Author Topic: Intro to Agility  (Read 65770 times)

James Bell

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Re: Intro to Agility
« Reply #165 on: January 30, 2015, 12:25:05 AM »
I'll admit it, originally I was an Intro-denier. I couldn't see the point, and thought it would really eat into the day with all the extra course building and walking. Novice was short and simple enough and it was a handler training issue if they couldn't figure out how to take what successes they could get on the course even if they didn't get every single obstacle completed.

And then I watched it. Well, technically I judged it, but I do tend to watch at the same time oddly enough. :-)

Experienced handlers know that part above about taking and celebrating those successes you can, because every single one of us has applied our own heads to that brick wall with our first dogs, have burned those circles around obstacles forcing our green dogs to do EVERY SINGLE OBSTACLE come hell or high water, certain that's what our dogs needed to understand, right up to the point that both we and the dog began to reconsider whether this was actually fun. If you didn't have a trainer to ease you and the dog away from that wall, well it took a lot longer to get that one figured out.

That's why Intro is brilliant, imho. Half the obstacles means you and your dog don't have time to get into that deadly frustration destructive feedback loop, even if you do get stuck trying to burn those circles. After a year of watching it, I have yet to see a dog and handler leave frustrated. I've seen fearful or bashful or quick-to-disconnect dogs forget to be that because it was over before they thought about it, and they've all left *happy* and improved drastically over a weekend.

I am a believer, a convert, a proponent, heck, an evangelist! I'm not going to say I think it should be a mandatory level completed before entering Novice - some folks with available trainers may be ready to shift up - but I will say that this is a new trick that every old dog (yes, I'm even looking at us curmudgeonly elite handlers) could get fantastic value from, really a pure happiness class.
James Bell

Rena Bonem

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Re: Intro to Agility
« Reply #166 on: January 30, 2015, 06:59:27 AM »
The other group that I am starting to see in Intro classes are dogs close to retirement who can only run a few obstacles but still enjoy playing.  It seems to work for young and old alike.
Rena Bonem, Trial Secretary Waco Agility Group
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A Jussero

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Re: Intro to Agility
« Reply #167 on: January 30, 2015, 08:35:37 AM »
James Bell:  You said it all!!!
Ann J.

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Re: Intro to Agility
« Reply #168 on: January 31, 2015, 12:05:59 AM »
Intro courses are also a great place to start working on distance handling. I think every Intro course should include a bonus box for those who want to give it a try :)
Kim

Pam Kaye

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Re: Intro to Agility
« Reply #169 on: January 31, 2015, 07:11:49 PM »
What James said!
Pam Kaye
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Karin Bell

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Re: Intro to Agility
« Reply #170 on: February 01, 2015, 10:45:39 AM »
I agree completely with what James said about Intro.  Well put! 

Thank you for expressing my thoughts so well for me!   ;)
Karin Bell
Auburn, CA
In the Heart of California's Gold Country

mephalon

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Re: Intro to Agility
« Reply #171 on: February 02, 2015, 01:40:57 PM »
I may be in the minority but I think Intro in Chances and the non-jumping classes make much more sense that in Regular and Jumpers.

In Chances, Touch n Go, Tunnelers and Weavers all levels run the same course (with less yps required, less distance and less weaves).   Intro in those classes makes sense as the courses are simplier for the Intro dog that may not be ready to run an Elite course at a slower yps or closer distance.  You do not have the discrimination in Touch n Go, 3 sets of 6 weaves in weavers or the distance in Chances.  I see an argument for not needing Intro tunnelers- depending on the course.   It would have been perfect for my Otis.   

I have a new dog I debuted in Intro and it is perfect for us.  It has allowed us to perfect our teamwork in a trial setting.  I may not get his Intro superiors like I do at the other levels but we will get our basic intro titles.

As a trial host I too share the concern about adding time to the day.   However our Intro numbers often surpass our Novice numbers and always surpass our Open numbers.   Often at a trial we are building a course for one open dog (has many times been me) and no one thinks that is a waste of time (or if they do they are silent about it :-) )

We will continue to offer Intro at our trials because they have gotten more people to come try NADAC in our area and aside from that it I see value in it in so many ways.   

I for one would rather see Intro in Chances, Touch N Go and Weavers than in Regular/Jumpers. 

m
Mary P.

Murrelet Halterman

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Re: Intro to Agility
« Reply #172 on: February 02, 2015, 03:51:57 PM »
Agree 100% with James. Also, because it isn't mandatory, handlers are not so worried about titles and Qs.

