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  Training & Education News

Education, education, education...

Got an agility problem? Don't waste your time complaining. Do something about it. Need more practice on the contacts or weaves? Want to try out new ideas? Now you can help yourself. Book a workshop or a private lesson. Join an additional club or training group in your area. There are plenty of instructors and clubs around who can help you with your problems.

Got training news? Then email a paragraph or two about your event to Agilitynet. If you have openings at your club for new members, go to Training Places. You can also publicise your training day, workshop or seminar by putting its details on the E-vents page. Just complete the on-line entry form on the page.


 2017

FORWARD Symposium DVD Released

The FORWARD Symposium 2016 Highlights DVD is now on sale.

This is the only opportunity to keep all of the valuable insights, knowledge tips and tricks in a single reference DVD from the best speakers in their field  – Dr Chris Zink, Specialist in Canine Sports Medicine from the US, Natasha Wise, top agility handler and trainer, and Professor Noel Fitzpatrick, Channel 4’s The Supervet, Managing Director of Fitzpatrick Referrals and Specialist Orthopaedic Veterinary Surgeon.  

These lecture topics and content are unique to the inaugural Symposium held on 31st January 2016, and were not repeated in 2017.

Dr Chris Zink

  • Canine Conditioning and Injury Prevention

  • Tips and Tricks for Early Identification of Injuries

Natasha Wise

  • How to Prepare for Top Competition and Keep Injury Free

  • Bringing Your Dog Back to Work/Agility Following Injury

Professor Noel Fitzpatrick

  • Is it an injury or was it going to happen anyway? Pelvic limb – Lumbosacral, Hip, Stifle & Hock

  • Is it an injury or was it going to happen anyway Thoracic limb – Cervical, Shoulder, Elbow & Carpus

The DVD costs £30, including VAT and P+P. If anyone wishes to purchase it, please email SarahC@fitzpatrickreferals.co.uk.



(Dr Chris Zink, Professor Noel Fitzpatrick, Nicola Way, Fiona Doubleday and Professor Nick Bacon at the FORWARD Symposium 2017.)

Integrity and transparency at the core of the FORWARD Symposium 2017

On Sunday, 5th February 2017, the FORWARD Symposium brought together over 250 delegates and 6 thought-leaders in the veterinary profession for one unique learning event in the agility, working and recreational dog calendar.

Dr Chris Zink and Professor Noel Fitzpatrick presented to a community of veterinary professionals, dog trainers and handlers alike at the symposium held at Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey. Other speakers included Metropolitan Police Dog Instructor PC Ray Haggett, Founder of Vancouver Animal Massage Nicola Way, Clinical Director of Fitzpatrick Referrals Oncology & Soft Tissue Professor Nick Bacon, and also Fitzpatrick Referrals Rehabilitation Team Leader Fiona Doubleday who attended with her team of physiotherapists and hydrotherapists.

The speakers covered a range of topics from common sports injuries, the diagnosis and treatment of musculo-skeletal conditions, massage and cancer in dogs to help delegates manage, treat and prevent injuries in agility, working and performance dogs. Dr Chris Zink also shared her key techniques to train your dog ready to compete again following injury. A significant theme throughout the FORWARD Symposium was Integrity and Transparency.

Speaking after the event, Professor Noel Fitzpatrick said: 'I can tell you from my own experience that every inch of your body is connected intrinsically, and a big theme for today was the holistic consideration of whole body dynamics and not just treating a symptom of injury in isolation. It's about conditioning and training wisely and trying to prevent injury.

Further to this a significant theme of the day is integrity and transparency. I strongly believe that it is the absolute right of the client to ask difficult questions - including what kind of scanner technology or surgery they are paying money for and especially in this new era of regenerative medicine, what kind of cell- or plasma-based product they are using. It should very much be about evidence, efficacy and ethics. I vehemently believe that we owe it to all of the families that love their dog to spend their money and their time wisely and to be abundantly transparent what, how and when we intervene and importantly to work as a team with regenerative medicine, conventional medicine, surgery and rehabilitation to always do the right thing for our canine partners. They give us so much as companions and friends, it's only right and proper that we do our absolute best for them.'

For more information about the FORWARD Symposium, please visit www.facebook.com/fitzforward or www.fitzpatrickreferrals.co.uk/forward.
A highlights DVD of the inaugural FORWARD Symposium in 2016 is now available to purchase. Please contact Sarah on SarahC@fitzpatrickreferrals.co.uk.
To register your interest for the 2018 FORWARD Symposium, please visit www.fitzpatrickreferrals.co.uk/forward-symposium-2018/.
For more information about FORWARD, please visit the Facebook page.

