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I'm from Saskatchewan, Canada and have two Irish Setters. Our sport is .....Agility!!!! We compete in AAC (Agility Association of Canada) and most recently attended our first CKC event.

Zena is 4 years old (5 in November) and has her ADC (Agility Dog of Canada), SGDC (Starters Games Dog of Canada) AGDC (Advanced Games Dog of Canada) MJDC (Masters Jumpers Dog of Canada) titles.

We have been competing for 2 and 1/2 years.

I've attended quite a few seminars and enjoy sharing information. We struggle with rear crosses, I seem to get my feet tangled up. Contacts are our nemesis, I can't seem to set the criteria. She's a big girl so a two on two off isn't appealing to me but a running is ending up in alot of fly offs. Anyone have any suggestions?

I've attached a couple of courses from the AAC if you're interested.

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You sure have found a lovely sport for you and your setter! ;)

I´ve done agility with my oldest IS "Ami" for 6 years and with her daughter "Nala" a bit more than 3 years.
This year we have been lazy and I think it is time for Ami to retire... We do some fast runs and fun stuff at the agility field every now and then with her but she isn`t competing anymore.

Ami was competing in the highest level (MAXI III) and Nala in the second level (MAXI II).
With Ami we never had such big problems but with Nala...oh yeah...contacts one of the biggest problem.
I used 2 on 2 off with her - it worked and was very clear for her. In 2 months she learned to take the contacts very well. But in that time we only did contacts - nothing else.

You have fun doing agility!
I enjoy agility with Megan and did a few training sessions with Milo also(but he was not brave enough for heights!!) He is a big dog and found the dog walk very difficult!! I have only competed a little with Megan as I am not very fit but we still do some training for fun! This year I was busy with a house move etc. so will get back into it next year! The few sessions I did lately with Megan were great and she was fresher than ever and remembered everything from last year(just a bit rusty on the weaves!) Hope to start my shepherd soon too!
Yes, it certainly takes time but its always interesting when people see Irish in the Agility ring here for the first time. In my area they are used to it but when we first started people were shocked. Its also amazing how you might be rusty but it doesn't take long if the basics are there. Glad you are enjoying the agility with Megan!
Megan is the only Irish Setter doing Agility in Ireland at the moment(There are some great red and whites competing also!) We managed a second place at a championship show last year in an introductory class!! She is quite fast and her favourite obstacles are the seesaw the tyre and the tunnel also the long jump!! Her least favourite is the dog walk as she had a bad fall from one last year during a training session! So we are taking that back to basics as she is rushing it too much!! As if she wants to get it over with as quickly as possible!
When she had her bad fall, did you put her back on right away? When Zena took her dive I did and went back to the basics as well but it really seemed that until I changed the name we couldn't get past it. I know it sounds strange but "walk on" was our original name and once it became "bridge" she sees it differently. I know that I really had to work on how I handled that piece of equipment. I try to be out of the picture and let her perform it independent of me......easier said than done!!

One of Zena's favorite pieces is the teeter as well!

Good for you in your placement!!!! We don't have a long jump in the AAC so interested in hearing other things that are different.

Megan went back on the dog walk after her fall(she was only badly winded) but she still goes too fast and often will not do the contact unless I get her to wait before the contact point! I need to be close to her coming down for a good contact! But she is fast generally anyway(I am not fit enough at the moment to keep up with her) But will continue to do it for fun for now and perhaps next year start competing again!! She is also a barker going around the course!! She gets so excited!
At our Regional competition this year Zena shut down on the dog walk and refused it. She would not do it under any circumstance, she had a injury from it when a cauter pin caught her leg and cut her pretty good. We have had issues since then. So after Regionals, I put the walk back down, renamed it to the "bridge" and worked confidence. She now has no problem but the contacts!!!! I'm having to manage them but it is definitely not what I want. I'm thinking that I'm going to work the running contact......bridge to target, frame to target, that way I'm not stopping her.

I've also found that some bad habits that I thought I broke have crept back in this year. I'm starting to look at her again as we're running and my body is getting closer to her again. Glad to have the videos of our runs because that has to stop.

I did not do the two on two off with my aussie. I did train with a stop at the end of the contact area once she was solid with it we went with the running contact. I never had a problem with her doing fly offs when I was trialing her. She is retired now and I hope to do agility with Scout my Irish. Hope this helps.

Kathie Jo
If what what you calls the rear crossing is the fact of being able to cross in the back of the dog, then can you try to attract the attentuion of your dog forwards by sending the ball by above the jump.
Hope it can help.

I am very curious to know the practice in your country. Apparently, you have cevents different from ours.
Thanks for the courses, we gonna try them.
Yes, that is the rear cross. My timing isn't always perfect with them so I prefer front crosses or landing side crosses. We probably have more similarities than differences, likely terminology.

In the AAC we have:

Standard courses which have all pieces of equipment to be used: a-frame, tire jump, doubles, spreads, jumps, dog walk, tunnels, chute, teeter and possibly table.

Jumpers courses have: jumps, tunnels and possibly weaves.

Gamblers: all obstacles, your choice of combinations for points, mini gambles in the opening of 40 seconds and then the main gamble which is calculated by the judge.

Snooker: can have all obstacles but must complete red jump then obstacle or sequence of choice and must complete a minimum or attempt a minimum of 3 red jumps before moving to the closing.

Steeplechase: all obstacles except the teeter or dogwalk. The a-frame or the weaves must be completed twice. This is a game of speed and accuracy and you may have faults but your time + faults must not exceed the standard course time to qualify.

We have 3 levels: Starters, Advanced and Masters and 3 levels at which you may compete, Regular, Specials or Veterans. For example: Zena is 29.5 inches so on measurement she should jump 26" jumps but due to her side and how she lands I chose to put her in specials which means that she drops down to the next jump level which is 22". I could then choose when she was 5 and had been in Specials for a year to put her in Veterans and drop another jump height which would put her at 16". Veterans is also available to dogs over the age of 7. They receive additional time to complete the course and as with specials there are no spreads or double jumps.

I won't be changing Zena from Special 22" for some time as I don't see any problems with the current height.

There are other associations in Canada but I'm not as familiar with them: NADAC, CKC and CPE and many of my friends and perhaps at sometime myself may compete in USDAA. The rules are different for each organization. I love to see the different courses from all over as they all have unique challenges.

Jo Sermon of England is scheduled to present a seminar in Saskatchewan next year so I am hopeful that I will be able to get a working spot. It would be very interesting even to audit.




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