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General Discussion / Re: VT Voting Results
« Last post by Lorrie Stelz on December 14, 2017, 04:43:05 PM »
We appreciate you hearing everyones opinions and doing the survey.  As always in my life... NADAC RULES!!!  <3
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General Discussion / Re: Possible VT solutions
« Last post by danforth on December 14, 2017, 12:00:25 PM »
I came into NADAC because my instructor ran NADAC and said that she thought a few of us were ready to trial.   I had no real information about other venues.   I did really like the flow and that fact that as a Vet handler, my mini poodle and I could jump 9 inches.   In USDAA he would have had to jump 16 inches as standard height.

However, in our area, there are several CPE venues and also TDAA that are really close.   Next close is AKC and our club runs 1 USDAA trial a year.  I really like NADAC with the distance and flow.   Chances has been our best class and I am getting a new puppy given that I think Cocoa is now 9.5 years old and slowing down.

I guess if my initial instructor had been gung-ho CPE, I might have been okay running in that venue.  But I am really glad that I got taken to a NADAC trial as my first one.

Isabel
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General Discussion / Re: Possible VT solutions
« Last post by BeckyAH on December 14, 2017, 11:11:39 AM »
I really, honestly, having dog friends across many agility venues and many sports and play in several and can say pretty definitively:

Numbers are down across ALL agility venues, and markedly so. AKC and then USDAA seem the most stable but they're also having a notable falloff.   

Numbers in flyball and obedience (not rally) are ALSO way the heck down.   There's more stuff to do now and people are making decisions about what to do.  More new people coming in, yeah, but not enough to compensate for the fact that it's no longer agility, obedience, or flyball.  Now it's agility in one of 6 organizations, obedience with several organizations,  rally with several organizations, dock diving with multiple organization, disc with multiple organizations, nosework with at least a couple of organizations, freestyle with at least a couple of organizations, herding with at least a couple of organizations, treibball, barn hunt, parkour (also with at least a couple of organizations) - and more organizations offering flyball and obedience and agility, too.

WHY ARE ENTRIES FALLING OFF?  Some of those sports in various ways have been around forever, but they're spreading to new areas  and new organizations are being made.  How in the WORLD is it even possible to think that numbers in any individual trial isn't going to fall with that many options?

Yes, most people are going to go where their instructor recommends or is already at (if they're doing so rather than being professionally neutral)  but I  really, really don't think this is some mysterious thing.   Probably a complicated one with many, many factors, but honestly?  OPTIONS EVERYWHERE.  For sports and for venue, for live and for videoed (rally, freestyle, and parkour all have online divisions/ability to title).  It just - there aren't enough new people, time and money to see that kind of growth and not having entries into trials, venues, or sports drop off.
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General Discussion / Re: Possible VT solutions
« Last post by dogrsqr on December 14, 2017, 10:15:25 AM »
There was actually a time when there weren't as many venues or trials so pretty much everyone did every local trial ... well except for AKC because they wouldn't let mixes play back then.  It wasn't based on what your instructor told you.

As an instructor I've actually had students ask which venues they should enter.  I've told them the clinical differences between the organizations, basically anything they could find in the rule book, and told them it's their decision where they want to play.  Why do instructors need to share their personal opinions with their students at all?  There are training schools in our area that won't even acknowledge their students accomplishments in certain venues.  Now why would anyone want to give someone their money for treating them that way I sure as heck don't know.

Gina
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General Discussion / Re: Possible VT solutions
« Last post by KarissaKS on December 14, 2017, 09:24:41 AM »
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I may have missed it, but I don't recall seeing any posts saying that because you don't do any VTs, your opinion doesn't matter.

The one in particular that I was referencing was conveniently edited.

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And if the majority of your students do AKC, I have no doubt that your one student who preferred AKC, probably does because either all her friends are doing it, or all her other friends pressured her into doing it. I would have been curious enough to ask her why she preferred AKC over NADAC.

I moved to an area with no agility and started an agility program from the ground up. My first batch of students all went together to their first trial, which was a NADAC trial. This student was the first (and only, so far) to attend an AKC trial. I asked her at the end of the weekend if she was leaning one way or the other (especially as she had shared with me that she is going to have extremely limited time for showing, so she doesn't want to split that between organizations) -- I was honestly surprised that her answer was AKC because she did not have any qualifying runs in AKC that weekend, and she had seen some success at the NADAC trial. Also, this was a 2-ring AKC trial where she sat for HOURS with nothing to do, versus the NADAC trial where she ran all day long. She didn't seem to have a very clear way to verbalize why she preferred her weekend of AKC, other than that she preferred the courses. She is a competitive person who likes to be challenged.

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And I'm just curious-- do you only have concerns about Nadac, or do you have concerns about other organizations as well?

No agility organization is "perfect." AKC is my primary venue right now and I'm unaware of any big issues that need to be addressed there (others may disagree). I dislike the jump height alignments in USDAA for small dogs, so I simply don't run my small dogs in USDAA. The USDAA trials are small here, where AKC trials rule. Somewhat because of jump heights, somewhat because of course challenges. My only complaint about UKI is that there isn't more of it around here.

I, too, am very appreciative of the increased communication since Chris & Amanda took the helm and it's the primary reason why I have added more NADAC back into my schedule. For the most part I feel like I go with the flow and accept what an organization offers and make my choice to participate in that organization based on whether or not I agree with those principles. I have been vehemently against the VT program since its inception, or at least since it was combined with the regular program. I know people who left NADAC because of it, or at least it was part of the issue (double run format was another one that chased at least a few people away, along with barrels and other such things).

