Author Topic: NADAC Course Design: Please share your thoughts.  (Read 5184 times)

Jeannie Biggers

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Re: NADAC Course Design: Please share your thoughts.
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2018, 01:34:28 PM »
I would step in the box if Magma were set at a trial.  I would sure not ask for a ton of speed from my dog going into #3 (handler responsibility) so I could get a nice turn to #4.  I think your blue line is showing a very bad path... it should be much more efficient then that IMO.  I also stepped into the box for Keen and if I remember right (Amanda can you remember?) I got it but had a dropped bar :( 

I also stepped in the box this past weekend on a jumpers course that I hated.... I tried it.... it went about how I thought it would go and deleted the video.  No reason to get all up in arms and wonder what the direction of NADAC is going. 

Over the past 10 years of doing bonus work you find some courses are just amazing (for your team) and others suck.... thats life.  I might get a bonus and my friend wont, then the next course she will and I wont. 
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Re: NADAC Course Design: Please share your thoughts.
« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2018, 03:58:56 PM »
For clarification, my original post was only in reference to the opening sequence.  I agree that most of that course was super fast and flowing and easy to handle.   For me its the combination of the two extremes "fast and flowing EXCEPT RIGHT HERE and RIGHT THERE  that I personally object to.  It feels like a trick...that will trip up dogs if the handler is not PERFECT.. and quite frankly who is perfect all the time?  Not me.   I selected this opening sequence because of the naturally fast line (from the dog's perspective) from 1, 2, to 3 to a super flat turn to #4 with #6 looming as a WC.  Three were many HARD landings after #3 and some ugly scrambles as dogs reorganized themselves after #4 due to the flat turn from #3, either by being on the wrong lead.. or perhaps just because the dog fell THE ZONE.

Someone said she'd slow her dog down from the get go to get a nice efficient line from #1 to #4 and yes.  That worked well at the trial I was at.......slower dogs and small dogs looked perfectly fine running this sequence including my mini dog Lil.  I don't think people were intentionally trying to slow their dogs down for handling purposes though. :)

Also for clarification, I look at international course maps with the same attention to FLOW as I do when looking at NADAC course maps.  IMO any style of course can be designed with FLOW in mind including international courses.  Back sides are often easier to get in flow than front sides if the dog has been trained to have an independent performance of various jumping techniques found on international courses.

A friend of mine recently posted this run that shows how an international course can be run in flow.  IMO a well designed course offers handlers the option to create a flowing path for their dogs...if the dog has the training on board to do his job independently.  As you will see if you watch the video below, Dawn is a great dog trainer (her dog knows his job well) so she can focus on her job, which is showing her dog the fastest, most flowing line through the course.  Dawn is a master at finding the best line for her dogs.. big and small (which is rarely the tightest line) and then handling the dog's path incredibly well.   As a result her dogs all run with confidence, boldness, nice extension, and most importantly in my book, her dogs run and jump with natural motion.  Its not surprising to me that Dawn ends up on the podium time and time again. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WfFEM-5hrs&feature=youtu.be

I'll end with this thought:  I don't think anyone is having any new realizations by reading this thread.  Everyone seems pretty set in their opinions... including me.. so perhaps this entire thread is pointless and we should all forget I ever brought up this subject.  I'm thinking this is a brilliant idea.

Can we all agree on this point?  :) 






Chris Nelson

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Re: NADAC Course Design: Please share your thoughts.
« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2018, 04:01:57 PM »
Would a bonus run, on this course, with a 96 DRI change your mind at all?




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Re: NADAC Course Design: Please share your thoughts.
« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2018, 04:18:56 PM »
Would a bonus run, on this course, with a 96 DRI change your mind at all?



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One dog running a course well won't make me like a course I don't like :).. but if this bonus run happened in Phoenix mid March, I'd like to watch the video.  The trial was divided into 2 groups so I missed watching half of all runs.  There was another common HARD landling spot I'd be curious to see if this dog ran smoothly... so please post it if its from Phoenix.  Thanks  Dev 
« Last Edit: May 04, 2018, 04:21:53 PM by Dev Sperber, Jake, Lil, and Takoda »

Chris Nelson

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NADAC Course Design: Please share your thoughts.
« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2018, 04:22:45 PM »
Itís not from Phoenix.

And sadly maybe youíre right,  seems minds are set at this point.   Which is sad.   I was under the impression this thread was discussing course design and the direction of the current courses and whether they are valid,    But if that conversation is only acceptable when it goes in one direction then itís not a great day and Iíll be retiring from this thread.




