Author Topic: Distance Challenges  (Read 4754 times)

tag team

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Re: Distance Challenges
« Reply #60 on: March 16, 2018, 03:20:55 PM »

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I would LOVE to see some bonus lines on Novice courses.   No points, no just.  An opportunity to see where they'd be and maybe try.  I wouldn't even care if they were actually marked.  Drop my elite dog down to novice and practice would be a pretty awesome opportunity.  I mean, I fully intend to do basically that once we finish regular natch points (or sooner, depending) but it'd be nice to have something on the map I could look at to get a general idea.
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When I first started training distance with my terrier Lil 6 years ago, Lynn Smitley gave me a lot of great advice.  One awesome tip was to think about the Bonus Box as a "hint" of where to handle from.... and then expand the box to the extent needed to test my dog's skill level and confidence but not to over-face her.   That worked like a charm.  I used that same strategy with my BC Takoda starting in Intro, then Novice, and Open and onto Elite.  I would look at the bonus box on the Elite course... and then apply it and enlarge it if needed for Novice and Open Courses... and even for most Intro courses.  His experience running agility with me from the Get Go has been with at distances he was comfortable with a tiny bit of stretching out of our comfort zones....  because one thing I didn't (and don't) want him to think at any point is WE HAVE ARRIVED which can happen if training stagnates too long IMHO.   

Our journey has not been linear... more like add some distance... subtract some distance.. add a bit more..take some away.... We have ping ponging our way towards Bonus Boxes on Elite Courses which we recently started attempting.  We've gotten super close to a few Bonus Qs but as someone else stated... its one thing to do big distance on a short Chances course... its quite another to hold it together for 21-23 obstacles on a Regular course.  Its been a super fun journey so far and I hope to continue along this path which I will as long as my dog continues having a blast running agility at a distance... which I think he will.

Dev Sperber

lorriemaxx

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Re: Distance Challenges
« Reply #61 on: April 13, 2018, 09:21:26 PM »


I agree with most of what you say, but I adamantly disagree about a start line stay.  I HAVE a start line stay with my one dog, but she HATES it.  Not because of impulse control but because she doesn't like it.  She is also my bigger distance dog.  I don't do bonuses just because she actually shuts down with a start line stay.  Why do it if it isn't fun for her?  Not to mention that if I do it, she simply trots around the course....  Yes, MAYBE I can "train" it, BUT the reality is, she HAS it, she doesn't LIKE it......  And she is almost 11 years old, I am NOT going to change that.  I did a stay with her for YEARS because I was told I absolutely NEEDED it.  I almost retired her because she wasn't having fun and realized a good majority of it was because I was forcing a stay at the line.  I now do a sling shot start and we have a blast and she is still running and loving agility again.

My one and only bonus attempt was a few years ago.  I was able to slingshot my girl to the start line from the box.  We didn't get it, but it was fun to try.  Not every dog requires a stay at the start line. Many dogs are connected and have impulse control without it.     I would love to do more bonus runs with her, but I won't do one that requires a stay at the start line.

I have seen a few distance challenges/bonuses recently that were very close to the start line.  I have the same issue with my dog.  She stresses heavily if I leave her.  BUT, we have had a couple of successful "big distance" runs where I could get in the box without going very far away.  Most of the time, I start with her, and then stay in the box if I want to try the challenge :-).  No, it doesn't "count" but it is still lots of fun!

Lorrie
Lorrie,
NATCH-13, Versatility NATCH-9, 10K points, Platinum Speed Star Maxx (2001 - 2018)
and
NATCH-6, Versatility NATCH-4 Flying Pixie Dust "Pixie"

lorriemaxx

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Re: Distance Challenges
« Reply #62 on: April 13, 2018, 09:25:36 PM »
I wanted to make a note that the NADAC Training Group does discuss distance/bonus line training (I just uploaded a video review of a bonus/distance course with my handling analysis) and members of the group can submit videos, ask unlimited questions and there is tons of training info on there! This link has more info: https://nadacshop.com/collections/frontpage/products/nadac-training-group

I will also be adding a Distance Training section here on the forum with training ideas, courses, and video analysis. Chris and I are meeting this week and we will get the details set up then! :-D

Thanks!
Amanda

To add to what Amanda said, she posted a link to the new NADAC training website in a forum post.  I also have an analysis of one of Pixie's successful distance challenge runs in the free area.  In the subscription area, I've posted the first six articles that go through my distance seminars, with accompanying videos for three of them so far.  They cover the areas we have been talking about here (independent contacts and discriminations, directionals at a distance, etc.).  It might be worth your time to check out the free stuff and decide if you would like to subscribe :-).

Lorrie
Lorrie,
NATCH-13, Versatility NATCH-9, 10K points, Platinum Speed Star Maxx (2001 - 2018)
and
NATCH-6, Versatility NATCH-4 Flying Pixie Dust "Pixie"

lorriemaxx

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Re: Distance Challenges
« Reply #63 on: April 13, 2018, 09:47:28 PM »
Here's my take on the bonuses/distance challenges.  I have had two dogs that are/were capable of that kind of distance.  My "stepping stones" were to see where the box was and handle as close to it as I could, understanding that I would have to deviate from it in some places where we didn't have the skills or confidence yet.  My ultimate goal was not to be in stakes at Championships, but to step up my game and have fun at challenging myself.  Once we got to the point that we had all of the skills, I started trying some that I thought were within our capabilities, but something Sharon said years ago was always in my head.  She said that nobody tries the bonuses with the expectation that they are going to qualify on the run.  You should expect NOT to qualify and to rejoice on the rare occasions that you do.

My retired dog was during the era of "the line is behind the start/finish obstacles".  I've got a video of him doing a weavers bonus when the weaves were at the opposite end of the ring.  I don't remember if those points finished a title, or got us an award, but I remember the rush of having done it successfully!  Same thing with my current girl.  We don't try a lot of them because we have start line issues and I don't like stressing her out by insisting she stay.  The ones we have tried and done successfully have been over-the-top FUN, but I actually remember a few that didn't count (because I got into the box after the first obstacle) with even more joy.  I'm not saying that the extra points aren't a great motivator, but for me the true motivation is in the amazing feeling I get from working as partners with that much space between us.  If the motivation was points, I would never try them, because I rarely succeed!

I'm in the camp of "don't fix it just because it is not attainable by all" only because it was never intended to be something that most competitors could do, nor was it supposed to be easy for the people who DO excel at distance.  If I want to run closer to my dog (ha, ha - I don't actually ever run), I can do that, or if I want to do big distance but not necessarily the box, I can do that too, and if I qualify I still earn 10 points :-).

Lorrie 
Lorrie,
NATCH-13, Versatility NATCH-9, 10K points, Platinum Speed Star Maxx (2001 - 2018)
and
NATCH-6, Versatility NATCH-4 Flying Pixie Dust "Pixie"

Karen Birdsong

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Re: Distance Challenges
« Reply #64 on: April 18, 2018, 12:46:35 AM »
I wish I knew the names of the courses that were used at the Purple Sands 3 day trial in Norco, CA April 6-8, 218.   I think many of these courses had distance lines/boxes are along the lines of what Kyle is referring.  I believe I tried more distance lines in this one 3 day weekend than Iíve done in all the years Iíve done NADACÖ.and Iíve been doing it, (and loving it) since NADACís first trial in Southern California.

I usually check out the bonus boxes whenever offered, but most of the time decide it is just too big a leap for me and my dog.   

The courses I saw at the April trail gave me hope of being able to bridge the gap between Chances and Bonus Boxes. 
Karen Birdsong,
and the Aussie boys.. Monte and Lake.