Author Topic: Gate Stewarding  (Read 3016 times)

mymixkc

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Re: Gate Stewarding
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2014, 03:28:39 PM »
I love it when someone takes the time to compile all this into one place!
Great job!
I would add:

as an exhibitor;
1) For me, it helps a lot if the big fat marker used to cross dogs' names off is a nice bright color (red, royal blue, PURPLE). That way if I know my dog is halfway down the second page, I can see from afar whether we're getting "close" or if I'm good hanging back for a little bit before I approach the board for a closer look.

and when working the gate;
2) Gate Stewards around here are also responsible for notifying the ring crew when a jump height change is needed. That's about the only "shouting" I do when working this job.... "Last dog this height!".... "Jumps to ___-inches!" or "Last dog this class!"

Everything else, I prefer to manage quietly getting everyone in their proper order and letting them know at the appropriate time "You may enter the ring now" only if it appears they don't already know when to go in.
I'll also remind the exhibitor if there will be a height change just before they run if they seem to not be aware, so they don't have to "hurry up and wait" while the jumps get set.

Good topic!
Diane B
MN

dogrsqr

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Re: Gate Stewarding
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2014, 07:18:23 AM »
I LOVE the yellers!!!!  I don't want to have to go anywhere near the gate board because there's usually a crowd around it.  I am usually somewhere in a corner working with my dog waiting for my turn and I just want to go right from my corner to the ring. 

I really, really, really hate it when you have a soft spoken gate person who stands directly in front of the board.  Now I can't see where we are and can't hear where we are.  Makes for an extra special crabby Gina!

Gina Pizzo and Abbey
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gm5bkc

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Re: Gate Stewarding
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2014, 08:23:59 PM »
Please don't forget that it is up to the handler to do what is best for their dog.  The handler may need to wait off to the side if their dog is nervous about a nearby dog in line.  They may need to hang back from entering the ring until the previous team is completely off the course for the same reason.  The handler can't let the gate steward push them into a dangerous situation!
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Sharon Nelson

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Re: Gate Stewarding
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2014, 09:30:07 PM »
Please don't forget that it is up to the handler to do what is best for their dog.  The handler may need to wait off to the side if their dog is nervous about a nearby dog in line.  They may need to hang back from entering the ring until the previous team is completely off the course for the same reason.  The handler can't let the gate steward push them into a dangerous situation!

Actually, a team cannot do that.  If a handler does not enter the ring when asked, they can be and should be eliminated.   If entering a ring puts them in a dangerous situation then either that team should not be competing or the team that ran right before them should not be competing.

A judge tells the gate steward when they want the next team to enter the ring.  If the team refuses to enter when told, they are supposed to indicate to the judge that the team refused to enter.  The team should be eliminated for not entering the ring.  If the handler explains that they are afraid of the previous team, then the judge will talk to that team to find out just which dog of the two teams seems "dangerous".

If a dog and handler cannot enter the ring in a controlled manner and be safe doing so, then NADAC is not the best pick as a venue.  NADAC is very strict about aggressive dogs, dangerous dogs and out of control dogs not being allowed to compete.

If a competitor feels that their dog is at risk because of another dog at the trial, then they should send a letter of concern to NADAC and we will contact the other team and let them know that there are some concerns about their dog's potential behavior.  Sometimes everyone stays quiet when they know for a fact that a particular dog is dangerous to others at the finish or the start.  The competitors should also help in reporting the dogs in question and maybe the owners will work on getting more control over their dogs.  If no one ever says anything, then more and more dangerous dogs will be competing.

At a NADAC trial it is "mandatory" that the entering dog must be in the ring before the finishing dog leaves the ring.  They are not to remove their leash until directed to do so by the "Good luck" indicator, but they must be inside the ring area before the previous dog leaves the ring.  Anyone not complying may choose to wait and enter late after the previous dog leaves, but at that time they have chosen an elimination for their run.

Sharon
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Lark Pollari

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Re: Gate Stewarding
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2014, 09:52:00 PM »
Pam...I remember that dog very well!  :)

Lark
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Kyle

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Re: Gate Stewarding
« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2014, 07:07:12 AM »
I honestly didn't really understand about the next dog having to be *in* the ring before the previous dog leaves so I will admit to something... Since, when gating, I am trying to keep an eye on the dog running so I can tell the next person to go to the line, I might realize the dog running isn't under good (or any!) control. If I see that, I have (on several occasions!) kept the next person right next to me at the entrance to the ring until the leash has been put on and the dog is under control *and then* sent them to the line.

So what can I do, as Gate Steward, if I honestly don't think it's a safe situation *myself* to send the dog into the ring? It would be *my* fault, not the next dog's owner, and therefore *I* should take the blame, not them. I have no problem taking that blame if it saves all of us from an unsafe situation.

Buuuut, the way it's being worded, if, as the Gate, I'm uncomfortable about the dog who is running, I guess I could get the next dog *1 step* into the ring and stand there with them (as some sort of "protection"  :)) and they wouldn't get eliminated, right? And when the previous dog is leashed quickly get the next dog onto the line? Would that work?

