the average Joe is participating in not watching you come up with.

Bowling
Golf
Hunting
Fishing
Softball
Basketball
Poker

what do all of these things have in common that is not there in Dog Agility




Think about it.......







Think some more.........








got it yet...........








ok here it comes...........










All these activities come complete with men and their buddies Drinking.

Mostly beer. 

So to get more men in agility is simple a matter of serving beer.
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Merri on May 25, 2012, 10:59:38 PM
Historically, there was a link between dog agility and horses in the equestrian-like jumps demonstrations in the UK.  The equestrian world is largely dominated by women (except maybe horse racing).  When I was a little girl, girls were drawn to horses and boys were a rare occurence at the stables. 

When I was a little girl (before agility existed), I used to have my dogs jump over overturned picnic benches.  It just seemed to be the natural thing to do based on my horseback riding. 

In terms of the social aspect, it seems agility also takes much alone time what with practice etc.  In this way, agility is a lot like ham radio (another hobby my husband and I share), an activity that is mostly male dominated.  As a woman, it makes no sense to me that there are so few women in ham radio and so few men in agility.

Agility is still a relatively new hobby/sport compared to many so perhaps more men will become involved as agility itself matures.  :-)
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Ed and Tres on May 26, 2012, 05:32:39 PM
In terms of the social aspect, it seems agility also takes much alone time what with practice etc.  In this way, agility is a lot like ham radio (another hobby my husband and I share), an activity that is mostly male dominated.  As a woman, it makes no sense to me that there are so few women in ham radio and so few men in agility.

Agility is still a relatively new hobby/sport compared to many so perhaps more men will become involved as agility itself matures.  :-)

Merri the nice thing about being a woman in ham radio is if you ever go to Dayton, which I recently returned from, you never need to wait in a bathroom line. The same cannot be said for the men. It is the only place I have ever been where I had to wait to use the Mens room and the woman's room was line free. The nice thing about being a woman in ham radio is that all the OMs will always refer to you as YL (young lady) except for your husband of course.

Nice to know that there are other hams that also are doing Nadac agility.

73
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Sharon Nelson on May 26, 2012, 09:23:36 PM

So to get more men in agility is simple a matter of serving beer.

I am going to be a good girl and not make too many remarks... or maybe go get some beer!!

Sharon
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Sheila & the Shelties on May 26, 2012, 09:37:04 PM
After four hours at the poker tables where one could as the same question in reverse why so few  women at the tables. I thought of one more big thing. If you look at many of the sports activities the average Joe is participating in not watching you come up with.

Bowling
Golf
Hunting
Fishing
Softball
Basketball
Poker

what do all of these things have in common that is not there in Dog Agility?



The first thing I thought of is that all these activities are much more fun to participate in than simply watch.  I think that applies to agility too, though I do enjoy watching it.  I've seen beer with agility, but I would not recommend combining both at the same time unless you are a spectator.   ;D

I think the same things apply to women in poker as does the original question.  Poker is considered a man's game associated with smoky back rooms in a blind pig, and "womanly" women don't want to be associated with that.    And I've gotten the impression that some men with not like to see them there!   ;)  Though I think that is changing, much as more men are getting in agility.  I think the World Series of Poker has encouraged more woman to take up poker.

The final thought you an enjoy an activity, do it!  Don't let others or a society define activites as anything other than something you like to do. 
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Shirlene Clark on May 27, 2012, 01:19:14 AM

So to get more men in agility is simple a matter of serving beer.

I am going to be a good girl and not make too many remarks... or maybe go get some beer!!

Sharon

I am not a lover of beer but even I would get some if it meant more men in agility
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Jean Sather (McCreight) on May 27, 2012, 05:07:58 AM
Jim Lackey told Rocky and me one time that he started running dogs in agility because watching it was about as much fun "as watching paint dry" ....

