NADAC Forum

General => General Discussion => Topic started by: acenagility on November 04, 2014, 12:34:41 PM

Title: Are NADAC course times too fast?
Post by: acenagility on November 04, 2014, 12:34:41 PM
I have been doing NADAC for about three years now and have never had a problem making time.  Currently I run a high drive boxer and an Australian Shepherd.  In the last NADAC trial, they both had beautiful, clean, fast jumpers rounds.  I came out thinking I had a new Elite title with the Aussie and a new Open title with the boxer.  When I went to check the books, their times were just too slow.  This has never happened before.  They sometimes come in almost 10 seconds under time!  I talked to many others who have fast dogs, i.e. Catahoula, who never have a problem with time and they didn't Q either with a perfect, fast round.  I understand that NADAC times are faster than most other trials but dogs who are going 4.1-4.6 YPS are not cutting it?  This is really disheartening as I love NADAC but if my dogs just aren't fast enough then we will need to look for trials elsewhere.  Has anybody else had this problem?  Are border collies they only dogs that will be competing in NADAC and have any chance at a championship?!  Please give me your insight!  There were a lot of very frustrated dog owners at this trial that were surprised that their dog didn't make time when they usually do.

Thank you!

Melanie Harris
Satine, Morgie, and Quigley
Title: Re: Are NADAC course times too fast?
Post by: Sharon Nelson on November 04, 2014, 02:44:12 PM
I have been doing NADAC for about three years now and have never had a problem making time.  Currently I run a high drive boxer and an Australian Shepherd.  In the last NADAC trial, they both had beautiful, clean, fast jumpers rounds.  I came out thinking I had a new Elite title with the Aussie and a new Open title with the boxer.  When I went to check the books, their times were just too slow.  This has never happened before.  They sometimes come in almost 10 seconds under time!  I talked to many others who have fast dogs, i.e. Catahoula, who never have a problem with time and they didn't Q either with a perfect, fast round.  I understand that NADAC times are faster than most other trials but dogs who are going 4.1-4.6 YPS are not cutting it?  This is really disheartening as I love NADAC but if my dogs just aren't fast enough then we will need to look for trials elsewhere.  Has anybody else had this problem?  Are border collies they only dogs that will be competing in NADAC and have any chance at a championship?!  Please give me your insight!  There were a lot of very frustrated dog owners at this trial that were surprised that their dog didn't make time when they usually do.

Thank you!

Melanie Harris
Satine, Morgie, and Quigley

I love the beginning of your post.  Full of good information and data to check on.  I am saddened that it had to go to such a negative tone.

NADAC times have not changed in ten years.  And that change was to increase the amount of time given.   Open jumpers large dogs Proficient require 4.25 yps to Q.  Large dogs Skilled require the Proficient time plus 10%.  If your dog ran at 4.1, then they did not make time.  If they ran at 4.6 then they easily made time.  That is a very big difference in running times!

Nothing has changed.  If your dogs used to be 10 seconds under time and now they don't make time, it is the dogs that have changed, not the standard course times.

One can always politely ask to have times verified.   There is a slight possibility that a judge could tell them the yardage is 143 yards and the trial secretary types in 134, therefore tightening the times.

Being courteous gets a person a long ways.  Condemning the organization for maintaining the same standards that they have had since 1993 doesn't get one as far. 

Speed and efficiency are two skills that can be taught and are a very important part of the testing of an agility dog.  Just following the numbers and staying on course is only a part of the test.  NADAC does test the efficiency of the team and the handlers ability to teach forward impulsion and motivation skills to the dog.  Yes, there are other organizations that do not put any value on forward impulsion and efficiency skills to make standard course times.  NADAC does and that is a difference between organizations.  If a dog does not have enough forward impulsion to maintain a pace to meet standard course times, then it can become an issue in NADAC.

Also, there are just as many slow border collies by percentage as there are any other breed.  Speed certainly has nothing to do with being a border collie.  With a fast dog there are a lot of other training that must take place in order to qualify.  A person with a fast dog must teach very accurate directional skills to keep those fast dogs on course and not displace bars.  In the same way that a person with a slow dog must teach motivational skills and work on forward impulsion techniques.  Just because a dog stays on course does not mean that they have met the standard of qualifying for the run.

