NADAC Forum

General => General Discussion => Topic started by: HarryMelamed on November 07, 2017, 07:21:36 AM

Title: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: HarryMelamed on November 07, 2017, 07:21:36 AM
Me and Stan were out  doing some NADAC agility this weekend.   For some reason, the course designers decided it was time to add hoop wraps.   Next time check with Stanley, he was not too hip on that new challenge

He let me know in no uncertain terms that I better learn how to handle these... and fast!
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Roger Coor on November 07, 2017, 09:12:17 AM
Wraps with hoops are nothing new, so if Stanley didn't give a positive comment about it, it may be time to work on that skill. 
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: RobertStewart on November 07, 2017, 09:40:39 AM
Definitely not new at all. They've been around for quite some time now. And a lot of fun I might add.
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: HarryMelamed on November 07, 2017, 09:42:38 AM
I've been around NADAC for 3 years and these were the first I saw this weekend.

Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: mephalon on November 07, 2017, 10:22:24 AM
I (and my dogs) agree with Harry & Stanley. 

Definitely not a new skill and it is a skill we have practiced but this weekend's course sets definitely had more hoop wraps than I have ever seen in the past-   and IMO the wraps seemed not to enhance the course flow/challenge but just in there to change the dog's direction which could have easily been accomplished with a 180, serpentine or barrel rather than only (or mostly) using hoops wraps.   

No insult meant to the course designer just weighing in after having run them.   

M



Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: BeckyAH on November 07, 2017, 12:55:46 PM
They have been around a while.   I saw some video this weekend and there were more, and there are DEFINITELY some more technical courses in a lot of ways (more direction changes, more discriminations that aren't contact/tunnel, more crowded courses/obstacles on a course) but hoop wraps in particular have been about for at least a couple of years.

There's a wrap on a hoop in the video below at 55ish seconds.  This is from March 2016, and  I didn't have problems with it/knew it was a possibility - this is VERY shortly after I started trialing.  So it's been around least a couple of years as a concept/skill.
 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJoDkAluji0
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: BeckyAH on November 07, 2017, 01:48:11 PM
As far as 'weighing in on course design' goes - as I mentioned above I saw some differences in the courses I ran over Halloween weekend.    They were hard.  My knee jerk reaction was 'OMGWTFACK'.   Then I got a chance to break them down and work on them and honestly?

They're challenging.  Heck, they're flat out hard.   They also don't require a single new skill for dog and handler and are wicked fun.   I know a lot of people are going to be less than happy, because it's human nature and because they *were* hard!  Heck, my human nature initially didn't enjoy it, but.

I really appreciate having some 'new' challenges for skills we already have.  It keeps things interesting and keeps me training.

That's MY .02 cents.
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Lorrie Stelz on November 07, 2017, 04:55:05 PM
I agree. Hoop wraps have been around for years.  We don't see them often, but I've ran my fair share of them. 

I also agree that we ran some new, challenging courses on Halloween weekend at the trial I was at.  One of the Regular courses ran nice one way, but the reverse was pretty wicked.  Many of us NQd on the first run of them.  Chances was also a low Q course, and my dogs have about a 90-95% Q rate in Chances.  But, we found a little weakness we had.  LOL!
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: BeckyAH on November 07, 2017, 06:26:57 PM
I agree. Hoop wraps have been around for years.  We don't see them often, but I've ran my fair share of them. 

I also agree that we ran some new, challenging courses on Halloween weekend at the trial I was at.  One of the Regular courses ran nice one way, but the reverse was pretty wicked.  Many of us NQd on the first run of them.  Chances was also a low Q course, and my dogs have about a 90-95% Q rate in Chances.  But, we found a little weakness we had.  LOL!

My Q rate in regular hovers around that 90/95% line (emphasis on regular and in fairness only with the elite dog) but this weekend it was more like 25%.  Some of it was definitely not the course, though :P   And one round my baby dog got the only clean round in Open so that was nice!

But yeah, mostly I found new things I need to work and some of it's with dogs and some of it's my course analysis skills as opposed to staring in horror and kind of freaking out.  Good time, over all, and I'm really more excited about my next trials than I was before, which is saying something!
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: dogrsqr on November 07, 2017, 06:35:10 PM
I'm going to disagree slightly.  I my have run those same courses on Halloween weekend.  There was a lot more collection than I'm used to.  While that may not be a new skill, it's something I've never been compelled to work on because I only run NADAC.  Amazingly we did better than normal on the regular course.  At this point I'm chalking it up to luck.  Teaching an 8 year old dog who is obstacle focused and extremely sensitive to pressure to work in tighter spaces is not sounding like much fun to me.  I guess only time will tell.

Gina
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Maureen deHaan on November 08, 2017, 02:44:39 AM
I actually liked the courses- there was one that was a bit tight IMO  - but I liked having more challenging courses - I thought both of my Elite dogs (one very seasoned and one newer to Elite) ran them well...I especially liked one that was a flat approach after a tunnel and back to the tunnel - weird angle but very cool!

