NADAC Forum

General => General Discussion => Topic started by: Laura Anne Welch on February 26, 2018, 09:07:33 AM

Title: Tunnels/tunnel bags
Post by: Laura Anne Welch on February 26, 2018, 09:07:33 AM
A friend posted this from Clip and Go Agility.  I have two quesions-the bags that I see where we trial, in the SE, vary wildly in shape and form.  The bags in the last section of Clip and Go Agility's post are very wide, very stable and hug the bottom of the tunnel without seeming to poke into the tunnel.  Also, is the angle of the tunnel entry affecting the dog's performance in the entrance of the tunnel?  I see a lot of different ways of dogs going in and out of tunnels and wonder what is the best, most efficient, yet safest way?  Any thoughts or suggestions?
https://www.facebook.com/ClipAndGoAgility/?hc_ref=ARQ6kdy5t8rDgpgp9NpVRB-VW8lTQttUx9bI8O5y3tx_-FyQaiB0tPiLJr8SqyFLLGk&fref=nf
Title: Re: Tunnels/tunnel bags
Post by: Amy McGovern on February 26, 2018, 09:32:48 AM
That's fascinating!  My youngest dog fell this weekend coming out of a straight tunnel.  It was a 15' tunnel with bags on each end.  She's fine but I couldn't figure out why she fell (she face planted as she came out of the tunnel!).  It was chances and the tunnel was off course so she was trying to turn to me and come back but the fall was surprising.  Interesting!!
Title: Re: Tunnels/tunnel bags
Post by: KarissaKS on February 26, 2018, 10:03:56 AM
NADAC only allows two sets on each end.

Personally I *love* the way they bag the tunnels in Europe, where essentially the entire tunnel is bagged. It's secure. It doesn't move. The dogs know what to expect every time. I feel it's safer for our dogs.

I know there are people who will chime in and say that our dogs aren't supposed to bank tunnels. I've never understood that. Some dogs do. If the tunnels are bagged properly what does it matter? What's dangerous is a dog who is used to a properly/fully bagged tunnel and then runs through one with minimal bags. That's what causes injuries and falls.

This was an interesting video to watch, thanks for sharing. There is no denying that fewer bags results in the tunnel moving out from under the dog's feet (and he was barely banking).
Title: Re: Tunnels/tunnel bags
Post by: aprweber on February 26, 2018, 02:39:48 PM
Why did they change the type of tunnel bag between takes?  I find that suspicious.  You shouldn't change more than one variable. Also, they sell tunnel bags.

April
Title: Re: Tunnels/tunnel bags
Post by: Marj Vincent on February 26, 2018, 04:04:49 PM
Can you imagine how many tunnel bags a tunnelers course would require if we had to cover the entire tunnel?  For example, let's say a single tunnel uses a minimum of 7 sets x 9 tunnels = 63 sets or 124 individual bags would be needed for tunnelers. Many clubs use water to fill their bags....so filling 124 bags at each trial and then emptying them is very labor intense and time consuming. Or imagine if a club used sand with an average weight of 25lbs per bag or 3150 lbs of sand (1.15 tons)....can't imagine adding that weight to a club's trailer. (Not every trial site can store equipment). Or where do you put 125 tunnels bags inside a trailer? Plus as a course builder and tunnel bag mover, I surely don't want to haul 63 sets of tunnels on and off a course! I am sure the volunteer course builders would go hide.

Personally I would rather the tunnel move a bit when the dog runs through it.  Even putting bags in the middle is unsafe in my opinion (which is why it is not allowed in NADAC) because dogs can hit the middle bag and blow out a wrist because it is hard, where as the rest of the tunnel gives and they aren't expecting it. Seen it and cringed when the dog hit it, screamed and came out limping at a USDAA show.
Title: Re: Tunnels/tunnel bags
Post by: KarissaKS on February 26, 2018, 05:27:22 PM
I've been to plenty of trials where there aren't even enough bags available to double bag all of the tunnels. Tunnels vary in weight/quality themselves, and some of the flimsier tunnels make me cringe even double bagged.  Tunnel bags aren't created equally, either, unless someone is weighing each one with a scale as they fill them. Double bagging filled at 25 pounds per bag on each end of the tunnel is going to do a lot better job of 15 pounds double bagged, but people just use what's available.