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« Last Edit: May 04, 2018, 05:39:31 PM by Chris Nelson »

Amanda Nelson

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Re: NADAC Course Design: Please share your thoughts.
« Reply #20 on: May 04, 2018, 04:38:36 PM »
"Three were many HARD landings after #3 and some ugly scrambles as dogs reorganized themselves after #4 due to the flat turn from #3, either by being on the wrong lead.. or perhaps just because the dog fell THE ZONE"

The issue that I have with this statement is that if dogs are landing hard, that means the cue is late. Even if you are giving your cue as the dog is taking off, it is too late, your dog will have to land hard to make that turn. (to either collect or extend.)

And Dawn has fantastic runs and I LOVE watching her, she also cues her dogs a minimum of 2 strides before every obstacle, so the dog knows whether to collect/extend and what kind of turn to make.

I understand you don't like the course, and that is fine, everyone is entitled to their opinions! But, this is a fair sequence, it is a fair challenge, and it is a handler challenge.  The handler must work every sequence, the handler must give cues in a timely fashion,  and this is a sequence I have seen for many years in NADAC.

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Re: NADAC Course Design: Please share your thoughts.
« Reply #21 on: May 04, 2018, 04:44:21 PM »
The only thing I can possibly add is confirmation of what Amanda's saying:

This isn't a new sequence type, for me.  I've only been around for about 4 years, but it is FAR from the first time I've seen that sort of opening.   

And.  Honestly?  I'm not a super-good handler, but 'feels like a trap' is... kind of a weird one for me, personally.  I mean, yeah, it sort of is.  In as much as every time we call a dog off a potential off course that seems obvious to them.  Which is a situation that occurs pretty regularly on courses in all classes.

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Re: NADAC Course Design: Please share your thoughts.
« Reply #22 on: May 04, 2018, 05:22:11 PM »
I've been competing in NADAC for 7 years, and to me this seems very NADAC-esque.  There are always courses that setup the dog on a line and then challenge the handler to get the dog to turn off that obvious path.  I call them off-course traps and look for them when I walk.  Some are obvious, others are less so.  My dogs always seem to find the traps I don't see.  But they are very common.  Those are the challenges that differentiate teams.  It takes a capable dog, a capable handler and excellent communication between them to perform these well.  If it was easy it would be boring.

Also, one of the things I've learned is that sometimes I find it advantageous to push my dog a little off their line between 2 obstacles to change the approach angle for the next obstacle into more of a slice, and that helps smooth a sharp turn later.  For example, in the course in the first image of this thread, I might pull my dog to the right after jump 1, then reverse it to a push to 2, so my dog is slicing jump 2 to the left, which then opens the entry to 3 as the dog is approaching 3 from the left and slicing to the right already.  Basically running an S pattern from 1 to 3 instead of a straight line.  The approach to 4 then becomes obvious and smooth, then it is just a reverse pinwheel through 5 and 6.  Sacrificing a little yardage from 1 to 3 can help smooth the turn from 3 to 4 and really help the dog know to go to 4 instead of the off course 6.  I find that technique very useful.  For me a smooth line is the best line.  So I try and set my dog up for a smooth turn.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2018, 05:40:03 PM by ricbonner »

Kyle

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Re: NADAC Course Design: Please share your thoughts.
« Reply #23 on: May 04, 2018, 05:37:42 PM »
Humming around about "dog challenge" vs. "handler challenge" courses and seeing the courses Chris posted, I'm kinda wondering whether we are talking about "mental" vs. "physical" challenges. *My opinion* would be that the courses Chris posted would very likely be "dog *and* handler physical challenge"/"handler mental challenge" courses. In those courses the dog would be incredibly physically challenged to make those turns and the handler is physically challenged to get where they need to be to help! (Noting also that the entrances to some of those obstacles and contacts are a true physical challenge to do *safely*.) It might also be said that the courses would be mentally challenging to the dog in that they must be totally focused on where the handler wants to go vs. it being in any way intuitive for the dog.

And, silly me, I actually prefer a "handler challenge" course since I figure my dog can knock just about anything out of the park but it depends on *me* understanding/reading the course correctly *and* having my head in the game to get the right timing. NADAC courses (especially doing Bonuses) offer me PLENTY of "handler challenge". I don't need to do all the "dog physical challenge" stuff to be pushed to my mental limits!  ;D ("Handler physical challenges" just are not going to be my thing....hahahaha!)

