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What about a different spin on this...opinions on running the same dog in Novice/Novice and Nursery classes, at the same trial?

With absolutely no rules basis for my opinion, this just sounds wrong to me. A young dog that is suitably trained and handled to run in Nursery should be well beyond Novice. Running in Pro-Nov or Ranch sounds reasonable (oftentimes, like at Bluegrass, they are run on the same course) but not Novice. As I said, no basis for my opinion other than gut feeling.

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It is not prohibited, Sue, and I agree with you. Does that mean there's a "loophole" in the rules (in that it's not expressly prohibited), a sort of "Code of Conduct" that is so obvious to most that it didn't need to be written, or have I got the wrong perspective on it?

I guess maybe that a problem with making "rules" is that not every case is the same. I don't know the circumstances, of course. Under NEBCA rules, if I understand correctly, no dog that has run in a class any higher than Pro-Nov can run in Novice with a (different) novice handler (and, of course, can't run in Novice with the same handler that it ran in Pro-Nov). So, you would think (following their line of thought) that a dog that has *competed* at Nursery level would not be eligible to compete at Novice level with any handler.

 

But, not all organizations have the exact same rules, I'm assuming, and not all trials fall under the aegis of a regional/local organization, so the trial host/course director might decide otherwise?

 

Rule or no rule, it just doesn't sound sportsmanlike to me but I don't trial, and really shouldn't be sticking my nose in this discussion. :rolleyes:

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Hello everyone,

 

Megan wrote:

 

It is not prohibited, Sue, and I agree with you. Does that mean there's a "loophole" in the rules (in that it's not expressly prohibited), a sort of "Code of Conduct" that is so obvious to most that it didn't need to be written, or have I got the wrong perspective on it?

 

One of the problems with making a rule to address running the same dog in the Nursery class and in Novice-Novice is that the USBCHA (which governs Nursery) does not sanction Novice classes. So, it would be up to the local associations to address this issue, and then there would be the challenge of consistency among all of the regional associations. Personally, I would hope that anyone with a dog capable of running a Nursery course would refrain from entering it in a Novice-Novice class, regardless of the handler's eligibility for that class.

 

Just my shovelfull,

nancy

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Hello everyone,

 

Megan wrote:

One of the problems with making a rule to address running the same dog in the Nursery class and in Novice-Novice is that the USBCHA (which governs Nursery) does not sanction Novice classes. So, it would be up to the local associations to address this issue, and then there would be the challenge of consistency among all of the regional associations. Personally, I would hope that anyone with a dog capable of running a Nursery course would refrain from entering it in a Novice-Novice class, regardless of the handler's eligibility for that class.

 

Just my shovelfull,

nancy

Sounds like your shovel and my shovel have similar opinions on this one! :rolleyes:

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Hi Sue,

 

"Sounds like your shovel and my shovel have similar opinions on this one! "

 

Funny!!! Hey, did you go to get Dan yet?

 

nancy

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Hi Sue,

 

"Sounds like your shovel and my shovel have similar opinions on this one! "

 

Funny!!! Hey, did you go to get Dan yet?

 

nancy

I'll be driving partway down tomorrow evening after work, and then working with Roy on Wed morning, and driving home that day. We are excited (although I have to admit that Dan has been a bit of a handful, even for Roy) although Celt will not be happy that Dan's coming home. Celt's enjoyed this peaceful summer without a brash and confident youngster to get under his skin.

 

The rest of us are excited! Maybe Roy, most of all!

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Debbie asked a good question. I didn't recognize the handler's name, but then, I wasn't around much last year. I've tried to look at it from several perspectives (could the person be new to trialing? not from the area? etc.), but I keep coming back to the thought that even if it was a person's very first trial...wouldn't it make sense to review the rules or requirements of each class to know what to enter? I'd think that should make it obvious that what is expected of the Nursery dogs, and what is expected of the Nov/Nov dogs, are at two completely different skill levels. BTW, the handler seemed to do a nice job, from what I saw. :rolleyes:

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LOL! And will photos be taken of Roy and you working him...and will they posted? :D

I'm taking the camera, charging the batteries, and hoping for the best!

 

Previously, when I went after the Bluegrass, he did okay the evening he didn't know I was there, and was an absolute meathead the next morning - and Roy said it took him nine days to get Dan's mind back on his work - he kept running to the yard to look for me each time he was let out. I am flattered but that is one reason that I haven't been back for the last (almost) four months - because Roy was concerned it would take him over a week each time to get Dan's brain back in gear.