I agree that a random bag thrown in the center of the tunnel is asking for trouble, but bagging evenly around the curve is safe. My dog comes out of a 20' c-shaped tunnel faster when I put 8 sets of bags on it versus 4 and I also don't have to reset anything because that holds it in place.

It's already next to impossible to get course builders for Tunnelers. Everyone wants to run it, nobody wants to build it. There should be a requirement that every person running the class needs to haul a pair of tunnel bags or a tunnel....
Title: Re: Tunnels/tunnel bags
Post by: dogrsqr on February 26, 2018, 05:46:33 PM
I agree Marge.  The energy has to be absorbed and I'd rather have it move the tunnel than get absorbed by my dog.  If we need a wall of tunnel bags that's even more to drag out onto the course. 

Gina
Title: Re: Tunnels/tunnel bags
Post by: Becky Woodruff on February 26, 2018, 06:08:16 PM
I agree with Marj & Gina.  I'd much prefer the tunnel move than be held solid, especially on the bends.  If a dog hits the tunnel hard enough to move it, I want it to give.
Same idea as NADAC not allowing the weave poles to be staked.  I'd sure prefer they move if a dog were to hit them too hard.
And, I'm not even thinking about the added weight, work, expense for clubs if tunnels were required to be bagged the entire length....
Becky
Title: Re: Tunnels/tunnel bags
Post by: Shirlene Clark on February 26, 2018, 06:25:50 PM
I agree too Marj
Title: Re: Tunnels/tunnel bags
Post by: Edraith on February 27, 2018, 01:38:12 PM
I don't understand why people want a solid sandbank tunnel.That is a different obstacle.
If you want a solid half-pipe to bank, design and build a solid half-pipe. Coat it with an appropriate surface for grip so their feet don't slide out when the bank. But this is a *unique and new obstacle*

Otherwise, let a tunnel be a tunnel.

You don't campaign for longer contact zones when your dog flies off the top, you train a proper contact so your dog is safe.
Similarly, you don't campaign to make a solid pipe of a tunnel when your dog can't run it in a safe manner.

Not every dog is a fast BC type. Taller than 24" dogs have to learn how to duck and run. Little dogs need to learn to feel safe in this crazy envelope tube. Fast dogs need to learn how to go fast *safely*.  Just because people ignore actually training tunnels because their dog just runs through them, does not mean they dont need trained on safe obstacle performance just like anything else.

When I tried an "actual in person agility class", the instructor had us doing full height teeter day one of first class ever, no bang game even. Most dogs spooked, mine I have done lots of work body awareness, balance, and moving things under her feet, as well as she has no noise sensitivities, so she did it fine. That doesn't mean she knows how to do a teeter safely just because she did it correctly immediately. Same with tunnels, just because a fast dog runs through it first try no issues, does not mean they know how to safely perform a tunnel.
Title: Re: Tunnels/tunnel bags
Post by: Sharon Nelson on February 27, 2018, 03:24:14 PM
The energy has to be absorbed and I'd rather have it move the tunnel than get absorbed by my dog.  If we need a wall of tunnel bags that's even more to drag out onto the course. 

Gina

That is it exactly!  When there is concussion, something has to absorb that energy created.  Better it be the tunnel than the dog.  And there are very useful methods of training a dog to run on the BOTTOM of the tunnel and not bank the sides.  No falling, slipping or injuries.  As people train them to bank the tunnels, thinking it creates a faster run, there will be injuries during falls.

JMHO

Sharon
Title: Re: Tunnels/tunnel bags
Post by: Richard Wolfe on February 27, 2018, 07:03:38 PM
I agree Marge.  The energy has to be absorbed and I'd rather have it move the tunnel than get absorbed by my dog.  If we need a wall of tunnel bags that's even more to drag out onto the course. 

Gina

Definite "LIKE" to these statements.
Title: Re: Tunnels/tunnel bags
Post by: knittingdog on February 27, 2018, 07:56:59 PM

Just curious - does NADAC specify a "standard weight" for tunnel bags?