Just trying to be safe and not get anyone eliminated,
Kyle
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Amy McGovern

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Re: Gate Stewarding
« Reply #21 on: February 16, 2014, 07:19:26 AM »
Actually, a team cannot do that.  If a handler does not enter the ring when asked, they can be and should be eliminated.   If entering a ring puts them in a dangerous situation then either that team should not be competing or the team that ran right before them should not be competing.

Sharon,

What if a dog isn't going into the ring because the person running asked them to wait?  Should the one holding back (because asked to do so) be E'd?  This situation (but not the E, thank goodness) has happened to my us before.  The most frequent reason is that it is my son (junior handler, in perfect control of his dog) and the person before says their dog doesn't like kids.  Should my son get an E for being a kid and especially listening to the adult who made a reasonable request? If he doesn't follow the persons instructions, he is possibly risking his or his dog's safety by going in the ring.  How should he handle it? 

-Amy and the schnauzers
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Sharon Nelson

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Re: Gate Stewarding
« Reply #22 on: February 16, 2014, 08:07:31 PM »

Sharon,

What if a dog isn't going into the ring because the person running asked them to wait?  Should the one holding back (because asked to do so) be E'd?  This situation (but not the E, thank goodness) has happened to my us before.  The most frequent reason is that it is my son (junior handler, in perfect control of his dog) and the person before says their dog doesn't like kids.  Should my son get an E for being a kid and especially listening to the adult who made a reasonable request? If he doesn't follow the persons instructions, he is possibly risking his or his dog's safety by going in the ring.  How should he handle it? 

-Amy and the schnauzers

If you mean the handler in front of them, you can politely say "I have to enter when the gate steward tells me to enter" and if they ask again, then don't enter!!  But be sure to tell the steward that the person running in front of you doesn't want you in the ring with them....... so it is "their" problem not yours!

I sure don't want a dog at trials if they are dangerous to kids!  It is one thing if a child is being disruptive and squealing and running in the crating area, I can see a handler asking a parent to control their children.  But if a JH just "being" there is a problem then the problem dog needs to not run.

Sharon
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Sharon Nelson

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Re: Gate Stewarding
« Reply #23 on: February 16, 2014, 08:11:48 PM »
I honestly didn't really understand about the next dog having to be *in* the ring before the previous dog leaves so I will admit to something... Since, when gating, I am trying to keep an eye on the dog running so I can tell the next person to go to the line, I might realize the dog running isn't under good (or any!) control. If I see that, I have (on several occasions!) kept the next person right next to me at the entrance to the ring until the leash has been put on and the dog is under control *and then* sent them to the line.

So what can I do, as Gate Steward, if I honestly don't think it's a safe situation *myself* to send the dog into the ring? It would be *my* fault, not the next dog's owner, and therefore *I* should take the blame, not them. I have no problem taking that blame if it saves all of us from an unsafe situation.

Buuuut, the way it's being worded, if, as the Gate, I'm uncomfortable about the dog who is running, I guess I could get the next dog *1 step* into the ring and stand there with them (as some sort of "protection"  :)) and they wouldn't get eliminated, right? And when the previous dog is leashed quickly get the next dog onto the line? Would that work?

Just trying to be safe and not get anyone eliminated,
Kyle

Yes, if you see the previous dog out of control, then do not let the next dog enter!!  The judge will agree with you. Most judges should have some type of signal for you to give if the competitor is refusing to enter when asked.  If they haven't entered and you are not signaling the judge, then they will assume that it is something that is out of control of the next handler and they are not at fault.  Occasionally a judge will come to the gate steward and ask "what was happening with that red BC?  Why didn't they enter the ring?"  But if you are signaling the judge for a refusal to enter, then they know that the person about to run has refused to enter the ring when told.

Sharon
Sharon
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Re: Gate Stewarding
« Reply #24 on: February 17, 2014, 09:46:58 AM »
I LOVE the yellers!!!!  I don't want to have to go anywhere near the gate board because there's usually a crowd around it.  I am usually somewhere in a corner working with my dog waiting for my turn and I just want to go right from my corner to the ring. 

I really, really, really hate it when you have a soft spoken gate person who stands directly in front of the board.  Now I can't see where we are and can't hear where we are.  Makes for an extra special crabby Gina!

Gina Pizzo and Abbey

I am with Gina on this one!  I also sit way in the back corner of the gate area.  I don't want to bring either of my dogs near that gate board.  I want to be able to hang back and keep my dog focused and calm.  When I hear my dog's name about the 4th one down, I start walking towards the gate.  Also, many times when I am standing in line waiting my turn (I am the next up or so) there are a lot of dogs barking and crowding around the board to see when they run.  This crowds my dogs at the time that they are getting to run.  Calling out the names loud enough so everyone can hear eliminates the crowding at the gate.
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LeeAnne McAdam

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Re: Gate Stewarding
« Reply #25 on: February 17, 2014, 01:30:20 PM »
I have a dog who I wouldn't dream of putting in the middle of a crowd anytime, but especially right before we run...so I make it a point to make sure I know who the three or four dogs ahead of him are.  That way I can hang back wherever I need to be with him and just glance now and again to see where my "marker" dogs are.  Then I don't have to be by the board and the gate steward doesn't have to yell for me either.  Of course it does help that most of the trials we go to are small enough that everybody knows everybody and it isn't really an issue.
Lee Anne

Jeannie Biggers

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Re: Gate Stewarding
« Reply #26 on: February 18, 2014, 05:34:57 AM »
In Montana we trial mostly in barns so space is limited. We all have a curtain system that we use. Has three waiting areas and can be seen from the entire barn. They honestly have made it so we almost don't have to have a gate steward and we don't have ten dogs mulling around wondering when it is their turn. There is generally no more than four or five dogs out waiting to run. Makes for a very relaxed trial setting.

