Author Topic: Increasing Participation in NADAC  (Read 35629 times)

giddyup

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Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
« Reply #75 on: April 27, 2018, 04:16:43 PM »
But I was specifically told by the trial secretary that they could close the gate but would have to take an E for training. So is it a Nadac policy or up to individual clubs about closing the gate and E's?
Thanks
Jill

danforth

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Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
« Reply #76 on: April 27, 2018, 05:20:27 PM »
Cocoa went through a stage when he wanted to leave the ring.  The judge at that trial when I wanted to block exits said that  I would have to take an E.  I did that and it was worth it.  The first class he left me and headed for the gate and found it closed and came back to me.  Second class he started towards the exit, saw it was blocked, and came back right away.  Next class he didn't try at all.  After that, we didn't need them blocked.  I think that if I had had a friend standing there to chase him, he would not have really learned to stay with me.

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mstomel

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Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
« Reply #77 on: April 27, 2018, 06:48:50 PM »
So, I am very new to competing in agility, but I always considered that to get to the level of competition, you would need a very obedient dog. A dog that had a solid recall and a stay would have to be a must. That just isn't the case anymore I guess but I personally think it should be. (Many of the shows I've been to the "ring" was nothing more than a brightly colored string hanging through some posts.) I totally get that a show ring is a different world and emotions are high for both the handler and dog (I still get nervous before every single run) so a run out of the ring would not be totally unheard of for a novice dog, BUT a dog lacking a proper recall is 100% a training issue. Not expecting closing the gates to be a E would be like not expecting having a toy in the ring or petting your dog or retrying a contact obstacle to be an E. There are so many things you can practice outside of the show ring EXCEPT the actual act of showing. I think it's very nice to be able to take the E and have the experience. Why would you want the Q under those circumstances anyhow? Every experience counts. A Q or an E counts the same to your dog. My other dog trained for agility for 5 years before I tried to show him. I took him to every show around for 3 years, getting him use to the environment. We trained on our recall everywhere I could before our big show debut. I thought we were going to be fine. I stepped in the ring, took off his leash, asked him to take the A-Frame and he took off out of the ring which was my biggest, most horrible fear. I cried, and we never did it again (not just because it scared me, but because he didn't enjoy it). There ARE other venues that allow you to close the gates while running without taking the E, but there is a lot that goes along with allowing that level of novice to compete. There are plenty of dogs that are reactive, uncomfortable, fearful and just straight up Not Ready at those events. I think there is a place for them, but not every place. And as an aside, if a judge saw someone blocking a gate and chasing the dog back into the ring, I believe they would still have all the right to E the run (although a judge might be able to weigh in on this more).

Becky Woodruff

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Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
« Reply #78 on: April 27, 2018, 06:53:42 PM »
But I was specifically told by the trial secretary that they could close the gate but would have to take an E for training. So is it a Nadac policy or up to individual clubs about closing the gate and E's?
Thanks
Jill
The NADAC Handbook spells out the "Purpose of an Agility Trial" as follows:
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2 NADAC Trials
The purpose of a NADAC agility trial is to demonstrate the ability of the dog and handler to
work as a smooth functioning team. The dog should be under control at all times and show a
willingness to work with the handler. Handlers should always conduct themselves in a
sportsmanlike fashion. Handlers should have the health and welfare of their canine partner as
their priority. It is the handlerís responsibility to have a dog adequately trained to a level in
which the dog will respond to commands and perform obstacles in a safe manner.
-------------------------
If you don't know if your dog will stay in the ring or if you know he won't, then it would be considered a training run if you were to close the gate.    NADAC allows the gate to be closed as a courtesy so an exhibitor may run and keep their dog safe if they are not sure their dog is trained enough to stay in the ring.  Better to be safe than sorry.
In my opinion, a qualifying run should not be an option if the handler is not reasonably confident their dog is under control and working.  And I do understand green dogs in a new environment, etc.  Which is why I support the option to close a gate or have it blocked, which by the way is considered training as well.

Becky Woodruff
Becky Woodruff

BeckyAH

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Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
« Reply #79 on: April 27, 2018, 07:26:01 PM »
I'm going to sound like I'm contradicting myself with this, but ultimately I just really agree with Becky.

I don't think you need a super obedient dog to do agility - really, I don't.   Like I don't believe you need a dog who will recall off a running deer or whatever. 

But I do think that if you aren't sure your dog will, at minimum,  stay in the (usually 95% fenced in) ring then you're probably not going to be in a position to Q, anyway.  Either because environmental distractions are too high, or because the training isn't there yet, or both.  The answer in either case is 'train it', and sometimes that training has to happen in a trial.  I appreciate that NADAC allows that.  I, personally, have no problem with them not allowing that training to get you points toward titles.

