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General => General Discussion => Topic started by: Salli Dulco on October 27, 2017, 05:11:53 PM

Title: New rule changes
Post by: Salli Dulco on October 27, 2017, 05:11:53 PM
Hi Chris,
On Thursday, Oct. 27th, I watched your video regarding the new rule changes effective immediately.

Please clarify the following that I didn’t see in the updated rule book for the startline. How many attempts does a handler have to step back to the dog before it is considered training? 

And, are those attempts an overall total, regardless of what side of the obstacle plane the handler is on?

Thanks,
Salli Dulco
Title: Re: New rule changes
Post by: KathieT on October 27, 2017, 06:32:09 PM
Do you mean step back to the dog that is on a stay at the start line?  Unless something has changed, you are eliminated if you step back after leaving your dog at the start line. 

Kathie
Title: Re: New rule changes
Post by: Salli Dulco on October 27, 2017, 06:41:08 PM
There is a new rule as of 10/26.
The rulebook has been updated.
I need Chris to clarify what he stated in the video that I am not reading in the rulebook about the # of attempts.

Thanks,
Salli
Title: Re: New rule changes
Post by: Deni on October 27, 2017, 08:01:45 PM
If it helps, there was a section in the video where Chris said they will use the exact same rule as for training; anything more than 3 attempts is considered training.  Also worth noting; you cannot touch your dog once you leave them...

Happy Trialing!
Denise
Title: Re: New rule changes
Post by: Steve Stochaj on October 28, 2017, 04:15:06 AM
Three attempts.


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Title: Re: New rule changes
Post by: Chris Nelson on October 28, 2017, 08:03:12 AM
Three attempts, with the exception of folks really pushing the limits.

An example would be if you walked out to the far end of the course, and then walked back to your dog.   That is taking up a LOT of time and is clearly training
Title: Re: New rule changes
Post by: JMDATX on November 01, 2017, 06:20:06 AM
Thanks for the rule change!  The previous version of the rule caused a lot of eliminations for situations that were clearly not training.
Title: Re: New rule changes
Post by: Lin Battaglia on November 01, 2017, 07:56:12 PM
First let me start with...I came into agility from competitive obedience (not rally). You can think this is negative or not, and not post it, but I'm sad to see this rule change along with the end obstacle rule change, and the leash change. I've been doing agility for 30 years. It could take longer with every dog that has to have this extra time (which I consider training in the ring) thus adding time to the length of the trial. Plus now we throw our leashes and have to pick them up and open them up before we can put the leash on our dog. Is a dog really ready to trial without a start line stay ? Is a dog really connected to the handler and working if they run by the last obstacle ? I feel both are training issues, not rule issues. We are NADAC not other venues. Train your dog before you trial. I'd like to hear more from other people what they think . Please speak up folks. 

130 NATCHes but it's the dog I miss when they are gone not the awards
Title: Re: New rule changes
Post by: Chris Nelson on November 01, 2017, 08:29:27 PM
Leash runners are still allowed to hand you the leash.   That has not changed.


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Title: Re: New rule changes
Post by: Chris Nelson on November 01, 2017, 08:32:18 PM
I would love to say stick to our guns and people can train their dogs.  But I also want a future.  It won’t really feel great to say five years from now ‘ I’m sure happy I stuck by my guns’ if nadac is no longer around when I’m saying it.



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Title: Re: New rule changes
Post by: Jeannie Biggers on November 01, 2017, 08:48:11 PM
These changes have only positive effects for the handlers.  There is ALWAYS things we should be training our dogs to do better... hence the levels Intro thru Elite. 

What I saw at the trial this past weekend were handlers relaxed at the startline.  I feel that they actually had more solid startlines because they knew they could take that one step back if needed.  Not one person went past the first obstacle to use this new rule.  I believe it took less time then it would have otherwise.

The ending obstacle... yes train it but how many times does a young dog get distracted for a second and miss the last obstacle?  Why not let that handler fix it and feel good about it? 

I think that so many take this game we have the privilege to play with our dogs way to serious.  These amazing companions are only around for a short time... if we all continue to bash and hate and be negative... it becomes not so much fun :(

Just my two cents
Title: Re: New rule changes
Post by: Chris Nelson on November 01, 2017, 08:49:10 PM
And my final thought of the night.