Never did get Rocky into the ring with a dog of his own but he sure spent a lot of time with me at trials and was one of the best volunteers ever .....  and a VERY wise and knowledgeable spectator!  :)
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Merri on May 27, 2012, 10:59:41 AM
Ed, I have never been to Dayton but my husband had to work there twice.  Lately we have not been going because we have a special needs dog that I would not want to leave by herself in a motel room.  She comes to trials with us but that is different -- there are dogs there!

I truly believe more men will become involved as agility evolves and gets more media coverage as well as word of mouth PR.  I have had dogs all my life but my husband and I never even thought about it until we saw a course advertised and had a very energetic dog who needed more exercise.  None of my Facebook friends knew anything about agility until we started posting things about it.  Now they do.  :-)  Our local news does not cover dog sports.
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Vicki Storrs on May 29, 2012, 10:09:53 AM
Historically, there was a link between dog agility and horses in the equestrian-like jumps demonstrations in the UK.  The equestrian world is largely dominated by women (except maybe horse racing).  When I was a little girl, girls were drawn to horses and boys were a rare occurence at the stables. 

Disagree with the above quote, perhaps in the US, am pretty certain that's not true in the rest of the world, at least not in the upper levels.  Follow the high level stuff for years, have been to the Olympics (spectator), jumping especially predominatly still men--many countries wouldn't even consider a woman--in dressage and 3 day women are beginning to catch up.  I remember a few years back the finals of a Grand Prix jumping event that required the riders to switch horses--one American woman with men from Great Britain, France, Germany, etc.  Woman drew the British horse, whose rider was convicnced no woman couldn't handle his difficult horse.  She finessed him around the ring (instead of the power struggle always seen with his regular rider) and won the event.  Early days of obedience had lots more men, agree that the trend toward more positive training has seemed to coincide with increased participation by women--whether that's cause or effect...?

Anyway, my husband loves the dogs and is great with them, but have never been able to get my husband to participate or even come to any dog (or horse) events--not happily anyway, so I've given up.  But now if they added the BEER I might have a fighting chance!!

Vicki Storrs
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Jeff Newman on May 30, 2012, 03:01:04 PM
Hello All,
There are some great points about why more men don't run in agility. I honestly think the main reason is men are not comfortable making a fool of themselves in public even tho we do all the time. I guess as a man that runs agility, I am more than comfortable to make a fool of myself in public with my dog. Sometimes you just have to say who cares what other people think and just have a wonderful time.  :D 
Jeff Newman and Crew
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Merri on May 30, 2012, 03:12:11 PM
Maybe the perspective is cultural/geographical.  I rode in the Southern US and also in Bermuda.  There were very, very few men at the stables or even at the competitive horse shows.  Yes, I see more men in the equestrian events televised on television today (so a higher level) but in the daily life of the average rider in those locations, there were few men in 1960s-1970s .  The instructors were also almost exclusively women.  In the young years, the girls I knew, including myself, all had dog, horse and other animal toys but the boys seemed to play with other toys.  It seems a natural progression to playing with horse and dog toys to riding real horses and doing things with real dogs.

Your observation about more men at more competitive equestrian levels brings up an intriguing insight to ponder.

Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Cherie Singer on May 30, 2012, 04:40:46 PM
My husband comes to most agility trials, volunteers his time working and actually likes the social aspects of it.  And the beer.  We do have beer (and wine, and many other things) at the trials out here at the end of the day! 

I asked him once why he doesn't want to run a dog since we have several dogs that could run with him and he has been known to run a course every now and then.  He told me that if he can't 'win', he doesn't want to run.  He can actually tell you how many Q's he has earned with various dogs over the years.  He is very goal oriented in that respect. And I don't really stress about my Q percentage.  I record points and keep track of titles but that is not why I do this crazy thing we all do.

I think one aspect of this that hasn't been mentioned is that many (not all) women who do agility do not have children or have grown children.  So training dogs becomes a nurturing outlet for us.  I know it is for me.  It is not that men can't be nurturing and patient.  I just think that for many men, it is just not a priority that drives them.

