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General => General Discussion => Topic started by: CWilson966 on June 04, 2012, 10:48:30 AM

Title: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: CWilson966 on June 04, 2012, 10:48:30 AM
Iím normally just a lurker, but finally feel the need to express my concern about NADAC agility in New England.
There are primarily 2 major clubs that offer NADAC agility in the New England/northeast area.  One hosts primarily indoor trials, the other only outdoor  trials.  While I enjoy the indoor venue, I love the outdoor agility.  Being cooped up in a basement all week at work, I look forward to the sun and fresh air on the weekends. Yes, there are weekends of inclement weather, but we just plan and dress for it, and take it in stride.   There are some beautiful outdoor venues offered: a horse barn in S. Glastonbury CT; fairgrounds in Greenfield MA; fairgrounds in the Catskills;  SugarBush Farms in Stephentown NY and a campground in Dummerston VT, which offers plentiful shade.  These venues are spacious, offering plenty of room for set-up and walking your dog.
My concern is that entries for these trials have been dropping, and all future trials are seriously in jeopardy. Due to my work schedule, I have not been able to attend the indoor trials, so if it werenít for the outdoor trials, I would not be doing any NADAC agility so far this year, and would have to consider another venue.
I would like to encourage everyone in the New England area to give these trials a try; EGC is even being offered at a few of them, which isnít offered too often in this area.  If youíve never tried it, it is truly a blast for both dog and handler!   All of these trials are low Ėkey, stress-free, and have provided Chelsea and I with some of the best agility weekends.  Please consider giving them a try to keep NADAC agility going in the northeast!
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: Linda W. Anderson on June 04, 2012, 02:31:04 PM
Iím normally just a lurker, but finally feel the need to express my concern about NADAC agility in New England.
There are primarily 2 major clubs that offer NADAC agility in the New England/northeast area.  One hosts primarily indoor trials, the other only outdoor  trials.  While I enjoy the indoor venue, I love the outdoor agility.  Being cooped up in a basement all week at work, I look forward to the sun and fresh air on the weekends. Yes, there are weekends of inclement weather, but we just plan and dress for it, and take it in stride.   There are some beautiful outdoor venues offered: a horse barn in S. Glastonbury CT; fairgrounds in Greenfield MA; fairgrounds in the Catskills;  SugarBush Farms in Stephentown NY and a campground in Dummerston VT, which offers plentiful shade.  These venues are spacious, offering plenty of room for set-up and walking your dog.
My concern is that entries for these trials have been dropping, and all future trials are seriously in jeopardy. Due to my work schedule, I have not been able to attend the indoor trials, so if it werenít for the outdoor trials, I would not be doing any NADAC agility so far this year, and would have to consider another venue.
I would like to encourage everyone in the New England area to give these trials a try; EGC is even being offered at a few of them, which isnít offered too often in this area.  If youíve never tried it, it is truly a blast for both dog and handler!   All of these trials are low Ėkey, stress-free, and have provided Chelsea and I with some of the best agility weekends.  Please consider giving them a try to keep NADAC agility going in the northeast!
I feel your pain.  We have seen a drop in entries here in Virginia.  I will be helping you out some this fall.  I'm heading north for the Addicted to Agility, NAE anfd Four Seasons trials in Sept. and Oct.  1,600 miles round trip.  Best of luck with higher future entries!
Linda & the Daxes
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: Lisa Schmit In The Zone Agility on June 04, 2012, 04:43:07 PM
I understand your situation more than I would like.  Entries for my  trials in IL have drastically gone down.   My next 2 weekend trials have just over 300 runs and that is 3 days-- 6 classes.    I don't know what to do either.     Most of the people in the area want to only trial inside.  I love trialing OUTSIDE TOO !!!      I don't even think it is a "NADAC" thing vs other venues as much as the inside/outside thing.   With entries being so low, I cannot afford to pay thousands of dollars for inside building.       

IT SUCKS !!!
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: Sheila & the Shelties on June 04, 2012, 05:58:22 PM
All the trials in northern Nevada are outside.  It's what I have become used to, and I feel a little claustrophobic inside.
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: dogrsqr on June 04, 2012, 07:59:57 PM
Some of us have been discussing that same issue in Minnesota.  Too many people want to play in a perfectly controlled environment.  I would much rather risk a little rain than to sit inside on a beautiful 80 degree day.  I also think that the dogs and people are much more stressed out in the indoor environments where space is limited.  I'm kind of making it my personal mission to attend as many outdoor trials as possible this summer.  Of course I feel like I have to support our local NADAC trials even if they are indoors because entries have been declining.

Gina Pizzo
In Minnesota
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: Jeannie Biggers on June 04, 2012, 08:39:07 PM
We have several (like around 30) trials here in Montana through out the year.  Right now there is only one trial that is held outdoors.  We used to have several outside during the summer months.

I cant say for the other clubs but I do know that the 1 we had here locally went indoors do to the fact that outdoor trials got extremely hard to put on.  The venues got harder to find, security at the venues was tough and most of the time we loaded all the equipment back into the trailer each night to lock it up, and frankly just all in all this trial was the most difficult and human labor intensive that the hand full of us that did all the work decided it was not worth it.

Also the weather is just so unpredictable and the barn we use is soooo nice that it doesnt matter if it is cold or hot outside, the barn is always around 60-65 degrees!   :D
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: Shirlene Clark on June 05, 2012, 12:37:22 AM

I cant say for the other clubs but I do know that the 1 we had here locally went indoors do to the fact that outdoor trials got extremely hard to put on.  The venues got harder to find, security at the venues was tough and most of the time we loaded all the equipment back into the trailer each night to lock it up, and frankly just all in all this trial was the most difficult and human labor intensive that the hand full of us that did all the work decided it was not worth it.


Most of our trials (in Australia) are held outdoors.......and yep the set up and pull down and then set up and pull down over 2 days is a killer !  When many hands turn up early to help set up it is not so bad but on the occasions where it is just me and Wendy on those early frosty mornings it is massively hard !

We have had a few regular weekend trials indoors and also hold our Nationals indoors now and I must say I love the freedom of turning off the scoring pc....locking the door and going to have a Chardy at my accommodation.

I have to say though you can't really beat a lovely outdoor trial on a beautiful day with lovely cut lawn  :)

In regard to drop in entry numbers sometimes when an exhibitor base is not large to start with in an area you really do notice when some "regulars" don't enter.  You just have to plug away and keep doing what you are doing and doing it well.  EGC sure does generate some "buzz".  Getting some NADAC Clinicians in to help teach the skills for NADAC helps.
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: Scott Casino on June 05, 2012, 01:39:09 AM
This thread raises a few questions...

DISCLAIMER: this not intended to be about venue bashing/defending but rather trying to look at improving entry numbers for outdoor agility trials.

Are there fewer outdoor trials being offered now?
Is the decline in entries only at outdoor trials?
Based on this thread's posts, weather concerns seem to be driving competitors indoors. Are there other concerns "pushing" exhibitors indoors?
Is this unique (outdoor trials entries declining) to NADAC or are there similar declines in other venues?
How do we get competitors back to outdoor trials?

Would love to get some thoughts on these questions if anyone has some insights to share...
Thanks y'all!
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: Cris Larson on June 05, 2012, 06:01:16 AM
Hey Cheryl!  ;)

I'm one of the New Englanders who would rather trial indoors. Cheryl knows my boy Lars. LOL I avoid running Lars on wet grass and that also goes for when I'm training at home. He's a rottweiler with border collie like drive and speed...he's wiped out badly on wet grass and has injured himself before. He wiped out on a landing and slid across the ground on his face. His jaw was sore for a couple of months. When that happened, that was at a training facility and the grass was wet with dew. There, he was running on half of the drive he usually brings to a trial. He has no sense of self preservation and when he's in drive, I cannot slow him down. For me, the risk of injury for him is too great if the weather is bad. This past weekend, if I had been showing outdoors, I would have scratched at least Saturday.

On the flip side of the bad weather...if the weather is too hot, I won't run him either because of the risk of heat stroke. Being a big, black dog and amped up to where he won't settle, I could see him over heating.

I will run in barns on dirt footing...that equals "indoors" in my book.

Being indoors for me isn't actually a bad thing. I work outside...and was outside in the mud, wind, and rain yesterday lugging heavy, wet plants around. (I'm a landscape designer for my day job.) My days off, I'm usually indoors. LOL  ;D The indoor facility is 20 minutes from my house. I show up there no matter what venue, club, or dog sport is running. The events you mentioned are at a good haul for me. My jeep is failing and with a new car payment looming...I'm going to have to stay local.  :P
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: TheQuestKnight on June 05, 2012, 06:27:23 AM
I'm in northeast Ohio and we have limited access to NADAC trials as it stands right now . . . unless we drive 5-8 hours one way.  Indoors on dirt or a dirt/mulch blend is OK by me; but I still prefer the great outdoors "regardless of weather" . . . I just firmly believe that a natural surface is best for my dogs' health.  Under NO circumstances will I jump any of my dogs at ANY height on ANY artificial surface . . . and I'm really not fond of any artificial surface for the "rocket dogs" because their motion/stride at speed looks "off", as though they're not getting the traction that they expect.