Just some more humming on this....

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Re: NADAC Course Design: Please share your thoughts.
« Reply #24 on: May 04, 2018, 05:49:05 PM »
Everyone who commented has expressed contentment with the types of courses they get to run with their dogs at current NADAC trials.  I am happy for everyone who is happy with the way things are.. Its a great place to be!!!  I've been there.   Enjoy!     Dev

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Re: NADAC Course Design: Please share your thoughts.
« Reply #25 on: May 04, 2018, 06:19:15 PM »
For clarification, my original post was only in reference to the opening sequence.  I agree that most of that course was super fast and flowing and easy to handle.   For me its the combination of the two extremes "fast and flowing EXCEPT RIGHT HERE and RIGHT THERE  that I personally object to.  It feels like a trick...that will trip up dogs if the handler is not PERFECT.. and quite frankly who is perfect all the time?  Not me.   I selected this opening sequence because of the naturally fast line (from the dog's perspective) from 1, 2, to 3 to a super flat turn to #4 with #6 looming as a WC.  Three were many HARD landings after #3 and some ugly scrambles as dogs reorganized themselves after #4 due to the flat turn from #3, either by being on the wrong lead.. or perhaps just because the dog fell THE ZONE.

***********

I'll end with this thought:  I don't think anyone is having any new realizations by reading this thread.  Everyone seems pretty set in their opinions... including me.. so perhaps this entire thread is pointless and we should all forget I ever brought up this subject.  I'm thinking this is a brilliant idea.

Can we all agree on this point?  :)

Dev,
I'm wondering if what you and I call "required collection" are actually two different things and perhaps that might be the issue here? Perhaps our picture of it is different, which isn't a problem but maybe it's confusing for us? I only say this due to your thought, "For me its the combination of the two extremes "fast and flowing EXCEPT RIGHT HERE and RIGHT THERE  that I personally object to." I guess I would be thinking that the "RIGHT HERE and RIGHT HERE" are required collection points which are, to me, just a part of normal courses and as the handler, I need to prepare my dog for those collection points. If I haven't taught my dog how to prepare for and then execute collection, we're going to be in a big world of hurt doing Bonuses.

The video you sent us - wow! what a great team! - showed a dog doing numerous collections and I also noted a very *short* stride. Lots of strides between obstacles. You had mentioned your dog having long strides so there's a huge difference in how her dog and yours might accomplish that course. But I would imagine that both would have numerous collections, the amount of time required to actually perform those collections may vary....

It's too bad you want to quit this thread, there's been some wonderful comments here with lots to think about! "ricbonner" (sorry, I don't know your real name!) made a terrific comment regarding the possible need to add a bit of yardage (what I might call "rounding out") to achieve the goal of a smoother sequence. Jeannie mentioned perhaps slowing the dog down a bit - another option! And, of course, the visuals Chris sent us to remind at least me, of why I do NADAC rather than other venues.  ;D

-Kyle

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Re: NADAC Course Design: Please share your thoughts.
« Reply #26 on: May 04, 2018, 06:47:39 PM »
For clarification, my original post was only in reference to the opening sequence.  I agree that most of that course was super fast and flowing and easy to handle.   For me its the combination of the two extremes "fast and flowing EXCEPT RIGHT HERE and RIGHT THERE  that I personally object to.  It feels like a trick...that will trip up dogs if the handler is not PERFECT.. and quite frankly who is perfect all the time?  Not me.   I selected this opening sequence because of the naturally fast line (from the dog's perspective) from 1, 2, to 3 to a super flat turn to #4 with #6 looming as a WC.  Three were many HARD landings after #3 and some ugly scrambles as dogs reorganized themselves after #4 due to the flat turn from #3, either by being on the wrong lead.. or perhaps just because the dog fell THE ZONE.

***********

I'll end with this thought:  I don't think anyone is having any new realizations by reading this thread.  Everyone seems pretty set in their opinions... including me.. so perhaps this entire thread is pointless and we should all forget I ever brought up this subject.  I'm thinking this is a brilliant idea.

