Author Topic: NADAC Course Design: Please share your thoughts.  (Read 5183 times)

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Re: NADAC Course Design: Please share your thoughts.
« Reply #30 on: May 04, 2018, 07:51:40 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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Chris, I accept your criticism but for clarity's sake, I don't think it was a bad conversation.. just not a particularly enlightening one for anyone....but perhaps me.  Everyone got to share their point of view and that is always nice.  I get it. The people who commented that they like courses just as they are is something I stated I'd accept and I do.  I wanted to know if most people like these types of courses and they do.   I am mostly over the disappointment I felt immediately following reading consistent disagreement with my POV.   As of this moment, I have nearly completed the process of letting go.  I think I'll be done tomorrow morning.   For what its worth, I don't have bad feelings towards anyone or anything because one thing I know for sure is that nothing in life is permanent.. and I'm good with that! 

Onward and upward to all!  Dev
« Last Edit: May 04, 2018, 07:54:09 PM by Dev Sperber, Jake, Lil, and Takoda »

AndreaEntin

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Re: NADAC Course Design: Please share your thoughts.
« Reply #31 on: May 05, 2018, 05:49:48 AM »
Now I have to go home and set up this course and try it.  Lol

From the box.
Andrea

Kyle

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Re: NADAC Course Design: Please share your thoughts.
« Reply #32 on: May 05, 2018, 07:15:45 AM »

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. 
 Dev

Dev,

I hope you haven't left us yet. You mentioned people chatting privately about being dissatisfied with current courses and it's too bad they have chosen to remain silent rather than have a discussion about it. The usual way to resolve dissatisfaction is to talk about it and propose possible changes. You did give us two courses that we could see (thank you! the visual did help) that might describe one of the things that people aren't happy about. It would be even better if solutions to those problems were brought forward also. What might have been changed on, say, those two courses that may have made them more "NADACy" in your mind?

I ask because I still don't understand what changes have been made to courses. I haven't been trialing a ton lately, but I have been doing some (all NADAC), plus I talk to a LOT of people who do trial a lot. I just haven't been hearing what you're hearing about courses. It would be really great to have better clarification on what exactly people aren't liking and how they would choose to make it better. Like, how would you suggest getting rid of "choppy" parts and what constitutes "choppy" vs. collection? Maybe that's a better question??  :)

Hope you're still hangin' in with us!

-Kyle
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Re: NADAC Course Design: Please share your thoughts.
« Reply #33 on: May 05, 2018, 02:50:33 PM »

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. 
 Dev

Dev,

I hope you haven't left us yet. You mentioned people chatting privately about being dissatisfied with current courses and it's too bad they have chosen to remain silent rather than have a discussion about it. The usual way to resolve dissatisfaction is to talk about it and propose possible changes. You did give us two courses that we could see (thank you! the visual did help) that might describe one of the things that people aren't happy about. It would be even better if solutions to those problems were brought forward also. What might have been changed on, say, those two courses that may have made them more "NADACy" in your mind?

I ask because I still don't understand what changes have been made to courses. I haven't been trialing a ton lately, but I have been doing some (all NADAC), plus I talk to a LOT of people who do trial a lot. I just haven't been hearing what you're hearing about courses. It would be really great to have better clarification on what exactly people aren't liking and how they would choose to make it better. Like, how would you suggest getting rid of "choppy" parts and what constitutes "choppy" vs. collection? Maybe that's a better question??  :)

Hope you're still hangin' in with us!

-Kyle

Kyle,  Thank you for caring.  I appreciate it! I'm leaving it to each person to speak (or not speak) for herself. I have to admit the silence feels deafening to me right now.   As of this morning the topic had 32 Replies and 378 Views and most of the replies are from a handful of people. 

I thought about posting more course maps to "make my case" / show examples of other sections that I feel would support my POV but the response will likely still be IT'S A HANDLING ISSUE or perhaps shift to IT'S A TRAINING ISSUE.  I think we all agree that running courses necessitates appropriate and timely handling and that handling is a whole lot easier if a dog has good foundation skills.   

