Jump to content
BC Boards
LauraV

Agility advice needed. I don't know what to do next.

Recommended Posts

I guess it must be a cultural/regional thing. I am not the only person in my class who brings specific requests or modifications into the class. It must be something that is done here, but not everywhere.

 

I count myself fortunate that I have such a flexible and helpful instructor. I do the same in my classes - in fact, I welcome specific requests and always go out of my way to accommodate them, even in a group class.

 

I don't really understand why you are confused as to why I am in a class. Classes are offered at the facility where I train so that those of us who wish to hone our skills in various sports (Agility being one of them) have the opportunity to do so. The instructors are there to help us accomplish our particular goals (some people don't compete at all, some compete in CPE, some in AKC, some in USDAA, some in UKI - so yes, at times our needs do differ). In Agility we get the opportunity each week to work on our skills and have a weekly chance to run different sequences and practice different skills.

 

And while the instructor does set up the opportunities to work on particular skills in each class, there is a place of individual needs to be met in that context.

 

There is no need to go do privates. My instructor is flexible and welcomes requests to work on specific skills within the context of the class. This has actually been true of every Agility instructor I have ever worked with beyond the foundation level.

 

When I do privates there is always an extraordinary reason. I am working with a dog on foundation and have particular equipment needs. Or I am working with a dog who has a special need that makes a group class difficult. Or I have the opportunity to work with a particular person from whom I wish to learn and cannot do so in a class format. Or I am building the dog's confidence and want an empty room while we work.

 

But normally, when I run into a particular issue, or I want to practice something in particular, my own instructor is very open to me telling her what is going on, and we use my class time accordingly. This isn't a problem for her and it isn't a problem for me. In fact, she would definitely prefer that I bring my specific questions and issues to her, rather than go out and ask someone else.

 

Does that answer your question?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

but that doesn't make it not disrespectful (in my eyes) to both the instructor and other students (those there and those who may not have gotten in because you're taking their spot) to be ignoring the class format.

 

I don't know why you think I'm ignoring the class format.

 

First, I didn't say that I never do what the instructor has the class working on. Most of the time that is exactly what I am doing.

 

Second, the fact that my instructor has no problem with me doing something completely different at times does not in any way imply that most of the time I am ignoring the class format.

 

Even when I do something different, I still walk the course as it is set out, and I watch the other runs. I am not just ignoring the instructor and the entire class.

 

Again, I don't even understand why you would get that impression.

 

I have expressed appreciation for the fact that most of the instructors I have worked with have been very open to students communicating issues to them and making individual requests that will help the instructor to facilitate their learning. I did not say that I go to classes but ignore my instructor and do my own thing all the time with no regard for anyone or anything. Again, I don't know where that impression came from.

 

Does that clear things up? I hope.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This has been an interesting discussion. I guess I like a lively, interactive coach. Instructions yelled out don't bother me at all (nor my dogs, luckily). I'm used to hearing "run! turn now! other way!" etc. Oh, and my favorite, "what are you doing?". ;) When I was in a class with the same group for a long time, we'd also get some peanut gallery comments (and cackling) at times. It's all in good spirit and fun.

Oh, and I agree that group classes are for groups (of course, exercises can be tweaked for individual needs), and I would never go to class to work on my own things. Kristine, you're lucky that your trainer is open to that!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually, I have to disagree with this - to an extent - as well. As an advanced student, I very often let my instructor know that I need to work on something different from the group, and I have a reasonable expectation to be accommodated since I am trialing and I need to work on my own team's particular weaknesses, and challenges, and I need to work on what I need to work on.

 

I don't disrupt the class in any way to do this. But . . . if the instructor wants the class to work on rear crosses, but I need to focus on sending because I have a Jackpot run coming up, I would say that it is perfectly appropriate to let the instructor know that I intend to work on something different during my time in the ring.

I guess I, and others, were responding to this, specifically : I very often let my instructor know that I need to work on something different from the group, and I have a reasonable expectation to be accommodated since I am trialing and I need to work on my own team's particular weaknesses, and challenges, and I need to work on what I need to work on.

