Author Topic: Safety on the Dogwalk  (Read 7648 times)

garypaula

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Safety on the Dogwalk
« on: July 15, 2014, 08:17:34 AM »
I can't find this topic, but I am sure it must have been discussed at some point in the past.  I hope NADAC is considering being perhaps the first venue to switch the dogwalk to a lower height.  I have only been trialing for less than five years, but I have seen several dogs hurt on the dogwalk; from cuts and bruises to dislocations.  I have never personally witnessed an injury on any other piece of equipment.

It doesn't make sense to me that we require our dogs to run across a fairly narrow board at high rates of speed at a height that leads to injuries.  One of the things I have been impressed with in NADAC is that the safety of the dog seems to be a paramount concern; unlike some other venues, in my opinion.  Let's go the next step and make the dogwalk safer for our working companions.

Sharon Nelson

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Re: Safety on the Dogwalk
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2014, 10:10:48 AM »
I can't find this topic, but I am sure it must have been discussed at some point in the past.  I hope NADAC is considering being perhaps the first venue to switch the dogwalk to a lower height.  I have only been trialing for less than five years, but I have seen several dogs hurt on the dogwalk; from cuts and bruises to dislocations.  I have never personally witnessed an injury on any other piece of equipment.

It doesn't make sense to me that we require our dogs to run across a fairly narrow board at high rates of speed at a height that leads to injuries.  One of the things I have been impressed with in NADAC is that the safety of the dog seems to be a paramount concern; unlike some other venues, in my opinion.  Let's go the next step and make the dogwalk safer for our working companions.

We did that back in the early 2000's.... I loved it........ wanted to continue it and no one agreed with me!!

Sharon
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dogrsqr

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Re: Safety on the Dogwalk
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2014, 10:30:49 AM »
I don't have an issue with the higher dog walk. 

I do think that if there is an issue it's because the handlers are pushing for speed and not teaching their dogs how to safely enter the dog walk.  My instructors have always emphasized that it is our responsibility to either thru handling square the dog up to the dog walk or to teach the dog itself to square up to the dog walk.  When we trialed more outdoors it was really important on those wet days to remember to square them up and slow them down a little bit before getting on the dog walk.

I think as ususal it's human error, not necessarily equipment.

Gina Pizzo

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Re: Safety on the Dogwalk
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2014, 10:58:58 AM »
Hi Sharon!

Count us IN for supporting LOWERING the height of the dogwalk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We have ALWAYS liked the 8 foot plank, 36 inch high dog walk that a couple of other venues used at times.  However, we realize that would be a MAJOR expense for most clubs to make that switch.  We have experienced a 12 foot plant, 36 inch high dog walk in another venure; and our experienced dogs were, shall we say, a bit "confused" with their initial experiences with it...................mostly by the flatter angles of the ascent and descent ramps.

How "high" the center plank is, is of NO real consequence.......................but we think that, at minimum, the height should be somewhere in the 24-30 inch range.

It's a concept worth experimenting with at FunRaisers, at least in our humble opinions.  Naturally, there will be nay-sayers and other negativists; but the same sort of thing happend when the teeter-totter went away..................jump heights were lowered......................slats were removed from the contacts......................hoops were introduced into classes other than Hoopers............................

We've been around this wonderful sport long enough to have watched our dogs play on "museum pieces" such as the infamous Crossover, the water hurdle, the sliding board obstacle..........................all that "fun" stuff from a time when we didn't know any better......................then again, our ancestors believed that the Earth was flat and that the sun revolved around the earth!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We think that you and NADAC should GO FOR IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

SAFETY FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hugs & wags,

Al & Barb Ceranko, Gael, Pellinore & Caitlin     

I can't find this topic, but I am sure it must have been discussed at some point in the past.  I hope NADAC is considering being perhaps the first venue to switch the dogwalk to a lower height.  I have only been trialing for less than five years, but I have seen several dogs hurt on the dogwalk; from cuts and bruises to dislocations.  I have never personally witnessed an injury on any other piece of equipment.

