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Everything posted by alligande

  1. Its good to hear it has stabilized, there was a period where it seemed like there where small rule changes every trail. The obstacles are identical to standard equipment. Nothing has changed there. There are huge differences in running a course with jumps and with the obstacles either being close or wide open like in your courses. In FCI we can face wide open courses, that mix in technical handling, in our local league we get tight and much closer spacing. As a handler you can easily be with your dog when the jumps are close, you can get front crosses in, but with a big dog it can be hard to make the turns. The handling style is very different. Not having jumps changes the handlers timing, my dog jumped 20" in NADAC, in USDAA 26" and it there was a huge difference handling those courses, in USDAA I could get crosses in, In NADAC I got spins as I was not able to be as clear with my handling. At the time if I had been committed to NADAC I would have spent a lot more time working on obstacle commitment and driving ahead of me, instead I had a dog who excelled at snooker as he was very responsive to my position and motion (still is, he is a challenge to drive). I regularly train at a lower height than he jumps at, if we can be fluid at a lower height I will have plenty of time at full height. I have already mentioned last weekends seminar which was conducted by a Spanish World team member, I ran the course with no bars (my big dog has been having a training break and I have to keep how much we work down) and it was huge a challenge, there were some sections that without the bars made it almost impossible for the human and so we put the bars up in those areas and it made things possible, jumps also tighten up the turns, without the bars his turns are much wider as he is running flat out. In my opinion the bottom line NADAC is its on style, specialized handling has evolved to run the courses (some of it transferable) many top trainers are not equipped to help students on NADAC courses, it is outside their comfort zone. The handling styles we started talking about have evolved to run "standard" agility, FCI, KC, AKC, USDAA UKI/UKA etc, most of the handlers that developed those techniques have never run a NADAC course.
  2. Pam, Risk is looking good, he is very athletic. Is everyone on the team members of your club?
  3. Please ignore the atrocious handling, poorly trained and stressed dog in the video - I knew no better back then it was our first ever trial. What the video does show is that the course looks like any organizations novice/grade 1 class, no hoops, no barrels and the spacing and handling is what you would think of in agility terms as "normal"
  4. There were no barrels last time I competed in NADAC, my first year or two competing you rarely saw hoops in regular agility, but they were becoming more and more common. The extreme games were just really getting going and were not offered regularly, but the influence was starting to be seen. Sharon Nelson had a very clear agenda for what she saw agility as, AKC, FCI, KC agility are very different beasts as they are run by committees and change is slow, that version of agility has evolved through course design rather than rule changes. NADAC at the time being owned and ran by one person she could change it to suit what she saw as right and for a period of time there were continuous minor rule changes. To be honest I think NADAC is a love it or hate it organization, I only competed in NADAC as starting out it was the only organization that had a good number of trials locally that was not AKC, then a new indoor soccer facility opened and USDAA arrived, at the time I had no clue how different it was. I only continued to compete in NADAC as I liked the people who put on the trials and enjoyed the atmosphere, but I hated the courses. The only thing I miss is tunnelers which is a blast and maybe one of the funnest things you can play. It is also a great venue for a dog starting out as you can train in the ring, but with the style of courses diverging that is probably harder to take advantage of. I know with my young dog I would not want to run him on a NADAC style course as it would cause him frustration as his foundation training so far has been geared for a very different style.
  5. I am currently stuck in grade 1 in FCI with my experienced dog due to this phenomenon, outside of grade 1 the only time you see a flat out sprint across a course is as a trap for grade 3 dogs (grade 3 is harder to get in you need 9 clean runs in the same year and they call everything) in grade 1 we usually have a flat out sprint all round the course, I have run one without needing to do a real cross! So all our fancy training means nothing when your dogs head has exploded and he doesn't want to weave as it's stopping the fun, got one of my precious points on a course where only two dogs had a recorded time (the other was my training/traveling partner) as you had to handle, nothing challenging but there were some reall control points. There is very little you can take from OMD and many of the other handling styles and use in NADAC. NADAC has eveloved into its own branch of agility, most of the other flavors are variations on "standard" agility that competitors the world over would recognize and the techniques work for. NADAC is evolving in a different direction. I started in NADAC in 2009 and then it still looked like "agility" very few hoops and by the time I started competing with Rievaulx in 2011 hoops had started to become standard, I last competed in 2014 and it has changed substantially since then.
