Author Topic: Intro to Agility  (Read 59334 times)

quamashbcs@yahoo.com

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Re: Intro to Agility
« Reply #150 on: January 27, 2015, 07:15:52 PM »
I think that the attitude of clubs and/or trial secretaries will make or break Intro in a particular area of the country. Clubs that embrace Intro wholeheartedly and offer it in all classes find that entries in Intro are comparable or even larger than Novice.  Clubs that are on the fence and only offer Intro in jumping classes find that many people just choose to enter Novice (because they don't know any better and/or the Club has not bothered to educate them), and you end up with only 2-3 dogs in Intro. This is a slippery slope which will probably stop those Clubs offering Intro in the future (due to perception that they are doing "unnecessary and time consuming" course building).

It is good that Clubs have the option to keep offering Intro in some classes (I will always enter Intro over Novice when it is offered) but it is not pushing them to really try and develop the program to the benefit of all dogs and handlers.

My solution will probably be wildly unpopular but I think that some number of Intro level Qs should be mandatory for people wanting to enter Novice. Maybe just one or two Qs in each class could be required to progress rather than three Qs? Maybe a new Versatility title such as Intro Star (one or two Qs on each Intro class). Dogs would still be able to stay in Intro for an actual title (three Qs) or Outstanding and Superior titles etc.....

OK flame suit ON!!!
Frances Hannan
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Jeanne Allen

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Re: Intro to Agility
« Reply #151 on: January 27, 2015, 08:17:27 PM »
Frances Hannan I can agree with you!  My young dog is really not weaving so I really love the Intro class because they do not have weaves (except the one set in Intro Weavers).  If there is a trial that I would enter that only offered Intro in the jumping classes then there would be some of the games classes that I would not enter at all, not even Novice.  I have an entry I am getting ready to send in and the club does offer Intro in all classes.  I am going to bite the bullet and put my young dog in Intro Weavers, so out of the total of 13 runs for the weekend 9 of those runs will be at the Intro level.  Now as an example, if the trial I am about to enter only offered Intro in Jumping classes, then there would be 3 less runs for my young dog, so that means only 10 runs vs 13 and going by the pricing for this trial that would be $24 that the club would not get because they did not offer Intro in the games classes.  That loss could add up especially if a club is struggling to break even.
Jeanne Allen and the Blue Dog Jester
Boise, ID

DeafSheltieMom

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Re: Intro to Agility
« Reply #152 on: January 27, 2015, 08:25:26 PM »
No flaming necessary... I agree with you, particularly regarding how instructors educate their new students regarding the benefits of Intro.  We've had some dogs that started in Novice that I think would benefit greatly if they were in Intro instead.  The shorter, "easier" courses build the dogs' mental and physical abilities on the agility field, while at the same time, build teamwork with their handlers, in a setting that helps build success.  However, instructors may not see these benefits, or may not understand what Intro provides.  Perhaps more education regarding the philosophy behind Intro is necessary, but how to spread that word to instructors???  I don't know...  Maybe handouts during BA tests (which are wildly popular here)?  A flyer explaining the class available at trials? 

I also don't think requiring Intro is necessary, either.  Some teams are "ready" for Novice from the start.  It really depends upon each individual team. 

I ran my papillon in Intro until she turned two, and even then, we ran it until I felt WE were ready to move on.  I used some runs to develop distance, handling moves, teaching her to "turn", teaching me to be in better position.  When we recently trialed indoors on dirt for the first time, I moved her back to Intro.  I needed to see how the change of environment, equipment and footing affected her mentally.  I'm overly cautious with my girl, but that was actually a good idea, as she negatively responded to their dogwalk.  Intro allowed us to work up to her gaining experience and confidence with the new equipment.  Thus, I'll always be a staunch proponent of Intro, and as the course builder, will never, ever gripe about an "extra" class to course build for.  It is vital to the development of new teams, and attracting new folks to NADAC.  I only hope others see this benefit as well.
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Sharon Nelson

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Re: Intro to Agility
« Reply #153 on: January 27, 2015, 08:38:18 PM »
I am getting more and more correspondence from competitors that state if Intro isn't offered by a club in all classes, then they will choose to keep their entry money for a different trial.  And some of these people don't even have a dog to enter into Intro, they just want to support clubs that don't pick and choose who they want at their trial by limiting entries at some levels.

