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I plan on auditing an Aled Owen clinic in the fall, and I have a couple of questions.

As I am leaving the dogs at home so I can concentrate on learning/taking notes, how long (roughly) should I plan on being away? I will want to have someone tend to my dogs if it will be more than 6 hours clinic time. The commute is less than an hour.

Are there any other tips? Should I bring my own chair; a packed lunch? 

Thanks in advance.

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Honestly, I'd ask the clinic host these questions. She or he will have a better idea of the schedule and set up as far as food.

I can say it's probably a good idea to take your own chair. ;)

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I hesitated posting the question, because of course it occurred to me to ask the clinic host. So, I expected this would be at least one of the responses. It’s logical. However, at this point I’m trying to get a general idea before it gets closer to the clinic date. At that point I’ll pester the host if I’m unsure. Thanks for your reply.

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The thing is that different hosts will have different plans, especially for food. Some will arrange a potluck or to have pizza or somethings similar brought in, though usually that would be announced ahead of time. Some will have a list of places ppl can go to get lunch or a place where ppl who brown bag it can eat. If it's still a ways off, maybe the host plans to send out info on food closer to the date?

When the day will begin will probably depend on how many ppl sign up for working slots. When it ends can be less predictable because sometimes some dogs need more time, or there are more questions, etc.

It's been a pretty long time since I attended a clinic or hosted one, but I've been to enough to know there's no easy answer to the length of the day. But I'd expect it'll be longer than 6 hours (I'd guess at least 8 or 9)and then you've got travel time to figure in, so I'd arrange for someone to look in on your dogs.

That's the best I can do. I'd still recommend asking the host.  ;)

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There, you’ve given me a general idea with your second post. That’s what I was looking for. Thanks!

 

ETA: It begins at 7:30, so I think my dogs are looking at too long a day to be left without a break. Thanks again.

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I'd think that the clinic host would have already announced if it's BYO regarding food/drinks/snacks. And you can always simply put a folding camp chair in your car. If you don't need it, no harm done. If you do need it, you're ready.

Take sunscreen and a hat with a brim to shield your eyes for sure. I don't know where you're located, but you might also want to dress in layers.

Ruth & Gibbs

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I've found that it's pretty rare for clinics to go for less than 8 hrs, and that's not including the lunch break.  On the other hand, there's no rule that says you can't leave early if you need to.  It's not like you need a hall pass :P, and I don't think it would be considered rude, especially if you thank the host and explain why you have to leave before you take off.

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Thanks Hooper2. That would have been my follow-up question; would it be rude to the clinician or host if I left early. I do have someone to look in on my dogs, but I'm very picky about who I trust with them, so in the event they can't, it's good to know I can leave early without committing a serious faux pas. I wasn't thinking hall pass. I was thinking more along the lines of leaving a tent revival while the preacher's  booming hellfire into the mic. :lol:

I probably could have asked the question better. This is an auditors-pay-at-the-gate affair, so I just had a brief Facebook message exchange with the host and didn't ask a lot of questions. I figured I'd wait to see if more information was forthcoming before I pestered her with twenty questions, and in the mean time get some feedback here, where people have the option of discreetly ignoring dumb questions. ;)

Thanks everyone.

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Auditors at clinics are sort of a 'peanut gallery'.  The stars are the ones who have put their dogs in the clinic. I don't think anyone would be offended if you had to leave early.  You can learn a TON auditing, and another benefit is you don't have the pressure of working your dog in front of a bunch of people ;-)  You can focus on a variety of issues that present and see how the clinician addresses them.  Take lots of notes, you'll benefit from looking over them later.  I would expect the clinic to have at least 8 hours of working time.

Enjoy!

Amy

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I wasn't thinking hall pass. I was thinking more along the lines of leaving a tent revival while the preacher's  booming hellfire into the mic. :lol:

Well, of course that is the disadvantage of leaving early - you'll miss the speaking in tongues (Baa Ram Ewe) and the gospel choir.   Amy's description of auditing as being part of the peanut gallery is good.  You will be basically watching the clinician and handler work the dogs that have been entered.  Some clinics have more of an overall theme with dogs at a somewhat uniform level of training, some clinics have everything from very novice dogs to dogs already working in open, and the clinician helps the  handler with whatever specific issue presents itself.  Some clinicians are better than others about explaining to the auditors and other participants what they are doing and why, but I have yet to audit a clinic that I didn't learn a ton from.  It's nice that you are being considerate of the host and not wanting to pester her with lots of questions, but don't be too shy.   We've all been newbies at one point, some of us are perpetual newbies,  and most sheepdoggers remember that most of the time :)

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Thank you, Hooper2 and Amy. These are very helpful explanations and very much appreciated. Hopefully, I can now navigate my first clinic without eternal consequences. :lol:

ETA: Ruth, thank you for the suggestion of hat with brim. I do have a sun visor that I've worn for sheepdog related events, but I'm not sure I would have remembered to bring it to the clinic! 

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I am happy to report that I received unsolicited but greatly appreciated, updated information about the clinic via a FB message. So, my questions have been answered. I am actually glad I didn’t pester the host.  ;)

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