Sharon
Title: Re: Are NADAC course times too fast?
Post by: Jeff Lyons on November 04, 2014, 03:05:36 PM
If dogs who run clean and normally make time by 10 seconds or more are not making time, the yardage may not have been entered correctly.  That is something that is much more easily addressed at the trial when reviewing the posted scores, but that is a possibility.     

Title: Re: Are NADAC course times too fast?
Post by: acenagility on November 04, 2014, 03:26:15 PM
Thank you for the responses. Maybe the yardage was off. I didn't mean for the post to turn negative. It was just surprising and frustrating to be too slow all of a sudden when it hasn't been an issue before and this was the case for many people at that trial. I will keep an eye on that from now on. I love NADAC and will always support it.

Melanie
Title: Re: Are NADAC course times too fast?
Post by: Sharon Nelson on November 04, 2014, 03:42:37 PM
Thank you for the responses. Maybe the yardage was off. I didn't mean for the post to turn negative. It was just surprising and frustrating to be too slow all of a sudden when it hasn't been an issue before and this was the case for many people at that trial. I will keep an eye on that from now on. I love NADAC and will always support it.

Melanie

We are here to help in any way.

If you submit the host club, date and course in question, I can check out the results and see if there was an error in the numbers submitted in the trial results.

Sharon
Title: Re: Are NADAC course times too fast?
Post by: kbriefel on November 04, 2014, 07:45:28 PM
I run a Goldendoodle who is definitely not a driven dog and we've earned NATCH6 and Elite All Around.  I view the course times as part of the challenge, not as a reason to seek another venue.  It sucks to be .001 over but frankly being a hair under may will have meant we pushed enough to have really earned a Q.  If we never made time it might be different but if you like the courses and the people at your trials, embrace the challenge.

Ken Briefel and Maya
Title: Re: Are NADAC course times too fast?
Post by: Lindsey Cooper on November 04, 2014, 07:48:34 PM
I'm guessing Melanie is referencing our Mountain Dog Sports Trial Oct 23-25th. I didn't hear anyone comment on it at the trial and I don't think Tracindid either.

The results catalog as posted at the trial can be found here: http://mountaindogsports.com/october/2014results.pdf (http://mountaindogsports.com/october/2014results.pdf)

You can see the dog's YPS in there.

Lindsey
Title: Re: Are NADAC course times too fast?
Post by: TheQuestKnight on November 05, 2014, 06:54:15 AM
Hi Melanie!

Nyah, times haven't changed for years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Folks at the confuser, may...............from time-to-time, input the wrong yardage..............................this I know well......................my wife is dyslexic and transpositions around our home are common.............................especially when it comes to balancing the checkbook!!!!! <LOL>

On the other paw, I've had some runs with my kids over the years that "felt to me" to be REALLY FAST and REALLY EFFICIENT...............................and yet we were still over time...........................little..................even miniscule......................bobbles add up seconds REALLY FAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I've also partnered with our late BC, Gael........................on occasion...........................and she was SOOOOOOOO NOT a fast agility BC...........................throw a frisbee or put her on stock......................she had a totally different "gear"! <LOL>

Q or NQ, I...............my wife and all of our kids, past and present, LOVE the smooth, FAST flow that encourage speed in NADAC..............................even so, not all of our dogs "got" the "speed component" of that "equation".........................

I'm an OLD FART that's played the agility game for over 25 years now...............................for me, ribbons, titles and awards don't hold any meaning for me anymore.............................and I'm NOT disparaging anyone that likes them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I'm just saying that they really shouldn't be the "end all and be all" of your evaluation of the run that your and your dog(s) had.............................as long as your time in the ring with your bestest buddy FELT GOOD...............................your bestest buddy WAS HAPPY............................and you did THE BEST THAT YOU COULD DO AT THAT MOMENT IN TIME..........................really, in the final analysis, what else truly matters????????????????

NADAC is CHALLENGING....................make NO mistake about that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  But it does NOT put stress on our dogs' bodies to perform...................................NADAC is VERY KIND to their bodies.........................NADAC DOES CHALLENGE the concept of TEAM WORK..........................and, as such, it is very good at exposing those little flaws that exist in virtually everyone's team work........................

While I understand your frustration, as Ms. Sharon has oft times stated.........................a run isn't "perfect" if it has time faults!

NO.........................I'm NOT being sarcastic or a smart *ss.........................at least I'm trying my best not to be either...............................simply making a statement of fact.