Jeannie

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dogrsqr

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Re: Gate Stewarding
« Reply #27 on: February 18, 2014, 12:14:25 PM »
In Montana we trial mostly in barns so space is limited. We all have a curtain system that we use. Has three waiting areas and can be seen from the entire barn. They honestly have made it so we almost don't have to have a gate steward and we don't have ten dogs mulling around wondering when it is their turn. There is generally no more than four or five dogs out waiting to run. Makes for a very relaxed trial setting.

Jeannie

I know lots of people like this system, but it would be anything but relaxing for me. I don't want to have to wait close to the ring while 2 or 3 dogs run.  I want to be away from the action working on being calm and quiet.  This is one of the things I most dislike about trials with no running order.  You can pretty much count on me being the last dog to run in those situations. 

Gina and Abbey (who thinks all turns should be hers)
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KarissaKS

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Re: Gate Stewarding
« Reply #28 on: February 19, 2014, 08:16:37 AM »
I have found this discussion about "signals" between the gate person and the judge to be quite interesting -- because I typically end up working the gate for at least part of every trial and I have never heard of such a thing. It's also once in a blue moon where a judge will actually give me an obstacle on which to send in the next team.

Our trials are small and typically not pressed for time. We want everyone to be successful, so in the Novice classes especially I have never been one to push if someone is not comfortable going into the ring early. There are so many scenarios where this could be valid and not related to anyone being "aggressive" or "dangerous." Maybe a dog just gets nervous and stressed out at the start line and the handler is trying to avoid lingering there too long (and heaven knows this could be the case where the second-to-last obstacle on the course is the weave poles; what then?). Maybe you have a dog that starts barking when they enter the ring and you know that the dog in front of you is sound sensitive, in which case it's simply polite to be courteous and not ruin their run. Maybe you know the dog in front if you can be a little quirky about getting leashed at the end of the run sometimes and you choose not to be a distraction for them while they work through this.

I just don't see what the big deal is. Obviously a judge has every right to call "delay of game" if they see something egregious, but I think most of us are just trying to be polite and courteous to our fellow handlers. I will gladly take an E when I'm training stuff -- I have asked people to block exits, for example, and I know that's an automatic E. But these other little things are minor and in the grand scheme of things really not something to make a big fuss over.
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TheQuestKnight

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Re: Gate Stewarding
« Reply #29 on: February 19, 2014, 08:53:02 AM »
I find this discussion interesting, only because it sooooooooooooooooo very much relates to the earlier "Direction Of Agility" and "Intro" threads.....................

In the Good Ol' Days, all of the "I don't like this, that or the other thing about how the gate steward is doing her/his job because this, that or the other thing distracts, upsets or does something else to my dog.........................in the Good Ol' Days, we'd call that a TRAINING ISSUE that was the handler's responsibility to work their dog through......................and then to ensure that their dog had been properly "proofed" for those conditions before entering a trial with "Q expectations"..........................

Someone stated the scribing is perhaps the hardest job, and I tend to agree with that....................I think that Gate Steward is the MOST THANKLESS job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  No matter what the poor individual stuck with that job does, s/he are 100% certain to irritate, aggravate and/or p!$$ off a percentage of the exhibitors...........................

The best gate stewards that I've encounted over 25 years in agility ALL had their own "style" and their own tones of voice....................................some were "Gate Nazis"......................some were "sweet School-Marms"; but they all got the job done in a timely and efficient manner...............................and I started where all of the classes were timed as to how long they took, how many dogs ran, when the class started and ended......................and where answers needed to be provided to the venue for any glaring variations from the norm...........................

Most of our dogs have had "personal space" issues..................as in not wanting another dog's nose in their face or up their butt in a line-up........................well, it was then...............and is now.................up to US to position ourselves POLITELY between our dog and an overly-friendly/curious dog in a line-up...................and it's not hard to do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  IMHO, dogs should not get "amped" simply by hearing a STRANGER'S voice call their name.........................and whatever happened to "Not your affair/business!" or "Leave it alone!"???

It really doesn't matter is one has a reactive dog, a timid dog, a sensitive dog or whatever kind of dog..........................the bottom line is.................has the dog been properly trained and PROOFED for the types of situations that the dog may/is likely to encounter??????????  If that answer is "No", then the fault lies with the owner/trainer/handler and no one else...................

It takes MUCH more than staying on course and performing the obstacles correctly to be successful in agility...........................in fact, staying on course and performing the obstacles correctly is the EASY part of the training that is required!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JMHO,

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