Author Topic: dogs slipping in tunnels  (Read 4286 times)

Lisa Schmit In The Zone Agility

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dogs slipping in tunnels
« on: May 29, 2014, 02:18:12 PM »
What can we do as trainers, handlers and clubs to stop dogs from slipping in tunnels?

I see dog after dog (including my own, but not only my dogs) slipping in tunnels ..especially the 20 foot tunnel under the dog walk.   However, they also slip when the tunnel is more J shaped and C shaped.

I love having the barrel as an option, but obviously that can't happen under the dog walk :)   

So, as a trainer---what can I do??

as a handler..what can I do???

As a club..what can I do????

My sister and I recently set CATS jumpers which has a tunnel in it.  The tunnel was set more as a J than a  C...   and out of  4 dogs I ran on it, Rev (20 month old) fell pretty hard but his brother did not.    My sister's Novice dog also fell.   Tandem (my elite dog) did not fall nor did Chrissy's elite dog.           Here is Rev's Nov jumpers run:    and here is his brother's elite jumpers run:    and Tandem's https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvjcBTbrsW0. They both came out fine....  but there are many times when Tandem falls in tunnels and he is really light on his feet.

I recently had a conversation with a chiropractor and she said that out of all the dogs she adjusts regularly, the fast purely NADAC dogs seem to be more out of whack that other multi-venue dogs and she believes it is because of tunnels / tunnelers!     

I am going to order a new 20 foot tunnel and order a lighter colored tunnel. I currently have a green one and it is 'dark'... however dogs still fall in my bright yellow tunnels.

And I cannot afford to go out and buy enough sure grip tunnels.   A 20 foot sure grip tunnel is $500.... and I still may buy one, but at this time I cannot afford to buy 9 sure grip tunnels.

Thoughts????
lisa



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Karen Echternacht

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Re: dogs slipping in tunnels
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2014, 03:09:25 PM »
Following.

Sharon Nelson

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Re: dogs slipping in tunnels
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2014, 03:54:27 PM »
What can we do as trainers, handlers and clubs to stop dogs from slipping in tunnels?

I see dog after dog (including my own, but not only my dogs) slipping in tunnels ..especially the 20 foot tunnel under the dog walk.   However, they also slip when the tunnel is more J shaped and C shaped.

I love having the barrel as an option, but obviously that can't happen under the dog walk :)   

So, as a trainer---what can I do??

as a handler..what can I do???

As a club..what can I do????


Thoughts????
lisa

As a trainer, I don't allow the reckless high speed in the tunnels that causes the falling and slipping.  If a dog starts to get over stimulated by the tunnels and wants to start riding the sides of the tunnels to help speed them up more, I work a session of tunnelers with no tunnel bags on them.  They don't get hurt and they find out fast that they cannot bank the tunnels.

It is my job to keep them safe.  It is my job to help teach them to respect equipment.   Just like they need to know how to stay on a 12" wide plank without falling off. it is their job to run on the "bottom" of the tunnels and not bank on the sides.

Some handlers have started pushing so hard for speed they also risk injury for their dogs in the need for higher run indexes and more and more speed.  If dogs run on the bottoms of the tunnels, the chance of slipping or falling is dramatically reduced.

The more the handlers push them, the more likely they will learn to bank the tunnels.  It will create more "wins" and higher run indexes, but is it worth the dog's health and body for the sake of winning a class or getting the best run index?

I have a dog that can easily get 110 run indexes in Tunnelers...... but she banks the tunnels when she does.  I am a much happier person with a 103-105 run index and a sound dog.  When the run indexes start to creep up towards the 105+ times, then I will train a session without tunnels bags and get her back into the center of the tunnels and off the sides of them.

If they try to bank the sides the tunnel rolls a little bit and they get their feet back underneath themselves.  Better safe then sorry.  I don't set them to where they can roll up against anything.

Below is an example of a Tunnelers run.  Hopefully you can see that not one tunnel is ever moved and never needs to be reset after running.  The dog still earns an easy 104+ run index and every tunnel is entered in the center of the tunnel and the exit is in the center of the tunnel, no banking on the sides of the tunnels.



JMHO

Sharon
« Last Edit: May 29, 2014, 04:04:23 PM by Sharon Nelson »
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Shirlene Clark

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Re: dogs slipping in tunnels
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2014, 04:17:51 PM »
I do think that the increased desire for speed will mean dogs potentially will slip.  So I think the first step towards solution is to not push the already fast dog to be faster.  Just as we teach a dog to safely traverse the narrow plank of a Dog walk we need to teach them to remain in control of their bodies through tunnels.  I think tunnels are probably the least "trained to be performed safely obstacle" in agility and yet to my mind  potentially one of the most potentially risky obstacles.  People see them as easy...on the ground and something to go faster and faster through.  Speed is great...speed is wonderful but we should always be ensuring that the speed is not so great as for our dogs to lose control of their bodies and stay safe.  We all hear people run courses saying "Easy" to their fast dogs over the Dog walk but the opposite when fast dogs are running tunnels...there seems to me more speed pushing driving commands.