OK.........................so let's assume, just for the sake of discussion, that you "unjustly lost a Q" and whatever else went along with it................................how many Qs have you...........................and will you earn because a scribe missed a judge's call of a fault........................the judge missed a fault.......................for those clubs that use a stopwatch and timer that you "got the benefit of the doubt" with the timer's reaction time.............................

Over time, at worst.....................you'll "break even"..............................and very likely "get more than you lost".................................

From the dog's perspective..........................the dog does NOT care about ribbons or titles in the least.......................unless the ribbon comes with a cookie....................the most important thing that your dog wants is your APPROVAL that s/he PLEASED YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

To me, it sounds as though you had a couple of TOTALLY AWESOME runs that you should be CELEBRATING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Look........................please DON'T sweat the petty things..........................and, by the same token, don't pet the sweaty things!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Best wishes.......................hugs & wags,

Al & Barb Ceranko, Pelli & Katie in Ohio......aka Castle Camelot

I have been doing NADAC for about three years now and have never had a problem making time.  Currently I run a high drive boxer and an Australian Shepherd.  In the last NADAC trial, they both had beautiful, clean, fast jumpers rounds.  I came out thinking I had a new Elite title with the Aussie and a new Open title with the boxer.  When I went to check the books, their times were just too slow.  This has never happened before.  They sometimes come in almost 10 seconds under time!  I talked to many others who have fast dogs, i.e. Catahoula, who never have a problem with time and they didn't Q either with a perfect, fast round.  I understand that NADAC times are faster than most other trials but dogs who are going 4.1-4.6 YPS are not cutting it?  This is really disheartening as I love NADAC but if my dogs just aren't fast enough then we will need to look for trials elsewhere.  Has anybody else had this problem?  Are border collies they only dogs that will be competing in NADAC and have any chance at a championship?!  Please give me your insight!  There were a lot of very frustrated dog owners at this trial that were surprised that their dog didn't make time when they usually do.

Thank you!

Melanie Harris
Satine, Morgie, and Quigley
Title: Re: Are NADAC course times too fast?
Post by: Pam Kaye on November 05, 2014, 07:31:39 AM
Lindsey,

The way you scan in the results is very nice.  Much more informative than the results sent to exhibitors via AU. 

Title: Re: Are NADAC course times too fast?
Post by: KathieT on November 05, 2014, 09:13:43 AM
I have whined about weavers times forever.  :)  Red can make the 20+P times in all the other classes and usually with time left over if I'm on my game.  Weavers would seem like a nice, clean run and then check her time (8") and she would be over.  Grr!  :D. She needed a weavers at the MDS trial and ironically, she made her time with 7+ seconds and would have even Q'd at the 20+P.  I can no longer complain.  Lol. In Red's case, age is taking a toll but a supplement is helping her.  She will keep getting the supplement but I promised her no more weavers.

Kathie and Red
Title: Re: Are NADAC course times too fast?
Post by: Sharon Nelson on November 05, 2014, 09:32:08 AM
I have whined about weavers times forever.  :)  Red can make the 20+P times in all the other classes and usually with time left over if I'm on my game.  Weavers would seem like a nice, clean run and then check her time (8") and she would be over.  Grr!  :D. She needed a weavers at the MDS trial and ironically, she made her time with 7+ seconds and would have even Q'd at the 20+P.  I can no longer complain.  Lol. In Red's case, age is taking a toll but a supplement is helping her.  She will keep getting the supplement but I promised her no more weavers.

Kathie and Red

One of the misconceptions in NADAC is that a dog can qualify in the special skills classes with an average run.  If the course is set correctly and the challenges presented then the dog should have to exhibit "special skills" in order to qualify.  Chances, Jumpers, Tunnelers, Touch N Go and Weavers  are special skills classes.  The dog should have above average skills to meet the criteria to qualify. 

In Regular, an average dog will qualify with average skills and average speed.  In the special skills classes the dog should be above average to meet criteria.  So a "nice, clean run" is very likely to not be a qualifying run.

When a competitor enters any of the special skills classes, they should be entering the class with the expectations that the dog has been trained to an above average skill level and that they will be handling at an above average skill level in order to qualify in that particular class. 

If the handler enters with an average dog, then they should expect to barely meet qualifying criteria and possibly not meet qualifying criteria at all.

Special skills classes are about testing the dog's "special skills" for that class.

