Q: Have you ever wondered what it takes to rubberize dog agility contacts? Well here’s the answer!
A: The first step is to make certain the surface is securely attached to the contact’s frame. We use aluminum sheet metal that will never rust and creates an excellent surface for strength, durability and acceptance of binder and rubber granules. Before applying the rubber, the surface must be cleaned. We use an ammonia based cleaner to remove any residue, oils and grime.
The rubber granules are weighed and the appropriate about of binder is added. It is extremely important to get this ratio correct, if not, the rubberized surface can be shiny and slick. Exactly what you don’t want. You have much more control over the outcome if you work in small batches. It is more than worth it in the end!
Before you apply the prepared mixture of granules and rubber, a very thin layer of binder is applied to the surface. The next step includes creating a retaining edge around the contact you are surfacing with rubber. Strips of wood can be attached with clamps to create a retaining edge or a moveable strip of wood can be used as you proceed. If you are new to this process by all means create an affixed retaining edge as shown below. It is also very important to note that the binder used is moisture cured. If your environment is very humid the curing process will happen rapidly, but if the environment is very dry the surface area may still be tacky the next day! Also make sure that the retaining edge and slat forms are removed as soon as curing has just begun! If not you will have a very hard time removing them later!!!
If slats are included in the specifications for the contact surface, these should be constructed first for enhanced longevity and added strength.
The pattern for the slats is layer out with wooden strips to create the correct width and height. They are held in place with clamps or very strong tape.
A small spatula and guide for the ends of the slats are used to press and secure the prepared granules in place. A small amount of binder must be placed in the channel before the prepared granules.
Creating the slats on an A-Frame may also require weights to insure that the prepared granules do not drift under the forms.
Once the slats have been made and cured then the rest of the surface rubber can be applied (usually the next day). Use a guide to keep the prepared granules on the surface and use a trowel to press in to place.
When transitioning from one color to the next, it is best to cover the completed rubber with part of a form used for the slats. This will protect that surface and provide a guide for the new colored granules. This is also easiest to do if the 1st color is either cured or partially cured.
Once all of the rubber is fully cured, it is best to reinforce the edge of the rubberized surface with a strong weatherproof adhesive. Apply in small sections and then press into granules on the edge with a spatula. Use a paper towel to remove excess adhesive. This process helps to prevent chunking on the edges.
That’s all it takes to get the job done! Have fun and RUN HAPPY!!!
If you have any questions, please let us know. Best Wishes.
For 2014 the USDAA will add 14″ and 18″ jump heights. This is how we incorporated them into our spread and extended spread jumps.
The complication is in setting the jump spread for each jump height. The USDAA allows for a range in the spread distance. In general, for dogs jumping 18″ and higher the jump spread can be 12-15 inches while dogs jumping 16″ and lower have a spread of 10-12 inches. In addition the larger dogs have a parallel jump while the smaller dogs have an ascending jump. The simplest solution is that all dogs jump a 12 inch spread.
We have incorporated different spreads within the range for each jump height. By doing so smaller dogs will jump a narrower spread while larger dogs will jump a wider spread. You can see that the 18, 22, and 26 jump heights all have a different spread.
Likewise the extended spread, which is ascending for all dogs, has a range of 20 to 24 inches of spread for the larger dogs. The smaller dogs all jump a 12 inch spread. Again we worked within the range such that only the 26 inch dogs jump a 24 inch spread while the 18 inch dogs will jump at 20 inches.
Finally we make our jumps convertible to a single jump so that in competition the jumps do not need to be replaced for the performance division. We also provide a version of each jump that does not convert.
See our USDAA 2014 Jumps: http://shop.emmcosport.com/USDAA-Equipment_c4.htm
When you find an agility trainer that can improve your team performance and home in on a problem you just can’t seem to over come, it can be life altering! We asked agility enthusiasts from all over the country to share with us the names and locations of Great Agility Trainers and these are the responses we received. We have grouped them by state. It is by no means a complete list, but it’s very current and could be helpful! If you would like to add anyone else to our list, just leave the info in a comment below and we will be happy to update our info.
We are going to add these trainers and any links we have to our Blog List (lower right hand column) “GREAT AGILITY TRAINERS” and if you have anything to add, just let us know and we would be glad to include it. Take a look and see! And always remember -Run Happy!
Info from: Jody Dushkes Barbara Mah [ On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/barbara.mah.3?fref=ts ] of Stars and Stripes in Chino, CA is one of the best! I trained with 3 other agility handlers before her and she is soooo much better. She keeps up on all the latest methods by going to seminars, and taking a monthly class herself. She not only teaches you agility, but really teaches you how to handle, and is able to work with many different breeds (she runs Pembroke Welsh Corgis herself)
Info from: Ariane M. Bailey “Mary Champagne” (Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mary.champagne.98 ) “of The Agility Facility with several training locations in Connecticut.”
Info from: Pam Vojtas “Annette Alfonso here in So Fl is without a doubt the best on the planet – she is not only a world class handler, she is also a wonderfully intuitive instructor of both humans and dogs. And she has a wicked sense of humor and is always smiling!”
