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Indoor Or Outdoor Trials?

Discussion in 'Agility' started by take4roll10, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. take4roll10

    take4roll10 Moderator

    Aug 31, 2009
    New York
    I did a quick search, but I don't think this question has been posted before... Do you prefer indoor or outdoor trials? Which does your dog prefer?

    We started competing last year and have only done outdoor trials. We just had our first indoor trial this weekend and I didn't like it all. Maybe it was just this venue, but it was way too chaotic and congested. It was a 3 ring AKC trial. Trial was full or near full, so about 990 runs a day. The rings were actually nice. They were completely separated, big walls on 3 sides and viewing glass on the fourth side. But there were too many dogs and handlers crowded outside of the rings. Walking down the little hallways with the all dogs coming and going was tough. There was even a dog fight while we were waiting for our run. Little dog leaving the ring got into a fight with a much larger dog (not sure who started it because I saw it mid-fight). Happened right in front of an AKC representative. :eek2: We were about 15 feet away and had 4 more dogs ahead of us before our turn. I'm so glad I wasn't standing by the exit gate.

    The crating room looked like a disaster relief zone. Crate on top of crate, next to crate... The only good thing was the A/C. My dog was very stressed and overwhelmed by all this...as was I! She and I definitely enjoy outdoor trials more. So much more room to spread out. You can relax under your tent with your dog and still watch the rings. At this indoor venue, you couldn't really hang out with your dog in the crating room. There wasn't enough space for chairs and if you're in the crating room, you can't keep on eye on the rings.

    The only downside to outdoors is you play the unpredictable weather game.
  2. Calliesmom

    Calliesmom Moderator

    Mar 29, 2008
    near Mobile, AL
    well, we've really only done outdoor trials- that's 90% of what is offered here. but they are all outdoors- under cover = horse arena mostly.

    your trial sounds like a nightmare where there wasn't enough room for all the people/dogs attending:(:eek2:
  3. corbinam

    corbinam Moderator

    Oct 14, 2008
    Before we moved to Ohio, we had only really trialed outdoors. I loved it. Tons of space, sun, usually a nice breeze, not too loud, etc.

    When I moved to Ohio, they trial almost exclusively indoors. I thought the same as you--that it can be really loud, sometimes crowded. What I've come to learn is that indoor venues are all unique. Outdoor sites are typically very similar. If it's outdoor, you generally know what to expect. Indoor sites vary greatly from one to another. Some are horribly crowded with no room for crating, no where to exercise your dog, super loud, etc. I now know to avoid certain places because of the above items.

    And yes, the dogs tend to be more "up" indoors because of the noise and proximity to the rings. I will tell you that the anxiety does come down a bit after they have more exposure to that environment. Some tips that helped us was to maintain a routine. We walk ALL around the building, we investigate, etc. We keep our pre-run routines the same.

    Now that I've been spoiled by some really awesome indoor venues (check out B&D Creekside Arena in Latrobe, PA. Stunning!), I actually prefer it to outdoors and I never thought I would say that. We haven't run outdoors in over a year.

    There is 1 local outdoor trial coming up and I'm actually annoyed by it. With Lexi's injury I don't run her at all if it is raining (even sprinkling) or if the ground is even slightly wet (like dew in the mornings). That means that we can't enter anything before 10am, and even then we could lose all our money because I won't risk it with her if it is slightly damp. Obviously that's a unique situation, but it is something that I take into consideration.
  4. HopeShelties

    HopeShelties Forums Enthusiast

    Dec 2, 2008
    My area is made up of almost exclusively indoor trials. I will not do outdoors at all. Too hot, and weather and footing can be unpredictable. I also feel it's a safety issue putting dogs on wet ground/wet equipment. Chances of injury increase.
    A three ring trial usually is going to be more chaotic and high energy and crowded than a smaller 1 or 2 ring trial. For dogs who aren't used to competing indoors, it does take some time for them to adjust and become comfortable.
    I find that indoor trials, for me, are much more predictable. I know exactly what to expect as far as climate control and footing at each trial, so long as I have trialed there before. I don't enjoy trialing in heat, so really appreciate indoor trials, and have several dogs who don't have high heat tolerance. Currently I have picket fencing which doesn't allow me to leave dogs outside unsupervised, so they don't adjust to the hot summer heat. My favorites at this point are the ag expo type centers down in tennessee. Lots of crating space, climate controlled, and run on very nice predictable dirt. My dogs thrive at the Tennessee trials. The only places I won't do are those with rubber matting for flooring (queen city, columbus all breeds novice/open trial, dayton), and outdoor carpet type footing at some of the soccer arenas (metro sports in evansville). I love soccer arenas with thick rubber infill like in Fort Wayne and Hamilton.
  5. Mitchy

