Author Topic: intro for younger dogs  (Read 5543 times)

Amy McGovern

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Re: intro for younger dogs
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2020, 07:51:49 AM »
Ric, the growth plates differ based on the size of the dog.  My dogs get x-rayed before being spayed to ensure the growth plates are closed.  They are always closed by 11 months (which is when I spay, trying to avoid heat #2).  Little dogs are VERY different in timing than big dogs :)
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KarissaKS

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Re: intro for younger dogs
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2020, 08:20:43 AM »
I think its best not to allow dogs under 18 months to jump, climb, or weave, or even run extensively at full speed.  Some ground classes might be ok for a dog between 15 to 18 mos, but then what's the rush.  What is really to be gained by a debut a few months early compared to the injury risk?  I could maybe understand if there was only 1 or 2 trials a year in your area and the timing wasn't in your favor relative to the dog's age.  But why not just keep it simple and safe with an 18 months old requirement.  A few months delay to test the dog in a trial environment is not a big deal, in my opinion.

This is clearly your right and nobody is making you put a dog in the ring earlier than 18 months. But all across this country dogs are competing at 15 months at full height in all classes in AKC (I'm not saying that is right, either). So clearly not everyone agrees with your viewpoint. My youngest dog turned 15 months old on the Sunday of an AKC weekend. I entered him in JWW that one day just to see what happened, as he hadn't learned contacts yet and had just started weaving. I had no expectation of a Q (and we didn't get one), I just wanted to get him in the ring. I would have no problem if NADAC only allowed FEO runs for <18 months. Because again, all I care about is the ring experience.
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ricbonner

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Re: intro for younger dogs
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2020, 12:14:43 PM »
Ric, the growth plates differ based on the size of the dog.  My dogs get x-rayed before being spayed to ensure the growth plates are closed.  They are always closed by 11 months (which is when I spay, trying to avoid heat #2).  Little dogs are VERY different in timing than big dogs :)


Amy, yes dogs differ on when the plates close but the rules are for all dogs - big dogs and little dogs do not have separate rules.  I don't think it would be popular (or accepted) to have different start ages based on dog size.  So if the rules are changed to accommodate conscientious owners with early plate dogs, it would put at risk dogs with less concerned owners with later closing plates.   The rules are there to reduce the risk of injury for all dogs.  The rule applies to all dogs and one has to apply the general case when considering changes.  There can't really be an exception made for dogs with early plates vs late plates, or big vs little as I'm sure plate closure has variance at all sizes.  So while it may be very low risk for your dog with confirmed closed growth plates to jump and climb at below 18 months, I disagree in using that as a basis for changing the rule.  The rule is there to lower the risk for all dogs, even though not all dogs have the same level of risk under 18 months.

Edraith

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Re: intro for younger dogs
« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2020, 10:13:07 AM »
Still not seeing how no rule differences for big vs little dogs would change flat courses though.

Why not allow Intro Tunnels and Hoopers FEO for dogs 12 mo and older? A 12 (or 15 since ppl like that number) month old dog should be able to run for 30 seconds without injury risk. I mean....if they can't....they were never gonna be sound to begin with and already got an injury from a puppy zoomie that they probably do every day anyway.

Pros:
- ability for younger dogs for ring experience
- no new classes added
- no additional courses or changeouts; since FEO dont even have to run the course in correct order but that just limits your obstacles to safe ones.
- no need to worry about course resets between runs (no bars to drop, etc) so it's easy on the ring crew
- if you did 12 mo, you would probably pull over more people from other venues who start at 15
- no 'different rules' for 'big vs small' dogs, a dog who cannot run for 30 seconds (1 min if you use all the time, I think that's feo currently, yes?) at 12 months is a dog with serious issues afterall
- increase revenue for the clubs w/o extra work

Cons:
- people hate change
- might make those two classes last longer because more enter it

Did I miss anything?