Sharon
Title: Re: Are NADAC course times too fast?
Post by: Jeannie Biggers on November 05, 2014, 10:20:23 AM
Lindsey,

The way you scan in the results is very nice.  Much more informative than the results sent to exhibitors via AU. 



Pam,

AU sends an email with the info in the body which is very hard to read yes... BUT in that same email is a PDF attachment that is very nice looking and easy to read. 

I am sure what Lindsey did in AU is just save the completed catalog in a pdf and uploaded that file to her website... as I do the same thing for the GDAC trials.

Just an FYI  :)

Jeannie
Title: Re: Are NADAC course times too fast?
Post by: KarissaKS on November 05, 2014, 01:01:27 PM

When a competitor enters any of the special skills classes, they should be entering the class with the expectations that the dog has been trained to an above average skill level and that they will be handling at an above average skill level in order to qualify in that particular class. 

If the handler enters with an average dog, then they should expect to barely meet qualifying criteria and possibly not meet qualifying criteria at all.

Sharon

That being said, I've always found there to be a bit of a disconnect between the fact that my small dog is able to pop a set of poles at 10, redo that whole set, miss another entry and then go nearly off course on a turn and still make time in Elite Weavers. By contrast, my XL dog came in over time in Weavers for years with "clean" runs from start to finish. While yes, I was able to tighten up his turns and get him moving out well enough to complete 2 V-NATCH awards, I have never found this difference to be altogether "fair."

To be clear, I am not asking for more time. If anything I think times need to be tightened for small dogs to make for a more equitable challenge.
Title: Re: Are NADAC course times too fast?
Post by: Sharon Nelson on November 05, 2014, 02:51:55 PM

When a competitor enters any of the special skills classes, they should be entering the class with the expectations that the dog has been trained to an above average skill level and that they will be handling at an above average skill level in order to qualify in that particular class. 

If the handler enters with an average dog, then they should expect to barely meet qualifying criteria and possibly not meet qualifying criteria at all.

Sharon

That being said, I've always found there to be a bit of a disconnect between the fact that my small dog is able to pop a set of poles at 10, redo that whole set, miss another entry and then go nearly off course on a turn and still make time in Elite Weavers. By contrast, my XL dog came in over time in Weavers for years with "clean" runs from start to finish. While yes, I was able to tighten up his turns and get him moving out well enough to complete 2 V-NATCH awards, I have never found this difference to be altogether "fair."

To be clear, I am not asking for more time. If anything I think times need to be tightened for small dogs to make for a more equitable challenge.

I totally agree with you that maybe the times for the small dogs might need to be re-evaluated.  If you restart weaves in Elite Weavers, you shouldn't be able to make time.

Sharon
Title: Re: Are NADAC course times too fast?
Post by: Vicki Storrs on November 05, 2014, 05:42:04 PM


I totally agree with you that maybe the times for the small dogs might need to be re-evaluated.  If you restart weaves in Elite Weavers, you shouldn't be able to make time.

Sharon
[/quote]

NNNNOOOOOO!!!!!
 :)

Little Jack is 9 years old and almost 11 inches, so he jumps 4" skilled....so can't use the 4" breed exemption drop OR the 4" veteran drop he's eligible for or he'd be jumping negative 4"  :). So in theory he competes against dogs "two" jump heights above him (who are the ones who may make those times seem too lax).  He isn't the fastest little dog and I'm not the best handler and we don't always make time, especially in the last runs of the day in the summer (which I swear can last 8 months long out here in VA!) but if times tighten up too much more we'll have no shot!!!