  I thought having hoop wraps were good challenges and I saw many dogs "back hoop" so they were a handling challenge as well - I also saw many people handle them in different and creative ways that worked for their teams... I liked that they were not just  go from a contact to a hoop wrap to a tunnel discrimination - which was pretty much the only way we used to see them years ago when NADAC stopped doing that with a jump (we're talking a LONG time ago - like when hoops were first introduced)

I only play in NADAC, but I like having a challenge - The hoops were not the only challenges on these courses BTW  - so challenges with flow seems perfect to me -



Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: BeckyAH on November 08, 2017, 04:21:54 AM
I actually had more success on those courses with my younger, faster, pressure sensitive and obstacle focus dogs - at least rate wise. She ran both rounds 1 day, and Qed one of them.   

Though most of what I learned when I broke them down with my instructor was the ones I ran had plenty of flow, they just also required more side-changes TO flow - and with bigger/faster dog more discrimination skills since the distance between obstacles in the line the dog was running was about the same,  but there were way more off courses available.

But I also only run NADAC and am prone to 'bored now' a little, so like seeing new stuff (after I panic a little).  Also my dog isn't someone else's and I'm not someone else, and everyone's going to have their own reactions to things (and dog/handler teams are going to have individual challenges) and they're all very real and valid.
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: dogrsqr on November 08, 2017, 05:49:55 AM
Absolutely Becky.  I have an abysmal Q rate in Regular so those changes in Regular are huge for me.  Now if they want to make Chances harder .... go for it, but I suspect there would be a huge outcry if they did that.  All in all if my dog an I are having fun I don't worry about Q rate.  We will see what the new challenges are and go from there.

Gina

Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Edraith on November 08, 2017, 07:19:06 AM
Omg the scenery in that video is pretty!!!
There were hoop wraps in two hoopers courses ive done so far. It was before i did some amandas online classes so while now i might handle it slightly differently, i just used around which is my wrap cue. Ive NEVER trained backsides so any wrap is always obstacle-first and wasnt an issue. I taught around using hoops because i didnt have jump uprights cones or barrels at home to use, so it was pretty natural for us.
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: KarissaKS on November 08, 2017, 08:24:35 AM
It disheartens me when I see people complain about challenging course designs or new challenges in agility. Personally, I like it when I walk a course and go, "Hmm, I'm not sure how to handle that," or, "I'm not entirely sure what my dog will do there." That's why I enjoy going to agility trials, so that I can be challenged by the courses and the things that other people think up. If I just wanted to watch my dog run really fast and go over obstacles I'd set up big speed circles in my yard and save the money I spend on trialing.

I've experienced this in another organization as well, not just NADAC. People want their Q's and sometimes I think they'd happily run a circle or figure-8 to get them. I always hope that those words don't make it back to the judges who designed those courses, because I don't want to discourage them from coming up with fun new challenges.

I *like* it when I go to a trial and come away with something new to train. I *like* having to handle my way through a course. I haven't seen this particular set of courses that people seem to be grumbling about, but I certainly hope for similar fun challenges at our NADAC trial coming up next month.
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: BeckyAH on November 08, 2017, 09:11:07 AM
Absolutely Becky.  I have an abysmal Q rate in Regular so those changes in Regular are huge for me.  Now if they want to make Chances harder .... go for it, but I suspect there would be a huge outcry if they did that.  All in all if my dog an I are having fun I don't worry about Q rate.  We will see what the new challenges are and go from there.

Gina

I certainly saw some extra challenging chances courses the weekend before halloween - but I'm already terrible there :P   I TRIED!

(And yes, Edraith, that trial site is absolutely gorgeous. Greenhill park in Salem, VA.  There's even a river/creek not too far a walk away.  Beautiful, beautiful, place to be and play.)
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: dogrsqr on November 08, 2017, 11:16:54 AM
You know the other thought I had is that while I know it was mentioned at Champs that the Elite level courses would be seeing new challenges was it ever mentioned here on the forum?  It would be nice to know kind of where things are headed as in what are some general differences we might be seeing.

We find in my job as a civil servant who likes to make plans to rip up roads and "take" their property that if you let people know about it often and early by the time the event actually reaches them they are prepared and have come to terms and even sometimes found some positives in the situation.

Gina
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: BeckyAH on November 08, 2017, 11:53:40 AM
Honestly, as much as I like forewarning, I think all that would really happen if it's announced in the forums is that the outcry and complaining would happen in a centralized location and be more visible and probably feed itself - and be something that the course designers, judges, and administration at NADAC would have to experience.

Maybe announcements at judges attending trials a month or so in advance or something? but putting it on line just centralizes it in a way that may not be helpful.   But that's just initial response to the idea, based on seeing forum reactions to changes in the past.

Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Linda W. Anderson on November 08, 2017, 12:46:32 PM
Omg the scenery in that video is pretty!!!

That video was made at the Star City K 9 Training Club (Roanoke, VA) Spring trial at Greenhill Park - Salem VA.  We'd ;love to see you next spring.
Linda Anderson
Trial Chair
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: dogrsqr on November 08, 2017, 01:02:27 PM
I just don't want NADAC to become like the other venues.  I have plenty of places to trial locally if I want to try to find a handling path thru a plethora of obstacles.  I'm here because I like flow.  I'm not hung up on Qing, but if my dog and I aren't having fun I don't need to waste my money on that either.  I'll wait to see where it all heads, I just hope the quest to get people to try NADAC doesn't push me out. 

Gina

It disheartens me when I see people complain about challenging course designs or new challenges in agility. Personally, I like it when I walk a course and go, "Hmm, I'm not sure how to handle that," or, "I'm not entirely sure what my dog will do there." That's why I enjoy going to agility trials, so that I can be challenged by the courses and the things that other people think up. If I just wanted to watch my dog run really fast and go over obstacles I'd set up big speed circles in my yard and save the money I spend on trialing.