  6. I take a lot of online classes, but for a basic resource I would recommend a book called "agility right from the start" it will really help you understand some of the principals behind what you are doing.
  7. Like the others have said don't feel that you have to start a class to do proper socialization. Sometimes a puppy class can be the worst place for a young pup to be if it is not a well run class, meeting well behaved adult dogs can be much better. All you need to be doing is getting out and about, nothing forced just exposing your pup to the world and the way he is going to live. My youngster has never been to a formal class, but when he was a puppy he got exposed to lots of things as part of his daily life, as a one year old he is a very social dog. We did go through a period when he was 7/8 months when he decided the world was scary, some of that was a fear period and some was that I had stopped taking him out and about as it was summer and very hot, I made a bit more effort and we got through it.
  8. I am at a loss on that one as well, in their promo material they say the system can be used for any dog/handler team but I haven't seen it yet. OMD have become all about slick marketing, I was intrigued by their ideas to start but the idea of learning 30+ combinations is just beyond me and now living in Spain and training with different Nationalities I have realized that lots of people use the same turns but with different names, who started which, who knows. We have had lots of conversations that go you want a "what" followed by ahhhhh you mean a blind then a half front cross .... that's a ----------- That is what the Canadians from Shape Up are teaching, the idea that you train independence, and your motion supports the verbal but the dog understands what's required. If you run a large fast dog it makes a huge difference being able to leave and go, so you can be in position for the next critical set of cues. An example is the way my youngster is learning back, back means go back and jump, my older dog goes back but doesn't commit to the jump in the same way. In another example this weekend we had two American dogs mine and a friends border collie who understand the use of an opposite arm/threadle arm and at the seminar this weekend, we were working on a discrimination that is rare in Spain but common in NADAC the Dog walk, tunnel side by side, but it came with an added challenge of having to layer a jump and send to a tunnel, as the dog walk prevented you physically from getting there (tricky bit of course design) the handlers with the threadle arm where able to blast of and being much further ahead than the other teams who were putting in a blind to a half front while running, that was the way the trainer wanted it done but he did admit that when trained the threadle arm worked well.
  9. You don't need to work with them for very long, a few short minutes to start while they are learning whats expected of them. Spend time hanging with your pup, playing with them or just teaching them to hang out and watch tv, its all important stuff. Don't fall into the trap that because your pup is a border collie it needs loads of exercise and loads of stimulation, best advice I read when I got my first border collie was you get the dog you created.
  10. No disagreement on his success Pam, but when I have been watching him recently on tv during recent internationals he looks like he really has to work hard to get to where he needs to be compared to those who use a combination of techniques and taken on board some of the newer ideas. For all my grumbling about Susan Garrets sales techniques her success and ability to adapt and take on new ideas to stay competitive is impressive and she has a good number of years on Greg. Agility is such a young sport and it is evolving all the time which makes it really interesting.
