NADAC Forum

General => General Discussion => Topic started by: Bostondirtdogs07 on March 20, 2018, 09:22:51 AM

Title: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Bostondirtdogs07 on March 20, 2018, 09:22:51 AM
I saw it mentioned by someone on Facebook that their was a discussion on the NADAC page on increasing NADAC entries.  Since I can't seem to track that down I will share my thoughts here. 

In regards to increasing participation and trial entries, we discussed this at length during a NADAC event several weeks ago.  Our Club is small and is only able to support a few trials a year so this topic is of great importance to us.  The group involved in the discussion consisted of all agility experience levels from Intro to NATCH recipients (club and non-club members).  One of the factors seemed to resonate with the vast majority of the group.  This was the perception that in NADACís pursuit to provide new challenges to participants, particularly those who have earned numerous NATCHs, the only thing that has really become more challenging is the level of distance skills required to ďsucceedĒ in NADAC.  The group agreed that this was consistent throughout the levels, for example Novice, Open and Elite courses have become increasingly difficult over the last 5-10 years.  This has actually served to discourage many from even entering the distance challenge class, Chances, or pursuing a NADAC Agility Championship with their dog.  I find this disheartening but true.  I realize that every agility team may not be able to achieve a NATCH but if you make it increasingly difficult and unobtainable you will not encourage new participants to the venue and you are likely to lose long time participants to other venues.  I liken this to dog training principles; we want our dogs to be driven to continue with their training so we set them up for success.  If your dog is failing to perform the behavior 80% of the time you take a step back and increase their success rate.  With exhibitors, a high rate of continued failure will most likely lead to the pursuit of different sports or venues in which they feel with training, success is actually obtainable.  Please do not misinterpret this to be making things easier so that people do not have to work to obtain these goals.  I completely support distance work as the heart of NADAC agility and the dedication it requires to develop this skill.  I am simply saying that the distance challenges should not be made so difficult that only teams with dozens of NATCHs may be successful at them.  If these people are seeking more difficult challenges, perhaps they should be moving on to bonus lines and boxes instead of NATCH 49, 50, etc.  NADAC could consider other ways to increase distance challenges for multi-NATCH teams rather than making them impossible for those that are still working hard to perfect these skills. 

Another point noted regarding distance challenges was the inconsistency in criteria among the different levels.  The NADAC Handbook specifies minimum of 10í, 15í and 20í for Novice, Open, and Elite levels.   Keeping in mind that these are minimums, there is a wide variation in the challenges we see.  Many of the Novice level courses at recent trials have lines nearly at the minimum Elite distances.  We have seen Elite courses where dogs must blindly run 30+í out and straight away from us.  Some weekends the Novice lines may be 5í.  The inconsistency is increasingly frustrating to teams.  Finally, it should be kept in mind that the distance challenges should be balanced to provide challenges for dogs of all sizes as most of the courses seem to favor large long striding dogs.  It takes a lot more effort for a Chihuahua to go out and complete a 30í distance challenge than most Border Collies and natural herding breeds.  It was a rare joy to see a 10 year old Pomeranian earn his first NATCH at a recent trial.   
     
I am enjoying the new challenges we are seeing on NADAC courses that are unrelated to distance work and find the technical challenges refreshing.  It has been nice to work more tight boxes, serpentines and even an occasional wrap rather than just continuing to take whatever obstacle is directly set in your path.  I appreciate the flow of NADAC courses but it is ok to offer some sort of challenge to the teams.  Again, though I think distance work should remain the highlight of NADAC, it does not need to be the only challenge that continues to evolve within this venue.   

I have recently had great success in recruiting exhibitors from other venues to play NADAC and will continue to do so.  They enjoy the games and the atmosphere but do shy away from the distance challenges.  I think in order to hold their interest and retain their attendance we need to look at ways to make certain aspects of our venue less intimidating and other aspects more challenging.  Finally, we should continue to recognize accomplishments of teams at all levels as these are frequently overshadowed by teams earning yet another NATCH.

I hope these thoughts will be helpful in supporting the future of NADAC agility. 
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Chris Nelson on March 20, 2018, 11:48:16 AM
We definitely covered this on the Facebook post so Iíll give the same answer here.

Itís all stuff we have been discussing heavily for the past year,  and there will be an announcement in June regarding some changes happening in January of 2018 that will address all of these concerns.

It will be a very large announcement,   On a Lot of different topics,   But I think it will be very well received,  and with 6 months before anything goes into effect folks will have a lot of time to digest everything.


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Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Bostondirtdogs07 on March 20, 2018, 12:20:26 PM
Thanks Chris.  I finally found the Facebook post but with 700+ comments I am glad you responded here too.  I am looking forward to hearing the announcement in June.   😊
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Laura Anne Welch on March 20, 2018, 07:45:39 PM
I was one of those in the group that Nicole referred to in her post, and she reported the group's concerns very well.  Those of us who live where the isn't a lot of NADAC and who love the venue don't want it to disappear due to competitors being discouraged by the issues that Nicole raises.  I haven't found the Facebook post yet (thought that the Forum was the way to stay up on NADAC issues?) but will look for it.  And, Chris, are you referring to an announcement in june about changes that will take place in January of 2019, not 2018?  Thanks for the work everyone does on NADAC.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Chris Nelson on March 21, 2018, 04:56:03 AM
Oh yes sorry, 2019.

The forum is a way to stay on top of things.   The post that happened on facebook was NOT started by nadac or sanctioned by us in any way.   It was just someone who decided to post and it took off.   So no real way for us to spread that around, especially with 700+ comments :)
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: ausscyn on March 21, 2018, 11:31:47 AM
How do you find that post on fb? Whose name is it under?

Cynthia Kennedy
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: giddyup on March 22, 2018, 02:24:29 PM
Hi.  Don't know if this would help increase entries or not, but has NADAC ever considered doing both a East Coast and West coast Champs simultaneously?  I see/hear people talk about "Darn, my dog qualified for Champs but it's on the other side of the country this year" "my dog is getting older, hope we can qualify again when it gets closer again". "Why bother trying to qualify this year since it's too far this year", etc.
Maybe having two Champs (I believe DOCNA does this) could help increase local trial entries with people trying to qualify and more people would get the chance to go to Champs which I'm sure is an exciting experience. ( as I kick myself for not going last year 😊)
Lots of work for NADAC, I'm sure, but just a suggestion?
Jill
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Chris Nelson on March 22, 2018, 03:16:45 PM
It's been talked about.    But it always gets shot down as part of the joy of Championships is competing against people you wouldn't normally see on a weekend trial.   This would compound that problem if we made two events.

It's actually much more likely for there to be a 'central' location that just becomes the permanent location.   Then everyone has to travel equally.   But that plan usually gets shot down as well!
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Linda Fussel on March 22, 2018, 04:01:06 PM
I love NADAC but being in Central Cal. there isn't any close trials.  One of the reasons I often hear for not liking NADAC is time.  There are a lot of dogs out there that participate in agility but don't have the speed to make time in   NADAC. so they don't attend. I have a dog with a nice easy speed that has clean runs but doesn't always make time so we NQ.  I did notice that the standard course time is being looked at.  I hope that helps.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Anne Etherton on March 24, 2018, 03:39:01 PM
The times have generally become more generous in the past few months.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Lorrie Stelz on March 26, 2018, 04:17:59 PM
Just adding my 2 cents.  I think the reason we have trouble "keeping" people is a huge variety of sports venues being offered now.  I only have a handful of people in my little area (county) that do NADAC and those people dabble in other dog sports such as obedience, herding, dock diving, barn hunt, CAT (?), plus other agility venues... AKC, ASCA, then there is some UKI and USDAA in my region.  There just aren't enough weekends in the year. People by me make choices on what to attend.  I only do NADAC, but my attendance is hindered by working every other weekend.  But, that's what I'm seeing.  We had a local trial and I was the only one in my county to attend all 3 days.  One attended one day.  The other people chose to do their other sports. 
As far as getting new people... I think it comes down to what's available to newbies and classes in the area.  What they are intially exposed to is what they tend to go towards.  The international type challenges are what people in my region seem to love the most (which is NOT my idea of fun), but that's what they want to attend.  AKC is biggest in my area.  USDAA is big, but few trials.  Now those people are now trying UKI, and ASCA has also had a trial now in my area.  Thankfully we have a HUGE devoted group of people in my region to keep NADAC well attended as we all travel sometimes many states away, to go to trials in the venue we love.  :)
As far as the distance challenges... hard for me to speak since I love those challenges the MOST!  And with people in my area all becoming very skilled at them, we usually don't hear too many complaints about the distance issues. Since I don't run in Novice or Open, I'm not privy to what's being said at those levels.  I'd hate to see distance challenges go away, or become easier.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: agilityaddict2 on March 29, 2018, 07:38:44 AM
Hereís a thought.....letting people that do other venues start at the same level in nadac, instead of having to start in novice. Some of the other venues do this. Might get some newbies to nadac but not agility to try nadac that otherwise would not
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: bhodges865 on March 29, 2018, 12:10:43 PM
I really see more and more people doing other "stuff" with their dogs, myself included, which limits funds and time.  Where I use to just do only agility, we now do Up dog and dock diving which take weekends/money away from playing agility.

I have heard the complaint about NADAC having the fast times, but I think that and the distance is what makes NADAC different.  Plus my dog likes the flowy courses and I have seen more and more technical courses which I see as good for some and bad for others.

And where some places don't have much nadac to play, in East TN we almost have too much if you are involved in other sports.  I just can't afford to play agility 2 weekends a month plus do other activities.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: mstomel on March 29, 2018, 12:36:43 PM
Hereís a thought.....letting people that do other venues start at the same level in nadac, instead of having to start in novice. Some of the other venues do this. Might get some newbies to nadac but not agility to try nadac that otherwise would not

The only venue I know of that does this is DOCNA, and even still there are regulations and you have to request to be grandfathered in within 30 days of registering your dog. Since I registered my dog when I first got her, but then didn't show in DOCNA for a year, I was in NADAC Elite but I had to start in DOCNA Beginner. BUT the beginner classes gave me the time to figure out the differences in the venues and how to chance my style to better suit the different classes. And within 3 shows I was back to a higher level. Honestly, it hasn't seemed to help DOCNA get new exhibiters. My know-nothing opinion is that if you want people to enjoy your venue then get it out there for people, don't change your venue to suit them. There are soo soo many agility venues and trials these days. But I see so many clubs made of only elite exhibiters. Encouraging novice people is the only way to keep a sport from dying off. Unless you plan to breed your own agility handlers, you have to rescue them and train them. I think the best thing is the clubs that are able to give discounts to those first-time people or letting people run FEO, perhaps even before they commit to registering with NADAC? Give em' a taste right? The first hit is free :)
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: agilityaddict2 on March 29, 2018, 04:09:47 PM
I could be wrong but I think USA and UKI both let you start at levels other than novice.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: LyndaB on March 29, 2018, 04:38:16 PM
I know CPE lets you start at level 1, 2, or 3. Teacup does fast tracking, where you only need 1 Q at the lower levels if you have higher titles elsewhere. And while I get the sentiment behind this, there is no real equivalent for the NADAC classes in other venues other than Standard and Jumpers, so you'd likely need to start at Novice in 6 of the classes anyway.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Chris Nelson on March 29, 2018, 04:41:23 PM
Question.

Is it the process of earning the points folks donít like,  or running the lower level courses?

Itís fairly important because one of those options has a very simple solution with some new points coding I added recently.

So would you be okay with running a elite level course and those points get moved down to the lower levels?   Or is it the fact you need to spend all those trial dollars in order to reach the point where a championship is possible?


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Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: mstomel on March 29, 2018, 05:52:46 PM
Question.

Is it the process of earning the points folks donít like,  or running the lower level courses?

Itís fairly important because one of those options has a very simple solution with some new points coding I added recently.

So would you be okay with running a elite level course and those points get moved down to the lower levels?   Or is it the fact you need to spend all those trial dollars in order to reach the point where a championship is possible?

Personally my initial concern was that I would find the beginner courses boring or lacking. But while I moved through them quickly, it really wasn't a big deal and it gave me time to figure out how I needed to run the courses differently (since I know nothing as it is!). BUT for a venue i'm not really interested in, like with AKC, the idea of having to start in beginners again is enough to sway me from it due to the $$ issue. So I kind of think if it's the $$ then it's because you don't really want to commit to the venue. That my poor persons perspective at least. There is so much agility and dog sports out there now, gotta pick your poison/passion. 
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: KarissaKS on March 29, 2018, 06:22:24 PM
Personally, I would not be okay with running Elite courses and having my points transferred down to Novice. If I still have to spend all that time and money getting points before it starts applying towards NATCH then I may as well run Novice and Open where the odds of Qing are going to be higher.

I understand the argument that skilled teams shouldn't take that long to get to Elite -- Thanks to side runs at Champs Jedi was in Elite Jumpers & Chances at his second NADAC trial, and after his third trial he's almost got his Open Versatility. But were there a fast track option I would have jumped on it. NADAC has a lot of classes, and I find it particularly drudging to have to go through Novice & Open when I'm running the same course as Elite in the games -- and I want my dogs off 6 weave poles as soon as possible.

I do realize that I'm not your average competitor. But an option similar to USDAA where you are only required to get your Standard title (3 Qs) plus 1 Q in each game to move up would be nice.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: agilityaddict2 on March 29, 2018, 06:25:52 PM
Not sure but I think itís the running of the lower level courses. Let them start where they are at in the other venues. That masters dog/handler from akc will soon figure out where they belong and adjust accordingly,since you can move down in nadac. Just my opinion, no idea if it would help. Pretty sure someone with a Mach dog isnít going to want to start in novice.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: KellyDittmar on March 30, 2018, 05:09:40 AM
Or is it the fact you need to spend all those trial dollars in order to reach the point where a championship is possible?

I think you hit the nail on the head here... If I have my CATCH or my MACH or some other labeled piece of PVC at my house, will I be excited by running novice NADAC? Or will I perceive it as being so simple to be beneath me?  With limited time, will I want to run 'boring novice' courses so I can eventually run in elite? Or will I be more likely to stay where I am or go somewhere that doesn't make me start at the bottom with the skills that have been proven already? And even if I can start in elite... If I need to move a min of 18 Qs down - assuming I have a 100% Q rate, that'll be about $200 in cash for those novice/open reg/jump/chances Qs... Another $200 for the versatility classes. A lot of money to "throw away" on move-downs.

There is a different question: If you allow people with outside experience to skip forward, how do you keep the perception of fairness for new folks who are excited to move up but haven't trialed/Qd enough to do it? More and more I talk to people who only want to run elite. They are frustrated at being in novice or open and feel their skills are good enough to be in elite - even when they aren't consistently Qing in the lower levels... Most often I hear it from people with faster dogs in TNG or tunnelers where the course is the same & when they are clean & under time, they would have Q'd in elite.

These folks are the opposite of the 'its about the journey" folks... They are the "peddle to the metal" folks. Neither group is right or wrong, but how they approach things will be significantly different.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: dogrsqr on March 30, 2018, 05:18:58 AM
I think the other orgs that allow people to start at a level other than Novice have some rules attached.  UKI doesn't allow you to start at a higher level with only NADAC titles because they feel that you don't necessarily have the skills needed.  I feel that's fair.  So that begs the question do folks have the skills to start at Elite Chances?  Do they have the speed to make time in Elite? 

Gina
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: aprweber on March 30, 2018, 08:03:51 AM
Years ago when I decided to move my dogs down to preferred in AKC, they made me start back in novice. Coupons for money off entries for being high in class took some of the sting out of the money spent.

AKC changed the rule after I had left the venue.

AKC has changed quite a bit since I left.  The chute is no longer there. The performance on the table has changed. The height of the AF was adjusted.  I've been gone for years, so my list may be lacking.  I did get to do FAST and time to beat. I didn't do the class that had a more international flavor.  When I started there were 2 classes: standard and JWW.  Now there are 5 plus Agility Course Test.

Has any venue remained unchanged?
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Edraith on March 30, 2018, 08:39:54 AM
Jumping to Elite maybe makes sense if you have other such titles in other venues but only for jumpers and regular I think...as the other classes dont even have equivilants in other venues?

If it is a money thing I guess i get it too....$60+ assuming 100% q rate per game (3 novice 3 open before hitting elite).

Maybe there could be a test-trial to help these folk who feel they are either 1) too good a team to start out in lower classes or 2) coming in from other venues.
They can run one of each game in elite at their *first* NADAC trial with that dog. If they Q, they can stay in elite. If not, they have to go through the program as normal, and for the rest of that trial for that game they have to start out in novice like everyone else.
Everone will always find excuses of why they didn't q, but they can't say they didn't get a fair chance then. Kinda an "okay, so stop running your mouth show us your skills" thing. And that would make it a game-by-game basis, so say you have the regular and jumpers skills (which I would expect anyone coming from other venues would have) you can skip out, but if you cannot show those elite chances skills...well buddy for that game you get to start where everyone does because it needs work!
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: KarissaKS on March 30, 2018, 08:51:47 AM
If people want to NQ in Elite then that is their business. Fast track systems do not require that experienced teams start out at the top level, they just make it an available option.

Using UKI as an example, I would venture to say that many teams running in Masters AKC classes (not Premier) do not have the skills to immediately succeed at Champion level UKI classes. They are so vastly different. BUT, UKI gives those people the option to start there if they wish -- and someone who has only ever ran AKC probably isn't going to have any experience with Snooker or Gamblers, but they get thrown right into the CH level for those classes as well. If they don't want to do that then they always have the option of not using the fast track and starting at Beginners like anyone else.