I for one applaud all the men that enjoy the sport.  They are not just good for moving A-frames and tunnels.  Just like different types of dogs makes life interesting, meeting different people keeps things fun too.
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Dave Worldsbesjrts Dad on May 30, 2012, 04:41:51 PM
It also seems that by percentage there are more men at the higher level of agility than you see at local events.
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: TheQuestKnight on May 30, 2012, 05:06:56 PM
OK, my third post and I'm taking the Bill Maher approach . . . NOT writing in general terms; but in terms specific to me . . .

I ONLY do agility with my dogs NOW for "US" . . . we DON'T do it for Qs or titles . . . we've got plenty of those; and besides . . . no one else really cares . . .

I trial for the challenge that it presents to us and the opportunity to learn our weaknesses so that we can improve because that's my goal . . . and I've imparted, I believe, that same work ethic to my canine partners . . .

I DON'T do agility for it's social aspects . . . with the exception of a small group of "very special to me people" . . . I'm at a trial to run with my dog(s) . . . learn . . . spend time with my dogs . . . and wait for the trial to end so I can go back to my motel room and watch sports or a movie while sharing Schezwan or Hunan Chinese food with my dogs . . .

ALL that I desire is an efficiently run trial . . . coffee on site or close by . . . if there happen to be "special to me" folks in attendance, that's GREAT . . . if not . . . I'm totally fine listening to the radio in my van and petting my dogs . . .

At the risk of generalizing, women like the social aspect of the trial . . . they like watching others run . . . and I could absolutely care less . . . I don't care if others celebrate our runs because we know when we've accomplished something . . . so I don't hang out ringside to cheer on people that I don't know, that could care less about me . . . and that I'm really not all that motivated to get to know . . .

For me, an agility trial is still a TEST of SKILLS measured against a standard of performance . . .

That's how I am . . . that's how my BCs are . . . and I ONLY trial where I and mine can be me and us . . .

I DEARLY LOVE seeing my agility friends at a trial . . . but I also march to the beat of my own different drummer . . .

Beer won't bring me to an agility trial . . . good wine will . . .

I guess that I'm about as social as a "Honey Badger" . . . you kind of have to be another "Honey Badger" to pique my interest when it comes to a friendly relationship . . .

Other than that, I am what I am and that's all that I am . . .

Al & Pellinore in Ohio 

Title: Why so few men In agility
Post by: auzyhrd on May 30, 2012, 06:30:59 PM
I loved Jeff's comments and have to agree with Cherie as my dearly beloved,      Chuck, has said the same thing. His comment was, "There's no guarantee I would win and what's the point in anything less." He has a hard time understanding how I can be happy with an NQ run.
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Dave Worldsbesjrts Dad on May 30, 2012, 08:30:55 PM
Al are you my long lost  brother almost all the things you said sound like I said them. I however can not be satisfied competing against an standard like a Q, Par, or DRI.  I can measure my progress by these things but unless I beat someone head to head. I can not fell truly that I have achieved. No Gizmo on the other hand could care less.  By they way I will be attending a trail in Ohio the end of June. Maybe I will see you there.

I hope most of you understood the Beer comment was tongue in cheek. I love agility and NADAC, CPE and TEA CUP all for different reasons. I will run it no mater if I am the only man who does. I was just wondering why other men do not seem to become involve.   
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Sheila & the Shelties on May 31, 2012, 02:48:16 AM
It also seems that by percentage there are more men at the higher level of agility than you see at local events.

Yes, I've notice that in a lot of organizations.  More women at the lower levels, but more men in a lot of the higher levels.  That's why I wondered the proportion of women judges to men.