I've experienced this in another organization as well, not just NADAC. People want their Q's and sometimes I think they'd happily run a circle or figure-8 to get them. I always hope that those words don't make it back to the judges who designed those courses, because I don't want to discourage them from coming up with fun new challenges.

I *like* it when I go to a trial and come away with something new to train. I *like* having to handle my way through a course. I haven't seen this particular set of courses that people seem to be grumbling about, but I certainly hope for similar fun challenges at our NADAC trial coming up next month.
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: HarryMelamed on November 08, 2017, 02:07:10 PM
Not really complaining, but more surprised.   New challenge that I hadn't seen.   Figured I would handle the same as a jump.  But when I'm late on the cue and the dude runs wide.  Oh well. 

We will endeavor to add this to our handling repertoire. 

What's really sad is that I'm going on vacation and I'm going to miss two trials here in Arizona.   

Thanks to everyone for your responses and hope you all enjoy a wonderful holiday season.





Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Vicki Storrs on November 09, 2017, 03:57:47 AM
Ditto Gina.

I understand that NADAC needs competitors. Iíll just be sorry if it means I wonít be one of them.

Vicki
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Chris Nelson on November 09, 2017, 06:49:12 AM
Iím only going to chime in with one comment.

Some of the courses that everyone is hating so much,  are just reworked courses from 10 years ago. 

These arenít new challenges.  They are just skills that people decided to stop training because we werenít asking for those skills anymore.

But it did make me giggle a little bit when I got an email about how anti nadac a certain course was,  when it was designed by Sharon back in 2007.

So I think maybe folks should give it a shot before completely quitting.  I have faith that everyone can do these challenges and succeed,  because you definitely succeeded ten years ago on them when the wrap was on a jump instead of a hoop.


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Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: knittingdog on November 09, 2017, 07:28:54 AM


Doing a wrap around a hoop really isn't all that different than going around a barrel!  Pretty much the same challenge - just with a different obstacle!
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Rosemary on November 09, 2017, 07:36:25 AM
I was actually thinking something along those lines Chris.  I much prefer the wrap on a hoop than over a jump.  For my Echo that is almost a guaranteed knocked bar. 
I choose to run NADAC over other venues for a variety of reasons.  I love the flow of the courses.  I love the emphasis on what is best for the dog.  Mostly, I very much appreciate that the people who have the power to make changes are very open and willing to listen to the exhibitors.  That is huge.
I have only been running agility for three years.  I have competed in CPE, AKC, ASCA and NADAC.  I always come back to NADAC.  My dogs are happiest running these courses.  Having said that, I do like a challenge.  I like the idea that we will see "new" things from time to time.  It keeps us fresh.  If I don't handle the challenge successfully, then I have homework to do. 
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Lois Mierau on November 09, 2017, 07:50:48 AM
When I look through the courses I have saved, going back to 1995, I can see them changing to become more difficult, then less flowy, then back to pretty simple and more flowy.   I remember the first time we saw a wrap on a course and we all whined about it and then went home and trained it and it became simple.  Then we whined when we saw a hoop and then we went home and trained it and it became simple. Gosh can't we all go back to the first time we saw a discrimination and whined about it and now it has become simple (mostly!!).  Let's all just go home and train "it" and it will become simple!!

Lois
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: HarryMelamed on November 09, 2017, 08:20:38 AM
Chris,

I'm not quitting, but Stanley sometimes wishes I would.    We really enjoy the NADAC fun and the flowing fast courses.

Hope you and your family are enjoying your new home and best wishes for a happy healthy holiday!

Harry and Stanley

Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Foomin Z on November 09, 2017, 11:58:04 AM


Doing a wrap around a hoop really isn't all that different than going around a barrel!  Pretty much the same challenge - just with a different obstacle!
Seriously! I have seen some amazingly tight wrapping around barrels where the dog's shoulders are nearly touching the barrel around the whole thing.

No other venue has courses with as much simplicity in flow as NADAC. Where would anyone complaining about here go, other than just not do agility at all? Even CPE is more technical, and many look down on that as the "easy" venue. Anywhere else, you'd have to pay attention to judges' course designs in order to figure out who creates the courses you like. You know what you get in NADAC.
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Lorrie Stelz on November 10, 2017, 05:18:33 PM
My only concern about one of the Regular courses we ran was tight enough that the Aframe could trip the handler as they tried to keep up and run the line with the dog.  I had to make a mental note to give myself enough room around it.  I don't usually have that issue that I've encountered on other Regular courses.
I think it would be fun to see more challenging Chances courses!  (ok, don't everyone yell at me).  LOL!  I LOVE Chances and have a blast with them.  I'd love to have an all Chances trial!  haha!  :)
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Foomin Z on November 11, 2017, 03:47:23 PM
I think it would be fun to see more challenging Chances courses!  (ok, don't everyone yell at me).  LOL!  I LOVE Chances and have a blast with them.  I'd love to have an all Chances trial!  haha!  :)
I'd love an all chances trial just to try to get one stinkin chances Q! Times 13!
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Brenda George on November 11, 2017, 05:20:16 PM
I ditto Gina & Vicki.  There are pleanty of other venues in my area that I chose to not participate in with my dogs.  I could probably Trial every weekend in one of the "other" venues...however I chose to do only NADAC because of the flowing courses.  I question how the bonus runs will survive on the tight, technical courses.  I haven't been seeing anyone doing bones recently!!!!
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Linda W. Anderson on November 11, 2017, 05:48:03 PM
I ditto Gina & Vicki.  There are pleanty of other venues in my area that I chose to not participate in with my dogs.  I could probably Trial every weekend in one of the "other" venues...however I chose to do only NADAC because of the flowing courses.  I question how the bonus runs will survive on the tight, technical courses.  I haven't been seeing anyone doing bones recently!!!!
I am wondering as well.   I'm afraid my 11 yr. old bonus dog isn't up for those type of courses.  I'd hate to have to stop doing bonuses, but...
Linda
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Amanda Nelson on November 11, 2017, 05:52:48 PM
Iím doing a quick reply off my phone, but I will write something a little longer once I get back to my computer. :-) but as Chris said in an above post, most all of these courses in question are ďoldĒ courses that have been re-worked.  And as far as bonuses, I will be able to know more as more numbers come in, but there already has been an increase in the the number of bonuses submitted since Championships.
I will get something a little longer posted when I can boot up my computer later. :-)
Amanda