It doesn't make sense to me that we require our dogs to run across a fairly narrow board at high rates of speed at a height that leads to injuries.  One of the things I have been impressed with in NADAC is that the safety of the dog seems to be a paramount concern; unlike some other venues, in my opinion.  Let's go the next step and make the dogwalk safer for our working companions.

We did that back in the early 2000's.... I loved it........ wanted to continue it and no one agreed with me!!

Sharon
Castle Camelot: Al, Barb, Dred, Gael & Pellinore . . . and from The Bridge Grill & Pub,  Kali, Flurry, Promise, Chico, Romulus, Trix and Tony.

Mary Kapner

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Re: Safety on the Dogwalk
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2014, 11:23:18 AM »
Gee, I would go with that in a flash!  Many of the trials I attend are outside.  All of a sudden a big gust of wind comes up out-of-the-blue and "bam" -- a little dog hits the ground.
Mary Kapner
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Karen Echternacht

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Re: Safety on the Dogwalk
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2014, 03:26:46 PM »
Great idea.. Then and now!

Becky

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Re: Safety on the Dogwalk
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2014, 02:40:58 PM »
I don't have an issue with the higher dog walk. 

I do think that if there is an issue it's because the handlers are pushing for speed and not teaching their dogs how to safely enter the dog walk.  My instructors have always emphasized that it is our responsibility to either thru handling square the dog up to the dog walk or to teach the dog itself to square up to the dog walk.  When we trialed more outdoors it was really important on those wet days to remember to square them up and slow them down a little bit before getting on the dog walk.

I think as ususal it's human error, not necessarily equipment.

Gina Pizzo

I think there can be more to it than handling error or a push for speed.  I was running my dog at a two-ring trial once (not NADAC), and right while she was in the middle of the dogwalk the handler in the other ring screamed a call-off at their dog.  My dog responded by turning her head to see what the commotion was (it was loud enough it startled me), and fell off the dogwalk.  Fortunately, she was not hurt, and this was my confident dog, not my "scared of his own shadow" dog.  I might have never gotten him back on the thing.  This could just as easily happen with some other type of distraction, it wouldn't even have to be a two-ring trial.  How does one train for this?  Seems like a shorter height would at least decrease the potential danger.

Becky
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Heidi Konesko

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Re: Safety on the Dogwalk
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2014, 04:34:56 PM »
Count me in too!  I have always wondered why it had to be so high. Once the dog knows how to do it, what is the point of having it be so high?
-Heidi in NH
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Heidi Konesko

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Re: Safety on the Dogwalk
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2014, 03:56:24 AM »
The times I've seen dogs fall off it hasn't been the super fast ones, it's mostly been inexperienced dogs getting distracted by things, turn their head, and step off with one foot.  My new guy did this, blowing kisses to the judge last fall.  Fortunately he was ok.  My girl did this when a photographer snapped multiple pictures of her and I think she was distracted by the sound of the shutter.  Then there are the inexperienced handlers, who when their dog takes the DW when they intended for it to take a tunnel in a discrimination, don't go along with the dog, and the dog attempts to turn around on the DW and they fall or jump off.  Then there are older or out of condition dogs, who just cannot recover from a bobble and fall off.  Those are the hardest to watch.  My Sophie did that and came off during a trial.  She was ok but my nerves weren't, and I think it would have been safer if she could have chosen to bail from a lower height instead of scrabbling, trying to stay on.  If I'm not mistaken, CPE allows a smaller DW.  It's proportionally the same, just shorter in height and length. 
Heidi in NH with Hi Jack and newbie Maybelle
Sophie, Molly, and Penny waiting at the Bridge

Sharon Nelson

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Re: Safety on the Dogwalk
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2014, 06:15:17 AM »
Like I said, we used to allow 8' ramps and the dog walk set a 3' high.  I would have no problem allowing it again, but I am betting that competitors would again come unglued about it being different than other venues............

