Author Topic: Are NADAC course times too fast?  (Read 12308 times)

Linda W. Anderson

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Re: Are NADAC course times too fast?
« Reply #30 on: November 30, 2014, 02:38:09 PM »
The really tough part about having qualifying criteria is that there will always be someone who doesn't meet the criteria.  If one decided that the times need to be increased it would make everyone happy who isn't quite meeting the criteria now.  But there would be awhile new group that would then not quite meet criteria.  That is the difficult part when speed is one of the factors for qualifying criteria.

I know that there are many competitors who do not compete in NADAC as much as they would like to because they just don't have the distances skills for Chances, so they will never earn a NATCH.  There are others who can't quite make Jumpers times because the criteria for the class says the dog must move at a "rapid pace" to make time.  Others won't make Weavers times, as their dogs do not weave fast.  Some large dogs don't like Tunnelers because they must duck to get into the tunnels and they don't like that.

I do understand that there are venues where speed is never a test.  Many handlers don't understand why they can qualify in one venue and not in the other venue.  Each venue has it's own qualifying criteria and what might be tested in one venue might only be tested at a minimal level in another venue.  One might excel in one venue and not meet qualifying criteria in another.

I also understand when a handler has a fun run with their dog and they are very proud of their dog and their time together in the ring.  If one finds that they didn't make time, then it is very disappointing to go from "feeling good" to hurt.  Many times that hurt causes one to become discouraged with the venue.  Handlers have the option of looking at themselves and their dog and trying to figure out how to get a bit tighter turn, how to get the dog to extend more in the sequences that are arcs or lines or how to get a sharper sprint off the start line, or they can focus on the shortcomings of the venue that causes a non-qualifying run.

I also see Basset Hounds who make time with a huge smile on their faces and Shih Tzus, Chihuahuas, Dachhunds, and every other small breed, large breed, and every mix in between.  Some will be successful and other won't.

But if a dog is mentally and physically sound, then getting more distance requires training, teaching a dog to move with greater forward impulsion is about training, the same for improving weaving techniques. 

There will always be dogs that can't make time because they have physical or mental restrictions such as fear of other dogs or people, or conformation that makes weaving difficult or jumping at a rapid pace more difficult.

It is the handler that is upset if their dog has issues that put them into a situation where they do not meet qualifying criteria.  The dog has no clue, they are doing exactly what their training has given them the ability to do within their physical and mental limitations.

We all choose where to focus our energy.  We can determine that our dog is performing at maximum of their mental and physical abilities and accept that and it is also highly possible that we can find areas where we can improve our handling or improve our dog's performance and change the percentage of qualifying runs to a more positive number!


May I have permission to copy this for my students?
Linda W. Anderson - Dogs have only one fault, their lives are too short!


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Re: Are NADAC course times too fast?
« Reply #31 on: November 30, 2014, 02:50:48 PM »
Long ago I discovered agility with a fast, fast Pembroke Welsh Corgi.  I knew nothing about handling.  And in that early time frame, it was fashionable to "correct or chide" dogs for wrong courses.  One of my better decisions was to not do that.  At the time, lots of things could go wrong.  So I developed the habit or going back to the crating area and rewarding Rascal for all the things he did right.  When I had more handling instruction, I could review old videos and go "That was my fault!" [repeat lots and lots of times] 

Now I have a vallhund who runs in collected mode.  As he is moving into Open, we have problems with time sometimes.  So, I have to work on impulsions, drawing an efficient path for him in a way that makes sense to him.  NADAC is the right and maybe only venue for Buddy.  Where he has trouble, I have dropped him back to Intro so we can have a good run.
Janice Shavor
Bella, Buddy, & Walker


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Re: Are NADAC course times too fast?
« Reply #32 on: December 10, 2014, 07:37:15 AM »
I'm glad to see YPS aren't being changed. They were reviewed not that long ago and I for one think they are pretty fair (IMO obviously) across the sizes (I have played with anything from my Jack Russells through my pony size golden retriever (4" to 20+")).

So many things can impact the running time of a class (yardage "off", surface condition, weather, dog age, dog distract-ability, the list goes on and on and on).  In respect to weavers in particular, I can say I've seen weavers dogs able to restart and still Q, they are rare but it does happen. That feels reasonable to me - and comes from someone with three dogs currently in Elite Weavers that might provide some examples from the small dog perspective...

Zak is 12.5 years old now (8" proficient, now 4" skilled vet). Used to be we could restart a set of weaves and he'd make up the time with speed and efficiency on the flat/tunnels. IF the surface wasn't too deep (he is SHORT legged) or wet (hates wet). As he aged we got closer and closer on time. This year he retired from weavers due to some neck concerns. Glad we played, glad we decided it wasn't for him while he was still having FUN in this particular class. Still loves playing limited runs in the other classes and limited weaves!

REO is 6.5 years old (12" proficient). He is steady (no major speed difference in/out of weaves) and efficient. He can make time if he's clean and confident. Surfaces and weather (other than rain, dislikes rain a LOT) impact him far less. His confidence however...  So if we are "ON" we Q, if not (whether his confidence or ???) we NQ. Seems fair that we need to bring our "A" game to Q.

Tommie is 4.5 years old (12" proficient) and is aka the "Pocket Rocket". IF I can keep her on course, she can Q even with a weave restart (sometimes 2 restarts if they are EARLY in the weaves). Obviously we are working on not needing those restarts but she is an example of small but can restart and still Q (but note her nickname and it is fitting).

1. All surfaces are different.
2. All dogs are different.
3. All dogs change over time.
4. Sometimes computer/keying errors due happen

It's a GAME. Have fun with your dog!

Laura B (MN)
Laura Breckheimer (MN)
and the K9 Kids (Zak, REO, and Tommie)