That thought is my immediate, personal reaction and was typed with a smile  :). That being said, I support whatever NADAC should decide to do.  We'll run for fun, if not for Qs, because he loves it, I love him, and every day he's here is a blessing.
Vicki
Title: Re: Are NADAC course times too fast?
Post by: Karen Echternacht on November 05, 2014, 08:08:35 PM
Playing devils advocate here, perhaps the course might have been set to wide...?  Just another possibility I suppose.
Title: Re: Are NADAC course times too fast?
Post by: Cheryl Gilbert on November 05, 2014, 08:08:37 PM
Yikes   :)  ...please don't tighten the small dog times.  (no need to loosen but please don't tighten them)  Pretty please...   
I have NEVER been able to have a slight bobble...let alone restart weaves, and make time with a Q in elite weavers.  If there is even a slight bobble in elite Touch N Go, tunnelers or jumpers...we won't Q (nor would I expect to).  We've not made it to elite hoopers but I'm sure it would be the same thing.  If it is warm or if it is the second day of a trial or if I am not "up" we most likely won't Q.  That is all fine with me.  It is pretty common for my dog to be a bit over time even when perfectly clean.  I think this is all perfectly normal.  I have friends who run screaming fast small dogs...who get 100 plus runs ect...they make time more easily than I do but that relates to the differences between our breeds.  Benny will never get a 100 point run...but we still try as hard as my friend...just different set of possibilities.
On the other hand...if the stars align and my knee cooperates and I handle perfectly and we are in the groove...a Q is possible and that is a nice possibility. 
Just my 2 cents worth.....for whatever that is worth...  :-)
Title: Re: Are NADAC course times too fast?
Post by: Sharon Nelson on November 05, 2014, 08:54:36 PM
I will not be changing the small dog times!

Sharon
Title: Re: Are NADAC course times too fast?
Post by: KathieT on November 06, 2014, 05:19:47 PM
Yay! Even though Red is done with with weavers.  If we missed an entrance, we could restart and Q but if she popped near the end, it wasn't happening.

Kathie
Title: Re: Are NADAC course times too fast?
Post by: bhodges865 on November 19, 2014, 05:46:56 PM
A few trials ago I went to get my speed demo's ribbon and noticed it said NQ with time faults.  While I know there could be a possibility if we didn't have a smooth run but we did.  I then compared the course time with Elite and Novice and noticed something was off.  I brought it to the trial secretaries attention and she had entered the yardage wrong.  So it is a good idea to check this if you had a smooth, clean run with a fast dog.
Title: Re: Are NADAC course times too fast?
Post by: Sharon Nelson on November 19, 2014, 07:38:18 PM
A few trials ago I went to get my speed demo's ribbon and noticed it said NQ with time faults.  While I know there could be a possibility if we didn't have a smooth run but we did.  I then compared the course time with Elite and Novice and noticed something was off.  I brought it to the trial secretaries attention and she had entered the yardage wrong.  So it is a good idea to check this if you had a smooth, clean run with a fast dog.

Good advice! 

Sharon
Title: Re: Are NADAC course times too fast?
Post by: Chris Chapman on November 20, 2014, 06:48:51 PM
I do not know how fast other small dogs are, but if my small dog pops Elite Weavers at pole 10 and we have to start over, she does not make time.  If there are only 10-13 obstacles, and she is absolutely perfect, she does not make time.  She is not Border Collie fast, but she is perfect.  I do not believe the small dogs time needs to be made even shorter than it is.
Title: Re: Are NADAC course times too fast?
Post by: Dev Sperber, Jake, Lil, and Takoda on November 21, 2014, 12:03:26 PM
Glad to hear Small Dog SCTs are staying the same.  My mini-dogs have no trouble making SCT when running on short grass, matting or turf but I can definitely see how much harder they have to work to plow through soft dirt or long, thick grass and it really affects their YPS. 

Dev, Jake and Lil
Title: Re: Are NADAC course times too fast?
Post by: Dev Sperber, Jake, Lil, and Takoda on November 21, 2014, 12:32:29 PM
If Melanie's original post was referring to Mountain Dog Sports Oct trial, after Round 1 of Elite Jumpers on Saturday, I left the ring feeling good, having run it clean, with an efficient line, and what felt like "fast enough" to make time.  But we didn't make time.  I almost scratched Round 2 as a result of feeling "Poor me. My dog didn't make time."  HA HA in hind sight.   

Luckily, some very nice people convinced me to run Round 2 and I did everything possible to speed Lil up (something I never need to do with my dogs since switching to NADAC).  But as a result, Lil's time was 5 seconds faster and she made SCT.   At the time I had wondered if the yardage was measured correctly but since my dog was running much slower than usual (on all courses) due to a combination of environment and surface, I chalked it up to that. 

I do recall talking to several people about how well their dogs ran that course and how surprised they were that they were over SCT. I'd be curious to know if that particular Elite Jumpers course tends to produce slower YPS at other sites too... if stats like that are easily accessible.   

Just to be clear....No complaints from me about that course or anything else!