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Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: garypaula on November 13, 2017, 10:09:16 AM
It has been a lot of fun reading all the responses to this issue.  I have only been doing NADAC for about eight years; but even in that time, I have noticed course types ebb and flow.  Chances, for example (particularly at the Novice level) seems to have gone from fairly difficult to pretty easy and back to fairly difficult during that time.  When new things come in (e.g. barrels), there is a lot of complaining.  But after a very short time, people adapt and actually end up liking the "new" things, in most cases.  The other thing I have noticed is that the dogs don't seem to care at all.  The handlers may complain, but the dog just goes out and does what you ask them to do.  And isn't that what it is all about?  In my opinion, NADAC just keeps getting better and better.
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Audri, Cee Cee, Lily, Toto, and Calypso on November 14, 2017, 10:37:32 AM
I am not a fan of hoops wraps, and we don't see them often here.  In fact, Champs (in the DD round) was probably the first one I had seen in years.  Yes, they are better than a wrap on a jump, which is a MAJOR reason I don't do other venues, however, while I don't like them, I can power through them.  Are they fun?  NO!  I have one dog that believes if she sees an obstacle, she must take it, so for her, a hoop wrap means going through the hoop and then back through it, unless I pull her WAAAY out so she can't back track through it.  It is a thing that I have to be conscious of with her but oh well.... 

Another reason I don't like them is that I feel that it is making such a tight turn around the standard that dogs are prone to slipping, especially on turf.  And, YES, you should train your dog to be conscious of their body and maybe try to handle it better, but we all know that there are handlers and there are dogs that simply don't do it....  I personally like the flowiness of the NADAC courses and tight turns like that are not my preference.  That being said, if I see it, I will simply have to handle it....
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: AndreaEntin on November 15, 2017, 05:50:24 AM
Well put GaryPaula!

Andrea
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: lorriemaxx on November 15, 2017, 07:57:01 PM
Well, we had the opposite discussion from what seems to be the norm.  Our group from Halloween and last weekend talked about how much fun it was to see some "new, old" challenges back in the courses, and how the courses for a while got a little...easy for the experienced dogs.  Have to say, I've been doing NADAC since 2003, and nothing I saw in the past two trials was anything I hadn't seen before, just something(s) I hadn't seen in a while.  We had a blast discussing handling options and seeing what worked.  How great to have double run format so we can "fix" it when it doesn't go according to plan!

I did try the bonus in Regular, and yes, it was tough.  No, I didn't get it (bad handler!).  Doesn't mean I won't try it again though.  Anyone who is trying bonuses is definitely not in the sport for the Qs!

I know change is hard, but as someone said, everyone said that about hoops, and barrels, and...  They turned out okay - give the new (old) course designs a chance too.


Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Lin Battaglia on November 28, 2017, 07:21:37 PM
I have been doing agility for 30 years. I'm an instructor with 130 NATCHes. I'm very educated in the sport. Doing NADAC since it started. The sport has evolved and training requires more skills from dogs and handlers. Course design requires all skills be learned by the dog and handlers.

I am sad to see some of the course designs of late. Not at all like the NADAC I love. Courses are tight, jerky, congested and the dog has to run collected a big part of the time. My small dog does fine but my fast BCs aren't doing well. I hope the current course designs will be reconsidered for the dogs sake.

Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: MoabDiane on November 28, 2017, 08:01:22 PM
I wasn't going to enter into this discussion, but....here I am.

