Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Petplan Pet Toy Test

Petplan has provided me with these toys as part of their Pet Toy Test review programme. Visit the Petplan UK Facebook page for more information and a chance to win the winning toy!

 This comes in a handy carry bag and easily fits together.  There are two uprights which have a spike in the ground enabling it to stand up, the spikes are a decent length so are quite sturdy.  There are four connectors which the frame sits in, these can also be used as jump cups if you didn't want to have the tyre jump in place.  The corrugated piping then just velcros onto the frame.  
It is a great piece of kit, it can't go very high as the top of the frame is only about waist high, but if you just want to have a go at agility then it is ideal or if you have a competing 'small' dog (ie under 35cm) then it is also fine.  
The frame sits into the jump cups so can't be dislodged however when using the equipment as a jump you can rest the poles on the jump cups enabling them to be easily knocked for safety.


These come in a set of 12 (6 orange & 6 blue), they have a long spike on the bottom to enable you to put them in the ground.  The poles themselves are probably about half the width of regular competition weave poles.  They also come with a handy measuring tape which has standard KC competition widths marked on it, this is brilliant as it helps you keep the weaves straight and evenly spaced when putting them in the ground.  You then just take the measuring tape out to use.

All sounds great, however the major flaw which I find with these is the colour of them, I think they need to be white.  My dogs are experienced competition agility dogs and compete at grade 6 (out of 7 grades) and struggled with them.  I am not sure whether it could be due to them being thinner than normal or whether it is due to the colour, I personally think it's colour.  My sheltie seemed to skip the orange ones when they were at the end of the set.  So my solution was to put some white PVC piping over the poles and then then completed them fine every time.  The spikes were long enough to keep the weaves quite sturdy however there were a couple that ended up a little bent.  

I found it useful as you can change the weaves into a V formation or a channel which is great for teaching new dogs to weave and there are full instructions on how to do these on the case for them.  
The tunnel comes flat packed but easily folds back flat as it just collapses and is held closed with velcro.  There are 2 points either end of the rigid tunnel which allow you to peg into place.  There is then an attachment which allows you to attach a floppy chute to the main tunnel, this just attaches around the rigid part as it is elasticated and has veclro attachments.  

However there aren't any points at the end of this 'floppy' section to peg into the ground, therefore it moves around a lot, I ran my sheltie through and she almost got stuck.  I therefore didn't use it further as I felt this could be dangerous especially with a bigger, more powerful dog, I wouldn't run my collie through as he could have broken his neck.  I therefore just used as a rigid tunnel which is quite short, if the 'floppy' section had some peg points at the end it would be perfectly fine.

All in all these are fantastic for anyone wanting to teach their dogs a bit of fun agility, there could be some amends made to the equipment which would make it a lot better.  I would also use some myself for competition practice, I just would add some piping over the weaves and wouldn't use the floppy material attachment to the tunnel.  Therefore my favourite out of the three would be the tyre.  I also reviewed on video - below.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Dizzy is 13!!

Dizzy is 13 today, well around about now, we gave her 1st June as her birthday as we rescued her in December 1999 when she was approximately 6 months old.

She is doing okay but she recently had a health check and the vet said she has fluid on her lungs, a weak heart and cataracts. She is very weak on her back legs and does fall over on them a fair bit now, but she’s not in any pain and still enjoying life.

Dizzy taught me so much, she was such an easy dog to train. She enjoyed her agility but was a bit of a plod, obedience was more her thing. Once I got her motivational heelwork training on the go she loved it, I remember a training round I did and she was howling with enjoyment! Lol. She won me out of pre-beginners and beginners but once she had her op she couldn’t do obedience either as she couldn’t sit up for long enough.

So happy birthday to my brown eyed girl, she has spent the week thoroughly spoilt with mum in Wales and a family friend. Here’s her life video: