Author Topic: Possible VT solutions  (Read 3730 times)

KellyDittmar

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #105 on: December 12, 2017, 06:16:39 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.

Are you talking about VT driving them away?

I guess I will just say that there is always going to be some things that individuals will disagree with about any organization.  Some people will be drawn in by VT and some will be driven away by it. 

I used to trial in another venue, not a lot but the local trials.  When I came back to it with Abbey I found some things that I didn't like that were deal breakers to me so I quit entering even the local trials.  I didn't feel like I was driven away ... just that what was important to me wasn't part of that organization. In addition what has happened here is that all trials except the NADAC trials are indoors on matting in spaces that would make me claustrophobic.  While others seem to really enjoy that it's just not for me.


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BeckyAH

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #106 on: December 12, 2017, 06:17:21 PM »
   Face it, weekly classes are places where folks meet other dog people and develop friendships.  They don't want to be kicked out into the unknown...
I'm certainly NOT talking about trainers who are open to teaching cross venue skills and who have and do step into the NADAC arena.

Becky

Yes.

Honestly, the most 'resistance' I see to NADAC has not a thing to do with the VT program - or distance.  It is, at the very basic level, the same reasons people  don't do any other agility venue - or actively mock and dislike them - and it has very, very little to do with courses, obstacles, vt programs (or not) or any other specific.

It's comfort zone.  It is straight up comfort zone.  I started in a class that used hoops and barrels and also had a teeter and chute (before it was removed) and tire and table - but the trainer has a NADAC club.  That means that when I finished classes, I folded into a NADAC club.  I do NADAC at private lessons, I do NADAC at club practices, I do NADAC trials.  NADAC is where my people are.   I didn't make a carefully considered decision as to where I would trial - I went with what was available close and within that where the people I am comfortable with were.  I have stayed almost entirely exclusively there because the longer I am in NADAC the more comfortable it is and the more different the other venues 'feel' to me and less interest I have.  Take all of that and apply it to a CPE, USDAA, or AKC competitor, only in reverse.

I had one person who thought even NADAC regular didn't have jumps - they just assumed we were more different and required so many completely unique skills that there was no point.  Not true, but given how hard I side-eye an AKC course after a while in NADAC, I can understand it.

And of course there's some general derision but that's always the sort that comes with 'the venue I run in/country I run in/system I run in is the best and nothing else counts' type crap that you really have to dismiss out of hand.  It's all basically justification and nonsense, and it's never based on anything solid except ego, pride, and/or justification for not wanting to leave their comfort zone (and again - I like my comfort zone so I can hardly complain).

Not that I don't hear specific reasons (rather than complaints) people don't run NADAC; I do.  A rulebook that's not up to date and frequently changing rules is a REALLY common one.  Otherwise?  That's just about it, online or off.    Sometimes stuff about their dogs being conditioned to tug into and out of the ring and not wanting to confuse the dog/take away their reward.   Some stuff about the expense of NADAC compliant equipment.

Mostly - comfort zone stuff (including comfort zone training things).

What I don't hear are complaints about the people, the dog, the atmosphere, or any real resistance to the actual agility - or anyone complaining about VT trials.

Frankly, unless we become AKC-lite, all of this stuff is going to apply.  And if we become AKC the second, we're going to lose other people.   Honestly the best bet for boosting numbers would probably to be getting out of our comfort zone, going to other venues and trials, making friends and bringing them back.  But I like my comfort zone, darn it, and as discussed elsewhere there are still time and money considerations.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2017, 06:20:36 PM by BeckyAH »

dogrsqr

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #107 on: December 12, 2017, 06:19:15 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.

Are you talking about VT driving them away?

I guess I will just say that there is always going to be some things that individuals will disagree with about any organization.  Some people will be drawn in by VT and some will be driven away by it. 

I used to trial in another venue, not a lot but the local trials.  When I came back to it with Abbey I found some things that I didn't like that were deal breakers to me so I quit entering even the local trials.  I didn't feel like I was driven away ... just that what was important to me wasn't part of that organization. In addition what has happened here is that all trials except the NADAC trials are indoors on matting in spaces that would make me claustrophobic.  While others seem to really enjoy that it's just not for me.