To find out more on the Fitzpatrick Referrals rehabilitation service, please visit: www.fitzpatrickreferrals.co.uk/services/rehabilitation/.
Contact: Ali, Lally or Sarah at Fitzpatrick Referrals for interview requests, further info and images.
E: AliL@fitzpatrickreferrals.co.uk | LallyB@fitzpatrickreferrals.co.uk | SarahC@fitzpatrickreferrals.co.uk |
Tel: 01483 423761


 2016


FORWARD Symposium Announces Biggest Speaker Line-up Yet for 2017

Following the sell-out inaugural conference in 2016, the FORWARD Symposium is back on Sunday, 5th February 2017 with a new line-up of speakers, fresh topics and a larger venue of Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey.

This unique one-day event will guide you on the best techniques to manage, treat and prevent injuries in agility, working and recreational dogs. The 2017 speaker line-up includes:

  • Dr. Chris Zink, Consultant on canine sports medicine
  • Professor Noel Fitzpatrick, Managing Director at Fitzpatrick Referrals
  • PC Ray Haggett, Dog trainer and instructor at the Metropolitan Police
  • Professor Nick Bacon, Clinical Director of Oncology & Soft Tissue at Fitzpatrick Referrals
  • Nicola Way, Founder of Vancouver Animal Massage
  • Fiona Doubleday, Rehabilitation Team Leader at Fitzpatrick Referrals

The speakers will share their world-class knowledge and advice on achieving and maintaining your dog’s peak fitness, and most importantly the best options for treatment and rehabilitation to bring your dog back to top condition. Q&A sessions throughout the conference will provide you with the opportunity to ask the speakers questions you have always wanted answered. A full conference programme will be released very soon.

Professor Noel Fitzpatrick, Managing Director of Fitzpatrick Referrals and Founder of the FORWARD Symposium, said: 'I am delighted to be holding the 2nd FORWARD Symposium that will advise handlers and veterinary rehabilitation professionals the best techniques in treating and preventing injuries. Understanding how to bring your agility, working or even recreational dog back to top condition after an injury is so important, and this unique event promises to do just that with the world-class expertise we have on our 2017 line-up of speakers. This year, we have gone bigger and better covering a wider scope of knowledge in order to tell you everything you need to know about achieving and maintaining your dog’s peak fitness. It promises to be a truly great conference. I look forward to seeing you there!'

The FORWARD Symposium is an all-day session from 9am – 5.15pm at Epsom Downs Racecourse, Surrey. Tickets are £115-£125 and include non-alcoholic refreshments, lunch and VAT. It accounts for 8 CPD hours and CPD certificates will be issued following the event.

Tickets for the FORWARD Symposium are available now on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/forward-symposium-2017-tickets-28335671757?utm_term=eventurl_text

A video for the 2nd FORWARD Symposium is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SO-z8Ijxr4

For updates on the FORWARD Symposium, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/fitzforward


Club Opportunity in London Area

Established agility club based in East London has an opportunity for another agility club.  Would you be interested in taking over the venue, and offering training on a Monday night to an existing group of agility handlers.  The venue is equipped with agility equipment, and the venue has toilets and an exercise area and dog waste disposal arrangements.

If you are interested in expanding your club, please contact cluckett@hotmail.co.uk so we can arrange a meeting to discuss further.



Help Develop New Instructor Training Course

Having been training and competing with my dogs in agility for over a decade now, I’m fascinated at how things have changed and evolved in what is a relatively short period of time.

I can recall doing full-height equipment with my first dogs during the first couple of months of their training, with far less than half the confidence and enthusiasm my current young dogs do when they start obstacle training today. It’s now obvious to me that my first dogs were over-whelmed by what was being asked of them, and that there are better and more efficient ways of teaching dogs the agility equipment. Plus it can be a lot more fun, too!

For me the best agility instructors are those who are capable of breaking down the training into manageable chunks for both dogs and handlers. They also have keen observation and communication skills when it comes to advising on handlers who are running agility sequences. Great agility instructors are people who are open-minded and always looking to learn more about our sport. Yes some are great competitors too, but competitive ability isn’t always an indicator of a good teacher.

Good teachers have good planning skills. Instructors need to come up with creative and inspiring lesson plans that develop the partnerships that they teach. They need to keep things fresh and interesting to keep people’s attention and enjoyment levels high. They need to be flexible about the methods that they use in order that it best suits the dog and handler combination they’re presented with. Agility handlers can be both young and young-at-heart, and everything in between! One size truly does not fit all.