So sure, your average AKC competitor may not succeed at Elite Chances out of the gate -- but some might.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: dogrsqr on March 30, 2018, 10:38:52 AM
UKI does not give NADAC only competitors the option to start at a higher level.  They allow dogs with titles in USDAA, CPE, and AKC to start at higher levels depending on what level they are at in those orgs.  Their rules also say that they must transfer in at those levels.

Gina
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Foomin Z on March 30, 2018, 02:28:13 PM
If you go by the hoopla created by the recent CPE levels/rule change, it is about the money and working towards the championship. So many complaints about "wasted Qs," with no one thinking about the fun time they spent with their dog.

The USDAA example of do the regular title plus one Q in each game to move up would be really tedious to the type of exhibitor that example would appeal to, because NADAC has so many classes... and a possibility of adding two more?? I think it would be frustrating for people experienced in other venues to have to slog through so many NADAC classes that will all seem so similar to each other.

 
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Heidi Konesko on April 03, 2018, 08:19:08 AM
Allowing proven teams to start at a higher or the highest level is an interesting idea.  If it would help bring people in the door, I think it should be explored.  My 2 cents.
-Heidi in NH
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: agilityaddict2 on April 03, 2018, 07:02:46 PM
If people want to NQ in Elite then that is their business. Fast track systems do not require that experienced teams start out at the top level, they just make it an available option.

Using UKI as an example, I would venture to say that many teams running in Masters AKC classes (not Premier) do not have the skills to immediately succeed at Champion level UKI classes. They are so vastly different. BUT, UKI gives those people the option to start there if they wish -- and someone who has only ever ran AKC probably isn't going to have any experience with Snooker or Gamblers, but they get thrown right into the CH level for those classes as well. If they don't want to do that then they always have the option of not using the fast track and starting at Beginners like anyone else.

So sure, your average AKC competitor may not succeed at Elite Chances out of the gate -- but some might.
[/quote  It is my understanding it is not an option for UKI. You MUST transfer in at the level you are competing in at AKC for example. They do not recognize NADAC levels.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Heidi Konesko on April 04, 2018, 08:09:30 AM
I think it's a matter of time and/or money for some people, how many weekends and dollars you are going to devote to a strange venue to check it out and work your way up to the full performance level, vs. spend the time and money where you are comfortable, and already in a system of earning points and titles.  I know I had a scenario where I could start at a higher level, (not THE highest level), with my already experienced and trial-savvy dog, and I was happy starting there.  We didn't clean up, and the courses were challenging for us, and it showed me what I would need to train if I wanted to continue entering that venue.  I decided not to because I liked my many NADAC trial options more.  If I had had to start at the lowest level I don't think I would have tried the other venue at all.
I think they had a rule that once you Q'ed at a certain level you could not go back down to a lower level.  I would not recommend that, as I don't see any reason for it and it would be difficult to police.
I don't know how you would enforce "showing proficiency in another venue".
I'm up to 4 cents now!
Heidi in NH
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: lorriemaxx on April 13, 2018, 08:56:50 PM
Hereís a thought.....letting people that do other venues start at the same level in nadac, instead of having to start in novice. Some of the other venues do this. Might get some newbies to nadac but not agility to try nadac that otherwise would not

The problem with this is that the challenges in NADAC are quite different from those encountered in other venues.  UKI, which grandfathers in other levels from AKC and USDAA, does not grandfather in NADAC for that reason.  This is NOT a slam on any venue - I have noticed that dogs that do the tighter courses and have been trained that way have a very difficult time with the longer spacing in NADAC in general.  I think it would be discouraging for the dog to be competing at the Elite level if they have not mastered driving to obstacles at those distances yet.

Lorrie
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Billie Rosen on April 14, 2018, 09:58:28 AM
Lorrie, I'm not sure I agree with your observation that dogs that have been trained in USDAA, AKC, and UKI have trouble with the NADAC obstacle spacing.  For example, at the UKI Championships and now in at least some USDAA trials, the obstacle spacing has been noticeably lengthened, and the dogs and handlers seem to really like it.   Hope that trend continues.  Maybe we could convince some of those folks to try NADAC.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: lorriemaxx on April 14, 2018, 02:10:12 PM
Lorrie, I'm not sure I agree with your observation that dogs that have been trained in USDAA, AKC, and UKI have trouble with the NADAC obstacle spacing.  For example, at the UKI Championships and now in at least some USDAA trials, the obstacle spacing has been noticeably lengthened, and the dogs and handlers seem to really like it.   Hope that trend continues.  Maybe we could convince some of those folks to try NADAC.

What we see in this area are dogs that continuously turn back to their handler if the next obstacle isn't very close.  I've heard a number of people state that their dog isn't used to having so much room between obstacles.  Different areas of the country differ, of course, on how they train.

Lorrie
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Audri, Cee Cee, Lily, Toto, and Calypso on April 16, 2018, 07:21:10 AM
One of the things that kept me from trying other venues is the fact that I would have to start back at Novice for my elite level dogs.  Yes, it would be a fun time with my dogs, but the cost of AKC runs are $22.00 each and Novice usually runs late in the day.  So, assuming a perfect Q rate, I would spend a lot of money just to get to the elite level with my dog when I believe that they are beyond the novice/open level.  And the fact that most times Novice doesn't start until after noon, it blows my whole day.  Yes, the courses are slightly different and there are some tighter turns, but that is nothing that I haven't trained for (or could easily train for).  And as far as FAST, well we do well beyond that distance on a novice course so there is no real challenge there. 

I would say that if you allowed people to move into whatever level they chose (and they have the option of moving back down) it would help.  Like Karissa said, for the games, (tunnelers, TNG) the courses are exactly the same, it is just a difference in time.  For weavers, the course is the same, but the weaves are fewer.  If they are in elite in other organizations, then they are doing 12 weaves anyway.  If they have issues of the dogs turning back into them on a jumpers course, then they know what they have to train for, but they are going to do the same thing in novice or open so what difference does it make?
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Karen Birdsong on April 20, 2018, 06:46:25 PM
Age in Intro - I need to think about this some more, but putting the suggestion here on the request on a person entering my clubs trial. 

Suggestion is to lower the entrance age of dogs in Intro.  Perhaps 16 or 14 months.

Personally I keep thinking about the lower the competitive entrance age, the younger and harder youngsters may be worked by their handlers. 

If the age was lowered, then I would suggest that the maximum jump height be 12" instead of 16" for any dog under 18 months.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Chris Nelson on April 20, 2018, 06:55:48 PM
I worry about people working their dogs too early as well.

The counter to that is that people will do it regardless,  theyíll just do it in another venue.

So maybe it would be beneficial to allow it in a environment that is less strenuous then the other options.

Intro classes only,  max heights etc etc


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Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Team Bailey on April 20, 2018, 07:10:50 PM
The growth plates in a puppy aren't closed in a lot of breeds by 14 months.  If jumping, it could cause fractures and other complications in the puppy.  I think it would be better to keep it at the current age. 
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Amy McGovern on April 20, 2018, 07:56:42 PM
But they are closed in others much earlier (smaller dogs)....
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: mstomel on April 20, 2018, 08:15:53 PM
or you could just take jumps out of intro all together. And then you wouldn't need pole setters and classes would run really fast... just throwing that out there.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Maureen deHaan on April 21, 2018, 03:22:59 AM
There is no need to rush our dogs into the ring. I have been participating in NADAC for 20 years and the age has always been 18 months to be in the ring - Please don't change it!

I love it for many reasons in addition to the growth thing. Brain maturity, behavior maturity , time to train your dog without putting it in the ring too early and having teamwork disasters , time for them to come to trials and learn ring side / trial / travel / crate  manners , time for them to learn to be dogs.

 I cringe at other venues who allow dogs in the ring at 12 or even 15 months - and cringe even more when people put/ rush their dogs in the ring when they are clearly not ready (dog and handler) but just bc they are old enough -
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Kyle on April 21, 2018, 06:54:39 AM
I worry about people working their dogs too early as well.

The counter to that is that people will do it regardless,  theyíll just do it in another venue.

So maybe it would be beneficial to allow it in a environment that is less strenuous then the other options.

Intro classes only,  max heights etc etc


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NADAC has always been the venue that truly cares about the dogs' well being and has boldly been the front runner in standing behind that premise. By saying that people will still run their dogs in another venue so NADAC might as well allow it too, only compounds a known problem - people will run in both venues, not just one. In some areas (with more NADAC trials available), it may double the damage done to those very young dogs. NADAC will then be a part of the problem not a leader in the solution.

Stick to your guns. Keep the starting age where it is. Help keep our NADAC dogs running agility well into their "senior" years as we see at the trials.  :)

JMHO.

Kyle
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Cindy on April 21, 2018, 08:42:34 AM

NADAC has always been the venue that truly cares about the dogs' well being and has boldly been the front runner in standing behind that premise. By saying that people will still run their dogs in another venue so NADAC might as well allow it too, only compounds a known problem - people will run in both venues, not just one. In some areas (with more NADAC trials available), it may double the damage done to those very young dogs. NADAC will then be a part of the problem not a leader in the solution.

Stick to your guns. Keep the starting age where it is. Help keep our NADAC dogs running agility well into their "senior" years as we see at the trials.  :)

JMHO.

Kyle

I agree wholeheartedly with what Kyle said.  Just because other venues do, doesn't mean they should.  While there are variations in when individual dogs are ready, I appreciate NADAC having a line that considers the maximum safety for the dog.  Let the other venues do what they do, and let those of us who are NADAC only remain confident that the decisions at the top are being made with our dogs' safety as the number one guiding principle. 

JMHO   ;)
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Chris Nelson on April 21, 2018, 08:56:02 AM
Never said we were changing anything :)




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Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Chris Nelson on April 21, 2018, 07:03:09 PM
Again not saying weíre changing anything,   But for the sake of discussion.


Letís say a new person wants to do agility.   They donít know anything about waiting and just want to get going.   They start in AKC at 15 months.
The odds are that person will never leave AKC, once someone starts with a certain venue itís very hard to sway them to something else.


So that dog will then be jumping 24.  Hard turns, etc etc.   and likely retiring before 10 years old.

Now take that same team,  dog turns 15 months and they can now do akc or nadac.

They play with both because at this point they arenít committed to anything.

If they stick with nadac the dog will be jumping lower for its entire career,  and the other benefits of nadac.

Assuming the average nadac career that dog would be competing until they are 12 and probably still sound.   Thatís pretty average for a lot of nadac dogs.


So did we really harm that dog by giving them an option to get started in a venue that will be better for them long term?   Especially if that option is limited to intro classes and lower jump heights.

Just food for thought.     Sometimes the long term is hard to see.


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Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Team Bailey on April 22, 2018, 03:15:04 AM
What has happened to the BA-1, BA-2 and BA-3 for the puppies prior to turning 18 months?
 
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Marcy Matties on April 22, 2018, 05:31:19 AM
Again not saying weíre changing anything,   But for the sake of discussion.


Letís say a new person wants to do agility.   They donít know anything about waiting and just want to get going.   They start in AKC at 15 months.
The odds are that person will never leave AKC, once someone starts with a certain venue itís very hard to sway them to something else.


So that dog will then be jumping 24.  Hard turns, etc etc.   and likely retiring before 10 years old.

Now take that same team,  dog turns 15 months and they can now do akc or nadac.

They play with both because at this point they arenít committed to anything.

If they stick with nadac the dog will be jumping lower for its entire career,  and the other benefits of nadac.

Assuming the average nadac career that dog would be competing until they are 12 and probably still sound.   Thatís pretty average for a lot of nadac dogs.


So did we really harm that dog by giving them an option to get started in a venue that will be better for them long term?   Especially if that option is limited to intro classes and lower jump heights.

Just food for thought.     Sometimes the long term is hard to see.


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I agree. Especially hard to get people to try another venue once they commit. If requirements were intro only and shorter jump heights and possibly even limiting runs per day, the handler could learn what to expect from their dog in a trial situation and improve their training. I did that with Dublin. Entered him FEO in ASCA just to see where his ring brain was. Only did it once, but it helped me plan my training until he turned 18 months. Probably couldnít do it, but even limiting them to 1 trial a month until 18 months would be good.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: danforth on April 22, 2018, 05:31:56 AM
I never saw any BA classes offered in trials that we have attended.  However, as soon as intro began, those classes were available.

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Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Chris Nelson on April 22, 2018, 07:43:28 AM
What has happened to the BA-1, BA-2 and BA-3 for the puppies prior to turning 18 months?
 

Some areas are still doing it.     But it's trailed off pretty severely.

Ideally that is what people would enter.    But it comes back to the same issue agility has in general right now, and that is that people don't really want to train everything properly, they just want to run.    and BA is heavily geared towards having a solid stay and basic obedience, which folks aren't interested in anymore.

I wish they were, it would make all of our lives a lot easier!   
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: BeckyAH on April 22, 2018, 12:28:27 PM
I have a 12 month old pup, now.   He's been attending trials with me since he was about 4 months old, and he attended another one today.

 I will admit freely that had he been allowed to enter intro at a super low height (12 iffy, but even 8 or 4" yes and he's a 20+ inch tall dog), hoopers  (intro or novice) or tunnelers I would have entered him in those.  Is he *ready* for real competition?  No.   But I have limited opportunities for fun match type practices and getting him into the ring to play with him a little bit on a short course and have some fun in the ring as well as the environment IS appealing. 

He's got basic obedience,  a really good stay and recall,  and has had enough training to be safe on the equipment.  Would we have Qed?  Don't know, and wouldn't have cared either way.

That said, I recognize that not everyone is capable of keeping pressure off, or judging when to just get the heck out of the ring. 

I'm not complaining that I COULDN'T do that.  Just saying that if I could have, I would have.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Maureen deHaan on April 22, 2018, 01:46:47 PM
I understand your point of view Chris and if (and only if) at 15 months they could do intro at a lower height - would that still get them to stay at NADAC given they can "get real titles" in akc / cpe / usdaa etc ?

 Not my words but thing I hear people say about intro - even some top NADAC people disparage it - do not see its value etc

and to put my perspective on it - I ran Zoe in Intro through ALL superiors in every event - so you know I love intro - but then again - I bleed purple and run my dogs at the lowest height they can regardless of what other people think

A phrase I use quite often to others is:   "Just because they can - doesn't mean they should"
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Chris Nelson on April 22, 2018, 01:50:52 PM
I understand your point of view Chris and if (and only if) at 15 months they could do intro at a lower height - would that still get them to stay at NADAC given they can "get real titles" in akc / cpe / usdaa etc ?

 Not my words but thing I hear people say about intro - even some top NADAC people disparage it - do not see its value etc

and to put my perspective on it - I ran Zoe in Intro through ALL superiors in every event - so you know I love intro - but then again - I bleed purple and run my dogs at the lowest height they can regardless of what other people think

A phrase I use quite often to others is:   "Just because they can - doesn't mean they should"


I think a new person wouldnít have the same negative issues as someone whose been in the sport for years.   So I do think it would help.

Convincing someone who has been doing akc for 10 years to do nadac with their new dog is a losing battle.

Convincing someone who just got into agility three months ago,  much more likely.   They havenít gotten their minds set in stone yet


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Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Maureen deHaan on April 23, 2018, 02:40:35 AM
Depends on where you are  - and who their trainers are  I guess
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: dogrsqr on April 23, 2018, 05:23:53 AM
I find that around here most people new to agility tend to trial where their instructors and classmates trial.  We've had people start out in NADAC because of Intro and because they can do some training in the ring, but that doesn't mean they stay with NADAC. We also have ASCA and UKI where training in the ring is to a much larger extent.

We have a wide variety of training philosophies around here varying from taking it really slow, learning impulse control, and not even start teaching weaves until a dog is at least 14 months old to push and get them ready to trial by the time they're a year old. 

Gina
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: BeckyAH on April 23, 2018, 07:57:17 AM
I am going to out myself as one of "Those" people, here.

I absolutely think it's important that dogs be safe on the equipment, stay in the ring, and work with their owners - this is my disclaimer.  Dogs leaving the ring and running wild on the trial grounds, dogs running wild period - bad stuff, scary stuff, do not want.   disclaimer part 2: I am a NADAC person, and exclusively so.  I won't let my dogs be a risk to themselves or other people, but:

I just want to run my dogs.

I am completely happy to throw an unprepared dog who knows just enough to stay with me and be safe into the ring, see where we are, and go back and do some more training.  I am completely happy to use management  (no pull harnesses, other commands or tricks) to keep my dogs close to me and never teach an extended loose leash walk.  I PLAY agility to PLAY with my dogs.  I like the Qs, I like succeeding, I like training challenges, but ultimately I am there to have a good time with my dogs and, yes, friends. 

Keeping the eye on dog safety is good,  and much of the training is safety related.   I think that's important to hold onto, of course, but I think maybe... not getting too pushy about the philosophy of taking it slow and only entering a dog who is entirely ready is probably a good idea, too.  (And I am thankful that intro and a multitude of classes with and without various obstacles exists for that reason - much easier to get a person to a trial if you tell them there are options without distance, without jumps, without contacts, without weaves, whatever.  And often, at least around here, if we can get them TO the trial and feeling good, we do usually keep them.)
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Rosemary on April 23, 2018, 08:45:14 AM
I'll just throw this out there.  Allowing dogs to enter intro at 15 months could possibly get new people in.  People who are new to agility look forward to testing their team's skills.  CPE, UKI and AKC allow dogs to start at 15 months.  That's three months more that those venues have to hook these folks.  Often, once a team is on a title course they want to see it through.  If we would allow them to enter NADAC at 15 months then we have those extra 3 months to help them appreciate how to keep their teams safe and happy for the long haul.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Foomin Z on April 23, 2018, 11:30:14 AM
How about not allowing people to use prong collars on their dogs in the ring? I saw one recently at a NADAC trial, and when I told my non-NADAC friends, they were pretty disgusted about it, thought it was unsafe for the dog's health. I thought NADAC was about safety for the dog, and many people mention that in this thread.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: dogrsqr on April 23, 2018, 11:38:42 AM
To the best of my knowledge a prong collar isn't allowed at a NADAC trial unless something has changed that I'm not aware of. 