  11. I am not a fan of "systems" either, fundamentally agility is made up of three crosses, front, rear and blind and everything else is a combination of that. I started agility with a very average trainer and learned a front and rear cross and gradually added more skills, I trained my current competition dog with a lot Linda Mecklbergs motion based concepts which at the time I really liked as I was able to get my big fast dog round the course without having to think about verbals. At the time I competed in NADAC and USDAA and the style worked for USDAA not NADAC. I just finished Shape Up agilitys foundation course with my puppy and really liked their style, the modern FCI course has become both fluid and technical and you either need to be bloody fast or have great verbals and their handling style has been tailored so they can compete at that level, we now live in Spain and so this is the style of course we now have to work with. This weekend I put it to the test, I did a seminar and with conventional handling (think OMD and European international) we were all doing a ketchker, to threadle the dog, then a front cross to get the next jump with a tight turn into weaves and so I tried the same sequence with my baby dog using Shape Ups threadle command worked perfectly and I could be much further up the course, all I had to do was run in a straight line, worked just like they said it would! I have never been a fan of Greg Derrett, it has always been too prescriptive for me, an English International judge made an observation to me that GD is anti blind crosses as he still has DVDs to sell and he can't change his handling system without having to redo every thing, which is what Susan Garrett had to do. I love blind crosses, I run a big fast dog and there are many places on a course that it would simply not be possible for me to get to where I needed to be without them, they are certainly not appropriate in every circumstance but with modern courses they are a very important tool. When I started agility in 2009, blind crosses were verboten but a year later when I started with my current dog they were becoming acceptable again. I am a big believer in trying things out, I have taken seminars with speciality NADAC trainers, and although I would never use most of the skills it is always interesting to learn and you never know when you will find something that works for you, at a seminar I am always willing to try the trainers ideas, I might never do it again, but you never know.
  12. I will always remember an agility friend of mine get more and more frustrated as she struggled to complete her NATCH, her dog was already an agility champion in USDAA and AKC (she runs medium dogs) and that elusive chances cue drove her to distraction, she is an amazing handler and with a younger dog gone on to be picked for a world team, and did eventually get her NATCH. I suspect chances is the reason she no longer competes in NADAC as it requires skills that are just not needed in other venues.
  13. That was a great run. No one should ever question their skills when it comes to NADAC chances, I am convinced it is the hardest class there is in agility and requires a level of specialist training that is not used anywhere else. When I competed in NADAC we were in elite jumpers, regular and tunnelers and had not entered a single chances class, there is so much to teach a young dog and my focus was USDAA and learning how to handle my speed demon on that style course. Ironically today in Spain people think I have great distance skills, and I think we would still struggle with a novice chances course!
  14. I was told never to slow my dog down, advice I took but it can be interpreted differently it is not having an out of control dog, but teaching them the skills he needs, I did a lot of "capping drive" which is a concept that comes from the protection sports, they need to learn to think while high as a kite. I also worked through Linda Mecklbergs jumping skills which was a game changer in his independent abilities, a lot of dogs struggle when you add handler motion and it is a skill that needs to be taught. I had a weekly trainer who told me to slow him down not run flat out as I had more speed than I needed, but I also worked with a "top" trainer who's opinion was entirely different, she wanted speed and a win, I chose her advice , what I find interesting is I thought he was fast when we started competing at 20 months, when I look back at video he looks so slow, he will be 8 in August and is faster than ever as he has gained confidence and skills. That said when things go wrong he looks like an out of control beast, he leaps, barks and occasionally bites when I get things wrong, it is always done out of frustration and he is always right, which is sad but very true and I made a decision to allow him to express his frustration with me, I regard it as training for me, handle well and I have focused silent dog, handle poorly and I might get bit!! With my youngster I have a slightly different problem, he has always been a very mature dog and he has a huge work ethic, but at 12.5 months his growth plates are obviously not closed, vet and my dog physio both think it could be another 2 months so we have to wait to learn weaves and contacts. He is also a very different dog to teach, he starts out slow and thoughtful, I was actually concerned that he would more suited for obedience than agility, but once we got going it was obvious once he understands the trick then he just gets faster and loves to run.
  15. Lo Baker is a great trainer, I took a couple of seminars with her. I would definitely recommend her for foundation and starting out.
  16. You mentioned you live in central NH. Even if you are to far away to train regularly with Amanda she is certainly close enough for the occasional seminar or private. http://www.datadrivenagility.com/training-center I used to take private lessons from her and still take her online classes regularly with her she is a great trainer.
  17. Looks like you are in New Hampshire, don't know if this place is close to you https://www.alldogsgym.com I used to compete there. NH has a lot agility going on and some good instructors, I was always jealous of what was available compared to my options in RI, perhaps go to a USDAA trial at All dogs and chat to people and get instructor recommendations. Personal recommendations are the best source of finding a good instructor. I have had personal experience of the frustration of bad instruction, sometimes it's best just to move on.