IMHO, people have gotten "self-centered" about their comfort and have neglected their dog's overall well-being in the process.

When we do trial indoors, it's only in the non-jumping classes . . . and if I don't like the surface, I pull my dogs . . . I'd rather loose a few bucks on entry fees than risk an injury to my "kids" . . .

Agility, just like football, baseball and soccer was and is meant to be played outdoors . . . and not under a "dome" on fake grass . . .

Just our couple of coppers . . .

Al, Dred, Gael & Pellinore in Ohio
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: CheriMo on June 05, 2012, 06:28:06 AM
It sounds like the drop in entries is not necessarily dependent on indoor versus outdoor since clubs with indoor trials and clubs with outdoor trials are both saying their entries are on the decline. The only way to know whether it's venue related is to survey previous trial participants and get feedback as to why they are no longer participating in trials. I would be interested in knowing as I have seen the entries in my local trials decline to a point where I wonder how the club can continue to offer the trials. Once the cause of the entry drop is actually known rather than just speculated upon, then the problem causing the drop in entries can be addressed.

Cheri
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: KarissaKS on June 05, 2012, 09:26:07 AM
I love trialing outdoors -- when the weather is nice.

Back when I was showing one dog I could afford to go to more trials.  If we went to an outdoor trial and it was hot or it rained it wasn't the end of the world if we didn't run our best -- because we'd have another trial to go to in a week or two.

Now I'm running three dogs and I choose my trials very carefully.  Two of my dogs won't run in the heat *at all* (literally, the Northern breed has been known to hide in tunnels when it's over 90 degrees).  I pay quite a bit in "maintenance costs" (chiro, etc.) on the two bigger dogs and don't really feel like running them in the rain and undoing all of that if they happen to slip and tweak something.

Because my trials are so limited these days, I do find myself choosing indoor trials over outdoors.  Looking ahead at my options this year, I only see a potential for one outdoor trial (not in NADAC) and the only reason I'm considering it is because I'll have gone almost three months without doing a trial in that organization.  It's the first weekend of September in MN, though, and it could be hot.  Or rain.  Who knows, we'll see if I feel like risking the money when the time comes I guess.

I train outdoors.  My dogs run great outdoors.  I'm just completely broke and prefer to spend my limited trialing experiences in the comfort of heat or air conditioning.

NADAC trials aren't doing all that great (indoors or out) in the upper midwest.  It is what it is.  I know recent reports from the NADAC office have stated that registrations and entries are up, but it's certainly not coming from this area.

CPE and AKC trials fill with giant waiting lists while NADAC trials are being canceled for lack of entries.  USDAA trials have no limits, but seem to be pulling in profitable entry numbers.  These trials are indoors & out -- so it's not just that which determines the entry numbers.
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: agilityjunkie on June 05, 2012, 09:58:32 AM
I agree with Lisa, in Illinois it is clearly an indoor/outdoor thing. Exhibitors don't want to risk inclement weather, they don't want to have to cart and set up tents and above all keeping a dog in the ring with four walls and rubber grass is much easier and, for some, safer than the distractions available in the "great outdoors." All of the things we loved and found challenging in the "good ol' days" are no longer desired. From the club's perspective - last year, for the first time in 10 years, someone was messing with the equipment while we took the judge to dinner so now we have the added concern of security. Don't know what the future holds for outdoor trials in Illinois.
Lora
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: Maureen deHaan on June 05, 2012, 10:32:02 AM
Well said Cheryl.. As one of the smaller clubs that used to host 4 trials a year in NY - I am now down to only  2 and thinking of not hosting trials anymore at all. I am a one woman club whose trials pay for themselves, so if people don't come, I can't afford to pay the costs. I love NADAC and only want to do NADAC trials...but like Cheryl, I really don't like to trial indoors  and personally don't like to run my dogs on soccer turf -

I try to visit and support non-local NADAC trials a couple times a year (what I mean by that is more than 3 hours away) to support other clubs and play agility with my friends from afar...

Unfortunately the huge number of weekends some clubs are allowed to monopolize within a month or consecutive months  is really having an effect on the smaller trials like mine and the NY/Western New Englad trials.
 
I too fear the NADAC will die out in certain areas and that it will come down to only one or two groups hosting all the NADAC trials and that will box out the smaller groups.

We all need to support eachother's trials and NADAC as a whole . Spread the love people!  ;)
Title: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: Lin Battaglia on June 05, 2012, 05:16:37 PM
We're suffering out West too. We're small in Nevada. Entries are down to 300 or less per day.  We used to have waiting lists to get into our trials. We have three agility clubs here, who combined host 9 trials per year. However, there are many California clubs on our circuit. Only a few of those folks will drive the two hours to our trials. We do support all their trials. We've been hosting trials for many, many (20) years and we are just holding on now. Our trials are all outside during our season from April to Oct. We're a hardy bunch. We've been snowed on, rained on, blown out and run in the cold and heat.

LinB
Mdt-AA LLC
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: TheQuestKnight on June 05, 2012, 05:58:46 PM
Hi Lin,

You've been around the sport for a while and understand all that it takes to be successful . . .

2 hours to a trial and folks won't support it???  What in the wide, wide world of sports is wrong with them???

2 hours would be "in our backyard" for us!!!

Maybe I'm just a weird duck of sorts; but I and mine have had some of our very best and most memorable runs in adverse conditions . . .

Perhaps it's the "reaching down", hoping to find all that you're not quite sure that you have . . . and finding that when the pressure is on, you and your partner are more than equal to the challenge . . .

VIVA THE GREAT OUTDOORS!!!

Old 60s/70s radical that I am . . . perhaps it's time to start boycotting indoor trials on fake, artificial surfaces!!!

Al & Pellinore in Ohio

 
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: MichelleWhall on June 05, 2012, 06:47:28 PM
We are one of the clubs hosting indoor trials in New England.  The reason for this is that it is what the exhibitors want in our area.  It was hold indoor trials or compete against the indoor trials of other venues.  This would have ultimately lead to a steep decline in people competing in Nadac in this area.  Many people in this area will compete indoors weekend after weekend regardless of the venue.

The weather is so undependable here that you never know what it will be! 

We run on the same surface that the New England Patriots play on.

I would say that fifty percent of the exhibitors come to our trials because they like the facility and the amenities it provides (indoor baths, lots of crating, wifi, etc). 

When I trial secretary for our local agility club it is at an outdoor location and the numbers drop considerably.  This is definitely because it is outside.

As far as Nadac trial numbers declining in the Northeast, we are only seeing it slightly at our trials.  It is true that the trial numbers are not what they were 8 years ago but that is due to the number of trials on any given weekend and I believe it is more an effect of the economy. 

At each trial we also see three to five people who are new to Nadac at each trial!

We have had four trials this year and the smallest trial was 675 runs for the weekend.  Two trials filled at 1,000 runs for the weekend. 

I am not sure about the New York area but New England is an area where you can trial in 4 venues within a 3 hour drive on any weekend.  Exhibitors are choosing which trials they want to go to.

Michelle
Addicted to Agility

Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: A Jussero on June 05, 2012, 07:46:02 PM
Here in North Dakota we annually host the only NADAC trial within 300 miles.  The 300 mile club used to hold 3/year and is now down to one, possibly two.  Next closest is over 500 miles.  The Virtual runs will probably end up being our only choice.  In addition to weather, vandalism is also a severe problem here in the oil patch, our club trailer was bashed the first night we had it outside.  Wish we could find a way to bring more trials closer---!

Ann J
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: dogrsqr on June 05, 2012, 08:32:14 PM
Actually there are very few outdoor trials of any venue in the midwest.  Of the trials that are outdoors there is probably more USDAA than any other venue.  Several NADAC maybe one or two CPE.  I don't think there is even one outdoor AKC trial anymore. 

I think the indoor craze was mostly started by the businesses or clubs that hold classes indoors.  It is way easier for them to hold their trials indoors because they already have the space and the equipment in the space. 

Unfortunately many people don't think their dog will stay in the ring so prefer to trial indoors.  I don't understand this at all.  If your dog likes agility it should want to stay and play with you.  Just because you're indoors doesn't mean it's ok for your dog to leave the ring. 

Hopefully our club will continue to hold trials outdoors.  Even if we get fewer entries the expenses are less.  We really don't get enough additional entries when we're indoors to make up for the much bigger expenses.

We actually put out a survey at our winter trial and one of the questions we asked was for people to rank where they'd rather play agility.  Indoors on dirt, indoors on mats, indoors on turf, outdoors on grass.  I think it was really sad for me to see that indoors on mats tied for most preferrable with indoors on turf.   So sad that people seem to rank their comfort above their dogs comfort.