I was hoping for a broader conversation about THE GUIDING PRINCIPLES OF NADAC COURSE DESIGN which I used to think were heavily weighted towards the dog's perspective and how dogs naturally move.  I  honestly always thought NADAC courses were designed first and foremost with dogs in mind which led me to  stop competing in other venues many years ago for the sake of my much beloved dogs.  Was my thinking misguided all along?  I don't think so.  There have always been things I have not liked about NADAC like the 8' A-frame at champs when most clubs use 9'ers, or the way dogs were divided into groups prior to 2016 (or whenever they changed grouping to be by wither height vs. jump height) but those issues have not stopped me from wanting to stay fully engaged.  But over the past year or so, I honestly think I'm seeing real changes in how dogs are navigating through what I call "choppy" or "illogical" sections of courses. This has stopped me in my tracks.

When I watch teams run courses, I naturally watch the dog vs. the handler unless I try really really hard to TRY TO WATCH the handler too but I'm still mostly watching the dog.  I can't help myself.   I think watching a bunch of dogs run the same course shows course design from the dog's perspective.  "Choppy" can be minimized and barely noticeable with PERFECT handling or when handlers run their "comfortable as an old shoe" dogs or when handlers run slower dogs that lope through courses.. or run mini-dogs that take 5 strides between most obstacles.  But inherent choppiness (of course design) can still be visible even with these groups of dogs in subtle ways if you look closely.

I love watching the details of a dog's movement: where they are looking, where they add a stride or leave a stride out, where and when they change leads, where their footwork is funky (tripping over themselves, slipping, scrambling, or turning the wrong way) where less motivated dogs turn to sniffing, or high strung dogs turn to barking, jumping, nipping, or running off to take whatever obstacle, or just running.

I will offer details of the opening sequence (the way I see it from the dog's perspective) but I don't want to have a conversation about the minutiae of this opening sequence.   I could have easily picked another sequence with different minutiae.  The following description is not about handling... Its about canine motion.. what the long-striding or super fast dog is likely doing on this opening sequence.  This is my attempt to have a conversation about the guiding principles of NADAC course design.  I don't know how else to say it.

To answer Kyle's question: What would have made the opening sequence more NADACee comes from the dog's perspective.  Modify jump #4 (and shift other jumps affected by the changes made to #4) (or change what happens after #4). The purpose of changing #4 is not to soften the path from #3 - #4 but rather to take into consideration the dog's natural movement and lead changes from the start line to the #3 jump.  Dogs running in semi-collection and medium to slow speed dogs have plenty of opportunities (more strides and more time) to change to the left lead when pushed out to #3 and then change back to the right lead without also needing to power down (collect) before jumping #3.  A loping dog will have no trouble getting back on the right lead and then taking a stride on that right lead to jump #3.  This offers a nice turn to #4.. no choppiness.

Long-striding, enthusiastic, confident big dogs will power off the start line and jump #1 in extension, landing long, then take one full stride to a nice take off spot for jumping #2 in extension.  They will jump #2 in extension landing long again (dog still on the right lead which the subtle arc of my blue line on the map indicates). The handler can begin to push after the dog is committed to #2 and an experienced dog might switch leads in the air but more likely the dog will land on its right lead then switch to the left lead as he moves away from the handler towards #3.  Once the dog is committed to the lead change, the handler can release pressure and begin to cue collection... but it has to happen in a millesecond... because a long-striding dog running with strong forward momentum will need time to reorganize his body and legs to power down, add a stride, and switch leads again.  Up until the point of cuing collection the dog is planning on jumping #3 in extension.. because of the change to left lead and seeing the #6 jump as the next logical jump.   

If indeed this type of sequence is so common in NADAC that experienced dogs come to recognize it and run it with some self-directed collection, I have to ask the question:  How did these dogs gain that experience? My answer is by earlier lessons such as hard landings... sometimes on the wrong lead, being called off WCs, running around jumps, tripping over themselves trying to make surprise turns, losing their flow.  What other types of lessons might some dogs learn as they gain "experience" running through what I call "choppy" sequences: I better slow down, I better leave start line cautiously, I better run in semi-collection, I better wait for my handler to show me the next obstacle.   