Ginak
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: dogrsqr on April 23, 2018, 12:01:28 PM
Although looking at the rules it appears that has changed.  I guess I can use my citronella bark collar too.

Gina
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Edraith on April 23, 2018, 12:36:56 PM
So this is sorta outside-obersvation, people already yell at me for VT'ing, I dont pretend to be what I am not. I am much more in the "teaching pet people" world than the "agility" world, but I think as such, maybe my observations have some angles missed.

Once the basic 'sit stay come' in their own house and backyard is acheived, people split into two groups. Those who that is enough for, and  those who want something Fun to do with their dogs. A large portion of that population is the 6-12 month old Crazy Puppy owner who Needs a Job. They want to jump in now. Experience something now. Try something new now. And most are actually aware of body structure - believe it or not it is a growing thing in the not-competative world to be worried about growth plates and things! But I dont know if changing intro is the way to go.

You would also be amazed at how many people are looking for the AKC ACT and it is not being offered! I see it all the time in my Internet groups. yes, nadac intro is often brought up as an alternate, but for some reason ACT has a more friendly "try this out" thing (in my observation of poeple's reactions and responses).

My idea here is to make a NADAC version of ACT, but make it even more beginner and "puppy" friendly to bring in these people with pets, who realise they want more but are too overwhelmed by things. Don't even have jumps, use hoops, tunnels, maybe a lowered A-frame in a higher level. Advertise this through local trainers (not aglity facilities), pet sitters, vet offices, etc where you will circumvent the "venue biases". I mean, for ACT-2 you have to have all the obstacles. I think I would go more "nadac philosophy" and instead of adding more obstacles, maybe more like:
level 1: hoop and tunnels, 8-10 obstacles, no side changes needed
level 2: hoop and tunnels, 10-12 obstacles, 1 or 2 side changes needed
level 3: hoop and tunnels, 10-12 obstacles, 1 or 2 side changes, 5ft distance challenge over one obstacle
level 4: hoop and tunnels and low a-frame, 1 or 2 side changes, 5 ft distance challenge over 2-3 obstacles
level 5: same as 4 but one 5ft distance challenge and one 10ft distance challenge
two Q's needed at each level, once all 10 Q's acheived get your "nadac-act" title

I would have it open to 12 month old. SHOCK AND HORROR but look, you aren't jumping them at all, there are no jumps. No weaves. No real balance needed. If a 12mo dog can't go over a 2-3ft height Aframe which is a gentle slope, there is something severely wrong. Level one would give people fast enthusiam, it's basically a power run through a Ushaped course so unless their dog totally shuts down in trial envioronment it is achievable. It would also let everyone who currently runs nadac to not just bring their young dog along for trial exposure but actually put them in the ring for a fun run. it is different sitting in your crate and being in the middle of a wonderful smelly ring! why not expose that earlier in a safe fun way?

Anyway. Just my silly thoughts. People are gonna find ways to run their dogs, offer them something safe for even younguns, advertise to the more "pet who want to do things" group, and bam, get influx. If you made the program in a way where it required smaller arenas, could be something offered at dog faires, pet expos, and such too. Most those events do CGC testing, why not insert NADAC into them for agility?
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: BeckyAH on April 23, 2018, 01:04:02 PM
I would have it open to 12 month old. SHOCK AND HORROR but look, you aren't jumping them at all, there are no jumps. No weaves. No real balance needed. If a 12mo dog can't go over a 2-3ft height Aframe which is a gentle slope, there is something severely wrong. Level one would give people fast enthusiam, it's basically a power run through a Ushaped course so unless their dog totally shuts down in trial envioronment it is achievable. It would also let everyone who currently runs nadac to not just bring their young dog along for trial exposure but actually put them in the ring for a fun run. it is different sitting in your crate and being in the middle of a wonderful smelly ring! why not expose that earlier in a safe fun way?

Anyway. Just my silly thoughts. People are gonna find ways to run their dogs, offer them something safe for even younguns, advertise to the more "pet who want to do things" group, and bam, get influx. If you made the program in a way where it required smaller arenas, could be something offered at dog faires, pet expos, and such too. Most those events do CGC testing, why not insert NADAC into them for agility?

I actually really like this.  Reality is, to compete and be trial ready - with weaves and jumps at full height - by 18 months, a 12 month old dog SHOULD be seeing/have seen ground obstacles (hoops, tunnels, barrels), and certainly they've been on contact equipment at full height being built up slowly well prior to being old enough to be in the ring at a trial. 

All your 'silly suggestion' does is break it down so that the dog and handler are able to test their training in a trial environment at an age appropriate level as they continue to train their way toward intro and novice.

That said, I know that there are already issues of day length for things like Intro.   And BA didn't exactly take off.  So I'm not sure how practically feasible it is.

Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: BeckyAH on April 23, 2018, 01:05:46 PM
To the best of my knowledge a prong collar isn't allowed at a NADAC trial unless something has changed that I'm not aware of. 

Ginak

See below.  Read the handbook for specific wording and updated my thoughts.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: BeckyAH on April 23, 2018, 01:10:37 PM
=
To the best of my knowledge a prong collar isn't allowed at a NADAC trial unless something has changed that I'm not aware of. 

Ginak

**EDIT**:
I looked it up in the handbook:

" NADAC allows any style of
collar except for electronic shock collars. Some individual clubs restrict the use of pinch collars,
so be sure to check the trial premium for any collar type restrictions. Handlers are to always use
any type of collar in a humane manner. Even a buckle collar can be used harshly, so always be
sure to behave in a humane and sportsmanlike manner with your dog."

Thinking about it, I'm not sure I consider this a problem.  AKC does prohibit visible prong collars at their events, but I don't think leaving it to clubs is bad.  Especially given how many of the ones I attend are in public parks.  Restricting the collars of non-entered dogs, in particular, sounds like a logistical nightmare, anyway.  Even entered but not running right now dogs - how would you even police that with everything else going on, and is it really fair to require the clubs find a way?

And certainly dogs aren't allowed any collar at ALL in the ring.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: BeckyAH on April 23, 2018, 01:26:30 PM
Okay, apparently even the 2015 version of the handbook said that there was confusion about what NADAC allowed and, as of that time, prongs and choke chains and other collars (except electronic ones) were allowed and it was up to individual clubs.

So, do with that what you will, but I apologize for not having done decent researched and having been part of that confusion.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Edraith on April 24, 2018, 07:14:19 AM
I think for time, courses could easily be designed for minimal change between them. There are no hieght changes. Some of the later levels only the distance line would need moved. It should run faster than even hoopers in that regard. Wasnt BA that long complecated beginner agility  thing? Ivaguely remember trying to get through the handbook and being confused and overwhelmed. Maybe thats why it didnt take off. Also iirc it focused on ring obedience kinda like CGC agility style. Not that such is bad, but if you want to bring people in, the people looking for things to do with their dogs are people with highly energetic dogs and they want something to run their dogs at, so I think the program concept is vastly different as well. Im also (going back to time) talking about it should be designed to run at dog faires and pet expos (just like akc clubs do cgc testing). This puts it in public dedicated pet owner eye quickly, and would give the local club a good idea of how much of it to offer as you would have contacts from said expos.  Is it bad if a trial day goes longer because 20 new people came to play in this new program because they had fun at an expo? If nadac is gonna grow, trial days are gonna get longer...
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: BeckyAH on April 24, 2018, 07:36:38 AM
I think for time, courses could easily be designed for minimal change between them. There are no hieght changes. Some of the later levels only the distance line would need moved. It should run faster than even hoopers in that regard. Wasnt BA that long complecated beginner agility  thing? Ivaguely remember trying to get through the handbook and being confused and overwhelmed. Maybe thats why it didnt take off. Also iirc it focused on ring obedience kinda like CGC agility style. Not that such is bad, but if you want to bring people in, the people looking for things to do with their dogs are people with highly energetic dogs and they want something to run their dogs at, so I think the program concept is vastly different as well. Im also (going back to time) talking about it should be designed to run at dog faires and pet expos (just like akc clubs do cgc testing). This puts it in public dedicated pet owner eye quickly, and would give the local club a good idea of how much of it to offer as you would have contacts from said expos.  Is it bad if a trial day goes longer because 20 new people came to play in this new program because they had fun at an expo? If nadac is gonna grow, trial days are gonna get longer...

There are limitations to how long trials can run for clubs - and they are hard limits.  It's not about not wanting to do the work, it's about the fact that many trials are held outdoors, in public places and without stadium lighting. We have the length of decent light to work with, and no more.   There are also locations where getting the judge back on the ONE flight out that day and they still have to travel an hour to the airport is also a restriction.

So, yeah.  The trial day really *can't* always be pushed further just to offer more.   More people is good.   We want more people.  But a lot of the smaller clubs cannot add hours to the trial, and that means that EVERYTHING can't be offered in a day, already.  It isn't a lack of desire or willingness, or a 'won't' or 'don't like it' it's a 'can't'.

At which point: Do you drop the things that new people would be interested in, and hope your regular competitors keep coming out, or do you drop some of the things the more established competitors are after in pursuit of titles and awards and hope new folks make up the difference?

Or do what most groups I know do and offer as much intro as they can, in spite of it not being intro in every class because that 'can't, daylight is gone and judge has to go home'.   And things like barrelers and hoopers don't get offered, already, because of those time restrictions.  NADAC has a LOT of classes.

I LIKE the idea of the program, a lot!  I just think something would have to give to enable it to be offered at a regular trial.   I don't know what that thing is, but something.   The fair/festival idea is one I think is super fun and could work well!
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Lin Battaglia on April 24, 2018, 10:18:18 AM
Would you consider allowing 5 point Qs for a dropped bar in the very fast difficult JUMPERS CLASS and perhaps CHANCES class too ? Just more friendly. Chances requires big distance, it's a shame when you stay on course, do the distance and get it but dropped a bar. Then with Jumpers, when you stay on course, run fast with a beautiful run but you dropped one bar, it's a shame.
 
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: bhodges865 on April 24, 2018, 10:44:19 AM
How about not allowing people to use prong collars on their dogs in the ring? I saw one recently at a NADAC trial, and when I told my non-NADAC friends, they were pretty disgusted about it, thought it was unsafe for the dog's health. I thought NADAC was about safety for the dog, and many people mention that in this thread.

If used correctly and responsibly, a prong collar is VERY safe.  It's idiots who jerk their dog with one on that give it a bad name.  I sometimes use one when walking on the greenway, not because my overly friendly dog is going to attack, but because no matter what I've tried, she pulls (to the point of choking herself).  With a prong collar, she walks like an angel.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Jeff Newman on April 24, 2018, 11:19:05 AM
So I have been lurking and thinking about this thread for some time and decided to reply and add to the discussion.
I've been a competitor in NADAC for many years. I have also been a strong supporter of the NADAC community in my area.
The participation issue in my area is saturation of the market between 3 venues. I can attend all 3 venues 2 or 3 weekends per month. Which then leads to a money issue and good choices about keeping my dog healthy. I love the ideals NADAC believes in. Consistent course design with dog safety in mind. I also enjoy AKC and USDAA agility. So with this in mind, I train for all 3 venues over the course of several years with my dogs. I am blessed to live in an area that can support training in these venues. They offer their own unique challenges. I believe NADAC to be in the big 3 discussion for venues of choice. How can NADAC attract agility competitors in a saturated market? There is no good answer. The point to all of this is we don't have all of the answers on how to increase participation. Maybe more questions need to be asked. Will it help to stay consistent in the product offered? Will it help to make some positive changes in the course design? What do the other venues offer that is attractive to the competitors? If NADAC wants to increase participation, maybe the answer lies in each individual area of the country. To me this question lies with NADAC as an organization. What does NADAC want to be? What is the NADAC vision moving forward? 
I personally do all of this to have a GREAT time with my dog. We should ALL run every run as if it were our last!!!
Jeff Newman
Phoenix Arizona
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: dogrsqr on April 24, 2018, 12:08:08 PM
I agree Jeff .... NADAC needs to be what the owners want it to be. 

I do think it's important to note that while changing NADAC to be more like the other venues might attract some new exhibitors it might also cause the loss of some participation by the existing exhibitors.  For instance we travel a fair amount to attend NADAC trials, but if they become too much like the other venues we don't really have a reason to travel anymore since we have trials of every flavor that we can attend locally on any given weekend. That would likely hurt those clubs that don't have a large local exhibitor base to draw from.

Gina
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: RobertStewart on April 24, 2018, 12:09:02 PM
Question.

Is it the process of earning the points folks donít like,  or running the lower level courses?

Itís fairly important because one of those options has a very simple solution with some new points coding I added recently.

So would you be okay with running a elite level course and those points get moved down to the lower levels?   Or is it the fact you need to spend all those trial dollars in order to reach the point where a championship is possible?

Personally my initial concern was that I would find the beginner courses boring or lacking. But while I moved through them quickly, it really wasn't a big deal and it gave me time to figure out how I needed to run the courses differently (since I know nothing as it is!). BUT for a venue i'm not really interested in, like with AKC, the idea of having to start in beginners again is enough to sway me from it due to the $$ issue. So I kind of think if it's the $$ then it's because you don't really want to commit to the venue. That my poor persons perspective at least. There is so much agility and dog sports out there now, gotta pick your poison/passion.



Chris

With one exception, I generally start my dogs in NADAC,  then add in the other venues.   I do think that letting people who have even Championships in other venues enter NADAC at the elite level , well they may be okay with jumpers and regular Chances would be not so much fun for them. I have seen this happen to a few of my club member, and then I taught them how to do NADAC distance work. It's rather significantly different than "distance" in say FAST or Gamblers as done by AKC, and USDAA respectively.  So it could present a significant challenge.  But it is an interesting idea
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: RobertStewart on April 24, 2018, 12:30:39 PM
Lorrie, I'm not sure I agree with your observation that dogs that have been trained in USDAA, AKC, and UKI have trouble with the NADAC obstacle spacing.  For example, at the UKI Championships and now in at least some USDAA trials, the obstacle spacing has been noticeably lengthened, and the dogs and handlers seem to really like it.   Hope that trend continues.  Maybe we could convince some of those folks to try NADAC.

What we see in this area are dogs that continuously turn back to their handler if the next obstacle isn't very close.  I've heard a number of people state that their dog isn't used to having so much room between obstacles.  Different areas of the country differ, of course, on how they train.

Lorrie

Billie

I've noticed the same thing esp in USDAA trials 

After 24 years in this sport, My dogs can drive out or do tight international level courses. I agree that dogs that have only done those kind of courses, might be at a distinct disadvantage when entering NADAC style courses.  It's just like dogs that have only done NADAC going into a USDAA Masters Challenge course might be equally confused.  I do enjoy some of the challenges mostly because they challenge me.

In AKC not that many people were doing FAST because it required "Distance" (which they'd gag on the word while saying it) Until they changed and added The Agility Grand Champion. I've actually been rather amused at the reaction to these handlers and then I get swamped with handling questions during FAST.


Robert Stewart

PACH, MACH-2, ADCH/LAA Platinum, PDCH-Bronze, NATCH-10 Vers NATCH-8   Rocket Man

MACH, PDCH/LAA Bronze, NATCH-4, Vers NATCH - 4   Ellie


Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Maureen deHaan on April 26, 2018, 02:56:22 AM
How about not allowing people to use prong collars on their dogs in the ring? I saw one recently at a NADAC trial, and when I told my non-NADAC friends, they were pretty disgusted about it, thought it was unsafe for the dog's health. I thought NADAC was about safety for the dog, and many people mention that in this thread.

If used correctly and responsibly, a prong collar is VERY safe.  It's idiots who jerk their dog with one on that give it a bad name.  I sometimes use one when walking on the greenway, not because my overly friendly dog is going to attack, but because no matter what I've tried, she pulls (to the point of choking herself).  With a prong collar, she walks like an angel.


I personally do not allow prong collars at NADAC trials I host - for many reasons - mostly bc too many people do NOT know how to use them properly. It bothers me to see people using them on their well trained agility dogs at trials. It bothers me that other people see these people using them and think it's cool so they go and do the same - and do it poorly.

