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General => General Discussion => Topic started by: Becky Woodruff on January 26, 2014, 12:45:33 PM

Title: Question for exhibitors
Post by: Becky Woodruff on January 26, 2014, 12:45:33 PM
Hi Group,

The NADAC Office would like to hear from exhibitors, clubs, judges regarding FEO (For exhibition only) entries at trials.

Why would someone enter FEO?

What is the purpose of FEO?

Thanks,
Becky
Title: Re: Question for exhibitors
Post by: Richard Wolfe on January 26, 2014, 01:23:58 PM
Hi, Becky. and "NADAC Office"
From my vantage, I don't see the point.  It is quite expensive for a club to host a trial for fairly obvious reasons: location rental, ribbons and prizes (for those who offer prizes), pay for judges and travel, lodging and food expenses for judges, etc.  So...it wouldn't make sense to offer a lowered fee per run (except that it might attract some new exhibitors who might try NADAC).  I also think, for safety reasons, that NADAC is not likely to lower the age restrictions for dogs.
So, maybe my view is narrow, but if I were to run a new dog in a trial setting, why would I want to comply with all the conditions that others do and restrict myself from the possibility that my dog could earn title points if it performed a good run.
However, since most if not all the dogs who might run FEO would be in Novice and would run in the mix and not separately, it would not make a separate group run necessary and therefore not make the day any longer, I would not object in any way if a club were to offer it.

Thanks for asking.
Title: Re: Question for exhibitors
Post by: bill fehn on January 26, 2014, 01:45:08 PM
I agree with Richard, "What is the Point?" but I came at it from a different perspective. What is the point of anything other than FEO? Every run we do is an FEO run whether it is labeled that or not.

Bill Fehn
MN
Title: Re: Question for exhibitors
Post by: Jeannie Biggers on January 26, 2014, 01:59:50 PM
FEO is offered in Bozeman but exhibitor pays standard pricing.  The only reason I have seen them enter FEO is if they want another 4" off the dogs jump height.  Very few times does anyone enter FEO.

Jeannie
Title: Re: Question for exhibitors
Post by: TheQuestKnight on January 26, 2014, 02:17:54 PM
Hi Becky.................and "NADAC Office"...........

Both Barb and I have first-hand experience with a venue that permitted FEO runs................6 years as exhibitors and 4 years as judges......................

That particular venue was rather "liberal" in the manner in which it defined FEO....................handlers were even permitted to run their dogs "on lead"......................

From our experience, the LIABILITIES of FEO FAR OUTWEIGH any potential benefits...............

We saw far toooooooooooooooooooooooooo many dogs running FEO with jump bars laying on the ground because the dogs could no longer jump........................and simply had difficulty moving......................

We saw toooooooooooooooooooooooo many dogs that had NO self-control or discipline...................and had it not been for being "on lead", the dogs would have posed a hazard to other dogs and people...................

Again, based on our experiences, so very many of the FEO dogs simply should NOT have been in the ring, in, on or through any agility equipment in the full view of an observant; but often uniformed public audience, since much of which was tolerated by that venue was unsafe and simply an accident waiting to happen........................and there were more of those than we care to remember......................

While FEO holds appeal for those that would avail themselves and their dogs of the privilege WISELY, our experience was that people simply didn't use good judgement with their dogs.......................ESPECIALLY their older dogs!!!!!!!!!!!  To be sure, those dogs had the MENTAL desire to do agility; but their bodies could no longer match their mind's desire!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In our humble opinion, NADAC offers PLENTY of options for any mentally and physically "sound" dog to compete under current rules and regulations.  NADAC judges and trial committee members simply do NOT need to be put in the unenviable position of passing judgement as to the appropriateness of an FEO dog running.................especially as it relates to it's temperament, physical ability, lameness, etc...............................

If folks want the ability to do FEO, let them ask their club......................or get a group of folks together.............and hold run-thrus where folks can what they choose to do with their dogs..........................

