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1320Fastback t1_iteyste wrote

My wife does competitive agility with our dogs. Yes they do not know the course until the day of. They are handed a paper with the course layout and are allowed to walk the course twice before the competition. They do this walk not only to familiarize themselves but to also plan out things like where they want the dog to pass in front of them or behind them to better line up for the next obstacle.


Pyraunus OP t1_itezykg wrote

Yes! And this “walk” is only for the trainers, the dogs don’t go along with them.


Valorike t1_itfzwmp wrote

And it is hilarious to watch. All these people slowly bumbling through the course, murmuring to themselves, and making funny hand gestures. It’s all part of the process, but really funny to watch.


WinoWithAKnife t1_itg2kmx wrote

You ever seen ski racers inspecting a course? It's exactly the same, but on skis for added hilarity.


issiautng t1_itg89fg wrote

Rock climbers inspect routes before a competition too, but only from the ground. They mime out climbing with occasional binocular inspections. It's like a group dance.


WinoWithAKnife t1_itg8js7 wrote

Yeah, I climb, mostly indoors and mostly bouldering, and even then I'll be standing on the ground miming moves


math-yoo t1_itg8qjv wrote

You ever see my dad scoping out a buffet? He's carefully planning where things are, how he can move through quickly and avoid traps of bread and fried foods.


Various-Bird-1844 t1_ithgk6b wrote

No fried food??? Does your dad even buffet, bro?


math-yoo t1_ithtrel wrote

Nah man, it’s about shrimp, clams, the high dollar items. Breaded crap that isn’t a clam or a shrimp is for fools.


382Whistles t1_itia0fp wrote

I do the same if there is shrimp, cuttlefish, crayfish, squid, crab (claws anyhow), etc.

It isn't the money though, I'm a bottomless pit on those at any price. (and chicken). You guys I are lucky I don't live by salt water.

The slimy stuff that hides inside shell homes needs to be a chowdah though.


Mysticpoisen t1_itgnsvw wrote

You ever watch swim instructors miming swimming motions to their students from outside of the pool?


dmcd0415 t1_itg93uy wrote

I went to Parris Island, SC once where they have marine corps boot camp. One of the funniest things I saw was watching people practicing to be drill instructors walking around and yelling at the air for not standing up straight


Secretly_Solanine t1_ithmakk wrote

Wait till you see what goes on for the guys flying air shows!

French Rafale Pilot

Blue Angels


purple-paper-punch t1_itjnx9q wrote

Omfg. If you ever said "pilot voice", the Blue Angels commander guy is definitely who I would hear in my head.


Secretly_Solanine t1_itjo9tu wrote

The fun thing is that there’s a sort of “pilot voice” most people put on when they’re flying a plane. My voice isn’t very high and it’s not deep, but there’s a noticeable difference when I make a radio call. Maybe it’s involuntary, but I can tell that my voice is slightly deeper and I draw out/shorten different syllables.


purple-paper-punch t1_itjopoi wrote

I call that a "work voice". Lol

I've noticed it with a lot of my friends, but most notably in retail workers (they get slightly higher pitched and a lot friendlier) and law enforcement (slightly deeper and they talk slower). Once I noticed it, I can't unsee (unhear?) it


TallFawn t1_ithliur wrote

Also pro tip. The handler is not necessarily the one that trained the dog. And in agility world the person guiding the dog through the course is referred to as the handler :)


[deleted] t1_itf3jd8 wrote



wanawanka t1_itg6xdb wrote

Is there a lot of corruption with this? Like some favors for 'day before' map knowledge?


BaconIsAVeg2 t1_ithm51m wrote

Wouldn't really be much of an advantage. With dog agility you're like the passenger/navigator in a rally race. You're yelling "left" as the dog is 3/4's of the way through a tube so when he comes out he's ready for a left turn before a jump.

Most of it is working on communication with your dog.


fruipieinthesky t1_itiyo3b wrote

There are controls in place to reduce that risk. Like maps are only available after a certain time (after midnight for electronic maps) and the course builders have maps without the numbers so they don't k ow what order the obstacles are in.


DaysOfParadise t1_ith83c5 wrote

Yes, and the border collies watch intently while the losers nap.


