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I hope you can settle a dispute for me & some friends. We are not expert on all things USBCHA & can't agree on the answer to this question.

 

I know that HA trials only "recognize" Open & Nursery classes, tho' I think they "sanction" the other classes if requested so that the trial manger can use the HA's insurance, right?

 

We had an issue this past weekend where a handler was running a dog for someone. This dog was sent away for training with a well known trainer (not sure to what level....started?). The dog is being boarded & trained by the current handler. The dog has run (with the handler & the owner) in arena & kennel club trials before & is at the intermediate level or maybe into the advanced level there. The handler is a breeder of another herding breed (not Border Collies) and also gives herding lessons at his/her place on his/her stock, will board & train "clients" dogs and is actually a herding judge for the "kennel club". S/he runs his/her own dog at the Pro/Novice level in USBCHA trails.

 

Would anyone here think it is unethical for this dog to be running with this handler in a Novice class? If no, why not? If yes, then why & where would you suggest this person run the dog?

 

Thanks in advance for any input to help solve this friendly discussion!

Cindy

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I hope you can settle a dispute for me & some friends. We are not expert on all things USBCHA & can't agree on the answer to this question.

 

I know that HA trials only "recognize" Open & Nursery classes, tho' I think they "sanction" the other classes if requested so that the trial manger can use the HA's insurance, right?

 

We had an issue this past weekend where a handler was running a dog for someone. This dog was sent away for training with a well known trainer (not sure to what level....started?). The dog is being boarded & trained by the current handler. The dog has run (with the handler & the owner) in arena & kennel club trials before & is at the intermediate level or maybe into the advanced level there. The handler is a breeder of another herding breed (not Border Collies) and also gives herding lessons at his/her place on his/her stock, will board & train "clients" dogs and is actually a herding judge for the "kennel club". S/he runs his/her own dog at the Pro/Novice level in USBCHA trails.

 

Would anyone here think it is unethical for this dog to be running with this handler in a Novice class? If no, why not? If yes, then why & where would you suggest this person run the dog?

 

Thanks in advance for any input to help solve this friendly discussion!

Cindy

 

 

The dog should be run in Pro-Novice, if the handler has run in Pro-Novice before. But not because it's "unethical", really, just because there shouldn't be much point to it, why bother? The dog has already gone in trials for experience, what does running in Novice do for anyone involved? Both Novice and Pro-novice are training classes, they should not be considered competitive in the same way that Open and Nursery are. Now, I guess the question is what is the motivation - if the Novice classes in the area are so competitive that someone who takes money for lessons is entering them- the real problem, IMHO, is whatever points or reward system is put in place to reward people for "competing" in Novice. Personally, I would probably not think well of a person who was supposedly a "herding" judge but trialed in Novice, but there must be some reason they are entering Novice and that might be the real ethical problem.

 

Why doesn't the owner run the dog in novice? Hopefully they aren't paying good money to have their dog "campaigned" in Novice, that might qualify as "unethical".

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Novice? Ah, let em run where they want to. Sounds like the dog has more mileage than either handler. If the handler/trainer is taking money for this and running in Novice then the owner deserves to be fleeced :rolleyes:

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Based on she/he running her/his own dog in Pro-Novice I would expect her/him to run a new or young dog in Novice (one class lower then the highest level they have competed in). Same if the trainer ran the dog in pro-novice I would expect the student to run it novice.

 

 

If you are applying the concept of "No Training or Judging unless you are a USBCHA Open Handler" your going to find that many many trainers and judges won't fit your ideal that focus on other venues and/or with other breeds. Their creditentials are based on the venue they are certified for or focused on. Apples and Oranges.

 

 

Deb

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Based on she/he running her/his own dog in Pro-Novice I would expect her/him to run a new or young dog in Novice (one class lower then the highest level they have competed in). Same if the trainer ran the dog in pro-novice I would expect the student to run it novice.

If you are applying the concept of "No Training or Judging unless you are a USBCHA Open Handler" your going to find that many many trainers and judges won't fit your ideal that focus on other venues and/or with other breeds. Their creditentials are based on the venue they are certified for or focused on. Apples and Oranges.