It's incredibly hard to get handlers to improve if they aren't present.
I don't know about anyone else, but I can't help a handler with their start lines at my trial and encourage them to train better, if they are attending the CPE trial down the street.

I haven't quite mastered that skill.
Title: Re: New rule changes
Post by: Kimgalusha on November 01, 2017, 11:14:57 PM
I'm responding to Lin Battaglia post.  The change to the start line rule is good because the old rule punished teams that were not training a start line stay.  I have been competing in agility for 23 years and have trained and competed with 8 dogs (dobermans, border collies, JRT, Chihuahua and All Americans).  I have never trained a stay at the start line, nor have I ever attempted to train a stay at the start line.  We hit the course running together.  I'm currently competing with an amazing Chihuahua and her YPS can beat some of the leggy dogs but she will sometime freeze on the start line and it has nothing to do with me telling her to stay -- because I NEVER tell her to stay.  When I step back and encourage her to go, she will most often take off and have a beautiful run.  But the old rule did not allow me to do that.  I would get eliminated because I took one step back to get my dog --- not train my dog.  A stay at the start line is the last thing I want this dog to do.  :-)
Title: Re: New rule changes
Post by: dogrsqr on November 02, 2017, 05:12:01 AM
I have always believed that a stay at the start line is NOT a requirement of playing agility.  Not all dogs do well with being left at the start.  Some of us just pick our battles and have other battles that are more important to us. 

I honestly don't think this will add drastic amounts of time to trials.  If I want and need to train my start line I'm going to do it wether I get E'd of not. 

Gina
Title: Re: New rule changes
Post by: KarissaKS on November 02, 2017, 06:21:37 AM
I think both of these rule changes are positive and will foster good will with competitors who show in multiple organizations. I've heard several complaints from people about both ends of the course and if a small change like this creates a more positive view of the organization for multi-venue folks then that is a good thing. NADAC cannot succeed by catering only to those who exclusively compete in NADAC.

I've always disliked the final obstacle rule, especially for an organization that does not fault or penalize refusals in any way other than time. Missing the final obstacle can be very common in Intro/Novice and it can be very disheartening to these teams to have an otherwise clean run that is wiped out because their dog happily bounced right past the final hoop. NADAC's stance on refusals has always been "let the clock be the judge" in that if you can correct something and still be under time then good for you -- the last obstacle should be no different. I appreciate this change.

And finally, NO, not every dog should/could/would/needs to have a start line stay. That is completely up to the handler and the dog.
Title: Re: New rule changes
Post by: Audri, Cee Cee, Lily, Toto, and Calypso on November 02, 2017, 08:17:06 AM
You can think this is negative or not, and not post it, but I'm sad to see this rule change along with the end obstacle rule change, and the leash change. I've been doing agility for 30 years. It could take longer with every dog that has to have this extra time (which I consider training in the ring) thus adding time to the length of the trial. Plus now we throw our leashes and have to pick them up and open them up before we can put the leash on our dog. Is a dog really ready to trial without a start line stay ? Is a dog really connected to the handler and working if they run by the last obstacle ? I feel both are training issues, not rule issues. We are NADAC not other venues. Train your dog before you trial. I'd like to hear more from other people what they think . Please speak up folks.

My dog is in elite and competes quite well.  There are times when he breaks his stay and I allow it because with the number of trials I do and with the cost, I am not willing to go back and train.  Yes, that is "my bad" but also my choice.  If I was able to walk back to him and reset him, he would keep his stay....  As for my baby dog, it would be VERY beneficial for me to be able to go back and sit her but back down, or to go back and have her paying attention to me.  I can't tell you how many times I have seen a dog sitting on the line with the handler out and they simply won't start.  Why?  Who knows.  These are dogs and we can't read their mind.  Maybe they got distracted or maybe they are a bit uncomfortable.  But IMO it is far worse for a dog to be "stuck" at the start line as the hooman does the dance to get them started, than for the hooman to be able to take a few steps back and get the dog's attention. 