For the most part, I'll all for new and improved and changed course designs!  I like challenges.
However.  I've seen several courses lately where dog does a pinwheel (or four in a "circle"), then comes back to do a serp/180 in that same area.
I don't think this follows NADAC's general philosophy of "flow" - it isn't terribly "herky-jerky" but it necessitates collection in the midst of extension.
A change from one to the other is fine.  I just don't happen to like this particular sequence.
My two cents' worth....

diane
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Amy McGovern on November 28, 2017, 08:06:45 PM
I also wasn't going to enter the discussion but we have done two shows in the last two weeks and they were very different.  Generally the flow was the usual NADAC style.  We really enjoyed both shows!  But one course (open regular) had a very difficult opening sequence:  hoop to a hoop wrap and back to the start hoop.  From there it was flow-y (is that a word?).  The open dogs (mine included!) had a really hard time with the wrap coming up so early in the sequence.  I think it would have been easier later but I don't know for sure since we didn't have that to test :) I learned I need to train for this, at least if it is going to be a regular thing.  She knows hoop wraps but she took the wrap at obstacle #2 to be a correction of her start line stay and she said nope, not doing it.  Baby dog brains :) Anyway, not a complaint.  Just observing what I saw of that wrap. 
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: dogrsqr on November 29, 2017, 07:07:56 AM
I would just echo what Lin and Diane said.  I don't mind a wrap, it's some of the other things I'm seeing that are bothering me.  I'm sometimes seeing some obstacles pretty close together (the off course possibilities) and some very weird angles.  Maybe there's some course building problems?  I'm not complaining because I don't want to train something new; I'm complaining because some of those things I just don't want to make my dog do. 

The thing that most people don't understand is that years ago when those courses seemed so easy, the standard course times were tighter and that was the challenge.  As I've watched the last few trials I've been at it seems that NADAC now favors the mediocre speed/accurate dogs and speed has kind of gone by the wayside.  So while the courses may be getting more technical, if you have a mediocre speed dog with little distance they aren't as big of a challenge as they are for faster dogs with bigger distance.

When it comes to running in collection I feel that it is actually better for my dog to run on a totally collected course than one that shifts back and forth.  She will easily recognize total collection and adjust, but shifting back and forth is not easy.

Gina
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Chris Nelson on November 29, 2017, 09:57:52 AM
So my abbreviated thoughts on all this.

What would be your suggestion.   
The courses we had been running were too easy,  I have years of trial reports to back that up,  people were bored and left.   Heck I was bored.

Maybe we can ease up a bit and make them a little easier,  but we have been getting a lot of good reports on the courses that people are actually challenged again and actually have something to train,  so I donít think they are going to change too drastically.

Times will be adjusted in June.

And my final thought which is probably not going to be well received.  The majority of the complaint we get are from the people that do not want to teach their dogs to slow down at all.   Itís just go go go and any time they have to turn itís the end of the world.
None of the people in this thread are guilty of it,  but I see it a lot.

I got an email last week saying how terrible a course was,   But then in the same email how much they loved a different course.   The difference?  The second course was a drag race,  you did a big circle, barely ever turned beyond 90 degrees and just ran back and forth from one side of the ring to another.   And that is what they think is an excellent Nadac course which makes me really sad because thatís never what Nadac was supposed to be but that is what people have turned it in to in their mind.

Speed is a factor in Nadac which gets you bigger awards,  not a design element that rules over everything else with no regard to any other skill.


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Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: KarissaKS on November 29, 2017, 11:39:59 AM
I appreciate your thought process, Chris, and the stance you are taking on these changes.

Quote
So while the courses may be getting more technical, if you have a mediocre speed dog with little distance they aren't as big of a challenge as they are for faster dogs with bigger distance.

This applies to ALL courses in ALL organizations. Someone who runs a slower dog is always going to have an easier time getting around a course than someone with a fast dog. That doesn't mean that courses should be built just for fast dogs, to reduce the challenges to be more in line with what slower dogs experience. Faster dogs are harder to get through the same courses by nature of their speed, off courses come up faster, bars are more likely to drop because they flatten out. This is the nature of agility. People always think they want "one of the fast dogs," but be careful what you wish for, because then you have to learn how to handle those fast dogs through courses that should involve more than serpentines and pinwheels. Agility should be about extension & collection, and going between the two, otherwise you may as well just play at lure coursing and watch your dog run.
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: mephalon on November 29, 2017, 11:49:31 AM
Just to chime in and respond to this "Someone who runs a slower dog is always going to have an easier time getting around a course than someone with a fast dog."

That is not true-  all types of dogs have their challenges- please don't discount the challenges of running a slower dog.  I have run dogs where time is not an issue (but off courses were his specialty) and now I run a dog that time is our biggest obstacle-  running the dog with time challenges can be exhausting mentally and physically.   Both can be hard and challenging- just different.   

It is definitely not easier to get around a course with a dog that is not naturally all that fast (yes maybe off courses are easier to prevent) but it  can be exhausting running a slower dog.   And trust me it is pretty disheartening to come off the course with a technically clean and efficient run where your dog was running in extension but still be over time.

Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: BeckyAH on November 29, 2017, 06:11:26 PM
Just to chime in and respond to this "Someone who runs a slower dog is always going to have an easier time getting around a course than someone with a fast dog."

That is not true-  all types of dogs have their challenges- please don't discount the challenges of running a slower dog.  I have run dogs where time is not an issue (but off courses were his specialty) and now I run a dog that time is our biggest obstacle-  running the dog with time challenges can be exhausting mentally and physically.   Both can be hard and challenging- just different.   

It is definitely not easier to get around a course with a dog that is not naturally all that fast (yes maybe off courses are easier to prevent) but it  can be exhausting running a slower dog.   And trust me it is pretty disheartening to come off the course with a technically clean and efficient run where your dog was running in extension but still be over time.

I don't think they meant to imply that there were no challenges with a slower dog  (at least I hope not!) - just that the challenges weren't really the same challenges - or necessarily for off course potentials that come with tighter and more technical courses.