Deb

 

I have no problem with the owner running the dog in novice, and "by the rules", the "judge/trainer/handler" isn't breaking any, unless that club/association has issue with it. But really, if a person earns money by taking in dogs to handle, they have set out their shingle as a pro, and since Pro-Novice is designed with exactly that scenario in mind, that is either the dog or the handler have experience, then that is where the dog should be run -- especially if the handler is paid to do so. It really doesn't have anything to do with other venues, the dog in question is a border collie, anyone who takes money to work with someone else's border collie ought to be able to run in Pro-Novice or it's just not ready to trial. Novice would be appropriate for the owner, unless someone kicks the dog up to Open, then the owner should run in Pro-Novice as well.

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What say you about a newer handler trialing a dog trained to open level(never trialed) in the Novice class?

 

I don't think it is fair for the newer people starting out with there first dog or what not who have learned and done all the training themselves to compete against someone who bought an older dog trained for open work who two weeks later can enter a novice class and win. The dog practicly runs the course on its own.

 

I really think that Novice classes should be for Newer handlers and Newer dogs. If either the handler or dog has been doing things awhile, they should be bumped up where they belong. And if they can't compete with the "big kids", maybe re-evaluate the way they train/handle. INSTEAD of continueing to enter the Novice classes where they can win.

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The rules of the association which is sanctioning the trial should apply.We had a similar situation at the Fl trials this year.I purchased a dog that had previously run in Open,by bGSDA rules I couldn't run in ranch ie drop down a level.So I ran N/C Ranch at one trial and Open at the others.

 

So check the regional association rules.

 

Jim Murphy

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The HA has no control over the other classes; the rules for these classes are set by the local/regional club that sanctioned the trial. Follow their rules.

 

As far as the ethics of which class; IMHO the lower classes are for learning (handler and dog) and not for egos. The goal is not how well the handler/dog placed in these classes (who beat who); the goal is how well the handle/dog team is progressing towards success in open (are we getting better).

 

It's really not important how well a team placed in Novice at trial X or that the team was the Novice Champion for year XXXX. Does anyone remember who was the valedictorian of their first grade class; or who had the best grade in their freshman year English exam? Did these really make a difference for their careers?

 

Mark

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As others have noted, the local organization's rules apply. That said, ethically I see no problem with a person who has never run above P/N themselves running someone else's dog in N/N or P/N. The P in P/N stands for pro, but it really is intended to mean "open" at least in common practice (as opposed to someone who takes money for training a dog--I won't get into the cringeworthiness of paying someone to train my dog if that person has never trialed above the P/N level themselves, but I imagine it's fairly common among folks who trial in other venues).

 

So a novice (defined as anyone who hasn't run in open) handler can run an open dog in P/N and an open handler can run a novice dog in P/N. But an open handler (the working definition of "pro") can't run a fully trained (open) dog in P/N. Often, an open handler will be allowed to run a new open dog in ranch (unlike the case Joanne noted), but with restrictions (i.e., so many wins/placings and you move back up). Of course there are always folks who are so interested in winning that they will try to "work the system" in their favor.

 

The fact is that you will have open handlers running young dogs, novice handlers running fully trained dogs, and novice handlers running dogs they've moved up from N/N all in a P/N class. I don't think anyone would think that these three groups are really equivalent in terms of skill and experience, but it's just the way it is. One thing that tends to even such a class out is that at least the open handlers usually move their young dogs out of the class fairly quickly.

 

If the owner in question has run his/her dog in AKC/arena trials, then there's really no reason why he/she couldn't run his/her own dog in N/N, but there's also nothing to stop the trainer from running it in P/N.

 

J.

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So I'm going to be entering Nick & myself in our first trial this spring. Nick is almost 6, and aside from a really functional shed, we do everything in an open course at home. I'm planning on entering N/N and Ranch. I figured I'd do N/N as a NC just for the exposure. N/N at these trials is basically O, L, F, Pen. I feel like it wouldn't be fair to enter a dog who does those things easily at home all the time as a competitor against potentially less experienced dogs. Does that sound reasonable?

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Uh....I say this with great humbleness and a shy smile.

 

It ain't like working at home!

 

But its a great group of people and it adds skills.