 I have huskies for goodness sake - they were bred to pull and they are strong pullers  - even my 30# husky can pull hard -and if I can get my huskies to walk nicely on a leash without a prong then I would think with a little effort and training - or a different method maybe - anyone could get their dog to and from the ring without a prong   

Additionally -and really most importantly - research shows that prong collars cause damage to the thyroid gland and therefore can lead to hypothyroidism in a dog.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Billie Rosen on April 26, 2018, 04:54:07 PM
I don't think anyone reasonably would want NADAC to be like the other venues.  After all, if I want to do one of those venues (and I do), I do them.  I love NADAC because it is different and requires skills that the other venues don't, or at least don't emphasize.  The exhibitors in the U.S. are really lucky to have so much choice in agility organizations.  The answer to increasing participation in NADAC is not to make it more like one or more of the other venues, but not to drift too far away from the others.  I think making the courses more varied by having judges design their own courses and continuing to require Chances for a Championship title are among the things that will keep NADAC unique and vibrant, and not dumb it down.  Chris, you and Amanda are definitely on the right track, keep up the good work!!!!!
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: giddyup on April 27, 2018, 03:36:51 PM
I was recently talking to some people at agility class this week and trying to encourage them to try Nadac. Someone asked if they let you close the gate so they wouldn't worry about their dog running out. I wasn't sure, so I contacted the trial secretary. She told me that yes they can close the gate but they would have to take an E for training. When I told the person they, understandably, chose not to enter. Is there a reason that people in at least Intro or Novice cannot close the gate without getting an E?  They might be brand new to agility or Nadac or have a brand new dog that they're not sure how he/she will behave at a trial. They're probably already nervous and shouldn't have to worry about their dog taking off and possibly running towards a road or woods or whatever. That would be a shame for someone to close the gate, their dog never even thinks about leaving, they have a beautiful run and then it doesn't count just because they were new and concerned about what their dog may do. That seems discouraging, especially to a newcomer. Would it really hurt to allow Intro and Novice to close the gate if they chose?
Thanks
Jill
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: BeckyAH on April 27, 2018, 04:08:00 PM
  People stand at the gates to act as 'guards' for dogs who are flight risks ALL THE TIME.   It's an E if the dog leaves/has to be grabbed, of course, but if they don't go near the gate during the run - no harm, no foul.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: giddyup on April 27, 2018, 04:16:43 PM
But I was specifically told by the trial secretary that they could close the gate but would have to take an E for training. So is it a Nadac policy or up to individual clubs about closing the gate and E's?
Thanks
Jill
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: danforth on April 27, 2018, 05:20:27 PM
Cocoa went through a stage when he wanted to leave the ring.  The judge at that trial when I wanted to block exits said that  I would have to take an E.  I did that and it was worth it.  The first class he left me and headed for the gate and found it closed and came back to me.  Second class he started towards the exit, saw it was blocked, and came back right away.  Next class he didn't try at all.  After that, we didn't need them blocked.  I think that if I had had a friend standing there to chase him, he would not have really learned to stay with me.

Sent from my KFASWI using Forum Fiend v1.3.3.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: mstomel on April 27, 2018, 06:48:50 PM
So, I am very new to competing in agility, but I always considered that to get to the level of competition, you would need a very obedient dog. A dog that had a solid recall and a stay would have to be a must. That just isn't the case anymore I guess but I personally think it should be. (Many of the shows I've been to the "ring" was nothing more than a brightly colored string hanging through some posts.) I totally get that a show ring is a different world and emotions are high for both the handler and dog (I still get nervous before every single run) so a run out of the ring would not be totally unheard of for a novice dog, BUT a dog lacking a proper recall is 100% a training issue. Not expecting closing the gates to be a E would be like not expecting having a toy in the ring or petting your dog or retrying a contact obstacle to be an E. There are so many things you can practice outside of the show ring EXCEPT the actual act of showing. I think it's very nice to be able to take the E and have the experience. Why would you want the Q under those circumstances anyhow? Every experience counts. A Q or an E counts the same to your dog. My other dog trained for agility for 5 years before I tried to show him. I took him to every show around for 3 years, getting him use to the environment. We trained on our recall everywhere I could before our big show debut. I thought we were going to be fine. I stepped in the ring, took off his leash, asked him to take the A-Frame and he took off out of the ring which was my biggest, most horrible fear. I cried, and we never did it again (not just because it scared me, but because he didn't enjoy it). There ARE other venues that allow you to close the gates while running without taking the E, but there is a lot that goes along with allowing that level of novice to compete. There are plenty of dogs that are reactive, uncomfortable, fearful and just straight up Not Ready at those events. I think there is a place for them, but not every place. And as an aside, if a judge saw someone blocking a gate and chasing the dog back into the ring, I believe they would still have all the right to E the run (although a judge might be able to weigh in on this more).
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Becky Woodruff on April 27, 2018, 06:53:42 PM
But I was specifically told by the trial secretary that they could close the gate but would have to take an E for training. So is it a Nadac policy or up to individual clubs about closing the gate and E's?
Thanks
Jill
The NADAC Handbook spells out the "Purpose of an Agility Trial" as follows:
----------------------------
2 NADAC Trials
The purpose of a NADAC agility trial is to demonstrate the ability of the dog and handler to
work as a smooth functioning team. The dog should be under control at all times and show a
willingness to work with the handler. Handlers should always conduct themselves in a
sportsmanlike fashion. Handlers should have the health and welfare of their canine partner as
their priority. It is the handlerís responsibility to have a dog adequately trained to a level in
which the dog will respond to commands and perform obstacles in a safe manner.
-------------------------
If you don't know if your dog will stay in the ring or if you know he won't, then it would be considered a training run if you were to close the gate.    NADAC allows the gate to be closed as a courtesy so an exhibitor may run and keep their dog safe if they are not sure their dog is trained enough to stay in the ring.  Better to be safe than sorry.
In my opinion, a qualifying run should not be an option if the handler is not reasonably confident their dog is under control and working.  And I do understand green dogs in a new environment, etc.  Which is why I support the option to close a gate or have it blocked, which by the way is considered training as well.

Becky Woodruff
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: BeckyAH on April 27, 2018, 07:26:01 PM
I'm going to sound like I'm contradicting myself with this, but ultimately I just really agree with Becky.

I don't think you need a super obedient dog to do agility - really, I don't.   Like I don't believe you need a dog who will recall off a running deer or whatever. 

But I do think that if you aren't sure your dog will, at minimum,  stay in the (usually 95% fenced in) ring then you're probably not going to be in a position to Q, anyway.  Either because environmental distractions are too high, or because the training isn't there yet, or both.  The answer in either case is 'train it', and sometimes that training has to happen in a trial.  I appreciate that NADAC allows that.  I, personally, have no problem with them not allowing that training to get you points toward titles.

And when I said 'people hang out near the gates' I mean literally 'near the gates' so they can act in a hurry to prevent a safety issue, not acting as people blocking the gates.  My point there was 'there are things you can do if what you have is a case of nerves, not a training issue.

...and honestly do MOST venues allow gates to be closed while dogs run?  I have no idea, but that seems strange (to me).
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: KarissaKS on April 28, 2018, 06:15:10 AM
But I do think that if you aren't sure your dog will, at minimum,  stay in the (usually 95% fenced in) ring then you're probably not going to be in a position to Q, anyway.

My Alaskan Klee Kai, Kizzy, is in Masters in AKC and Elite in NADAC. She runs just fine (and Q's....) indoors, on artificial surfaces and dirt. I will not run her at an outdoor trial with open gates. Nearly all of the trials here in TN are outdoors, so Kizzy doesn't run NADAC anymore. I haven't made a stink about it because NADAC was never my primary focus with her, but it is lost entries for the clubs because I choose not to run her. I have competed with her in AKC, USDAA, and UKI, and each of those venues had closed ring gates -- so I'm pretty sure every other organization allows gates to be closed at the club's discretion. For an organization so focused on safety and preventing dog/dog interaction, NADAC's stance on gates has always surprised me.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Janice_Shavor on April 28, 2018, 09:30:25 AM
2 or 3 years ago I was helping at an AKC trial.  And as the judge later said, "I gaveth a MACH and I tooketh one away today".  I think the handler needed points.  Anyway, the run was clean! and fast enough! and she hugged the judge, some friends ... and the dog had wandered out of the ring, and was nosing around some the chairs, folks waiting their turns (with dogs) and the judge very correctly NQ'd the dog.  There followed a great commotion in the club about needing ring gates!!!  And now they have ring gates.  Wasn't a green novice dog that created the concern. 
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: LeeAnne McAdam on April 28, 2018, 01:01:37 PM
I trialed a dog that I knew had the potential to find another activity to pursue other than continuing the course we were running.  Because of that, I was choosy about where I entered him and never did run him anywhere with the low height snow fencing (though he has run in a completely unfenced ring and sometimes he stayed and sometimes he didn't.)  I was always chagrined by my lack of ability to train a more reliable recall on him in spite of lots of effort, but it never dawned on me to expect an organization to change their rules to accommodate our issues.  Rather, I was a bit embarrassed that I could train him to do all the agility obstacles but couldn't perfect our recall.  Agility is a team sport, after all, and it doesn't seem unreasonable to me to expect that the "team" should be able to stay on the same field without being forced to do so.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: RobertStewart on April 28, 2018, 03:22:43 PM
Most of the AKC and USDAA shows here have closed gates with every run.  It's actually unusual to have a situation where's there's an open gate. If a dog is going to go on a run about, the gates are "wide enough" that most dogs could easily jump through the gate bars. And many do, although usually it's newer and novice dogs that this happens with.

My old now long gone sheltie girl Miss Q! My only goal for her on her first trial weekend was, Stay in the ring do a coiuple of the obstacles, and don't herd or nip the judge. (NO, it was not a NADAC trial) She did an amazing job of doing just that and mostly barking in her first couple of runs, and even managed to qualify in a couple of round by the end of the 3 day weekend.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Billie Rosen on April 28, 2018, 04:04:00 PM
Just an observation on this topic.  I was talking to a very nice young lady today that ran two super Silkies in AKC Masters.  She commented that she might like to try NADAC but has no interest going back to Novice.  A good example of why you might consider grandfathering in people according to their level in another equivalent venue.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: kbriefel on April 30, 2018, 05:48:23 AM
I've had numerous conversations with some World Team and Board level non-NADAC people recently.  The continued comment I hear from them is that NADAC isn't Agility, although they recognize that skill is involved.  They wonder if new management will add traditional obstacles back.  One comment from a couple of weeks ago was that NADAC is an obstacle course, not agility.  I'm just passing on comments as part of this thread.

Ken Briefel and Max
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: dogrsqr on April 30, 2018, 06:37:38 AM
I certainly hope the teeter does NOT come back or I am finished.  We have always taught our dogs all the obstacles, but they only see a teeter at class when it's included.  My 8 year old dog has become phobic of it and I don't think there's a chance of getting her over her fear at this point. Just curious do the real "obstacles" include a table?  I've never considered a table to have anything to do with being agile.

Gina
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: knittingdog on April 30, 2018, 06:43:09 AM
I've had numerous conversations with some World Team and Board level non-NADAC people recently.  The continued comment I hear from them is that NADAC isn't Agility, although they recognize that skill is involved.  They wonder if new management will add traditional obstacles back.  One comment from a couple of weeks ago was that NADAC is an obstacle course, not agility.  I'm just passing on comments as part of this thread.

Ken Briefel and Max



So how do they define agility then?  Is it lots of different obstacles?  Obstacles that take more physical effort by the dog?  Running with your dog?  I see no real difference between a panel jump and any other jump myself.  They can't see the other side, but so what?  They're looking at our handling anyway.  Teeter is obviously very different.  Tire to me is mostly about making sure your dog is lined up to do it successfully once they know where to go through.  Barrels and backsides of jumps aren't that different except for the presence of the jump bar - which takes more effort by the dog.  Hoops are essentially jumps on the flat.  Double and triple jumps take some strength and understanding from the dog and the ability of the handler to line them up correctly and handle them.

If agility is about running with your dog, then we are really testing the agility and fitness of the handler relative to the dog, not the dog.  I mention this because I have had people literally come up to me and tell me that agility is about running with your dog.  I personally say if you can dog train the distance and it works, then use the distance!

Not attacking you personally Ken.  Just trying to understand what they mean.

Robin


Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: ResQ_Dogs on April 30, 2018, 09:43:53 AM
Going back to three points made previously - as a trial chair who is fortunate enough to have trials that are growing, I get questions at every trial from people who'd like to start dogs under 18 months of age. As I think back on them, very few people I talked to waited because their dog was too young to come to our trial - they just found other venues for their babies, and I have yet to see most of them at our trials.

I agree with everyone who says slow down, train your dogs, wait for them to mature, and jump them as low as possible. That said, the people I'm thinking of are mostly knowledgeable pet owners who have the best interests of their dogs at heart. I'd rather offer them our safer courses and excellent running surface to start on if I could, with sensible limits, and expose them to NADAC culture at the same time.

As far as grandfathering in of levels, that's also a question that comes up regularly. In this area, we all got used to grandfathering when UKI started doing it. I would not have a problem with it and I think it would increase participation in our area. The people who enter thinking that NADAC is too easy to take seriously generally struggle anyway, regardless of level. Entering a trial, rather than assuming that NADAC is not challenging because that's what they've heard, helps show them all the great things NADAC has to offer. And it's always educational for handlers from other venues to see Elite Chances and bonus runs.

Finally, I'd like to have closed gates to keep everyone as safe as possible, but most of all to dial down the nerves in my newbie handlers. I don't personally want gates. I train and prepare my young dogs for trials, but sometimes my youngsters surprise me. And sometimes stuff happens that's hard to train for - target shooting, thunder-snow, chickens on the course, etc. At my first trial, the club shared the premises with a monster truck show. Getting back to increasing participation, most of our new handlers come from venues that have closed gates, so the lack of gates can unnerve them. And yes, they should absolutely take the E if they want gates closed, but it takes experience to learn why Qs are not actually the point of agility.

Diane Driscoll
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Rosemary on April 30, 2018, 10:44:50 AM
Those are a lot of good points.  I do believe that we lose people to the venues that will accept them earlier.  I honestly believe that if they are allowed to participate in the intro levels they will and then we have the potential of keeping that team.

I do not understand why having closed gates is a bad idea.  It makes things safer for everyone.  Suppose a dog gets spooked on course and runs out and encounters another dog that is just waiting there.  It can be a disaster for both parties.  Obviously, the best idea is to be able to control your dog under every scenario, but that is not entirely realistic.  My dog has never run out of the ring and I am grateful.  Having said that, I had him set up for a tunnelers run and just as I released him there was a loud clap of thunder!  He took off like his tail was on fire!  Needless to say it was his fastest run ever - with off courses.  Had he run the other way he would have run into the waiting dogs and although he has never been agressive who knows if his fear would have caused issue?  Who knows if the next dog to run was not good with other dogs? 
I realize that this is a rare instance and it may be a poor example, but I don't see any reason why we can't close the gates.  If a dog wants out and doesn't want to cooperate with the handler they will get either an NQ or E anyway.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Linda W. Anderson on April 30, 2018, 12:00:11 PM
Two comments: 
First, regarding allowing younger dogs (15 months?) to participate in trials, I feel that would be fine at the Intro level only.  If the dog is that good, it could move to Novice in just 3 months. 
Second, regarding ring gates being closed, IMHO almost any dog could easily jump the gate/fence ( assuming it is under 4") of any of the gates I've seen if sufficiently spooked.  We use a public park and 3" snow fencing to mark out the ring.  A gate would do no good for us.  I feel having a volunteer at the entrance/exit may be a better way to go.
Linda
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: KarissaKS on April 30, 2018, 12:42:53 PM
Gates should be at a club's discretion. Nobody should be required to have gates, like the clubs who choose to hold outdoor trials and mark the ring with caution tape. But if physical gates exist, such as those enclosing a chain link fence, or if a club chooses to offer PVC gates with a snow fence ring, then those gates should be allowed to be closed if the club chooses it.

AKC doesn't require gates, but I haven't been to a club in years that doesn't have them -- because nobody goes to trials without gates....

MOST dogs are not going to jump fences. Many competitors feel better with gates in place.

Adding comment re: Age --- So you let a dog enter Intro at 15 months. What if it's a 3-day trial and my dog gets all of his Intro titles in one weekend? And what if I have zero desire to get Superior titles in Intro (or any level)? If you let them play at 15 months you have to let them play everywhere, not just Intro. Thanks to side runs at Champs, Jedi (who started AKC at 15 months) was in Elite Chances & Jumpers at his 2nd NADAC trial. I would never sit in Intro for 3 months.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: kbriefel on April 30, 2018, 03:18:08 PM
So how do they define agility then?  Is it lots of different obstacles?  Obstacles that take more physical effort by the dog?  Running with your dog?  I see no real difference between a panel jump and any other jump myself.  They can't see the other side, but so what?  They're looking at our handling anyway.  Teeter is obviously very different.  Tire to me is mostly about making sure your dog is lined up to do it successfully once they know where to go through.  Barrels and backsides of jumps aren't that different except for the presence of the jump bar - which takes more effort by the dog.  Hoops are essentially jumps on the flat.  Double and triple jumps take some strength and understanding from the dog and the ability of the handler to line them up correctly and handle them.

If agility is about running with your dog, then we are really testing the agility and fitness of the handler relative to the dog, not the dog.  I mention this because I have had people literally come up to me and tell me that agility is about running with your dog.  I personally say if you can dog train the distance and it works, then use the distance!

Not attacking you personally Ken.  Just trying to understand what they mean.

Robin

I'm just the messenger
Ken
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: mstomel on April 30, 2018, 03:28:15 PM
I've had numerous conversations with some World Team and Board level non-NADAC people recently.  The continued comment I hear from them is that NADAC isn't Agility, although they recognize that skill is involved.  They wonder if new management will add traditional obstacles back.  One comment from a couple of weeks ago was that NADAC is an obstacle course, not agility.  I'm just passing on comments as part of this thread.

Ken Briefel and Max

Interesting. I too have heard some locals comment that NADAC doesn't require any "technique". In some ways, I can understand that with the distance between obstacles and the path that the dogs have to take, that if you are running right next to your dog at all times, then NADAC can lack challenges. BUT, while that is possibility, it's not really what NADAC is all about. The challenges present with the discrimination and handling distance needed for someone who is NOT planning to race their dog to every obstacle, it is comparable to other venue challenges. I just took my little dog to a practice where they ran an AKC Masters course from some champs run. I brought her, not because I run AKC, but because I wanted to know if we had the skills to properly navigate it. And we did. Not only was the course not an issues, but with our ability to add distance and layer obstacles I didn't have to run my buns off either. The comment that NADAC is just a course of obstacles and not "agility" is especially interesting since I think NADAC is the Most path driven venue. If you try to handle something like a hoopers class obstacle to obstacle, you may find yourself in trouble. Maybe it is simply that people fear what they don't understand, and for something we put so much effort in, like our dogs and agility, it's hard not to defend what you love without putting down someone else. I LOVE the differences in venues. In essence, every dog may not be a NADAC and USDAA dog, but a household may have one of each, and they should embrace that.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: BeckyAH on April 30, 2018, 06:56:59 PM
Frankly put, all the top competitors I have spoken to, define agility as 'handling of the dog BETWEEN' the obstacles, with the obstacles themselves being ... not irrelevant but second.   These are not NADAC people - they're USDAA and FCI folks, primarily.  Ie:  Nadac is perfectly well agility, even if it's hoopers. 