Gina Pizzo
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: ramonastirling on June 05, 2012, 09:31:22 PM
Just one other slant to think of on the indoor/outdoor question.  I have some mobility issues and run as a disabled handler.  At one time I averaged at least 2 weekends per month.  Over the past year this has dropped to 1 or 2 trials per year but I think we are going to be able to increase that again.  I am looking at possible trials and considering mostly indoor ones ( here it is usually in a horse arena) for 2 reasons:  a) I am nervous about running on grass as it is somewhat uneven and I find even walking across a field etc hard on my back and knees b) indoors often seems to require less distance to the washrooms, benching to ring etc.  In an ideal world a lovely summer day on smooth grass would be perfect but for me, the worry about losing my balance by hitting an uneven patch of ground and the extra footsteps added into the day as I go back and forth do count for something.  Sitting at a conformation show this weekend and watching people, I notice I am not the only one getting older and moving a little gimpy by the end of the weekend.  For my dogs, they are happy indoors or out as long as we get to play.  I am thinking about trying a local show outside as my first show "back" and am really thinking hard due to the footing for me.
Title: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: Lin Battaglia on June 05, 2012, 09:55:21 PM
Hi Al !
All our venues here in northern Nevada...USDAA, AKC, CPE, UKC and ASCA have always competed outside, even for obedience. The only ones indoors have always been the conformation dogs. Playing indoors or outdoors would definitely have an effect on the cost per run. We know some of you guys in the east pay $15-$28 per run. Mdt-AA offers a flat $10 per run, no fancy packages, everyone gets the same discounted price. I'm sure our venue rental is lower. With the economy as it is now we try to charge less. For our "at home" trials we drive 1 to 1 1/2 hours, for "away" events we drive 2 to 4 to 6 hours one way for trials in California, Oregon and Idaho. Ya gotta love the sport. But I agree being outside in the elements and unfenced is part of the sport and training. Our surface is usually grass.


LinB
Mdt-AA LLC
Reno/Sparks, NV.
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: CheriMo on June 06, 2012, 05:15:54 AM
The assumption is that the drop in entries is because of location or venue. That IS an assumption. The only way to know whether venue or location is actually the reason for the drop in participation is to survey competitors who used to come to the trials but no longer come and find out why they no longer come to the trial. It might not have anything to do with where the trial is held. Regardless, until something is done to actually ascertain the reason competitors are not coming to NADAC trials, all this is just speculation. Only the people who no longer compete can tell us why they no longer compete. Once the main reason is discovered, then it can be addressed (hopefully it's something that can be addressed).
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: Anne Etherton on June 06, 2012, 06:21:22 AM
Ups and Downs club in the San Diego area just hosted a Friday afternoon, Saturday-Sunday trial this past weekend.  It was one of the most heavily attended NADAC local shows in a long time.  They allowed day of show entries and came very close to the 500 run limit on Sunday.  All local trials are outdoors except for one that we host that is in a covered arena (not enclosed).

Anne
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: dmadrid on June 06, 2012, 08:24:20 AM
Here in TX, almost all of our shows are indoors.  With the TX summers as brutal as they are, they really have to be.  A couple of (non-NADAC) clubs do outdoor night trials in the summer, and Run As One (new NADAC club) just put on an outdoor show over Memorial Day weekend.  Unfortunately, our summers are so hot that you really can't run during the day... it just wouldn't be safe for dogs or humans. 

So, down here at least, it is not an indoor/outdoor issue.  We all use the same horse barns for our shows.  As far as entries go, my club has noticed a drop off in NADAC entries.  Every year entries are lower and our NADAC show loses more money than it did the year before.  I don't know if other NADAC clubs are experiencing anything similar.  There has also been a drop in USDAA entries in Central TX (some shows have been cancelled due to low entries).  On the flip side, AKC shows are filling up and have waiting lists. 

I think for a lot of folks down here, they are choosing to go to local shows... indoor/outdoor is not an issue for us, but venue (NADAC/USDAA/AKC) and local/out-of-town is.  The economy is not that great, and folks have to make choices... and since there are so many AKC shows that don't require a ton of driving/an overnight stay, I think they are drawing bigger entries.

As our entries continue to drop, I do worry about my club's ability to continue to offer a NADAC show... it is getting harder and harder to afford it.  =(

-Danielle
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: amanda_williams_98@yahoo on June 06, 2012, 08:30:18 AM
@Shirlene. We have mostly outdoor trials a parks in San Diego. City allows one RV to stay on site for security. So we don't have to put equipment away on Saturday night.
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: Amy McGovern on June 06, 2012, 08:56:43 AM
We trial mostly indoors but it is because the weather in the midwest is so variable.  It was 95 yesterday and was 75 and thundering in just minutes last night.  I know lots of local people who won't show outdoors here because of the heat and we are included in that.  When we lived in New England, almost all our shows were outdoors but the heat wasn't nearly the issue it is here. 

Also, I'm one of the people seeing NADAC trial attendance decline (even at the indoor shows!).  We regularly travel 6 hours to show.  At those and our local shows, numbers seem to be down.  I wish I knew why!

-Amy
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: Maureen deHaan on June 06, 2012, 11:31:24 AM
The assumption is that the drop in entries is because of location or venue. That IS an assumption. The only way to know whether venue or location is actually the reason for the drop in participation is to survey competitors who used to come to the trials but no longer come and find out why they no longer come to the trial. It might not have anything to do with where the trial is held. Regardless, until something is done to actually ascertain the reason competitors are not coming to NADAC trials, all this is just speculation. Only the people who no longer compete can tell us why they no longer compete. Once the main reason is discovered, then it can be addressed (hopefully it's something that can be addressed).

I think that in our area this is not people who are no longer competing...but they are ONLY competing at ONE indoor site by a club (technically 2 clubs but same group of people)  that hosts 10 trials a year and many of those trials are 3 out of 4 weekends in a one month period.. so why should people go to the outdoor locations when they can go to the indoor ones?  When my (or another group's) small outdoor trial is sanwiched in between 2 weekends of indoor trials, people go to the indoor site ...they are no longer attending the outdoor trials and that is hurting the smaller groups.

A big part of the problem in the northeast is that people will not travel more than 1.5 - 2 hours for a trial - so when a club is allowed to host so many trials it takes away the options to go elsewhere.

As someone else mentioned about disability etc - I totally respect that - but that is really the minority - I too am a minority b/c I have decided that Soccer turf is not a good footing for my dogs - they slip all over the place - I choose to NOT attend trials on soccer turf.  I also don't like the fact that the energy (sometimes quite negative) & barking  inside these arenas builds so much and is held in by a roof - that it affects my dogs - one it makes more reactive and the other it hypes up so much she can't focus (no licking or blinking for her Sharon!) - so if all the trials in the Northeast go to those areas, I am out of luck ...

Good think I just bought an RV so I can support trials outdoor or indoor trials held on good footing for my dogs! 
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: Leanne on June 06, 2012, 02:31:19 PM
........ We know some of you guys in the east pay $15-$28 per run. .....
LinB
Mdt-AA LLC
Reno/Sparks, NV.


WOW!!!  I can't say that I travel all that much.  But all the trials I have attended in the east (MD, DE, NJ, PA, VA, NC)  The cost per run has been between $8-$12.    Where are these $15-$28 runs taking place?

Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: Maureen deHaan on June 06, 2012, 04:43:51 PM
Not sure where you hear that we pay 15-28 per run... that is just not true...

$15 per run Day of Show or entries AFTER closing date - but most trials go between 10-14 per run AND most of us offer multi dog / multi run discounts...I trial most weekends with one dog (sometimes 2) and I get pay 10 per run given multi run discounts.

15 per run DOS is b/c people around here seem to be fair weather players...if the weather is good then they show up and want to run...also people wait till the last minute to enter - again....if we don't know ahead of time what our numbers are we may not be able to hold the trials and pay the costs.. people waiting till the last minute and then expecting clubs to accommodate them is asking a bit much I think... used to be if you didn't over night your entry - you didn't get in...remember those days??


Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: Sheila & the Shelties on June 06, 2012, 08:57:29 PM
The assumption is that the drop in entries is because of location or venue. That IS an assumption. The only way to know whether venue or location is actually the reason for the drop in participation is to survey competitors who used to come to the trials but no longer come and find out why they no longer come to the trial. It might not have anything to do with where the trial is held. Regardless, until something is done to actually ascertain the reason competitors are not coming to NADAC trials, all this is just speculation. Only the people who no longer compete can tell us why they no longer compete. Once the main reason is discovered, then it can be addressed (hopefully it's something that can be addressed).

I think what CherieMo said is true.  There may be various reasons why the number of competitors have dropped, and the reason may be different for different geographical areas.  You would have to ask the people who are not attending.  I know the economy is part of it, but I'm sure it's not the entire explanation.  While I can see the attractions of indoor venues (weather, uneven temperatures, running surface, no shade or EZ Up required), I prefer outdoor trials.  And I do understand the footing issues.  I was at an outdoor trial once that had a big divot in the course area.  I planned to handle one way, and had to change my plan because of the hole in the area.  Someone had already tripped in it and fallen that day.   But still...I prefer outdoor trials...
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: patenaudelm on June 07, 2012, 04:13:46 AM
As a competitor that does 4 different agility venues, first and foremost NADAC has always been one of my favorites.   I usually drive a max of two hours to go to any venue and I generally pick an indoor trial (which includes horse arenas) due to my having a debilitating disease because the footing is better and the "ground" is level.   I can't afford to fall due to uneven ground, mud, etc.   I also have a dog that will jump ring fences (most outdoor trials the fences aren't high enough for me to make sure she doesn't jump them), and yes, before we go off on that tangent it is a training issue, but it's a MAJOR reason for my doing indoor trials.   I also am still competing with my 13 year old husky cross and with her double-coat she obviously doesn't handle the heat well. so indoor climate controlled venues (no matter which) are a blessing.  Her career is winding down and if I can let her play in one class a day, I will most definitely pick an indoor venue over an outdoor venue.
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: DT8 on June 07, 2012, 08:08:31 AM
I am a helper of one of the clubs in the Northeast who do mostly indoor trials. Indoors is what the customer wants and two other venues are running in the same outdoor facility most of the summer. In order to give people what they want, this club, with forward thinking and risk started to invest into the indoor facility which was not exceedingly popular at the time they started. Has it been easy.. no.