We simply do NOT believe that FEO has a place in a NADAC sanctioned agility trial.

Al & Barb Ceranko................and Castle Camelot   
Title: Re: Question for exhibitors
Post by: Richard Wolfe on January 26, 2014, 02:18:33 PM
FEO is offered in Bozeman but exhibitor pays standard pricing.  The only reason I have seen them enter FEO is if they want another 4" off the dogs jump height.  Very few times does anyone enter FEO.

Jeannie
OOPS!!  Thanks, Jeannie.  I forgot about the 4" reduction in height.  So I suppose if someone had a dog recovering from injury or wanting to get back into shape after some other layoff, it could be useful in that way.
Title: Re: Question for exhibitors
Post by: Sharon Nelson on January 26, 2014, 03:16:26 PM
FEO is offered in Bozeman but exhibitor pays standard pricing.  The only reason I have seen them enter FEO is if they want another 4" off the dogs jump height.  Very few times does anyone enter FEO.

Jeannie
OOPS!!  Thanks, Jeannie.  I forgot about the 4" reduction in height.  So I suppose if someone had a dog recovering from injury or wanting to get back into shape after some other layoff, it could be useful in that way.

I agree.......... to a point........ I sometimes that with the large variety of "non-jumping" classes that NADAC offers......... four different EGC classes, Hoopers, Tunnelers, Weavers and Touch N Go..... couldn't a dog needing "rehab" use those classes instead of the jumping classes.

In essence, there is no such thing as "FEO" in the non-jumping classes.   There is nothing in FEO that would change the non-jumping classes in any way.  So "FEO" is really only allowed in the three jumping classes.  The only benefit of FEO is to allow for a lower jump height than Skilled would allow for.  It makes me wonder that if the dog can't jump their Skilled height, then maybe they shouldn't be jumping at all???

I know that FEO was added when we still had a jump height of 24" with no Skilled division.  Once the maximum height went to 20" and then when Skilled was added, it really makes me wonder if FEO is a valid option anymore.  The same goes for breed exemptions.  Other than the long backed dogs such as corgis, bassets, and dachshunds, why should there be any breed exemptions?  Lowering the height to 20" and adding Skilled category took away every reason that ever existed for breed exemptions and for FEO.  Both breed exemptions and FEO had very valid reasons when a dog HAD to jump 24" if they were under 7 years of age.  But they have received an 8" drop in height by the height lowering to 20" and then adding Skilled.  The breed exemptions allow them to drop 12" in height for the larger breeds.  I wonder if it is time to acknowledge the lowering of the height to 20" and the adding of the Skilled category and remove the breed exemptions for the non-long backed dogs and remove any option for FEO.

JMHO.

Sharon
Title: Question for exhibitors
Post by: Jackie Brasen on January 26, 2014, 03:32:23 PM
We had one exhibitor that was having a terrible time with ring nerves. No matter how hard they tried they couldn't get the q monkey off their back. If they knew a q was on the line they would run cautious, fix things etc. they decided to do enter FEO. Same prices, same classes everything Only me the scribe and the exhibitor knew it wasn't a 'real' run. The exhibitor was able to run and let loose ignoring mistakes and having a blast with their dog without their prior inhibitions. Yes it was all mental but it worked. After a few weekends running FEO they started entering for real a little at a time. The q monster was banished for good.


mom to the TN Shedding Wonders
using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Question for exhibitors
Post by: Shirlene Clark on January 26, 2014, 03:35:19 PM
[  I wonder if it is time to acknowledge the lowering of the height to 20" and the adding of the Skilled category and remove the breed exemptions for the non-long backed dogs and remove any option for FEO.

JMHO.
Sharon

Since the emphasis in the NADAC program is on teamwork rather than jump height and things have evolved (in a great way) to support that emphasis eg Skilled and new Vet requirements that yes perhaps it is time to seriously evaluate the need for FEO and "some" breed exemptions.

I don't think we have ever had a dog in Australia participate in a trial under FEO and most people bringing a dog back from injury seem to opt for a couple of runs in a non jumping class.