« Last Edit: December 28, 2020, 10:23:30 AM by Edraith »
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Amy McGovern

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Re: intro for younger dogs
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2020, 10:22:16 AM »
+1 Amata!  Yes, agreed!  And I think 15 months was chosen since AKC uses it. TDAA uses 12 months but all dogs in TDAA are tiny by definition.  I always feel like my schnauzers are giants when we run there. 

We are willing to help prototype the rule at the upcoming fundraiser :) Of course, she will be 17.5 months by then so it is probably a bit moot in terms of seeing how a 15 month old would run but, if it was allowed, there might be others who have 15-18 months who want to run.  The ring time is what I want, not the Qs.  I want her to get the positive NADAC ring time experience!
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Edraith

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Re: intro for younger dogs
« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2020, 10:43:55 AM »
Yeah but isn't AKC full height at 15? Not sure I agree with that but for many smaller dogs it's probably okay.

I would say then NADAC should consider 12 for this then, since it's all flat anyway.

I still say a dog who cannot run around an agility ring (which is a good appropriate running surface!) for a minute or two by a *year old* is not sound enough to do agility at all. No directed running before 18 months means "dont go leash them up and for a run with your dog" not "your dog shouldn't run". Because Joe Public gets a puppy, they're energetic, person likes to jog/run, so leashes up their puppy and goes for a mile or more run. That's not safe. That's what people mean when 'dont run with your pup!" is said.

Teaching a pup to go around a cone (which they will probably run to do!), or letting them romp in the yard, or meandering hikes on natural surfaces, restrained/runaway recall training, flatwork 'shadow handling', etc, is all good! Uses their brains and teaches them about sticking around off leash, recall, following directions. There is safety, and then there is tying their legs together and wrapping them in bubble wrap. :P People getting a puppy for agility are not going to be in the Joe Public group. And if they are, they may find agility around 6-8 months when their pup is now adult sized and still "crazy!" without a job or any training; and they'll be going to a *trainer* for those problems and get into agility that way.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2020, 10:47:29 AM by Edraith »
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Re: intro for younger dogs
« Reply #21 on: December 31, 2020, 02:00:03 PM »
I guess I don't really have an opinion either way, but I do think that if you allow super young dogs, you open up issues.  Yes, it is flat work, but you are still asking a dog to do some tight turns, etc. even in intro.  I also understand about seeing where your young dog is.  I really wouldn't want to see 12 months, but I can see 15 months.
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Kyle

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Re: intro for younger dogs
« Reply #22 on: January 01, 2021, 09:36:23 AM »
I'm curious - is there ever any chance that younger dogs (say 15 months, same age as AKC lets dogs start) could compete in intro?  There was a beginner class that was 15 months for awhile but it never really caught on.  I totally see keeping the younger dogs away from certain obstacles until they are older (this is why I'm just starting weave pole training with my 15 month old!) but intro seems perfect and it could even be further limited to flat stuff only (e.g. hoopers, barrelers, tunnelers, jumpers at low height, etc).  I know this won't matter to my current 15 month old since she will be over 18 months before a rule change could take effect but I just wonder in general?

I'm curious too! But, I'm curious about reasons why you would like a 15 month (or even younger) old pup to compete in intro?

Thanks in advance,
Kyle
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Jim geiser

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Re: intro for younger dogs
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2021, 03:10:26 PM »
Hi All,

I think the 18 month rule is to protect dogs. I know many of you have much more experience than I do with this sport and the injury aspect. Honestly I believe the rule is there more for people like me who are green to the sport.

Yes, you need new people to keep our preferred venue going, but not at the expense of rushing a pup who is not ready.

Trust me I know how bad a person wants to get out there when your pup starts and seems to pick it up quickly.

A few things I am in the process of learning: 1) I could have done more foundation. 2) This truly is a journey. Enjoy every step.

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Billie Rosen

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Re: intro for younger dogs
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2021, 04:54:31 PM »
Does anyone know of any scientific studies about the effect of training sports like agility on young dogs?  I have looked and have not found anything.  I haven't even found anything about dogs starting trialing in agility at 15 months in AKC causing dogs to suffer injuries due to their trialing at that younger age.