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KarissaKS

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #108 on: December 12, 2017, 06:41:45 PM »
Quote
Are you talking about VT driving them away?

No, I'm talking about the attitude of "this is our game and if you don't like it you can leave" -- but then in the same breath crying about a lack of NADAC trials.

And for the record, I have talked to a number of competitors in other organizations who did cite the VT program as being a reason they don't respect NADAC enough to spend their money on it. I have also talked to NADAC competitors (past and present) who cited disdain for the VT program.

I fought against the program when the points were first combined. I lost then. I did less NADAC. I appear to have made zero impact this time. I am made to feel that my opinions don't count and that I'm wrong to feel the way I do. I am one of those apparent "rare" trainers who can and does train for skills across the board, and when I give my opinion and share things I hear at other trials I am essentially told that I don't count.

If you want to keep NADAC a club for NADAC purists then keep doing what you are doing. If you want to grow your numbers and draw in people who do other organizations then maybe be a bit more open to listening to why people don't want to do NADAC.

Also for the record, I was at a NADAC trial this weekend where a handful of people came up and said, "I saw what you posted and think you made good points" -- but not everyone is "brave" enough to speak up on these matters for whatever reason.

In addition to me having no faith that people adhere to the "first try" rule in VT submissions, I've also seen a number of examples of runs listed as qualifying that shouldn't have been. I saw a qualifying run in Chances with a dropped bar. I saw a qualifying run in Weavers where the dog skipped poles. I've seen submissions that were so blurry and from such a distance that I couldn't even see the bar, much less if one dropped or the contact angles are terrible. All of this is what goes to form my opinion that the VT program is not legit or on par with scores earned at trials.
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Amanda Nelson

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #109 on: December 12, 2017, 07:22:30 PM »
I will chime in here. :-) I am the one who reviews VTs, and sometimes when doing large batches I do miss things every now and then. With the changes coming in January, these oversights should hopefully be completely stopped with some changes on my end that will be made. :-)

Chris is currently out of town right now, But i am sure he will chime in on a few things in here as well once he gets a chance.

I do agree that we need to listen to why people arenít doing NADAC, and Chris and I have been trying very hard to do that this year and will be doing the same next year.  Every venue has something different to offer, and I am personally against venue bashing of any kind.

There are lots of different flavors of agility to do, and I think every venue should be listening to their competitors. That doesnít mean making every change that competitors want, but we should always be listening! :-)

Amanda


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dogrsqr

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #110 on: December 12, 2017, 07:29:34 PM »
Quote
Are you talking about VT driving them away?

No, I'm talking about the attitude of "this is our game and if you don't like it you can leave" -- but then in the same breath crying about a lack of NADAC trials.

And for the record, I have talked to a number of competitors in other organizations who did cite the VT program as being a reason they don't respect NADAC enough to spend their money on it. I have also talked to NADAC competitors (past and present) who cited disdain for the VT program.

I fought against the program when the points were first combined. I lost then. I did less NADAC. I appear to have made zero impact this time. I am made to feel that my opinions don't count and that I'm wrong to feel the way I do. I am one of those apparent "rare" trainers who can and does train for skills across the board, and when I give my opinion and share things I hear at other trials I am essentially told that I don't count.

If you want to keep NADAC a club for NADAC purists then keep doing what you are doing. If you want to grow your numbers and draw in people who do other organizations then maybe be a bit more open to listening to why people don't want to do NADAC.

Also for the record, I was at a NADAC trial this weekend where a handful of people came up and said, "I saw what you posted and think you made good points" -- but not everyone is "brave" enough to speak up on these matters for whatever reason.