There are two venues that are VERY strong in our area and one could just say our numbers are dropping, and they were, and do nothing about it. It is within your ability to facilitate change. To attract people to your venue and not your destiny.
To those on this thread who are concerned that your numbers are down.. etc I say this. What have you done to positively impact your number growth? Not just advertise but to get people excited about wanting to come to your event?

The fact that people will not travel over 2+ hours is as much a quality experience to a destination as it is about gas $$$$! After that 2+ hour point that money could be going to paying other trial fees! I used to travel all over New England and the New York area but that was when gas was at $2.00 a gallon.

I, like others, have to pick and choose trial sites because of mine and my one dog's physical concerns. I also choose sites where my success rate is reasonable. That means I might like it but the surface or weather in that area is so bad that it doesn't make sense. Or more importantly.. the camping was not good and or I did not care for how the club ran the trial and or their attitude. I have trialed in 4 venues and I will make the choice not to attend any trial if I did not have a good experience. This has always been my highest criteria.

I also love dirt sites and will be back to any venue who offers S.Glaustonbury,Ct or any other dirt site which is as good or better then field turf. One of my dogs doesn't do well at all outside and would not be trialing if it were not for indoors. But there in lies a key answer. There are many disabled, older handlers, dogs who are now able to compete who can now because of the inside offerings.. how cool is that? Do I still attend outside.. yes.. but need to pick and choose and may just make a donation that weekend :-))
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: Rsquared on June 07, 2012, 09:42:34 AM
In San Diego we only have one indoor trial a year and I love the freedom of not lugging a canopy to that trial!  Still, when the weather's so beautiful outside it's hard to beat the fresh air and sunshine (though we did have to contend with a rattlesnake last weekend!).

For a while, I felt as though NADAC was dying in this area, but I'm happy to report that our last 2 trials have had outstanding attendance.  What's caused this turnaround?  Some might think it's because Champs is somewhat local this year, but I think it's mainly because we now have a teacher in tthe area who teaches NADAC distance skills and whose venue preference is NADAC.  It's thrilling for her students to have success on the Chances courses and to see her nail bonus lines with her dogs.  Her students have a mentor at NADAC trials, someone they can turn to for advice and someone who is interested in their success.  I think that affects one's overall trial experience and has people returning for more of a good thing.
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: TheQuestKnight on June 07, 2012, 11:58:30 AM
OK, call me a weird duck; but due to my own health issues, the age and/or health issues of my dogs and/or my disdain for artificial surfaces indoors, I've HAPPILY resigned myself to the fact that none of my kids will accumulate much in the way of "alphabet soup", nor will they achieve a "major" title in NADAC . . . yeah?  Soooooooooooooo???

I and mine are TOTALLY content to play NADAC agility style games in our yard; and then fire up the BBQ grill . . .

When we DO choose to attend a trial, the most that our kids generally do is one or two runs per day. 

When we DO trial, we do so as a mini-vacation for us and our kids . . . so maybe it's 3-4 times/year. 

If we feel as though we and the kids need a break and there's a trial close that may be indoors on "fake stuff" or have a "negative ambiance", we and our dogs know how to adapt to those surfaces and how to avoid toxic people . . .

Then there are those trials that we choose because we LIKE the ambiance of the trial, like renewing old friendships and establishing new ones . . . and we really DON'T care about the price of petrol or the price of a motel room for a night or two . . .

It seems that agility, like so many other things today, is a two-class "society" . . . thems what has . . . and thems what doesn't . . . and thems what has are beginning to sound A LOT like "The 1%" . . . we have more, we want more and we aren't willing to share with those that may be struggling . . .

Yeah, I remember the earliest days of agility in this country . . . when it took 2-3 "sort of clubs" to put on a trial and everybody pitched in, there's was reasonably priced food on site and a raffle . . . all ways to ensure that when EVERYTHING was pooled together, there was ONE more penny in income than there was in expenses . . .

. . . and then folks got GREE-DY . . . and decided to try to turn agility into a profitable business and personal income . . . so they didn't have to have a "real job" . . .

. . . and that's where I believe it started to fall apart . . . way before the indoor/outdoor issue even became a factor . . . 

Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: Erin Wajda on June 07, 2012, 04:31:57 PM
Wow Cheryl.  I guess you unknowingly opened up a big can of worms!    :)  We do strive to offer fun, low stress trials and we will continue to do so as long as people come to play.  I will also continue to do my best to support the other local clubs that are hosting NADAC trials. 

Erin Wajda
Northeast Agility Enthusiasts
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: dmadrid on June 08, 2012, 07:27:39 AM
Quote
To those on this thread who are concerned that your numbers are down.. etc I say this. What have you done to positively impact your number growth? Not just advertise but to get people excited about wanting to come to your event?

This is a good question.  At my club's show, we do a lot.  We work hard to put on a fun, laid-back show (and I think we succeed!).  We have an awesome worker's raffle every year, vouchers for $ of your next show for every worker, lots of High in Trial prizes (overall, rescue, BC, non-BC, vet, etc.), a great worker's hospitality room with snacks, a nice venue with tons of crating space, special gifts for junior handlers, awesome judges, opportunities to recycle old ribbons through Ribbon Recycling (a great program), and more...  Trust me, we do a lot to make our show a fun, awesome show.  We are also the only NADAC show in the Austin/San Antonio area all year.  We advertise our show and what makes it special through Facebook (ours and other clubs), and various Texas agility lists.


Yet, numbers still drop.  I don't know why.  I wish I did.  =/
Title: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: Wild Terriers on June 08, 2012, 07:39:34 AM
Wow - lots of heated emotions here.  I'm sorry, but if running a club, or running trials is what someone chooses to do as a job, who am I to judge them?  This is still America isn't it?  No one place is going to be right for all dogs and/or all people, I believe that all of the places, surfaces, etc. are right for certain teams and not right for others.  I don't believe there is a club out there who is purely mercenary in their choice of site  - who knowingly chooses a bad surface because it will improve the bottom line.  I appreciate all who are willing to go to the time, trouble and expense to put on trials, because even if there is financial gain, putting on a trial is a labor of love.

To date I have run small dogs and they have LOVED artificial turf, run well on it and it has not been a safety concern for them, and when I was running Willowby - outdoors in the heat was not an option due to her heart issues, so I often chose and continue to choose indoors over outdoors and the reasons I have done that and still do it now are multiple, but the biggest one is, my dogs and I like it!   Call me a fair weather agility person or whatever, but last I checked I get to choose when and where I run and wherever I choose to run, I will always err on the side of safety, inside or outside - so I do resent the implication that by choosing to run on certain surfaces that I am being selfish and not considering my dogs, my dogs are now and have always been my FIRST priority . . . . .

I am very fortunate to have NADAC choices almost every weekend within a few hours of home and I am also lucky that the people in those clubs understand that sometimes real life prevents one from being able to commit to agility in advance and not one of the clubs that gets my money has ever made me feel as if i am being irresponsible or taking advantage for requesting to enter a trial late, whether the answer has been yes or no that they can take my entry.   Supply and demand is an important factor in areas with lots of trials, not to mention the other gazillion variables, and for those of us without an RV - cost and distance of lodging is a huge one - this economy sucks and I for one would prefer to spend my agility dollars on agility and not hotels. . . .

If I have a dog in the future who has safety issues with artificial turf, I will certainly choose what is right for that dog, as I realize that artificial turf is not a good choice for every dog - this is a team sport and I believe each member of the team should be safe and happy, but if only one member can be safe and happy, I want it to be my dog!!!!

Karen and the Wild Terriers
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: stacybarnett on June 08, 2012, 08:12:21 AM
I'm a newbie...  to agility (I am working with my first agility dog) and to trialing.  I have a fun dog who sometimes has confidence issues but he's young and shows great potential.  I'm in the Northeast (NJ) and I am truly addicted to this sport and the fun I have with my dog.  I'd like to put in my comments if that's okay because I have a perspective of someone new to trialing with options to attend 6 different venues (NADAC, CPE, AKC, USDAA, even VALOR and UKI).  That's  A LOT of options....  So far I don't think we're *ready* for USDAA but I plan on entering my first AKC trial in August. 

I'm not rich but I do spend a lot of time and money on training.  I have the shed full of equipment thing and a yard to train and I take a ton of classes driving over an hour in some cases each way.  This is something I'm passionate about.  I'm also a competitive person.  My desire to compete has a lot of different aspects....  first of all, I feel that I have something to prove with my dog...  he's a death row gassing shelter rescue.  For him to do well makes him an ambassador for death row dogs out there...  secondly, I love the sense of accomplishment and the bond that I'm developing with my dog, I'm so proud of him....  third, I've made friends in agility and I love the social atmosphere of a trial...  and fourth, I have goals and titles I want to achieve because I'm naturally competitive in nature and achievement oriented.