I run both.    There are challenges and difficulties in both training and trialing with both.   The simple facts of the matter are:

a-) if the slower dog starts headed for an off course obstacle or misses a turn I have more time to correct her path/get her back on the right one before she's taken the wrong obstacle and accumulated faults- 

and : b-) Unless I have been very, very tight elsewhere, the time it takes to do so will give me time faults.

Conversely, the faster dog?  If she's on her way to the wrong obstacle, she's taken it and she's accumulating off course faults.  But she's NEVER going to have a run in which her only faults are for being over SCT.   

It is, as with everything, a trade off.   You learn to train and work on what you need based on the dog you have and it changes with every dog you bring to the game.

(Also what kind of time adjustments are happening in June? I feel like I missed something, somewhere?)
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: danforth on November 29, 2017, 06:59:34 PM
I also would like to know about June time changes.  Will it be more or less time?

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Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Chris Nelson on November 29, 2017, 07:21:16 PM
I also would like to know about June time changes.  Will it be more or less time?

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Weíll be posting details soon. 

But it will be based off of 8 different trials across the country running the same courses.  And those  dog times  will determine the times for the following year.


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Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Lin Battaglia on November 29, 2017, 08:19:53 PM
I really wanted to stay out of this...and I'm not sure anything I say will be valued.... Some of the comments make me sad. NADAC "was" about DISTANCE, DIRECTIONALS, and SPEED not the handler running with their dog all around the course. Running with your dog is what happens in the other venues. Do we want to be like other venues ? What happens to the dogs body is the most important to me. And jerking them around a congested course is not fun. Why would anyone with fast dogs want to slow them down. My Sheltie is fast but smaller so he doesn't have trouble, he nearly always has a perfect weekend. I like a challenging course but it needs to be fair to the dogs body and not causing harm to my fast BCs.
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Chris Nelson on November 29, 2017, 08:27:55 PM
I can very gladly post the course from 2007 that everyone is complaining about.   I have a very good grasp of what NADAC was.
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Chris Nelson on November 29, 2017, 08:35:36 PM
Here are some courses from 2006 and 2007 by our best course designers of that time.
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Chris Nelson on November 29, 2017, 08:37:33 PM
Another course from 2007 designed by someone very close to all of these discussions who thinks the current courses are too difficult
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Lin Battaglia on November 29, 2017, 09:21:39 PM
To the best of my memory, I have not run these courses recently. We evolved from there.
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Chris Nelson on November 29, 2017, 09:28:31 PM
Evolution does not mean forgetting where you came from


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Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Amanda Nelson on November 29, 2017, 09:52:25 PM
I am going to throw my .02 in here as well.

 I want to make a few comments about the ďFeatherĒ course that was mentioned. A very close version of this course was run at the NADAC Championships with some of the fastest dogs in the country. I watched many of these runs, and many of them were flawless. That course in particular is a handlers course, the dogs line has very little challenge to it if the handler puts them on the correct line to each obstacle. But the key to that course was that the handler needed to cue collection and extension. I have run that course, and personally I liked it, and I run quite fast, large dogs.

On the topic of collection and extension, those are skills that need to be taught to a dog. And in my opinion this is a skill that is often overlooked when training our dogs. Watching dogs from around the country, a lot of dogs will get into collection and not know how to switch back into extension, or a dog will be in extension and not know how to bring themselves into collection. I want my dogs to be able to switch back and forth from collection to extension easily, multiple times on a course. I do focus on training that skill and as a handler it is also my job to cue this collection and extension on course.

We are listening to everyoneís input in regards to courses, and I am making some adjustments. But future courses will continue to have collection vs. extension challenge as what has been seen and a little more technical challenge as well.

Amanda
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: danforth on November 30, 2017, 01:02:17 AM
Amanda,

For those of us who did not run Feather,  can you indicate which of the Champs courses it resembles?   Then I can follow this discussion better.

Thanks.

Isabel
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Amy McGovern on November 30, 2017, 05:54:41 AM
Those courses look fun to me :) Challenging for sure.  I can see the off courses I would have with my dogs but they look like fun to run! 
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Marcy Matties on November 30, 2017, 06:42:48 AM
Would you tell us which one of the 3 above is Feather?  Just curious about what some are concerned about recently.  I didn't perceive anything as being unsafe for the dogs (well maybe that teeter thing ;D). Maybe tricky for a sometimes klutzy handler like me with some of the "in my way" obstacles.  But that's a matter of adjusting my handling to fit the course - which is always the case - we all handle each course depending on what works best for our dog.

I guess what I'm curious about is the immediate red flags.  People seem to assume that because they have seen 1 or 2 courses that look different, then EVERY course going forward is going to be just as different. Maybe they will, maybe they won't.   I think it's too soon to make that assumption.  There have always been and always will be some courses more challenging than others. Let's take a breath and see down the road if some of these challenges aren't mixed in with what we're familiar with as well.  And maybe those difficult sequences will become less threatening because we have seen them and figured out how to handle them.
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Amanda Nelson on November 30, 2017, 06:58:48 AM
None of the pictures that Chris posted are Feather, I will post it later today when I get a second. :-D
Amanda


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Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Rosemary on November 30, 2017, 07:32:57 AM
I have been following this thread for quite some time.  I do not understand why a wrap is such a big deal.  It's a front cross.  The day I find that there is nothing new to be learned will be a sad day indeed.  Agility is a journey of challenges for me and my dogs.  I have fast ones and I have slower ones.  They all run the same courses so I need to adjust MY handling and timing depending on the dog.  This is a bonus challenge for me.  I often don't succeed, but I learn something in the process.  I have yet to see anything on a NADAC course that would cause any harm to my dog.  If I find a portion uncomfortable, I look for alternate ways to handle it.  Or I set it up at home and train it.  I see far more distressing turns and entries in other venues, hence my reluctance to enter them.