The point I am trying to make is if a long-striding dog powers out of the start line, the combination of lead changes and collection necesary to get a nice turn from #3 to #4 will create unnatural movement for the dog.  This imo takes the wind (joy) out of many dog's sails and adds wind (frustration) in other dog's sails causing things to fall apart between #4 and #5.   One can watch teams run this sequence and say  "The handler was 'late" but imo,  the underlying cause was the long striding confident dog didn't have time to organize himself given the tasks at hand...2 lead changes combined with powering down from 2 strides to either 3 or 4 strides between #1 and #3.   

Can long-striding dogs get through this sequence? Yes.  Can "old comfortable shoe" dogs make this sequence look nice? Yes... but that is not my point.   Are these the kinds of challenges the course designer intended for dogs to have?  I don't think so.  I think they are just a byproduct of a sequence designed for the handler.. which is unNADACee to me.   There are so many different ways to challenge handlers while also keeping the dog's perspective in mind.   

On an ending note, every "old shoe" dog started off as a young dog with endless possibilities.   What types of "experiences" we want our dogs to have is up to us.   I have learned so much from my young, long-striding, totally biddable, intelligent BC Takoda who always gives me his best effort and shows me agility from a dog's perspective.   

Dev
« Last Edit: May 05, 2018, 03:33:38 PM by Dev Sperber, Jake, Lil, and Takoda »

Chris Nelson

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Re: NADAC Course Design: Please share your thoughts.
« Reply #34 on: May 05, 2018, 03:46:04 PM »
I would be interested in the other courses.

Again,  a huge number of courses from the last year have been recycled from years past.   So this whole thing intrigued me as I feel itís a very mental thing considering mostly what has been ran is very very old nadac courses.


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Re: NADAC Course Design: Please share your thoughts.
« Reply #35 on: May 05, 2018, 03:55:30 PM »
I would be interested in the other courses.

Again,  a huge number of courses from the last year have been recycled from years past.   So this whole thing intrigued me as I feel itís a very mental thing considering mostly what has been ran is very very old nadac courses.


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I'm hoping people will post course maps. I have some that people have shared with me.. courses they didn't like but those are not for me to share.  Those people need to be willing to stand up and be heard publicly.   One thought re: my long post... if you feel that nothing has changed for years,  perhaps you can look at what I'm saying as a suggestion on how to make NADAC even better than its been in the past.  Dev

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Re: NADAC Course Design: Please share your thoughts.
« Reply #36 on: May 05, 2018, 03:57:17 PM »
I would be interested in the other courses.

Again,  a huge number of courses from the last year have been recycled from years past.   So this whole thing intrigued me as I feel itís a very mental thing considering mostly what has been ran is very very old nadac courses.


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Another thought is to have someone who really understands dog motion review course maps before they go out (even the recycled ones). 

If you know which courses were run at the Elk Grove trial that Marj judged in Feb 2018, I could pick a few courses from that weekend I'd be willing to post as examples.  There were sections I thought were "illogical" from a dog motion perspective.. but I didn't photograph the maps.   Dev
« Last Edit: May 05, 2018, 04:02:30 PM by Dev Sperber, Jake, Lil, and Takoda »

Chris Nelson

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Re: NADAC Course Design: Please share your thoughts.
« Reply #37 on: May 05, 2018, 04:03:24 PM »
I would be interested in the other courses.

Again,  a huge number of courses from the last year have been recycled from years past.   So this whole thing intrigued me as I feel itís a very mental thing considering mostly what has been ran is very very old nadac courses.


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Another thought is to have someone who really understands dog motion review course maps before they go out (even the recycled ones). 

If you know which courses were run at the Elk Grove trial that Marj judged in Feb 2018, I could pick a few courses from that weekend I'd be willing to post as examples.  There were sections I thought were "illogical" from a dog motion perspective.. but I didn't photograph the maps.   Dev
Would love to!  If they wanted to be added as an employee.


