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  1. #1
    Jetdesign's Avatar
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    thinking about a dog - impact on contests?

    Now that I am single and about to own a home with a nice fenced yard, I've been thinking about a dog. I think my bigger concern right now is how it would affect contests and Nats, as that is the bulk of my travelling. I know the challenges with lodging, so this is geared specifically towards flying and contests. You don't see many dogs at contests (there are a few) but most guys have families to leave dogs with.

    Any thoughts/advice?
    Joe Marri
    Enjoying all things aviation.

  2. #2

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    RE: thinking about a dog - impact on contests?

    Talk to Dave Snow... I don't think I've ever seen him at the field or a contest without Lonnie, or several Goldens before that (Don't recall their names).  The dogs themselves are always well behaved and have never been a problem.  He would know the logistics of bringing them though.


    Mark Atwood
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  3. #3

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    RE: thinking about a dog - impact on contests?

    I've had my dog Barkley for almost 5 years. He goes everywhere with me. He's been to the Nats three times, been to many local contests over the years. He's never been a problem at any contest that I've been to. He's actually helped my contest expenses because now I only stay at Motel 6 or Super 8 as they have a great pet policy. I have only heard positive comments from the contestants about Barkley. He was even given the Pattern Animal award in D7 one year. I think the contestants at the contests are happier to see Barkley then me!

    I think if the dog was not well behaved and made a lot of noise there might be issues. Certainly the owner is responsible for how the dog acts. Barkley is at the field with me whenever I am there. He is used to the flying field environment so he is not surprised by much. I'd like to say that I did a lot of training to get him that way but an awful lot of it is just his nature.

    I enjoy his company so much that if I can't have my dog at an event I just won't go to it. And if a particular field is not pet-friendly I can find some other place to fly. But that's just me. My advice is go for it! I think you'll really enjoy the company.

    One little Barkley story. 2009 was the first Nats I had Barkley. He was about 9 months old then. Normally at a big contest when I fly I put him on a leash back in the pits. But for my last finals flight I forgot. I was in the middle of my flight when I noticed him walk up to me and lie down at my feet. I then heard a big old yawn come from him! I guess I knew what he thought of everything!



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    TonyF - Team Horizon, Team BJ Craft, Team Contra Drive, Neu Motors
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  4. #4
    woodie's Avatar
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    RE: thinking about a dog - impact on contests?

    Actually, Tony is only partly correct, we don't invite Tony to contests, we invite Barkley and Tony tags along. ;-) No seriously, I agree with Tony, it is more about the dog and how it behaves than anything else. Certain breeds are generally calmer than others but that is not a guarantee any particular dog will behave as expected. Unfortunately, you won't know how it will turn out for many months.

    Woodie
    There is nothing so simple it can't be messed up by someone....

  5. #5

    RE: thinking about a dog - impact on contests?

    Joe,

    I can't think of many contests I've been to the haven't had a dog at them, be it someone else's or my knuckleheads. Go for it!
    Ryan Smith

    Team JR | Thunder Power RC
    F3A Unlimited | Castle Creations

  6. #6

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    RE: thinking about a dog - impact on contests?

    Hi Joe, throughout the years we have had 3 Goldens, all great to have and all with their own personality and quirks at the field, which went to almost all the flying contests locally and weekend trips. They are great to have but do need some extra attention and care for food, sleep, play and especially if it is really hot at the contests. I did not have Lani with me for several of the hot Muncie NATS but Chris Moon had Lotto there, when we went out to eat Chris would leave the SUV running and air conditioner on to keep him cool. You might want to think about the car you have for the size of dog, we have a minivan and it works well for 2 planes plus 2 people and 1 large dog, a small SUV may not work with the large dog but works great for Chris and Lotto.

    When we first got Samantha and Lani at 8 weeks old one of the first trips they made was out to the field to get adjusted to the sounds and smells of the field. After the first trip out there the noises did not bother them but the first run up of the IC engines had them slightly scared. Since I go with Lani to practice all the time she knows how to behave around the planes, people and other dogs and generally at the contests she does not cause any problems. You could run into some issues if the dog is not adjusted to the planes and activities of the field but if he/she can go with you most of the time to the field you should have a happy dog and no complaints from the fliers.

    Good luck Joe and I’ll be looking forward to seeing you with a dog.

    Dave Snow

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    RE: thinking about a dog - impact on contests?

    Tony Looks like a great dog you have there. I being new to pattern and a dog lover hope to meet Barkley at a contest this year.

    Jim
    Jim Williams
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  8. #8
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    RE: thinking about a dog - impact on contests?