Robin
Title: Re: Tunnels/tunnel bags
Post by: Shirlene Clark on February 27, 2018, 08:47:07 PM

Just curious - does NADAC specify a "standard weight" for tunnel bags?

Robin

Most of the bag manufacturers specify a weight for their bags the click for agility ones state 30 pounds per bag
salty dog ones say 28 pounds
Title: Re: Tunnels/tunnel bags
Post by: Audri, Cee Cee, Lily, Toto, and Calypso on February 28, 2018, 08:02:14 AM
Why did they change the type of tunnel bag between takes?  I find that suspicious.  You shouldn't change more than one variable. Also, they sell tunnel bags.

April

I agree.  Their comment to that question was they were trying to show the minimal set up and that the difference wouldn't have been that great.  I believe they are trying hard to sell tunnel bags so I don't find this all that good of a study.
Title: Re: Tunnels/tunnel bags
Post by: Chris Nelson on February 28, 2018, 09:04:38 AM
So I wanted to stay out of this, since Iíve got opinions of my own.   But Iíll say a few facts about the video and leave it at that and let everyone else discuss the less factual side of things.

1) itís a tunnel bag maker, selling tunnel bags.   Right from the get go this affects the validity of the whole video.

2) everyone has mentioned the difference in bags.

3) context is incredibly important here,  and we donít have any.   What the dog did before and after the tunnel performance is ultra important.  And also how the handler handled the dog is very important.   I can very very easily make Spree fall down in a tunnel by handling her the wrong way.

And I just think the video leaves out the most important part and that is consistency.   If someone said Nadac needs to have $12,000 worth of tunnel bags on our tunnelers course I think we all know the answer.
Now if someone said the tunnel bags should all be of a similar design and weight,  well now youíre talking about something thatís possible to achieve.  Albeit still very difficult because telling clubs to buy $3000 worth of tunnel bags would go over pretty badly.  I say $3000 as that is what my salty dog bags cost me


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Title: Re: Tunnels/tunnel bags
Post by: David Tharle on February 28, 2018, 12:25:56 PM
I shared these thoughts on a few posts yesterday after this video seemed to pop up on every agility sight. It just stuck in my craw for some reason. Couple people thought I should add them here although we all seem pretty much in agreement.
JMHOs

Well they've certainly got their message out. It's getting shared everywhere, which I'm sure was their hope. But like all advertising cloaked as a Public Service Announcement (PSA), let's look beyond the hype.  Remember a few years ago, we apparently had one eyed dogs coming from trials all over the place after clipping jump cups? When as a concerned Trial Chairperson, I tried to find out more, it was always a friend of a friend who had a friend who knewÖ..  Iím sure there may have been a few over the years, but I heard way more stories about other agility ailments; backs, wrists, toes, etc.  Ironically the 4 tunnel injuries (all minor) I have witnessed have been dogs piling into the edge of a tunnel opening when seemingly distracted, usually by the handler. (Perhaps Iím missing my big ticket by not patenting a protective foam doughnut for tunnel ends??) Why are people more accepting of these types of injuries? I think itís because it would involve personal change.  How we train, how we handle.  Itís easy to tell someone like a trial host they need to do this or that, but itís a whole other matter when we have to assess & accept our own actions.

But I digress, so letís get back to these tunnels.  The makers of the video state as fact that ďmore tunnel bags equal better footingĒ and most importantly for us all ďfewer injuries for our four legged teammatesĒ.  Where are the statistics to back this? They donít provide them during the clip or on their website.   What about the possibility that this added rigidity is actually increasing stress on joints and ligaments, which will be more detrimental to our four legged teammates over time? Just about anyone over twenty can relate to something that just had to be, because it sounded good and made sense, only to find out the ďrealĒ facts proved otherwise.  I have to applaud Chris for moving to collect the injury data, because presently so much of it is he said, she said.

In the video, I would say Blink has learned to ďexpectĒ those 6+ bags and run on the side, roof or any damn place he/she wants, and not specifically the bottom of the tunnel. I bet the poor dogs life flashed before its eyes when suddenly the support wasnít there. If you went back to only 3 points (or in the case of NADAC, the ends only) regularly, Iím positive weíd see a different performance pretty quickly. 
 