Exeunter t1_itf8dqj wrote

This is one of my favorites: Lobo (husky) vs Fame (border collie)


Lord_Metagross t1_itfei8t wrote

Can someone who understands dog agility contests more explain to me where all the huskys faults came from? It looked like several times he jumped a hurdle and would get 4-6 faults from it. What am i missing?


Feltipfairy t1_itfhk04 wrote

If he runs past it that counts as a refusal so gets faults. Not touching the yellow parts of the seesaw, dog walk and a frame count as faults too.


Lord_Metagross t1_itfhser wrote

What specifically happened toward the end when he got several (like 6) faults jumping one hurdle? One fault per leg that touched the hurdle or something?


Feltipfairy t1_itfi3ec wrote

I’m not sure how the American system works. When I competed in the uk, it was 4 faults per error, we didn’t give 2 faults. Touching a pole wasn’t faulted, only knocking it off.


htotheh t1_itg5re6 wrote

“We didn’t give 2 faults”

That should be a dog shirt 😅


neumast t1_ithe1rx wrote

I the end, there were many faults added for exceeding the maximum time limit.


TallFawn t1_ithl6ix wrote

At the end he was getting massive faults. My guess is there was a time limit for the course, and he was past that time and that was causing the faults for every obstacle.

I’m really curious as well


fruipieinthesky t1_itiy9w5 wrote

He goes over the standard course time so there are faults added for each second.

I actually find it rather sad because the husky seems uncomfortable and actually leaves the course for a moment.

BUT that competition only allows two of any one breed in the finals. So if the Husky was clean and happier in the preliminary rounds and the top was filled with the more traditional breeds...the dog got into finals.


jimicus t1_itg6o3q wrote

You missed out probably one of the finest performances in the world’s biggest dog show.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, may I present:

The one.

The only.



DianneQuinn t1_itg89ke wrote

Clearly a goddamn champion. Crown the Kratu!!!!


Plop-Music t1_itgnsyi wrote

Fuck crufts and fuck the kennel club. They hate dogs. They're literally evil.


TheColorWolf t1_itft9c7 wrote

"he's going to be the crowd favourite, that's for sure."

Pfft, no he won't, that Border Collie was amazing!



Yeah,he's my favourite.


[deleted] t1_itg84eu wrote

Watching these always makes me emotional for some reason. This takes a lot of work, and the way the Collie jumps in her arms at the end says it's more than just a partnership, they really are best friends and wow I'm crying again lmao


OMGBeckyStahp t1_itf93le wrote

This hit a sweet spot that makes me want to watch a dozen more clips just like this


luchajefe t1_itg5gsp wrote

Dog Agility is so much fun to watch, whether it be at championship level or... less.


Internet_Ugly t1_itg69ax wrote

Omg so it’s not a fluke that my husky just takes life at a slower pace. He is so slow until he’s off leash then it’s 3 seconds of zoomies back to nap time. He’s also super curious and gotta sniff everything. Walking him takes 30-45 minutes because he has to stop and smell and look and enjoy this flower for 3 minutes.


kyxun t1_ithd55o wrote

My absolute favorite is this English Mastiff competing at dog agility.


Teratoma-VR t1_ithlwbq wrote

Mine is this bulldog!So unexpected.


starkicker18 t1_itme5a7 wrote

I had a bulldog once upon a time. We expected a nice lazy guy, but he was anything but. Little dude loved to run and jump. We took him to the dog park one time, and there was a greyhound/whippet meet up. Bulldog decided he wanted to be a part of that fun, and he tore around the dog park with these greyhounds for several laps.

We were doing just-for-fun agility with one of the cocker spaniels we had, so I brought the bulldog along when we went to play around. He liked to do the course, too (except the see-saw). So we'd alternate between the spaniel and the bulldog. I miss that sweet dumdum.


Teratoma-VR t1_itmgvi3 wrote

My bulldog is usually so lazy, but when she gets in the mood for zoomies, she just tears around the house or dog park with absolutely no regard for life, limb, or property.


starkicker18 t1_itmk4m1 wrote

Bulldog zoomies are something else. They're so ungraceful and yet so majestic at the same time. Like a little wild-eyed, slobbering tank that can turn on a dime, but then also crash into something nowhere near where it was running, gets back up all crazy-eyed like "I meant to do that" before continuing with the zoomies. lol.