    Emily, my Golden Retrever always came flying with me.
    Even ran in a members .46 with the airframe teathered to her 35KG bulk.
    She just laid there thinkin' about food.
    She was a good girl.
    Go for it.
    Best Regards: davidbathe.com
    Occasional Aircraft Illustrations.

  9. #9

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    RE: thinking about a dog - impact on contests?


    ORIGINAL: gaRCfield

    Now that I am single and about to own a home with a nice fenced yard, I've been thinking about a dog. I think my bigger concern right now is how it would affect contests and Nats, as that is the bulk of my travelling. I know the challenges with lodging, so this is geared specifically towards flying and contests. You don't see many dogs at contests (there are a few) but most guys have families to leave dogs with.

    Any thoughts/advice?
    Hey Joe,

    Why don't you get one of those fashionable handbag dogs? You could ditch the handbag in exchange for a backpack. That way people wouldn't get the wrong idea...

    Cheers,
    Jason.

  10. #10

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    RE: thinking about a dog - impact on contests?

    My yellow Lab Jake has been my loyal companion at the field for many years. He waits in the van for me long before I'm packed and ready to head for the field!
    In all those years, it's hard to believe he's never trampled a plane!

    My advice: Don't get a puppy! They're cute, but big trouble. A 3 years or older is about right for the flying field.

    Dan

  11. #11

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    RE: thinking about a dog - impact on contests?

    Joe I have 3 dogs. Well Anna mostlydoes. I've been wanting to take them to the field for years. I'll be perfectly honest. Some dogs are more suited to it than others. Mine are not good in the type of environment we have at the field or contests. Their little brats. Now before anyone jumps on me I want to state this. My wife is heavily involved with a large no kill dog rescue organization. Wehave all the resourses in the world available to us and we are both lifetime owners of dogs. We use all the modern and conventional psycology methods. (ala Cesar Mellan)All that said not all dogs are the same. They have unique personality's. We totally love our 3 dogs but as I said before the field and them are not made for each other.
    If I didn't have a wife who stays home I'd be stuck with the dogs and it would require me having to find a sitter for the contests.
    Consider that carefully. Dogs are a lot of work. They require your full attention. I think the breed selection is huge. If you can research the types of personallity's the breeds have and look for the semi comatose ones.
    Mine are a mix of Rat Terrier, Pug Pom, and Jack Russell. All are hyper breeds.Nuff said. All rescue's.
    Dogs are a huge part of my wife's and my life. We adore them and treasure them.
    I wish you all the luck in the world, Mike
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    Mike Mueller
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  12. #12

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    RE: thinking about a dog - impact on contests?

    Well said, Mike. I've seen and been around dogs at various fields through the years including Barkley, Lonnie, Lotto (Chris Moon's sidekick) and others most of you wouldn't know. All were well-behaved and a joy to be around. I have a Springer Spaniel that is a great dog but a little hyper by nature. I tried introducing her to the field environment when she was a pup (now 11 years old) and it was a disaster. Two traits you must have for a flying field dog is one that you don't have to watch constantly and one you're 100% sure won't purchase you a new airplane you weren't planning on by trampling someone else's plane. My Springer doesn't pass either of those tests. She's never trampled any of my planes at home but they're always up on a table. I wouldn't trust her not to if the plane was on the ground. When she's excited, there's little attention paid to anything in her way. In addition, her natural hunting instincts would have her following her nose to any smell that catches her attention. She's been obedience trained and is great on a leash. Off-leash is another matter and training she quickly forgot. I love her dearly, but she's just not a flying field dog.

    Verne


    ORIGINAL: mups53

    Β*Joe I have 3 dogs. Well Anna mostlyΒ*does. I've been wanting to take them to the field for years. I'll be perfectly honest. Some dogs are more suited to it than others. Mine are not good in the type of environment we have at the field or contests. Their little brats. Now before anyone jumps on me I want to state this. My wife is heavily involved with a large no kill dog rescue organization. WeΒ*have all the resourses in the world available to us and we are both lifetime owners of dogs. We use all the modern and conventional psycology methods. (ala Cesar Mellan)Β*All that said not all dogs are the same. They have unique personality's. We totally love our 3 dogs but as I said before the field and them are not made for each other.
    Β*If I didn't have a wife who stays home I'd be stuck with the dogs and it would require me having to find a sitter for the contests.
    Β*Consider that carefully. Dogs are a lot of work. They require your full attention. I think the breed selection is huge. If you can research the types of personallity's the breeds have and look for the semi comatose ones.
    Β*Mine are a mix of Rat Terrier, Pug Pom, and Jack Russell. All are hyper breeds.Β*Nuff said. All rescue's.
    Β*Dogs are a huge part of my wife's and my life. We adore them and treasure them.
    Β*I wish you all the luck in the world, Mike

  13. #13

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    RE: thinking about a dog - impact on contests?