And all agility men are manly men!
Title: Why so few men In agility
Post by: James Bell on May 31, 2012, 07:29:00 AM
Jeff, I seem to remember us discussing the same thing a few years ago, that men always come into class stiff and easily embarrassed. And the ones that stick around not only learn to be silly and publicly embarrassing, but learn to enjoy it. Of course, ladies, be careful what you wish for, as that attitude transfers to other environs. :-)
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Amy McGovern on May 31, 2012, 09:03:21 AM
When we started in agility, we had one dog (Ada) and no child.  My husband and I split the runs evenly.  He really loved the strategy courses like gamblers and specialized in those types of runs.  When I was pregnant, he took over running the dog and I trained the new dog.  At age 4, our son started running my husband's dog.  He eventually ran her in all classes except chances and even ran her in champs last year.  When she died last fall, my husband stopped running altogether even though we had two more dogs to run.  I asked him why last night and he said it just got boring.  He really misses the strategy games as he loved thinking on his feet in the ring.  So now he does support for my son and I as we run at shows.  So I do have a male running but he is a junior handler :)  Maybe someday we can convince my husband to run again? 
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Ed and Tres on May 31, 2012, 10:25:13 AM
... I however can not be satisfied competing against an standard like a Q, Par, or DRI.  I can measure my progress by these things but unless I beat someone head to head. I can not fell truly that I have achieved.
...

I hope most of you understood the Beer comment was tongue in cheek. ...   

I don't have that man thing about beating someone else. I understand what you are saying but it does not apply to agility nor many other things in life for me. In many trials, Dino has always been in a class by himself. Whether we Q or do not Q often we are in 1st place. So I'm with Al that it is more of having a run that meets your personal standards (for me fun and team work) and if in addition you get a Q so much the better.

And your beer comment is actually a valid point, beer is an important item in many man caves and man activities.
It is no joke.
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: TheQuestKnight on May 31, 2012, 10:37:02 AM
Hi Dave,

If the Ohio trial that you refer to is NODT's Dog Days, I and mine won't be there . . .

It's a nice, recently on the small side, rural, hometown trial.  It's a nice outdoor site with a fair amount of shade . . . unfortunately, in recent years, it has also been HOT & HU-MID!!!  Unfortunately, our two older dogs just don't handle the heat and humidity that well anymore, so we've been taking the Summer months off the past several years.

It is a multi-venue trial, which is nice, because there is always something going on to watch and learn something new about something different.  If there is a "negative", there are generally conflicts and delays due to handlers exhibiting in multiple venues and/or multiple disciplines (agility, obedience and/or conformation).

Bear in mind that UKC is a STICKLER about there being no alcohol on the grounds . . . and since the grounds are "shared", that rule covers ALL of the grounds and rings . . .

I've had some recent injuries from falling off of our roof last Fall that have impacted my mobility, so my Pellinore and I are learning how to do "old things", new ways . . . and we both still have tendencies to fall back into old habits that create some problems on course! <LOL>

Anymore, I just look at a course knowing that I want to try some new things that we're working on . . . a particular sequence that I'd like to be able to handle at some distance or . . . whatever . . . 

So each course has several real important goals to me for where Pelli and I are at this stage of our game . . . and achieving any one of them is AWESOME!!!  When they all come together for us in one run . . . well, it just doesn't get any better than that!!!

I dunno . . . I've been around this wonderful sport for over 20 years . . . did A LOT of things in A LOT of places because of what this sport gave me . . . and I went through my "needing to win" phase and my late Kali was just as driven as I was.  When she passed away, that needing to win "spirit" left . . . I'd have traded everything for one more totally crappy run with her where she bit me in the arse <G> . . . the silly little things that we remember most! <LOL>

I can't and won't try to speak for other men . . . I started by maintaining and building agility equipment when my club at the time was still "barnstorming" local fairs, picnics, etc. showing off this new sport called agility . . .

I got involved when my late Kali REFUSED to run for my wife . . . competition for the same boy's attention, don'cha know? <LOL>  With Kali, I finally learned that I couldn't take PLAYING a game "seriously" . . .