Positive reinforcement isn't just for the dogs! Instructors who mark progress with surprise rewards or certificates along the way, build loyal clients who want to stay within their training community. And it's cheaper - and arguably more rewarding - to look after existing clients than it is to constantly be advertising for new ones!

Whilst there is a range of training options for training your own dog in agility across the UK and online, there are few really in-depth agility instructor-training courses to support people who wish to teach. This is what I hope to change through my research, and I’d love your help! Please click on this link to take a short survey – it should only take you a couple of minutes to complete. And you could win £25.00 worth of Amazon vouchers for your trouble! https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/DFWD5TZ

And if you’d be interested in the instructor training I’m developing as a result of this research, please visit my website and sign up to the mailing list to be kept informed: http://agilityinstructor.co.uk/


Agility Training Day for Young Handlers in SW

Young dog owners in Devon are invited to boost their canine training skills and try out agility activities by attending a fun training day organised by the Young Kennel Club (YKC) in Okehampton.

The Young Kennel Club Dog Agility Training Day will take place at Devon Dog's fantastic training grounds on Sunday, 17th April 2016. The day is open to all YKC members aged 6-24 years, whether they have experience in dog agility or are complete beginners to the competition.

The day will offer members access to agility training from top agility handler, Neil Ellis. Neil has been competing in agility for the past thirteen years and has come through the ranks of the YKC, competing in the junior finals at the Kennel Club International Agility Festival on numerous occasions, as well as competing in the YKC events at Crufts for the past seven years. Neil has represented Agility Team GB at the European Championships twice, made up an Agility Champion and won a number of senior titles over the past few years.

There are two sessions available: the first session in the morning is for beginners who have either just started agility or have never tried it, and the second session in the afternoon is for members who already compete in agility to improve their skills.

Jane Fullbrook, YKC Events Co-Ordinator said: 'We’re delighted to announce the Okehampton Dog Agility Training day at the Devon Dogs facility. It’s perfect for any young person who has a love of dogs and agility. We’re happy to cater to all levels, whether you’ve never tried agility before or whether you want to hone your skills with your canine friend. Our training days are always such fun and lasting friendships are often formed along the way - we hope that Okehampton will follow in previous events’ footsteps.'

The Young Kennel Club is the Kennel Club’s group for young dog lovers aged from 6-24 and members can take part in dedicated events and activities that educate young people in the care and training of dogs in a fun and friendly environment.

To find out more about the Okehampton Dog Agility Training day, please contact the YKC team: YKC@thekennelclub.org.uk. Each session costs £25, and will last 3 hours with 10 minute breaks every hour. Members under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, but they will attend free of charge.

To apply to attend the training day, please fill out the online form on the website: http://www.ykc.org.uk/content/get-involved/young-kennel-club-events-calendar/devon-dogs-further-info/.



FORWARD Symposium Success

On Sunday, 31st January, the Inaugural FORWARD Symposium brought together three world leaders in agility, working and performance dogs at an innovative event unique to the working dog calendar. Set in the grounds of Wildwood Golf and Country Club in Surrey, Dr. Chris Zink, Natasha Wise and Professor Noel Fitzpatrick presented to over 200 delegates.

The speakers provided world-class expertise covering high end, specialist veterinary medicine and surgery and the rehabilitation necessary to bring your dog back to competition condition.  In addition, there was top level advice on optimal training and preparation of your competition agility and working dog. Delegates agreed this was the most exciting event of its kind ever held in the UK.

Delegates were also delighted to meet the Fitzpatrick Referrals rehabilitation team who took time out of their busy schedules to join the FORWARD Symposium. Their ACPAT Chartered Physiotherapists and ABC Level 3 Hydrotherapists were in attendance to introduce the new FORWARD initiative, as well as discussing how fundamental a tailor-made rehabilitation programme is in your dog’s recovery.

The state-of-the-art rehabilitation centre is based at the Fitzpatrick Referrals hospital in Eashing, Surrey and offers the most advanced facilities in manual techniques, muscle stimulation, laser and shockwave, and rehabilitation exercise therapy. In addition, the team are also fortunate to offer a large hydrotherapy pool and an underwater treadmill beneficial for increasing flexibility, strength, core stability and cardiovascular fitness.

A DVD of highlights from the FORWARD Symposium will soon be available to purchase. Please contact Sarah for more information: SarahC@fitzpatrickreferrals.co.uk

Attendee feedback from the FORWARD Symposium:-

  • 'Thank you for a fantastic day.  It was amazing to see and listen to three such talented people.'
     