And when I said 'people hang out near the gates' I mean literally 'near the gates' so they can act in a hurry to prevent a safety issue, not acting as people blocking the gates.  My point there was 'there are things you can do if what you have is a case of nerves, not a training issue.

...and honestly do MOST venues allow gates to be closed while dogs run?  I have no idea, but that seems strange (to me).

KarissaKS

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Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
« Reply #80 on: April 28, 2018, 06:15:10 AM »
But I do think that if you aren't sure your dog will, at minimum,  stay in the (usually 95% fenced in) ring then you're probably not going to be in a position to Q, anyway.

My Alaskan Klee Kai, Kizzy, is in Masters in AKC and Elite in NADAC. She runs just fine (and Q's....) indoors, on artificial surfaces and dirt. I will not run her at an outdoor trial with open gates. Nearly all of the trials here in TN are outdoors, so Kizzy doesn't run NADAC anymore. I haven't made a stink about it because NADAC was never my primary focus with her, but it is lost entries for the clubs because I choose not to run her. I have competed with her in AKC, USDAA, and UKI, and each of those venues had closed ring gates -- so I'm pretty sure every other organization allows gates to be closed at the club's discretion. For an organization so focused on safety and preventing dog/dog interaction, NADAC's stance on gates has always surprised me.
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Janice_Shavor

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Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
« Reply #81 on: April 28, 2018, 09:30:25 AM »
2 or 3 years ago I was helping at an AKC trial.  And as the judge later said, "I gaveth a MACH and I tooketh one away today".  I think the handler needed points.  Anyway, the run was clean! and fast enough! and she hugged the judge, some friends ... and the dog had wandered out of the ring, and was nosing around some the chairs, folks waiting their turns (with dogs) and the judge very correctly NQ'd the dog.  There followed a great commotion in the club about needing ring gates!!!  And now they have ring gates.  Wasn't a green novice dog that created the concern. 
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LeeAnne McAdam

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Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
« Reply #82 on: April 28, 2018, 01:01:37 PM »
I trialed a dog that I knew had the potential to find another activity to pursue other than continuing the course we were running.  Because of that, I was choosy about where I entered him and never did run him anywhere with the low height snow fencing (though he has run in a completely unfenced ring and sometimes he stayed and sometimes he didn't.)  I was always chagrined by my lack of ability to train a more reliable recall on him in spite of lots of effort, but it never dawned on me to expect an organization to change their rules to accommodate our issues.  Rather, I was a bit embarrassed that I could train him to do all the agility obstacles but couldn't perfect our recall.  Agility is a team sport, after all, and it doesn't seem unreasonable to me to expect that the "team" should be able to stay on the same field without being forced to do so.
Lee Anne

RobertStewart

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Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
« Reply #83 on: April 28, 2018, 03:22:43 PM »
Most of the AKC and USDAA shows here have closed gates with every run.  It's actually unusual to have a situation where's there's an open gate. If a dog is going to go on a run about, the gates are "wide enough" that most dogs could easily jump through the gate bars. And many do, although usually it's newer and novice dogs that this happens with.

My old now long gone sheltie girl Miss Q! My only goal for her on her first trial weekend was, Stay in the ring do a coiuple of the obstacles, and don't herd or nip the judge. (NO, it was not a NADAC trial) She did an amazing job of doing just that and mostly barking in her first couple of runs, and even managed to qualify in a couple of round by the end of the 3 day weekend.
Robert Stewart
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Billie Rosen

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Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
« Reply #84 on: April 28, 2018, 04:04:00 PM »
Just an observation on this topic.  I was talking to a very nice young lady today that ran two super Silkies in AKC Masters.  She commented that she might like to try NADAC but has no interest going back to Novice.  A good example of why you might consider grandfathering in people according to their level in another equivalent venue.
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kbriefel

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Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
« Reply #85 on: April 30, 2018, 05:48:23 AM »
I've had numerous conversations with some World Team and Board level non-NADAC people recently.  The continued comment I hear from them is that NADAC isn't Agility, although they recognize that skill is involved.  They wonder if new management will add traditional obstacles back.  One comment from a couple of weeks ago was that NADAC is an obstacle course, not agility.  I'm just passing on comments as part of this thread.

Ken Briefel and Max

dogrsqr

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Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
« Reply #86 on: April 30, 2018, 06:37:38 AM »
I certainly hope the teeter does NOT come back or I am finished.  We have always taught our dogs all the obstacles, but they only see a teeter at class when it's included.  My 8 year old dog has become phobic of it and I don't think there's a chance of getting her over her fear at this point. Just curious do the real "obstacles" include a table?  I've never considered a table to have anything to do with being agile.

