a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: NADAC Championships

Thursday, September 23, 2010

NADAC Championships

SUMMARY: Live streaming.
Agilityvision is live streaming the NADAC championships, going on now through the weekend, I believe.

It's not like watching USDAA championships or the world team competitions. Used to be that, to qualify, you just had to Q half the classes each weekend for so many weekends (or something along those lines--it's been a while).

Interesting to see how so very many people stand in the middle and try to get their dogs to do obstacles. And I'm not talking about the specific distance-handling parts of the courses. It puzzles me; if you're herding sheep, OK, I can understand standing in one place and giving commands from a distance. But on a tight little course like this, seems to me that the ones who run with their dogs generally get more speed and more accuracy.

I haven't done a scientific evaluation on this, of course.

Also, you don't seem to see many Derrett followers here. It's all the arm-in-the-air and "switch" type handling. As long as you and the dog agree on what means what, any system works. Just interesting to note the prevalence of this one kind of handing.


  1. Thanks for that link -- I hadn't heard about it. Watched it for a little bit at work (after work hours, of course!). It was neat watching people try to handle the whole course like one big gamble. As much as I like gambling, I love the running part of agility more and standing and pointing would get a little boring, I think. I did notice especially one run how when the person stopped standing and pointing and started running, the dog really perked up and sped up.

    Anyway yes, neat to see a different way of doing things.

  2. There are lines on the ground in some places where you have the option of doing distance--I don't know the rules--but not the whole course, of course.

  3. my current agility instructor for Vito is an NADAC judge and he's always challenging us to get more distance. I really love the challenges he puts forth! I agree that it's not for every dog and that a lot of times you can get much more speed and accuracy by running with them. It can be a train wreck though if done wrong! I don't know that I would ever handle from the middle of the ring at a trial (and aren't to that point yet in training), but it's nice to know that I have more option to handle in my toolbox.

    Oh and some of what you might be seeing is the distance challenge line (usually not drawn on the course, just explained in the briefing). In almost every course there is a line not far from the start line that if you handle the entire course behind you get lots of extra points.

    All that being said I'm still pretty new to agility and have no clue what I'm talking about half the time :)

  4. Well, it's true that anything you do can be a train wreck if done wrong. I just don't see the point of gratuitous distance handling. My dogs do pretty well at masters gamblers, which is distance handling, and both of them are fast enough that I'm almost never *near* them on the course except when, say, wrapping around a jump. But just standing in one place and trying to send doesn't make a lot of sense to me; even when we're doing gambles, I'm trying to keep moving to keep the dog's momentum up. I want them racing, not having to check back in with me.

  5. I mean, you can compare the dogs and handlers at, say, USDAA nationals or FCI championships and you'll see much faster, more accurate dogs than any I saw here for about an hour and a half of watching, and the handlers are moving moving moving about as fast as they can, too, and it seems to me there's a connection between those facts.

  6. I think it's pretty boring to watch---especially compared to watching USDAA or FCI but I guess it must be fun or they wouldn't do it. I do agree, though that many of the dogs really need their handlers to at least take a couple of steps in the direciton they want the dog to travel. The dogs look so much happier when they get some indication of which way they're supposed to go.
    Of course, I've been doing a lot of AKC recently and could say the same thing. I see lots of handlers who are using verbals way more than they need to if they would just move a little more. And you can tell the dog has no idea what they're talking about and probably only hearing "blah blah blah JUMP! blah blah blah WALKIT! blah blah blah blah HERE!HERE!HERE! I'd like to bet these handlers never video their runs :-)

  7. Good point about videotaping runs. I seem to be hearing it a lot lately (again--goes in waves) about the importance of seeing your own runs. I know I often see something different from what I *thought* I was doing.