  • 'What a superb day I had. Natasha Wise, Dr. Chris Zink and Professor Noel Fitzpatrick were absolutely brilliant.'
     

  • 'Thoroughly enjoyed the day and all the lectures and speakers were excellent!'
     

  • 'What an amazing day. Truly inspirational. My brain hasn’t stopped buzzing and I want more!'


 2015

Top Speakers at Inaugural FORWARD Symposium

On Sunday, 31st January 2016, the inaugural FORWARD Symposium at the Wildwood Golf & Country Club in Alfold, Surrey will explore in detail the most common musculoskeletal conditions that affect agility, working and performance dogs. This unique one day event will be headed by three world leaders who will share knowledge built up over twenty years: Dr Christine Zink, Natasha Wise and Professor Noel Fitzpatrick.

The speakers will cover key areas including rehabilitation, veterinary medicine and surgery for the training and preparation for competition, and will also advise on the best options for treatment and rehabilitation following injury to bring your dog back to competition condition. It will be a landmark occasion in the working dog calendar and promises to be the most innovative and exciting event of its kind ever held in the UK.

Professor Noel Fitzpatrick, Managing Director of Fitzpatrick Referrals said, 'Understanding how to bring your dog back to competition level even after an injury is so important.  I am delighted to be a part of this unique event that will also advise handlers the best techniques in treating and preventing injuries. The inaugural FORWARD Symposium will provide world-class expertise and will tell you everything you need to know about achieving and maintaining the peak fitness of your dog. It promises to be a really great day and a key date in the calendar!'

About the speakers...

Dr Christine Zink is a consultant on canine sport medicine who lectures all over the world, and has dedicated her life to understanding the conditioning and rehabilitation of performance dogs.

She is an award winning author of several books on conditioning, training and rehabilitation, as well as being a successful handler and competitor in her own right with many successes in agility and other sports with her own dogs. She is amongst the most qualified individuals in the world with regard to conditioning and rehabilitation.

Natasha Wise is a triple World Champion, winning gold in the individual FCI Agility World Championships. She has been competing in agility for 25 years and has multiple dogs who have won at both Crufts and Olympia.

Natasha has an MSc in Sport Performance and uses a Sport Science approach with her training and competition to sustain longevity and injury prevention in her canine athletes. Her large Agility Champion Maddie won her final ticket at 11.5 years old, and Dizzy at 9.5 years old has just produced some of her fastest ground speeds at this year’s World Championships.

 She and her dog Dizzy are two of the world’s leading agility stars.

Prof. Noel Fitzpatrick has treated working dogs all of his career and is one of the leading orthopaedic and neuro-surgical specialists in the UK.

He is also the Principle of the Fitzpatrick Referrals Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Facility and he is the only RCVS approved orthopaedic specialist who is also boarded by examination with the American College of Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Noel is Managing Director of Fitzpatrick Referrals who are gaining a rapidly growing reputation among the working dog community for their treatment and rehabilitation back to competition of many successful dogs.

The FORWARD Symposium is an all-day session from 10am – 5pm. Tickets are £70 which includes non-alcoholic refreshments, a light lunch and VAT. Tickets for the inaugural FORWARD Symposium are now on sale here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-inaugural-forward-symposium-tickets-19163534648. For more information, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/fitzforward



URGENT

Agility Venue Needed Near Fleet

Paws for Success and KATS Agility are looking for a new dog training place as their current venue is undergoing building development. This is urgent as they have been given notice.

All types of venues will be considered , preferably within 10 miles or as near as possible to Fleet, Hampshire.

  • Paddocks

  • Riding schools

  • Old barns

  • Fields

  • Even an industrial unit

They will even willing to consider temporary venues to last until January 2016.

References can be provided.

If you might be interested / have any suggestions, please contact Lucy King on members@katsdogagility.co.uk or ring m. 07809 375885. Web site: www.katsdogagility.co.uk


Watford AC Needs a New Home

Watford Agility Club needs a new training venue following the announcement by Patchetts that they are closing at the end of July. They are looking for an indoor or outside venue in the North Watford/ Hemel Hempstead / St Albans area where they would be able to park a container, 20 X 8 used to hold equipment with space for parking for club members.

Chantal Fisher said. 'We are very well trained and good at clearing up after ourselves, and the dogs aren't bad either!! If you know of anywhere please can you contact me or Katie Alcock.'



To Run or Not to Run

Dawn Weaver's long-awaited follow up to Knowledge Equals Speed! will be available at the end of June. To Run or Not to Run reveals everything you need to know about contacts!  Twenty+ years of knowledge is incorporated in the 339 pages of this book, which covers both stopped and running contacts on every contact obstacle.