I imagine the dogs the chiro referenced in regards to tunnels and tunnelers more than likely indulge in many other contributing to the issue behaviours.

Speed is great and thrilling and wonderful.....but I think we all need to ensure that we are not teetering between speed and recklessness.

In regards to the sure grip tunnels...I haven't seen or used them.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2014, 04:25:03 PM by Shirlene Clark »
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Lisa Schmit In The Zone Agility

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Re: dogs slipping in tunnels
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2014, 07:23:35 PM »
Interesting.   Do you have any video of you training tunnels without bags?   Do you do this with C shaped tunnels also??

I really don't see many dogs falling in tunnelers as it is usually straight or slightly curved tunnels :)  On the occasion we have a tight C shaped tunnel, I usually don't run in this as I don't like them.     The tunnelers course you posted above is a great example... most tunnels are straight or slightly curved.  I don't think  would see many dogs falling in this course either.

I don't think it is always a function of pushing for speed.    You can see in the videos I posted I am not pushing for speed. Heck I never push for speed in jumpers !! I am happy if I get through the course clean :)   Tunnelers is the only course that I will 'push' for speed but in reality it means I actually run the whole time instead of using more distance like I do in other classes.  And my dogs rarely fall in tunnelers.

Many times the course is hoop tunnel  under the dog walk.... dog falls in the tunnel so not 'much' speed going in.....

And it is not always the fast dogs that are falling....there are smaller 'slower' dogs that fall too..... but again that could be a function of banking off the tunnel.

I value your opinion and will give it a try.   I will video and see how it goes !

But are there other things as well we can be doing???   
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ricbonner

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Re: dogs slipping in tunnels
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2014, 08:38:33 PM »
This may seem like a semantic distinction, but I watched the videos in the original post and my observation is that it seems the novice dog stumbled instead of slipped.  I consider slipping as a loss of traction and I consider a stumble as a misstep or misjudgement.  Walking on an icy sidewalk, that's slipping.  But imagine someone climbing a set of stairs in the dark and thinking there is one more step than there actually is, that's a stumble.  There is nothing wrong with the stairs, that person just misjudged the last step.  This dog seemed to be looking to the inside of the turn while stepping to the outside of the turn and then stumbled because it tried to continue stepping on the side of the tunnel after the tunnel ended.  In my opinion, I don't think it was an issue of a loss of traction or a faulty tunnel surface.  I think the young dog was using the side of the tunnel and did not recognize at the end of the tunnel that there is no more side to step on.  It basically assumed a surface would be there, and it wasn't.  Again, this is based on what I saw in the video.  Hope that helps!

Cindy

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Re: dogs slipping in tunnels
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2014, 08:45:13 PM »
I was fortunate enough to watch this run in person.  It was awesome and awe inspiring, but at no point did I feel like Busi was out of control or in danger of hurting herself.  I hadn't really thought about where she was running in the tunnels, but that makes perfect sense.  Thanks for putting that out there.
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Shirlene Clark

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Re: dogs slipping in tunnels
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2014, 10:14:01 PM »
Interesting.   Do you have any video of you training tunnels without bags?   

Hi Lisa,

I may have some video of my baby dog Patch learning tunnels....I used the black mesh fiskar composting barrels as a first tunnel...nice and short.....can lay it on its side without bags....and a little see through so I can see what she is doing.  If she banks it moves a little but not so much that it worries me but enough that she makes sure she runs on the base next pass through it.   I am hoping this will carry through to grown up tunnels :)

BTW watching Sharon use a composting barrel on its side on the seminar list is what made me use it
Shirlene Clark
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Sharon Nelson

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Re: dogs slipping in tunnels
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2014, 12:16:20 AM »
I recently had a conversation with a chiropractor and she said that out of all the dogs she adjusts regularly, the fast purely NADAC dogs seem to be more out of whack that other multi-venue dogs and she believes it is because of tunnels / tunnelers!     

lisa

I can't imagine a professional chiropractor making venue specific claims, and I would wonder about them if they do talk about others in such a way.  The professionals I have met wouldn't say "this venue causes this" or "this venue causes that".... it isn't a venue that causes it, it is training that predisposes dogs to injury.  If a dog is reckless in tunnel performance then yes, NADAC will be more instances of injury because they have a "tunneling" class and people want to win.

If a dog jump in a reckless manner, then Jumpers will cause that dog to have the greatest risk when they run in a Jumpers class, although any class with a jump has potential for injury.   If a dog runs into hoops, then Hoopers will cause the greatest injuries, although any class with a single hoop would come with a risk for that dog.  If a dog performs tunnels in an unsafe manner, then Tunnelers is the class with the greatest risk, although any class with a tunnel on the course has an element of risk within the run.

As a "NADAC" only person, I might believe the above statement just because of so many training methods that push dogs to run as fast as possible through tunnels with total disregard to what they are physically doing to the dog's body as they push the dogs to bank the sides of tunnels.  Dogs that bank tunnels are going to fall occasionally, that is basic math.  They can't always be in the perfect stride to make the curves correctly or exit perfectly when they are banking.  They are going to fall when that stride isn't perfect when they hit the turns or hit an exit.  Other times they are going to be in the correct part of a stride and they will make the turns and exit just fine.  And on those runs they will post the fastest times and win that day.  When it doesn't work out so well, they might fall and they might be out of whack due to the torqueing...... but those are handlers choices by whatever training methods they use and what the goals are for the team.