I know my elite level (Triple Superior Versatility) dog, doesn't like start stays, and if I am forced to do it, she will sit and stare at me before she actually starts, if I could take a few steps back towards her, that would help greatly. 

I have also had my dog run past a last obstacle simply because I pushed a bit too much in a tight space.  My dog was VERY connected with me because he followed my body language.  The last obstacle is no different than the third obstacle in my opinion for something like that.  And why should I lose a tough chances Q because the dog missed the last obstacle when he is allowed to miss any other? 
Title: Re: New rule changes
Post by: Sandy Langan on November 02, 2017, 08:20:54 AM
I agree with Jeannie, well said.  If people relax so do the dogs, which equals fun for everyone. Sandy Langan
Title: Re: New rule changes
Post by: Audri, Cee Cee, Lily, Toto, and Calypso on November 02, 2017, 08:24:09 AM
And my final thought of the night.

It's incredibly hard to get handlers to improve if they aren't present.
I don't know about anyone else, but I can't help a handler with their start lines at my trial and encourage them to train better, if they are attending the CPE trial down the street.

I haven't quite mastered that skill.

Absolutely true! 
Title: Re: New rule changes
Post by: Rosemary on November 02, 2017, 09:07:36 AM
I think the rule change is a good one.  I watched a competitor get and E on a beautiful run with her young dog because she literally moved one foot back to remind her dog to stay put.  She didn't even realize that she had done that.

I have personally had the last obstacle ruin lovely runs on more than one occasion.  In fact, it was the first (and only) time my dog did perfect contacts.  So many runs (not just mine) have been ruined by that simple mistake.  I am really pleased that they can fix it now. 

As far as extra time, most people correct that last obstacle anyway.  It's almost a reflex. 

None of these changes will cause any problems, in my opinion, but may help us to lure some folks back to NADAC.  Here in the Northeast AKC, CPE and USDAA have a very strong presence.  I would love to see NADAC get some of those folks wanting to play with us.
Title: Re: New rule changes
Post by: Amy McGovern on November 02, 2017, 09:29:33 AM
I love the new rule as it makes things more consistent.  The last obstacle thing bit us a number of times with the younger dogs.  And even sometimes with the older ones!  As for start line stays, it is important to let that be up to the team.  I've run 4 dogs in NADAC now and two of them completely stressed out on start line stays so we simply stopped them.  The 3rd one loves her stay (for my son!) and the 4th one needs a stay to put her brain in gear.  But if my next dog (#5, whoever she will be) stresses on stays, then I would immediately drop it.  It has to be FUN for the dog as that is why we are all doing this.  It isn't about the Qs or the ribbons.  Those are just reminders of the fun and the teamwork! 
Title: Re: New rule changes
Post by: Rsquared on November 02, 2017, 07:35:41 PM
I love the new rule changes!  I’ve seen too many inadvertent step(s) taken back toward the dog, without the handler even realizing it, creating “E”s on otherwise perfect runs. Clearly, these weren’t instances of training. This leaves handlers, esp. the new ones, feeling NADAC is an unfair organization and newbies may seek greener Qing pastures.  Personally, I like having a start line and fought hard (3 years!) to get one with Scooter (anyone remember me screaming bloody murder in Moab????).  This rule was initially put in place to keep trials moving along but honestly, long lead outs with perfect start lines eat up lots of trial time, too!
Title: Re: New rule changes
Post by: Foomin Z on November 02, 2017, 07:39:13 PM
First let me start with...I came into agility from competitive obedience (not rally). You can think this is negative or not, and not post it, but I'm sad to see this rule change along with the end obstacle rule change, and the leash change. I've been doing agility for 30 years. It could take longer with every dog that has to have this extra time (which I consider training in the ring) thus adding time to the length of the trial. Plus now we throw our leashes and have to pick them up and open them up before we can put the leash on our dog. Is a dog really ready to trial without a start line stay ? Is a dog really connected to the handler and working if they run by the last obstacle ? I feel both are training issues, not rule issues. We are NADAC not other venues. Train your dog before you trial. I'd like to hear more from other people what they think . Please speak up folks. 
At the last NADAC trial I went to, after the recent champs, I saw two different people leave their dog in the start line stay. The dogs got up. The handlers halted their forward motion, twisted at the waist to turn back to their dogs, and told the dogs to sit/stay. That is more clearly training a start line stay than someone who is trying to unfreeze a dog off the start line and takes a few steps back to encourage the dog to come, or a dog who started to move forward but then got distracted by a smell before performing the first obstacle. However, this waist turn and re-cue was not against the rules. Doing the re-cue and staring to make sure the dog sits again takes up time too.
Title: Re: New rule changes
Post by: BeckyAH on November 03, 2017, 08:05:48 AM