In addition to me having no faith that people adhere to the "first try" rule in VT submissions, I've also seen a number of examples of runs listed as qualifying that shouldn't have been. I saw a qualifying run in Chances with a dropped bar. I saw a qualifying run in Weavers where the dog skipped poles. I've seen submissions that were so blurry and from such a distance that I couldn't even see the bar, much less if one dropped or the contact angles are terrible. All of this is what goes to form my opinion that the VT program is not legit or on par with scores earned at trials.

Do any other venues ask why I don't trial there?  I think pretty much every trial around here is smaller than they use to be. I know our outdoor trials are smaller because too many people don't want to play outside and/or because they don't feel their dogs will stay with them in an unfenced ring. 

On a positive note our New Year's weekend trial filled again and we have a HUGE intro class. 

I have to agree with Becky that NADAC needs to be what it is.  Turning it into a diluted version of some other venue doesn't serve anyone.  I really can't believe that someone would choose not to play NADAC purely because of VT.  What other people do, even cheating, does not affect our accomplishments.  People cheated in school too, did that mean that my grade was of less worth?  What was the old saying When you cheat you're only cheating yourself.

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dogrsqr

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #111 on: December 12, 2017, 07:32:10 PM »
I will chime in here. :-) I am the one who reviews VTs, and sometimes when doing large batches I do miss things every now and then. With the changes coming in January, these oversights should hopefully be completely stopped with some changes on my end that will be made. :-)

Chris is currently out of town right now, But i am sure he will chime in on a few things in here as well once he gets a chance.

I do agree that we need to listen to why people arenít doing NADAC, and Chris and I have been trying very hard to do that this year and will be doing the same next year.  Every venue has something different to offer, and I am personally against venue bashing of any kind.

There are lots of different flavors of agility to do, and I think every venue should be listening to their competitors. That doesnít mean making every change that competitors want, but we should always be listening! :-)

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Amanda, even judges at trials miss some things.  I would think once you have more time or people to review the videos that judging will be tougher than regular trials since you can rewind and watch in slow motion.

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BeckyAH

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #112 on: December 12, 2017, 08:29:06 PM »
I will chime in here. :-) I am the one who reviews VTs, and sometimes when doing large batches I do miss things every now and then. With the changes coming in January, these oversights should hopefully be completely stopped with some changes on my end that will be made. :-)

Chris is currently out of town right now, But i am sure he will chime in on a few things in here as well once he gets a chance.

I do agree that we need to listen to why people aren’t doing NADAC, and Chris and I have been trying very hard to do that this year and will be doing the same next year.  Every venue has something different to offer, and I am personally against venue bashing of any kind.

There are lots of different flavors of agility to do, and I think every venue should be listening to their competitors. That doesn’t mean making every change that competitors want, but we should always be listening! :-)

Amanda


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Amanda, even judges at trials miss some things.  I would think once you have more time or people to review the videos that judging will be tougher than regular trials since you can rewind and watch in slow motion.

Gina

Seriously.  I've gotten Qs where I missed things and not gotten Qs I'm pretty sure I didn't.  That's the nature of the beast.  Judges do the best they can to be accurate and fair, competitors accept the ruling and move on.  Yes, the judges are always there to talk to and willing but 'the agility gods give and the agility gods taketh away' I thought was pretty fundamentally understood across all venues and sports.

As a general: "The judges do their best, ask if you had questions but accept their calls in the end, whether they're in your favor or against."

But my ability to care about someone else's 10pt Q is just not something that exists.  In fact it's negative, to the degree that I find the idea of even trying both weird and a little insulting.   I'm running my own race here, and on my own journey.  My only role in someone else's is to be supportive of them, and if I can't do that shut up and stay out of their way.   Actually, be supportive or get out of the way and don't hinder them is pretty much my philosophy in LIFE.

(Cheating is bad of course, and efforts should be made to stop it, but things like miscalls?  Not my journey - or circus or monkeys or problem or business.)
« Last Edit: December 12, 2017, 08:31:52 PM by BeckyAH »

dogrsqr

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #113 on: December 13, 2017, 06:53:16 AM »

Seriously.  I've gotten Qs where I missed things and not gotten Qs I'm pretty sure I didn't.  That's the nature of the beast.  Judges do the best they can to be accurate and fair, competitors accept the ruling and move on.  Yes, the judges are always there to talk to and willing but 'the agility gods give and the agility gods taketh away' I thought was pretty fundamentally understood across all venues and sports.