Dev, Jake and Lil
Title: Re: Are NADAC course times too fast?
Post by: Chris Chapman on November 21, 2014, 02:31:17 PM
Sorry Sharon, I did not see your earlier post about "not changing small dog times."  Belay my last.
Title: Re: Are NADAC course times too fast?
Post by: garypaula on November 26, 2014, 09:59:45 AM
I have had a relatively slow dog and a relatively fast dog and have enjoyed doing NADAC trials for several years with both of them and will continue in the future.  The one thing that could be getting in the way of run times is that the courses are not measured.  Depending on SOOO many factors, the course layout at that point in time may be longer or shorter than the official distance assigned to that course.  I'm not sure why NADAC doesn't measure the actual length of a course while people are walking.  Other venues do this and then you know the exact distance of the course the judge has set up.  Not a huge deal, but then the variability of distance would be taken out of the equation.  Just a thought, since this is the most common complaint I hear from other handlers at trials when they question an NQ because of time.  They wonder if the actual distance matched the official distance assigned to the course. 
Title: Re: Are NADAC course times too fast?
Post by: TheQuestKnight on November 26, 2014, 11:08:58 AM
NADAC judges are evaluated on all of their skills on an ongoing basis.  Distance between obstacles in NADAC is NEVER an issure............................judges are able to accurately pace distance more accurately than any mechanical measuring device!!!!!!!!!!!  This I know because I once considered applying to become a NADAC judge.......................had a mentor in place and everything............................and "learning how to pace distance" was one of the first things that I worked on..............................long and diligently!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

...........................and the other factors that you mentioned are also accounted for...............................

........................and then a fall off of our roof, a couple a fractured vertabrae.......................and that "fairy tail" dream of mine was also fractured...........................

NO................................it is most unwise to debate yardages in NADAC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  IF a mechanical device was more accurate, Sharon would mandate it..............................and NADAC would require it...................................but that is simply NOT the case.............................

I LOVE NADAC because of the people, courses and the challenges that the course present.  Time is of NO consequence to me......................................as Einstein postulated, time is relative......................and for me, it's ALL ABOUT what I and my "kids" can accomplish relative to the prescribed time, which is fleeting.....................

As always, it's about "perspective"..................................and that which anyone places value upon...................

Live long & prosper.........................

Al, Pelli and R Gr8 K8

I have had a relatively slow dog and a relatively fast dog and have enjoyed doing NADAC trials for several years with both of them and will continue in the future.  The one thing that could be getting in the way of run times is that the courses are not measured.  Depending on SOOO many factors, the course layout at that point in time may be longer or shorter than the official distance assigned to that course.  I'm not sure why NADAC doesn't measure the actual length of a course while people are walking.  Other venues do this and then you know the exact distance of the course the judge has set up.  Not a huge deal, but then the variability of distance would be taken out of the equation.  Just a thought, since this is the most common complaint I hear from other handlers at trials when they question an NQ because of time.  They wonder if the actual distance matched the official distance assigned to the course.
Title: Re: Are NADAC course times too fast?
Post by: Sharon Nelson on November 26, 2014, 11:32:18 AM
I have had a relatively slow dog and a relatively fast dog and have enjoyed doing NADAC trials for several years with both of them and will continue in the future.  The one thing that could be getting in the way of run times is that the courses are not measured.  Depending on SOOO many factors, the course layout at that point in time may be longer or shorter than the official distance assigned to that course.  I'm not sure why NADAC doesn't measure the actual length of a course while people are walking.  Other venues do this and then you know the exact distance of the course the judge has set up.  Not a huge deal, but then the variability of distance would be taken out of the equation.  Just a thought, since this is the most common complaint I hear from other handlers at trials when they question an NQ because of time.  They wonder if the actual distance matched the official distance assigned to the course.

Sorry, but NADAC judges probably measure their courses more accurately than any venue.  They don't need a wheel to do that.  They are taught to precisely measure the distance between obstacles.  They are the most precise judges that exist.  You would need to become a NADAC judge and go through the intense training process to fully respect the knowledge they have.  Just because handlers don't understand the process does not make it incorrect just from their lack of knowledge.  There is no "official distance" assigned to a course.  That yardage is determined by the official judge at the trial.

Sharon
Title: Re: Are NADAC course times too fast?
Post by: Sharon Nelson on November 30, 2014, 10:15:15 AM
The really tough part about having qualifying criteria is that there will always be someone who doesn't meet the criteria.  If one decided that the times need to be increased it would make everyone happy who isn't quite meeting the criteria now.  But there would be awhile new group that would then not quite meet criteria.  That is the difficult part when speed is one of the factors for qualifying criteria.