Can we all agree on this point?  :)

Dev,
I'm wondering if what you and I call "required collection" are actually two different things and perhaps that might be the issue here? Perhaps our picture of it is different, which isn't a problem but maybe it's confusing for us? I only say this due to your thought, "For me its the combination of the two extremes "fast and flowing EXCEPT RIGHT HERE and RIGHT THERE  that I personally object to." I guess I would be thinking that the "RIGHT HERE and RIGHT HERE" are required collection points which are, to me, just a part of normal courses and as the handler, I need to prepare my dog for those collection points. If I haven't taught my dog how to prepare for and then execute collection, we're going to be in a big world of hurt doing Bonuses.

The video you sent us - wow! what a great team! - showed a dog doing numerous collections and I also noted a very *short* stride. Lots of strides between obstacles. You had mentioned your dog having long strides so there's a huge difference in how her dog and yours might accomplish that course. But I would imagine that both would have numerous collections, the amount of time required to actually perform those collections may vary....

It's too bad you want to quit this thread, there's been some wonderful comments here with lots to think about! "ricbonner" (sorry, I don't know your real name!) made a terrific comment regarding the possible need to add a bit of yardage (what I might call "rounding out") to achieve the goal of a smoother sequence. Jeannie mentioned perhaps slowing the dog down a bit - another option! And, of course, the visuals Chris sent us to remind at least me, of why I do NADAC rather than other venues.  ;D

-Kyle

Kyle,  Your description of how you'd handle the opener is the same way I think in terms of handling.   My BC was injured at the trial where I ran this course... so I can't say we even "ran" this course.  He was not turning well, or weaving well and he had started avoiding the DW by the end of the trial.  6 weeks later he is starting to look good again and we are getting back to doing some agility training (gradually).   

I could have picked other course maps as examples of courses that tend to run choppy at certain points for a lot of dogs (and not necessarily my dogs).  My intention in starting this thread was not to focus on this particular course or on how to best handle it.. but rather on the future of NADAC course design.  There have been a lot of private messages going back and forth between competitors who have expressed dissatisfaction with current courses.  However, I decided up front if those people were not willing to publicly express their opinions then so be it.. and so it is. I also stated up front if I am the only person who shares this POV (publicly), then I will let it go.. and staying true to my word, I am letting it go.  NADAC has been my favorite (and only) agility venue for many years.  I'll continue training and practicing because its FUN and I may go to an occasional local trail because that's FUN too but the days of long road trips for trials or seminars, or going to Champs are very likely a thing of the past for me.  I may go back to doing some international style course work with my dogs since we all three have the foundation skills for all the "fancy handling moves" which are really FUN to do.  I guess I'm all about whats FUN for my dogs and myself and totally get that FUN is different for every sentient being.   Dev

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Re: NADAC Course Design: Please share your thoughts.
« Reply #27 on: May 04, 2018, 07:09:11 PM »
Itís not from Phoenix.

And sadly maybe youíre right,  seems minds are set at this point.   Which is sad.   I was under the impression this thread was discussing course design and the direction of the current courses and whether they are valid,    But if that conversation is only acceptable when it goes in one direction then itís not a great day and Iíll be retiring from this thread.




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This brief conversation tended to focus on this particular course and most of the comments were about how different individuals would handle this particular course or about handling in general.  While I agree with much of what was shared about handling, that was not my purpose in starting this thread.  I was hoping a broader conversation about course design would emerge.. but it didn't.   Dev

Chris Nelson

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Re: NADAC Course Design: Please share your thoughts.
« Reply #28 on: May 04, 2018, 07:22:38 PM »
But Dev,

Your purpose was to point out that the course design of this course was bad.   And thatís where people didnít agree,  and when they didnít agree they also gave suggestions on handling so that it wouldnít be such an issue.

The conversation canít be condemned as a bad one just because your opinion didnít come out on top


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Visionagility

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Re: NADAC Course Design: Please share your thoughts.
« Reply #29 on: May 04, 2018, 07:43:40 PM »
My thoughts about this discussion is apparently we all choose to train the skills needed to run in the venue we choose. In all venues you will always find areas of extension and collection weather it is on the dogs part or the handlers part it is team work that will keep it all together. There for we all have choices to run in the venues that highlight the skills we have trained, and we will always be revising and hopefully making those skills better to do the best we can do in the all venues we play in. So really now it is a personal training decision and or personal decision to run the courses we feel most comfortable running. In all honestly always wanting to perfect certain skills and or performances to be able to master all courses in multiple venues is going to require training to be prepared. NADAC has always showcased a teams ability to extend and collect in sequences either at the beginning or the end or somewhere in the middle. So train for it and have fun.