 than someone who is trying to unfreeze a dog off the start line and takes a few steps back to encourage the dog to come, or a dog who started to move forward but then got distracted by a smell before performing the first obstacle.

This is something I think a lot of people forget or just don't notice happening - and it happens mostly with green dogs, or green dogs with new handlers.  It's a thing.  The last obstacle being missed or run past is something I also see cost a lot of novice teams (as in handler and dogs) Qs.   Being able to give new handlers and dogs success *MATTERS* when it comes to getting those people to come back and keep playing.   It's just plain huge and I think Chris is dead on with it.   

I also think it's important to remember that NADAC has always, with extended titles, not requiring move-ups and allowing drop backs in levels,  encouraged handlers to set and meet their own goals.

I don't put my dog in a trial setting if they can't hold a stay at the start.  I don't put my dog in a trial if they can't do 12 weaves.  I don't feel particularly fantastic about a run where my dog got a Q but was running at 2.5 YPS on an elite course.   I also sure as heck don't want to see other people forced to have those requirements  for themselves.

I have seen more new dog/handler teams showing up and coming back since the introduction of intro than I had before - and I'll tell you straight up, I was a 'if your dog can't do a novice course, maybe don't enter a trial' person before.  I'm seeing the smaller and slower teams get excited about playing again because they're succeeding instead of right on the verge of quitting because their tiny dog *CAN"T* make course time.   I see people more happy to come out and play because they have a little success and they get a ribbon.

Their success isn't taking anything away from anyone.   Being able to Q at 2.5 YPS doesn't mean I'm not still pushing for 4.5 YPS Qs.  Them being able to enter intro or tunnelers or step back to verify a startline or correct a last obstacle doesn't mean I need to do it.  Giving new people success and helping them find the joy and fun isn't... devaluing the elite competitor's success or NATCH.  It's just making the venue more accessible and enjoyable to people. 

That's a GOOD thing.

(And I would be very surprised if we suddenly see a ton of dogs who can't hold startlines as they move up levels, or who keep blowing past the last obstacle as they gain experience.  These things, in particular.  It's just making NADAC a little more newbie friendly.)
Title: Re: New rule changes
Post by: dogrsqr on November 03, 2017, 09:04:45 AM
As far as I know you can still get faulted for delay of start.  Trying to get a dog to leave the startline is a training issue just as getting a dog to stay at the startline is.

Gina
Title: Re: New rule changes
Post by: BeckyAH on November 03, 2017, 09:13:03 AM
As far as I know you can still get faulted for delay of start.  Trying to get a dog to leave the startline is a training issue just as getting a dog to stay at the startline is.

Gina

If you go back more than 3 times or take excessive time.  Yes, it's a training issue (sometimes yes, sometimes - sort of)   It's usually a STRESS issue rather than failing to understand behavioral criteria, and that stress is often unique to the trial environment.  Much like running past the last obstacle it is also an issue that usually disappears with exposure to being in a trial and some support and encouragement.  Which means it needs worked in a trial. 

Removing a Q from those dogs/people doesn't speed the trial up, anyway.  They're still going to take the time to get the dog to go (or trying to) and running the course.  It just means those people are more likely to return to the trial because they got a pretty ribbon, and *didn't* get told on no uncertain terms 'you don't belong here because your dog is experiencing minor stress in a trial'.

(These issues, for the record, don't impact me directly.  They're not things my dogs do.  But I see them and I am a little heartbroken when I do, especially in novice handlers who DO get discouraged and go away.)
Title: Re: New rule changes
Post by: Edraith on November 03, 2017, 09:24:22 AM
“Letting others experience  success doesnt devalue your own.”
BOOM.
Nailed it.