The only thing I've seen them confused by is stuff like backsides.  I can't think of a single one who thinks the presence or absence of a teeter or table - or ANY individual obstacle - has anything to do with anything.

I think a LOT of people feel like they're 'talking themselves up' by elevating the sport they do and the skill it takes by talking DOWN other venues and sports.  Frankly, I don't think that any of that sort of talk is in the least bit useful for determining what we can do to increase NADAC participation.   Because the reasons they don't can amount to 'I need to criticize something I don't do, to feel better about what I do'. 

That is never, ever, going to be the sort of talk that leads to effective change.   

The people who already do it, or who would LIKE to do it, but ___________  yes.  Criticizing NADAC is legitimate, fair, and may be useful.  Calling it 'not agility' is a big old redflag of "I don't want to do it, I want to feel superior."
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: BeckyAH on April 30, 2018, 07:09:50 PM
I certainly hope the teeter does NOT come back or I am finished.  We have always taught our dogs all the obstacles, but they only see a teeter at class when it's included.  My 8 year old dog has become phobic of it and I don't think there's a chance of getting her over her fear at this point. Just curious do the real "obstacles" include a table?  I've never considered a table to have anything to do with being agile.

Gina

Yeah, I'm actually with you.  I'm not one to rage quit anything, but I feel like putting my dogs on a teeter at this stage in the game - at least the established ones - would be really unfair to them and feel really unsafe to me.  I don't give a crap if things like different looking jumps or a table come back  - the table's a nothing thing and most of the other jumps are just... well still jumping.   I know it's just a training thing, I do, but they've had years of thinking they know what's going to be on that course and how to perform it.  Introducing new training doesn't worry me, but introducing something that is similar to an existing piece of equipment that the dog knows and is confident on, with moving parts, to a dog already running fast... Not doing it.   Non-contact classes, any future dogs, maybe, but not the  currently competing dogs.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Shirlene Clark on April 30, 2018, 11:00:34 PM
Quite frankly I find anyone saying NADAC isn't real agility or saying NADAC doesn't require technique to be pretty offensive. I don't understand statements like that and they totally lack validity if voiced by people who have never participated in NADAC nor continued to participate in to the Elite level.  The only purpose for people making sweeping and unfounded statements like that are mischievious purposes to undermine and belittle others.

Ideas for increasing participation in NADAC should honour the organisation, be positive in nature, be sincere and should in no way be harmful to those who are long time participants.  I am all for creative evolution and embracing ideas for growth.  Just not a fan of giving credence to statements like NADAC isn't real agility or NADAC doesn't require technique.

Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: dogrsqr on May 01, 2018, 05:14:01 AM
To be clear when I say I'd be finished if the teeter comes back that would not be rage quitting.  I don't see much sense in trialing if my dog would not perform one of the obstacles.

Gina
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Sharon Nelson on May 01, 2018, 09:09:37 AM

I think a LOT of people feel like they're 'talking themselves up' by elevating the sport they do and the skill it takes by talking DOWN other venues and sports.  Frankly, I don't think that any of that sort of talk is in the least bit useful for determining what we can do to increase NADAC participation.   Because the reasons they don't can amount to 'I need to criticize something I don't do, to feel better about what I do'. 

That is never, ever, going to be the sort of talk that leads to effective change.   

The people who already do it, or who would LIKE to do it, but ___________  yes.  Criticizing NADAC is legitimate, fair, and may be useful.  Calling it 'not agility' is a big old redflag of "I don't want to do it, I want to feel superior."

Those are the best words I have read in a long time!

Sharon
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Chris Nelson on May 01, 2018, 09:31:37 AM
One of the things that I continue to hear is that the more NADAC keeps trying to 'add in' more people from other venues, the more likely it is that they lose their current NADAC base.  I hope we don't try so hard to gain other venue participants that we hurt the ones we already have and have supported NADAC for many years.

IMHO from the input I receive.

Sharon
Please list all of these things.

As the one who made the changes I know they were not done with the intention of bringing in other venue people so Iím curious how theyíre being interpreted so incorrectly


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Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: rondadillard on May 01, 2018, 10:18:20 AM
In two weeks, my young dog will turn 15 months. She is entered in a local AKC trial that weekend in the FAST class where I can pick her path.  Except for weaves, she is proficient on all obstacles. We now need to add the distraction of the energy level of a ďrealĒ trial. It is the one thing I canít reproduce while training. I plan to enter the local NADAC trial with my other dogs over Memorial Day weekend. I would love to continue my young dogís training at that trial, but she wonít be of age until August.

I would LOVE to be able to compete my young dog in NADAC. I find the courses flowing, with several classes that donít contain weaves. I prefer my dogs to learn how to run smoothly (and quickly) with me before I add the back sides and threadles required for USDAA and AKC Premier classes. Handling skills are critical for success in all agility venues.

If NADAC were to allow the 15-18 month old dogs to compete, I would not like to see them restricted to the Intro classes.  I wouldnít mind if NADAC chose to do something similar to Skilled Veterans class restriction for the 12-year-old dogs.  Something like requiring that the young dogs enter Skilled Standard, or make Veterans a Veterans/Young Dog designation for an even lower jump height.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Chris Nelson on May 01, 2018, 04:29:30 PM
Hey Folks,

Sorry I haven't been able to weigh in on this for the past few days.    Been traveling and had some issues that delayed me a bit.

So I'm going to try and cover what seems to be the popular topics over the last couple days and my thoughts and also what NADAC is thinking about them, since those two things are not mutually exclusive.     Also please do try to keep the thoughts separate, as my personal opinion does not 100% reflect NADAC's official stance :)


Lowering age limit to 15 months


On a personal level, I do not like this much.    I already see people pushing their dogs beyond what they should be doing at too early of an age.   And I worry a LOT that this would just compound that problem.

On a NADAC level.    It makes a lot more sense to let people get started here rather then elsewhere.   We would be able to keep them with us easier, and ideally put less strain on the dogs then what they might experience elsewhere.    We're going to continue discussing it.
Closed gates at trials

On a personal level, this does make me a little sad.    I am still a minor in many ways in comparison to some of the people in this sport, but even I can remember when ring ropes were a literal rope around the ring.     The level of training was different in those days, and a trial was truly a test of what training you have completed with your dog. 
Things have shifted now to where people are bringing in dogs that may not really be ready for trials, and asking them for performances beyond their current skill level.    And sadly when this ends up being a bad situation the blame is put on NADAC because we didn't support a 'safe' environment.     I will always fall back on the argument that we had been doing agility since 1993 and for the majority of those years this was never an issue.     It doesn't particularly impress me to hear of dogs with Championship level titles that can't stay inside a ring that isn't completely enclosed.   That makes me question the validity of the Championship to be honest as I wouldn't want to call my dog a Champion if I don't have a basic recall.

On a NADAC level.   We can't really ignore the fact that people are bringing unsafe dogs into the agility ring.   And we can't ignore that when those dogs run away, the blame will be put on us.      We're going to discuss it further, but it is likely that some adjustments will be made to this rule in the future.



Allowing people to enter at a higher level then they are qualified for




On a personal level, I don't believe this would really hurt anything.    I also know this is a very unpopular opinion among some folks.
If someone from another venue can come into NADAC and earn 130 points in Chances, Jumpers and 230 in Regular without earning the Open and Novice basic titles, well they still earned the elite level points that everyone else had to earn.    Realistically I don't see it happening, as the skill set is a bit different.     

As NADAC, again I don't believe this would hurt anything.   You would need to show the office that you have comparable skills to Elite in NADAC in other venues.   I wouldn't want a dog that is a novice in another venue to come in NADAC and trying to run Elite.   But if they are in Premier, sure come on in and give it a shot.    Worst case scenario, they're supporting NADAC and seeing what it's all about.   Best case, they enjoy their time and keep coming back.    We will discuss it some more and try to weigh the negative versus the positive and make a decision after that.



The direction of NADAC





This was mentioned by someone and I felt it warranted a decent response.

First off, anyone who says that NADAC is trying to become like AKC is being very very silly.    And that point can be proven quite easily by looking at a Premier level AKC course, and a Elite regular NADAC course.   Seriously, just google it.    I'll wait.

The similarities end quite rapidly when comparing those two side by side.   
Has NADAC been leaning more towards harder elite level courses, absolutely.    Because that Championship title should have a lot of value to you.   No one wants to run their dog and feel like they didn't earn the title of Champion.    Does that mean we will continually make them harder and harder and add in sequences that folks aren't used to seeing?  Definitely not.

What you've seen over the past year is probably the upper limit of difficulty that you will see.    Courses ebb and flow.  They get harder, then easier, then harder again.    You can never determine the direction of a venue by one set of courses.

Now as for the actual direction of NADAC.
I thought I've been pretty transparent about this, but I'll clarify and expand.

The goal for NADAC at this point is to give everyone a viable career path.   Meaning if you want to run with your dog, we'll give you options.  If you want to do big distance, we'll give you options.   

The grand plan is a little more complicated than that, but that is the heart of every change that has been made, and is planned to be announced.

The reason for this is that I want NADAC to be around in 25 years for my kids to enjoy.   And if NADAC caters only to a small subset of people in the dog community it will not last for the long haul.

So we need to allow everyone to play with us, and give them accomplishments that complement why they choose to play this game.

No we aren't going to become just like the other venues.    But there are going to be changes along the way so that we have some more new faces to talk to at our trials.    That doesn't need to be approached as a negative end of the world situation.




Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: agilityaddict2 on May 01, 2018, 06:24:04 PM
FYI, AKC just announced that as of June 1, anyone can enter Premier classes even if your dog is still in novice.Prior to that, you had to be in Masters to run in premier. I still firmly believe you should grandfather people in that can show you proof that they run at a higher level in akc  etc. I do believe it would at least allow them to enter a NADAC trial. They might find out they like it and continue, but if you make them start at novice, the majority of them will not enter ,guaranteed.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Foomin Z on May 01, 2018, 08:09:56 PM
I don't think NADAC needs to create more accomplishments for how everyone wants to play the game. I counted that NADAC offers 99 unique titles, not counting all the other awards for speed or versatility.

A different way to try for chances Qs wouldn't be so bad though. DOCNA offered two types of gambler classes to count in the gambler category for versatility awards. You could get all your Qs in one or the other or from a mix of both.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Chris Nelson on May 01, 2018, 08:15:00 PM
And every one of those awards requires distance handling at an elite level.   An easy thing to say isnít an issue,  unless youíre one of those people who canít get their dog to do distance.


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Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: BeckyAH on May 01, 2018, 10:36:41 PM
I am so torn on the distance thing - and do not mistake this as me advocating for or against organization wide changes.  I'm content to roll with almost anything.  This  is just me talking.

I am so close to all my NATCH points in Regular and Jumpers with my more experienced dog (who is my first agility dog), and I have ZERO Elite Chances Qs.   It took me years to get a novice chances title on that dog, though it only took us one to get through open.  I would like to think we can someday get an Elite Chances Q or maybe even 3 for elite versatility, but I can't see us managing a the 13 for NATCH.  I might get there with the younger dog, she's bigger, more independent, better obstacle focus (experienced dog is small, has lots of strides between obstacles and is just a very 'attached to mom' kind of dog so going away is sometimes really hard for her,  though she's also hampered by me struggling to learn to handle at any real distance).   That makes me sad.   She'd probably excel at AKC agility, but I don't want to do AKC agility. 

But I'm not sure I wouldn't feel like I 'cheated' if something changed to enable some sort of Championship title without it.   Again, nothing here in that about what other people should or would feel or what NADAC should do,  just me musing myself.  It's been on my mind a lot, lately, as I get close to having all my Natch points in the other classes and wondering whether I'd continue in Chances if I happened to hit those 3 Qs for the elite title before she's ready to retire - or there was another track open to her to let her get some kind of Ch without it.

And I just don't know.  Probably because it's fun, it's the challenge, it's the thing I want to tackle and succeed at.  It's the thing that getting right, or even almost right, makes me feel like I've DONE SOMETHING REAL and made progress and done the hard thing.   It's kind of the pinnacle of 'I did it' for me, and that applies to how I think of the NATCH .   

But SAD at the seeming impossibility of it for that dog :/
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Chris Nelson on May 01, 2018, 11:13:58 PM
That is definitely the difficulty.

Weíre still working on whether itís even possible to do, because of the issues you mentioned of lessening the value of the title.

It would almost have to be a separate award, maybe not a Championship


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Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: dogrsqr on May 02, 2018, 05:32:49 AM
Ok someone with a totally different perspective. 

I have absolutely NO problems qualifying in Chances, unless there's something on the Chances course that makes my dog come INTO me.  I am sooooooooooo far behind in regular.  So some of the changes I see happening in regular are making it even harder for my team to qualify.  Just because I'm apparently the only person in NADAC that has this problem, that's just my tough luck.  However it does make it really difficult to think about things being made easier for other teams as far as Chances is concerned.  I have to work my butt off to get a regular Q to get my NATCH so why can't others work on their challenges to get their NATCH?  Most of us have some class that causes us issues and makes us have to work our butt off.

When I've said that if NADAC becomes like the other venues ..... that did most certainly NOT mean anything like Premier or USDAA Masters Challenge.  I consider those to be a subset somewhat like the Bonus in NADAC.  They are the extreme.

I am not meaning any of this as an attack on NADAC or Chris.  I will say that I am frustrated that every time someone starts the how do we get more people to try NADAC thread the response is basically to change NADAC.  There are lots of things that exist in NADAC that are really good.  Can't we try to promote NADAC based on those things that are really good and maybe different than the other venues?

BTW our trials are still outside with a caution tape ring barrier just like they were 20 years ago when I started in agility.  Was it scary to go to our first trial?  Yes, yes it was, but guess what?  My dog never left the ring.  Don't any of you folks ever take your dogs off leash anywhere?

Gina
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Jackie on May 02, 2018, 08:42:46 AM
What Gina said! :)
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Becky Woodruff on May 02, 2018, 08:50:24 AM
Yes, What Gina said.

Becky
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Chris Nelson on May 02, 2018, 10:07:55 AM
And at one point do we accept the entry numbers for what they are?

The fact is agility is fragmented right now.    There are a ton of different venues to play in, and even beyond that there are even more different dog sports to play in.

When you try to focus on a niche market, you're going to get smaller trials, period.

If you want trials like they used to be, multi rings and multi judges.   Then you have to appeal to a larger group of people.

That DOES NOT mean that the people playing with us who can't do distance will be achieving the same awards.   Absolutely not.   In order to earn the highest awards you would still need speed, and you would still need distance.

But do we really just want to tell all the people who don't have those skills to just go play elsewhere?    Because that is what they are doing.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: dogrsqr on May 02, 2018, 10:30:39 AM
And at one point do we accept the entry numbers for what they are?

The fact is agility is fragmented right now.    There are a ton of different venues to play in, and even beyond that there are even more different dog sports to play in.

When you try to focus on a niche market, you're going to get smaller trials, period.

If you want trials like they used to be, multi rings and multi judges.   Then you have to appeal to a larger group of people.

That DOES NOT mean that the people playing with us who can't do distance will be achieving the same awards.   Absolutely not.   In order to earn the highest awards you would still need speed, and you would still need distance.

But do we really just want to tell all the people who don't have those skills to just go play elsewhere?    Because that is what they are doing.

But I don't know that you're ever going to satisfy everybody Chris.  If there is another title they're going to want to be able to get it.  If you put them in a separate category that makes them feel somehow inferior they aren't going to be happy either. 

When I started in agility a NATCH was a rare thing.  I never thought I would have one of those much less multiples of those.  Now everyone thinks they should just be handed one because they want it.  I have been that person that couldn't get a NATCH because of the distance class.  I worked really hard and we trained to overcome that.  It took until my dog was 10, but we made it!

I hope Chris Mosley doesn't mind me using her as an example, but if she could get Maggie Mosley (a not particularly speedy and very opinionated Corgi, comes with the name) to be successful at Chances I don't think anyone has a real excuse.

Gina

Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Jackie on May 02, 2018, 11:01:53 AM
Again, what Gina said!  You can't please everyone. I think a lot of people stick with whatever venue they start out in.  Or whatever venue their instructor leans toward.  I have noticed a bit of an increase in Novice dogs at the past couple of trials I have been to, which is great.  I don't think you are ever going to sway die hard "insert venue here" fans to come to NADAC.  Just like a lot of NADAC folks won't do other venues.  I think the biggest competition is the myriad of dog sports out there.  On any given weekend, I could do nose work, herding, agility, rally, barn hunt, etc...  So many choices. 
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Rosemary on May 02, 2018, 11:10:15 AM
A lot of good points here.  I have struggled with the distance challenge of chances, but have worked really hard.  We do not have nearby instructors for that so I had to seek out the information.  My youngest dog has gotten his first NATCH and I was over the moon about it.  My faster and more challenging dog struggles with contacts.  There is always something to work on and I like it that way.

I love NADAC for what it is and I do occasionally go to other venues.  I know plenty of people there and they know I mostly compete in NADAC and I like showing that I can do their venue as well.  I have heard rediculous comments from ignorant people so it's nice to show them that although there are differences, they are not so vast that you can only do one or the other.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: mephalon on May 02, 2018, 11:21:33 AM
And at one point do we accept the entry numbers for what they are?