What I LOVED about my first NADAC trial was the supportive attitude of the judge and the fellow competitors.  I had a blast and so did my dog.  The courses were fun and challenging.  I left wishing the trial was over three days instead of two.

What I LOVED about my first CPE trial was that same supportive attitude, the ability to close the ring gates because I'm a worry-wart and it was my dog's first trial (turns out he didn't need them closed but it gave me peace of mind).  I also loved that at Level 1 it was easy to Q.  He easily made course time and earned Q's even with course faults.  It gave me a sense of achievement and helped my confidence at this very new stage in trialing.

What I noticed at the NADAC trial was that probably 80% of the entrants were in the Elite classes.  There were only a handful in Open and a few in Novice.  I would ask the question about whether or not NADAC is attracting new competitors?  If not, why not?  I'm not convinced it's an indoor/outdoor thing.  My trial that I went to was indoors with awesome footing but entries were pretty low.

My dog is fairly fast and very athletic.  We are still green and we still have wide turns and an occasional loss of attention.  I really, really enjoyed our runs but from the perspective of a Novice dog owner I can say that Q'ing wasn't easy.  It wasn't impossible (I had a Q in Regular and a Q in Tunnelers on the second day).  I'll be back because I like the challenge of trying to make fast times with zero course faults.  But I have to wonder if this is part of the issue with getting new Novice handlers.  As far as I know, NADAC is the only venue that requires zero course faults along with very fast MCT's for Novice dogs.  Please don't read into this...  I'm NOT argueing for a change, just stating observations (my dog rarely drops a bar, our issue with course faults was in tough obstacle discriminations since my dog LOVES his Contacts).  However, we DID miss Q's in Jumpers and Touch n' Go on time faults.  We were 0.97 seconds over on Touch and Go and 0.26 seconds over on Jumpers (neither had any course faults).  Any other venue at his level, he still would have Q'd...  easily in fact with his YPS, would not have been over time.  I had a BLAST that weekend, but cost per Q was higher than other venues.

I train with several people.  One of which LOVES NADAC but doesn't compete because this individual wants to focus on AKC and USDAA.  Heavy trialing in more than 2 venues is hard to do when you're going for Championship level titles....  For a professional in an area where there is a lot of competition for students, a MACH or ADCH goes a long way to credibility (a NATCH would too of course but less people, newbies to the sport, will recognize the title).  Also, I would think getting a NATCH would take more time because there are WAY less NADAC trials in the area here.   I wouldn't blame a professional in this area for focusing on AKC and USDAA (most in this area do).

I live in an area where there are lots of indoor and outdoor trialing opportunities.  My dog prefers indoors but I'll do some outdoor stuff too.  We don't have a lot of NADAC trials in the area but the ones we do have are indoors and outdoors at nice locations.  I'm not really sure that indoor/outdoor is an issue.  All of the venues here have trials both indoors and outdoors and if NADAC is suffering in this region then it leads me to believe that it's due to other factors.

The simple truth of the matter is that all venues compete for the same entries.  A handler and dog can only be in one place at one time.  The economy is touch and gas is expensive. With so many choices in a trial rich location as the Northeast, competition for entries is tough.

Each venue seems to have a different niche and different "stereotypes" (much of this is based on my impression from other people since I'm new to trialing...  please keep that in mind):

USDAA: international type handling required, jump heights require athleticism, emphasis on progression of the novice pair up the levels, accomplishments hold status in international circles

AKC: status in a MACH but course times mean that you can keep Q'ing if you're consistent and you don't need a BC to do well.  Novice titles not too difficult to attain, big flowing courses, friendliness of competitors is so-so and there is grumbling when the courses are difficult. HARD to place because of huge class sizes so it's all about the Q.

CPE: very friendly, great for beginners, titles very achievable.  although no training is allowed in the ring, there is tolerance for dogs with some challenges (like mild reactivity...  ability to close gates gives reassurance), fun games

NADAC: very friendly and supportive, fun challenging courses, fun very different games, fast course times with tough Q'ing requirements, no tolerance for mild reactivity in dogs, low jump heights, obstacles on course require special training that is not introduced in most agility classes, great for dogs who don't like the teeter, some training allowed in the ring

UKI: very new, not may trials.  I don't know much about it but will try an event in July for the experience.  From what I understand, the courses are more international in handling styles, good practice for USDAA prep

VALOR: very new but we have an established group in NJ.  GREAT for dogs who are not capable of trialing at the other venues and great for practice with a dog who will eventually be competitive in other venues (group is growing steadily because it caters to a group of dog owners who have no other options...  venue has been life changing for my Standard Poodle)

So I guess what I'm saying is that different venues appeal to different people.  I think what this means in the Northeast is that NADAC is mostly attracting people who have been running in NADAC for some time and who have developed strong friendships along the way.  I think NADAC is struggling to attract the new novice competitors (whose trainers are probably running AKC and/or USDAA).  Beginners in this area tend to get their feet wet in CPE.  Lots of available trials and the early titles make you come back wanting more.

That's my perspective as a Novice competitor in the Northeast.  It's NOT meant as a criticism in ANY way.  I love NADAC and will continue to trial in NADAC but because of where I live I have a lot of options and we'll have to see how it all plays out in what trials I enter in the future....  In the meantime I'm just enjoying the experience and I'm looking forward to my next NADAC trial in a couple of weeks!

Stacy
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: Rose on June 08, 2012, 08:32:40 AM
This thread raises a few questions...

DISCLAIMER: this not intended to be about venue bashing/defending but rather trying to look at improving entry numbers for outdoor agility trials.

Are there fewer outdoor trials being offered now?
Is the decline in entries only at outdoor trials?
Based on this thread's posts, weather concerns seem to be driving competitors indoors. Are there other concerns "pushing" exhibitors indoors?
Is this unique (outdoor trials entries declining) to NADAC or are there similar declines in other venues?
How do we get competitors back to outdoor trials?

Would love to get some thoughts on these questions if anyone has some insights to share...
Thanks y'all!

Outdoor trials were the norm when I started in agility 10 years ago in NE Illinois.  Since most of the trial grounds were within 45 minutes of my home, it didn't really matter to me if the weather was crummy since I knew I had only a short drive back to the creature comforts of my home.  However, I now live NW Illinois where the closest trials are 70 miles away, plus I'm 10 years older.  There is just no way I would enter an outdoor trial any more.  Although I train outdoors, it's in my backyard and if the weather sucks, I can take consolation in the fact that I'll only be outside for 10-15 minutes.  Sports turf and air-conditioning make for perfect running conditions no matter what mother nature might be throwing at us.  Crating can be tight, especially at AKC trials, but it's a trade-off I'm more than willing to make.

Rose
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: bill fehn on June 08, 2012, 01:10:21 PM
I have never done many trials (1-2 a month at the most) and only once traveled over an hour to a trial.  This year I have radically decreased the number of trials we are doing. My dog and I love agility and do it almost every day.  I just don't like getting up early and spending all day at a trial to do six or less runs.  I have no desire for the social aspect of a trial. Maybe it is the male thing.  I prefer to get there, run my dog, and leave. There are enough local trails that I could do one or more almost every weekend.  There are 20 trials over the next 3 months within an hour of my home. Five of the trials are NADAC. I will do one.  It is a personal choice. I just rather play at home. 

Indoor versus outdoor is another personal choice.  My overall view is why go outside when there is a perfectly good building I can be in.  If I am going to do something for fun why be miserable while doing it. I hope to never do another outdoor trial or one in a non-climate controlled building.  A friend called me spoiled.  I won't argue with her.

For those that are concerned about safety, outdoor trials are not without risks. Dogs have been blown off dog walks etc. My dog slipped making a turn on wet grass and totally wiped out a jump. He was not injured but could have been.

I wish NADAC and all the other organization the best and hope they all continue and grow.   What would get me to do more trials? Greatly reduce the time between my runs. If I could drive 10 minutes, arrive at noon and leave at 4, I would do more trials.

Bill Fehn
MN
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: Kjbenjamin on June 11, 2012, 07:57:50 AM
I am a customer of the group in the NE who have moved their trials indoors and a member of Act-up the club that Michelle is the trial secretary for.
The first year I trialed with them everything was outside, I enjoyed the environment but my heat sensitive Border Collie hated the summer, and although game he was not happy running in the freezing rain.....If this was are only choice dam right we would still be going...
Since moving indoors we have been able to compete all summer long, and both my dogs run well on the field turf, and yes being outside is lovely but it is hard to beat nice bathrooms, wifi, and really effective ac/heat. My only regret is that soccer rules in the winter and there is no agility there during the winter months.
I am also one that will not travel much further than 2 hours, and will no longer enter an outdoor trial as I have a limited budget and want to make sure that my dogs are happy, and safe. Unlike some other opinions I feel my dogs are safer running on field turf than wet grass and wet equipment. The other aspect is the condition of Adicted to Agility's equipment which is immaculate because it never goes outside.
I should also add that due to distance I would not be attending those smaller NE trials that started this conversation even if they were held indoors.
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: dogrsqr on June 11, 2012, 10:43:11 AM
I'm glad that everyone who wants to run indoors has that choice, but it is getting to the point where those of us who prefer to run outdoors don't really get that choice anymore.  Maybe we just need to be more vocal, which is why I'm chosing to travel to outdoor trials instead and just deciding not to do some of the local indoor trials. 