If someones value of agility is measured by how many people they can Do Better Than, I would question their motives.  ;)
Title: Re: New rule changes
Post by: dogrsqr on November 03, 2017, 09:37:38 AM
I don't have a problem with the rule change but stress is a training issue.  I've had dogs who stressed and had to find opportunities to train thru it.  I object to people inferring that a dog breaking a stay is more objectionable than a dog not wanting to start ...... and they can both be caused by stress.  My dog has developed a startline stay issue because of too much commotion behind her at those really tight trial sites and because of leash runners moving towards her when I've left her in a stay. Some dogs are extremely sensitive to pressure.  I also have to find ways to work on this in training but it hasn't made much difference.  I have reverted to being the "not so nice" person who drops their leash on the other side of the dog to keep leash runners from approaching my dog before she's been released.

Gina
Title: Re: New rule changes
Post by: BeckyAH on November 03, 2017, 10:03:26 AM
I also have a dog who breaks when she's stressed.  I don't actually consider stress a training issue.  I consider it a behavioral issue, and it needs worked through but for me training is limited to not understanding the criteria or having the criteria re: distance, duration, or distraction raised too quickly.  That's me. Other people may and clearly do define differently and behavioral things still need worked through but for me that is also not about training -ie: teaching - it's about changing an emotional state.   But again, that's me and me explaining my word usage.

That said, I don't find one more objectionable than the other, I just dislike the amount of talk about broken startlines as though it's the only conceivable issue someone would step back.  It isn't.  That's about the full extent of that one. 
Title: Re: New rule changes
Post by: Kyle on November 04, 2017, 08:32:31 AM
I don't have a problem with the rule change but stress is a training issue.  I've had dogs who stressed and had to find opportunities to train thru it.  I object to people inferring that a dog breaking a stay is more objectionable than a dog not wanting to start ...... and they can both be caused by stress.  My dog has developed a startline stay issue because of too much commotion behind her at those really tight trial sites and because of leash runners moving towards her when I've left her in a stay. Some dogs are extremely sensitive to pressure.  I also have to find ways to work on this in training but it hasn't made much difference.  I have reverted to being the "not so nice" person who drops their leash on the other side of the dog to keep leash runners from approaching my dog before she's been released.

Gina

Instead of being the "not so nice" person to the human volunteer, why not kindly "train" them to do their volunteer job correctly? Kind of like kindly "training" the stay at a start line to your dog? Instead of making the volunteer's job more difficult, just ask them (with a smile  :)) to please wait until after your dog has competed the first obstacle to move forward to pick up the leash. A little bit of polite "training" on your part might make it better for everyone else too!  :)

Of course, if you feel you're not going to be able to speak to the leash runner, before the morning briefing you could always ask the judge to please cover this in their briefing. It could be added to what they already cover in regard to leash handling. I'm sure many judges would be happy to do this.

If we're allowing some extra training for the dogs, why not do a little extra training for our generous volunteer workers?  ;D

-Kyle
Title: Re: New rule changes
Post by: MoabDiane on November 04, 2017, 05:38:01 PM
What Kyle said.

For one of my dogs, he wears his harness going TO the line, as he pulls (yeah, a training issue....) very hard.
But after the run, he is all "mine" and a slip lead is perfectly satisfactory.
I have the slip lead attached to the harness, and ask the leash runner to please hand me the "slip" end, and I usually tell them, "Just forget there's a harness attached to the other end."
I've never had a problem when I've asked.  Politely, of course.

diane
Title: Re: New rule changes
Post by: dogrsqr on November 06, 2017, 08:17:40 AM
So when do you have time to talk to the leash runner?  Aren't they typically at the other end of the course having just delivered the leash? 