Taking the sport "seriously" is what almost drove me totally away from the sport 8 years ago . . . just doing it FOR FUN with my own goals refocused me . . .

I guess that you can cue up Sinatra's "My Way" . . .

Safe travels and best wishes for success!!!

Al & Pellinore

 
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Lori Pritchett on May 31, 2012, 12:15:19 PM
NADAC Agility: where the women are strong, the men are good looking, and the dogs are above average .....

Now I want a t-shirt with that!

Cindy and the Beagles

I'm with you Cindy!  In purple too....
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Dave Worldsbesjrts Dad on May 31, 2012, 08:04:40 PM
NADAC Agility: where the women are strong, the men are good looking, and the dogs are above average .....

Now I want a t-shirt with that!

Cindy and the Beagles

Me to how about hot pink

I'm with you Cindy!  In purple too....
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Sheila & the Shelties on May 31, 2012, 08:52:39 PM
I think this article kinda sums up what we all have been saying in different ways:  http://ezinearticles.com/?Should-Women-Rule-the-World?&id=5740813 (http://ezinearticles.com/?Should-Women-Rule-the-World?&id=5740813)

I don't know that I agree with the conclusion.  I've worked in male-dominated jobs, as well as jobs where the employees are primarily female.  Men may have their issues, but so do women!
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Dave Worldsbesjrts Dad on May 31, 2012, 09:23:38 PM
I think this article kinda sums up what we all have been saying in different ways:  http://ezinearticles.com/?Should-Women-Rule-the-World?&id=5740813 (http://ezinearticles.com/?Should-Women-Rule-the-World?&id=5740813)

I don't know that I agree with the conclusion.  I've worked in male-dominated jobs, as well as jobs where the employees are primarily female.  Men may have their issues, but so do women!

One Paragraph from the article

At an early age, boys can be up to 50 times more competitive, while girls tend to be much more cooperative. Boys will often look for an "adversary" in their games. Girls generally prefer games that involve nurturing. They also take turns much more often, even at an early age. These trends continue in later life. Women use conversations to develop and maintain relationships. What they discuss is often not as important as the fact that they are communicating. Men prefer to share activities, rather than thoughts or feelings, with their friends

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5740813 (http://EzineArticles.com/5740813)

Competitiveness yes me to a T.  I and I think most men are task focus Many times at work it is very hard for me not to say to the women at the meeting can we stop talking and get something done. Very true men share activities without thinking or feelings.

Not sure how this makes agility a womens game. 

 
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Linda W. Anderson on June 01, 2012, 06:20:18 AM
NADAC Agility: where the women are strong, the men are good looking, and the dogs are above average .....

Now I want a t-shirt with that!

Cindy and the Beagles

Me to how about hot pink
I want the purple one!!

I'm with you Cindy!  In purple too....
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Jeannine Doepke on June 01, 2012, 10:16:00 AM
Steve - we're really that scary?  You scare easily.

Jeannine
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Sheila & the Shelties on June 01, 2012, 04:23:17 PM
Steve - we're really that scary?  You scare easily.
Jeannine

 ;D
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Dave Worldsbesjrts Dad on June 01, 2012, 10:05:30 PM
Ok women of agility why no girls in the National History Bee
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Sheila & the Shelties on June 02, 2012, 02:18:32 AM
Ok women of agility why no girls in the National History Bee

Because Al Roker is the emcee????   ::)

I think the bigger question is why none of these boys knew the name of the president associated with the Whitewater scandal???

We don't even know the rules for how these competitors are chosen.  Perhaps all competitors were chosen from all male schools?  It has been said people on Jeopardy do not lack depth or breadth of knowledge to win Jeopardy; they just lose the battle for the buzzer.  We don't even know what the paramenters of this discussion are.