Intro is getting more and more popular each week!!

It is sometimes referred to as limiting entries into Intro is like saying that the club also would want to limit the types of bonuses offered for the distance people.

People love Intro!

Sharon
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quamashbcs@yahoo.com

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Re: Intro to Agility
« Reply #154 on: January 27, 2015, 09:20:43 PM »
If we just nickel and dime the Clubs by not entering all 12 runs it won't demonstrate why we LOVE intro. Especially for "popular" trials.

I am guilty of entering an upcoming trial which doesn't offer ANY Intro classes. They have filled and will not do any DOT entries. My pup is a Tunnelers savant so we are in Elite for that class. She also managed to get Superior Intro Chances & is pretty close to Superior Intro Jumpers so I am comfortable entering Novice in those classes BUT not expecting anything AT ALL. I chose to throw some money towards one Regular run each day (since I am driving 3+ hours to attend this trial).

I would be SO MUCH happier about my choice to enter this trial IF they had Intro. Obviously I am not in their "catchment area" but many people from my region do travel in winter to attend trials and we ALL have young dogs that are getting ready for the big time...
Frances Hannan
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Anne Etherton

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Re: Intro to Agility
« Reply #155 on: January 28, 2015, 07:03:46 AM »
My dog was in novice and open classes but I decided to move her to intro because we have been having space issues. The simpler courses allowed me to handle this, and we both were happier. The clubs in Southern California are offering it and are well received. :)
Anne

Elisabeth

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Re: Intro to Agility
« Reply #156 on: January 28, 2015, 07:30:02 AM »
Regarding the Intro class - can you enter your dog at their normal jump height (say 20+ for a young dog that measures 25 inches at the shoulder), or do you have to enter at one height lower (so 16 for a dog that measures 25 inches at the shoulder)?

Dan Roy

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Re: Intro to Agility
« Reply #157 on: January 28, 2015, 09:28:36 AM »
From a new club's perspective - we have always gone with the flow of what other clubs are doing and what seems a good idea. When Intro came out, we offered it in every class. We did the same by offering BA testing, EGC, and Bonus Lines. Through our experience we have gained some perspective in offering Intro.

Intro Pros
1. Gives a new dog and or handler an important training opportunity
2. If the owner has a successful experience then that reflects positively on the club
3. It normally increases entries for the club

Intro Cons
1. It takes more time for course building, walk-thrus, and running
2. It takes away from the time that may be necessary to run the other classes
3. If you only have one or two Intro dogs, it could cause those exhibitors to feel that they are an imposition

If it is possible to strike a happy medium, I would like the option of offering Intro in a few (3) key classes each day:
- Both rounds of Regular
- One Non-jumping class

I think that offering those 3 runs is enough for an Intro level dog in one day. They still have the option to enter other classes as a Novice.

It would be rare for an exhibitor in our area to say, "we will not do that trial unless they offer Intro in every class". Most of the Intro people are happy with what we do offer.

The club has a responsibility for all exhibitors. It is important to note that a trial that takes too long or causes dogs to run in near darkness can be more disruptive than not offering Intro in every class. I do understand that there are many ways to save time. Limiting how many Intro classes are offered is a just one option I think a club should have.

Dan Roy
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Dan Roy
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Linda W. Anderson

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Re: Intro to Agility
« Reply #158 on: January 28, 2015, 01:00:52 PM »
The trial secretary and I thought long and hard before deciding to add Intro to our Spring trial.  Having or not having Intro had nothing to do with whether or not we thought it would be received well.  It had everything to do with whether or not we would have enough daylight to complete the trial each day.  Our trial is held out doors with no lights and fairly early in  the spring when daylight is at a premium.  I would have perffered to offer Intro in 3 or 4 classes, thus reducing the amount of time needed, but at the time our trial application was submitted, that was no longer an option.  I really like the idea of Intro for all the reasons already stated here and want to continue to offer it.  It remains to be seen how this will play out.
Linda Anderson 
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Roanoke, VA
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Lynn Koeppen

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Re: Intro to Agility
« Reply #159 on: January 28, 2015, 05:43:49 PM »
From a new club's perspective - we have always gone with the flow of what other clubs are doing and what seems a good idea. When Intro came out, we offered it in every class. We did the same by offering BA testing, EGC, and Bonus Lines. Through our experience we have gained some perspective in offering Intro.