I personally won't run my dogs indoors on mats unless that is the only choice I have for many months, which might happen in the winter when horse arenas aren't heated and soccer facilities are being used for soccer.  Sorry if my "judgement" offended anyone, but I've always been told that running on mats is not the best option for the dog.  I'm sure some of the slower dogs or smaller don't have as much of a problem with it, but I've always run 20/20+ dogs and even with the better mats these days I don't feel that there is enough substance to grip for turns.

Gina Pizzo
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: DebbieRodden on June 11, 2012, 03:37:55 PM
I have been playing agility since 2001 and back then most of the trials were held outdoors in the spring, summer and fall.  I've ran in terrible rainy conditions and super hot and dry conditions, neither of which I like.  Maybe it's my age, but I don't have the energy some days to drive to an outdoor trial and set up a tent only to have the weather be terrible all weekend long, then haul it all back to the car again on Sunday.  This past weekend was very hot for me to run in, but I managed and had a blast!  Would I do it again next weekend...NO.

I also trial a deaf dog, who had her very first outdoor trial last weekend.  I expected the worst, but she did beautifully and stayed in the ring.  It was very hot and she did well in the heat as well, but I would not want to do that all the time with her, Bull Terriers don't do well in the heat.  I had a hard time functioning in the heat by late Sunday and by the last run I almost scratched, I just didn't have enough energy to run, but went out and did it anyways.  I also worry about footing when slippery, my last dog "Lefty" ended up with a toe fracture just getting out of the car to head for the ring after it had rained heavily several years ago.

I love being inside on turf, matting or dirt, but not just any surface.  The surface has to be of good quality, I don't want my dogs injured in any way.  I want both the dogs and myself to be comfortable for the trial experience, that way I can focus on what I need to be doing instead of how hot or wet it is.  My dog deserves/needs my entire attention span, so the better the conditions are the better focused I am.  Another big decision maker for me is outdoors fenced our unfenced.  If the ring is unfenced and is close to a major roadway, I don't enter, it's not worth the risk since I cannot call my dog when her back is turned to me.

I too run in several venues and carefully pick which trials to attend so money is another factor for me.  I work 70 hrs a week and need to ask for weekends off to play agility.  When I do, I want to make sure I'm having fun, not worrying all weekend long about footing, weather, heat, etc.  I guess what is comes down to is doing what is best for your team, both you and your dog.

Deb
Savannah and Ray-Ray
Angelica and Lefty at the bridge
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast now indoors/outdoors
Post by: dogrsqr on June 13, 2012, 10:26:07 AM
I think some people are also missing the point that we can't all afford to pay the fees to hold trials at the indoor facilities.  It costs us about $1200/day just to rent the soccer facility.  It costs us another $1200+ to give out vouchers to workers, $400 to $1200 (yes $1200) for one judges airfare, $1/run to the judge $1/run to NADAC (and those fees are CHEAP!), ? for insurance,? for storage of equipment, ? hospitality.  If you don't get more than 400 runs per day you are in the hole.  Last year when we moved one of our trials indoors we probably only got an additional 150 runs for the weekend.  That did not make up for the difference in the cost of the facility.

Gina Pizzo
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast now indoors/outdoors
Post by: Sharon Nelson on June 13, 2012, 03:09:24 PM
I think some people are also missing the point that we can't all afford to pay the fees to hold trials at the indoor facilities.  It costs us about $1200/day just to rent the soccer facility.  It costs us another $1200+ to give out vouchers to workers, $400 to $1200 (yes $1200) for one judges airfare, $1/run to the judge $1/run to NADAC (and those fees are CHEAP!), ? for insurance,? for storage of equipment, ? hospitality.  If you don't get more than 400 runs per day you are in the hole.  Last year when we moved one of our trials indoors we probably only got an additional 150 runs for the weekend.  That did not make up for the difference in the cost of the facility.

Gina Pizzo

Good points.  I know that we are seeing a HUGE increase in the number of VT runs that clubs are putting together.  One club had almost 300 runs over two days with 65 qualifiers.  So exhibitors paid $5 a run for an NQ and $10 for a qualifying run.  No judging fees, recording fees or trial fees.  If someone had a great yard with a full set of equipment, then people could get more opportunities to compete in NADAC without the massive expense of a full trial.

Sharon
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: agilityjunkie on June 13, 2012, 03:55:53 PM
VT runs are a good option, and I have a nice yard and plan to hold some VT runs for Hoopers this year, on a small scale. I have to be honest, uploading upwards of 65 videos to youtube scares me...a lot! Has another option for submitting VT runs been considered? Could clubs submit a disc for viewing runs on a larger scale?
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: DonovanZoo on June 13, 2012, 04:59:25 PM
We don't have many indoor trials here in Arizona but from listening to spectator "chatter" I would venture to say that many folks would do an indoor trial to keep their dogs from running off.  I personally preach along the "It's a training issue" lines. I hope this doesn't open a whole different can of worms but I can see a large number of folks choosing inside over outside for that reason. The different types of fencing can be a hot topic around here.  Me, personally, I LOVE the DIRT in a barn, I would take that over grass any day. Our dirt trials here in AZ have disappeared.  I like "weather", any weather as long as it's safe, as a current desert dweller rain is always welcome.(Although from an equipment person perspective putting away nice clean equipment from an indoor trial must be nice)

Chrissy Donovan
Tucson


This thread raises a few questions...

DISCLAIMER: this not intended to be about venue bashing/defending but rather trying to look at improving entry numbers for outdoor agility trials.

Are there fewer outdoor trials being offered now?
Is the decline in entries only at outdoor trials?
Based on this thread's posts, weather concerns seem to be driving competitors indoors. Are there other concerns "pushing" exhibitors indoors?
Is this unique (outdoor trials entries declining) to NADAC or are there similar declines in other venues?
How do we get competitors back to outdoor trials?

Would love to get some thoughts on these questions if anyone has some insights to share...
Thanks y'all!
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: Sharon Nelson on June 13, 2012, 08:35:26 PM
VT runs are a good option, and I have a nice yard and plan to hold some VT runs for Hoopers this year, on a small scale. I have to be honest, uploading upwards of 65 videos to youtube scares me...a lot! Has another option for submitting VT runs been considered? Could clubs submit a disc for viewing runs on a larger scale?

You will be excited to know that an entire "submission" program is being created by Stefan and Chris... it is totally awesome!!!  And very professional and easy to use!  It will be ready for beta testing soon and what a great job Stefan has done on it!!  WOW is the best word to describe it.

VT will be easy and amazing to enter your submissions.

Sharon
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: agilityjunkie on June 14, 2012, 07:24:50 AM
Sharon, let me know when you are beta testing. I would be happy to help test with some VT runs from the Junkyard. The way I look at this is holding a few VT trials might make the money I need to hold a couple of really nice indoor trials. I wouldn't have to worry about taking a loss. They would balance each other out.
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: Sharon Nelson on June 14, 2012, 10:03:16 AM
Sharon, let me know when you are beta testing. I would be happy to help test with some VT runs from the Junkyard. The way I look at this is holding a few VT trials might make the money I need to hold a couple of really nice indoor trials. I wouldn't have to worry about taking a loss. They would balance each other out.

That is what many groups are finding out.   A smaller trial site, very friendly, no fees paid out unless a qualifying run happens and then PARTY and submit!  For clubs that do have to rent the air conditioned indoor facilities, then a few evenings of VT runs helps to raise the funds for "expensive" daytime trial.  And an evening BBQ is fun, even when the dogs NQ because they run to the smell of dinner cooking! 

Groups are basically charging $5 per run to furnish and maintain equipment and those great runs do cost an additional $5 to submit for a qualifying VT run.

Sharon
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: mmo.teach on June 19, 2012, 11:31:57 AM
We have moved our outdoor trials inside our training center with great footing. However, we continue to see a drop in our entries. We have had to make the painful decision to drop one of our trial dates. We were actually losing money.
We LOVE our Nadac and wish it would step back up in entries. We only wish to break even! Come play with us at High Octane in Doylestown, Pa!
Maureen Burke
Hatboro, Pa.
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: patenaudelm on June 26, 2012, 01:02:12 PM
Having been a long time NADAC competitor (back when it was Gamblers in the early 2000's and combined with ASCA) I've seen the changes in NADAC (In my own opinion as everyone elses some are okay, some are not).   

Last weekend I did NADAC again with my border collie and my 13 year old all american who has two NATCHes.   My border collie had an absolutely FLAWLESS run in a very very difficult Touch and Go class.  I was extremely proud of her navigating this course, but much to my dismay she was one second over time.   True she doesn't know this, but if she cannot make time a NATCH or V-NATCH will NEVER happen.   In thinking back, maybe she could have made her turns a little tighter, probably two on two off extended her time, but am I willing to give up those contacts, heavens no.    I worked way too hard to have her get those contacts.   