My final conclusion: David, you, sir, are a chain-yanker, a button-pusher, what my grandmother might have called a pot-stirrer.    ;D    ::) :D ;D   Now I know you are not implying that women in general, or women participating in agility in particular are worse at knowing history than boys.  So you must just want to jab at the sleeping bear.  LOL

I'm not sure how the History Bee connects with women in agility.  Therefore you need to set up another topic on the board to discuss this at length.  If it is lengthy.  We woman are smarter than you think, and I think this topic is exceedingly small.  Until then, my lips are sealed...   :-X  At least on this topic.   8)
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Dave Worldsbesjrts Dad on June 02, 2012, 07:11:44 AM
Ok women of agility why no girls in the National History Bee

Because Al Roker is the emcee????   ::)

I think the bigger question is why none of these boys knew the name of the president associated with the Whitewater scandal???

We don't even know the rules for how these competitors are chosen.  Perhaps all competitors were chosen from all male schools?  It has been said people on Jeopardy do not lack depth or breadth of knowledge to win Jeopardy; they just lose the battle for the buzzer.  We don't even know what the paramenters of this discussion are.

My final conclusion: David, you, sir, are a chain-yanker, a button-pusher, what my grandmother might have called a pot-stirrer.    ;D    ::) :D ;D   Now I know you are not implying that women in general, or women participating in agility in particular are worse at knowing history than boys.  So you must just want to jab at the sleeping bear.  LOL

I'm not sure how the History Bee connects with women in agility.  Therefore you need to set up another topic on the board to discuss this at length.  If it is lengthy.  We woman are smarter than you think, and I think this topic is exceedingly small.  Until then, my lips are sealed...   :-X  At least on this topic.   8)

No I was not saying anything of the sort. I truly wonder about a lot of things. I am a middle school teacher and see the differences in how kids learn every day. I happen to be watching the History Bee and was somewhat surprised that their were no Girls in the finials. I think it is a matter of interest not smarts. Most of history is just about wars I just think 13 year old boys are more interested in that than 13 year old girls. The same may be said of Agility it seems more women are interested in it than Men. I think it strange that that is the case and wonder why.  I have learned everything I know about agility which is not that much for sure from women.
I have the utmost respect for them. I did not mean to yank anyone's chain.
 I was watching the contest and thought of this topic so put out the post. Sorry If I gave the wrong impression.

As for the contest itself I think they added a lot of fluff questions for the tv audience sake. The Kids missed a lot of what to me is recent history or like the Whitewater question because it happen to recently to be put into the history curriculum but happen before the kids life time. I was keeping score on my answers and got around  90% correct those recent questions the ones I have lived through made up for the other questions that I sometimes had a hard time recalling.

You are right about the buzzer. That type of format rewards not only the one who can recall the information but who process quickly and can time the buzzer.

Any why please don't remain silent.

Dave
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: TheQuestKnight on June 02, 2012, 02:48:35 PM
As a fellow chain-yanker, button-pusher, pot-stirrer, sleeping dog laying waker-upper and bear-jabber, I find that asking "Why?" takes A LOT of people out of their comfort zones because they are forced to back up their statement, beliefs, opionions, etc. with the facts that led them to that conclusion.

For years, I have been endlessly fascinated by how dogs learn, how they each have their individual learning curves, etc. . . . and shake my head in bewilderment at how many folks try to teach their dogs and others with some sort of "cookie cutter, one-size fits all" method . . .

"Because everybody else is doing it!" is NOT a suitable answer to the question of Why???

Asking "Why???" will ALWAYS take the original question on divergent paths because answering the question is thought-provoking and will give rise to questions about aspects of the answers . . .

I dunno Chris, perhaps we need a "Devil's Advocate" section for some of us??? <Evil laugh>
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Anne Etherton on June 02, 2012, 07:56:47 PM
Aren't there more men doing NADAC agility versus other venues and obedience.  The little bit of obedience competition and training I did I remember hardly any men.