Falling off at 3' is definitely safer than at 4'....... but change is so difficult!!

Sharon
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Sara Langston

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Re: Safety on the Dogwalk
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2014, 07:19:18 AM »
Would it be possible to just lower the height???  Most competition dogwalks are adjustable and could be lowered some.  That way, clubs would not have to purchase new equipment and have a perfectly good dogwalk sitting around that they can't use.  The current ramps would still work.  Just wondering. 

Sara L
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Cindy

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Re: Safety on the Dogwalk
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2014, 07:52:19 AM »
The Beagles and I vote yes!  Kinsey says, "It will be so much easier to smell the ground from a lower height!"  Ritzy says, "As long as there are people to beg from, and treats when we're done, it doesn't matter to me what the equipment is!" 

But since we're NADAC only, we don't have a multi-venue vote.  But, I have confidence that dogs could figure it out.  Look at all the adjustments our first dogs had to make...
Cindy and the Beagles

dogrsqr

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Re: Safety on the Dogwalk
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2014, 09:18:40 AM »

[/quote]

I think there can be more to it than handling error or a push for speed.  I was running my dog at a two-ring trial once (not NADAC), and right while she was in the middle of the dogwalk the handler in the other ring screamed a call-off at their dog.  My dog responded by turning her head to see what the commotion was (it was loud enough it startled me), and fell off the dogwalk.  Fortunately, she was not hurt, and this was my confident dog, not my "scared of his own shadow" dog.  I might have never gotten him back on the thing.  This could just as easily happen with some other type of distraction, it wouldn't even have to be a two-ring trial.  How does one train for this?  Seems like a shorter height would at least decrease the potential danger.

Becky
[/quote]

One of our instructors actually had us teach our dogs to get off the dogwalk and to be comfortable with it so that they didn't freak out if something happened to cause them to have to leave the dogwalk prematurely. 

I don't really care about the dogwalk being different from venue to venue as long as the board lengths are the same.  However speaking as a club member we do not make the money we used to off of trials.  If we were required to purchase a new dogwalk that would be a decision.  In our area we have seen more and more NADAC trials becoming too small to pay for the normal operating expenses much less new equipment. 

Gina

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Re: Safety on the Dogwalk
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2014, 10:51:16 AM »
Hi Sharon,

Just keep a supply of Super Glue or waterproof epoxy on hand for anyone that comes unglued! <G>)

There are at least 2 other venues that I know of that permit the use of the 8 foot x 36" dog walk, so one in NADAC would not be different from other venues.................

My wife and I both partnered with dogs that were proficient at both sizes of dog walks.....................and switched between them seamlessly......................often on the same day at the same trial site where there were multiple venues available............................and many times during that day!!!

The dogs do NOT care one way or the other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It's only their handlers that get their panties or boxers in a twist that care.......................and subsequently transfer ALL of their anxieties to their canine team-mates!!!!!!!!!!!!!

....................besides, it's just another training opportunity....................you know, like hoops, barrels...................and all that stuff like that there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Al & Barb Ceranko, Gael, Pellinore & Caitlin in Ohio...............aka Castle Camelot

Like I said, we used to allow 8' ramps and the dog walk set a 3' high.  I would have no problem allowing it again, but I am betting that competitors would again come unglued about it being different than other venues............

Falling off at 3' is definitely safer than at 4'....... but change is so difficult!!

Sharon
Castle Camelot: Al, Barb, Dred, Gael & Pellinore . . . and from The Bridge Grill & Pub,  Kali, Flurry, Promise, Chico, Romulus, Trix and Tony.

Cathie Cage

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Re: Safety on the Dogwalk
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2014, 12:22:58 PM »
For one, our club and I am sure many others could not afford the expense of another dogwalk.

                                                              Cathie Cage
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