As a general: "The judges do their best, ask if you had questions but accept their calls in the end, whether they're in your favor or against."

But my ability to care about someone else's 10pt Q is just not something that exists.  In fact it's negative, to the degree that I find the idea of even trying both weird and a little insulting.   I'm running my own race here, and on my own journey.  My only role in someone else's is to be supportive of them, and if I can't do that shut up and stay out of their way.   Actually, be supportive or get out of the way and don't hinder them is pretty much my philosophy in LIFE.

(Cheating is bad of course, and efforts should be made to stop it, but things like miscalls?  Not my journey - or circus or monkeys or problem or business.)

Absolutely.  My comment was only to be supportive of Amanda.  We are all only human we all do the best we can. 

I've always said ... it's only agility.  Nothing earth shattering or life saving.  No one lives or dies because of a Q or an NQ.  Some of my best runs have been NQ's because of a missed contact, but that took nothing away from the dance.  As I sit here waiting for a CERF test in January because something doesn't seem quite right with my dog, I think none of this is really that important.

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #114 on: December 13, 2017, 06:57:14 AM »
As and instructor, I just wanted to chime in and say that I do see some people who are nervous about comfort zones - BIG time!  They have learned one venue and others are scary to them. What I have done with beginning students is introduce all the obstacles from the start - hoops, panel jumps, tires, barrels, double jumps, etc. - so that the students who start with me are more comfortable with them from the start.  I haven't seen any real complaining or hesitance from students unless they started elsewhere and have already developed a comfort zone of their own.

I also try to mix skills up each week in class.  I will put in barrels for a couple of weeks and then work backside/International skills the following couple of weeks and then do a night or two of distance work.  And follow that with a week of Jumpers courses.  Or Hoopers courses.  My students will ask for a mix of all the above since they are comfy with all of it.  We had a blast playing traditional Gamblers in class a few weeks ago.  The flip side to all this is to make sure that they see each thing enough to get the lesson down and then move on to something else.  We don't want to get so scattered that we can't do anything.

A week ago, they were asking about doing some VT runs. And about VALOR. And about doing local trials this Spring.

I guess I'm trying to say that I feel it's my job to train my students to do anything they want to do out there.  And I do my best to do that.  I don't see a need to make a choice between venues.  I'm sure as they get out there more they will find what fits their team the best since each team has their own strengths and weaknesses. But I want them to be able to decide that for themselves and not because they disrespect or are uncomfortable in another venue.  I wish more clubs/training facilities thought that way.

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Chris Nelson

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #115 on: December 13, 2017, 06:57:26 AM »
I think to say we arenít taking everyoneís opinions into account is a little off.   Seeming how we did use everyoneís opinion in the survey to make the new rules.    Separating points was voted against,  by a very large margin.    700 people voted.   The majority rules.

Also the rule book is no longer outdated.   Weíve been updating every time there is an update,  we havenít updated for the VT stuff yet because it hasnít gone into effect.

Also there is always going to be people who donít compete in some venue for some reason.  Itís been like that for 20+ years and I donít see it stopping anytime soon.    I do agree that trainers need to teach Nadac skills for the trials to grow.   But trying to get someone who hasnít even looked at a nadac course map in ten years to all of a sudden start teaching our skills is not easy.   And there is also the question if they havenít been to a Nadac trial in ten years,  can they even teach our skills


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BeckyAH

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #116 on: December 13, 2017, 08:04:41 AM »
I think to say we arenít taking everyoneís opinions into account is a little off.   Seeming how we did use everyoneís opinion in the survey to make the new rules.    Separating points was voted against,  by a very large margin.    700 people voted.   The majority rules.

Also the rule book is no longer outdated.   Weíve been updating every time there is an update,  we havenít updated for the VT stuff yet because it hasnít gone into effect.