I regularly have the opportunity to watch some smoking fast dogs on courses with nothing but tunnels (DRIs reaching 110 +).  I donít see them running the sides of tunnels. What I do see is the entire tunnel absorbing a tremendous amount of energy and I canít believe that banking up the walls would somehow make them any faster.

Title: Re: Tunnels/tunnel bags
Post by: KarissaKS on February 28, 2018, 02:10:53 PM
In defense of the folks at Clip & Go, they really have done a tremendous job of improving equipment and making things in our sport safer. Not that it applies to this forum, but when the trials in my area all started using the Clip & Go teeter my dog with "trial teeter issues" started doing the teeter again. Their a-frame and dog walk are incredibly sturdy and the a-frame is made to help absorb the impact when the dog hits the up side. I love their flexible jump cup strips.

The argument could certainly be made for ALL of their equipment that, "if my dog gets used to that then what are they going to do when they encounter equipment without those features?" I guess my preference is for my dog to always be put on the safest equipment possible. Even tunnels themselves have gotten flack, as a dog who is used to a SureGrip/textured tunnel is more prone to wipe out in a standard tunnel. There is a lot of equipment variation in the US.
Title: Re: Tunnels/tunnel bags
Post by: Chris Nelson on February 28, 2018, 03:37:58 PM
Agreed.   I have actually mentioned that while I love the padded aframe,  I do have concerns with a dog that is prone to slamming the up ramp,  gets accustomed to the feel of the padded version,  and then goes to a trial where there is no padding.   That is introducing a pretty big possibility for injury


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Title: Re: Tunnels/tunnel bags
Post by: dogrsqr on March 01, 2018, 06:43:52 AM
Why not train your dog not to slam into the upside of the aframe?  The padding may be helping but I doubt it can totally remove the effects.  Point is we don't really know without a complex study and tears of data.

Gina
Title: Re: Tunnels/tunnel bags
Post by: Chris Nelson on March 01, 2018, 07:06:23 AM
You should train your dog to not slam the up ramp.

And you should probably train them to run on the bottom of the tunnel.

And not push the weave poles out of the way with their body.

And jump with an arc.

And collect on a tight turn.

What people should do and reality of what actually happens are pretty drastically different.

So at some point there has to be a happy medium of protecting the dogs that people wonít train safe behaviors too,  and understanding you canít remove every danger in a sport that relies on physical ability.

Iím not saying the padded a frame is bad.  Iím just saying it concerns me a bit. 


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Title: Re: Tunnels/tunnel bags
Post by: BeckyAH on March 01, 2018, 12:10:15 PM
What you see at a trial is not always indicative of what's going on in training or what the trainer thinks they've trained, either, to be honest.

When my youngest dog was younger and greener, she'd stress up and get super fast and somewhat reckless.  It wasn't something I saw before or was able to replicate in training.   After I knew it was a thing that could happen, I could mitigate, but that first time? No.

I'm mostly in the camp that says you train to mitigate risks and accept that in doing dog sports there will always be SOME risk, but  sometimes dogs just DO STUFF you don't expect/have never seen before/trained to prevent and it's heart-stopping.
Title: Re: Tunnels/tunnel bags
Post by: Amy McGovern on March 01, 2018, 12:16:46 PM
Chris, I totally agree with your statements.  But I do wonder how you train all of those things in some dogs.  Before my current super fast dog, I would have not wondered.  But, as you saw last weekend, she slams herself up and down A-frames, she jumps off from too high on contacts sometimes (she got called on unsafe execution this weekend and she deserved it), and even manages to trip inside a tunnel (I don't think it was the bag!  I think she managed to trip on the ribbing somehow but she did face plant badly coming out of the tunnel!).  She's also (in another venue) managed to crash the tire TWICE on top of her.  I'm grateful there isn't a chute tunnel anymore or she would get tangled in it.  I've been told that she would only do these things once and learn her lesson but I don't believe that since I've seen it repeatedly.  If you have ways to help her learn to be safe while still enjoying the speed that she likes, I'm all ears!! 

