Wednesday, July 19, 2017

WW: Terrier Racing

Terrier racing is a sport similar to lure coursing or straight racing, in that a lure and/or plastic bag is attached to a line and dragged across the ground for the dogs to chase. Terrier racing is different in that the dogs are run in groups of up to six, are loaded into start boxes, and end in a dive through a hole after the lure. The first dog through the hole wins. Terrier racing can also be over jumps as well as flat ground.

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In the back of these photos, you can see the start box (the green outlined thing). It has mesh on the front of the doors, so the dogs can see the lure and be ready to break out of the box when it opens.

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Over jumps is the same, except jumps made out of cloth covered foam are added. The jumps are soft so that if a dog hits them, they won't get injured.

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For both over jumps and on flat, the dogs end going through a padded wall that has a small hole in it, big enough for one dog to fit through. First dog through the hole wins. Since this is terriers, sometimes there can be disagreements about the entire process. Because of that, dogs are required to run wearing muzzles.

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Like the rat games, terrier racing is a fun sport to do with a jack russell, and most of them naturally take to it (though training on box loading can be pretty important for many dogs).

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Sunday, July 16, 2017


Back in June, I went with my friend Tara and her dogs to a Jack Russell Play Day in Washington. The idea of the play day was to get a bunch of terriers together and let them do terrier things. On the list was Go to Ground, Barn Hunt, and Terrier Racing (both flat and over hurdles).

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Working the rat

I took Ptera along to let her go crazy doing terrier things, and she had an absolute blast. Go To Ground involves the dog having to go through a series of wooden tunnels to find a rat, which is actually outside of the tunnel, visible through some wooden bars. The dog is then supposed to "work" the rat, attempting to get at it, for a specific amount of time. The difficulty in this sport is that some dogs realize that the rat is outside the tunnel and will refuse to go in, or will come back out and go around the outside to find the rat. The tunnel can have multiple turns and be a decent distance. Ptera absolutely loves Go To Ground, and I can set her up a few feet from the tunnel entrance and just drop her to the ground, and she dives straight in. Because it was a fun day, not an actual competition, I was able to take some time with the help of the volunteer running that station at the time and get some pictures of Ptera. Obviously the wooden tunnels make it a hard sport to photograph, so the only real pictures are either at the beginning, going into the tunnels (which isn't super interesting) or at the end, working the rat through the wooden bars of the tunnel.

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The rats, by the way, are totally bored by this. They are people's pet rats who are brought out for events like this and Barn hunt, and so they are treated very well. None of them cares at all about the dogs. You can see this rat above actually has its back to Ptera, and you can just tell it thinks the entire thing is a little strange but no big deal.

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I love her crazy face

Barn Hunt practice was also super fun. I ran Ptera in a Novice and an Open type set up (this wasn't a fun test or anything, just a practice for people doing Barn Hunt). She did great, and indicated really strong. We also tried a Crazy 8's set up, and didn't do so well there. I think that with all of the rats in Go to Ground and Barn Hunt, and the terrier racing, she was hot and over excited. But the volunteers there also humored me so I could get some pictures of Ptera doing Barn Hunt. When I run my own dogs in these things for real, I never get a chance to get photos, so this was a perfect opportunity.

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Bite that tube

Watching terriers do what they were bred for (in our structured, for fun only way) is a super fun experience.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

WW: Crating Space

Our crating space this past weekend at the Muddy Paws tournament. Our new banner (yay! we look like a real team now!), our white board with team lineups and race numbers (waiting to get filled out for the next race of the day), and our dogs, waiting patiently and not-so-patiently in the crates, with all of our random crap piled on top. Cleaning up at the end of a tournament always involves me wondering where all of this damn crap came from, and why do I need all of it at every tournament.

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Our crating space