Gina
Title: Re: New rule changes
Post by: MoabDiane on November 06, 2017, 01:27:39 PM
I generally have a mid-class height dog (not first!), so I try to locate the leash runner before I get my dog out, or at the very least when s/he is walking back from having delivered a leash to the finish line (assuming s/he's not holding it for the person on course).  I realize this isn't always possible, given various ring layouts, distance to crates, etc.  But I try.  If it doesn't work, it's usually only another second or two to get the slip lead end up and over my dog's head.  Way faster than fastening the harness!  (which is kinda my point...)

diane
Title: Re: New rule changes
Post by: Mark Gwillim on November 06, 2017, 02:52:49 PM
You can ask the gate to tell the leash runner what you want, does not hurt to ask.
Title: Re: New rule changes
Post by: BeckyAH on November 06, 2017, 04:25:38 PM
I've... never had trouble talking to the leash runner.  I can't remove my dog's leash until the former dog is on leash - which means the runner has delivered the leash and is on their way back into position - and honestly the judge rarely seems to give their good luck before ring crew (including leash runner) is in position.   

A quick 'leash on the ground, please' is usually what I say, but another single sentence instruction hasn't something I've had trouble with, with the trials/rings/set ups I've experienced.
Title: Re: New rule changes
Post by: Maureen+Melbourne on November 08, 2017, 02:55:37 PM
To the person who said a dog shouldn't be in agility without a start line, I HAD a start line when Melbourne and I first started to play agility.  Stress manifested in a "mopey" dog, so I worked to eliminate what made him unhappy, after all, I am asking HIM to play my game and paying the bill and if he's along for the ride, he should be HAPPY.  My drop and go doesn't hurt anyone and has made me be a better handler as I have to be able to apply/release pressure from behind this way.  This was a decision I made for the happiness of my dog and overall less stress for both of us.  My younger dog (when I run her), IS made to stay at the start line and I DO NOT release her until I am ready, but she's different and wants to be "in charge" which means that I enforce this rule to remind her who's in charge.

Chris is making a good decision here with these rule changes because a little success goes a long way in keeping people engaged.  Just because "more people" might have success doesn't detract or affect any success my dog and I have as a team.  Frankly, I generally don't care how many people get a Q on a course if we get it because it's about my dog and I "versus" the course (and SCT).  I'm not saying I'm not happy for others or don't look at how they do things for future learning, but if we get it and so do 100% of other teams or 0% of other teams, it just doesn't really matter at the end of the day.  :)
Title: Re: New rule changes
Post by: Audri, Cee Cee, Lily, Toto, and Calypso on November 14, 2017, 10:49:26 AM
I am with Maureen and Melbourne here.  I HAD start line stay with my dog as well.  It made for an extremely stressed, mopey, simply walk the course and get through it dog.  I then stopped that and now do a running start with her.  She has her NATCH 3 (almost to 4) her V-NATCh (almost to 2), and her triple superior versatility (most proud of this award!) award and is still going strong.  Is she REALLY not supposed to be doing agility because she can't do a start line stay?   She is a happy dog running courses quite well without a stay at the start line.

I also run a beagle.  No way that I can get a stay out of her....  Her nose would take over.  We get to the line and run as well.  She is semi-retired, but she has competed in Champs twice and has done quite well.  And guess what, she LOVES to play agility, especially tunnelers, but she should not run agility because she doesn't have a start line stay????  She will never earn a NATCH, but I don't care about that.  We have fun on the course together and that is what counts.
Title: Re: New rule changes
Post by: Sheila & the Shelties on December 15, 2017, 06:56:40 PM
I've taught all my dog
s a solid start line stay, but that's because I want to have a lead out and get into the position I want because I am not a fast runner. But I have no problem with somebody that wants to drop their dog and run, but be aware that when you're older you may wish you had that start Line Stay. ;D. I have no problem with people mean taking a step back to get their dogs attention or to tell them to sit or whatever they want to do. I'm dealing with one of my dogs that has become deaf, and today I had to step back to make sure she understood I wanted her to stay. As long as they're not wasting time or spending a lot of time with the issue, and that is a judge's call, so I don't think it should be a problem. I don't have any issue with bringing a dog around at the last obstacle. I remember when I started I thought it was strange that you could not do that when you could do it with any other obstacle. The only issue I see here is people who have not taught their dog a start line stay, but all of a sudden decide at a trial they want to enforce a stay and taking up a lot of time to make their dog stay.