 

Now that you've watered it down to "most of the time", you do what the class is doing, it seems less provocative. Carry on, then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to be the class rebel, I was the only one who did USDAA, the only one going for the win, and really the only who was really pushing to improve my own handling so I could attempt to run my dog flat out. So why did I keep going to a class that did not match my goals, it took me on a good day 50 minutes to get there, the next closest place was 90 minutes away, and my favorite trainer only taught in the summer and she was closer to 2 hours away and cost me 60 an hour, great for the calibre of coach but not something I could do every week. So we muddled along with a great group of people who I enjoyed but with different personal goals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess I, and others, were responding to this, specifically : I very often let my instructor know that I need to work on something different from the group, and I have a reasonable expectation to be accommodated since I am trialing and I need to work on my own team's particular weaknesses, and challenges, and I need to work on what I need to work on.

 

Now that you've watered it down to "most of the time", you do what the class is doing, it seems less provocative. Carry on, then.

 

Yes.

 

That.

 

I mean carry on anyway, but that.

 

Total aside: I run NADAC. Earlier classes with my group cover things I'm never going to use. Some exercises I do, some I sit out. Sometimes sequences involve things I'm not doing/don't want my dog on, so we skip those. It's not like I'm saying NO customization. It's just a case of me not getting why you'd show up at a class and more often than not ignore what was happening in class/the class was working on.

 

Which is no longer what you're saying so - see quote again.

 

Really even more aside: Everyone in my advanced class is trialing. If we customized to everyone's individual weaknesses and things they need to work on, there'd be no class time left.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I totally get that classes aren't a perfect fit. I am the only one in my class NOT really doing AAC, but that's ok. The a-frame is a different height, the spread jumps are a little different, but I can work through it. I am trialling, after all. And our teacher, whom I adore, regularly emails the class, begging for ideas that people want to work on in class, whether it be gambles or hard weave entries or discriminations, or what have you. No one wants to work on what I need, which is tunnel commitment (stop laughing) so I work on that at home, or at the other end of the barn where there's equipment set up for practice.

 

My teacher uses a motion system and that's what she teaches. If you come from another stream of thought, you're welcome in the class, but the type of advice that she can give you to help with handling choices might not jive with your system, and really, if you are from a system that, say, uses a lot of verbal to override motion, then why wouldn't you find an instructor who teaches that?

 

Most of what she sets up are international-style sequences (think OMD or stuff from the FCIs or European Open). I personally don't like all the twisty spinny stuff, but I do it, and we're actually ok at it. If you were doing NADAC, where you are never going to have to push to a backside or threadle, then you won't like these sequences. And while I don't like the spinning, and in a trial, I likely will do a post to a rear over a Jaako to a blind, I will try it the way she suggests, because that's why I'm taking the class. Rex has more USDAA Fancy Jumpers than regular Jumpers, because I have inadvertently been assimilated to the twisty spinny club (and we really suck at jumpers without weaves). :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it works for Kristine, for Kristine's instructor and the rest of her class doesn't mind, I really don't understand why it's anyone else's business how they do things.

 

I totally don't get people getting offended over how other people spend their class time when it doesn't affect them in the least. :wacko:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know that anyone is offended. I know I wasn't, I was just having a discussion. That's what these boards are for. Kristine often offers a view that is different than mine when it comes to training, and we have a discussion about it. I learn stuff. I don't know if she learns anything from me but at least I hope she's not worse off for having been in a discussion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wasn't referring to you, Kristi, but to the person who told Kristine that it was "incredibly rude." That and following posts with the same tenor sound to me like someone who's taken offense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wasn't referring to you, Kristi, but to the person who told Kristine that it was "incredibly rude." That and following posts with the same tenor sound to me like someone who's taken offense.

 

I said *I* would find it incredibly rude and that in my eyes it was disrespectful and rude specified MY OPINION/from MY perspective pretty repeatedly for a reason - to avoid making it a universal statement that it was absolutely rude/disrespectful.

 

I also said, repeatedly, that if it wasn't a problem for the instructor and classmates and no one was losing out on class time or access it didn't matter in any practical way.

 

The below was edited in - but LONG before we were on this fresh page.

 

*ETA:* Though obviously and of course if your instructor doesn't mind and the other students don't mind and no one's losing a chance to take the class you're not actually participating in, it doesn't matter at all.

It just also doesn't make any sense to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No one wants to work on what I need, which is tunnel commitment (stop laughing) ,,,,,,,

LOL. Ha Ha Ha! :D

 

Seriously though, I also enjoy learning whatever skill is thrown at us. I may not use it very much, but I like having many tools in the toolbox. I remember trying to train Torque, by myself, to go around the backside of a jump about 3-4 years ago. I had seen it in some videos from European agility trials and thought it would be an interesting challenge. Most people around here were scared of backsides or didn't see the need for training them because we weren't seeing many of them in the trials here. Well, guess what has changed in the last 3-4 years?