    I'm getting a baby in Feb. Any advice on that? LOL.
    I registered for one of those Baby bjorn carriers, someone will have to start my planes for me though.....I imagine the impact on contests will be none, as in not going to go to any....hopefully that's not true, but I'm prepared for it.
    I have two Bichon Frises. Great little dogs that, properly conditioned and trained, would probably do fine at the field as long as they have some shade and lots of water. But as Mike said, it varies from breed to breed and even from dog to dog.
    good luck on your search of a four legged buddy!

    Urge Congress to keep common sense in the skies

  14. #14
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    RE: thinking about a dog - impact on contests?

    Some things to consider are the temperature and accommodations for the contest. Some dogs will be ok leaving them in the hotel room while you go out to dinner, some not so much. A hot 5 days in Muncie in July is not a picnic for most dogs so that needs to be addressed too for their comfort. Lotto not too happy being left alone in hotels so he sits in the car completely happy with the a/c running at dinner which is no problem with a separate set of car keys. As Lotto gets older I don't take him to the NATS as I don't think it's fair to take him out in that heat for days. He has been there many times when he was younger with zero issues. Lotto has gone flying with me 90% of the time since he was a little puppy and he knows the routine and what is expected from him but like Mike said, all dogs are different and some will work and some not so much.

    Lotto at the NATS
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  15. #15
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    RE: thinking about a dog - impact on contests?

    I would never go to an event that allows dogs.  Unless they like my cat.

  16. #16
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    RE: thinking about a dog - impact on contests?

    There is this guy at my home field that always comes w his dog, her name is rudder. We all pet her and know her. She is very used to the planes and the field
    Keep your wings level
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    RE: thinking about a dog - impact on contests?

    I am the proud owner of a Great Pyrenees and I will always take him with me if there is a contest for two reasons 1) just the companionship they provide and are great ice breakers with others at contests 2) to protect my investments at either a hotel or on the road.

  18. #18
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    RE: thinking about a dog - impact on contests?

    Hi Joe

    We have a Jack Russell Terrorist! She is now going to be 11 and starting to get a little more mellow. I take her everywhere with me including contests. I don't let her off leash as she has a mind of her own without it, but on she is just fine. It requires a bit more effort on my part as she always wants to go out and explore but I'm happy to do that with her. I have a small trailer that has a "fantastic fan" that keeps it cool enough at temps under about 80F, as well as A/C. She is very happy to stay in the trailer for most of the contest day, knowing she will get some really good sniffs at the end. Most of the guys in D8 know her well. Can you rent a small trailer and will your vehicle tow it? It might be just as cost effective to do that than to rent hotel/motel rooms. Plus you have the added bonus of being at the field the whole time, usually free of cost. Big bonus if the field has power then the A/C will work and you will be very comfortable.

    I cannot imagine not having a dog with me. You might want to consider a smaller breed just because of the portability of it.

    Go for it!!

    Cheers

    MJ
    Never left one up there yet.......

  19. #19
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    RE: thinking about a dog - impact on contests?

    Dogs are great as long as the owners are smarter than the dogs lol. We now have a dog as my parents both passed and my wife and i adopted mom's little schnauzer , Hannah.
    she was a barker at first but we pretty much have her broken from that. We ALWAYS pick up her mess and take her away from where people walk when she does her "thing"to avoid any mistakes . I have seen some people just let their dogs bark and bark. i have also seen a guy let his dog take a big crap right in the pitts and not clean up after it. thus , being smarter than the dog. I don't see any reason why pets can't be there . the only thing i really don't like is pets in the pitts or flight line. so i say tend to your pets and always let us pet them lol.
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    Contest Director /Turbine pilot/ P-38 Brotherhood/Scratch Builders make their own Destiny

  20. #20
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    RE: thinking about a dog - impact on contests?

    I would recommend a German Short Hair Pointer Female, freindly with anybody good with children and other dogs.They are always well behaved. Extremly intelligent brings my slippers when I come home. Absolutly love riding in cars/trucks. They are very affectinate,60# lap dogs,really nice on cold winter nights. I have 2 and I sit with one under each arm drinking a beer while watching TV.
    Mike Burg

  21. #21
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    RE: thinking about a dog - impact on contests?

    Thanks for so many awesome replies! I have been thinking about an Australian Shepherd - I've always wanted one. They are incredibly smart, and have a lot of energy. The plan would be to bring the dog with me to the flying field every time, and maybe play fetch between flights. They have those 'tennis ball thrower' things that let you launch a ball pretty far so the dog can run a lot. Aussies are typically easy to train and are not agressive if trained.