  18. It is possible that he might adapt quickly to being a house dog. We have had a couple of young foster dogs who had lived outside on chains (we live in Mallorca) and neither of them had any problems figuring out that they went outside to pee. We did crate them and watch them as if they were puppies. They also both quickly decided being a house dog was not a bad way to live. The organizer of the rescue I used to volunteer for in the US had a blind border collie who always amazed me, he played ball with my dogs, ran around the yard, went hiking. He was a very cool dog, he did get grumpy when you moved things and he walked into them but he used to learn new environments very quickly. He did struggle with stairs.
  19. You have already found the best rescourse I know which is Kikopup. Check out Denise Frenzi online classes, the lowest level I think it's called Bronze is very affordable and although you can't participate in the class you can still benefit from everything else.
  20. Thanks for sharing this Mr McCaig, I love watching foster dogs come out of their shells, and learn to be feisty. We had a young border collie who was maybe a year old, when he came to us he was unable to walk on a leash, would not accept pate from my husband, he was just a typical shut down young border collie. Within a month he was a monster, leaping of the furniture, trying to sit on my husbands head, all round good fun. He already had a home waiting for him Germany (lots of dogs get adopted in to Germany form all over Spain but they have to wait for someone to escort them on the flight as it is really cheap to fly them as luggage but very expensive as cargo) if he had not I knew it was time that we could start training and learning about house manners and being a good pet. I was concerned that the flight would set him back, but he got of the plane full of confidence and has never looked back. It just took a month of being very patient and allowing him all the space he needed.
  21. Thank you for continuing to provide Kelso updates his journey is such an inspiration and when we send people to this topic who are having problems with their dogs I hope the updates provide them with the courage to continue working with their own dogs.
  22. I having a rubber chomping machine in my house as well, my almost one year old can destroy rubber toys in amazing speed, he did some serious damage to the handle of a Jolly ball in an hour. Current popular toys in this house are kong wubbers, with and without the balls that go inside, we have a couple of dead skins that they love. Some random rubber toys that have survived the killer jaws and fleece tug toys that seem to hold better than anything else. I use 2 different types of 4 strand braiding for my tugs and they hold up to some tough treatment. Neither of my dogs has much time for regular kongs with or without food.
  23. This is about pups changing characters. I have a pup from working dogs, the litter was bred as it was time for the breeders to have a new dog. Originally they were going to keep a bitch and said I could have the first pick of the boys. As I could not meet the pups I asked her to pick for me based on what I wanted my dog for (agility and pet) so out of the 5 she picked 2 who she felt where her favorites, another one she said was going to make a fine dog, and 2 she felt were going to fireside ornaments they were so lazy and she also thought they weren't very smart. By the time we went to Scotland to pick up the pup the dynamics had changed the two bitches in the litter had left and the two lounge lizards had become the naughty pups, who were leading the rest in mischief and were being kept in a separate crate as they caused so much mayhem! the breeders had decided to keep these two as they were so much fun.
  24. My older dog only likes to eat at night, he does not like eating breakfast so I only feed him once a day. He has always been a fussy eater, he won't eat some kibble, and I do mean would rather starve, if another dog is in the house and applies any pressure or perhaps just looks at him even from 20ft he just walks away from his food, with a toy he would never back down and is a dog that wins squabbles but he just doesn't care about food. My 11 month old is very skinny, he eats plenty, I have offered him more but he doesn't eat it so I am not worrying it about. He is still growing and will be a big boy, but he is always going to be slender it is his build.
  25. I have ordered Dawn's book which at least will give me some new ideas. The trainer I occasionally work with in England has offered to walk me through the process online if I don't find anything organized. She trained her youngster the concept in 2 months and had it proofed and solid in 4 using stride regulators. Planning on starting his running Aframe around 14 months and will probably begin his stopped contacts in the next month (he turned 11 months yesterday)
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