I wonder how many dogs currently utilise the breed height exemption in general ?  Here is Australia we have Cavalier KC Spaniels, Am Staff, Cairns, Pugs and Staffies who have utilised the breed height exemptions.

Title: Re: Question for exhibitors
Post by: Jeannie Biggers on January 26, 2014, 03:48:17 PM
Yeah I agree Sharon.  I am sure it was very valid at one point.  Like I said it is used very rarely.... like in the past 6 years I have had 1 dog enter FEO in like 2 trials. 

Jeannie
Title: Re: Question for exhibitors
Post by: Rena Bonem on January 26, 2014, 06:08:54 PM
The person who entered FEO at our trial in February is a person with a 12 year old dog who does well at 8 inches, but she does not want the dog to jump 12 inches.  Interestingly, the other folks who asked were ones where the handler did not want the pressure of trying to qualify because their dogs were responding to the handler's stress.  They did not enter once I explained the rules did not allow a leash.  There are some long-backed dogs that still use the breed exemption.  Bassets are the ones I see most commonly. 
Title: Re: Question for exhibitors
Post by: atom/andy on January 26, 2014, 06:25:43 PM
Greetings

I would like to have an opportunity for the reason Jackie Brasen mention, plus for the training purposes,
due to always training in the gym 40 by 40 feet. While working alone and in such a small space training for Chances is great chore
So we never enter Chances.

With kindest regards
Andy&Atom
Title: Re: Question for exhibitors
Post by: Vicki Storrs on January 26, 2014, 06:27:22 PM
Jack (Scottie) is not a long backed dog, simply short legged and deep bodied.  He is about 11 inches tall.  He has always run skilled 4 inches and I have never measured him precisely because if he is a bit over (which would have put himin the 8" skilled class) he had a breed exemption which would have resulted in him still jumping 4. I would not have competed with him jumping 8 inches.
Title: Re: Question for exhibitors
Post by: DataHound on January 26, 2014, 06:36:30 PM
I have not entered FEO but have been holding it the back of my mind as an option. I have a 12 year old who is still running great at 12 inches. However, this will not always be the case. I have been running her at 8 inches in another venue for several months because I could so why not? For several reasons - time being highest on the list - I do not plan to compete much in the other venue and so will be focusing on NADAC because it is the best venue for my younger dog. At some point 12 inches may be higher than I wish to jump my senior dog at. If she is still having fun and running safely, I have thought about the option to run her FEO in NADAC at a lower jump height rather than working in running her in the other venue. I do recognize that there are non-jumping classes in NADAC and maintain those as options too. I don't know when it will be right to retire her but do like to have as many options as possible to keep her playing this game she loves as long as she wants to and can do so.

Sandy Taylor
Sacramento
Title: Re: Question for exhibitors
Post by: ricbonner on January 26, 2014, 07:34:01 PM
My first dog trained a long time before competing and had trouble at first dealing with the excitement of a trial setting.  I now have a young dog I'm entering in a few runs at each trial.  I don't really expect Q's.  In fact, we don't necessarily run the set course.  My intention is to build his experience with a trial setting - queuing up calmly, start line set up, stay and release, ignoring horse poo and ring crew, focusing on commands and collecting to leave.  For this dog, when he has the skill to Q a full course I also want him to have enough ring experience and focus to allow him to apply that skill in a trial setting.  There are so many more strengths they need besides just doing obstacles.  If there was an FEO option available at a lesser rate, I would use it for this type of training/experience runs.

I think it would help also to know that there is no chance for a Q, then the handler can fully commit to the training/reinforcement plan.  We've all seen start line stays break and the handler continues because they don't want to give up on the Q.  But if the Q is out from the start, I think the handler has an easier time reinforcing the desired behavior.
Title: Re: Question for exhibitors
Post by: Sharon Nelson on January 26, 2014, 07:57:27 PM
I have to agree that the use of FEO so that there is no pressure at all about the "Q" is a good option.