Anne
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Sheila & the Shelties on June 03, 2012, 03:21:05 AM

Ok women of agility why no girls in the National History Bee

Sheila:  Because Al Roker is the emcee????   ::)

My final conclusion: David, you, sir, are a chain-yanker, a button-pusher, what my grandmother might have called a pot-stirrer.    ;D    ::) :D ;D   Now I know you are not implying that women in general, or women participating in agility in particular are worse at knowing history than boys.  So you must just want to jab at the sleeping bear.  LOL

I'm not sure how the History Bee connects with women in agility.  Therefore you need to set up another topic on the board to discuss this at length.  If it is lengthy.  We woman are smarter than you think, and I think this topic is exceedingly small.  Until then, my lips are sealed...   :-X  At least on this topic.   8)

Dave:      No I was not saying anything of the sort. I truly wonder about a lot of things. .
I have the utmost respect for them. I did not mean to yank anyone's chain.
 I was watching the contest and thought of this topic so put out the post. Sorry If I gave the wrong impression.

Any why please don't remain silent.
Dave


Dave , this reponse was mostly tongue in cheek.  I prepared a long response to you (Dave) and Al, and it disappeared into the Internet, the ethernet, the black hole, or Chris's freezer. I will try again later.
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Dave Worldsbesjrts Dad on June 03, 2012, 12:12:01 PM
Not to Worry. I could tell my all the smiles but I thought others might fell the same way for real. I do like a good discussion.
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: TheQuestKnight on June 03, 2012, 01:47:45 PM
Hey Sheila,

I enjoy a vibrant discussion, so I AM most definitely a provocateur . . .

Although it doesn't always come across as I intend and my sarcasm can frequently get the better of me, I don't intend my posts to be insulting or demeaning to anyone . . .

Lots of folks do lots of things that I don't fully understand . . . and wish that they would take the time to provide the "whys" without having to request that they divulge the "whys" . . . state your opinion and provide some support for it!!!

I so much more appreciate a person's opinion based on their experiences, rather than being referred to someone else's "works" . . .

. . . and I still believe that agility is still a very simple game, unless we choose to make it complicated.

I understand that some folks believe that they have some "secrets" that are worth $$$ if someone wants to know; but it's just a dang GAME that we're talking about!!!

I don't begrudge anyone that makes $$$ from their knowledge . . . it's just that I'm NOT willing to pay for something that I feel is soooooooooooooooo easily understandable with just a bit of logic and common sense . . .

I'm NOT "politically correct" . . . and I know that's a real problem for some folks that have thinner skin than me . . .

I anticipate that many of my posts will be controversial; but that's just who and what I am . . .

Al in Ohio 

Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Dave Worldsbesjrts Dad on June 03, 2012, 04:06:55 PM
Wow over 1000 views whoed have thunk it
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Sheila & the Shelties on June 03, 2012, 11:46:51 PM

Although it doesn't always come across as I intend and my sarcasm can frequently get the better of me, I don't intend my posts to be insulting or demeaning to anyone . . .

Lots of folks do lots of things that I don't fully understand . . . and wish that they would take the time to provide the "whys" without having to request that they divulge the "whys" . . . state your opinion and provide some support for it!!!



I did not take offense at anything and was kidding around.  I know sometimes on emails and posts it is difficult to interpret a comment because the "tone" is missing, which is why I try to include a lot of smileys when I am kidding!

And as for people taking the time to explain their opinions, good luck!  Sometimes we don't have any basis for opinions.  Stating opinions and providing evidence for it---isn't that what lawyers are for?   ::) :D

But seriously, there was an article I read not too long ago called "Five Logical Fallacies that make you wrong more often than you think."  If you have time, I'd urge everyone to read the article.   And you'll understand when you when your husband (or wife or friend or sibling) get in an argument and he(she) will just not see that you are RIGHT!   ;D   I now AM aware of this stuff, and I STILL get in these arguments.  But a good argument is fun to have unless it is an emotionally charged issue!

http://www.cracked.com/article_19468_5-logical-fallacies-that-make-you-wrong-more-than-you-think.html (http://www.cracked.com/article_19468_5-logical-fallacies-that-make-you-wrong-more-than-you-think.html)
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Dave Worldsbesjrts Dad on June 04, 2012, 05:01:54 AM
Nice article lots of good points. But I don' agree with any of them. >:(
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: TheQuestKnight on June 04, 2012, 01:39:07 PM
cracked.com seems like a good place for this article . . . some good points are made; but the "logic"(?) used to support them is contradictory and flawed . . . at least IMHO . . .