So many handlers push so hard for speed in tunnels and don't realize the risk that they are putting on their dogs.  Others don't even push at all, but the dogs are of the type that they will push themselves for maximum speed.

If a dog jumps recklessly, handlers train to improve that performance.  If a dog runs across a dog walk recklessly, a handler will work to improve that performance.  If a dog performs tunnels recklessly, handlers smile about how fast their dogs are!

We have several in our area and they are FAST!!!  They are pushed and the handlers are so excited about how fast they are.  And then they are laid up while they recover from soft tissue injuries and when they return they are pushed again and then they go off to heal again for awhile.  Sometimes it is sad to hear all of the people that are so excited about a dog that runs through tunnels and then the entire course needs to be rebuilt due to the destruction caused by their tunnel performance.... I find it sad to see the dogs punish their bodies in such a manner.  But I am in the minority.

I find it encouraging to see a trainer wanting input on how to perform tunnels in a safe manner.

I do feel that the non-skid tunnels will cause more injuries than ever before.  They will allow the dogs to be even more reckless.

Sharon
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David Tharle

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Re: dogs slipping in tunnels
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2014, 04:07:00 AM »
"They will allow the dogs to be even more reckless."

This is more or less why I recently recommended that a person "not" purchase one for their home training. I fear that their dogs will become used to handling tunnels in manner that may not be suitable for the "regular" tunnels which they will encounter at other training facilities and at trials.
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Kyle

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Re: dogs slipping in tunnels
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2014, 06:32:10 AM »
I'm curious - what's a "non-skid" tunnel? Haven't heard about them...

Thanks,
Kyle
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Re: dogs slipping in tunnels
« Reply #11 on: May 30, 2014, 07:26:22 AM »
I have a small dog (11.5" and 11-12 lbs) who LOVES his tunnels.  He will never have a 100DRI because his stride just isn't long enough to compete with those 12P dogs, but he is consistently in the high 80's and low 90's so for his little legs he is booking.  :-)  As a novice dog, I often heard a "thunk" in the tunnel.  I imagine it was because he would bank off the side of the tunnel and being so small he would slide off the side towards the end and stumble.  He never hurt himself, but I have noticed that as he progressed and learned the game more, he seems to do this less and less.  I have also noticed that his turns out of the tunnels (especially in tunnelers) are a bit wider to allow him NOT to have to bank on the tunnel to get the super-tight turn.  I do notice that we have more of an issue when we are on grass or dirt than I turf.  I belive it is because his paws are either wet from the grass or dusty from the dirt on the ground so he losed some traction. 
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Sharon Nelson

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Re: dogs slipping in tunnels
« Reply #12 on: May 30, 2014, 08:17:37 AM »
I'm curious - what's a "non-skid" tunnel? Haven't heard about them...

Thanks,
Kyle

There are a newer type of tunnel that is coated on the inside with a non-skid surface so the dogs don't slip in them.  I have not seen one in person and haven't been willing to put out the money to see one.  I really wish that dogs would run safer inside a tunnel instead of encouraging even more speed.  They might be great, I don't know, as I have no experience with them.

They weigh a bit more (62-78 lbs) and cost a bit more ($370-$450 each)

http://www.cleanrun.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&Product_ID=3747&ParentCat=761

Sharon
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Sharon Nelson

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Re: dogs slipping in tunnels
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2014, 08:19:02 AM »
My sister and I recently set CATS jumpers which has a tunnel in it.  The tunnel was set more as a J than a  C...   and out of  4 dogs I ran on it, Rev (20 month old) fell pretty hard but his brother did not.    My sister's Novice dog also fell.   Tandem (my elite dog) did not fall nor did Chrissy's elite dog.           Here is Rev's Nov jumpers run:    and here is his brother's elite jumpers run:    and Tandem's https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvjcBTbrsW0. They both came out fine....  but there are many times when Tandem falls in tunnels and he is really light on his feet.

Thoughts????
lisa

Nice set of dogs!  The only one that had issues in the run is the one that came out banked on the side of the tunnel on this particular run.

Sharon
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Lisa Schmit In The Zone Agility

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Re: dogs slipping in tunnels
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2014, 09:24:52 AM »
I am rethinking the nonskid tunnels also.   Reminds me of when I first got rubber contacts and realized that I would only run on rubber...even if I only did my own trials.    I know dogs were so much faster and confident on rubber.    I imagine the nonskid tunnels would be similar. So unless every trial that I attend has all nonskid tunnels, I don't want to train with them. 

I really want to train my dogs safely..thus my question.  I will take slower more safe executions!

I honestly never thought about how to train the execution of a tunnel.  I know to cue before the tunnel to let my dog know where to go next....but never thought about training it besides running through it.

Btw, the chiropractor was not my chiro... Don't want Kaite to get bad rap.   It was in a conversation with another chiro.  She certainly did not mean any disrespect but was observation .
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