Another one was brought up privately and that is using FEO for those handlers that do not want to enter the ring "on time" and get E'd for not entering.  If they entered FEO then they could work on bringing their dog into the ring after the previous dog is leashed and leaving.

Many handlers have reactive dogs and if the judge is alert and the handler holds back and doesn't enter when the gate steward asks them to enter, then they should receive an "E" for training.  But there are some handlers that would rather have an "E" then to allow their dog to become reactive from seeing the previous dog finishing the course.  By running FEO, the gate steward isn't irritated, the judge isn't irritated and no one thinks that the handler is trying "to get away with bending the rules"........ they could hold back until the previous dog leaves the ring and have their FEO status up front and not stress about the elimination they would receive by waiting until the previous dog leaves the ring before entering.  So that also would be a good place for an FEO entry, to train that reactive dog to relax a bit and not over stimulate them.

Sharon
Title: Re: Question for exhibitors
Post by: Maureen deHaan on January 27, 2014, 03:11:24 AM
I can see both sides - but IMO FEO is for fun matches not for trials - But..... there are very few fun matches around these days - and... if I were trialing my seasoned dog and wanted to do some training with my newbie dog - I would have to make a decision on which event to go to if a trial and a fun match were on the same weekend -I would do the trial -

Love the idea of getting to jump a way lower height for FEO - then an old dog or a younger dog (obviously 18mo or older) or a recovering could come and play with the rest of its family

The above are the reasons I would do FEO or allow it at my trials - which I generally don't

Personally I think that even if someone is doing FEO they should be held to the same prices and same rules regarding entering and exiting the ring as everyone else - I think that will end up creating a longer trial day and a situation of "well, if they can go in the ring late , why can't I ?" and people will start pushing that line  - if someone's dog is that ill behaved that they can't control it's behavior then I really don't think it is appropriate for it to be at trials - or at least in / near the ring for training

I also don't think its fair to anyone's dog or run to be used as a training tool for a reactive dog - whether it be at the start / finish or around the trial grounds - I have a reactive dog so I am not speaking out of turn here -  I taught her to be cool and *I* took responsibility for making her successful traveling in and out of the ring and in the trial area - *I* was the diligent one - *I* controlled her and was on the ball about her behavior :) and never used other people's dog's or their time in the ring as training for my dog - *I* didn't allow her to look at or react to another dog in her area - I was proactive in keeping her focused on me and not the other dogs - never had an issue and trialed with her for about 12 years or so

 I just don't think that's fair NOR do I think it is safe. and I think it makes OTHER people nervous when they have to run before or after reactive dog -

I pay a lot of money to be at trials and I work often throughout the day and I for one am uncomfortable with other people using my dog or my tent / RV space as a training tool - upsetting my dogs with its reactivity even if its from the other side of the ring or while they practice walking said reactive dog through the tenting area and using other people's safe space as a practice area - especially when I am not there b/c I am either running a dog or volunteering - we all know that dogs read energy and  reactive dog sends really unbalanced energy to other dogs and SOME dogs can't handle all that weirdness - nor should they be forced to - so therefore the reactive dog should not be near the ring at a minimum - IMO
Title: Re: Question for exhibitors
Post by: LeeAnne McAdam on January 27, 2014, 05:30:26 AM
As the proud mother of one of those reactive dogs who took a long, circuitous route to get my boy into the ring in the beginning, it would have probably been nice to have the FEO option, but then again, maybe it would've emboldened me to move too quickly.  You certainly can't save us from ourselves...for people with impulse control, it's probably a nice option.
Title: Re: Question for exhibitors
Post by: mephalon on January 27, 2014, 05:50:14 AM
I for one do not want to see the breed height exemptions go away.  I do use the breed height exemption for my Amstaff.   She is a 20" dog jumping 12" with the breed height exemption (8" now that she is a veteran dog).   The reason I love the exemption is she lands and turns much better at 12" rather than 16" skilled.  When I switched her to 12" you could see how much happier and better we started running.  In fact seeing this is what caused me to drop her height to the lowest possible in other venues too.   Yes now that she is a 9 she would jump 12" anyway but the breed height exemption allowed me to jump her at 12 years before she turned 9.