Teratoma-VR t1_itmkxbm wrote

This is so freaking accurate!! I’m laughing so hard!


ecafsub t1_itge13o wrote

Put any other breed against a border collie in agility and you’re probably gonna have a bad time.

Unless that dog is Lobo.


Hopefulkitty t1_itg9bfd wrote

Watch mastiffs or other large breads compete. They do not hustle for anything.


mellowmardigan t1_iteywq4 wrote

That is really neat. I'm not a follower of dog shows and what not, but from what I have seen, I always thought they have practiced these courses prior to the events. I guess it makes sense considering the trainers could set up all of the same obstacles in their practice runs that they might encounter during competition.

Edit: word


Thecna2 t1_itgm9a3 wrote

The idea is to test the ability of the dog to follow instructions given to it by its trainer. Its not a memory/speed test. SO you'll see a lot of instructions given to it at every step. Thats the test.


[deleted] t1_itg48re wrote



mellowmardigan t1_itio37y wrote

I can see how that would be. When we got our first dog, my wife and I had a friend come tutor us on training her for basic command/response stuff. It felt really good when Maggie would pickup what we were trying to get her to do. I imagine that is how teachers feel when their students learn new concepts and ideas, or especially when they overcome obstacles like learning difficulties to learn various subject matter....well, good teachers that care I should say.


starkicker18 t1_itmicj0 wrote

Am a teacher, also worked with a few dogs on agility. I'd say the feeling when my students get something we've been working on, and the feeling when my dog gets something we've been working on are very similar. You feel so proud of them and you want to celebrate their accomplishments.

But the amount of trust you ask of your dog is just next level. You can communicate to your students to explain the what and why of a lesson. The challenge is helping them make the right connections so that they can do it on their own. When they finally do, it feels awesome as a teacher.

But with a dog you don't speak the same language and you can't explain what and why. You just try and teach them and show them they can trust you and one day it clicks for them "oh, you want me to do that!" and then they do! Then, if they are like my dog, they look at you like "wow you're really excited I did that... it wasn't really that big of a deal. Look I'll do it again. See! Easy" and by that point you're just fussing over them and rewarding them like crazy because the did it!


TypicalJeepDriver t1_itf88yj wrote

Holy shit, I thought it was a standardized thing they practice before the event. This is a definite TIL for me as well.


Pyraunus OP t1_itfaiyk wrote

Yep same here! Constantly amazed to learn how smart doggos are!


Mudcaker t1_itfs9os wrote

I think that wouldn’t work for most dogs anyway. Even in dancing for dogs, which is a set routine, our dog sometimes remembers bits and pieces but generally every single move is cued.


Thecna2 t1_itgmdhz wrote

This would then test the dogs memory and speed. The way its done tests the dogs ability to (quickly) understand and follow directions. Which is at the heart of most dog training concepts.


Worsel555 t1_itf0n09 wrote

Yes it requires good coordination between dog and handler. Having seen many people training you get an appreciation for this. Another handler can't just get out there with a strange dog and expect that the dog will go left or right on the strangers commands.


Gedunk t1_itgkls0 wrote

My last dog (ACD) loved agility so much that when I'd have him sit/stay and get ready for the first obstacle, he would be straining and shaking and whining and crying, sometimes barking even in anticipation. He was so darn excited to do it he could hardly wait for that first command. Highly recommend it for anyone with a herding or working breed. It's a great outlet for them, wears them out so they don't cause trouble.


[deleted] t1_ithaobm wrote



nathhad t1_ithd1e7 wrote

Most dogs were originally bred to have jobs, and an awful lot of them will be downright sad if they don't have one. Few things in the world happier than a dog who knows they have a job and like the job they do ...


Gedunk t1_ithddms wrote

A lot of breeds need a "job" to do. They're eager to please and need to be challenged physically and mentally. Herding dogs in particular (Border Collies, ACDs, Shetland Sheepdogs etc) live for this type of thing. They've been bred to drive livestock, so they are good at following commands and reading body language of the handler from a distance. A perfect fit for agility.


bolanrox t1_itmh4f7 wrote

our English Shepard ACD mix can nearly jump as high as our cats. Cant wait until he is old enough to try this


AtebYngNghymraeg t1_itfp7d3 wrote

Isn't it the same with horses and showjumping?


chaxuk t1_itfz5u6 wrote

Also golf - the holes move every day.