    Obviously getting a dog is a huge decision and commitment, so I'm going to take my time on this one. But I temporarily moved into a place with an Aussie (and a blood hound) and absolutely love this guy. I am excited to see him in the mornings and evenings, and I've only known him for 2 days now.

    So they are 'medium' size dogs, 50-70lb and 20-23in at the shoulder, supposedly. Not the smallest dog in the world, but not huge. The trailer idea sounds great since I drive a small truck, and really liked the trailer I saw at Site 4 at the Nats this past year, with the AC and stuff.

    I am going to try to meet some other Aussies and talk to their owners to see if it is a good fit - not sure how 'demanding' the dog would be and how much it would impact flying/building/other hobbies, although I have really been in need of a good walking partner.
    Joe Marri
    Enjoying all things aviation.

  22. #22

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    RE: thinking about a dog - impact on contests?

    The trick to bringing a dog out with you is to MAKE sure they are contained at all times (lead, X-pen, crate, etc.), and two is to socialize them prior to their outing to the flying sites. Aussies are great dogs, but they can be a challange especially at 2 years and younger, in other words, they are prone to getting into trouble, also if you are looking at Aussies males tend to be easier to train (of course I think males are superior, I just don't tell my wife

  23. #23

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    RE: thinking about a dog - impact on contests?


    ORIGINAL: gaRCfield

    Thanks for so many awesome replies! I have been thinking about an Australian Shepherd - I've always wanted one. They are incredibly smart, and have a lot of energy. The plan would be to bring the dog with me to the flying field every time, and maybe play fetch between flights. They have those 'tennis ball thrower' things that let you launch a ball pretty far so the dog can run a lot. Aussies are typically easy to train and are not agressive if trained.

    Obviously getting a dog is a huge decision and commitment, so I'm going to take my time on this one. But I temporarily moved into a place with an Aussie (and a blood hound) and absolutely love this guy. I am excited to see him in the mornings and evenings, and I've only known him for 2 days now.

    So they are 'medium' size dogs, 50-70lb and 20-23in at the shoulder, supposedly. Not the smallest dog in the world, but not huge. The trailer idea sounds great since I drive a small truck, and really liked the trailer I saw at Site 4 at the Nats this past year, with the AC and stuff.

    I am going to try to meet some other Aussies and talk to their owners to see if it is a good fit - not sure how 'demanding' the dog would be and how much it would impact flying/building/other hobbies, although I have really been in need of a good walking partner.
    I saw a guy at a 1/4 scale meed a couple of times with his AS. His was kind of white and bluish-gray, I remember it had really weird colored eyes. He was under the tent all the time, and I could not help myself and said hi. Very mild and tame dog. But he was on a leash, under his owner's canopy (planes were under the sun). I had a doberman that was the best behaved dog ever, and his sister was the craziest dog ever. Dogs are like a box of chocolates.

    Like people, they are all different. But, breeds have some known traits.
    At our field one of our members brings "Buddy", a yellow retriever. The first thing you have to do when you arrive is say hi to the dog that welcomes you. And if he finds out you have no milky-bones, he will leave you alone. He never goes on the runway on his own (unless we throw him the ball using a ball thrower... Having a dog will change entirely your life, will make you healthier, as you will walk even when it is cold, and horrible. You will have less free time. They demand a lot of time and care, not to mention about $7,000 (average for the dogs in the US, cats is more) during their lifetime for medical expenses. The time will come when you will want to travel to places you cannot take your dog, and you will have to have a plan b in place.

    I have seen dogs that were absolutely OK at the field, some others better left at home... But think about it, same applies to kids. Heck, even to some pilots:-)

    Good luck

    Gerry

  24. #24

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    RE: thinking about a dog - impact on contests?

    Some great insight here.
    I've done both the dog and the child at contests and I really think dogs are easier, plus some people get upset seeing your kids on leashes! The last time I had a dog at a contest was the final day of the '89 world championships. I had my Chocolate Lab, Bailey, with me and he was always friendly and well-behaved. I was having a nice chat with Sally Brown while Bailey sat behind me, on leash or so I thought. Bailey had quietly chewed through a 1" nylon strap. He didn't go far. About 15 feet, in fact, where he had pulled over a garbage can and had almost completely disappeared into it rummaging for food. What a happy dog! At best, dogs are maybe 99% predictable; so just make sure you account for the other 1%.
    I can't imagine life without a dog or 2 or 3... and a few cats, too!

  25. #25
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    RE: thinking about a dog - impact on contests?

    Here's Rufus J. using my P-47 for shade. She's a Pom and belongs to a guy in the club. A day at the field without her around just isn't the same. She's kind of a club mascot on the weekends.
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