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Another question about class

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[quote name='dracina' post='363878' date='Aug 16 2010, 11:17 AM']Hi all:

This may be an elementary question (borne of pure curiosity) but can the same handler run the same dog in two different classes at the same USBCHA or CBCA sanctioned trial? A hypothetical example: I am running Jack in Nursery and Open at the National Finals.

Thanks,
Karrin[/quote]
I know you can run in both at the USBCHA National Finals. I don't know about CBCA.

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I see no reason to prohibit someone from running their NN dog in Nursery. Is a true NN dog gaining any useful experience in Nursery or is a dog capable of running a Nursery course gaining any useful experience running in NN?

Either the dog (and handler) is running over its head in Nursery or not being challenged in NN. In the former case the host may have issues based upon how the sheep are being treated on the field. The latter case the handler's ego trip is not doing the dog or handler any good in progressing towards the goal of competency in open.

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[quote name='Mark Billadeau' post='366154' date='Sep 7 2010, 07:46 AM']Either the dog (and handler) is running over its head in Nursery <snip> In the former case the host may have issues based upon how the sheep are being treated on the field.[/quote]
I think there's another case in this scenario, and possibly the more common one: the one in which the true N/N (nursery-eligible) dog is running in the nursery class as a "filler" so that *someone else* can get their nursery dog qualified. In my *personal* opinion, that's just wrong. I think that dogs entered in nursery should at least have the skills at home to complete a nursery course, even if things fall apart at the trial. The true N/N dog doesn't have the skills to complete a nursery course.

That said, like Mark I see no reason to *prohibit* an handler whose dog is capable of running in nursery from also running in N/N--as I said I think the handler doing so just reflects badly on him-/herself. This would be a situation where I think it would be appropriate for open handlers to encourage the novice to move up.

J.

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I think you're assuming a lot when you say "trained." I've sent dogs out for training with a "big hat" Open handler. One, a rescue dog with little talent, came back after a couple of months and is still a long way from driving. The other, a well-bred bitch with a lot of talent, has a month of training. While she can drive, she's nowhere ready for a P/N course. Neither am I. :D Now, if I get crazy, and rich, and over the winter send the talented dog for six months' training, I'll probably be in P/N instead of N/N. Or maybe even Ranch! Ask me how many months of Open handler training I've got in the dog when I show up at a trial next year, especially if I'm still stuck in N/N. :rolleyes:

Debbie

[quote name='NCStarkey' post='366122' date='Sep 6 2010, 04:08 PM']Hello everyone,

Good input from Pippin's Person, BUT.....

If the dog was [b]trained by an Open handler[/b], it should no longer be eligible to run in Novice-Novice. Novice-Novice means a novice handler with a novice dog, not a dog trained by an open handler.

Again, just my shovelfull,
nancy[/quote]

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Hello everyone,

Debbie quoted from an earlier post of mine which read (emphasis is hers):

"Good input from Pippin's Person, BUT.....

If the dog was [b]trained by an Open handler[/b], it should no longer be eligible to run in Novice-Novice. Novice-Novice means a novice handler with a novice dog, not a dog trained by an open handler."

She replied:

"I think you're assuming a lot when you say "trained." I've sent dogs out for training with a "big hat" Open handler. One, a rescue dog with little talent, came back after a couple of months and is still a long way from driving. The other, a well-bred bitch with a lot of talent, has a month of training. While she can drive, she's nowhere ready for a P/N course. Neither am I. :D Now, if I get crazy, and rich, and over the winter send the talented dog for six months' training, I'll probably be in P/N instead of N/N. Or maybe even Ranch! Ask me how many months of Open handler training I've got in the dog when I show up at a trial next year, especially if I'm still stuck in N/N. :rolleyes: "

In a later post, I wrote (emphasis mine):

"As I previously wrote, "If the dog was trained by an Open handler, it should no longer be eligible to run in Novice-Novice. Novice-Novice means a novice handler with a novice dog, not a dog trained by an open handler." Notice that I wrote [b]should[/b] no longer be eligible, and that is my opinion, one which may not be shared by others.

This then leads to a discussion of the meaning of the word "trained". Is the dog one that has had a few lessons with a professional trainer, or one that has been trained to be competitive in a Nursery class? Has the dog been only been started by a professional trainer or has it run in trials with that trainer? Lots of variables in the word "trained"."

I have already addressed the issue of the variety of meanings for the word "trained", and I'm not assuming anything. We have been discussing a dog which ran in both the Novice-Novice and the USBCHA Nursery classes, and I feel that if the dog was trained by an open handler to a level of proficiency to run in Nursery, then it is inappropriate to run that dog in Novice-Novice. I feel that there should be a more level playing field in the Novice-Novice class, and those in that class should be truly novice handlers with inexperienced dogs.

Just another shovelful,
nancy

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Dear Fellow Handlers,
I like to run open and don't wish to run young dogs more than a time or two in the novice classes. Novice classes don't give me much pleasure and often mean you have to run another day. .After their nursery season, I jumped my Pip and June to open and next year, every time I felt like entering a trial I took them to a friend's flock for experience. They weren't mature enough for open and the Freind's farm strategy was (a) cheaper and (:rolleyes: gave them far more experience than a few minutes each day on the trial course.

That said, my 4 year old Danny is STILL running in Pro/novice.. He has a bad habit, only part cured and I don't trust him on a standard sized open course (he doesn't set the world on fire in PN either).