 

Roy is very concerned that Dan will be too much for me, and I'm hoping he's wrong on that. Nevertheless, I plan on photos but my camera is not the best! That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it!!! :rolleyes:

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Hi all,

 

Debbie asked a good question. I didn't recognize the handler's name, but then, I wasn't around much last year. I've tried to look at it from several perspectives (could the person be new to trialing? not from the area? etc.), but I keep coming back to the thought that even if it was a person's very first trial...wouldn't it make sense to review the rules or requirements of each class to know what to enter? I'd think that should make it obvious that what is expected of the Nursery dogs, and what is expected of the Nov/Nov dogs, are at two completely different skill levels. BTW, the handler seemed to do a nice job, from what I saw. :rolleyes:

 

Oh, so this actually happened???? I thought that your question was hypothetical (silly me!). It would be interesting to know if the handler had trained the dog or purchased it trained, as well.

 

nancy

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Oh, so this actually happened????

 

It did, but I didn't want it to sound like I was "sour grapes" complaining about it, just...puzzled, or taken aback, I guess.

 

I take total responsibility for my own suckage (or success) in my runs, and no one else's run, good or bad, has any direct impact on my own run. I just have to do the best I can, and strive to do as well as the people that set the bar high. :rolleyes:

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Debbie asked a good question. I didn't recognize the handler's name, but then, I wasn't around much last year. I've tried to look at it from several perspectives (could the person be new to trialing? not from the area? etc.), but I keep coming back to the thought that even if it was a person's very first trial...wouldn't it make sense to review the rules or requirements of each class to know what to enter? I'd think that should make it obvious that what is expected of the Nursery dogs, and what is expected of the Nov/Nov dogs, are at two completely different skill levels. BTW, the handler seemed to do a nice job, from what I saw. :rolleyes:

 

Depending on the area, there really are no printed rules for newbees or they don't know where to find them. Even then I see people enter into classes that either they are not ready for or that maybe they are over prepared for depending on whether or not someone takes them under their wing or even if the right person takes them under their wing.

 

A case in point is our State Fair, many of our open handlers that have novice students advised their students against entering the Ranch class at our fair, it requires the same level that is seen at our clubs typical P/N class, but there were still some there that have not run any higher then Novice at other events or have not ever run at our club events pony up to play, it happens every year. The description of the requirements was offered on the State Fair website, some have seen it run before and others haven't. I would suspect the reasons for entering are many, quite possibly each person will have a different reason. After this last year I had some handlers wanting to require the Novice handlers that entered to move up to pro-novice next time out, personally, I don't think it should be mandated but instead the performance should be considered. I would rather see the novice handlers move back down to their proper class then to see them struggle at the higher class and credit it as a mistake or being misadvised.

 

I have seen new novice handlers enter Nursery simply because their dogs qualify based on age, assuming that the class would be simple being for young dogs, I've also seen them give it a try after being approached by other handlers looking for a couple more nursery age dogs. As far as those that enter it not realizing what is required, it just depends on what a persons vision of work is for a young dog, if they come from other venues they may expect the entire course to be fetched. It's amazing how many come to their first trial and just enter, or if they have been to one before they just didn't understand what they saw. It always seems to look different when your actually standing at the post then it does from the sidelines.

 

Around here, depending on the circle you are in, there is quite a bit of pressure to move up, if anything a bit too much. Though I understand one of the points of view, move up and push your dog and yourself or get a different one. I often hear the argument that there should be only one class of handler and one primary class, Open, the idea is that if your dog is not ready to handle open that you should stay home and keep training. Still offer Nursery, but it's for the youngsters.

 

Another perspective is that if the open handlers want to push the others to move up then open handlers should not be running in the p/n class (this was from an open handler). The idea is that an open handler should be running Nursery with their young dogs, transitioning them to Open when they are ready and then their older dogs should all be Open dogs. This would leave P/N as a Novice handler only class.

 

I've been pondering where to run my young dog this next season, I think ideally would be to enter him in the class where he is not over his head and would be most likely successful while also giving me more handling expirence. At this point I'm thinking P/N and Nursery, the other handlers that I work with are talking of running theirs Open and Nursery this year (their dogs are the same age, but they have been trialling a lot more then me), I suspect that if their focus was sheepdog trials that they would be rethinking that decision and sticking with P/N until they had a good shed on their dogs, don't need a shed for the cattle trials, but when we run open in cattle we are automatically expected to run Open at the sheepdog trials. Everyone has their own ideas of how other should enter.