    Mitchy Forums Enthusiast

    Oct 22, 2012
    Idaho, USA
    I do both indoor and outdoor, probably about half and half. We have pretty small trials though out here, usually only 1 ring, 330 dogs max, and most don't fill all the way (usually 250-300 fill per day). Our indoor ones are generally in horse arenas, outdoors, just on grass.

    Where I have little chihuahuas, I do sometimes like the indoor better, as there is long grass at a few of the venues. We have had a few trials we have gone to where the mowed grass was nearly longer than their legs and it is really hard for them to move through it. Really frustrating for them. :gaah
  6. k9kreationz

    k9kreationz Premium Member

    Oct 24, 2008
    Portland, OR
    Here, well, in SoCal almost everything is outdoors. If it's not outdoors, it's covered in a horse arena. I've never been to a completely indoor venue, I think it'd freak me out, lol.

    The first time we ran indoors it was a disaster. First, it's on dirt. Second, it's loud. Third, it's kinda cramped. And you know how Koji is. Granted I've been to some outdoor ones where the walkways were cramped too.

    We got used to trialing on dirt. So during rainy season and dead of summer, I'd trial indoors. Its cold during winter which meant more warm up time, but sooo nice during summer. Otherwise, I just went for it weather wise (but I don't run Koji in the rain).

    I say, do what is best for you and Bailey. If she's as bad as Koji, I would never do a true indoor trial. Oh and I prefer outdoors because I like being outside (except when it's 80+ degrees out, hehe), however it's nice not having to lug all that equipment, lol.
  7. melbell

    melbell Forums Enthusiast

    Feb 4, 2013
    Erie, Pennyslvania
    I love outdoors, but not a fan of things that come with doing them. Indoors are amazing as most are on turf (at least in Pittsburgh area) but sometimes can be very over crowded and dogs on top of each other. My dog will run either or but we stick to inside as she likes to chase motorcycles and cars. Also because outdoors usually the gating is right on top of each other where some indoors is not. It looks like in NC most are outside, but there are a few in that I will be taking advantage of.
  8. corbinam

    corbinam Moderator

    Oct 14, 2008
    Oh yes--this is also a BIG deciding factor in what indoor trials we do. We don't trial at all on rubber flooring. Only turf or the fake grass with rubber infill.
  9. Silaria

    Silaria Premium Member

    Sep 19, 2008
    Aspinwall, PA
    In my area we have all indoor trials but that allows us to trial pretty much all year around in a area of the country where summers can be hot and humid and the winters very cold and snowy.

    This is a very true statement. Not every indoor location is going to be perfect. There is a facility in North Eastern Ohio that was built for agility but is to the small side and crating is a premium for their larger trials. I won't go there any more because the last few trials I was at I had to crate outside in extreme cold (New Years weekend) and very hot. I hate leaving my car running to the heat or AC can be on, especially now that the prices are so high.

    B&D Creekside Activity Center in Latrobe, which Ashley mentioned above, is pretty much where I trial exclusively since it opened about four years ago. It was built specifically for dog agility, has top quality turf, plenty of crating space, great lighting, and is kept at a constant 68 degrees year around. The quality of the turf had the local university approach her to purchase it from the owner; even the Pittsburgh Steelers approached her about using it for practice. Many of my agility videos are from B&D if you want to see what the place looks like.

    When it comes to indoor facilities, ask around before you register and find out about the place. Check out the web because you will probably find pictures. Worst case, you go once and never go to another show there.
  10. ortegah

    ortegah Forums Enthusiast

    Oct 18, 2010
    Baltimore, MD
    Yep, that's about what an indoor trial is like. But because you don't get weather situations goofing things up, it seems like most of the east coast shows are indoors with a few exceptions. In the Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey areas that I compete in, most are indoors. There's one outdoor site in Delaware I go to, one in Maryland and there used to be one in Northern Virginia, but they moved that one indoors too.

    It's definitely something you have to get used to, but the first time you don't have to compete in the snow, ice or downpouring rain, you'll appreciate the indoor facility more :biggrin2:

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