Please don't get rid of the breed exemptions- we do have people in our area with non-long backed dogs (amstaffs, staffybulls etc) who use the exemption. 

Mary
Title: Re: Question for exhibitors
Post by: Sharon Nelson on January 27, 2014, 09:33:19 AM
Good input!

Sharon

I can see both sides - but IMO FEO is for fun matches not for trials - But..... there are very few fun matches around these days - and... if I were trialing my seasoned dog and wanted to do some training with my newbie dog - I would have to make a decision on which event to go to if a trial and a fun match were on the same weekend -I would do the trial -

Love the idea of getting to jump a way lower height for FEO - then an old dog or a younger dog (obviously 18mo or older) or a recovering could come and play with the rest of its family

The above are the reasons I would do FEO or allow it at my trials - which I generally don't

Personally I think that even if someone is doing FEO they should be held to the same prices and same rules regarding entering and exiting the ring as everyone else - I think that will end up creating a longer trial day and a situation of "well, if they can go in the ring late , why can't I ?" and people will start pushing that line  - if someone's dog is that ill behaved that they can't control it's behavior then I really don't think it is appropriate for it to be at trials - or at least in / near the ring for training

I also don't think its fair to anyone's dog or run to be used as a training tool for a reactive dog - whether it be at the start / finish or around the trial grounds - I have a reactive dog so I am not speaking out of turn here -  I taught her to be cool and *I* took responsibility for making her successful traveling in and out of the ring and in the trial area - *I* was the diligent one - *I* controlled her and was on the ball about her behavior :) and never used other people's dog's or their time in the ring as training for my dog - *I* didn't allow her to look at or react to another dog in her area - I was proactive in keeping her focused on me and not the other dogs - never had an issue and trialed with her for about 12 years or so

 I just don't think that's fair NOR do I think it is safe. and I think it makes OTHER people nervous when they have to run before or after reactive dog -

I pay a lot of money to be at trials and I work often throughout the day and I for one am uncomfortable with other people using my dog or my tent / RV space as a training tool - upsetting my dogs with its reactivity even if its from the other side of the ring or while they practice walking said reactive dog through the tenting area and using other people's safe space as a practice area - especially when I am not there b/c I am either running a dog or volunteering - we all know that dogs read energy and  reactive dog sends really unbalanced energy to other dogs and SOME dogs can't handle all that weirdness - nor should they be forced to - so therefore the reactive dog should not be near the ring at a minimum - IMO
Title: Re: Question for exhibitors
Post by: Jeff Lyons on January 27, 2014, 09:41:54 AM
I have often wondered about the use of FEO in the non-jumping classes. 

I understand the use of FEO for someone who wants to do classes like Regular at a jump height they are not eligible for.   I know a handler whose dog was getting back into trial form after rehab.  The dog would measure to jump 20P or 16S.  She wanted to jump the dog at 12 (the dog was not 7 yet - so no Vet height break).  So she used FEO for the jumping classes.  She ran the non-jumping classes in her height group, and ran for score.  I did clear it with the NADAC office ahead of time whether a handler entering FEO had to enter ALL classes FEO; I was told that she could enter some classes FEO, some not.

I agree that if a handler who wants to hold back from entering the ring enters FEO for that very reason.  It would also help if the judge was alerted to the FEO status of any dogs in the class prior to the class.   
Title: Re: Question for exhibitors
Post by: Sharon Nelson on January 27, 2014, 10:32:42 AM
I have often wondered about the use of FEO in the non-jumping classes. 