The fact is agility is fragmented right now.    There are a ton of different venues to play in, and even beyond that there are even more different dog sports to play in.

When you try to focus on a niche market, you're going to get smaller trials, period.

If you want trials like they used to be, multi rings and multi judges.   Then you have to appeal to a larger group of people.

That DOES NOT mean that the people playing with us who can't do distance will be achieving the same awards.   Absolutely not.   In order to earn the highest awards you would still need speed, and you would still need distance.

But do we really just want to tell all the people who don't have those skills to just go play elsewhere?    Because that is what they are doing.

We were just having this discussion at a trial this past weekend.    I think I am unusual in that I have not (yet) chosen to go elsewhere.   While I don't have great distance skills that is not my deal breaker- time is.   My dog is regularly (i.e. more often than not) a second or two over time in most of his runs especially as we move up (we are in Open in most things right now and he struggles with time.  I have little hope for Elite times.   He ran open Jumpers this past weekend and it was a lovely run-  many people commented on it.   He was .17 seconds over time.   Yes, I have worked on this- with multiple people.   He is just not that fast- efficient yes speedy no.   Now I can go to other venues and make time- it is just simply a fact.   I choose NADAC.   However most won't because yes while everyone has their challenges speaking as one who had a dog that was the king of off courses I can honestly say it is MUCH more discouraging to have a beautiful run and be .17 over time than have an under time run with off courses.   To me it just is.   Until you have lived both you may not understand the difference or maybe just to me there is a difference.   

If people can't make time in one venue and can in another-  most will pick  the venue where there can be successful.  If people can't do distance and need to in order to earn an Q and in another venue they can Q without distance- they are going to pick the venue where they Q.   It's just a fact.   I may be one of the few weirdos that has not given up on NADAC yet.   So if changes can be made that we can be successful- and our success is different than someone else's but both successful in NADAC- where is the harm.   My success while different than yours does in no way diminish yours.   Letting someone else be successful on a different tract is not a bad thing IMO.   

I think Chris is doing a wonderful job trying to find a path for everyone.   I look forward to the June announcements! 
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Chris Nelson on May 02, 2018, 12:50:58 PM
I don't think you are ever going to sway die hard "insert venue here" fans to come to NADAC.   So many choices. 

Definitely not the intention.

I am aiming WAY more towards the people who are new to the sport.

If I am brand new to agility, maybe I've taken a couple classes with my instructor.

I go try (insert venue here) and make time and come back with some ribbons and success on week 1, cool that was fun.

I go to a NADAC trial on week 2, I don't make time.   My dog shuts down because I don't understand how to handle chances, I get frustrated.   Guess where I'm going on week 3.


Give people some success, and then ask more of them.    They can earn Award A with no distance, great.  Want a bigger award?  you're gonna need some distance.   Earn award B with no speed, cool.   Want a bigger award? you're gonna need to speed up fluffy.

It's a lot easier to ask someone to make improvements when they are actually at the trial and you can suggest things.    I am a pretty good people person, but I have yet to figure out a way to help a new person improve when they aren't attending my trials.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Joyce Roessner on May 02, 2018, 02:17:47 PM
Ok someone with a totally different perspective. 

I have absolutely NO problems qualifying in Chances, unless there's something on the Chances course that makes my dog come INTO me.  I am sooooooooooo far behind in regular.  So some of the changes I see happening in regular are making it even harder for my team to qualify.  Just because I'm apparently the only person in NADAC that has this problem, that's just my tough luck.  However it does make it really difficult to think about things being made easier for other teams as far as Chances is concerned.  I have to work my butt off to get a regular Q to get my NATCH so why can't others work on their challenges to get their NATCH?  Most of us have some class that causes us issues and makes us have to work our butt off.

When I've said that if NADAC becomes like the other venues ..... that did most certainly NOT mean anything like Premier or USDAA Masters Challenge.  I consider those to be a subset somewhat like the Bonus in NADAC.  They are the extreme.

I am not meaning any of this as an attack on NADAC or Chris.  I will say that I am frustrated that every time someone starts the how do we get more people to try NADAC thread the response is basically to change NADAC.  There are lots of things that exist in NADAC that are really good.  Can't we try to promote NADAC based on those things that are really good and maybe different than the other venues?

BTW our trials are still outside with a caution tape ring barrier just like they were 20 years ago when I started in agility.  Was it scary to go to our first trial?  Yes, yes it was, but guess what?  My dog never left the ring.  Don't any of you folks ever take your dogs off leash anywhere?

Gina

Yes, what Gina said! 
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: BeckyAH on May 02, 2018, 02:23:22 PM
I... am just feeling defensive enough to point out that I in no way said I wanted a NATCH without chances requirements.  I have FUN struggling with that class with one of my dogs - and conversely I have fun struggling with regular and T'n'G with the dog who kills distance.  I suspect, someday, I will work myself out and manage to get distance AND tighter course handling and skills together in both of them.  Right now it's very 'one of each' and kind of bemuses me - but the challenge of getting it all together IS what the Championship title is about for me.   

I think one of the things NADAC excels at, is having something that almost any dog, regardless of their speed or strengths, can do super well at.  Which means, of course, it can lead to these 'Except for those pesty (whatever) courses' moments.  But.  Putting it all together and doing all the things well is the hard part - and the thing that makes it a challenge and rewarding.

One of my dog has excellent weaves, distance, and obstacle focus.  One of my dogs has excellent handler focus,  contacts, and excels at 'closer' handling.  They each struggle with the other skill set (which makes sense since one's a 20+ " BC and the other is 11" tall beagle/chi mix).  I have NO CLUE what the baby dog will bring to the table, but I kind of suspect he will find something to struggle at that the girls don't :P  Given my 'I don't get the lack of closed gates as a problem' thing, probably he will be the dog that tries to leave the ring, just to knock me down a few pegs.

Dogs are fun.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Chris Nelson on May 02, 2018, 02:44:16 PM
Folks,

I'm not saying we're going to just start handing out NATCH's like candy.

I'm just saying it would be a lot easier to retain and keep a lot more people of they could get some sense of accomplishment, and have higher goals to strive for, e.g a NATCH.

Maybe if other folks got the same emails I do of people who tried NADAC once, and will never be coming back because their dog couldn't make time, or couldn't do distance they would have a different sense of the issue.

Again, I shall re-iterate.  We are NOT going to just start increasing course times and removing distance.   But it would be nice to have something to acknowledge the dogs who have other skills. 
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Leanne on May 02, 2018, 03:03:38 PM
For the slower moving dogs , has there been any consideration for 5 point Qs for a clean course with up to 5 sec. over SCT for the other classes like you can earn in Regular?
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: LyndaB on May 02, 2018, 03:48:22 PM
This has just been a really fascinating conversation for me to observe. I'm one of those people who doesn't have an advanced title here, and probably never will with any pup, at least partly because we're lucky to get 2 NADAC trials a year within 250 miles. I try to make the trials though, because I love the people and attitude at the trials, and I feel that any organization that listens to its members as much as this one does deserves support.  In fact, I love everything except the courses ;D (since my pup has semi-retired, I don't run follow the number courses anywhere else - I think they're boring. Give me snooker or dare to double any day).

I don't have a terribly speedy dog, or one that's great with distance, but he has a little of each, and the courses have always seemed very fair. I sometimes get frustrated when he runs a beautiful course, and it's just 1 or 2 seconds over time - but I've accepted that that's the pace he has the most fun running at, and he sometimes will shut down when I try to push it a little harder. I just go to have fun running with my dog, and see how many people he can con out of treats by being cute. However, I know that a lot of people, especially newer ones, want to see something more tangible from a weekend than a dozen NQs.

Finding a way to get new people to want to stay once they try it has got to be a priority if the organization wants to survive. One of our local non-profits has a fairly large membership, but only about 5 of them are under 60. Most of the attempts to get new blood to stay are actively fought against, because it requires change, and it's becoming a major problem. It seems like you guys are really trying to figure out ways to keep that from happening to NADAC, and I appreciate it a great deal.

Nothing will ever make everyone happy, but I think that if you can figure out something that wouldn't alienate those already invested in the way things are, yet could make the people with some speed and some distance happy, who aren't necessarily great at either, I think that might go a long way to get people to stay (sounds easy, right?). It's very different to realize there's no way your dog could ever make time (try running a senior pug sometime) and give up, than to realize that if you could just get a few more feet laterally and a few seconds off the clock, you might succeed - two manageable seeming goals instead of one seemingly impossible can psychologically make a huge difference, even if it actually would take the same, or more, training.

Whatever direction you decide to go in, I know it's going to be awesome. I'll just be here working on getting my new girl ready for the next trial.

-Lynda, Tycho, Lili, and Barley
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Rsquared on May 02, 2018, 08:24:21 PM
What LyndaB said.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: mephalon on May 03, 2018, 05:42:13 AM

But I don't know that you're ever going to satisfy everybody Chris.  If there is another title they're going to want to be able to get it.  If you put them in a separate category that makes them feel somehow inferior they aren't going to be happy either. 


Inferior is all a state of mind- and not one everyone has.   Is a Skilled NATCH less than a Proficient NATCH?  You used to get a Medal for Skilled-  now they are both NATCHs. 

Not to compare venues but not everyone will feel inferior.   People want to be working towards accomplishing/earning something- it's just human nature.   In the other venues people works towards "championships" that are not the champion level.  i.e. a PDCH instead of an ADCH, a PACH instead of a MACH and CT/CS- C-ATCH instead of a C-ATCH.  And those people are perfectly happy with their choice-  here's the thing they have the CHOICE.  Right now in NADAC you don't have that choice.   If people feel like they are working towards nothing they can ever earn then they are probably going to go somewhere where they have a goal that is obtainable-   maybe that other venue award is less in some people's eyes but that is other person's problem.   Since a person can choose which path they take they probably wouldn't think their award is less-  if they did they would not have gone for it in the first place. 

I was just talking with someone about the fact that my dog will likely never get a NATCH.  It's just a fact- one I have come to accept.  Now I know I could get a C-ATCH on him and most likely could get a PACH-  right now I am still concentrating on NADAC but I have to tell you I sometimes wonder why since I am not sure what NADAC goal we are working towards.  Now I am not asking NADAC to change the NATCH requirements however some alternative type of advanced/upper level "recognized achievement"  as a goal would be an awesome thing.  IMO
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: agilityaddict2 on May 03, 2018, 07:30:10 AM
At the risk of creating a óó-storm, I feel like a lot of people donít want to have to work REALLY hard for that natch. It is a sign of the times in my opinion. I had enough points for natch 3 in jumpers and regular and still didnít have a natch. I drove hundreds of miles to take lessons with distance trainers, I drove 5 hours to trials to do chances. If you want it bad enough you can do it, you just have to be willing to put the effort in. Guess what, now I have a natch, versatility natch, and working on natch 2.
It did not come easy and I certainly donít consider my dog a distance dog, but we both worked hard and we achieved our goal. Just my opinion.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: mephalon on May 03, 2018, 07:55:24 AM
At the risk of creating a ——-storm, I feel like a lot of people don’t want to have to work REALLY hard for that natch. It is a sign of the times in my opinion. I had enough points for natch 3 in jumpers and regular and still didn’t have a natch. I drove hundreds of miles to take lessons with distance trainers, I drove 5 hours to trials to do chances. If you want it bad enough you can do it, you just have to be willing to put the effort in. Guess what, now I have a natch, versatility natch, and working on natch 2.
It did not come easy and I certainly don’t consider my dog a distance dog, but we both worked hard and we achieved our goal. Just my opinion.

I take issue with this statement "If you want it bad enough you can do it, you just have to be willing to put the effort in".  The assumption that people are not putting the effort in is insulting unless you have lived someone else's life.  I am glad your hard work paid off but sometimes working hard enough just doesn't make things that will never happen happen.   I have no problem with working hard- however 99% of the time my dog simply cannot make time in Jumpers- and we only just moved up to Open.    I have spent a lot of time and money traveling to work with multiple trainers (both NADAC specific trainers and non-NADAC trainers) for years-  he is just not naturally fast.    I struggle with making time in Jumpers in both Novice and now in Open on beautiful runs with no bobbles- in fact when I tell people we didn't make time they are surprised (including the judge) because it doesn't look like a run that would be over time.    It is a simple fact- he is just not that naturally fast.  It is just who he is.   So please don't assume that people are not willing to work hard just because they want an alternative goal.   I have worked harder with him than with any of my other dogs  and I just have not been able to speed him up.  And guess what all those trainers I have gone to- no one has been able to give me the key to speeding him up either (despite each one thinking they have the key that will suddenly speed him up).  Just for perspective-  he does not run fast in any aspect of his life- he just doesn't see the need to rush.  I had an instructor ask me what he runs fast for and the answer is nothing- literally nothing.   He chases all things like Pepe Le Pew chases the black cat-   he gets there in his own time.   I love him for who he is but that is my reality.   

I am not asking for NATCh to be made easier-  I think it should be hard.  What I am asking for is a goal that I could attain- why is that such a crime?  If having different types of awards brings people to NADAC and keeps them there- why is that bad?   Other venues have varying awards/titles with different criteria- why can't NADAC?  Why is that so awful to consider?   Maybe I should give up on agility as that seems to be what some people on this forum are saying.   But here's the rub-  I don't have to give up on agility I would just have to give up NADAC agility.  Because in all reality as they exist now higher NADAC titles/awards are an unobtainable goal for me and I can play in other venues that do have goals I can obtain.   But since the title of this thread is increasing participation in NADAC that doesn't seem like a very good solution.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: agilityaddict2 on May 03, 2018, 08:39:48 AM
I am not trying to insult you or anyone else. But I also donít think standards should be adjusted because there are  people/dogs that canít  meet them. I will never have a Bonus box dog, should they eliminate that? No. The  whole point of agility is having fun with your dog right? We all (myself included) get too hung up on titles. Letís just go out there , run our beloved partners and if we q great, if not, trust me, the dog could care less.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Chris Nelson on May 03, 2018, 08:50:54 AM
At the risk of creating a óó-storm, I feel like a lot of people donít want to have to work REALLY hard for that natch. It is a sign of the times in my opinion. I had enough points for natch 3 in jumpers and regular and still didnít have a natch. I drove hundreds of miles to take lessons with distance trainers, I drove 5 hours to trials to do chances. If you want it bad enough you can do it, you just have to be willing to put the effort in. Guess what, now I have a natch, versatility natch, and working on natch 2.
It did not come easy and I certainly donít consider my dog a distance dog, but we both worked hard and we achieved our goal. Just my opinion.

So for the sake of conversation, let's say I agree.   I don't, but we should talk about it like I do for a second.

So people don't want to work for the awards anymore, what is the solution?
Keeping in mind the topic we are discussing is increasing participation, not improving peoples mind set.

I've mentioned this before, in this thread even, and people always seem to skip over it and never give me an answer.

How do I help someone improve, if they aren't coming to my trials?

I could very easily have someone coming to my trial who is working towards Award A that doesn't require distance.   And when they get Award A I can very easily say 'congratulations!  That's awesome that you earned that.   Are you going to try for Award B (that requires distance), fido has been getting so close to getting those chances lines lately'.


How do I have that conversation with this person if they are at a AKC trial during my NADAC weekend.    I would truly appreciate an answer to this.

Now on the other side of the spectrum, some people just don't care that much.     Or they don't have the money or time for a trainer.    Does that mean we need to tell those people to find a different venue?    Because that doesn't seem like a very good business decision.

Which comes down to my last point.   This is a business.   We do not have the backing of the olympic committee or any other major sponsor.   Which means we NEED people at our trials for this business to continue.    We can't just say 'work harder' and you'll get that gold medal at the olympics, you won't.   Work harder and you'll get a 3 foot ribbon and a bunch of congratulations.    How many people are going to do that?

I would challenge anyone here to take up a competitive sport.   Heck even take up a competitive sport that gives cash pay outs.   Start playing billiards.    And I want you to play that game until you win a competition at the state level.     And every time you lose, I'm going to say 'work harder'.   Because billiards has no physical requirements,  it's strictly geometry and a little eye hand coordination.     I can tell you right now 90% of the people who take that challenge will give up within the first 3 months.   Because 'work harder' is not very motivating.     

So why can billiards stay as a valid business?   Well it's been around for a few hundred years, so people aren't going to just stop playing it.   Dog Agility has been around for maybe 40 years if you count the exhibition at Crufts in 1978,   We aren't quite established enough. 
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Chris Nelson on May 03, 2018, 08:51:36 AM
I am not trying to insult you or anyone else. But I also donít think standards should be adjusted because there are  people/dogs that canít  meet them. I will never have a Bonus box dog, should they eliminate that? No. The  whole point of agility is having fun with your dog right? We all (myself included) get too hung up on titles. Letís just go out there , run our beloved partners and if we q great, if not, trust me, the dog could care less.

But Bonuses are completely optional.    You don't need a bonus dog to earn a NATCH, or any of the core awards.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: BeckyAH on May 03, 2018, 08:53:41 AM
I am not trying to insult you or anyone else. But I also don’t think standards should be adjusted because there are  people/dogs that can’t  meet them. I will never have a Bonus box dog, should they eliminate that? No. The  whole point of agility is having fun with your dog right? We all (myself included) get too hung up on titles. Let’s just go out there , run our beloved partners and if we q great, if not, trust me, the dog could care less.

I agree with this, completely.

Just not the idea that if you work really hard you can get that Natch and the only reason people don't is that they don't want to work/won't work.  I don't want the NATCH to be easier - If I ever get it I want it to be because I did the work, overcame the obstacles, and I'll feel fantastic.    If I don't, well, I'll live, but I don't want it handed to me or made easier.