With my all american, I've dropped her down to Novice just so she can play and enter her in the classes with as few jumps as possible (usually Regular and Chances) - she's healthy and sound, but why risk an injury when she loves the game and she can handle those 12" jumps with no problem.   In her Novice Chances she was the only one of about 20 dogs that actually Qualified.   How disheartening is it for Novice competitors (or any level for that matter) to want to play in NADAC if a) they cannot make time or b) if the courses are so difficult they don't stand a chance to qualify.   I know in my own mind, it's like flushing money down the toilet.    It's a shame, because the facility is awesome, the people are awesome and I usually volunteer to work every class I'm not running in just to help this group out.

I'm seriously thinking about how much I want to do NADAC in the future.    It's disheartening to watch newbies come in, have an awesome run and see they haven't qualified because they didn't make time and it's just as disheartening for us "old timers" to have absolutely gorgeous runs and again see we didn't make time with our younger dogs. 

It's a very tough decision I have to make because I do like NADAC, but simply am not going to continue to keep spending the money if a Q is not on the horizon never mind in sight.  Thank goodness it's some time before I have to actually make the decision.

Linda, NATCH and NATCH-2 Suzy, 2500 Lifetime points and Kaedence (who's just gotten into Elite)
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: TheQuestKnight on June 27, 2012, 02:27:42 PM
It's disheartening to me to see the topic of NADAC times and being over time and not qualifying rear it's ugly head once more.  I've only been around NADAC since 2005; but NADAC times are more generous now than they have EVER been!!!

If anyone is choosing a venue based upon where they qualify the most, you have my sincere sympathy . . .

Dogs don't care . . . and most often don't know if the did something called "qualifying" or not . . .

Ten to fifteen bucks to see my dogs smiling at the end of their runs is worth it to me . . . I've been in agility for over 20 years and we don't need no stinkin' ribbons . . .

Newbies need to learn straight away that they have to EARN what they get . . . NOTHING is going to be handed to them . . . at least not in NADAC, IMHO . . .

I've NEVER wasted money at a NADAC trial by NQing . . . to the contrary, Qs waste money because I don't learn all that much about where me and my dogs have to improve . . .

It's all about perspective, I guess . . .

Al & Pellinore in Ohio 
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: dogrsqr on June 27, 2012, 03:55:31 PM
I'm sure my response is not going to be popular, but..... I really don't think NADAC times are that elusive.  When I moved my 14 year old mixed breed back to Novice Tunnelers she didn't have an issue making time.  Let me also say that we have had two Border Collies who were not your typical "ball of fire" BCs. 

I find it frustrating that people seem to think that speed is not part of agility.  It is part of what makes a run awesome.  If my dog can't make tight turns or perform the weave poles or stay at the start line everyone sees that as a training issue.  Speed or lack thereof is also a training issue.  When I started my new dog in agility classes I refused to do sequences that were technical.  I wanted to first focus on speed, distance, motivation, fun and confidence.  In my opinion the technical stuff can wait. 

I think that if you do more NADAC your dog will speed up.  They just need some time to figure out that there isn't a turn after every other obstacle.

I guess from my perspective a trial is a test of your training.  If you don't qualify it shows you what you need to work on.  If you qualify all the time you have nothing to work on.  How boring!

Gina Pizzo
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: Shirley Wallace on June 28, 2012, 04:00:21 AM
Thanks, Gina!!!  I'm going to use the last part of your statement as my new personal mantra!!!  It makes a LOT of sense!    :D
Shirley


"I guess from my perspective a trial is a test of your training.  If you don't qualify it shows you what you need to work on.  If you qualify all the time you have nothing to work on.  How boring!"

Gina Pizzo
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: dmadrid on June 28, 2012, 08:42:31 AM
Linda,

I definitely understand where you are coming from.  I have had so many of those lovely runs that are just a second (or less!) over time... for us, Jumpers is the worst...  It can be quite frustrating.  But, if you were only a second over time, I would think that a Q is definitely in your future!  Maybe not every time, but you and your girl *will* get there! 

I, too, think that NADAC times are doable... but we would be fooling ourselves if we said that NADAC times aren't tight and don't require a lot of speed, and efficient turns.  My Anja, for instance, is not a blazing fast dog, although she will move with some decent speed while on course.  But, in an Elite Tunnelers run, for instance, if she takes a turn too wide, or does a head check to see where I am, then we've lost our Q right there.  We are that much on the line.  We have enough success, though, that it isn't discouraging... but if it was every single run, every time, then, yes, it would be.

For newbies, though, I think the situation is very different, and we shouldn't be so quick to slam someone that might get discouraged if they never, or only rarely, get a Q.  As a new competitor, to continually fail to Q could indeed be quite discouraging.  Especially if it is consistently because of time.  Not everyone knows how to train for speed.  And even if you do know some tricks to train for speed, it can be *hard.*  Not every trick works for every dog... and even those that do take time.  You may be fighting a lot of training inertia to get that dog to change their speed.

People enter trials to test their dogs, yes, but also to prove that their dogs are ready to be tested.  They want to have some brags... and there is nothing wrong or pitiable with that.  If no one wanted that, we wouldn't have trials... we'd just be running in our back yards or our training clubs or whatever.  Let's not disparage people that have competitive goals... or those that chose to trial in a different venue because they can actually achieve something in that venue.  I can so easily imagine how sad I would have been, starting out as a new competitor, if *every* time I went to the line with Anja and had a lovely run, I later saw the results and realized we'd been too slow over and over and over again.  I'm lucky, and that didn't happen to me... but I've known people that have dogs that Q at the excellent level in AKC and struggle to make Novice NADAC time.  This is not unheard of.  And if they chose not to trial in NADAC, we shouldn't be so quick to judge or pity them.  Conversely, I've known some dogs that are true "NADAC dogs" and do wonderfully on fast, open courses where they can blast away, but have a hell of a time on a tight, technical Masters Jumpers course.  We don't pity those dogs and handlers for choosing a venue where they can have fun *and* be successful.  It should go both ways.

Best,
Danielle
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: Sharon Nelson on June 28, 2012, 10:25:30 AM
[quote author=dmadrid link=topic=491.msg2489#msg2489

I've known people that have dogs that Q at the excellent level in AKC and struggle to make Novice NADAC time.  This is not unheard of.  And if they chose not to trial in NADAC, we shouldn't be so quick to judge or pity them.  Conversely, I've known some dogs that are true "NADAC dogs" and do wonderfully on fast, open courses where they can blast away, but have a hell of a time on a tight, technical Masters Jumpers course.  We don't pity those dogs and handlers for choosing a venue where they can have fun *and* be successful.  It should go both ways.

Best,
Danielle
[/quote]

Danielle,
  WOW, what a true statement!  I do hear a lot about how a dog comes from a different venue where they make time and are successful.  But if they don't make time, then it is a fault of NADAC's and their qualifying standards.  If a dog can make time in another venue, then there is something wrong with NADAC if they can't make time there.
   But, if a good NADAC dog goes to another venue and fails one of the more technical, collected sequences, then people almost laugh at the NADAC dog..... haha, the dog didn't make the 5 turns in a row..... bad NADAC dog... it is never a fault of the course design by the venue.... and no one feels pity for the NADAC dog..... but most of those same "laughers" with scream when their dog can't meet the qualifying criteria for NADAC..... and the NADAC people don't laugh and sneer at them.... in most cases they go to them and offer suggestions on how to improve the teams times and offer training tips....
    It is too bad that it doesn't go both ways in many cases.  But that is also one of the strong points of NADAC, the open minded, cheerful, helping atmosphere at NADAC... come, have fun, work hard and see the Q's happen!  And enjoy everyone there and cheer for all successes.  I know that isn't at ALL NADAC trials, but it is at most of them!

Sharon
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: dmadrid on June 28, 2012, 12:00:08 PM
Sharon,

Agreed!  I have never met better agility people than NADAC agility people!  When I was first starting out, it meant so much to me to have elite level handlers come and talk to me about my runs (they watched them!) and about my dog.  It was so, so encouraging.  And such a wonderful environment to start trialing in! 

After tough excellent/masters runs, if things go well, one of my instructors here in TX is fond of saying "well, of course that went so well for us... we do NADAC!"  It may be slowly, but at least in TX we are trying to spread the word that NADAC dogs can do it all!  (or, conversely, that other dogs can do NADAC, too!)

Best,
Danielle
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: DonovanZoo on June 28, 2012, 12:13:39 PM
Hi Linda,

I truly am sorry you feel this way. I also have "issues" with some of the NADAC changes over the years but I still play because it is the best game out there.  I Love NADAC.  In the past few years MORE time has been given in some of the classes. 

In the eyes of competitors that love the other organizations, NADAC is already too easy.  The courses are nice and flowing(most of the time), wide open sometimes.  This is deceiving. In my mind the "NADAC Challenge" is to stay on the path, in the contact zone,& hitting those weave entrances with SPEED. The dog going as fast as they can & having FUN.  Not walking, not trotting, not even slowly loping.  It is one of the few "challenges" we have left. Some say their dogs can not run that fast.  I see many dogs that drag around the agility course go off and RUN for a ball.  They chase lizards, rabbits, butterflies with GREAT enthusiasm.  If someone's dog is able to blast around the backyard, tear around a field,run thru the woods or gallop around in a dog park with a bunch of dogs they should be able to make time in NADAC.