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Chris Nelson

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Re: NADAC Course Design: Please share your thoughts.
« Reply #38 on: May 05, 2018, 04:07:24 PM »
I would be interested in the other courses.

Again,  a huge number of courses from the last year have been recycled from years past.   So this whole thing intrigued me as I feel itís a very mental thing considering mostly what has been ran is very very old nadac courses.


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Another thought is to have someone who really understands dog motion review course maps before they go out (even the recycled ones). 

If you know which courses were run at the Elk Grove trial that Marj judged in Feb 2018, I could pick a few courses from that weekend I'd be willing to post as examples.  There were sections I thought were "illogical" from a dog motion perspective.. but I didn't photograph the maps.   Dev
Snowflake was from 2009.

Slushy was designed by one of our course designers who has been designing all of our course for roughly 10 years.


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Chris Nelson

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Re: NADAC Course Design: Please share your thoughts.
« Reply #39 on: May 05, 2018, 04:18:16 PM »
Would you be opposed to attaching some videos of you running any of these courses?


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Re: NADAC Course Design: Please share your thoughts.
« Reply #40 on: May 05, 2018, 04:49:23 PM »
Would you be opposed to attaching some videos of you running any of these courses?


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If you can get me the course maps from Feb Elk Grove, I might be able to post a video that corresponds with a course section I didn't like from the dog's perspective.  But I only have videos of bonus attempts since its hard to find someone to video runs at smaller trials... and sometimes people stop the video-taping when an NQ happens mid course.  If I am going to post a video of a course I didn't like from the dog's perspective then I should also post a video of a course I do like.  Not sure how many video examples I have though due to small trials and not trialing since Phoenix.

Takoda was injured at the Phoenix trial.... or a pre-existing injury showed up during that trial.  Not sure which it was but its been nearly 7 weeks and Takoda just started moving fluidly again so I think Elk Grove has the best chance of matching up videos to course maps. 

I have to say I am slightly concerned that some people who think "everything is fine the way it is" will use my videos as an opportunity to take aim at my young dog to justify their POV.   WHEW. Just the thought of that was enough to make the blood leave my head... or so it seemed.   Dev

Chris Nelson

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Re: NADAC Course Design: Please share your thoughts.
« Reply #41 on: May 05, 2018, 04:56:07 PM »
Dev,

Would you like to have a conference call to discuss this further?

If youíre concerned with people posting something unwarranted we can approach it this way.


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Re: NADAC Course Design: Please share your thoughts.
« Reply #42 on: May 05, 2018, 05:17:20 PM »
Dev,

Would you like to have a conference call to discuss this further?

If youíre concerned with people posting something unwarranted we can approach it this way.


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Thanks Chris but as I think about all the time I've spent thinking about and writing comments on a topic which appears to only be important to me, the most logical thing for me to do is to drop it and let you go back to doing whatever you were doing prior.   This really is not that big of a deal.  I'm one person moving on... Not a big deal in the scheme of things.  And seriously no bad feelings on my part.. and no bad words will come out of my mouth about NADAC.  Its been a super fun ride for many many years and I appreciate all the great friends I've made and the great experiences I've had with my dogs. One last point.  I will still train... and may even do a local trial now and then if its convenient and do VT runs when offered at Jeff and Maureen's.  So I'm not excommunicating myself or anything like that!  :)    Onward and upward to all!   Dev 
« Last Edit: May 05, 2018, 05:24:27 PM by Dev Sperber, Jake, Lil, and Takoda »

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Re: NADAC Course Design: Please share your thoughts.
« Reply #43 on: May 05, 2018, 05:47:26 PM »
I won't be checking in on the Forum so if anyone wants to communicate with me about anything, either message me through FB or email me at devorahsperber@me.com.  Thanks. Dev

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Re: NADAC Course Design: Please share your thoughts.
« Reply #44 on: May 05, 2018, 06:09:43 PM »

Would love to!  If they wanted to be added as an employee.


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Becky would love to!!  She is actively looking for a job big time! And she certainly knows course design!

Sharon
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