Troppsi t1_itfvhvw wrote

Yes, showjumping and cross country. You practice for dressage


TheAbominableRex t1_itgrxsz wrote

Yes show jumping, equitation, hunter, and cross country courses you only get to see the layout the morning of the competition. You usually have a chance to walk the course on foot (without your horse) before you ride it.

Dressage you'll know what you're riding before the competition as those are standardized tests based on the level at which you're riding.


Beans0120 t1_itgt9ll wrote

Show jumping, cross country, and hunters. Show courses are posted an hour or two prior to your class/group. XC and jumpers typically walk the course if it’s a Grand Prix or a course with a higher level of difficulty (jump height, course design, etc)


lilbeechtree t1_itfygna wrote

I do agility with my poodle (just for fun but we’ve been doing it for about a year). It’s amazing how much the dogs rely on their trainers body language and communication shortcuts. You have to be very intentional about shifting your weight and using your arms but if you have really strong communication with your dog, they just get it. It’s silly but you get a satisfying primal feeling when working with a dog towards an outcome. Highly recommend!!


fuzzy9691 t1_itg5pae wrote

The dog likely wouldn’t ‘learn’ anything from pre running it anyway. The point of the exercise is to listen to direct commands of their keeper.

It doesn’t understand ‘ooh I need to memorise this course’. It doesn’t have that function. They stare at their keeper and follow orders.


nathhad t1_ithcj81 wrote

> It doesn’t understand ‘ooh I need to memorise this course’. It doesn’t have that function. They stare at their keeper and follow orders.

You are drastically underestimating the intelligence of dogs. they absolutely DO learn a course they've been on before, and the smarter ones will pick it up very, very quickly. This is true of other things too, not just agility.

My wife trains sheepdogs (she raises sheepdogs and sheep for a living). The entire point of buying and breeding such smart dogs is that if they're trained right, most of them do come to understand what you're trying to get done, not just their commands. Sure, some people do train their dogs to be "mechanical," just left, right, stop, go, but most aren't training for that, it's an exception. When you have a working dog that has done the same jobs with you every day, day after day, they normally understand what you're trying to get done, which job is next, and with the better ones and simpler to medium difficulty tasks you can just tell them it's time to go get it done and they'll go do what you need them to do (adjusting on the fly as needed, because when you're herding live animals there's no "fixed course" like with agility that they can learn by rote). You're often only giving them instructions when something is going wrong and they need help.


captaincinders t1_ithnhy3 wrote

> The dog likely wouldn’t ‘learn’ anything from pre running it anyway.

Shows how little you know. I have started learning with my new dog. We spend an evening on a single course learning moves to control our dog, "front cross", "serpentine", "threadle" etc. By the end of the evening I can still get it wrong or forget where to go next and my dog happily carries on without me and performs the next three jumps correctly (probably wondering why he is partnered with an idiot like me).


starkicker18 t1_itmjaz0 wrote

>By the end of the evening I can still get it wrong or forget where to go next and my dog happily carries on without me and performs the next three jumps correctly (probably wondering why he is partnered with an idiot like me).

This was exactly what it was like training with my dog. She was a natural at a lot of things on the agility course; I, however, was an uncoordinated noob who did most of the learning in that class. But even when I screwed up, she knew what to do after a run or two.


GaryOster t1_itfkslr wrote

Oh wow! I assumed trainers were practicing running their dogs on courses set up like the competition course.


robdiqulous t1_itfocx2 wrote

Yeah this is pretty surprising. You would think they would mention that often enough that I would have heard it over the years of me tuning in. I may not watch a lot, but I would say a couple times a year I'm good for a 30 min binge session each. And yet, TIL. Really makes it way better to watch now knowing they don't know the course before


ben_sphynx t1_itfwf0d wrote

TIL that competitive agility exists. And watched a bunch of videos. Those are some expert dogs.