I just also don't want someone telling me I'm not getting there because I won't/don't put the work in.   To some degree -for me - that is true.  I only have so much money and, a bigger hurdle, only so far I can travel to trials because of a slew of life reasons.  If those stop me from getting the NATCH that's ALSO okay.  But don't tell me it's because I'm lazy and don't *want* to work.

I suspect that's what the objection was to.  Not to the idea that it shouldn't be made easier.

And (ETA:) YES CHRIS, having something there that people can work toward and succeed at is huge, and after you've got elite titles there's nothing else there if you don't have the distance/don't think you do.  Putting some kind of second award to work on seems like a good thing to me.  Doesn't devalue the NATCH, but gives people something to shoot for.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: agilityaddict2 on May 03, 2018, 09:01:27 AM
I guess working hard has a different meaning to everyone. As Chris said, how do we increase participation in Nadac. I have said it before and I will say it again... You MUST have a way to grandfather people in to start at the level they presently run at. If an AKC dog with a mach title wants to start in elite, let them. When they realize the different skills needed for a particular class i.e. ,chances, barrelers, etc , they will adjust their level. But if they are required to start at Novice, I will be shocked to find them at a NADAC trial. I participate in AKC also and I hear this consistently everywhere I go.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Chris Nelson on May 03, 2018, 09:03:37 AM
I guess working hard has a different meaning to everyone. As Chris said, how do we increase participation in Nadac. I have said it before and I will say it again... You MUST have a way to grandfather people in to start at the level they presently run at. If an AKC dog with a mach title wants to start in elite, let them. When they realize the different skills needed for a particular class i.e. ,chances, barrelers, etc , they will adjust their level. But if they are required to start at Novice, I will be shocked to find them at a NADAC trial. I participate in AKC also and I hear this consistently everywhere I go.

This is something we are most likely going to do as it has come up A LOT.

I donít think it hurts anything so might as well


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Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Amy McGovern on May 03, 2018, 09:12:04 AM
I'm in 100% agreement with Chris on this. Having alternative awards gives people new paths to aim for.  It doesn't devalue anyone's NATCH. I still respect all those people with NATCH's. I doubt I'll ever be one of them but maybe my son will (he's the only one of us succeeding with distance).  Does that mean I value my dogs less?  NO WAY!  We just had to take a different path to awards. So having another award available sounds awesome, which knowing I can still aim/train for the NATCH.  Having people get success at their goals is a way to keep them!  Forcing people to move up before they are ready (NADAC doesn't do this but other organizations have in the past), or telling them they just need to "work harder" is a way to convince people to never come back. 
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: paragonpaps on May 03, 2018, 11:11:14 AM
Been reading this thread and well want to throw in my 2 cents.

1.   The rule changes that Chris has made have increased participation in my SMALL sample.  I have done VTs on my property for years.  Almost from the beginning there has been one person that comes to VTs but does not do them.  She is our main videographer.  She runs the courses but would NOT let us video tape her or go to local trials.  The rule change of walking back to the start line changed her mind.  She now sends in VTs on a regular basis and has is now entering and attending NADAC trials.  She has 1 dog but another dog on the way.  She is now doing NADAC BECAUSE of the changes made.  She sees the changes that Chris is making and liking them!!! 

2.   The rule about having to start in novice and work your way up for an experience dog SUCKS!  I compete in ASCA with NATCH dog but I donít have to start at the novice level.  I went in at the elite level.  Really easy got a almost all the required points for championship of gamblers and jumpers Qs.  I did have to back fill all the novice and open Qs.  But regularsÖ.  Well lets just say they require a different skill set that I donít have yet.  But you know what??  I am training those skill sets and going to ASCA trials.  I keep going back because I am close to a championship.  Changing this rule to allow people to enter at the elite level, IMO is a good thing, hook them and if they donít have that skill set they will just work on developing those skills and will come back to NADAC trials.

Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Sharon Nelson on May 03, 2018, 11:48:15 AM
I guess working hard has a different meaning to everyone. As Chris said, how do we increase participation in Nadac. I have said it before and I will say it again... You MUST have a way to grandfather people in to start at the level they presently run at. If an AKC dog with a mach title wants to start in elite, let them. When they realize the different skills needed for a particular class i.e. ,chances, barrelers, etc , they will adjust their level. But if they are required to start at Novice, I will be shocked to find them at a NADAC trial. I participate in AKC also and I hear this consistently everywhere I go.

I agree with letting people start at the higher level in today's world.  But why just the "other" venue people?  How does the record keeping work?  You send in a copy of your 'other venue' to NADAC? or to the trial secretary?  Do you have a special designation that allows you to enter at a higher level?

If entering at a higher level is happening, then why discriminate against the wonderful NADAC trainers?  "I" believe that it should be across the board.......... ANYONE could enter at a higher level, not just 'other venue' people.  I have witnessed many NADAC Novice dogs that could have easily competed at the Elite level.  And many would be better dogs if they were challenged earlier before they learned to just run fast lines in Novice and then have to gather up at Open and Elite.  Many trainers are capable of training an Elite level dog before ever entering them into a trial.  And maybe the dogs would be BETTER trained if they could skip the simple Novice level.  Not for all dogs for sure, but why not include the NADAC dogs as well??  Food for thought!

Sharon
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Foomin Z on May 03, 2018, 12:02:36 PM
NADAC already allows people to run in any level at any trial, once you are in elite for a class. I guess it shouldn't matter much if someone wants to start a new dog in elite. It might need tweaking in the database though. My dog's elite Q in barrelers from champs didn't count until she finished open.

There are some non-speed and distance awards. The versatility awards. The extended class awards (do they go past superior? A number value?). The lifetime points award. People poo-poo'd me for working on point level titles in CPE. Some people got it though, and tried too, even though it would be a long road without collecting multiple other titles on the way. One club is now giving out award ribbons for those, and they are fairly large!
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: BeckyAH on May 03, 2018, 12:54:02 PM
For me the other award thing is that there really isn't much specific out there after elite versatility, and if you aren't doing elite chances you're not getting that one, either probably (but maybe). There are extended *titles*, but nothing that really accumulates into an award except the lifetime points ones.  Which, don't get me wrong, are nice.  NADAC has a lot of things you can go for and that's nice, but the lifetime points one, personally, for me, is really... *broad* as goals go.

Not about the ribbon for me, mind you, it's about direction in training and goal setting and I can see the appeal of having another "Big Thing" out there for people who aren't getting the distance to try for.  Or, heck, even to break up what can feel like a real slog toward the NATCH.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Jeannie Biggers on May 03, 2018, 01:02:00 PM
From what I am reading, people are discouraged that if they do not have distance on their dog they will never be able to earn any of the ďtopĒ awards like a NATCH.  I have heard from folks such things like ďI have never earned an Elite level chances or it has been a year since my last oneĒ.  At that rate, I can surely understand the frustration.

If we are truly trying to NOT change NADAC to become like the others but still want to be inviting to all handlers, I feel there is a somewhat simple solution.  Before I say what that is Ö people need to understand that what other people achieve or earn DOES NOT affect them personally.  So, no matter what changes are made, as long as you still have YOUR goals you shouldnít care that someone else has a different goal and does in no way make your goals less valuable to you.

My suggestion is as follows:

The Chances class changes as follows:
1.   Novice to Silver
2.   Open to Gold
3.   Elite to Purple
4.   Bonus runs to Platinum

In other words, there would be no ďlevelĒ in chances but what division you want to earn your NATCH.  You as the handler have a choice as to what distance you want to do with your dog.  If you chose to do Gold distance you would earn a Gold-NATCH.  If you did bonus distance you could earn a Platinum-NATCH.  As well as you could earn a Silver then push yourself to earn a Gold.  Your choice.

If you have a young dog in her first trial and you think you have Gold distance you could enter that division and start earning those Qís.
Run order would be Purple/Platinum, then Gold, then Silver.  Same course, just the lines move.  Easy fix within the software (name change).  I am not sure what the ramifications on Chrisís side would be for points but cant imagine it would be horrible.  There might be other details to work out but I think that could be done :) 


Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Scott Casino on May 03, 2018, 01:39:40 PM

How do I help someone improve, if they aren't coming to my trials?


The answer is you don't have to. Because people participate in shows where they can earn titles, awards, etc; and where they have fun--friends are there, fun trial environment, etc. (there are probably a few other reasons). Instead you need to work with the instructors out there so that they will teach skills which lead to success in NADAC...which means they will encourage their students to go to trials where the skills they teach are used...and their students will also go because their dog friends and classmates are going.

Perhaps it might be valuable for some brainstorming/discussion from the NADAC peeps about "What can be done to get instructors to send their clients to NADAC trials?"
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Amy McGovern on May 03, 2018, 02:49:59 PM
My suggestion is as follows:

The Chances class changes as follows:
1.   Novice to Silver
2.   Open to Gold
3.   Elite to Purple
4.   Bonus runs to Platinum


I LOVE this!  The forum needs a love button!  Such a cool idea!

-Amy and the schnauzer pack
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: danforth on May 03, 2018, 04:33:29 PM
Jeannie's suggestion works for those folks who don't strong distance skills.

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Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: danforth on May 03, 2018, 04:37:47 PM
oops, my pup sent th a t one off too soon.  What about a dog who does great distance, but needs a bit more time? For Cocoa, the time changes last summer definitely allowed us to get his NATCH.  so can you have something that would all for speed?

Isabel and Cocoa

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Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Rosemary on May 04, 2018, 09:01:06 AM
Well said Scott Casino.  Sadly, there is only one trainer in my area who supports NADAC.  The rest of the trainers here actively discourage people from NADAC.  I believe they are misinformed and have no idea of the changes that have been made and I do what I can, but it's very hard to get them to listen.


Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Audri, Cee Cee, Lily, Toto, and Calypso on May 04, 2018, 09:33:14 AM
I am so torn on the distance thing - and do not mistake this as me advocating for or against organization wide changes.  I'm content to roll with almost anything.  This  is just me talking.

I am so close to all my NATCH points in Regular and Jumpers with my more experienced dog (who is my first agility dog), and I have ZERO Elite Chances Qs.   It took me years to get a novice chances title on that dog, though it only took us one to get through open.  I would like to think we can someday get an Elite Chances Q or maybe even 3 for elite versatility, but I can't see us managing a the 13 for NATCH.  I might get there with the younger dog, she's bigger, more independent, better obstacle focus (experienced dog is small, has lots of strides between obstacles and is just a very 'attached to mom' kind of dog so going away is sometimes really hard for her,  though she's also hampered by me struggling to learn to handle at any real distance).   That makes me sad.   She'd probably excel at AKC agility, but I don't want to do AKC agility. 

But I'm not sure I wouldn't feel like I 'cheated' if something changed to enable some sort of Championship title without it.   Again, nothing here in that about what other people should or would feel or what NADAC should do,  just me musing myself.  It's been on my mind a lot, lately, as I get close to having all my Natch points in the other classes and wondering whether I'd continue in Chances if I happened to hit those 3 Qs for the elite title before she's ready to retire - or there was another track open to her to let her get some kind of Ch without it.

And I just don't know.  Probably because it's fun, it's the challenge, it's the thing I want to tackle and succeed at.  It's the thing that getting right, or even almost right, makes me feel like I've DONE SOMETHING REAL and made progress and done the hard thing.   It's kind of the pinnacle of 'I did it' for me, and that applies to how I think of the NATCH .   

But SAD at the seeming impossibility of it for that dog :/

My issue is also chances.  My dog is small, only 11 lbs and 11" tall.  For him to go out 30-50 feet while running away from me is near impossible.  Chances is far easier for the bigger dogs with the longer strides.  What takes a BC 5 strides takes my little dogs 15-20.    I have NATCH 5 points in almost all other events (except some games where I am on NATCH3 or 4 because they are not offered as much with double run format)  So, yes, a Championship title of some sort without Chances would be nice.  Similar AKC which has a MACH and then an AGCH which then includes FAST. 
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Foomin Z on May 04, 2018, 12:13:28 PM

In other words, there would be no ďlevelĒ in chances but what division you want to earn your NATCH.  You as the handler have a choice as to what distance you want to do with your dog.  If you chose to do Gold distance you would earn a Gold-NATCH.  If you did bonus distance you could earn a Platinum-NATCH.  As well as you could earn a Silver then push yourself to earn a Gold.  Your choice.

If you have a young dog in her first trial and you think you have Gold distance you could enter that division and start earning those Qís.
Run order would be Purple/Platinum, then Gold, then Silver.  Same course, just the lines move.  Easy fix within the software (name change).  I am not sure what the ramifications on Chrisís side would be for points but cant imagine it would be horrible.  There might be other details to work out but I think that could be done :)
This is a radical solution to eliminate levels in a class, but seems in line with the trend in other venues, usually the smaller ones though the AKC Premier rule change is surprising.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: A Jussero on May 05, 2018, 07:23:45 PM
Love your idea, Jeanne.   My last pup could have had 6 V-NATCHes when he was injured except for 9 chances we just could not manage.  Titles aren't everything but this dog so loved this sport and we had so much happiness on course, it just would have been so special.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Linda W. Anderson on May 06, 2018, 07:30:22 PM
While the idea of having different  levels in Chances is very appealing to exhitibitors, as a trial chair who also is in charge of buying ribbons, I see this as a big added expense, not to mention how would one verify it.  lame on!
Linda
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Chris Nelson on May 06, 2018, 07:46:58 PM
Why would the ribbon cost go up?
And what do you mean how to verify it?

Iím confused


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Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Linda W. Anderson on May 06, 2018, 07:48:37 PM
Why would the ribbon cost go up?
And what do you mean how to verify it?

Iím confused


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Wouldn't a club need a diferent NATCH ribbon for each Chances level?
Linda
Title: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Chris Nelson on May 06, 2018, 07:50:07 PM
Ahh gotcha!

Iím one of those lazy clubs who just has a natch ribbon regardless of what type it is.   Because of that very reason,  I donít want to buy 3 different natch ribbons.   

So Weíre on the same wave length now


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Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Linda W. Anderson on May 06, 2018, 07:52:41 PM
This kind of goes back to the NATCH vs Medal situation.  I suppose one could buy little tabs that say "each level" and add them to a basic NATCH ribbon.
Linda
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: dogrsqr on May 07, 2018, 05:16:32 AM
Ok so now we need something for those of us who need to qualify with an off course!

Gina and Abbey
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Linda W. Anderson on May 07, 2018, 06:17:29 AM
Ok so now we need something for those of us who need to qualify with an off course!

Gina and Abbey
I'm with you!!
Linda
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Chris Nelson on May 07, 2018, 06:22:11 AM
Ok so now we need something for those of us who need to qualify with an off course!

Gina and Abbey
The open level!

Less opportunities for off courses :)


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Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Bostondirtdogs07 on May 07, 2018, 10:25:47 AM
A lot has been written on this post since I last visited!  Of particular interest was Jeannie's suggestion regarding the Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels of NATCHs.  I'm not sure if NADAC will be considering this but I do want to commend Jeannie.  I think it is simply BRILLIANT and would encourage those struggling with "big distance" to continue to pursue goals in this venue.  I will anxiously await the announcements coming in June.   😁
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: ricbonner on May 07, 2018, 07:10:27 PM
I see a lot of posts on here talking about titles and awards.  I think those points might only apply to an exhibitor who is already somewhat established in the sport.  There is another type of exhibitor that shouldn't be left out of the discussion.  The new exhibitor.

When I first started taking agility classes, I was just looking for something to fulfill my dog.  Going to class once a week solved almost all of her behavior issues.  When I first dipped my toe into trialing, I tried a few different venues.  I still remember why I went "ALL IN" with NADAC. 

1.  My dog loved it

2. At the other venues, no one spoke to me.  It wasn't until after Casey and I ran a Jumpers course did anyone even acknowledge our presence, and only because she was so awesome.

3. People at the other trials weren't even nice to each other.  I use the word venom to describe what they were spitting at each other.  I was trying to enjoy my time with my dog and that is NOT what I wanted to be around.

So, to increase participation in NADAC, here are my suggestions (mostly to exhibitors and trial folks)

1. Be nice.  Being welcoming, friendly and supportive are HUGE to new exhibitors.  A good morning, hello, how are you can go a long way.  If you don't know what to say, just ask about their dog.  People love talking about their dogs.

2. Be supportive.  People who are competing for the first time almost always dwell on what went wrong.  I make an effort to find something (or several things) positive in their runs and complement them on it and really mean it.

3. Be a good example.  Be good to your dog, have fun, and run well with a good attitude.  When I first started, I watched a lot of amazing teams.  And seeing them, I learned many things including what was possible with a dog in this sport.

I think if people just starting out try a few different venues, but have the best experience at a NADAC trial, then they'll continue NADAC.  That's what happened to me.

Another thing I see new exhibitors getting thrilled about is getting awards in their first trial.  Not so much the NATCHs and titles, but if they get some taste of success in their first trial, that is what will hook them.

As far as getting people to try NADAC in the first place, I have some thoughts on that as well.  Seems to me a lot of clubs tend to rely on the NADAC site or their existing email lists to attract exhibitors.  But those people already do NADAC.  To grow NADAC, clubs would need to reach people who don't do NADAC or don't even do agility yet.  What about other forms of marketing?  Do clubs send any press releases to local newspaper/media/local TV?  Maybe a local TV could record and broadcast the trial - wouldn't that be cool!! I originally googled agility after seeing it on TV and found a school near me to start classes.  So, TV exposure works.  A lot of trials I go to are in college towns, are there student organizations who would like to know about the trial?  Maybe a pre-vet\vet program?  What about 4H, FFA, Boy\Girl Scouts?  I think getting some local spectators to come and have a look might inspire them to have a go at it.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Marj Vincent on May 07, 2018, 07:34:45 PM
Really great thoughts and ideas Ric!  I know I learned about agility from watching a Nancy Gyes agility demo at our local county fair.  It all started at that moment for me and my husband Bruce when we signed up on the spot for classes with Nancy.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Amy McGovern on May 07, 2018, 08:43:31 PM
Ric,

Your answers are spot on!  I've experienced most of what you are talking about both at NADAC and non-NADAC venues. I'm going to add one extra thought to your list. (and this isn't aimed at you, you have always been awesome to my JH and my family!)