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Ben,

As always, check your local association's rules. Most handler's associations will not allow a non-compete run before a compete run, so unless N/N is offered *after* the ranch class, you may not be allowed to use it for a practice run before the class in which you plan to actually compete. If N/N comes first, the likely the only way you'd be able to run in both classes is if you ran in N/N and then officially moved up to run in ranch, which normally means you wouldn't be able to run Nick in N/N again. This is based on typical rules around here, though, and it may differ for the trial you want to enter, so best to check with the organizers.

 

J.

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Ben,

 

My dogs and I are living, breathing proof that just because we can do it at home doesn't mean that you can do it during a trial. :rolleyes: Different sheep, different field and even on my home field with my sheep, my nervousness wreaks havoc. But good luck to you and have fun. That's the important part.

 

Laura

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On the other hand, when I think about how unbelievably little I knew about stockwork when I ran my first n/n trial...well, let's just say compared with that, Ben is a Big Hat :rolleyes:

 

(And, yes, I started trialing waaaaaaaaay too soon!)

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So I'm going to be entering Nick & myself in our first trial this spring.

Ooh! Which trial? I'll come to cheer you on!

 

To the OP, in BC, for BC Stock Dog Association trials, we define a NN team as a novice handler with a novice dog. "Novice" is defined as "has not run in Open". This is specific to the type of trial (arena and field). As BCSDA trial director, one of my jobs is to track a team's move-ups. BCSDA rules state that a team that has placed in the top 1/3 of a class 7 times must move up to the next class. Similarly, if a NN team placed in the top 1/2 of a PN class, then you must move up to the next class. Our move-ups are for the next trialing year, so we will let you finish the year in the class in which you started.

 

In your scenario, the team would be eligible for NN as both members of the team are novices. If the dog had competed in an Open trial (not just 'trained to an Open level'), then they would have to run PN in BC. Similarly, if the handler had run in Open, then s/he would never be able to run in NN again in a BCSDA sanctioned event. From an "ethics" point of view, I'm with Mark - does anyone truly care about how you placed in a NN class? Novice is a class for getting your feet wet, seeing where you are as a team, etc. We do have some "lifers" in NN here (running their 3rd or 4th dog in NN exclusively) but most people are fairly keen to get to the next level. Yeah, we have people who run NN who take money for lessons. <shrug> We've got nothing in our association rules to bump them along. Generally, I think people enter the correct class, and their placements reflect it. :rolleyes:

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Julie, I didn't think of that. Makes sense- would be like a practice run. Guess I'll just enter both if I can. I've been told I can enter both classes by folks who run at these trials- I know you can run the same dog in Ranch & Open, but only the points from the highest level class count towards Association awards. Only Nursery & Open are USBCHA-sanction classes, right?

 

Kristi, it's a trial on Whidbey in June (I think) and maybe on on the Key Peninsula over Memorial Day.

 

I don't really care how we do- I mostly want to get out there so I'm ready when it's time to trial Hoot (provided he has the skills, of course). Besides, Nick's siblings are kicking butt in trials, so I figure he should get his chance to try, too :rolleyes:

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The trials that Ben are speaking of usually has Ranch then followed by Novice. I would suggest that he enter compete in both of them. Nick his wonderful gray Border Collie, can do both.

 

The lower classes down here are not as uptight as the upper classes and people enter them as a stepping stone to PN.

 

I am so gonna tke pixs of Ben and Nick....they are so darn cute!!

 

Diane

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Kristi, it's a trial on Whidbey in June (I think) and maybe on on the Key Peninsula over Memorial Day.

Oh, I'll try and watch! We're doing Whidby, but I think Open is Saturday-Sunday. Are the novice classes on Monday? Maybe I'll have to extend our trip. I'm not sure if we're doing Key Peninsula, but now you've given me a reason to enter!

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Thanks for the replies everyone,

 

The team in question outscored the next team by more than 30 points in the first trial. Apparently complaints were made to the trial host at the handlers dinner- a few beers mustered their courage? The next morning the handler was asked to move up to PN. S/he did not immediately agree & instead argued the case for the dog to be in NN but "would accept the host's decision". The host, who is a very nice (accommodating) person & allowed the handler to remain in NN. The handler then had a surprising miscue in the second trial and came in 3rd.