Pre-order your copy now. Available from http://newsite.dawnweaveragility.com/catalog/books-uk

Book price: £39.00. No postage if picked up at a FAB show.


Chance Dog Training Centre Opens in Daventry

It had always been Deena Freeman's dream to set up a training centre but, when she first looked at the costs involved, she thought it was way out of her league.  Last October, however, she took another look at the unit, sat down and worked out costs and thought 'Yes, I can do it' so she set the wheels in motion. .

Firstly she had to apply for Change of Use with the Planning Department as it was currently used as an Industrial Warehouse.  This was a long winded process taking some weeks but we finally got the change of use granted in January.  I had already pre-booked the astro turf flooring which was the Discover Dogs carpet.  I then sourced a suitable shock pad underlay.  The lease was signed on the 15th January and the flooring was laid on the weekend of the 17/18th. 

Agility classes started on the 20th January.  Since that date the Centre has been very busy with normal agility classes, handlers booking the unit for preparation for Crufts, obedience and clicker training classes. 

All this was made possible by the support I have received from my club Chance Agility Training.  Without them I would not have been able to have followed my dream. 

Chance Dog Training Centre is available to hire for agility / obedience / heelwork to music etc.  

www.chancedogtrainingcentre.co.uk


Jump to It at Greg Derrett's Seminars!

Greg Derrett, one of the world’s finest agility coaches is coming to East Anglia for a pair of New Year seminars.

Greg Derrett has won every major agility title in the country, some of them several times over. Now he’s booked to conduct four workshops over two days in Cambridgeshire in January. Trainers Estelle Lankester of Canine Sports and Jayne Widdess of DBDT have secured Greg's services on 6th and 7th January for a quartet of Master Classes, aimed at all those who want to improve their dog's performance.

The seminars and training will be held at Stuntney near Ely. On 6 January Greg will conduct seminars covering Reinforcement and Contacts and the following day he will hold practical workshops tackling Serpentines and Threadles.

Estelle said: 'Greg has won all sorts of awards over many years, including World Championships and UK national titles. He’s a really inspirational instructor who works all over the world – we’re really lucky to get him and the seminars are filling up fast.’

Greg Derrett began competing in 1990 and by 1991 had won Junior handler of the year in Great Britain with his first dog Hettie, a Golden Retriever X Border Collie. Throughout the 1990s Greg won Great Britain’s Handler of the Year as well as winning Great Britain’s Dog of the Year with his Border Collie, Jay. Jay was highly successful and won every major tournament in Great Britain at least once, and most of them twice including the Agility Stakes at Olympia. A succession of other great dogs harvested more prizes and he continues to compete and triumph at the highest levels today.

Complementing Greg's success in the agility ring, he completed an Advanced Studies Diploma in Animal Behaviour. He has become widely popular as a seminar presenter and has travelled all over the world from New Zealand and Australia, throughout Europe, Japan and all of North America.

Seminar venue: The Social Club, Stuntney, Nr Ely, Cambridgeshire CB7

Handling workshops venue: The Old Shire Barn, Stuntney, Nr Ely, Cambridgeshire CB7

Full directions will be sent by email upon booking Please email Estelle at estelle@k9-sports.co.uk  or or Jayne at jayneywid@gmail.com  for more information and booking forms.


 2014


Queuing with Your Dog at Agility Events

If you have an opinion on the way dogs are queued at agility events, then here is your chance to have your say. Please can you spare a few minutes to help us with our research and make agility fun for everyone, especially for OUR dogs. If we don't know your thoughts we can't help.

By now some of you will be vrey much aware of the name Myerscough College and also perhaps the work they have been doing for the past four years, which is measuring the heart rate and monitoring the behaviour of agility dogs at numerous shows across the North of England.

Work is progressing very well, but a vital part of this research requires input from you. Three years ago over 1000 of you filled in a questionnaire for Stephanie Fleig who, at that time was studying for her Honours Degree. That was a huge number of responses, so thank you to everyone who responded.

Now Stef is hoping that you can do the same for her with her new survey...this time for her Ph.D. It is just a short multi-choice questionnaire which should take about 4-5 minutes of your time. Acquiring your thoughts and opinions is a vital part of Stephanie's work which is to see if her research can help improve any aspects of agility.

Stef already has had 650 responses from a posting on Agiitynet FB but she is hoping to beat the 1000 mark to make the research all the better. When you have a spare moment, please click on the link below and complete the survey. help out with this ground-breaking piece of research.