To add to the list: be nice to the spectators who come to watch and especially to the kids.  Kids are our future junior handlers and eventually adult handlers. Instead of treating them like an annoyance, be NICE to them.  Let them pet your dog (assuming you have a kid friendly dog).  Talk to them about what the dogs are learning out there.  You may well hook them this way and you sure won't hook them or their family if you are snarky or tell them to please BACK AWAY simply because they are a kid.

We have experienced many many wonderful people at shows with our junior handler. And a few nasty ones. Fortunately we are all a stubborn lot but I truly would have left agility a long time ago if that wasn't the case because of the nasty ones. And I have seen multiple potential junior handlers turned away simply because they are kids and kids are NOT mini adults.

One way to hook more kids on the sport might be to hire them to be your helpers. We have been to a few clubs where this is the case and those are truly wonderful shows.  The kids LOVE being the gate stewards and bar setters and getting to interact with all the dogs. And usually the clubs donate to the organization that sent the kids. 

Someday I want to teach a class just for junior handlers so we can get lots of them :)

-Amy
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Cindy on May 07, 2018, 09:24:20 PM
I agree with Ric about having placement ribbons for the beginners, even - or especially - if they don't Q.  At my first trial in another venue, the entire beginning level class was eliminated both days.  Not a very welcoming experience.  At my first NADAC trial we got placement ribbons with essentially the same performances.  The difference was the NADAC judges were willing to count the faults and not just E us. 

That's not the primary reason I became NADAC only when I decided to focus on 1 venue, but I do remember feeling like my dog was more appreciated by NADAC even though she still had a ways to go before she would be considered "successful" by other's standards.  For people new to the sport, that feeling will go a long way towards helping them decide which trials to enter in the future.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Lois Mierau on May 08, 2018, 07:35:18 AM
I agree with Ric.  I had the same experiences when I was starting in agility.  I did a few venues but when I heard handlers cheer when a bar went down for someone else I was discouraged. Then I tried NADAC and was so welcomed and helped that I knew this was the place for me.  I remember all those years ago while walking a course Janet offered some advice and that then gave me the courage to ask for more help.  Keri offered to help me get my then unruly border collie to the start line.  I try to do the same for our newbies and spectators, make them feel welcomed and supported and they will come back!
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Foomin Z on May 08, 2018, 08:25:20 AM


Wouldn't a club need a diferent NATCH ribbon for each Chances level?
Linda
Some clubs have one general title ribbon, and order those little side tabs that are a few inches long, with the specific title name, and glue it on by request. You could do the same with a NATCH/VNATCH/AANATCH ribbon.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: dogrsqr on May 08, 2018, 08:34:44 AM
Ok so now we need something for those of us who need to qualify with an off course!

Gina and Abbey
The open level!

Less opportunities for off courses :)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Yeah not really Chris.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Jeff Newman on May 08, 2018, 04:50:06 PM
Just for sake of increasing participation.
So why not offer a new standard class?
Call it International Standard Class and make the handling challenges different from the current NADAC style.
This is just for sake of argument of course.
I for one would be interested a different style Standard course offering.
There are staunch supporters of NADAC that participate in other venues.
This also requires more training and focus on Path the dog is taking when the challenges change.
This post is just for sake of thinking outside the box.
Jeff Newman
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Anne Etherton on May 08, 2018, 05:14:06 PM
I really liked Ric's suggestions for increasing participation.  Karen Birdsong has posted on Facebook to publicize our trials and we have given special rates for runs for new to NADAC and people who haven't participated in a couple years.  Maybe putting up some flyers at local vets to encourage people to come out and watch might be a good idea.

Anne
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: ricbonner on May 08, 2018, 05:45:56 PM
Another thought, trials can be difficult for spectators, if they even come they may show up when there is not much action (course building/walking) or they may show up for intro or novice and not be particularly amazed by baby dogs.  And trials are sometimes fairly remote and can actually be kinda boring if you are not running a dog and don't really understand what's happening in the ring.  So maybe clubs or even NADAC could bring agility to the public and setup exhibitions and invite experienced teams to run demo courses.  Maybe at a school or a mall or some community event (state/county fair).  I went to the renaissance fair once and saw a guy demo some sheep dogs actually working sheep.  That was awesome.  A short field could be setup, maybe just a couple hoops/jumps and a tunnel or maybe even using training equipment (3ft dogwalk for example) and 2 or 3 experienced teams running a short course to demonstrate NADAC skills.  That way it could be scheduled - 10 minute demo at 1 PM and 2 PM for example.  And "agility ambassadors" could man a table and answer questions about the sport and the clubs and NADAC.  Maybe even have some agility videos(champs) running on monitors to show off the sport.  That might get some people keen on trying it.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Edraith on May 08, 2018, 06:51:51 PM
@Ricbonner - If you want junior handlers, do that at county and state 4-H events. Heck you could publicise it ahead of time and so the 4-H'ers bring their dogs to try it - I'd recommend solid gating here so the kids dont' have to worry. Get one of those ribbon rolls to have some kind a participation ribbons (kids LOVE ribbons...heck I still do! More colourful the better!) for any kid who tries it. Bam, next generation. This would assume the local training center has classes or at least accepts junior handlers though...

I dont know how all states work (can only speak on Michigan) is the michigan state fair had adult categories too for entry, whereas county fairs were youth. 5-8 year old is cloverbuds, 9-18 is probably who you want to focus on. Most cloverbuds don't do animal handling classes on their own and there are more rules with them around animals. Oakland County in Michigan has a *huge* fair, at least, it was when I participated. Find your counties with the large fairs that already have dog showmanship and agility and obedience classes.

With rabbits, I got into ARBA showing because of 4-H. I see no reason to not do similar with dogs. I know an aussie breeder in FL who works with 4H'ers a lot, and her 4-H'ers who want to get into it do ASCA shows, sometimes with her dogs. Which brings me to my next idea - That also helps bump the fun...if your dog is biddable and runs well with kids - let them run your dog at these demos. I usually let new members in our rabbit club use one of my showmanship rabbits the first year if they wanted - it helps boost the confidence so they can learn their skills without worrying about the rabbit being trained for it. I see no reason this wouldn't translate to dogs.

Of course this is getting quite tangental and getting more into things individuals, especially those who train/teach, need to do rather than nadac-as-a-whole (as individuals get to know their local community etc etc).
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: BeckyAH on May 08, 2018, 07:12:44 PM
One of the things I hear and see quite a bit is the opposite of what's being discussed here (though that's also very true, very valid, and a very good idea).  People get discouraged when they think dogs need to be able to really, really, be exceptional to get to the trial to start with.  Seeing some bloopers in the upper level people seems to soothe nerves that dogs are dogs and stuff happens.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Shirlene Clark on May 09, 2018, 12:00:31 AM
Encourage connections and friendships.  People go where they have friendships.  I have heard many people say...I love NADAC but all my friends do "xyz"
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: kbriefel on May 09, 2018, 05:55:39 AM

The following was posted.  Iíve never seen or heard anything like this in any venue.  The vast majority of people in any venue would never do anything so appalling.  I watch lots of international competitions and tryouts where placements matter far more than at any NADAC trial other than perhaps Champs and the cheering for teammates and competitors is loud and real.

ďI did a few venues but when I heard handlers cheer when a bar went down for someone else I was discouraged.Ē
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Amy McGovern on May 09, 2018, 07:52:22 AM
@Ricbonner - If you want junior handlers, do that at county and state 4-H events. Heck you could publicise it ahead of time and so the 4-H'ers bring their dogs to try it - I'd recommend solid gating here so the kids dont' have to worry. Get one of those ribbon rolls to have some kind a participation ribbons (kids LOVE ribbons...heck I still do! More colourful the better!) for any kid who tries it. Bam, next generation. This would assume the local training center has classes or at least accepts junior handlers though...

I dont know how all states work (can only speak on Michigan) is the michigan state fair had adult categories too for entry, whereas county fairs were youth. 5-8 year old is cloverbuds, 9-18 is probably who you want to focus on. Most cloverbuds don't do animal handling classes on their own and there are more rules with them around animals. Oakland County in Michigan has a *huge* fair, at least, it was when I participated. Find your counties with the large fairs that already have dog showmanship and agility and obedience classes.

With rabbits, I got into ARBA showing because of 4-H. I see no reason to not do similar with dogs. I know an aussie breeder in FL who works with 4H'ers a lot, and her 4-H'ers who want to get into it do ASCA shows, sometimes with her dogs. Which brings me to my next idea - That also helps bump the fun...if your dog is biddable and runs well with kids - let them run your dog at these demos. I usually let new members in our rabbit club use one of my showmanship rabbits the first year if they wanted - it helps boost the confidence so they can learn their skills without worrying about the rabbit being trained for it. I see no reason this wouldn't translate to dogs.

Of course this is getting quite tangental and getting more into things individuals, especially those who train/teach, need to do rather than nadac-as-a-whole (as individuals get to know their local community etc etc).

That was me who posted about the junior handlers, not Ric :)

I actually have let a few other kids run with my older (now at rainbow bridge) dog at a fun run as she was extremely kid friendly.  And I got non-stop complaints about it from two loud-mouthed adults at the fun run.  Seriously. You would have thought the world was ending because I let two friends of my son try agility with my dog. Have they ever come back with their own dogs?  No!  No doubt because they heard the adults complaining loudly. I sure did!  Kid are not dumb nor are they deaf!

I do like the idea of kid friendly demos.  I need to think about how to do that. My son would be an excellent helper for this since he is still a junior handler!

-Amy

Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Edraith on May 09, 2018, 08:18:42 AM
That was me who posted about the junior handlers, not Ric :)

I actually have let a few other kids run with my older (now at rainbow bridge) dog at a fun run as she was extremely kid friendly.  And I got non-stop complaints about it from two loud-mouthed adults at the fun run.  Seriously. You would have thought the world was ending because I let two friends of my son try agility with my dog. Have they ever come back with their own dogs?  No!  No doubt because they heard the adults complaining loudly. I sure did!  Kid are not dumb nor are they deaf!

I do like the idea of kid friendly demos.  I need to think about how to do that. My son would be an excellent helper for this since he is still a junior handler!

-Amy
Sorry! I may have jumbled. And holy heck that is just terrible, adults do ruin it for kids a lot. I saw it in 4-H too. You are right kids are not dumb nor deaf, and they also seem to be more sensitive to the vybe of enviornments. I left 4-H over it myself - I was pretty good with my rabbits, and I kept beating the rabbit barn superindent's son, years in a row. One year, I went to pick up my rabbits at the end of the week, the superindent dumped a tray of rabbit poo on my head, on purpose. I had two years left I could do 4-H, but I didn't return. So yeah...it is not just dog people who can be shit! It is sadly a thing it seems...people dont want kids to be sucessful or feel good about themselves. It takes a thick skin to break into that kind of envioronment that kids just dont' have - and none of us should have to grow that thick skin in the first place! I try to live my life now by a saying, I learned it in portuguese from brazilian friends, but it roughly translates to "Go where you are wanted, not where you are merely tollerated". The flipside to this being - make spaces where people want to be :)

And that isn't something NADAC can do, it is something every single NADAC exhibitor has to do.

 I did try a NADAC trial around here, few years ago, before getting into SAR, and every single person snubbed me and it took 10 min to find the registration. I was asking people without dogs on them, who were just milling about. No one would talk to me. The registration lady was nice though, gave pointers on where to crate it being my first time, and explained how the lineup works for that location and all that. So I figured I'd try. On the way out to grab my card as I forgot my dog's number, someone bumped into me hard (I was on the side of the isle! plenty of space!) scowled and said "What are you doing?" with a sneer. That was the kicker. I just left and didn't bother. Now, that NADAC trial seemed to have a lot of the AKC folk at their trial, the only two venues here, and I had the same issue at the AKC trial. So no, I don't blame NADAC. I blame a shitty local community. There are clearly some jems like the person running registration, but one kind person cannot undo half a dozen rudes. But in that experience, I heard about VT.

So why do I love VT and feel it increases NADAC participation? Because here, on this online space, I am generally wanted (say for the one or two rude folk who just look down on everyone who does VT, one who had the courage to find me on facebook and message me vitrol, lol, really people get over yerself). But basically, I dont have to worry about the anxiety and fear of dealing with all that crap. I just run my dog, we have a fun run. If it's clean I can send it in. If not, well, we had fun. I love Fenzi courses and do well learning online, so I do that instead. Sure it isn't most people's agility path, but paths dont have to look alike. And, isn't that what agility is all about? Just having fun with your dog how is best for your team :)

Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: dogrsqr on May 09, 2018, 09:08:24 AM
Amata I am so sorry you were treated so poorly.  Our agility community is actually pretty darn nice and I think we are pretty welcoming to newbies.

No  I will say that as people have gotten more serious about agility general attitudes have changed.  We had so few trials 20 years ago that everyone was just happy to have one and it was more about having fun not only with your dog but also with other goofy dog people.  I met some great friends by going to trials in other states and just starting conversations with people. 

I have to admit that while I try to answer questions and be pleasant to exhibitors I don't start those conversations with people I don't know.  I guess I'll put that on my list of things to work on.

Gins
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: PaulaGoss on May 10, 2018, 11:19:05 AM
To the best of my knowledge a prong collar isn't allowed at a NADAC trial unless something has changed that I'm not aware of. 

Ginak
 


Itís always been allowed......at least for the past 25 years it has been.

It is a clubís discretion to allow it - they can put it in their premium if they choose not to allow it but it is allowed by NADAC.

Paula Goss
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: dogrsqr on May 10, 2018, 12:26:10 PM


I don't know..... over the years I remember being told things that weren't necessarily in the rule book. 

Gina
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Jeannie Biggers on May 10, 2018, 01:45:37 PM
To the best of my knowledge a prong collar isn't allowed at a NADAC trial unless something has changed that I'm not aware of. 

Ginak
 


Itís always been allowed......at least for the past 25 years it has been.

It is a clubís discretion to allow it - they can put it in their premium if they choose not to allow it but it is allowed by NADAC.

Paula Goss

Yes it is the clubs discretion to allow or not.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Audri, Cee Cee, Lily, Toto, and Calypso on May 16, 2018, 01:12:32 PM
Another thought, trials can be difficult for spectators, if they even come they may show up when there is not much action (course building/walking) or they may show up for intro or novice and not be particularly amazed by baby dogs.  And trials are sometimes fairly remote and can actually be kinda boring if you are not running a dog and don't really understand what's happening in the ring.  So maybe clubs or even NADAC could bring agility to the public and setup exhibitions and invite experienced teams to run demo courses.  Maybe at a school or a mall or some community event (state/county fair).  I went to the renaissance fair once and saw a guy demo some sheep dogs actually working sheep.  That was awesome.  A short field could be setup, maybe just a couple hoops/jumps and a tunnel or maybe even using training equipment (3ft dogwalk for example) and 2 or 3 experienced teams running a short course to demonstrate NADAC skills.  That way it could be scheduled - 10 minute demo at 1 PM and 2 PM for example.  And "agility ambassadors" could man a table and answer questions about the sport and the clubs and NADAC.  Maybe even have some agility videos(champs) running on monitors to show off the sport.  That might get some people keen on trying it.

Every year, the shelter that I volunteer for has an event.  I have done a demo for them for the last 8 years or so.  It is well-attended and everyone is duly impressed that the shelter dogs (they all came from this shelter) can do agility.  We also have allowed people to be walked through the course with their dogs (for a donation to the shelter!)  It is a big hit.  Unfortunately, we do not have any NADAC training facilities in my area, so the aspect of getting new people to join NADAC doesn't work as well.  I always hand out my business card though, so if they have questions, they can ask.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Billie Rosen on May 18, 2018, 04:53:08 PM
Regarding Junior Handlers in NADAC, our club has welcomed JHers into agility ever since we were founded in late 1993.  For 11 years, we have held a Junior Handler only NADAC trial.  The JHers actively participate in our regular NADAC trials, including working the trial.  We have far more complaints about adults than we ever do about the kids.  So if there is a problem, it has nothing to do with NADAC, it has to do with the club.  And there are bad apples in every venue and in every sport.  Deciding not to do NADAC because somebody at a trial was rude and uncouth should not reflect on anyone except that person.

Our club has had Junior Handler classes since the very beginning.  We believe that if you build it, they will come.  We offer a JH class, and they come.  We support our JHers enthusiastically.  We are hoping to bring 3 of them to Champs this year, and our club pays their entry fee and gives each kid $100 spending money to enjoy Champs with.
Title: Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
Post by: Amy McGovern on May 20, 2018, 03:18:35 PM
Regarding Junior Handlers in NADAC, our club has welcomed JHers into agility ever since we were founded in late 1993.  For 11 years, we have held a Junior Handler only NADAC trial.  The JHers actively participate in our regular NADAC trials, including working the trial.  We have far more complaints about adults than we ever do about the kids.  So if there is a problem, it has nothing to do with NADAC, it has to do with the club.  And there are bad apples in every venue and in every sport.  Deciding not to do NADAC because somebody at a trial was rude and uncouth should not reflect on anyone except that person.

Our club has had Junior Handler classes since the very beginning.  We believe that if you build it, they will come.  We offer a JH class, and they come.  We support our JHers enthusiastically.  We are hoping to bring 3 of them to Champs this year, and our club pays their entry fee and gives each kid $100 spending money to enjoy Champs with.

LOVE