NADAC was my only organization from when I started in 2007 (AKC didn't allow mixed breeds back then so that wasn't an option, and my training center hosted a lot of NADAC trials) and remained my only organization until I started to compete in AKC in 2013. Oh wait, I dabbled some in USDAA for a bit in 2012 but the jump heights were an issue for my small dog. I didn't "jump ship" because my friends were doing it -- I didn't know a soul when I started running USDAA and AKC.  That means that there were specific things to NADAC that drove myself and others away. I didn't leave NADAC entirely because it was the only place Luke liked to play, and Kaiser enjoys it as well. That means I was at least here to see the positive influence and changes since Chris & Amanda took things over -- those who completely left are likely unaware.

Ultimately, I think you need to stop talking to people who only do NADAC to try to determine why people aren't doing NADAC. Much like my opinion about VT not counting if I don't do VT, if all you do is NADAC then you don't really have much to say about why people don't do NADAC.
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General Discussion / Re: Possible VT solutions
« Last post by Audri, Cee Cee, Lily, Toto, and Calypso on December 14, 2017, 09:17:23 AM »

I started with a Nadac instructor and was encouraged in Nadac, and I really wasn't aware of any other organizations. Since then I have gone to other places and observed other trainers' opinions and actions, which normally talks NADAC down. But I saw no benefit to taking any of their classes they felt they couldn't teach me anything. If I'd started there first, I have no doubt I would be influenced by what these instructors had to say.

Funny you should say that.  When I started way back when, I was researching agility clubs and had a choice of 2 clubs.  Knowing NOTHING about agility, I chose the one with lessons that were less expensive and were easier for me to get to.  It just so happened that it was a NADAC club.  If I had gone to the other club to train, I probably would be doing USDAA now because AKC at the time didn't allow mixed breed dogs. 
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General Discussion / Re: VT Voting Results
« Last post by Edraith on December 14, 2017, 09:14:21 AM »
I just have one question about semantics. I think that deliberately cheating and misunderstanding the rules are two separate things. But unless I'm misunderstanding something, they both will be treated the same way. If someone truly doesn't understand the rules, is not some education in order from someone before they are penalized? Are you perhaps using the term misunderstanding in another context?
I read it as "we cant tell if they're just *saying* they dont understand, or what, so in effort to be fair, its all treated the same, cause if you want to use the VT program onus is on you to follow the rules and if you dont understand onus is on you to ask" which, tbh, i think is fair.
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General Discussion / Re: Need to talk to a retired a-frame builder in Kentucky
« Last post by Janice_Shavor on December 14, 2017, 06:49:47 AM »
Thank you so very much!!  Our club equipment lives in a trailer.
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General Discussion / Re: VT Voting Results
« Last post by Sheila & the Shelties on December 13, 2017, 10:49:25 PM »
I just have one question about semantics. I think that deliberately cheating and misunderstanding the rules are two separate things. But unless I'm misunderstanding something, they both will be treated the same way. If someone truly doesn't understand the rules, is not some education in order from someone before they are penalized? Are you perhaps using the term misunderstanding in another context?
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General Discussion / Re: Possible VT solutions
« Last post by Sheila & the Shelties on December 13, 2017, 10:15:43 PM »
Frankly, the posts that say, "You don't even do VT so your opinion doesn't matter" don't do much to retain those of us who do currently support NADAC while competing in multiple organizations.

Also, as a trainer, I can't force my students to train for distance. I regularly share videos that show me working my dogs at a distance AND doing "international" skills. Quite honestly, the distance videos seem to get more interest and comments -- but I don't have one single person who has come to me and said, "Can you teach me to do that?" After my first batch of students went to their first NADAC trial, where they were exposed to Chances for the first time, I was asked to have a distance-specific class. I put it on the next schedule. Do you know how many people signed up? ONE. She admitted that she felt what she learned over those 6 weeks helped her in all of the courses we run, but after doing one NADAC trial and one AKC trial she said she thinks she'd rather do AKC. Why? Not sure, you'd have to ask her.

There are many reasons people don't do NADAC. Maybe you should ask them. Meanwhile maybe you should stop driving away the people who do include NADAC trials in their multi-venue pursuits.
Karissa, I may have missed it, but I don't recall seeing any posts saying that because you don't do any VTs, your opinion doesn't matter. I think instructors are very important in forming students opinions of other organizations. I started with a Nadac instructor and was encouraged in Nadac, and I really wasn't aware of any other organizations. Since then I have gone to other places and observed other trainers' opinions and actions, which normally talks NADAC down. But I saw no benefit to taking any of their classes they felt they couldn't teach me anything. If I'd started there first, I have no doubt I would be influenced by what these instructors had to say. And if the majority of your students do AKC, I have no doubt that your one student who preferred AKC, probably does because either all her friends are doing it, or all her other friends pressured her into doing it. I would have been curious enough to ask her why she preferred AKC over NADAC.  It would be interesting to know, whether it change your behavior or not. I have observed a lot of runs in different venues, and Nadac handling would greatly improve handling in other venues. Handling in AKC, for example, involves a lot more effort. Not criticizing it, but I often think there's a better way.

And I'm just curious-- do you only have concerns about Nadac, or do you have concerns about other organizations as well? I appreciate NADAC often solicits and listens to our opinions, and I also know that they are not going to be always doing things the way I might like to see them done. I ask this question sincerely: do you think other organizations have issues? Do they have trouble attracting new competitors? Do they do a better job in listening to and addressing concerns of competitors? I truly want to know the answer, because maybe if the other organizations do it better, perhaps NADAC can learn something from them.
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