10 episodes

Are you ready? Steady, Ok go! We're here to edutain you about the world of dog agility. Join us as we discuss our journeys, share our successes, laughs and failures. We talk about training and effective ways to work with your teammate. We will be joined by special guests. Help us grow the sport that we love. Every journey is different, but they all start with the startline. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/startlinepod/support

Startline Michele Levitt & Cara Armour

    • Pets & Animals
    • 5.0, 4 Ratings

Are you ready? Steady, Ok go! We're here to edutain you about the world of dog agility. Join us as we discuss our journeys, share our successes, laughs and failures. We talk about training and effective ways to work with your teammate. We will be joined by special guests. Help us grow the sport that we love. Every journey is different, but they all start with the startline. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/startlinepod/support

    Car Safety Setups & Keeping Cool

    Car Safety Setups & Keeping Cool

    The agility forums have been littered with worries about having to crate from our cars so Michele and I decided to tackle this tantrum head-on. We both happen to be experts in crating out of our cars, particularly in hot weather - we do not have heat-tolerant dogs by any stretch of the imagination.

    Listen as we describe our setups and even post them on Facebook, we have it down to the tiny 4" spot you might have in your car, Cara knows something you could stick there like your chair! We also troubleshoot several safety tips, there are some good nuggets in this episode. 

    From sun-reflection to powering your cooling system we know how to keep a car at a comfortable 72° even when the sun is blazing, the engine off and the temps surpassing 90°.

    Below you'll find some helpful links to the products we recommend, all of these having been sourced with your wallet in mind. The health and safety of our dogs are paramount but we also need to keep our wallets cool so we can stay hot on keeping up with our entries. 

    Schumacher Jump Starter - apologies, this bad boy became more expensive, still sooooo worth it!                                                                                      Click here for the link, it's super long on Amazon (same price on Walmart)

    Temperature Monitor                                                        https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DWMJKP5/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Aluminet Shade Cloth                                                   https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CM7W5XN/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Dunnage Racks                                                                           https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DKWOE48/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 12" for the rear of most minivans  

    Feel free to email us if you want more!







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    • 1 hr 1 min
    Episode 9 - The Stockdale Paradox

    Episode 9 - The Stockdale Paradox

    Michele and I set out this week to bring you great information on how you can keep your dog conditioned during the pandemic. We even made some videos to share with what you can accomplish with things such as couch cushions - but things changed. 

    We both have had an emotionally tough week and rather than provide an episode on conditioning, which we still absolutely will, we're bringing you an episode on keeping your mental condition healthy.

    The Stockdale Paradox, created by James Stockdale, an ex-POW demonstrates that we are better off surviving a bad time if we are able to acknowledge our situation and balance optimism with realism. If you constantly look forward to the date of a trial and then it keeps getting canceled, you will be sad. But if you keep real and realize while things suck right now, we will one day trial again. You're better off spending your time focusing on doing what you can to keep busy until that unknown time happens.

    We discuss this and the new trial guidelines released by the AKC. 

    We also share our excitement about our new sponsor, Cody's Creations https://www.etsy.com/shop/codyscreations. Use the discount code STARTLINE at checkout to receive 15% some AMAZING items. Custom made collars, leashes and an entire massive collection of pre-made accouterments for your canines. We're huge fans, major patrons and super happy that Kerrie is offering this deal to our listeners. 

    Oh and she took it a step further, she has a free give away! Kerrie, the creator of Cody's Creations is giving away a medium martingale, 6ft ½ biothane leash with stainless snap and a bait bag. Details on how to win can be found on our social media posts.

    Enjoy this episode, chin up and stay optimistic while remaining realistic.  


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    • 53 min
    Episode 8 - Fangirling & ETO With Meg McCarthy Cataldo

    Episode 8 - Fangirling & ETO With Meg McCarthy Cataldo

    Michele and I are lucky to trial in New England which is chock full of super agility stars. Many, even as much as half of the members on the Agility World Team are from here, so we naturally get to fangirl these folks. Meg McCarthy Cataldo is just one of those agility superstars and we brought her on to share with you. 

    We learn how she first found agility from a TV segment to how she set her goal to make the World team, conquering it twice, but not without a couple of years spent taking the last place in tryouts. We learn about struggles with early take off's (ETO)  and how there is information out there to help you and your dog if you are having similar issues.

    We discuss how and why the agility community so desperately needs to welcome newbies. 

    Listen to Meg's journey into the sport we love, the lessons she learned and where in the "Worlds" she's headed.

    For a link to the Clean Run free edition article on Early Take Off's referenced in the show, click here 

    Share your stories on our Facebook page. Who do you fangirl (or guy), who's been kind to you in the sport or even drop us a line if you are just starting and want to know more? We'll always help more people get addicted to the sport we love! 


