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SecretBC

First USDAA Trial!

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What is the point of earning titles at home? Who cares what your dog can do in training? I have oodles of video showing my home training sessions and it clearly shows that my dogs are amazing. Who cares, unless they can replicate that in a trial environment?

 

I agree totally - and I have 2 dogs that can perform OK in training but just can't cope with the competitive environment. It's a pity but hey, it's just life. Things don't always go to plan and I don't want to be patronised by the possibility of a consolation title.

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SecretBC says:

 

And we are on the "honor system" to trust that people are not running the course 20 times before submitting the video of the one clean run they managed out of all those attempts?

 

Airbear asks:

 

If you set up the course, video it, and have an off-course, are you honestly saying you're going to send in that video with the $5 fee for review?

 

Rootbeer responds:

 

Of course not. That is one of the obvious differences between criteria for video events and live events.

 

 

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What I am most confused about with this new VT program, is that if you are going to seperate out a NATCH versus a MEDAL, why would you then let VT runs be thrown in the mix with no seperate awards program. Unless the NATCH/MEDAL has changed too, quite frankly I'm not a 'rules' person, so am not good about staying up with the ever changing nitty gritty. I have my own standards for my dogs, regardless of whether they Q on a course or not, if we didn't perform up to my standards, then it wasn't a Q for me anyway; quite frankly some of my most favored runs, especially w/ Renoir have been runs we didn't Q on, but runs that we overcame major training issues. I personally have so issue w/ NADAC offering a VT program, go for it, sounds like way too much work to me; we work on things at home all the time, occassionally setting up full courses, although not usually; I personally don't need a pat on the back from someone else to see those runs and say 'good job, thanks for your 5 bucks.' Although I don't have dogs who have trial issues or stress; and I am in an area that has a lot of trials. If I had a dog who couldn't perform at trials, but loved the game at home, or lived in an area w/ very few trials then I would probably have a different opinion.

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This country has gone way too far with its "everyone is a winner!" attitude. You know, not every single dog is destined to earn a Champion title in agility. Hell, not every dog is destined to earn ANY title in agility if going to competitions is outside their comfort zone. It is not your god-given right to earn any title with your dog. If you want that sort of thing, you work towards the goal just like the rest of us.

 

Both Kaiser and Secret stressed horribly when they first started. Secret is noise sensitive -- Kaiser just hated being around people. They both shut down in different ways. We kept training, we kept plugging along -- I blew A LOT OF MONEY on trials because that was the only way I could work through the issue -- because they were PERFECT at home. Both were running Elite/Excellent/Masters level courses at home before they ever started to trial. But they got to the trial environment and *shut down*. It's part of training your dog -- to work through those things.

 

If you can earn the same exact titles at home that I earned by working my ASS off to get my dogs comfortable in the trial environment, that is NOT RIGHT. Do you have every right to earn titles at home with your dog? Certainly. But they should not be *exactly the same* as the titles earned at trials. I don't care if someone wants to start at Novice and go all the way through Elite to earn their first NATCH, all while running at home -- so long as that title as the letters VT behind it to show HOW it was earned.

 

Here's my deal -- I enjoy NADAC. My dogs enjoy NADAC. Ever since I started doing agility I have felt the need to *defend* my choice to do NADAC. The majority of the agility world does not consider NADAC to be "real" agility due to the lack of obstacles and the wide open spacing. That said, the majority of people who do poke fun at NADAC agility will admit that it takes a lot of work to earn a NATCH. Not every dog is capable of this, due to the tight course times and the distance skills required to succeed in the Elite level of Chances. So the one reason I was able to keep my head held high and keep working towards goals in NADAC is because I felt there WAS some respect for the fact that my dogs earned a NATCH.

 

Now that you can earn even one of those Q's at home completely devalues the award. It makes a joke of everything I've worked towards. NADAC removed the one area where I might have actually received any respect from my peers in the agility world.

 

And it pisses me off.

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OMG! I had not heard about that particular rule change in NADAC. IMHO, by combining the points/Qs earned in both real and videotaped runs really devalues any titles achieved. Yes, my dog handles much better at 'home'. He is wonderfully focused at trials and has no significant stress issues. He is a very wonderful partner, BUT he tries sooo HARD at a trial that his striding is off - resulting in an occasional dropped bar and a very frequent miss on his running contacts. Achieving points in a trial atmosphere is very different than achieving points in a VT run away from the trial atmosphere. It goes against simple logic to combine points achieved in essentially 2 separate venues.

 

I only play at NADAC once a year in a local trial, but was thinking about trying to add one or 2 more NADAC trials since I really love the atmosphere and the different classes (particularly tunnelers - so much fun). I think that I will stay with the annual trial.

 

One question that popped into my mind: Will the teams that achieve titles/points/whatever via VT runs, be able to progress onto greater things? By that, I mean will they qualify for nationals or a national NADAC team (if there is one?) Maybe people can 'compete' in the nationals by videoing the runs at home? ;):(

 

Jovi

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Sharon starts a stop watch when the dog goes over/through the first obstacle on the video and stops it when they go over/through the last one. Very scientific...

 

And yes, points earned via VT runs do count towards qualifications to enter Championships. Not that this is really all that big of a deal. Champs never fills and every year Sharon lets dogs in that didn't meet the requirements.

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Sharon starts a stop watch when the dog goes over/through the first obstacle on the video and stops it when they go over/through the last one. Very scientific...