Click here to do the survey. https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/STQSRXK


KC Canine Sports Seminar Returns

Looking for the winning edge? The Kennel Club Canine Sports Science Seminar will be returning this November, further to the success of the previous seminars held regularly since 2007.

The 2014 seminar is scheduled to take place on Saturday 8th November at the Kennel Club Building in Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire.  Led by professionals from the world of canine health, treatment, training and nutrition, the Canine Sports Science Seminar aims to help handlers, instructors and trainers get the best performance from their dogs, with an emphasis on avoiding injuries and taking a holistic approach to the care of canine athletes.

Mark Laker, Agility Team GB Manager, has attended the seminars previously and commented: 'As manager of Agility Team GB, I have seen an incredible shift in the handlers’ awareness and realisation of the difference that an understanding of canine sports science can make in their canine athletes’ overall health and wellbeing, and agility performance. A sound understanding of the science behind this passion will ensure agility remains fun for both dog and handler.'

The seminars are geared towards all working dog activities, from agility to working trials, obedience to heelwork to music, field trials to flyball.  This year the seminar is focusing on the ‘Health and Welfare of the Canine Athlete’ and will feature the following sessions:

  • Nutrition in the Canine Athlete – Marge Chandler
  • First Aid in the Canine Athlete – Emma Fretwell
  • Personality Profiling – Samantha Bremner-Harrison
  • The Impact of Training the Canine Athlete – Lez Graham

Each delegate will have the opportunity to attend all of the above sessions. Marge Chandler will be the first speaker, and all delegates will attend her session together. The last three presentations will take place after lunch and will be conducted in smaller break out groups, with delegates rotating between them. The day will be concluded with everyone coming back together for an open discussion, which will allow attendees to ask the speakers any questions that they may have.

Delegates are encouraged to book early, with an early bird discount price of £80, including lunch and refreshments, available if booked by 31st August. There are discounts available for Kennel Club Members and students studying a relevant subject.

To find out more information and to download the application form, visit: www.thekennelclub.org.uk/activities/canine-sports-science-seminar/.

Please note that pre-registration for this seminar is essential as there will be no tickets available on the day and applications must be received by Friday, 3 October.


Therapeutic Agility (TAg) for Nervous, Distracted or Reactive Dogs

Dog Learning Zone (DLZ), a professional dog training, behaviour and therapeutic care centre on the Norfolk/Suffolk border, is planning to hold a series of workshops aimed at introducing nervous, reactive or just highly distracted dogs to agility.  The idea is partly to use the agility as a remedial tool to overcome behaviour issues and partly to use a specialised set-up to help dogs that are easily distracted (e.g. by movement) to focus on their agility and their handler.

It is a frustrating fact that many of the dogs that really need agility as a positive outlet for their drive and attitude are unable to be part of the busy, often noisy, environment of a group class.  Agility is a great way either to increase the confidence of a nervous dog or to divert the high work drive of a serial chaser/herder into a harmless channel but, so often, these dogs are never given the opportunity to learn.  They are so stressed by the activity surrounding them in a class that they cannot concentrate. The negative aspects of the environment can thus outweigh the positive effects of the activity. They become disruptive and upset the other dogs and handlers in the group.

With these factors in mind, DLZ plans to hold a series of one day workshops. The number of dogs and handlers taking part in each workshop will be small with success relying mainly on controlling the environment to give the dogs a chance to learn and enjoy themselves. There will never be more than one dog off-lead and/or working in the agility area at a time. Dogs and handlers will be in an indoor arena but out of sight of the agility activity and of one another. As the workshops progress, low level distractions will be gradually introduced at a distance from the agility area and then slowly brought closer, all the while ensuring that the dog working on the equipment can still concentrate on the task in hand and shows no signs of stress.

The agility will form an integral part of an overall behaviour improvement programme for the dogs in the workshop. Other aspects of the programme will include Tellington TTouch bodywork and groundwork to help with focus and relaxation and other proven behaviour modification techniques.

DLZ is the brainchild of Elaine Brown who is a training instructor and behaviour practitioner and has a pool of experienced people with the joint expertise to run this programme – an Agility Club Approved Instructor, a second qualified behaviourist and a certified Tellington TTouch practitioner.

TAg Workshops
DLZ have been running specialist behaviour classes to help reactive dogs since 2009. Once these dogs have been through the Reactive Dog Group programme, their owners long to have something else to do. Agility would be an ideal activity for them. These dogs desperately need an opportunity to use their energy and brains but they would never cope in a normal agility class. This knowledge, coupled with the experience of DLZ's agility instructor Sue Smith, led to the birth of the TAg workshop programme. Sue had worried over the years for the dogs she couldn’t accommodate in DLZ’s ‘normal’ agility classes because the environment was causing their behaviour to worsen rather than improve.