A NADAC dog will likely have a long healthy agility career because of the great emphasis on the well being of the dog.  Enjoy it while you can.  It will never be long enough.
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Chris Nelson on November 30, 2017, 10:16:21 AM
Round 3 at champs was the rendition of feather.

 https://www.nadac.com/Rd3Std.pdf (https://www.nadac.com/Rd3Std.pdf)

If you didnít handle this course it sucked royally.   If you handled it and directed your dog well then it flowed great and the path was always there, but you couldnít fall asleep on this one


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Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: DeafSheltieMom on November 30, 2017, 11:30:46 AM
When I looked at the posted Feather course, I recognized it as one we just ran a few weekends ago (minus the ending tunnel).  Tesla and I sucked at it in the direction posted :-(.  But we rocked it going in the reverse direction!  I learned where to stand and how to direct the funky box from our disaster the day before.  Here is the link to her Reg 4 run:

https://youtu.be/Dbnwg2SYtN0

It was fun, but yes, it was challenging.  And it helped that we had double-run format to learn from our mistakes the day before.  There wasn't anything in the course that wasn't seen before... it just all happened in the SAME course :-)  The funky box was our downfall.  Handling error!

-dayle
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: ricbonner on November 30, 2017, 11:44:29 AM
Round 3 at champs was the rendition of feather.

 https://www.nadac.com/Rd3Std.pdf (https://www.nadac.com/Rd3Std.pdf)

If you didnít handle this course it sucked royally.   If you handled it and directed your dog well then it flowed great and the path was always there, but you couldnít fall asleep on this one


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Round 3 was Cody's highest placement at Champs before the finals- 7th.  Nearly every course at Champs I felt favored Cody's skill set.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuxM64u5G7Y


Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: BeckyAH on November 30, 2017, 11:58:38 AM
I think, based on looking at maps - because when I ran one of those technical courses my Q rate wasn't stellar, either - that neither the dog's path, nor the skills required, are even remotely 'new' for NADAC - and I don't mean going back 10 years to points there are teeters on the course, either.  I've been running for all of about three years in trials and I've seen all those lines, and all of those handling challenges before. 

The flow is still there for the dog - it just requires more active handling, more crosses, and really good timing.  Those things are not easy.  The courses are not easy.  But I just keep not seeing anything there that is reminiscent of anything but NADAC, or that truly requires new skills - either for handler or dog.  Less forgiving of mistakes in using those skills, some new application of skills, but I don't see anything there that's worth freaking out or stressing about.

Then again I've pretty well decided that short of a teeter on the course - or some other obstacle I have not trained at all - I'm just not stressing out or freaking out about agility at all.   I'm not saying this is good, but I just refuse.
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: KarissaKS on November 30, 2017, 02:39:42 PM
Not going to lie, but I feel the fact that I compete in multiple venues helped me a lot with the courses at Championships this year (same as how I felt that my NADAC skills gave me an advantage at AKC Nationals in the spring, it goes both ways). I've always felt that people who focus on only one skill set are going to struggle at some point or another. If you never test yourself with new challenges then of course things are going to seem very difficult when you encounter a variation from "the norm."

Another variable to keep in mind is handler speed. Those who can run as fast as their dogs can get by with a lot less training. Those who cannot run as fast as their dogs must rely on training skills that allow them to handle challenges from a distance. There are folks out there handling a lot more technical challenges than those posted from a considerable distance, so it can certainly be done if one chooses. The dog's path is as smooth as you make it. That is our challenge as handlers.
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: mephalon on November 30, 2017, 03:28:00 PM
I also would like to know about June time changes.  Will it be more or less time?

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Weíll be posting details soon. 

But it will be based off of 8 different trials across the country running the same courses.  And those  dog times  will determine the times for the following year.


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Chris- Just curious if this analysis will be based on reviewing the entire trial result catalog (Qs and  NQs)?  Currently I know NADAC does not see NQs as all we send to NADAC post trial are the Qs spreadsheet. 

M
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Foomin Z on November 30, 2017, 05:15:31 PM
I really wanted to stay out of this...and I'm not sure anything I say will be valued.... Some of the comments make me sad. NADAC "was" about DISTANCE, DIRECTIONALS, and SPEED not the handler running with their dog all around the course. Running with your dog is what happens in the other venues. Do we want to be like other venues ? What happens to the dogs body is the most important to me. And jerking them around a congested course is not fun. Why would anyone with fast dogs want to slow them down. My Sheltie is fast but smaller so he doesn't have trouble, he nearly always has a perfect weekend. I like a challenging course but it needs to be fair to the dogs body and not causing harm to my fast BCs.
No one is forcing you to run the course as is in any venue. If you look at the course, and think it may be harmful to your dog, then don't run it. Sure, you paid your entry fee ahead of time, but everyone did that, and everyone is taking the chance the course will be favorable.