-Amy, mom to the supersonic schnauzer
Title: Re: Tunnels/tunnel bags
Post by: BeckyAH on March 01, 2018, 01:06:36 PM
Chris, I totally agree with your statements.  But I do wonder how you train all of those things in some dogs.  Before my current super fast dog, I would have not wondered.  But, as you saw last weekend, she slams herself up and down A-frames, she jumps off from too high on contacts sometimes (she got called on unsafe execution this weekend and she deserved it), and even manages to trip inside a tunnel (I don't think it was the bag!  I think she managed to trip on the ribbing somehow but she did face plant badly coming out of the tunnel!).  She's also (in another venue) managed to crash the tire TWICE on top of her.  I'm grateful there isn't a chute tunnel anymore or she would get tangled in it.  I've been told that she would only do these things once and learn her lesson but I don't believe that since I've seen it repeatedly.  If you have ways to help her learn to be safe while still enjoying the speed that she likes, I'm all ears!! 

-Amy, mom to the supersonic schnauzer

Honestly, I don't know if this is the case with your dog but with mine, it's not a matter of speed.  It's a matter of arousal.  If my dog is 'super hyped up' she's going to be faster, a bit  (and she's already plenty fast, thanks), but she's also going to get reckless and dangerous and stop thinking/applying impulse control.  So for her training to mitigate things like Supermaning from the a-frame meant basically learning to regulate arousal level.   Which doesn't mean she's not still jazzed to go, but if I'm seeing stuff like vibrating, teeth chattering, jolting forward at the startline, or fixating on the first couple of obstacles instead of  looking at me?  I have a problem.  Because she has no brain.

I took a class at Fenzi called 'all worked up' that actually helped me a lot, but my in person instructor also helped me out a lot with it.  Basically 'impulse control', some decompression stuff,  and 'you do nothing if you can't show me you can THINK'.
Title: Re: Tunnels/tunnel bags
Post by: Amy McGovern on March 01, 2018, 01:12:29 PM
Oh, for sure, she has brain issues.  She does rally also and she totally has a different brain there.  For one thing, I can get reliable stays in rally!  At agility, it's like that part of her brain shuts down on the line.  We usually practice rally when we are in line (because I find that it focuses her) but she immediately forgets it all when we go in the ring.  I just started reading control unleashed, at a recommendation from a friend.  Hoping it has ideas also!  She just turned 3 so she also still has some baby brain but for a dog who is mostly running in elite (and has titles in other venues too, including rally), I can't really blame baby brain.  I'm sure it is me... Just have to figure out how to make that connection in both of our heads so that she is safer and more in tune with her own impulses! 

-Amy
Title: Re: Tunnels/tunnel bags
Post by: Edraith on March 01, 2018, 01:13:29 PM
I've been told that she would only do these things once and learn her lesson but I don't believe that since I've seen it repeatedly. 
Such a mistaken viewpoint. People assume the pain the dog gets from "being stupid" is +P, and would hence stop the behavior, but in reality, as you note, often it is not. Adrenaline levels are too high in their mind, and so it doesn't process as "ouch", so there is literally nothing learned because it didn't even blip on the scale. Ah the dangers of +P thinking...think of how much injury your dog would actually have to sustain to break through the adrenaline rush...not even balanced trainers should be okay with that!

(sorry I don't have advice other than maybe in general to work on calming exercises; or maybe the Fenzi class "All Worked Up" it gets a lot of great reviews from folk with similar issues...I just wanted to point out why I cannot stand it when people say "oh just let'em do it once and they'll learn" because no...no they won't...)
Title: Re: Tunnels/tunnel bags
Post by: BeckyAH on March 01, 2018, 02:10:58 PM
Control Unleashed is great.  So is All Worked Up.  I took it with Molly, and while she's still wild and I still can't handle her, it's now a normal sort of issue where she's just faster than I'm used to, not lack of brain.  The 'Start Button' behavior is the best thing ever.   Basically the dog tells you when they're ready to work.   

