The Rip Van Wrinkler, XXV, Issue 4, November 2021

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Training Conversation 50!

Karen Hocker photo

1. Just Jumping!

2. First ever basenji lure coursing in Italia.

Noreen Bennett!

Noreen Bennett
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During each agility weekend, i hear the same thing: "I don't understand why my dog doesn't do the (fill in the blank). He does it at home.I can do it 20 feet away. It only happens at shows." The answer is "Because it's different at shows." No one ever explains what that means. It's like your parents saying because I said so. Why is it different at shows? Here's my take on it,
Part 1- Successful agility training also means changing variables. As much as we increase distractions around equipment, in preparation for our first time in the ring, there is one HUGE variable that the majority of us have not practiced and that is the size of the arena. Many novice exhibitors train in a much smaller arena than a regulation size ring and as a result often work only 7-10 obstacles. The first time the dog competes, we change a HUGE variable . They go from training in a 50x50 arena to 100x100. And then we dont'/can't train in the ring -we go in with no food, no toys and not touching our dogs to praise them. Most of us cant even remember to praise verbally since we're trying to remember the course and not get lost.
Does changing a variable REALLY make a difference ? Yes yes yes. When I am teaching a new trick, such as crossing paws, I sit on the floor. Once the dog gets it, i may sit in a chair. The change of that one variable is enough to have to start teaching the trick from scratch. Standing up instead of sitting -we start again. Moving 10 feet back, moving 20 feet back, we start from scratch AGAIN. With each variable we progress more quickly.
Part 2- The atmosphere, energy, pheremones, whatever you want to call it -is different at a show. You can't fake indifference. You can't control .how other dogs react or emit signals. Not buying it? Think that you are calm and in control? Did you watch your dog and see the ears pinned back? Your dog won't tug or play. Dogs can sense when a human is going to have a seizure, they can sniff out drugs, they know you are awake even though you haven't opened your eyes because your breathing has changed. So yes, yes, yes -the energy at a show is another variable that your dog is now dealing with.
I don't have a fail safe method to deal with all of the above. i struggle with it as much as everyone else because each dog needs something different. you can train a system but in the end you have to train YOUR dog, not a system. So this small novel is for my novice exhibitors that don't understand why things are different at a show. it is different to the dog -drastically different for most dogs so give yourself a break and give the dog some room to acclimate and adjust to this new variable. Your dog will come around quicker if you adjust your expectations for your first show and realize your dog is adjusting all over again to some big changes and may not be able to give you the same focus you had at home or class. It's okay -and it's normal..

Nina AB Daniel
Dogs are terrible generalizers. If we can change a tire in our driveway on a particular car we could probably change that same tire at a rest stop or in Tulsa.
A dogs brain does not work that way. When you change the environment it becomes a brand new thing. We need to spend time helping them be at ease in tons of different environments.


Hay bale jumping by Irena Peštová.

Tunnel jumping - Erica Kasper's puppy, Frolic, and her mom, Osa, looking on.

Goldie jumps the tunnel.

Jump over - Dana jumps over Ch'Ami 't Mannetje.

Sharky Osenni clears that log!

Nose Dive - Sandy while Occhi watches

by Luisa Ghetti
Basenjis try lure coursing in Italia, for the first time.

11 July, 2021, Desio.

Tired but happy, the first Basenji meet was held in Italy, dedicated entirely to Coursing and Basenji, in Desio. This wasTommaso Curci's idea and management help and recording by Luisa Ghetti.

Photos by Fugzu on FlickR.

There were 18 Basenjis participating in the day, of which only one was a spectator.
The others all did a first test, 14 individual and 3 pairs.
In reality, in the morning, thanks to Curci's professionalism and availability, we managed to do 3 shifts.
Some dogs then made 3 runs.

Before noon we tried a group photo ... but someone had already left and the Swiss family of the tricolor Holly (Quentin delle Caserosse) had not yet arrived.

Fortunately, shortly thereafter he too tried the race, doing the entire course ... at the start accompanied and encouraged by his humans.

While the former ate a good lunch at the tables, many were able to free their basenjis in the large enclosure where the races had taken place.

Chat chat and chat like we all have known each other for years.
Desire to repeat the day in the same way and in the same period next year.
A group that has agreed to go to Desio cyclically, some for the races and some simply to free their basenji in that huge field of grass only, with the surrounding wood, fenced in whose borders you can't see.

Hot , happy, and tired.

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