First Agility Lesson! - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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First Agility Lesson!

Today Zeus had his very first Beginner's Agility lesson! Omg it was so much fun for both us and Zeus! He was able to fast track some of the things because he already knows the "tunnel" and "place" commands, and we've practiced jumps a little in his class back in Texas, but he hasn't had much work with it since. It was Zeus and another dog, and next week another doberman (a rescue I'm told) will be joining our little beginner's group. The other dog that was present today also had some basic training, so he (his name is Helmet, which I thought was an awesome name) and Zeus were able to do a series of sitting on a table, to running through a curved tunnel, to jumping over a very low jump in this first lesson! I'm so glad we were able to find an Agility instructor here as I feel as if the obedience class we've enrolled in isn't as rigorous as it was in Texas. They offer Beginner's obedience and Advanced obedience, and Zeus passed the Advanced test back in March, but they haven't scheduled any Advanced group classes yet. She says she's wanting more people to pass the Advanced tests so there won't be just 2 or 3 dogs in class, though in my opinion a small class would be great! So we're ho-humming through the Beginner's classes which we go to because we've already paid into this and it's at least something to do, and Zeus usually ends up being the class example because he knows how to do everything already, lol.

Back to Agility! The instructor recommended that we get a cooling vest for Zeus because now that the weather is warming up here, it's getting hotter earlier. Our class is from 10am-11am and we were sweating. She recommended a website called Cleanrun.com for products, but does anyone have any suggestions? Would a vest from Amazon work just as well? Is there a specific type that works better than others? Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 11:19 PM
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Yes gamer...

In hot weather, McCoy rocks a Swamp Cooler vest: It's amazing. You wet it down and the evaporation mirrors our sweat. It also has a reflective surface. Solar gain from a high sun is a real problem with a single coated, short haired dark dog like a Doberman.

I can take McCoy out in 100+ degree day and if he has his cooling vest on, I am way done before he even starts to pant. We are lucky here. Midday, we have fairly low humidity, which improves he efficiency of the vest:

https://ruffwear.com/products/swamp-cooler

I buy the largest size that fits so it covers as much of his body is possible.

John
Portland OR
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 11:06 AM
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Congrats Gamer ! Sounds like you two are having great fun !

Wish they had classes around here that started that early ! Every dang one starts from 6 to 7 at night + the Rally I was to take Kadin to don't start till 9 - then a hour or better drive home - that tuff on a old guy that has to get up early -- lol

How about some pictures ?????

Give him a good ear rub from Uncle Ken !
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 11:25 AM
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Cleanrun is a great resource! Glad you had such a good time!

This coat is by far the most effective cooling coat, though it's not terribly pretty: https://www.cleanrun.com/product/chi...?ParentCat=256

They do have several other options, including the more evaporative type cooling coats if you want. https://www.cleanrun.com/category/do...mats/index.cfm

Be aware that if you choose that kind, you need to be able to re-wet them frequently. Once they are no longer pretty cool and wet, they will feel like a hot, wet sweatshirt to your dog and can make the temps feel worse. The evaporative cooling coats don't work well in humid weather. They work better in dry heat, but need frequent re-wetting.

Have fun with your class!


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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@4x4bike ped Thanks for the recommendation! Upon looking at the website I saw that there was another type of Ruffwear cooling jacket that supposedly leaves more room for freedom of movement. The Jet Stream high performance cooling vest:

https://ruffwear.com/collections/dog...cts/jet-stream

Do you think the Swamp Cooler vest would be ok on an agility course, or might the Jet Stream work better?

@ECIN Lol! Once we got home I told my husband "omg I didn't take any pictures!" And I'm a photo queen! I was so engrossed with the lesson, I didn't even think of it. There will definitely be pics next weekend.
@MeadowCat Woohoo, more recommendations! Thank you! We live in the desert, so luckily humidity isn't going to be a problem. Hopefully I make up my indecisive mind soon and get one ordered so he can have one by the next lesson. Thanks everyone!

Last edited by gamermouse0213; 05-05-2019 at 11:37 AM.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 04:21 PM
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Hi gamer..

I haven't a clue about which vest would best for agility. I will say that the original Swamp Cooler is a bit bulky. I guess that maybe a form fitting vest like the jet stream would be less impeding.

All I can says that it is the same technology and in my experience it works really well.

As MC said, evaporative cooling vests/shirt work best in moderate to low humidity. And if they dry out, they can actually become a liability.

A couple of years ago we had temperatures for days in the low 100's. Very unusual for Portland. Without McCoy's vest, we would have been restricted to early morning or evening exercise. It was a wonderful tool.

John
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 06:39 PM
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I'm not sure you'd actually have the dog wear the vest while running a course, because I think that's a safety hazard no matter what kind you get. Some organizations won't even let you have them wear a collar. You might want to ask your instructor about that. Likely you'll have him put it on after a run.


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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-05-2019, 07:41 PM
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From what I remember for AKC you can run your dog without a collar, with a flat buckle collar, or rolled collar. Nothing dangling from the collar. No bandages. No harness during the run. Harness going in and out of the ring OK. Many clubs even ban the use of choke collars and flexi leads while on the trial site.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice! Zeus's cooling vest came in, and it fits him well! Here he is to show it off, tags still on and everything, lol.


Stylin'!

And of course, the temperature is going to drop to the mid 60s starting tomorrow through the weekend, so we probably won't even have a chance to try it out. But at least we have it!
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 09:00 PM
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Cool! (Pun intended LOL)

John
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