 

But don't you have to have the course time within which a dog must run to get a Q specified in advance, and based on the course itself on the ground?

 

I'm assuming that the course is one prescribed but it would be very difficult to determined whether it had been set up exactly right on video.

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That's just another argument against the program, considering how few people know how to properly set a course to NADAC specs.

 

I've seen more than one video with courses that appear to be spaced much closer than you would see in a trial, due to not having enough space.

 

See, all the rational people can see the flaws behind the program -- or at least COMBINING the programs. Not sure why it's so hard for the folks "on top" to see it the same way. It is all sunshine & roses in their eyes.

 

Oh, and of course the people who are benefiting from this also see it as a fantastic idea. :blink::rolleyes:

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NADAC judges are trained to measure their courses by striding, only once have I seen a course wheeled at a NADAC trial, so I asked one of the organizers of most of our trials who happens to be a judge and he explained that Sharon felt that once you had learned your stride then you could measure a course very accurately, in fact more accurately as the wheels can be inaccurate. I have always had my doubts about this since the time I ran a fast jumpers course in novice, everyone thought we had Qd, in fact no one made time........

So it really is another problem when combining the two programs, but when it comes to NADAC I feel many people have drunk the cool aid and what ever Sharon says is right. Prime examples are jump height, my NADAC friends are horrified that I have chosen to jump my young dog at 26" in USDAA, or those dam hoops, when I bitch about them, the party line is that it is about the dogs path, well the sports name is agility not dog handling. Ok climbing of my soap box.

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Sharon starts a stop watch when the dog goes over/through the first obstacle on the video and stops it when they go over/through the last one. Very scientific...

 

That's how things used to be done in all venues. ;)

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NADAC judges are trained to measure their courses by striding, only once have I seen a course wheeled at a NADAC trial, so I asked one of the organizers of most of our trials who happens to be a judge and he explained that Sharon felt that once you had learned your stride then you could measure a course very accurately, in fact more accurately as the wheels can be inaccurate.

 

Most judges use guesswork here which used to work pretty well. Very few got it completely wrong and most judges erred on the side of generosity. That was OK since we work on the basis of wins rather than Qs and the best dog on the day will win whatever the course time.

 

However, our grading system changed a few years ago and it has become easier to win up the grades, especially with a Small or Medium dog. There are 7 grades and dogs are winning out of the bottom ones faster than new dogs are entering the sport in some parts of the country. Grade 6 is also growing quickly because after that 4 wins are needed to get to Grade 7.

 

Changes are being made to the requirements for moving up to slow it down and one of those is likely to be measuring of courses and tighter course times. Guesswork is rather a blunt instrument but it's quicker than using a wheel for every course and we are always pushed for time at our shows, which is why we've preferred it in the past.

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Mum24dog, I do not know about other American venues, but USDAA measures their courses, if you have electronic timing and a course time it makes sense that the distances should be accurate. It does not seem to take them any longer to change ourses, than the NADAC trials I go to.

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Mum24dog, I do not know about other American venues, but USDAA measures their courses, if you have electronic timing and a course time it makes sense that the distances should be accurate. It does not seem to take them any longer to change ourses, than the NADAC trials I go to.

 

Here judges often don't even stride out the course - they just think of a number that looks about right for that type of course. Measuring however it's done would add to that.

 

We have to think in terms of saving a few minutes wherever we can. If the inevitable happens and we have to use measuring wheels it will lengthen each competition day which is already around 9 hours long on average for an efficiently run show.

 

Numbers of classes and course changes will vary from ring to ring but each ring can have up to 450 dogs per judge to get through. At the notional rate of 50 agility or 60 jumping dogs per hour (fewer if lower grades), plus course walking and breaks such as lunch time really is of the essence. We pray for a lot of no shows on the day.

 

I hate to think how long it would all take if we were still using manual timing.

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I feel many people have drunk the cool aid and what ever Sharon says is right.

 

Ding ding ding. We have a winner.

 

It pained me to not be able to get on this board when the post from someone here went through to the NADAC list.

 

Alas, the Kool-Aid drinkers squashed it down quickly and it didn't refresh the conversation as I'd hoped it would. And still we get nowhere.....

 

Don't even get me started on the overload of EGC posts lately. That's the direction NADAC appears to be heading these days and it doesn't interest me. All the more reason to branch out and try new things.

 

BTW, we have our broad jump now! All is well. :D

 

post-11040-079762600 1330372390_thumb.jpg

 

Oh nuts, that's really large -- I'd recommend not loading the full version and being happy with the thumbnail. lol

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It is actually much, much easier to qualify in live competition.

 

You CAN NOT seriously believe this. :blink:

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You CAN NOT seriously believe this. :blink:

 

I more than believe it - I've experienced it firsthand.

 

In WCFO Freestyle (which, if you replace the quote you separated out above back into it's proper context, you will see I was speaking of specifically when I said it) yes - it is far, far easier to qualify in live competition than it is to qualify in video competition.

 

I was as surprised by that as anyone who has never done it before would be (because it sounds so easy to someone who has never actually done it), but it is, indeed, true.

 

Creating video for competition is very different from training. I know that might not seem like it would be the case, but it is. And I have found it to be quite a bit more challenging than I ever would have expected.

 

I can't speak for Agility on this since I haven't done video Agility yet. I expect, though, to find that it comes with its own particular challenges that I will learn about when I give it a try.

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