I understand the use of FEO for someone who wants to do classes like Regular at a jump height they are not eligible for.   I know a handler whose dog was getting back into trial form after rehab.  The dog would measure to jump 20P or 16S.  She wanted to jump the dog at 12 (the dog was not 7 yet - so no Vet height break).  So she used FEO for the jumping classes.  She ran the non-jumping classes in her height group, and ran for score.  I did clear it with the NADAC office ahead of time whether a handler entering FEO had to enter ALL classes FEO; I was told that she could enter some classes FEO, some not.

I agree that if a handler who wants to hold back from entering the ring enters FEO for that very reason.  It would also help if the judge was alerted to the FEO status of any dogs in the class prior to the class.

So true, Jeff.  I don't think there is point to FEO in non-jumping classes and would wonder why they want to use it other than to relieve stress from the powerful "Q"!

Sharon
Title: Re: Question for exhibitors
Post by: Audri, Cee Cee, Lily, Toto, and Calypso on January 27, 2014, 11:03:51 AM
I have used FEO when my niece wanted to run my dog.  She was awesome in the backyard with her, but in a trial setting it was different.  I entered her in FEO in an event I hadn't planned on running that day as her first event so she wouldn't have to worry too much about getting the course right or worry about the judge watching her.  She could just go out and have fun with it.   After that, the nerves settled down and she ran her regular the rest of the day.
Title: Re: Question for exhibitors
Post by: KarissaKS on January 27, 2014, 11:28:50 AM
I would absolutely use FEO if we had the option of carrying a toy into the ring with us as they allow in UKI. I would also like to leave a collar on my dog and block all exits if needed (I already have taken advantage of blocking the exits for an automatic E, for the record). For me, being able to take a toy into the ring would be the #1 draw. I have driven 3 hours to attend fun matches with my dogs just to try to get the green beans in the ring. I can't do that on a regular basis (and even those fun matches are few and far between), so trials end up becoming my training grounds. Unfortunately everyone I trial with is then subjected to what comes with a green bean in the ring -- and with a Klee Kai, there can be a lot of issues that you just don't see in training and are only there at trials. So.....

Yeah, can you tell I trialed the new dog this weekend? I pretty much assume every run with her is FEO right now and don't care a lick about a Q. If FEO was an option, I'd likely enter it because then at least people would know I'm not delusional and know that I know she still has a lot of work to do.
Title: Re: Question for exhibitors
Post by: Sharon Nelson on January 27, 2014, 11:38:24 AM
I would absolutely use FEO if we had the option of carrying a toy into the ring with us as they allow in UKI. I would also like to leave a collar on my dog and block all exits if needed (I already have taken advantage of blocking the exits for an automatic E, for the record). For me, being able to take a toy into the ring would be the #1 draw. I have driven 3 hours to attend fun matches with my dogs just to try to get the green beans in the ring. I can't do that on a regular basis (and even those fun matches are few and far between), so trials end up becoming my training grounds. Unfortunately everyone I trial with is then subjected to what comes with a green bean in the ring -- and with a Klee Kai, there can be a lot of issues that you just don't see in training and are only there at trials. So.....

Yeah, can you tell I trialed the new dog this weekend? I pretty much assume every run with her is FEO right now and don't care a lick about a Q. If FEO was an option, I'd likely enter it because then at least people would know I'm not delusional and know that I know she still has a lot of work to do.

I understand where you are coming from, but no, NADAC will never allow toys to be used in the ring or allow a dog to turn with a collar on.

Sharon
Title: Re: Question for exhibitors
Post by: Lin Battaglia on January 27, 2014, 01:23:23 PM
Many good points about FEO, however as someone who hosts trails I don't see the need for FEO anymore. I can't even recall when we last had an FEO entry. NADAC is so kind to our dogs in what is offered with non-jumping classes for rehabing or running older dogs. I don't believe FEO was ever intended for new dogs that might not be mentally/ready fit to run yet. And there's a big selcetion of classes to replace an FEO run now. Someone also mentioned the cost of an FEO run should perhaps be less, I disagree; while the judge is not judging it they still have to watch for saftey reasons. Plus it takes time in the ring, it is listed in the catolog and the judge is paid for it regardless of the FEO-NQ. Just my two cents. A Fun Match is a good option for the dogs not ready to run in a trial yet.