Gina

knittingdog

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Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
« Reply #87 on: April 30, 2018, 06:43:09 AM »
I've had numerous conversations with some World Team and Board level non-NADAC people recently.  The continued comment I hear from them is that NADAC isn't Agility, although they recognize that skill is involved.  They wonder if new management will add traditional obstacles back.  One comment from a couple of weeks ago was that NADAC is an obstacle course, not agility.  I'm just passing on comments as part of this thread.

Ken Briefel and Max



So how do they define agility then?  Is it lots of different obstacles?  Obstacles that take more physical effort by the dog?  Running with your dog?  I see no real difference between a panel jump and any other jump myself.  They can't see the other side, but so what?  They're looking at our handling anyway.  Teeter is obviously very different.  Tire to me is mostly about making sure your dog is lined up to do it successfully once they know where to go through.  Barrels and backsides of jumps aren't that different except for the presence of the jump bar - which takes more effort by the dog.  Hoops are essentially jumps on the flat.  Double and triple jumps take some strength and understanding from the dog and the ability of the handler to line them up correctly and handle them.

If agility is about running with your dog, then we are really testing the agility and fitness of the handler relative to the dog, not the dog.  I mention this because I have had people literally come up to me and tell me that agility is about running with your dog.  I personally say if you can dog train the distance and it works, then use the distance!

Not attacking you personally Ken.  Just trying to understand what they mean.

Robin



ResQ_Dogs

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Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
« Reply #88 on: April 30, 2018, 09:43:53 AM »
Going back to three points made previously - as a trial chair who is fortunate enough to have trials that are growing, I get questions at every trial from people who'd like to start dogs under 18 months of age. As I think back on them, very few people I talked to waited because their dog was too young to come to our trial - they just found other venues for their babies, and I have yet to see most of them at our trials.

I agree with everyone who says slow down, train your dogs, wait for them to mature, and jump them as low as possible. That said, the people I'm thinking of are mostly knowledgeable pet owners who have the best interests of their dogs at heart. I'd rather offer them our safer courses and excellent running surface to start on if I could, with sensible limits, and expose them to NADAC culture at the same time.

As far as grandfathering in of levels, that's also a question that comes up regularly. In this area, we all got used to grandfathering when UKI started doing it. I would not have a problem with it and I think it would increase participation in our area. The people who enter thinking that NADAC is too easy to take seriously generally struggle anyway, regardless of level. Entering a trial, rather than assuming that NADAC is not challenging because that's what they've heard, helps show them all the great things NADAC has to offer. And it's always educational for handlers from other venues to see Elite Chances and bonus runs.

Finally, I'd like to have closed gates to keep everyone as safe as possible, but most of all to dial down the nerves in my newbie handlers. I don't personally want gates. I train and prepare my young dogs for trials, but sometimes my youngsters surprise me. And sometimes stuff happens that's hard to train for - target shooting, thunder-snow, chickens on the course, etc. At my first trial, the club shared the premises with a monster truck show. Getting back to increasing participation, most of our new handlers come from venues that have closed gates, so the lack of gates can unnerve them. And yes, they should absolutely take the E if they want gates closed, but it takes experience to learn why Qs are not actually the point of agility.

Diane Driscoll
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Rosemary

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Re: Increasing Participation in NADAC
« Reply #89 on: April 30, 2018, 10:44:50 AM »
Those are a lot of good points.  I do believe that we lose people to the venues that will accept them earlier.  I honestly believe that if they are allowed to participate in the intro levels they will and then we have the potential of keeping that team.

I do not understand why having closed gates is a bad idea.  It makes things safer for everyone.  Suppose a dog gets spooked on course and runs out and encounters another dog that is just waiting there.  It can be a disaster for both parties.  Obviously, the best idea is to be able to control your dog under every scenario, but that is not entirely realistic.  My dog has never run out of the ring and I am grateful.  Having said that, I had him set up for a tunnelers run and just as I released him there was a loud clap of thunder!  He took off like his tail was on fire!  Needless to say it was his fastest run ever - with off courses.  Had he run the other way he would have run into the waiting dogs and although he has never been agressive who knows if his fear would have caused issue?  Who knows if the next dog to run was not good with other dogs? 
I realize that this is a rare instance and it may be a poor example, but I don't see any reason why we can't close the gates.  If a dog wants out and doesn't want to cooperate with the handler they will get either an NQ or E anyway.