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Tunnels/tunnel bags

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Laura Anne Welch:
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?

Amy McGovern:
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!!

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).

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.


Marj Vincent:
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 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.


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