LinB
Title: Re: Question for exhibitors
Post by: Audri, Cee Cee, Lily, Toto, and Calypso on January 27, 2014, 04:43:01 PM
Is an FEO run charged by the judge since he isn't judging it and there is no record or time, etc. on the books?  I am not saying it should/shouldn't be, I am just curious.
Title: Re: Question for exhibitors
Post by: Sharon Nelson on January 27, 2014, 05:27:12 PM
Is an FEO run charged by the judge since he isn't judging it and there is no record or time, etc. on the books?  I am not saying it should/shouldn't be, I am just curious.

Yes, the fees are still paid.  The judge doesn't leave, they just don't make calls.  But they can still ask the team to leave if the judge feels that they should not be in the ring either for out of control or soundness.

Sharon
Title: Re: Question for exhibitors
Post by: Kim Annis on January 28, 2014, 04:13:05 AM
I did a few FEO runs with my old girl so she could have fun at 8" in jumpers...she was a 20+ dog. She hated hoops, never liked tunnelers, and I was no longer allowing her to do contacts. So when I was trialing my younger dog, because of the FEO option, my old girl could still come out and play in the ring with me. I appreciate the FEO option. I know few people use it, but I don't see the harm in leaving it as an option. I paid full price for our FEO runs and would happily do so again in the future.
Title: Re: Question for exhibitors
Post by: Ben Philibert on January 28, 2014, 12:47:00 PM
Ok, I have a reason that hasn't been mentioned...... I realize this only applies to a very limited audience, but there have been times we have considered having my wife run a dog FEO at a trial I am judging.  It hasn't actually happened yet, but there are a few assignments I have coming up where it again might be of interest to us.

I believe this is something that would be allowed under the current FEO option.

Thanks,

Ben
Title: Re: Question for exhibitors
Post by: knittingdog on January 28, 2014, 05:34:01 PM

I have never entered FEO before.  When my young one, Bullet, was starting out, I started to get him one Jumpers run at trials to use as a Fun Run.  I wanted him to get used to the trial environment as a youngster and since I was already there with Misha, I just entered him there.  It kept me from having to go across town to one of the few Fun Runs that are available and got him some ring exposure at the same time.  And if he just happened to do the course correctly, he gets a Q. But that's not the reason I entered him.  Having the 'Q' a possibility didn't make a difference.

I find that I don't always do runs at trials with the idea of Q'ing and this is one example.  Sometimes I will see a course and wonder "Can we run in a different way than we normally would?" and I'll try that.  Sometimes we crash and burn and others I'm pleasantly surprised! 

The "curse" with this approach of course is when other people start judging.  I would get a lot of smirks when in my mind, I was there to train Bullet in the ring - not Q.  It was another training opportunity - I would have been shocked if he had Q'ed.  People also ask how long has he been trialing - like it's some sort of race to get the NATCH the quickest.  And that's not what I'm after at all - I'm not entered in that race.

The flip side is that at other times I do care more about getting Q's like when I'm trying to rack up points for Champs or some other award.  I'm starting to think in terms of cleaning up some weaknesses and being more consistent with Misha and that's our new challenge.  For Bullet - we're still learning each other and how to work as a team.

Maybe I think of trials very differently than many people.  Maybe I'm too relaxed at trials and not competitive enough for some people's thinking, but I truly see it as a challenge for me and my dog.  No one else matters.

(I found that this way of thinking started in my Calera days BTW.  :)    )

Robin, Misha, and Bullet
Title: Re: Question for exhibitors
Post by: bhodges865 on January 28, 2014, 06:37:54 PM
I have ran FEO in other venues when I needed to work on something.  Most of us "train" in one location and our dog knows it.  We (dog and handler) may have more nerves at a trial.  So FEO is a good way to work through those nerves in a trial setting.