 

Anyway, in regard to the history posted after the original question, I would be surprised if that handler didn't run P/N next time out, unless the club was offering a highpoint year end novice award, then I could see them staying in Novice through the end of the season and then moving up (we have that going on here now with a handler or two).

 

 

BTW, Sue, hope all goes well with Dan!!!

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It did, but I didn't want it to sound like I was "sour grapes" complaining about it, just...puzzled, or taken aback, I guess.

 

I take total responsibility for my own suckage (or success) in my runs, and no one else's run, good or bad, has any direct impact on my own run. I just have to do the best I can, and strive to do as well as the people that set the bar high. :rolleyes:

 

I've also seen this, but with different handlers running the dog in the two classes--a young, very nice dog who was trained up by an Open handler, who ran the dog in Ranch and Nursery while training it. At the first trial when the dog had been turned back to its owner, the owner (a very novice handler) ran the dog in Novice-Novice and the Open handler ran it in Nursery.

 

A few folks looked askance at it and I heard several discussions, but the general consensus was that it was within the general rule of "Nursery + one other class." The dog did well in N/N, but didn't win and was in the middle of the pack in the Nursery runs. Since then, he's only been run by the owner (who has moved him up). I could see both sides of the argument (though it didn't really seem all that sportsmanlike to me) and ultimately, it didn't really matter all that much to the other handlers in either class

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Hello everyone,

 

Good input from Pippin's Person, BUT.....

 

If the dog was trained by an Open handler, it should no longer be eligible to run in Novice-Novice. Novice-Novice means a novice handler with a novice dog, not a dog trained by an open handler.

 

Again, just my shovelfull,

nancy

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Hello everyone,

 

Good input from Pippin's Person, BUT.....

 

If the dog was trained by an Open handler, it should no longer be eligible to run in Novice-Novice. Novice-Novice means a novice handler with a novice dog, not a dog trained by an open handler.

 

Again, just my shovelfull,

nancy

 

 

We have that exact thing happening right now, dog trained by open handler running it in Nursery and P/N, Novice handler can take it down one class based on our club rules allowing him to run in Novice. But, as of the begining of the new season the Open handler would have to move the dog to Open based on winning year end high point with the dog, but the Novice handler would still be able to move the dog down one class to P/N. If the Novice handler had opted to run the dog PN this year he and the dog both would have been bumped to Open. The handler/dog combination is in no way ready for Open, will have his hands full in P/N next year.

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If the dog was trained by an Open handler, it should no longer be eligible to run in Novice-Novice. Novice-Novice means a novice handler with a novice dog, not a dog trained by an open handler.

 

I guess I can't have an objective opinion about this. Both my current trial dogs were trained (to about P/N level) by Open handlers and I run them in Novice/Novice. You've seen us work. We're not exactly kicking everyone's asses. :rolleyes:

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NEBCA (since that was the Novice "sanctioning" of the trial I'm referring to) rules state:

 

The Novice Novice Class is a designed to give inexperienced handlers a level at which to start competing with an inexperienced dog. The class is open to novice handlers with any dog that has never competed in a class higher then Novice/Novice with its current handler or Pro/Novice with any other handler. Open handlers may not compete in novice-novice.

 

and

 

**Once a dog moves up to a higher class,the dog cannot move back down to a lower class.Exception is when a dog changes handlers. * A novice handler may drop ONE AND ONLY ONE dog down two levels from its highest level with any other handler. After a handler drops one dog down two levels, any subsequent dogs will only be permitted to drop down one level. Handlers who have dropped a dog down two levels may ONLY stay in their new class for 20 points, rather than the 30** currently allocated to other teams. Handlers must notify the Novice Trial Committee prior to exercising this privilege.
(The ** just explains how any points previously earned by the dog will be handled.)

 

So basically it wouldn't matter if in the Nursery-Nov/Nov scenario whether the dog was trained by someone else or not. (I'm not mentioning it to defend my own stuck-in-Nov/Nov status, I'd rather we were running consistently enough to move up! :rolleyes:)

 

ETA: Sorry, the **indicates the rule was part of the Jan 2007 revision. The next rule about where the points go also had the ** so that's why I thought it was in reference to the rule I quoted.