Also there is always going to be people who donít compete in some venue for some reason.  Itís been like that for 20+ years and I donít see it stopping anytime soon.    I do agree that trainers need to teach Nadac skills for the trials to grow.   But trying to get someone who hasnít even looked at a nadac course map in ten years to all of a sudden start teaching our skills is not easy.   And there is also the question if they havenít been to a Nadac trial in ten years,  can they even teach our skills


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To be clear, Chris, I'm not saying all of their reasons are currently valid.  You've done a great job of keeping  the rulebook updated and I've been clarifying that for them.  Like you said, people who haven't been around in a while have some fixed ideas in their heads and nothing current to counter it - except when they manage to run into someone who's currently doing it - which I've tried to do.

And some issues just are preference and fit things and I think that has to be okay.  Like you said.

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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #117 on: December 13, 2017, 01:58:54 PM »
I will chime in here. :-) I am the one who reviews VTs, and sometimes when doing large batches I do miss things every now and then. With the changes coming in January, these oversights should hopefully be completely stopped with some changes on my end that will be made. :-)
I dont know if it helps or not, but in the description I always put if I am unsure if it would q, and why. Usually it is because I know I am right on the time using the SCT chart (which I know can vary for each actual course). But I dont know if those even show bc it doesnt in the view runs section.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2017, 02:01:00 PM by Edraith »
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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #118 on: December 13, 2017, 10:04:31 PM »
Quote
I tend to be of the opinion that being highly concerned about other people's opinion of the validity of your titles or  organization choices is a personal problem - not a problem with the organization or for the organization to solve.

When an organization is trying to solve the problem of dwindling trial numbers and can't figure out why people are leaving NADAC, then this does become a problem for the organization to solve. If people won't do NADAC because they think the titles are a joke then that IS a problem for the organization. This is not about my feelings, it's about one of the reasons why NADAC numbers have dropped since the inception of the VT program.

Also, as a person operating a business and deriving at least a portion of my income from training others to do agility, it does matter if people think my titles are a joke because I am less likely to obtain their business. So this sort of thing directly affects me.

Karissa

Trainers around here have always said NADAC was a joke.  This was going on LOOOOONG before VT trials.  When I first started in 2009, I went to a run through at a local place that trained for AKC.  The person running it told me that she won't do the "crazy distance" that is needed for NADAC.  Another trainer, who happens to be a friend of mine, said that she won't do NADAC because she does USDAA and she doesn't want her dog to work that far away from her.  Another VERY well known trainer, kicked my friends out of her class because they used "go on" and she thought of that as a NADAC phrase and knew they were doing NADAC.
So, it isn't the VT program that people don't like, it is NADAC in general and the VT program gives them something to poke at.  They can point to the VT runs as a reason NOT to do NADAC, while the reality is, that they don't know how to TRAIN to be successful in NADAC.  They don't know how to train the dog for distance and they don't know how to train for independent obstacle performance.  And if they can't be successful in an organization, then they can't get students to train with them.  If they don't have students, they are out of business.  SOOOO, if they are successful in AKC or USDAA, then they can brag about their titles and get students. 

I am currently training with Calypso at an AKC place.  I go there because it is convenient, but is the trainer really able to train me?  Nope.  She can give me some pointers on wraps or backsides, but Calypso runs at a distance from me and she has no clue how to help me with that.   If I had another option would I go to her?  Nope because she can't possibly train me as I need to be trained.  If I didn't know about NADAC at the time that I started with her, would she encourage me to run it?  Nope, because she can't run it, so she doesn't train it, thus doesn't encourage others to run it.  Heck, she didn't even know what a NADAC course looked like until I gave her some course maps.

Well said. And Nadac does not involve just distance. Your dog has to be able to work close to you as well as distance. And there is nothing to stop someone from running alongside their dog if that's what they want to do. I've seen a number of people who were able to run next to or close to their dogs in Nadac and do just fine.
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Re: Possible VT solutions
« Reply #119 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.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2017, 10:27:48 PM by Sheila & the Shelties »
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