 

 

I have no idea if the owner pays the handler to run the dog. I do wonder why someone would want to run in Novice when they are clearly so much more experienced than their competitors. This handler has put multiple arena & kennel club championships on multiple dogs. Maybe the dog was underestimated on Saturday but why not rectify the situation on Sunday & move up? Also rumor has it there was *Payback* in PN-LOL!

 

As someone said, there are no real rules, anyone can run in Novice Personally I think ethics should dictate who runs in the novice class. It really causes a loss of respect from fellow handlers to see trainers & pro handlers out there and is very demoralizing to the true novice. Really if it doesn't matter then why bother having a Novice class? Just have PN so folks can enter knowing what they'll be competing against.

 

Thanks again for the input,

Cindy

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Cindy,

There always will be folks who are more interested in winning than in actually competing where it's most fair. And since she was within "the letter of the law" it was her right to run in N/N. It really speaks more about her than anything else, and when most of us encounter such people, we just shake our heads and smile. I'm sure she touts her N/N wins as big stuff among the AKC crowd.

 

J.

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Aren't there some associations that exclude a handler from N/N if s/he has been paid for training dogs or giving lessons? I vaguely thought the VA association had adopted a definition of novice that excluded people who have derived income from training, but I'm not really up on their rules so I'm not sure. It seems to me that there should be such a rule, though. N/N is for novices, and if you hold yourself out as a professional (paid) trainer, how can you claim to be a novice?

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So I'm going to be entering Nick & myself in our first trial this spring. Nick is almost 6, and aside from a really functional shed, we do everything in an open course at home. I'm planning on entering N/N and Ranch. I figured I'd do N/N as a NC just for the exposure. N/N at these trials is basically O, L, F, Pen.

 

Hi Ben,

If Nick is trained up to an 'open course' (minus the shed) & considering that you work sheep daily, I think you would find N/N a boring waste of time and money. It is a very very small outrun. For you & Nick, Ranch would be the place to get your feet wet and exposure. For an 'open' level dog, your other option would be to try Pro/Nov non-compete. Same course as Ranch but just bigger....often about a 200 yard outrun. I am assuming that Nick can do a 300+ yd. outrun, can drive a good distance and has solid flanks? Also assume that you read sheep very well and know your commands down pat? A lot of the novice handlers have dogs that are pets first, perhaps come from agility or another sport, and take lessons on sheep once a week or less.

I'll look forward to meeting you and cheering you on as I'll be going to those same trials most likely. Are you close enough to Whidbey to make a day trip there? Because I know that Martha McHardy is going to Susan Crocker's farm sometime in March to give lessons over a week or so. If you could make it there, you would get a good picture of the trial field/sheep and Nick's ability in a strange place.

cheers Lani

Langley BC

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Ben,

 

When you come down to my place in March, I've have you run a Ranch and then a PN course and judge you. Then you will have an idea of where you are really at in your training.

 

How does that sound? The sheep are not my sheep but Nayab's sheep. They were formerly known as Dirk's Open trial sheep. It will be at my big field though.

 

Diane

 

p.s. my judging fee is Almond Squares!!

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Aren't there some associations that exclude a handler from N/N if s/he has been paid for training dogs or giving lessons? I vaguely thought the VA association had adopted a definition of novice that excluded people who have derived income from training, but I'm not really up on their rules so I'm not sure. It seems to me that there should be such a rule, though. N/N is for novices, and if you hold yourself out as a professional (paid) trainer, how can you claim to be a novice?

I thought you were mistaken Eileen, so I went and looked at the VBCA bylaws and it does indeed say that:

A novice shall be defined as one who does not receive financial gain from training stock dogs other than their own, instructing or judging stock dogs or handlers and also who has not run in a regular season open trial.

 

And yet I don't think it's ever been enforced to my knowledge, and I don't even know how anyone would know for sure that someone was giving lessons or taking dogs in for training, especially if the person is doing so in other venues (AKC, AHBA, ASCA). It wouldn't surprise me if this rule hadn't been added in response to a specific issue and then largely ignored afterward. Although in the case described, the handler would have been in blatant violation of the rule, but I wonder who in the VBCA would actually know that without looking it up? I sure didn't know the rule existed as stated above and I've trialed under VBCA for years....

 

J.

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