A precedent has been set in the USA where Teamworks Dog Training TM have been successfully running ‘Therapeutic Agility’ classes since 2008. DLZ hope to follow their example but the continuation of this new venture depends on the interest received.  DLZ very much hopes that the workshops will enable all dogs to reach their full potential and allow some to go on to take part in 'normal' agility classes and some just to have fun and learn to enjoy agility whilst building a better partnership with their owners.

For further information please go to DLZs websites at:  www.reactivedog.co.uk and www.doglearningzone.co.uk or email Sue Smith: tagwithsue@aol.com


pcode
National Code for Agility Dog Owners

The British Institute of Pet Dog Trainers (BIPDT) has over the last year been working on the development of an agility test for dog owners whether participating for fun and fitness or competition.  The purpose is to give encouragement and focus to agility training for all shapes and sizes of dog from small through to giant, with owner and dog gaining a certificate for each level of achievement.

There are four levels of achievement which are to be taken in order, starting with Groundwork and followed by Bronze, Silver and Gold and made up of Practical Control and Examination. Dogs are assessed on a Pass or Not Ready. Dogs must pass each of the exercises to gain a certificate although course faults will not necessarily result in a Not Ready result and are as follows:-

  • Groundwork = 0

  •  Bronze = 10

  • Silver = 10

  • Gold = 10

Basic Practical Code
The National Code Agility is not a competition. It is to demonstrate that the handler/owner has the ability to control their dog whilst negotiating various agility obstacles.  Assessment is based on the dog's response to their owner – the dog is under control and not a nuisance to others whilst on and around an agility environment.

In all exercises, uncontrolled jumping-up, lack of response or the use of food will be a failure. Handlers can use Voice commands, encouragement and signals. Contact equipment and the table may be used at training heights/widths, but not garden equipment. Jumps heights can be reduced for individual dogs by one level (against their height level category), if they are aged seven years and over or weigh three times their height or more.

Examination
This is a practical test demonstrating that the dog can be examined and showing no undue resentment prior to training taking place.  The examination should be sufficient to pick up any issues that may affect the dog's ability to run the course.

Groundwork Certificate
6 Months

A. PRACTICAL CONTROL

1.   Vehicle safety – Collar and lead put on before getting out, waits, gets out on command.  Getting into vehicle dog waits quietly until handler indicates to get in, lead taken off when safely in vehicle.

2.   Control around people and dogs – dog/ handler to be stood or sat close to others – to show no more than a casual interest with no whining/barking/pulling on lead etc.

3.  Warm up – The dog is released to play min. 2 mins. Handler can throw a toy, dog then called to hand, put back on lead ready for the next exercise.

4.  Wait – Dog off lead in any position, handler to walk around dog and return to side.  Dog to remain in position until released by handler.

5.  Control off lead - Change of direction and halt/s (position handler’s choice).  Dogs to be worked on both sides.  Markers and poles may be used.

 6.  Pipe Tunnel – Handler not to move forward of entrance until dog has entered.

7Channel Weaves – Toy or other marker may be used at the end of the weaves, maximum of 7 to be used.  Distance between weaves should be adjusted to accommodate different breeds of dog. 

8. Contact Points – Dog to touch a contact point and remain until released.

B. EXAMINATION / GROOMING

To test the handler’s knowledge the Examiner will discuss various aspects of dog care with them.

  1. Coat & Skin – Handler should feel all over dog checking for matts or skin blemishes before grooming.

  2. Head – Eyes, Nose, Ears – Handler to be able to examine and clean if required.

  3. Feet & Nails – Front and Rear – Dogs can be very sensitive about having their feet touched handler to show care..

  4. Rear End – Under Tail Area

 

 

Bronze Certificate
12 months

A.      PRACTICAL CONTROL

1.   Vehicle safety – Collar and lead put on before getting out, waits, gets out on command.  Getting into vehicle dog waits quietly until handler indicates to get in, lead taken off when safely in vehicle.

2.   Control around people and dogs – dog/ handler to be stood or sat close to others, waiting their turn to run and to show no more than a casual interest with no whining/barking/pulling on lead etc.

3.  Warm up – The dog is released to warm up min. 4 mins. Handler can use a toy and markers and poles.

4.  Wait – Dog off lead in any position, handler to walk around one jump and return to dog’s side.

5.  Control off lead - Handler is not to impede the dog working the course.

6.  Pipe Tunnel – tunnel to be in a ‘U’ shape.

 7Channel/Guide Weaves – Toy or other marker may be used at the end of the weaves, full set to be used.  Distance between weaves may be adjusted to accommodate different breeds of dog.