The fact of the matter is that some dogs are physically and mentally ready to trial at a younger age than other dogs.  And for sure training methods, handling and other factors have a big impact on the effect that working our dogs at a younger age. I think it would be really helpful to everyone to see more scientific studies about what effect training, handling, and trialing have on our dogs.
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Amy McGovern

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Re: intro for younger dogs
« Reply #25 on: January 02, 2021, 06:48:34 PM »
I'm curious - is there ever any chance that younger dogs (say 15 months, same age as AKC lets dogs start) could compete in intro?  There was a beginner class that was 15 months for awhile but it never really caught on.  I totally see keeping the younger dogs away from certain obstacles until they are older (this is why I'm just starting weave pole training with my 15 month old!) but intro seems perfect and it could even be further limited to flat stuff only (e.g. hoopers, barrelers, tunnelers, jumpers at low height, etc).  I know this won't matter to my current 15 month old since she will be over 18 months before a rule change could take effect but I just wonder in general?

I'm curious too! But, I'm curious about reasons why you would like a 15 month (or even younger) old pup to compete in intro?

Thanks in advance,
Kyle

For me personally:  Ring time.  She's ready to experience new things and I'd love to get her confidence up in the ring.  Plus we are already at shows with her older sisters and it would give her something to *do* at the shows. 

For NADAC as a whole:  I think letting pups start at 15 months would help gain some who go over to AKC for ring time and just never come back.  Sure it doesn't affect the die-hard NADAC crew (of which I am part of at this point, been doing it for 18 years!) but we need to keep growing our sport.
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dogrsqr

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Re: intro for younger dogs
« Reply #26 on: January 02, 2021, 07:27:16 PM »
I don't know of any scientific studies on the subject so I just follow the advice of our sports medicine/rehab vet.  She is conservative and I'm never really in a hurry to start anyway.  We don't really have fun runs anymore but most training facilities in our area have some sort of open ring time so you can get your dog working in other places and around other dogs.

We have also had younger dogs that were dragged along to trials before they could participate but have always found things to keep them busy.  Walks, socialization, crate behavior, working on attention etc outside the ring.  We are always grateful to have children around to socialize with our dogs.  It even helped with an older dog when she suddenly became afraid of kids.

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paschi22

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Re: intro for younger dogs
« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2021, 06:35:04 AM »
Echoing a bit of what Karissa posted and adding that there have been a lot of feeds over the past couple of years also expressing concern about AKC allowing dogs to compete at 15 months because of what that means on the front end of how much and what kind of training is happening with dogs leading up to competing at 15 months. I do understand wanting ring experience and know that I am fortunate to have the ability to get my dogs into different rings through privates, classes and seminars so they get the venue experience. But I got a sense from some of those there was some small pressure on AKC to change.

I am of the mind that I prefer NADAC's approach to not allowing dogs younger than 18 months to compete. Now, having run in AKC and UKI (initially to give my dog different competition venue, especially large, multi-ring experience) I often mention to people why don't you try NADAC with your young dog who maybe doesn't have good weaves, or you want contact practice, etc. It doesn't have to be your venue of choice but the cost is reasonable, it is actual competition not a run through where the vibe is different for handler and dog. So maybe just trying other venues for the exposure. I just see for so many people that they will just want to rush into competition before the team is ready. . .it is human nature an people are just itching to get in the ring. I know I felt that with Tripp. Storm is a COVID pup who has lost time in training but I know that I want to be solid in class before he ever sees the competition ring.

Just gathering a group to do a VT event within COVID guidelines can simulate a trial and then let the young ones run. We do this in more urban areas because our situation is not having a yard to train, let alone set a course of any size. SO meeting up with a couple people to set and run a course gives options.

Or maybe some clubs can choose to do an 'after the trial is over' fun run course (or 2) for young dogs. I know of USDAA clubs the set a tunnelers course as a fun-run fund raiser.

But again, I know I have a lot more access to things (even if it is 1-2 hours from me) than many on the list.
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