dog activities

mandwhy

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Hello, I have recently acquired a border collie from rescue and he is simply the best thing on 4 legs. He loves people and is very happy, he is 3 or 4. He is also very good with other dogs and was tolerant of the snappy little blighter I had to look after for a couple of days last week (they are walked regularly together). He is very willing to please and knows all the main commands which be picked up very quickly. Recall need improvement but getting there!

I would just like to know what activities you do with your dogs such as agility, flyball, searching and tracking etc. I think he would like to have some other doggy pals (nice ones!) and he of course loves to use his brain.

So tell me about your activities, what your dog is like and why you like doing it, and how you got involved, oh and how much it costs would be handy!

We are looking for an obedience class but would like to do something fairly advanced and involving other dogs.
 

Annette4

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I do cannicross. At the moment I'm borrowing other club members dogs but still lots of fun none the less. Other people in the club scooter and bike with their dogs too.
 

Dizzle

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I used to do agility with my dog, cost us about £25 a month to train once a week and it was in an indoor school so great in winter when I didn’t have day light to walk after work. We weren’t very good at it but it has really helped improve his obedience and is really handy to have a dog that I can direct about (being a terrier, sometimes he even listens). I only ever did it for fun and I did find some of the people that were really into it a bit scary… you thought horsey women were crazy!
 

Mynstrel

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I have owned 3 collies and worked them in various things. They have all been massiviely different but it's been good trying to get into each one's head and finding out how they learn and the way to train to get the best out of them. My first collie was super independant and was a challenge as a first dog but he probably taught me more than a human ever could have about different ways of training and how dogs think. He's the one that got me into agility, we sort of fell into it, but without it I doubt I'd have never got any control or respect from him as up to that point I just wasn't important enough to be worth listening to. When I worked him I always got the feeling he saw me as a working partner but not a boss, but he'd have walked over hot coals for me and would have protected me from anything and even now 10 years after he's gone I still miss him hugely.

My second one is completely different and if the first one saw me as an equal he's very much my little boy, he's very very bright but not as clever as the first one so he was easier to train as I didn't feel the need to constantly outwit him. He's a bit of a speed freak though so he keeps me very much on my toes, when we're doing agility if I need to think what to say or do next then I'm too slow!

The 3rd one is just 6 months old and I think he's somewhere between the 2 in personality from the puppy training we've done so far, with him I'm currently trying to remember the mistakes I made with each of the others and hopefully not do the same things again when he starts agility.

With all of them we've done pet obedience to get our brains tuned to each other (KC good citizen awards) which I think is a really good start. I've had a dabble at competitive obedience with one of them and I really enjoyed the training (clicker based to make you both think) but didn't like the competitions as I felt they were a bit rigid somehow and couldn't get my head round them - but I did keep up with some training even after I stopped going to a club as the dog really enjoys doing it so that was our compromise :)

We've recently gone back to a training club with the new pup and so my older boy doesn't feel left out I'm having a go at Rally obedience with him which I'm finding that really good fun and not so formal as true obedience for me - the dog would do either quite happily as he is a bit of a show-off. It's quite funny though, I love working with the pup, he's so much fun and is so keen to learn, but when I get the older boy out it's like putting on a pair of comfy shoes, we just sort of fit together and get on with it and both know what it is we're rying to do.

Neither the obedience or agiltiy are mega expensive for the training classes, both are less than £5 a session, but that is up north.
 

blackcob

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Agility without a doubt. We started off at a non-competitive pet agility class two years ago just to add another dimension to ongoing focus/behavioural/obedience work and practice around other dogs, never dreaming that we'd actually compete. We're now members of a competitive club, train three times a week and are driving around the country three weekends in every four to compete.

It's as cheap or expensive as you want to make it really, I pay £6 for a group lesson every week and train at home on a basic set of equipment that cost £200. Show entries are around £2.90 per class. Camping varies hugely, I slum it in a tent but lots have elaborate caged van/caravan/awning/garden combos that must cost a small fortune at the outset.

Our winter sport is dryland mushing - the rather faster wheeled version of canicross! Kit is more expensive, a rig will set you back around £400, permits and insurance are needed for training. A weekend's competition is around £30 which usually includes camping/van parking.
 

Oenoke

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I compete at both agility and flyball with my Border Collies. They also do hydrotherapy once a week for fitness/fun and teach them tricks. In the past I have done heelwork to music and 3 of my dogs have been therapy dogs.
 

mandwhy

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Thanks everyone!

I like the sound of the rally obedience, we both like training obedience at home and I am running out of simple things to train at the moment :) some obedience does seem a bit strict and robotic and I want it to be fun and involve other dogs.

He is not an especially hyper collie and I am a bit skeptical about his back legs for hard running so not too sure about flyball or the like, also he only plays fetch because I taught him to for treats, he doesn't particularly have an interest in balls but of course does like playing it now because it means fun times and food.

I would like to try agility and am glad to hear it isn't that expensive, the reason I asked was that I had been looking at clubs and even obedience classes were about 65 pounds for 6 weeks, and I just thought we already know how to do the things listed, and I am a poor student!

Mushing looks like marvellous fun! Bless him he is more the cuddly not really built for speed collie, who often walks straight into bollards and the like, I am finding it hard to imagine him in these athletic roles haha!

He loves a good sniff so think I will try to train him to find objects soon, although again he is not really toy orientated (apart from the treat ball and a piece of sheepskin he likes to defluff!). I hear a border collie holds the world record for most objects identified, at 1000 individual things, absolute madness!

I have considered therapy work as he is a real giver of love, and is very gentle too. He has an exceptionally loving attitude.
 
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