8.  Control over jumps – Minimum of 5, maximum of 7 jumps at no higher than medium - 5 of which should be in a straight line.

9. Contacts Dog to negotiating either the A frame or dog walk.

10. Tyre - Can be included in the jump numbers for the test but must be in excess of the 5th jump.

B. EXAMINATION

To test the handler’s knowledge the Examiner will discuss various aspects of care with them.    Handler should fully examine the dog before working.

  1. Coat & Skin

  2. Head – Eyes, Nose, Ears

  3. Feet & Nails – Front and Rear

  4. Rear End – Under Tail Area

Silver Certificate
18 months

A.  PRACTICAL CONTROL

1Vehicle safety

2.  Control around people and dogs

3.  Warm up

4.  Walk the Course – Dog is to be tethered whilst the handler examines and walks the course.

5.  Wait – Dog off lead in any position. Dog to remain in position until released by handler.

6.  Control off lead - Handler is not to impede the dog working the course.

7.  Pipe Tunnel – Can include left or right hand entrance.

8.  Weaves (straight line) – Toy or other marker may be used at the end of the weaves, maximum of 7 to be used. Distance between weaves may be adjusted to accommodate different breeds.

 9.  Instant Down – Dog to enter pause box/table and remain in the down for 5 seconds. Examiner is looking for a quick response, stopping when commanded and remaining still.

10.  Jumps - A series of no less than 10 jumps which may include the tyre, including change of direction.  Jumps should not exceed medium height for dogs measured as large.

11. Contacts - Dog to negotiate see saw plus either A frame or dog walk.

B. EXAMINATION

  1. Coat & Skin

  2. Head – Eyes, Nose, Ears

  3. Feet & Nails – Front and Rear, Fur Between Pads

  4. Rear & Under Tail

  5. Tummy Area & Genitals

 

 

Gold Certiccate
24 months

A. PRACTICAL CONTROL

1.  Vehicle safety

2.  Control around people and dogs

3.  Warm up

4.  Walk the Course

5.  Wait – Dog off lead in any position. Dog to remain in position until released by handler.

6. Control off lead. Handler is not to impede the dog working the course.

7. Pipe Tunnel

8. Weaves – Full set of 12. Distance between weaves may be adjusted to accommodate different breeds. 

9.  Instant Down – Dog to enter pause box/table and remain in the down for 5 seconds.

10.  Jumps - A series of no less than 15 jumps which should include the tyre and changes of direction. Jumps to be at standard heights.

11. Contacts - Dog to negotiate a full set of contacts.

B. EXAMINATION

  1. Coat & Skin

  2. Head – Eyes, Nose, Ears

  3. Feet & Nails – Front and Rear, Fur Between Pads

  4. Rear & Under Tail

  5. Tummy Area & Genitals

NB:  The BIPDT does not endorse the tying up and leaving a dog as a general practice.  The test is to determine if the dog can be left alone (without causing a stressful reaction) whilst the handler walks the course.

When dogs are being tested off lead every effort must be taken that the area is safe.

For further information please go to www.bipdt.org.uk


instructors courses
BIPDT Residential Dog Training Instructors Course

Want to improve your instructional techniques or add to your knowledge? Have you achieved an academic qualification but need to attend a practical Course? The BIPDT holds a residential week-long dog training instructor's course twice a year, covering the disciplines of Obedience, Working Trials, Agility and Field Trials. There are four grades of excellence offered in each of the disciplines.

The courses are held at the excellent venue of Harper Adams University, Newport, Shropshire where you reside in student accommodation for the week. When you retire for the evening dogs are allowed in your room, although they should be fed outside. The course includes three great meals a day plus and tea/coffee break in the morning and then again in the afternoon. There is a small shop on site which should be able to provide anything that you have left at home or forgotten or alternatively you can make you way into the nearby town of Newport.

As this course is about improving your instructor techniques, you will learn a variety of methods from students taking other disciplines i.e., Field and Working Trials dogs are also required to jump although it may be a ditch or a fence rather than a more formal jump.

During the week all of the dog and handlers on the course will have the opportunity to have a go on agility irrespective of the discipline, and many enjoy it so much that they go away to look for an agility club to join. We like to give our agility students the opportunity to help run these sessions along with one of the course instructors.

This is a certificated course which is based on a test at the end of the week judged by external examiners.

For further information please go to www.bipdt.org.uk


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