 

FWIW, I mostly trial AKC & USDAA. It is my belief that the tighter courses help me control my crazy fast dog in the ring because he will pay more attention to me. I tend to loose connection sometimes when I run a NADAC course. But having said that, I will participate in NADAC about twice per year because there are a couple of really local (~20 miles) trials. And Torque and I just Love, Love, LOVE the Tunnelers course in NADAC. Flat out running for a real adrenaline high. Yippee!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've actually trained backsides and treadles on my own - because they were fun, and because I had not yet figured out NADAC doesn't do backsides.

 

 

I like learning stuff, even if I never use it. I just see more NADAC than anything except AKC, and darn it I'm not doing AKC. ...Am periodically tempted by some JWW courses though just because they're *there*.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now that my dog is past the stage where he needs to be in a class for socialization, I prefer semi-privates. My dog overheats easily and even in the winter it can be quite hot here, so having another dog in class gives him (and me) a rest. At this stage of the game, I see little value in groups unless everyone in the class is working at least my level, preferably higher, so I can learn by watching the other students.

 

I've found that group classes frequently have one student that is very high maintenance/ needy and I no longer want to waste my time on such situations

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I totally get that classes aren't a perfect fit. I am the only one in my class NOT really doing AAC, but that's ok. The a-frame is a different height, the spread jumps are a little different, but I can work through it. I am trialling, after all. And our teacher, whom I adore, regularly emails the class, begging for ideas that people want to work on in class, whether it be gambles or hard weave entries or discriminations, or what have you. No one wants to work on what I need, which is tunnel commitment (stop laughing) so I work on that at home, or at the other end of the barn where there's equipment set up for practice.

 

My teacher uses a motion system and that's what she teaches. If you come from another stream of thought, you're welcome in the class, but the type of advice that she can give you to help with handling choices might not jive with your system, and really, if you are from a system that, say, uses a lot of verbal to override motion, then why wouldn't you find an instructor who teaches that?

 

Most of what she sets up are international-style sequences (think OMD or stuff from the FCIs or European Open). I personally don't like all the twisty spinny stuff, but I do it, and we're actually ok at it. If you were doing NADAC, where you are never going to have to push to a backside or threadle, then you won't like these sequences. And while I don't like the spinning, and in a trial, I likely will do a post to a rear over a Jaako to a blind, I will try it the way she suggests, because that's why I'm taking the class. Rex has more USDAA Fancy Jumpers than regular Jumpers, because I have inadvertently been assimilated to the twisty spinny club (and we really suck at jumpers without weaves). :D

I used to have tunnel issues, both fear and commitment due to the fear, so I get it ;)

 

Now I can't keep Lily out of the tunnels! So there is hope.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I won't even mention what my Rally FrEe instructor allows me to do in her class each and every week . . . !!!

 

It would be beyond shocking!! :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know that anyone is offended. I know I wasn't, I was just having a discussion. That's what these boards are for. Kristine often offers a view that is different than mine when it comes to training, and we have a discussion about it. I learn stuff. I don't know if she learns anything from me but at least I hope she's not worse off for having been in a discussion.

 

I've learned stuff from you. :)

 

This is the best site on the internet for discussion. We don't all always agree, but this is actually the last place that I know of where we can disagree, and even get into something of a heated debate on a particular issue, even break out into a downright spat from time to time, and we all stick around and keep on talking to each other! We might agree tomorrow. Or not. And it's all good.

 

I certainly wasn't offended by any of this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to have tunnel issues, both fear and commitment due to the fear, so I get it ;)

 

Now I can't keep Lily out of the tunnels! So there is hope.

Thanks! My dog is going to be 9 in May, and he's been competing for 6 years. He has qualified for Cynosport for 4 years, AAC Nationals for 3, and actually isn't a bad agility dog except for this. I think we're at the point in our career where we just laugh, because what border collie WHO IS AFRAID OF NOTHING EXCEPT FOR THE SOUND OF WIND ON A VIDEO balks at going in a tunnel? As far as we can tell, it's because he doesn't want to lose sight of my knee, because then what would he bark at? :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×