Info from: Christine Borak “Achieve Agility : Anette has helped Kayla and I through soon problem spots Kayla is now perfect on her weaves. She gives you lots of input so you can improve”
Annette Alfonso on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/annette.alfonso.1
She works at Achieve Agility Miami, Florida http://achieveagility.com/
Info from: Cynthia LeBouef Stone: “Holly Blakney, Dog Training Academy (web site: http://www.Prodogtraining.com ) in Davie, Florida” (Dog Training Academy of South Florida on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DogTrainingAcademyofSouthFlorida?fref=ts ) “-Annette Alfonso, Achieve Agility, South Florida (she has a couple of locations)” See info above. “/Karen Holik [ https://www.facebook.com/karen.holik?fref=ts ], On Course Agility [On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OnCourseAgility?fref=ts ](trains at various locations)”
Info from: Terry Herman “Bridget McKnight & Dogstar Performance Sports, Hanover, MD”
On Facebook https://www.facebook.com/dogstaragility
Dog Star Performance Dog Sports, Gamber, MD website: http://dogstar-agility.com/dogstar/
Info from: Sherry Holm “And I do have to mention Annie Pyle who teaches at Clean Run in MA! She is awesome!” On Clean Run: http://cleanrun.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=page.display&page_id=120
Info from: Sue Usher “we are blessed in the NE area with many great instructors. Annie Pyle at Clean Run, Betty Belliveau at Collinswood Canine Services. Amanda Shyne, and Laura Dolan all in Massachusetts..”
Info from: Amy Smith “Chris Ott and Frankie Joiris from Speedoggie in new jersey!!!!” On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Speedoggie/108156345937264?fref=ts
Info from: Jenn Cannon “Lynne Stephens and Karen Meikle at Dog Logic, Statesville, NC” See info above.
Info from: Sherry Holm “Lynn Stevens of Doglogic in Statesville, NC! See info above”.
Info from: Sallie Lau Nelson “Have to agree, Doglogic in Statesville, NC, with Lynne and Karen. They are great”. See info above.
Doglogic, Statesville, NC
Info from: Judy Chaet “Susan Wilson, A Good Dog’s Life, Asheville NC” http://www.agooddogslife.com
Info from: Kathryn Lynn Kokiko ” Vanessa Mortarino in Raleigh, NC. Simply the best! Provides classes and private lessons at Lap It Up in Durham, NC. Brings in the best for seminars… Rosanne Demascio, Daisy Peel and Linda Mecklenberg. So fortunate to have her in our area!”
Info from: Ashley A “You should add Tracy Hirsch who owns Airbourne Agility and teaches at Dog Fun Forever in Durham, NC as well as at Teamworks dog training in Youngsville, NC. She is amazing, has tons of competitive and training experience. She is intuitive about what you and your dog need, is encouraging and is positive to be around. Natalie Lewis Mauchmar is also an amazing instructor who teaches at the same two facilities. Natalie has tons of experience and knowledge about everything from trick training and puppy foundations to rock solid contacts and weaves, these two are amazing. Definitely some of my favorite instructors in NC!”
Lynn Brodie, Creekside Canines, Kernersville, NC
Info from: Jane Hefner Brightwell “Absolutely add Lynn Brodie trainer & owner of Creekside Canines. Located in Kernersville NC she has both an indoor facility and a wonderful outside field fully equipped for her students. She also periodically brings in world class agility trainers for special seminars. She is a full time professional trainer that is serious about her work & deserves to make the list. Thank you”
Info from: Arlene Prouty “Add Mike Masters of Masterpeace in Franklin”
Info from: Dagmar Fertl “Elizabeth Evans and the other instructors at Best Friends Fun Farm in McKinney, TX”. See info above.
CM Streek Agility Training Center
Becky Taylor Lord “Terry Dyck is the trainer/owner of CMS Streek, in Frankston, Texas” On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/CM-Streek-Agility-Training-Center-Inc/178183348867323 Web site: http://www.cmstreek.com
Amy Haskell is an approved AKC CGC Evaluator
On Facebook Show Me The Biscuit! https://www.facebook.com/showmethebiscuit?fref=ts
Show Me The Biscuit! website http://www.showmethebiscuit.com
Paws On Dog Training & Agility
Do you get excited about repurposing something you have already used for its original purpose and finding a totally new use for it before it meets the trash? I love doing this and I wanted to share with you one of my repurposing ideas for used dryer sheets! We have 3 very hairy fur babies and keeping up with shedding fur especially in the summer is a challenge! No matter how much you brush, fur-minate and bath the “tumble fur” abounds. So here’s my helpful hint for everyday pick up on hard surface floors. With 3 pups the need to remove “tumble fur” occurs daily! One fast way to get at it of course is to use a sweeper and dry sweeper pads, but if you need to use 3 and 4 of these a day for one room, this really adds up quickly to a lot of money and a lot of waste. You can only use these once, at least that’s how it is at our house, and then the trash is a must! But wait there is another way that works almost as well and totally adds new life to another wise discarded item! So here’s how it works: I save the used dryer sheets and when its time to gather up the fur and dirt on my kitchen floor, I take 2 used dryer sheets place them over lapping and crosswise over the face of the sweeper and attach in the usual way as if I was using a dry sweeper pad made for the sweeper!
This is better for the environment, saves money and for everyday use fits the bill! I discard them in the usual way and never feel guilty that I needed to use so many just to get the floor de-furred. I discovered this one day when I had run out of dry sweeper pads and looked around to see if there was some thing else I could use and low and behold drier sheets looked very much like the sweeper pads and it had always bothered me that all you could do was throw these clean perfectly good dryer sheets away. I have included pictures so you can see how it’s done and the results. It always feels good to be a little frugal and slightly ahead of the fur tide!