Intro Pros
1. Gives a new dog and or handler an important training opportunity
2. If the owner has a successful experience then that reflects positively on the club
3. It normally increases entries for the club

Intro Cons
1. It takes more time for course building, walk-thrus, and running
2. It takes away from the time that may be necessary to run the other classes
3. If you only have one or two Intro dogs, it could cause those exhibitors to feel that they are an imposition

If it is possible to strike a happy medium, I would like the option of offering Intro in a few (3) key classes each day:
- Both rounds of Regular
- One Non-jumping class

I think that offering those 3 runs is enough for an Intro level dog in one day. They still have the option to enter other classes as a Novice.

It would be rare for an exhibitor in our area to say, "we will not do that trial unless they offer Intro in every class". Most of the Intro people are happy with what we do offer.

The club has a responsibility for all exhibitors. It is important to note that a trial that takes too long or causes dogs to run in near darkness can be more disruptive than not offering Intro in every class. I do understand that there are many ways to save time. Limiting how many Intro classes are offered is a just one option I think a club should have.

Dan Roy
Performance Dog Training
I am a new handler and have a new dog learning agility. We won't go to a trial that only offers 3 runs per day. The travel expenses are too much to only do 3 runs. we would choose to stay home and train. It would seem to me that if you are a new club and you want new members you would cater to new handlers. If the sport of agility is to grow you need to do things to bring in new people and their dogs. The open and elite people are already hooked! LOL
Lynn Koeppen and Bailey
Florence, MT
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Lisa Schmit In The Zone Agility

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Re: Intro to Agility
« Reply #160 on: January 29, 2015, 04:19:25 AM »
I wholeheartedly agree with Dan and would love the option to offer it in non jumping classes.  For Itz, that would be 4 classes a day.    ITZ offered intro in non jumping classes last year and it worked out well!  I heard no complaints from exhibitors that I did not offer it in touchngo tunnelers or weavers as they were running 4 classes a day.

I really want to continue to offer intro so I really hope that NADAC will allow us to choose classes.

I completely understand the logic of it being a level and should be offered in all classes.....
but the reality of the time and course building weighs heavily on my decision to offer it.
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dogrsqr

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Re: Intro to Agility
« Reply #161 on: January 29, 2015, 10:29:37 AM »
I think it's always a good idea to look at things from all perspectives.  We have added some intro classes to our last two trials to test the waters and see how it would be received.  Two of our three trials are held outdoors with unfenced rings.  We weren't sure how this would be received by handlers with Intro level dogs. The entry was fairly good for our outdoor trial, but we'll have to see how it continues.

Our indoor trial is very popular and we are typically close to filling 500 runs per day.  We added Intro tunnelers, jumpers and both regular each day this year.  It was very well received, almost as many entries as Open, but the extra course building does extend an already long day.  We were rushing our judge to the airport, which is not something we like to do.  I don't think we can add any more Intro classes to that trial and still finish at an acceptable time.  If we were required to offer all Intro classes or none we would likely have to offer none for that trial.

It really isn't about not wanting to offer all Intro classes.  The extra course building does add to the length of a day and that has to work logistically.  We could put a lower limit on our entry, but honestly we need the dollars to pay the rent at this awesome soccer facility ($1200/day).

Gina Pizzo

Sharon Nelson

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Re: Intro to Agility
« Reply #162 on: January 29, 2015, 11:15:56 AM »
I think that allowing clubs to choose their own formats will give competitors a chance to also give input to what their needs are.  Most clubs just want to make their customers happy!

Sharon
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DeniseK

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Re: Intro to Agility
« Reply #163 on: January 29, 2015, 11:30:28 AM »
My dogs and I are loving the Intro level!  And I am making a point to thank host clubs for offering it. I'm also trying to get the word out to people who may be getting into NADAC about it. I can't tell you the number of times I've been told to just go out and do a few obstacles and celebrate with your dog. Intro is exactly that! Even though I would love for local clubs to offer it in all classes, if they don't, I will enter those that are offered and do Novice with Gunner if that's our only option.
Denise
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Re: Intro to Agility
« Reply #164 on: January 29, 2015, 08:49:18 PM »
Thanks Maureen for making up a new points sheet.  Love it!!!