Perhaps I should say, that with the exception of a very few women . . . and you opinion-substantiated lassies know who you are! <G> . . . I agree with Stephen Hawking . . .

It is easier for me, as a NON-astro-physicist to gain a rudimentary understanding of quantum mechanics, string theory and the origins of the universe . . .

. . . than it is for me to understand the thought processes of the human female . . .

I'm much like Mr. Spock from Star Trek . . . I find women interesting and fascinating . . . attractive, too . . . but that doesn't mean that I can understand what they consider to be "logic"! <LOL>

Seemed to me that the pot needed to be stirred again . . . and the heat turned up a bit! <ROTFLMAO!>

Al & the totally wicked sense of humor possessed BCs in Ohio
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Sheila & the Shelties on June 04, 2012, 01:47:49 PM
I find them to be true, Dave!  We can agree to disagree!    :D
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Dave Worldsbesjrts Dad on June 04, 2012, 04:24:12 PM
Well if that don't beat all. I was trying to hit the wink smiley  but hit the wrong one. You see I agree with it and was trying to be ironic since I still need to Win. I think I said that way back at the start of the thread.
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Sheila & the Shelties on June 04, 2012, 11:11:49 PM
cracked.com seems like a good place for this article . . . some good points are made; but the "logic"(?) used to support them is contradictory and flawed . . . at least IMHO . . .


Comment #1:  You ask for the "why" and then reject it when you get it.   ::)

Comment #2:  We are not programmed for the truth; we are programmed to "win".   :)

Comment #3:   Facts don't change our minds.   :D

Comment #4:   Men are illogical.    ;D
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: bill fehn on June 09, 2012, 04:34:35 AM
Just my personal reasons:

It depends on what you mean by “in.”

I love agility but I hate trials. It is something my dog and I do. We don't need anyone else.
I have a full-size agility area 100 feet from my front door.  If you drive past my home, you would classify me as “in” agility.
I don't like getting up in the morning and driving 30 to 60 miles to go to a trial (I know that's not far for many, but it is for me).
I don't need someone to travel a 1,000 miles to tell me that we missed a contact or dropped a bar.
A trial will take an average of 12 hours for one to three minutes of activity. I can sleep in and still set up six courses on a Saturday or Sunday and get a lot of other things done between runs.
I don't seek social interaction. It is another contradiction in my life.  I enjoy interacting with people at work but not otherwise.
I see absolute no value in titles and awards.
I do not like being outside in less than ideal weather conditions.

At one time I was doing about two, 1 day trials a month. I have now greatly reduced that. I have done two, one day trials this year and only have one more planned. But I still consider myself “in” agility.  I have upgraded my equipment. We do agility almost every day.  I have three informal students who come over once a week and I help them. I have went to watch the AKC World Team tryouts two of the last three years.  I consider myself “in” agility but if someone counts the men at trials they will probably not find me.

Bill Fehn
MN
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Sheila & the Shelties on June 09, 2012, 09:45:03 PM
It depends on what you mean by IN.”


Like many things, it depends how we define "it".   As Bill Clinton infamously said, it depends what is "is."  I agree, Bill you are "in agility", but I think Dave's original intent was to ask why more men were not attending agility trials.  Not to beat a dead horse, but if a man competes in agility and no one hears him, does he really compete?   ;D
Title: Re: Why so few men In agility
Post by: Sharon Nelson on June 12, 2012, 07:47:00 PM
And this thread is done and retired!!

Sharon