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Hello everyone,

 

Like Sue, I am opposed to micro-managing sheepdog trials by having a rule for everything. Some situations are left to the integrity of the participants, which can lead to differing interpretations of the rules that are on the books.

 

As I previously wrote, "If the dog was trained by an Open handler, it should no longer be eligible to run in Novice-Novice. Novice-Novice means a novice handler with a novice dog, not a dog trained by an open handler." Notice that I wrote should no longer be eligible, and that is my opinion, one which may not be shared by others.

 

This then leads to a discussion of the meaning of the word "trained". Is the dog one that has had a few lessons with a professional trainer, or one that has been trained to be competitive in a Nursery class? Has the dog been only been started by a professional trainer or has it run in trials with that trainer? Lots of variables in the word "trained".

 

In NEBCA, the term for the Novice dog is "inexperienced". In my opinion, an inexperienced dog is one that is not trained to a level of proficiency required to compete in the Nursery class.

 

Again, just my shovelfull,

nancy

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Another perspective is that if the open handlers want to push the others to move up then open handlers should not be running in the p/n class (this was from an open handler). The idea is that an open handler should be running Nursery with their young dogs, transitioning them to Open when they are ready and then their older dogs should all be Open dogs. This would leave P/N as a Novice handler only class.

Except that P/N stands for PRO-novice (kind of like pro-am), which means one part of the team is the "professional" (either open handler or trained dog) and the other part of the team is novice (handler or dog). I think that at least some open handlers push novices to move up because all too often novices lose sight of the whole progression of the classes, instead preferring to remain big fish in a small pond (winning in the novice classes). There are exceptions--dogs that simply aren't open material, but in general, a person who parks him- or herself in a lower class because they can collect blue ribbons or other prizes constantly *should* be encouraged to move up.

 

I think many open handlers start their youngsters in P/N (east coast version) and move them up when they are ready, which is often not always an entire trial season. What this means for the novice handlers at that same level is that the open handlers are taking away year-end awards and the like from them--they are using the class as a starting ground for their dogs and moving them up as soon as the dog is able. Of course there are glaring exceptions to this, but the open handlers who really feel a need to stay in a lower class for the purpose of getting awards are really only reflecting badly on themselves.

 

I disagree with the idea that an open handler should run his/her young dogs only in nursery. Nursery is age-restricted and if you have a youngster that happens to have a "bad birthday," its eligibility for the nursery class could be quite limited, leaving the dog nowhere to run but open.

 

As for the original question in this thread, I think it's unsportsmanlike to run a dog in both N/N and nursery. By definition dogs running in N/N either can't drive or require assistance to drive, whereas a nursery dog should be capable of driving a full course. A dog that can drive a full course should be running at least in P/N (east coast version). I ran Twist in P/N and nursery the same year, for the entire trial season. Because nursery is essentially the ranch course, I chose the following trial season to move her up to open though I could have moved her up to ranch and run her there for a while. I felt that since she had essentially run in ranch all year (by running nursery, and getting numerous qualifications) there was no need to waste our time running in ranch the next year.

 

That said, I have seen and heard of all sorts of stuff regarding nursery. One that I found particularly troublesome was an open handler who qualified a nursery dog for a novice handler (barely running N/N) and then that novice handler took the dog to the nursery finals. I think people get so blinded by the idea of running a nursery dog in the finals that they don't stop to consider whether they or their dog are truly competitive at that level. Personally I don't think bragging rights--being able to say your dog has run in the nursery finals--should trump actually being able to be competitive at that level, and of course if your dog can be competitve at nursery, and especially at the finals, it has no business running in N/N (even with a different handler**), but humans being human and all that.... (**I don't quite agree with Nancy's stance that if the dog has been trained by an open handler it shouldn't be allowed in N/N simply because there are degrees of training; but if the open handler has the dog trained well enough to be competitive in nursery, which I would qualify as a dog who can go out and place in the top 20 percent in multiple nursery classes consisting of dogs who are also competitive in nursery, the probably that dog has enough training on it to effectively above N/N even if technically it's still eligible for N/N because of its handler's status.)

 

J.

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This is very interesting for me to read, I like the division of not only dogs but also people. In Poland there are just three classes for the team, but it's the dog that gets class one, two or three, regardless of who handles him/her. Also it not possible for anyone to 'park' themselves in a lower class. I you get very high score once in a given class you can - but don't have to - move to a higher class. But if you get three times high scores (I think it's 75/100) you have to move up to the next class.

 

Maja

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