I've seen some dogs that have done a lot of AKC type agility actually have to LEARN how to run fast and do agility--NADAC style.  Maybe you could try building speed with very short sequences keeping it fun and short.  I know folks have been successful with this.

Good Luck and We Hope You Stick With It,
      Chrissy Donovan,Tucson
     



Having been a long time NADAC competitor (back when it was Gamblers in the early 2000's and combined with ASCA) I've seen the changes in NADAC (In my own opinion as everyone elses some are okay, some are not).   

Last weekend I did NADAC again with my border collie and my 13 year old all american who has two NATCHes.   My border collie had an absolutely FLAWLESS run in a very very difficult Touch and Go class.  I was extremely proud of her navigating this course, but much to my dismay she was one second over time.   True she doesn't know this, but if she cannot make time a NATCH or V-NATCH will NEVER happen.   In thinking back, maybe she could have made her turns a little tighter, probably two on two off extended her time, but am I willing to give up those contacts, heavens no.    I worked way too hard to have her get those contacts.   

With my all american, I've dropped her down to Novice just so she can play and enter her in the classes with as few jumps as possible (usually Regular and Chances) - she's healthy and sound, but why risk an injury when she loves the game and she can handle those 12" jumps with no problem.   In her Novice Chances she was the only one of about 20 dogs that actually Qualified.   How disheartening is it for Novice competitors (or any level for that matter) to want to play in NADAC if a) they cannot make time or b) if the courses are so difficult they don't stand a chance to qualify.   I know in my own mind, it's like flushing money down the toilet.    It's a shame, because the facility is awesome, the people are awesome and I usually volunteer to work every class I'm not running in just to help this group out.

I'm seriously thinking about how much I want to do NADAC in the future.    It's disheartening to watch newbies come in, have an awesome run and see they haven't qualified because they didn't make time and it's just as disheartening for us "old timers" to have absolutely gorgeous runs and again see we didn't make time with our younger dogs. 

It's a very tough decision I have to make because I do like NADAC, but simply am not going to continue to keep spending the money if a Q is not on the horizon never mind in sight.  Thank goodness it's some time before I have to actually make the decision.

Linda, NATCH and NATCH-2 Suzy, 2500 Lifetime points and Kaedence (who's just gotten into Elite)
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: Maureen deHaan on June 28, 2012, 12:13:57 PM
[quote author=dmadrid link=topic=491.msg2489#msg2489

    It is too bad that it doesn't go both ways in many cases.  But that is also one of the strong points of NADAC, the open minded, cheerful, helping atmosphere at NADAC... come, have fun, work hard and see the Q's happen!  And enjoy everyone there and cheer for all successes.  I know that isn't at ALL NADAC trials, but it is at most of them!

Sharon

And THAT is one of the fundamental reasons I love NADAC so much! :-*
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: Cris Larson on June 28, 2012, 12:43:30 PM
Conversely, I've known some dogs that are true "NADAC dogs" and do wonderfully on fast, open courses where they can blast away, but have a hell of a time on a tight, technical Masters Jumpers course.  We don't pity those dogs and handlers for choosing a venue where they can have fun *and* be successful.  It should go both ways.

Best,
Danielle

Danielle pretty much described my Rottie, Lars with this phrase. He is a 5 - 7 YPS high speed freight train and we will be lucky to ever get out of AKC open agility. If I handle him for keeping the bars up, he has off courses. And if I handle him have no off courses, then he hulk smashes his way through the jumps.

Even with his speed, we're having a hard time transitioning to the times that Elite requires. If we have one flub, we're done. We've been in Elite for a couple of months now and it seems like Elite tunnelers is where we consistently Q. I will say that there isn't anything wrong with being a little competitive in this sport. I am competitive and I have a dog who is brilliant, fast, and powerful when he is "on." It does sting a little bit when you have a very talented dog and you consistently don't Q. Granted, Lars is my first agility dog and he has taught me a lot. But like someone said, if I was just doing it for the fun of it...then my back yard and drop in classes would totally suffice instead of actual trials.
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: patenaudelm on June 28, 2012, 12:48:20 PM
Yes, I agree it's a training issue, don't get me wrong - I certainly don't care if I place - that's an added bonus  ;D  and for someone to say that I'm just in it for the NATCH or V-NATCH is totally incorrect, but is there something wrong with having that has a goal?   

It took me almost 3 years to the date to get Suzy's NATCH-2, (if I didn't enjoy doing it I certainly wouldn't have struggled to get those last Chances Qs).   In fact, Chances is one of my favorite classes.   If someone says Chances is not a technical course, they are full of bologne :)   You've got to be ON THE MONEY for your commands or you are in BIG TROUBLE...  I certainly enjoy NADAC or I wouldn't be doing it :) .    And, I compete in 4 venues with my border collie and 2 now with my 13 year old.     And, I am not cut-throat about having to qualify every time - my 13 year old went off course in her Novice Standard run last weekend and had the biggest grin on her face it was hysterical.   In fact, the only reason I dropped her to Novice as I said before was so she could have less jumps to take.   It's going to break my heart (and hers) when she cannot play anymore as she still springs off that start line trying to get that 13 year old, 50 pound body, to get what it used to do even 3 years ago, but she still comes off that finish line smiling and bouncing.   She's just not gonna willingly give it up and I'm going to have to make that judgement call for her safety.

My point was that it can be disheartening for people to go have the fun of having a beautiful run and then finding out they missed time by a second or less (and I've been there too) (maybe their goal for the weekend was to just get that one Q). 

You're exactly right Danielle, if we didn't have goals or want the Q's we wouldn't be out there competing to get that Q or Title or NATCH, CATCH, ADCH or MACH, we would be staying home playing at the training facility or in our own backyards.  I've got students who compete regularly and I've got students who don't care if they ever compete, however, they all get the same level of training from me.   I've also got students who only do AKC or NADAC or CPE or USDAA - that's entirely up to them.   I certainly don't hold it against them if they never run a NADAC course and poo poo NADAC, that's their preference, however, my classes concentrate on every venue and trust me there are a lot of serpentines, wraps, threadles, discriminations on my courses :)    I try to gear my classes for the week as to who is competing the following weekend and what venue they are doing.   Every venue has it plusses and minuses.

So let's not be judgemental when I say that making time can be disheartening for everyone (whether Elite, Open or Novice).   Everyone out that has some kind of goal or they wouldn't be out their "donating" their run money for that NQ.

Linda
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: dogrsqr on June 29, 2012, 08:10:24 AM
I don't think anyone used the word "pity". 

Training for accuracy with a fast dog is just as tough as training for speed with a accurate dog.  There are not a great many people who can put in the time to train well for all venues.  It is a tough thing to do and requires "tune-ups" when changing from venue to venue.

Believe me when I was a newbie to the sport I spent many weekends without getting a Q, and I'm right back there with my new dog, so yes I can understand.  I don't think anyone is judging anyone who likes to Q.  My point was only that speed is as much a training issue as any other part of agility. 

I will totally agree with those that have said the NADAC courses are much less technical which allows the dog to run faster.  If a dog is used to running technical sequences it will take them some time to realize they can stretch out.  That doesn't mean they won't get there, it just means they need some time to figure it out. 

Likewise when I go run USDAA I have to realize that my dog will need time to realize she can't just take whats in front of her.  I guess I just see it as a challenge.  That's the challenge that those courses will provide for me.

If you're only a second away from making time that can probably be made up with a push on the last line out of the course.

Gina Pizzo
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: Sheila & the Shelties on June 29, 2012, 04:18:52 PM
Can someone please define"technical" courses?  I have an idea of what people referring to, but can someone provide some definitions?  And if a course if not "technical", what is it called?
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: Maureen deHaan on June 30, 2012, 07:55:15 AM

I will totally agree with those that have said the NADAC courses are much less technical which allows the dog to run faster.  If a dog is used to running technical sequences it will take them some time to realize they can stretch out.  That doesn't mean they won't get there, it just means they need some time to figure it out. 


Not sure that NADAC courses are LESS technical - but they sure do have a lot more FLOW and fewer crappy angles the dogs have to navigate  and I am VERY thankful for that - for the longevity of my dogs (who are both built differently and run differently but are both meant to run NADAC style courses)

EX: with my fast dog I find the course challenges to be technical in a different sense =  different from the placement of jumps or angles I have to ask my dog to contort her body to do - its more about the technicalities of timing and drwaing the path -
Title: Re: Concern for NADAC agility in the Northeast
Post by: dmadrid on June 30, 2012, 09:35:36 AM
I generally think of technical courses as courses that have a lot of tight turns and tricky bits ... elements might include wraps, unintuitive tunnel entrances, frequent turns and call-offs.... basically a course where the dog needs to stay in handler focus more than they can go into obstacle focus. 

If you've trained for it, they can be quite fun.  But, they are very different than what you might see, for example, in a fast, flowing touch-n-go course. 

Best,
Danielle