I know one or two handlers who don't move a ready dog out of ranch because they've got two open dogs and most big trials only let you run two. The handler wants his/her ranch dog to get trialing experience and the good shedding dog who can win a ranch course would be competitive in open.

Donald McCaig

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Thinking on Nancy's most recent post...would it make any sense for an organization like NEBCA to perhaps offer some sort of "Beginner" class, where the criteria for eligibility might be more specific, such as allowing handlers to run at that level ONLY in their first trial season (AND dog's first trial season), or not allowing dogs trained by professionals (how would one determine whether the trainer was a "professional?"), or...other limitations? Would a Beginner class be too redundant, or would it come closer to leveling the playing field a bit more? I don't think it would take any more time during the day as I'd think this class would be fairly small due due to the restrictive criteria (whatever that might be)...the entrants would probably be just a few people who would otherwise run in N/N anyway.

Just thinking aloud (which unfortunately sometimes makes me look stoopid, lol).

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Not to sound critical Meagan but since USBCHA only sanctions Nursery and Open the clubs/hosts can offer whatever they want. Too many layers, rules, requirements, regulations, etc...and it begins to sound like another organization. Host/Club guidelines, honest handlers and peer pressure where necessary seem to have been working so far. For those that it doesn't more rules won't necessarily change them anyhow. Good sportsmanship generally rises to the top and is contagious!

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I asked questions about moving up.

And folks kinda told me, hinted, time to move up.

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Sorry if I offend anyone, but why do people care if someone is running N/N with a dog trained by an Open handler (but never trialed by that handler)? It's just the novice class, a place for novice handlers to get their feet wet. There is not a national novice champion. Prize money is almost never awarded (and I don't think it should be). People don't run out en mass to breed to a stud who is winning lots of novice trials. If there are people out there who are happy just winning novice trials who don't want to move up, just leave them be. It's their loss as a handler to not push themselves to improve.

I guess I am not understanding why people who claim that the novice classes don't mean anything are getting so worked up about what people are doing in them.

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Having read over several posts that I missed while I was gone, I have to chuckle to myself about the definition of "trained by an Open handler". My Dan just spent five months with a National Cattledog Finals winner (and frequent high placer), and Dan is no where near ready for anything remotely resembling a Novice class (on sheep or cattle). But he's been prepared with some of the skills/lessons that he really needed to be ready to be handled and trained by me on the farm and for farm work. For that, I am extremely grateful.

Celt's mother was trained by a very top handler to Open level but never competed. Therefore, with her new, novice owner, she ran in Novice class. I thought that was a stretch (feeling that ProNov would have been much more in keeping with the intention of the different classes) but so what? If Celt and I were competing against them, was it more important that they or we beat each other, or got this ribbon or that one, or that Celt and I were tested and we both learned something worthwhile, no matter where we placed?

Like the dogs themselves, there is such a variation in circumstances and so on that, as several have mentioned, let's not get caught up in "rules and regulations" and become rule-bound. Let's just do what our dogs (and we) need to develop and progress, be good sports and exercise good sportsmanship, and be concerned with what's really important (not that discussions like this one aren't worthwhile because I think they are, in terms of putting out questions, ideas, and talking things over).

And, back to what Julie said, it is not really right to put a dog in Nursery just to make the numbers - not when that's not an appropriate class to enter that dog anyway. However, the only time I was aware of that happening (and the handler did not wish to enter the dog as she felt it wasn't quite ready yet), that dog and handler won the class. Classy handler, good dog, poetic justice!

And all this verbage is coming from a Novice class drop-out...so it's not worth much.

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Karen, Liz, and Sue have all made good points. I know in some areas of the country some sort of beginner novice classes are offered, but at least here in the east the novice course is so simple that I don't know how you can make it even more beginner-like. Perhaps the real answer for folks wanting to get their feet wet would be for more people to host fun days where a trial course is set up and everything is run like a trial, but the handler can leave the post and help his/her dog so that the trial experience also becomes a good learning experience for both handler and dog. Similarly, some of those other organizations (e.g., AHBA and ASCA) offer smaller courses in smaller spaces. These can also be opportunities for the rank beginner to get his/her feet wet. Unfortunately there's no way of defining a true novice vs. a sort-of novice. But instead of worrying about what your compettion is doing, worry about your own skills as a team. If your scores improve each time you go out, then you are doing something right, even if you aren't winning.

Like with Sue's Dan, I took back one of the Twist pups and started her for her owner. She probably is a useful farm dog but I doubt she and her owner could go out right this minute and complete a N/N course in great style.

People seem to get caught up in the fact of the trial and winning (and leveling the playing field so everyone has an equal chance to win, whatever that means when you're talking about a trial that takes course over the place of several hours at least, and with individual sheep who are also changeable throughout the day) when what's important is the assessment of your dog's abilities and the holes in your training. If your dog is a good worker, is trained well, and you are a flexible handler, you'll do well at trials. Unfortunately when you add in the element of competition, and more important, winning, suddenly all these rules appear, and complaints about fairness start popping up, and who should run where and why. As I said in my previous posts, those handlers who consistently run at lower levels in order to win reflect badly on themselves. Those handlers who run at upper levels and complain about percieved unfairness reflect badly on themselves. Train your dog in a variety of situations, in a variety of places, and on a variety of stock and you'll likely rise to the occasion on the trial field. If not, then you will certainly discover the areas where you and your dog need work and so you will have had a valuable learning experience.

The last thing we (the working border collie people) need to do is *lower* the bar in our training and trialing efforts.

J.

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