I know that there are many competitors who do not compete in NADAC as much as they would like to because they just don't have the distances skills for Chances, so they will never earn a NATCH.  There are others who can't quite make Jumpers times because the criteria for the class says the dog must move at a "rapid pace" to make time.  Others won't make Weavers times, as their dogs do not weave fast.  Some large dogs don't like Tunnelers because they must duck to get into the tunnels and they don't like that.

I do understand that there are venues where speed is never a test.  Many handlers don't understand why they can qualify in one venue and not in the other venue.  Each venue has it's own qualifying criteria and what might be tested in one venue might only be tested at a minimal level in another venue.  One might excel in one venue and not meet qualifying criteria in another.

I also understand when a handler has a fun run with their dog and they are very proud of their dog and their time together in the ring.  If one finds that they didn't make time, then it is very disappointing to go from "feeling good" to hurt.  Many times that hurt causes one to become discouraged with the venue.  Handlers have the option of looking at themselves and their dog and trying to figure out how to get a bit tighter turn, how to get the dog to extend more in the sequences that are arcs or lines or how to get a sharper sprint off the start line, or they can focus on the shortcomings of the venue that causes a non-qualifying run.

I also see Basset Hounds who make time with a huge smile on their faces and Shih Tzus, Chihuahuas, Dachhunds, and every other small breed, large breed, and every mix in between.  Some will be successful and other won't.

But if a dog is mentally and physically sound, then getting more distance requires training, teaching a dog to move with greater forward impulsion is about training, the same for improving weaving techniques. 

There will always be dogs that can't make time because they have physical or mental restrictions such as fear of other dogs or people, or conformation that makes weaving difficult or jumping at a rapid pace more difficult.

It is the handler that is upset if their dog has issues that put them into a situation where they do not meet qualifying criteria.  The dog has no clue, they are doing exactly what their training has given them the ability to do within their physical and mental limitations.

We all choose where to focus our energy.  We can determine that our dog is performing at maximum of their mental and physical abilities and accept that and it is also highly possible that we can find areas where we can improve our handling or improve our dog's performance and change the percentage of qualifying runs to a more positive number!

Sharon
Title: Re: Are NADAC course times too fast?
Post by: LeeAnne McAdam on November 30, 2014, 12:17:58 PM
I have to agree; IMO either nadac times are too fast or the yardage (not being wheeled) is inaccurate.  :(
Super disheartening when a dog runs perfectly on a course (Elite) and misses time by .03 seconds!
Couldn't you at least round down?

Or...exciting to know you are that close to making Elite times?  I have a dog who doesn't always make time in Elite classes so I can relate to what you say, but I try to keep working on improving my handling and our training, and I find most of the time now if we don't make mistakes, we make time.  In some of the classes, if we have wide turns or a late cue from me, that's enough to push us over, but I try to celebrate what went well and make note of what we can work on to improve. 

Is it disappointing sometimes?  Maybe...but I balance that with the satisfaction I get from the times when we get it right and earn that Q.  We are talking Elite, after all, and it seems to me that that should mean something.  Just my two cents.
Title: Re: Are NADAC course times too fast?
Post by: Linda W. Anderson on November 30, 2014, 02:38:09 PM
The really tough part about having qualifying criteria is that there will always be someone who doesn't meet the criteria.  If one decided that the times need to be increased it would make everyone happy who isn't quite meeting the criteria now.  But there would be awhile new group that would then not quite meet criteria.  That is the difficult part when speed is one of the factors for qualifying criteria.

I know that there are many competitors who do not compete in NADAC as much as they would like to because they just don't have the distances skills for Chances, so they will never earn a NATCH.  There are others who can't quite make Jumpers times because the criteria for the class says the dog must move at a "rapid pace" to make time.  Others won't make Weavers times, as their dogs do not weave fast.  Some large dogs don't like Tunnelers because they must duck to get into the tunnels and they don't like that.

I do understand that there are venues where speed is never a test.  Many handlers don't understand why they can qualify in one venue and not in the other venue.  Each venue has it's own qualifying criteria and what might be tested in one venue might only be tested at a minimal level in another venue.  One might excel in one venue and not meet qualifying criteria in another.