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    • 1 hr 5 min
    Episode 7 - Homemade Agility

    Episode 7 - Homemade Agility

    You're stuck at home - you have some equipment, you don't have any equipment, you have a well-trained dog, you have a novice dog. . . it doesn't matter! We discuss so many options available to you without equipment, skill or geographical limitations.

    Here are some thoughts - ok, really our outline for the episode but you get the idea.

    At-Home Training


    What equipment do you have and workspace

    What level are you

    What resources are there available?


    Equipment


    Sawhorses and broom handles make great winged jumps - example and ideas https://youtu.be/0WqWHrrDLyo

    A pillowcase over two stanchions can make a wing - we never even mentioned this!

    Driveway markers for stick in ground weaves

    Any upright object (trash can, pot for plants, vacuum, chairs, etc) for teaching wraps/directionals - example https://gph.is/g/4Dk9PP9

    Couch cushions to make uneven surfaces (teeter foundation & conditioning) https://youtu.be/20OoLHN6ibs (don't judge, I'm trying to build my library. I have tons of other conditioning videos on another personal channel from a class I took but I made this specifically for the pandemic).

    2o2o on steps, plastic storage containers flipped over


    Examples of Resources Available

    Foundations:

    Start with your instructor, are they offering anything?


    Stefanie Rainer stefanierainer.com $50 (silent auditor), $100 (active auditor) or $150 (working)

    Super beginner information from trainer/competitor Jessica Ajoux https://1tdc.com/intro-to-dog-agility-how-it-all-began-and-the-basics/?fbclid=IwAR0J0TKdD6VPDSgbzPoGA2pU0IGO4Wt8W99I9l_AqBPXXzVCvBc6sxKCYns


    Personalized training:


    Sarah Baker $100 for 4 weeks,

    Ashley Castro of Level Up Dog Sports $199 for 4 weeks $150 for multiple dogs


    Online Classes


    FDSA terms quarterly

    Clean run classes

    Liz Randall for Teeter classes

    Rachel Downs for Stimulus Control classes


    Facebook Groups


    Ashley Castro of Level Up Dog Sports $10 to join

    Go With the Flow

    Agility America

    Dog Agility Training and Discussion


    Course Building Specifically for your space


    Level Up Dog Sports - $10 for 3 nested courses based on your size and equipment list $10 extra if you want feedback


    Trick training! AKC trick dog titles available via video review. Michele is an evaluator. Trick training is good for foundation agility behaviors (targets, spins, wobble boards, etc)

    AKC Rally now available, earn a rally novice leg! 

    UKI doing at home agility

    Most importantly enjoy the time with your dog and have fun! Please share what you're doing on our FB page or tag us on Insta


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    • 50 min
    Episode 6 - Find the Joy in helping others

    Episode 6 - Find the Joy in helping others

    Michele and I had the privilege to spend our evening with Grace Heck (houndsofheck.com) and Stefanie Rainer (stefanierainer.com). These two women are not only sparkling stars in the agility ring but they are spreading sparkles around our community with their Power of Positivity Fundraiser (and T-shirts).

    The dog training world has taken a huge hit in the pandemic. Not only were the mats rolled out from underneath all of the competitors but the trainers were left without students, without income and without the ability to pay their huge overheads on facilities, or just pay the mortgage on their homes. While the news has toted tails of loans and unemployment benefits, they're not easy or even possible to get for many sole proprietors, the typical business structure of your favorite agility trainer. 

    So Grace watched this happening to her friends and training colleagues, the struggle, and fear of losing everything. Fortunately, with a fulltime job unrelated to agility but certainly related to positivity in the pandemic, Grace with the help of Stefanie decided they had to do something. 

    They began the Power of Positivity Fundraiser where students like you, nominate your instructor and students like you with family and friends support your agility instructor through donations, shirt purchases, contacting larger companies, however you can to help these beloved teachers survive the fall. 

    Listen and learn how they came up with the idea, how Stefanie is the prime example of an instructor with no income or way to obtain unemployment and how you can help. 

    Our sport is in jeopardy to even hold trials again but you can't enter a trial if you haven't been training. While in our next episode we will discuss what you can do at home to keep your skills and your dog's skills sharp, nothing competes with what you gain from your trainer.  We know trials are a far cry ahead, but as many states start to slowly reopen and small dog training classes make the cut to resume, we have to make certain we help our trainers so they can come back in to show you how to be the best handler.

    P.S. When you listen to the podcast, the first person from a West Coast state that drops a comment on our FB page under the post for this episode gets a free T-shirt from Startline Pod. Get listening, get supporting, get nominating.  






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    • 1 min
    Episode 5 - What's Your Positive?

    Episode 5 - What's Your Positive?

    Let us know what you are doing to stay positive during the PAIN-demic. What activities are you doing with your pups, what are some new things you wouldn't have been able to do or find yourself with more time to do? Please share, we need the social interaction :)


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    • 49 min

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