Also, "running with your dog" is not the absolute of what happens in the other venues, and it doesn't NOT happen in NADAC. "Running with your dog" is a personal training choice.
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Chris Nelson on November 30, 2017, 05:16:24 PM
I also would like to know about June time changes.  Will it be more or less time?

Sent from my KFASWI using Forum Fiend v1.3.3.


Weíll be posting details soon. 

But it will be based off of 8 different trials across the country running the same courses.  And those  dog times  will determine the times for the following year.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Chris- Just curious if this analysis will be based on reviewing the entire trial result catalog (Qs and  NQs)?  Currently I know NADAC does not see NQs as all we send to NADAC post trial are the Qs spreadsheet. 

M

It will be based on any run that is clean and no bobbles.

So yes NQ from time faults will be included.

But the dog has to be connected and running the entire course in order for it to count


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Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Foomin Z on November 30, 2017, 05:37:42 PM
Round 3 at champs was the rendition of feather.

 https://www.nadac.com/Rd3Std.pdf (https://www.nadac.com/Rd3Std.pdf)

If you didnít handle this course it sucked royally.   If you handled it and directed your dog well then it flowed great and the path was always there, but you couldnít fall asleep on this one


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See, I disliked that course most at champs because it was so much like an AKC JWW layout. I had no issues running it. I pretty much ran it in boredom on auto-pilot. I just didn't like the reminiscent flavor.

On the other hand, round 4 was awesome and fun. So many "near misses" that could happen with tunnel suckers. Very thrilling for me and my sucker.  ;D
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Lorrie Stelz on December 01, 2017, 12:59:29 AM
I agree, that was not a favorite course of mine at Champs.  A bit too much babysitting.  I liked Round 4 as well!  That was fun!
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: AndreaEntin on December 01, 2017, 06:22:49 AM
I liked round three from champs. It was a split for me.  My old man Bang was clean with all the bonuses.  I slightly over handled Linkin and pulled her off the hoop after the aframe...my fault.  Can't say I disliked any of the champs courses.  I take what they put in front of me and make the best of it. 

I am looking forward to some more challenging courses.  Bring it Chris and Amanda  ;D

Andrea
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: RobertStewart on December 04, 2017, 07:52:10 AM
I agree! Bring it! Ready for anything!


Robert
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Audri, Cee Cee, Lily, Toto, and Calypso on December 04, 2017, 09:38:22 AM
Absolutely Becky.  I have an abysmal Q rate in Regular so those changes in Regular are huge for me.  Now if they want to make Chances harder .... go for it, but I suspect there would be a huge outcry if they did that.  All in all if my dog an I are having fun I don't worry about Q rate.  We will see what the new challenges are and go from there.

Gina

HA!  I feel chances are already hard enough!  I have had only 1 chances Q in a year with Toto!  :-)
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: BeckyAH on December 04, 2017, 10:02:37 AM
Absolutely Becky.  I have an abysmal Q rate in Regular so those changes in Regular are huge for me.  Now if they want to make Chances harder .... go for it, but I suspect there would be a huge outcry if they did that.  All in all if my dog an I are having fun I don't worry about Q rate.  We will see what the new challenges are and go from there.

Gina

HA!  I feel chances are already hard enough!  I have had only 1 chances Q in a year with Toto!  :-)

I got THREE chances Qs this year.  I am very proud of myself :P   My goal used to be a natch.  At t his point I'm downgrading to elite versatility and 1000 lifetime points.
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Audri, Cee Cee, Lily, Toto, and Calypso on December 05, 2017, 09:19:52 AM
I think it would be fun to see more challenging Chances courses!  (ok, don't everyone yell at me).  LOL!  I LOVE Chances and have a blast with them.  I'd love to have an all Chances trial!  haha!  :)
I'd love an all chances trial just to try to get one stinkin chances Q! Times 13!

I am with you!  I can't BUY a chances Q on my little terrier!
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Foomin Z on December 05, 2017, 09:45:25 AM
I think it would be fun to see more challenging Chances courses!  (ok, don't everyone yell at me).  LOL!  I LOVE Chances and have a blast with them.  I'd love to have an all Chances trial!  haha!  :)
I'd love an all chances trial just to try to get one stinkin chances Q! Times 13!

I am with you!  I can't BUY a chances Q on my little terrier!
Oh, there's another program to implement: buying chances Qs. *sigh*
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Bostondirtdogs07 on December 05, 2017, 08:01:42 PM
I personally like the courses that challenge dogs to use extension and collection along with other technical skills.  😊  My early NADAC instructor didn't teach this.   I'm still working hard to perfect it.  It's funny,  NADAC people see an entry to weave poles and freak out....  Other venues see a straight entry and lose it.  LOL.  I train both.   I like what you guys are doing Chris and Amanda. 
Title: Re: New Course Design !*&%&*
Post by: Chris Nelson on December 06, 2017, 09:01:49 AM
I think it would be fun to see more challenging Chances courses!  (ok, don't everyone yell at me).  LOL!  I LOVE Chances and have a blast with them.  I'd love to have an all Chances trial!  haha!  :)
I'd love an all chances trial just to try to get one stinkin chances Q! Times 13!

I am with you!  I can't BUY a chances Q on my little terrier!
Oh, there's another program to implement: buying chances Qs. *sigh*

Little unnecessary comment.   When 90% of the people using a program are doing it correctly I don't find it needed to make comments like that.
And seeming how we are removing the ability for the other 10% it's really not needed.