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Novice handlers


shysheperdess
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I get very confused on the topic :s It has been brought to my attention by a couple of people recently..there is a "fun trial" for novices only and it says specificly on the advertisement "novice handlers only, no pro-novice"...so this to me would mean if you are in the pro-novice class you are not considered a novice handler anymore?? There is another trial being put on for "novice only handler"...doesn't matter the training level of the dog...but I know pro-novice handlers who also sometime trial in novice...

 

Yet there are people who have years of experience who can't ever seem to move up from a novice or pro-novice class...are they still novices???

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For the most part it is trial/event producers option as to who they classify as a Novice, unless they are working in conjunction with a club that has a written Novice Policy.

 

Our club has two classes of handlers, novice and open, a handler is a novice handler until they run in the Open division once that happens they are a Open handler. There is no such thing as a Pro-Novice handler in our case, just a pro-novice class which would allow open handlers to run their dogs that are not ready for open or for Novice handlers to run their expirenced dogs.

 

 

 

Deb

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In your case, I wonder if what they mean is "no pro handlers running novice dogs".

 

For instance, at the Bluegrass in the ProNov class, you can have a Big Hat running an up-and-coming dog that has never run in Ranch or Open (but may be running in Nursery, I think). Or, you could have someone who is a new handler but running a retired Open (or Ranch) dog (and therefore can't be running that dog in Novice). Or, someone who's just moved up from Novice class with their dog who has just moved up from Novice class.

 

I think it sounds like your fun trial is setting things up to level the playing field - real Novices competing against each other, even if some have more experienced dogs and some don't.

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Sue's right, I think. They're probably trying to restrict open handlers from entering with their young dogs. At least where I trial, you're considered a novice *handler* until you've walked to the post in an open class. In the east, P/N is for open handlers with young dogs (non-open, but can be running nursery, since that's the equivalent of our ranch), novice handlers with novice dogs who have moved up from novice-novice (which is open *only* to novice handlers with novice dogs), and novice handlers running fully trained (or anything less than fully trained) dogs.

 

As others have suggested, you could always ask the trial host, but I think you'd be safe entering a novice trial if you have never taken a dog to the post in an open class.

 

J.

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Around here (MN, WI) a novice handler is anyone who hasn't run in Open.

 

If you are a novice handler, you may run a dog in Novice, Ranch, or ProNovice. If you are running a dog in Novice, once you run that same dog in ProNovice, you can't go back to running it in Novice.

 

Once you run a dog (any dog) in Open, you are an Open Handler and can no longer run dogs in Novice but you can still run a dog that has never run in Open before in ProNovice.

 

Ranch around here is often a transition between Novice and ProNovice. It's usually restricted to novice handlers, and may also be restricted to dogs who have not run in PN. So, it goes Novice -> Ranch -> ProNovice -> Open. Other places, ProNovice and Ranch are switched, so best to ask the trial host about Ranch class if it is offered.

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Dear Sheepdoggers,

 

Ms. Shy Shepherdess writes:

 

"Yet there are people who have years of experience who can't ever seem to move up from a novice or pro-novice class...are they still novices???"

 

Perhaps "Challenged"? I've known a few people who took 10 years to lose their "novice" title - most because they trialed intermittently and trained even less mittently.

 

In Virginia, in the early 80's, we started with the sheepdog trial - what is now called the "open sheepdog trial". Because many wouldbes had no experience with stock and if they had dog experience, it was in AKC obedience which is quite a different mindset, trial hosts started offering somewhat easier classes. These classes are no piece of cake. On undogged or canny sheep on a too short course, many Novice/novice trials ask a lot of a handler/dog team. Most dogs capable of winning a N/N trial would be a perfectly useful tool on a small sheep farm and most could be trained on to higher classes or more demanding farm work in fairly short order.

 

Most handlers are persuaded up to open. It's more fun, more difficult, more intellectually stimulating and that's where you get the big bucks.

 

Donald McCaig

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I didn't want to stay in Novice! I don't even want to stay in Pro-Novice, but since I'm still learning how to train my dog, I'm muddling my way through PN until such time as I can achieve Open-class abilities.

 

Which right now feels as remote as the moon, but I want to get there! :)

 

~ Gloria

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