DicmoVolant t1_itfzfx8 wrote

It's like Rally for dogs and the trainer is the co-driver.


marrangutang t1_itg3bhs wrote

The idea is the dogs are running as directed by the handlers, the team is dog and handler. Handler works out the course and how they want to run it, dog is trained to run on command and direction. Great fun for both especially the dog lol


undercover-racist t1_itg37lt wrote

I love when a bull mastiff runs the agility course.


azdood85 t1_itgs2zv wrote

I see a cone on the road when driving to work and my whole day is thrown off.


nygrl811 t1_ith0u16 wrote

I love the agility championships! Dogs being dogs, not being models. Some are downright amazing, others downright hilarious. But so much fun to watch!!!


kippers t1_ithbcny wrote

As a life long horse girl I would have never considered this was something other than common knowledge! In the horse world, it’s a full time professional job to become a course designer with required classes and certifications. Pretty crazy stuff!


Gray_Wind t1_itholc8 wrote

The same happens with show jumping (concours hippique). Only riders are allowed to walk a course. And there are also other competitions which are in sort of similar, motogymkhana for instance, only rides get to walk the course (:


YoSaffBridge11 t1_iti6q3o wrote

I have two Mastiffs. One of my very favorite things to do is watch Mastiffs so the agility courses!! It’s so freaking hilarious!! 🤣🤣


LaraH39 t1_itig75v wrote

That's the same for show jumping with horses. Riders get to walk the arena before hand but the horses only see it fit the first time even they enter the arena.


Wynter_born t1_itizxqf wrote

I've always wanted to see a (safe) kind of rougher terrain or obstacle course competition for dogs. Does that exist?


mark-haus t1_itfwf2i wrote

I taught my first dog agility and put him in a few competitions, dogs don't need the course layout. They need to learn how to get through individual obstacles quickly (like second nature quickly) and to follow your lead. They know the obstacles by themselves really well and know to follow their trainer's lead. All I'm doing during the competition is leading them to each obstacle and the dog does the rest. So I'm not really sure if it would help that much anyways if the courses were the same and its not hard for me as a trainer to learn a course layout on the day of competition. If the dogs aren't well trained to follow their trainer's lead they're going to do poorly even if the layout was static.


Rossum81 t1_ithzjad wrote

My mom’s dog used to do agility. One day he got loose on the course. He ran through the ones he liked.


Johannes_P t1_itior5e wrote

Does it means these dogs are able to reason about the best path?


GwarJr t1_itj9o55 wrote

Big dummies I love it!


Technical_Ad_7698 t1_itjdg0g wrote

Love to watch the crofts on YouTube and did not know that the dogs and trainers had not practiced the course before. Impressive dogs.


skeetmoneyyo t1_itjjle7 wrote

Jokes on the judges! I tell my dawg the course layout right before the race!!! Bork Bork!


riktigtmaxat t1_itjk5ey wrote

Watching those dork trainers run around the course with a pretend dog is hands down the most ridiculous thing I have seen in my life.


jy7277 t1_itjn3ow wrote

🙄 the dumb shit we make animals do to entertain us.


MyPCsuckswantnewone t1_itg9azc wrote

Literally seeing it for the first time? As opposed to figuratively seeing it for the first time?