I also understand when a handler has a fun run with their dog and they are very proud of their dog and their time together in the ring.  If one finds that they didn't make time, then it is very disappointing to go from "feeling good" to hurt.  Many times that hurt causes one to become discouraged with the venue.  Handlers have the option of looking at themselves and their dog and trying to figure out how to get a bit tighter turn, how to get the dog to extend more in the sequences that are arcs or lines or how to get a sharper sprint off the start line, or they can focus on the shortcomings of the venue that causes a non-qualifying run.

I also see Basset Hounds who make time with a huge smile on their faces and Shih Tzus, Chihuahuas, Dachhunds, and every other small breed, large breed, and every mix in between.  Some will be successful and other won't.

But if a dog is mentally and physically sound, then getting more distance requires training, teaching a dog to move with greater forward impulsion is about training, the same for improving weaving techniques. 

There will always be dogs that can't make time because they have physical or mental restrictions such as fear of other dogs or people, or conformation that makes weaving difficult or jumping at a rapid pace more difficult.

It is the handler that is upset if their dog has issues that put them into a situation where they do not meet qualifying criteria.  The dog has no clue, they are doing exactly what their training has given them the ability to do within their physical and mental limitations.

We all choose where to focus our energy.  We can determine that our dog is performing at maximum of their mental and physical abilities and accept that and it is also highly possible that we can find areas where we can improve our handling or improve our dog's performance and change the percentage of qualifying runs to a more positive number!

Sharon

May I have permission to copy this for my students?
Linda
Title: Re: Are NADAC course times too fast?
Post by: Janice_Shavor on November 30, 2014, 02:50:48 PM
Long ago I discovered agility with a fast, fast Pembroke Welsh Corgi.  I knew nothing about handling.  And in that early time frame, it was fashionable to "correct or chide" dogs for wrong courses.  One of my better decisions was to not do that.  At the time, lots of things could go wrong.  So I developed the habit or going back to the crating area and rewarding Rascal for all the things he did right.  When I had more handling instruction, I could review old videos and go "That was my fault!" [repeat lots and lots of times] 

Now I have a vallhund who runs in collected mode.  As he is moving into Open, we have problems with time sometimes.  So, I have to work on impulsions, drawing an efficient path for him in a way that makes sense to him.  NADAC is the right and maybe only venue for Buddy.  Where he has trouble, I have dropped him back to Intro so we can have a good run.
Title: Re: Are NADAC course times too fast?
Post by: jrtsdoitall on December 10, 2014, 07:37:15 AM
I'm glad to see YPS aren't being changed. They were reviewed not that long ago and I for one think they are pretty fair (IMO obviously) across the sizes (I have played with anything from my Jack Russells through my pony size golden retriever (4" to 20+")).

So many things can impact the running time of a class (yardage "off", surface condition, weather, dog age, dog distract-ability, the list goes on and on and on).  In respect to weavers in particular, I can say I've seen weavers dogs able to restart and still Q, they are rare but it does happen. That feels reasonable to me - and comes from someone with three dogs currently in Elite Weavers that might provide some examples from the small dog perspective...

Zak is 12.5 years old now (8" proficient, now 4" skilled vet). Used to be we could restart a set of weaves and he'd make up the time with speed and efficiency on the flat/tunnels. IF the surface wasn't too deep (he is SHORT legged) or wet (hates wet). As he aged we got closer and closer on time. This year he retired from weavers due to some neck concerns. Glad we played, glad we decided it wasn't for him while he was still having FUN in this particular class. Still loves playing limited runs in the other classes and limited weaves!

REO is 6.5 years old (12" proficient). He is steady (no major speed difference in/out of weaves) and efficient. He can make time if he's clean and confident. Surfaces and weather (other than rain, dislikes rain a LOT) impact him far less. His confidence however...  So if we are "ON" we Q, if not (whether his confidence or ???) we NQ. Seems fair that we need to bring our "A" game to Q.

Tommie is 4.5 years old (12" proficient) and is aka the "Pocket Rocket". IF I can keep her on course, she can Q even with a weave restart (sometimes 2 restarts if they are EARLY in the weaves). Obviously we are working on not needing those restarts but she is an example of small but can restart and still Q (but note her nickname and it is fitting).

1. All surfaces are different.
2. All dogs are different.
3. All dogs change over time.
4. Sometimes computer/keying errors due happen

It's a GAME. Have fun with your dog!

Laura B (MN)