The other big tip from my trainer was just... setting her up and then waiting on her to look AWAY from the first line of obstacles to me to release her.  She does hold a stay but until I've got that eye-contact I don't have a dog.  She's just not going to pay attention and THINK.   And that's scary and dangerous.  Not something I can do at trials, obviously, but working on it in the 'off season' did me a lot of good.

Still got a long way to go though, for sure.
Title: Re: Tunnels/tunnel bags
Post by: KarissaKS on March 01, 2018, 05:14:47 PM
Perspective is such an interesting thing. I was at an AKC trial today where the last obstacle on the course was a 20' C-shaped tunnel. The judge specifically brought up the Clip & Go video in her briefing and said that she was going to make sure that tunnel didn't move. It was bagged and strapped to kingdom come. Oh, and the reaction in the briefing? Clapping and cheering (a lot). As someone who competes in multiple venues, I often find it fascinating to note the difference between folks who focus on one venue or another.
Title: Re: Tunnels/tunnel bags
Post by: Sara Langston on March 02, 2018, 07:37:18 AM
I am wondering if all these people who seem to think it is good to bag a tunnel until it basically becomes a concrete tube are training at home with their tunnels fully bagged.  I know I am lucky to have just enough bags to secure only the ends of the tunnels in my home practice area.  How are these dogs going to react to the solid tubes when they have been accustomed to running through tunnels that are more flexible???  Any thoughts on this???

Sara
Title: Re: Tunnels/tunnel bags
Post by: Audri, Cee Cee, Lily, Toto, and Calypso on March 02, 2018, 01:38:27 PM
In defense of the folks at Clip & Go, they really have done a tremendous job of improving equipment and making things in our sport safer. Not that it applies to this forum, but when the trials in my area all started using the Clip & Go teeter my dog with "trial teeter issues" started doing the teeter again. Their a-frame and dog walk are incredibly sturdy and the a-frame is made to help absorb the impact when the dog hits the up side. I love their flexible jump cup strips.

The argument could certainly be made for ALL of their equipment that, "if my dog gets used to that then what are they going to do when they encounter equipment without those features?" I guess my preference is for my dog to always be put on the safest equipment possible. Even tunnels themselves have gotten flack, as a dog who is used to a SureGrip/textured tunnel is more prone to wipe out in a standard tunnel. There is a lot of equipment variation in the US.

I agree Karissa.  I know some clubs thought about getting the SureGrip tunnels and decided not to for that very reason.  They didn't want their dogs to get used to it, then come to a trial and not have them.  I do like Clip and Go stuff as a whole from what I have seen of it.
Title: Re: Tunnels/tunnel bags
Post by: Laura Anne Welch on March 04, 2018, 06:11:52 PM
Thanks for the comments.  I have learned more in reading them.  There is the issue that too many places have too many inadequate tunnel bags-those that don't close properly, those that are too flimsy and/or are poorly maintained. Also, it drives me NUTS to see the straps of tunnel bags put so that the fabric sags below the wires.  I saw the video from Europe where a junior handler sent his dog into a tunnel where the strap was over the fabric and not the wires, and the dog didn't come out.  It had run into the strap and broken its neck.  This was two or three years ago. 
Title: Re: Tunnels/tunnel bags
Post by: Richard Wolfe on March 04, 2018, 06:23:45 PM
That drives me crazy too!!!!!  I have had a man who was helping tell me that the straps HAD to go between the wires and change it after I had set it.  Someone who doesn't primarily do NADAC. After he went off the course I put it back!!!!!
Title: Re: Tunnels/tunnel bags
Post by: MoabDiane on March 05, 2018, 06:15:15 AM
Off topic of tunnels, but safety: my well-trained, very calm, not over-driven five-year-old dog crashed a metal jump this weekend.   It was in chances, We had already NQed, And I was trying to work on it. Bad handling, dog suffered.   Physically she seems fine, mentally not so much.  She got a good going over, no sore spots noted.  But this just points out - again- that just because NADAC courses donít generally require those ďdangerousĒ tight turns over jumps, that metal jumps are just fine.  I totally own the handling error, and my dog is fine.  Just sayiní.... it canít always be safe.

Diane