Love it!

Thanks, Murrelet
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Tikvah01es

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Re: Intro to Agility
« Reply #173 on: February 02, 2015, 06:19:19 PM »
I, too, love Intro.  Totally agree with James.  It is so awesome to watch the older dogs. What a great way for them to still play!  Baby dogs have way to succeed.  It helps their brains get adjusted to the trial setting and their not stress as much.  I love watching the smiles on the course and off.  Succeed or not as a team while running, doesn't matter because it was fun!  It is great to see the number of people trying it going up!

Rachelle
Rachelle Jensen

dogrsqr

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Re: Intro to Agility
« Reply #174 on: February 03, 2015, 10:14:00 AM »
As a trial host I too share the concern about adding time to the day.   However our Intro numbers often surpass our Novice numbers and always surpass our Open numbers.   Often at a trial we are building a course for one open dog (has many times been me) and no one thinks that is a waste of time (or if they do they are silent about it :-) )

We will continue to offer Intro at our trials because they have gotten more people to come try NADAC in our area and aside from that it I see value in it in so many ways.   

I for one would rather see Intro in Chances, Touch N Go and Weavers than in Regular/Jumpers. 

m

I don't think intro is a waste of time, and I did joke at our last trial that maybe we could not offer open and run Intro instead.  THAT WAS A JOKE! 

However since we aren't required to offer Intro and if you are going to run into issues with time the easiest solution will be to not offer intro or not offer all of the Intro classes.  We will continue to offer Intro as well, I'm just happy we don't have to offer it in all classes so I don't have to make a choice.  Outdoor trials with 300 runs a day; not a problem.  Indoor trial with 500 runs a day; a problem.

We have not offered Intro in Chances, Touch and Go, Weavers or Hoopers yet.  We are considering mixing them up at each trial so that the Intro folks can still get all of their titles if they want to.  I think Intro Weavers could be a God send and I'd encourage lots of people to enter their Novice level dogs in Intro Weavers.

Gina Pizzo

Joyce Roessner

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Re: Intro to Agility
« Reply #175 on: February 03, 2015, 05:34:18 PM »
Well said James, totally agree. 
Joyce Roessner
Calgary, Alberta

Maureen deHaan

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Re: Intro to Agility
« Reply #176 on: February 04, 2015, 02:59:36 AM »
As a trial host and a handler of a baby Husky dog who really needs Intro for focus - I will always offer Intro in all classes at trials I host- the course changes are not that big a deal and it fills a need for some and it lets more dogs/ people play.

Personally as a handler I would rather enter my baby dog in all intro classes and choose to scratch later in the day if her mental capacity is done or be happy to keep running her as she has shown to get better as the day goes on, rather than only have maybe 2-3 opportunities for her to play during the day -

For me to travel with this dog to other trials that only offer a couple of events for intro is a waste to me as she would be cooling her heels far too much during the day and that would be detrimental to her in the ring...so I probably wouldn't enter her so the club would lose $ . 

I know in certain areas in the east  Intro is poo-pooed for whatever reason - but I think its great and that's not just because I have a dog who needs it right now -
Maureen, Kiva & Zoe
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JackieTomayer

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Re: Intro to Agility
« Reply #177 on: February 04, 2015, 10:27:50 AM »
This past weekend at a trial I entered my two elite dogs in Intro and LOVED it - I was working distance and a specific training goal and achieved it with both my guys - they got to be successful in a trial situation and we all left very very happy. I also started a new dog this weekend in Intro and loved it for her - just enough challenge to make us work as a team and come away very successful :)
It's a great class!

quamashbcs@yahoo.com

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Re: Intro to Agility
« Reply #178 on: February 04, 2015, 07:29:12 PM »
I REALLY like the idea of including optional bonus boxes/lines on INTRO courses so people can TRY OUT their distance skills without all the pressure of running an Elite course. Everyone has to start somewhere....
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Sharon Nelson

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Re: Intro to Agility
« Reply #179 on: February 04, 2015, 07:44:43 PM »
I REALLY like the idea of including optional bonus boxes/lines on INTRO courses so people can TRY OUT their distance skills without all the pressure of running an Elite course. Everyone has to start somewhere....

We would not ever mark bonus areas on the courses, each handler selects the distance that they are currently working on for success for them and their dog.  That is the beauty of using Intro for bonus work.  The handler isn't confined to a selected area, they push themselves as they need to, which can change every week!

Sharon
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