Biskit90 t1_itfxqa2 wrote

Wow 😮


No_Fun8701 t1_itfq8ky wrote

Got adopted , by a Irish Otterhound ! Best dog I EVER Had . We called him “Mr. POOPIE “, because when he first adopted me, I took him , in my restored 1985 Camarillo with me to the drugstore to pick up my Rxs. I had planned to pick it up the “drive-up” . Of course they didn’t have it ready. So, I parked right up by the front entrance, rolled my windows down as bit & locked in. He wanted to go inside w/me , but health rules (at the time) were not allowed. I could see him through the glass door entrance & he started a following of many admirers & smiles I went ahead & walked to the pharmacy,@ the rear of the store, to get my problem solved. When I came back out, I could see him, but he was staying low. As soon as I opened the door, I saw the “doggie diamonds” on the front bucket seats !
I was so upset ! I had a very serious low tolerances “gag-reflex “! I didn’t have anything to clean up the mess, so I bought a couple of newspapers , double bagged, from inside the RX store. Using the plastic bags, for gloves & the newspapers to clean up, enough to get to a car wash or home! Of course, I did this “chore” gagging the whole time! Makes me want to gag just thinking about it. Anyway, I forgave him because he seemed embarrassed over the whole incident. I took him with me when I just had to drive-up . “Mr. Poopie”, would always draw a crowd, he had such a wonderful “personality “. I had to shell out $750. Dollars to the animal vet. He liked to stand up and extend his paws, when people got his approval , so they could shake his “hands”. Some cruel person held on to one of his arms& dislocated his shoulder! I know who did it & a couple of years latter , he made my dog disappear, when I went someplace, where dogs were not allowed and it was too hot to leave him in the car. I looked for him for years. One day I was going to do something & I crossed a drainage ditch that ran along the lot across from our farm, down to the creek, that flowed right below. I had to go through a patch of tall weeds & I saw a patch of golden fur ! It was Mr. Poopie, I knew that color was familiar . On the days when he first went missing, I went to the city dog pound , & looked through their “clients”, I met the head of the pound & he even offered me to look @ the computer images of the last week’s dogs. No luck. I went home & didn’t find out for those several years . The skeleton & fur dog hide looked like he got hit by a car. I know that guy had something to do with that . The dog would jump in the creek in the wintertime, temperature in the 35 - 45 degrees . He would try climbing up the trees that leaned over the creek. I still have an image of him leaping over a good sized pile of dried up shrubs. He would have done well @ one of the events that were mentioned, earlier, if he had come to me when he was a bit younger. Very capable dog, we still miss him. He was the first dog that we got, that became a family members!


PixelFNQ t1_itg2n8n wrote

Like, literally?


Magnus77 t1_itezzsj wrote

I guess i'm not seeing why this is a big deal. Its still just a bunch of things the dog has been trained to do. Its not like they roll out a bunch of novel obstacles the dog has to figure out on the fly.


Beardedshadow t1_itf2shu wrote

Let's see you sprint at top speed and change course at someone else's direction and see how well you do against others who train for years to do the same thing -- it isn't easy, those dogs are athletes who are (often) chosen specifically for this one sport.

Good trainers don't get lucky on their first dog and do well, it's often a 2^(nd), 3^(rd), or even 4^th well trained dog that makes it to a national competition level. There's likely a decade of handling experience behind the trainer handling the dog -- all in conjuction with the dog successfully completing each obstacle safely(with is also an entire component of training regular/basic obedience dog trainers & handlers don't even remotely consider)

It's not professional zoomies, like reddit makes it out to be

The variation in the course is the challenge; not the obstacles


Magnus77 t1_itf4c72 wrote

I almost edited my comment because I anticipated this response. I didn't mean to dismiss the skill required in dog training, or the physical prowess of the dogs that compete. Both dog and trainer put in a buttload of time for these competitions.

I was saying that i feel changing the order of the obstacles doesn't change the fact that the dog can recognize what to do on any given obstacle.


Mudcaker t1_itf9kv6 wrote

Recognising is one of the problems. Some dogs see the tunnel, think “I know what to do!” and run into it. But that was meant to happen later in the order. The dog needs to pay attention and listen and the handler needs to be clear with audio and visual cues, as well as facing to avoid temptation and assumptions from the dog. Having a dog run the wrong object or go in the wrong end of the tunnel is really common at the ones I’ve been to.


Beardedshadow t1_itf5qbf wrote

See the last sentence again: the course is the challenge, not the individual obstacles

Changing the order, distance between obstacles, turns, etc -- all in conjuctiojn with front and back crossing with the handler is MUCH harder than most realize (hence the reason for this post) Handler's only get 1 or 2 walk throughs to plan the strategy for the dog

I've seen HUNDREDS of dogs competing in a few different sports, in the field pointing & retrieving, and in protection: it's both impressive to see first hand and humbling


Pyraunus OP t1_itf7wcf wrote

Another point is that the route is usually very circuitous and winding, not a straight shot or loop. So it’s not just the order of the obstacles that is different but the actual path through the course. Basically the trainer has to carefully guide the dog through the obstacles in the right order. The team has to be in tight sync in order to get a competitive time.