Saturday, June 15, 2013

Oh look! A barrel!

Last night started our three days of NADAC here in La Crosse. Sadly, despite taking the day off work yesterday I was just not feeling anything other than completely wiped out. I think working a half day would be more relaxing because I try to cram too much stuff into my days at home!  :o)

Kaiser did manage to pull out a Weavers Q, but that was our only Q of the evening. The wee man impressed me with some of the entries he managed to catch after going wide out of the tunnels, but I don't think it will be anywhere near a 100 DRI run. Kaiser did too much running around yesterday while I was home, too, and was not quite as zippy as usual. I don't believe we have any 100 DRI Weavers runs yet... One day.

Chances was up next and all three of my dogs zonked on that course. It was a "busy" course as far as Chances goes -- just a lot of different things going on. Kaiser didn't like the cramped box I was forced into and it pushed him around a jump. Luke went straight out of a tunnel instead of turning. Secret had a FANTASTIC run and was a happy & zippy girl -- Unfortunately I was unable to support a send out to a hoop after a tunnel, so she cut in early. There was no way to send back out to that one, so I just kept going and she nailed the rest of the course. I was thrilled with that run!

Kaiser's Touch-n-Go run was up next. He needed just one more TNG Q towards his V-NATCH this weekend. He was having a super run until the last dog walk -- he took the tunnel discrimination underneath it. Bummer. Good thing we have three shots at TNG this weekend, right?!

We ended with Regular. By this time I was just completely out of it and I think Kaiser was wondering what the heck was wrong with me. He ran a very conservative run and just didn't seem to trust that I knew where I was going. We NQ'd from the beginning when I got way behind at the dog walk/tunnel discrimination and after that we just sort of muddled through the rest of the run.

After a good night of sleep, Kaiser and I both did much better today! We managed to finish up the day 5/6! That tally includes the last of our Touch-n-Go Q's! Unfortunately the one NQ of the day was the one I totally didn't expect. Yup. Tunnelers.

The big news of the weekend is -- BARRELS! I guess it's a good thing I decided to suck it up and practice them, eh?

You know that whole deal about how "clubs have to request courses with barrels" for now and that they'll be mandatory in 2014? Yeah... Family Dog Center totally didn't ask for barrels. Didn't even hint at them. And look what they got. Granted, it's just one barrel in Touch-n-Go each day so it's no big deal -- but what if FDC didn't even have a barrel yet?

After Laurie said something to our judge about many people not having ever seen a barrel he went and looked at the rules on the forum. He agreed that it was supposed to be published beforehand and as of last night there was going to be no barrel. This morning, though, we said to just use the damn barrel and be done with it. Laurie had three barrels out for everyone to practice with and the spot where it was located on the TNG course was seriously a no-brainer.

I'm so over the whole stupid controversy that I agreed and said just put the stupid thing on course. Hell, put a ton of them out there; I'm beyond caring anymore.

There were a few dogs that were pretty clueless about what to do when they came to the barrel (pretty much all Novice dogs), but everyone got around it without a problem. Kaiser didn't exactly drive all that fast around it, but we managed just fine. I did say that if he NQ'd on that course (needed for his V-NATCH) I would blame the barrel, though.  :o)

Once I got Kaiser from 2-3 in Tunnelers I thought we had it in the bag. That was my worry point on course -- I never even envisioned him taking the off course that he did. Drat. Well, there's always tomorrow -- and good thing Kelly included that six with our bar, right?

Everyone did awesome in Chances today! Luke & Kaiser both brought home a Q. Secret had another nice run right up until she left the dog walk early and came off the side. Considering she misses a contact once in a blue moon... But still, perhaps I need to actually get my dog walk out of the garage and do some contact reinforcements here soon. Secret's dog walk has definitely been deteriorating lately.

The Tunnelers experiment was kind of a bust. Secret ran it just fine, but her love for tunnels has certainly not grown any since she last ran that class. I'm sure if we ran it on Friday she'd be a bit more high, but this was definitely not her fastest run. She clocked in at 5.5 yps, so definitely nothing to right home about, but a Q nonetheless.

Luke was a little loopy in his first round of Regular and did pretty much every naughty thing in the book -- Broke his start, took the tunnel (wrong) discrimination under the dog walk, left his dog walk contact without release and then blew me off on his a-frame contact. Oh Luke. Naughty old fart. Round 2 was much better but had two knocked bars -- both were my fault. Luke's last run of the day was Jumpers and he was awesome! He beat Kaiser's time by a full second!

We're back for more fun tomorrow. Kaiser has one more shot at his V-NATCH with another try at Tunnelers. He's running five runs total for the day, but that should be his second run so he should be fresh. Luke has three runs (they're only running one round of Regular, plus Jumpers and Chances) and Secret has a boring day with only one round of Chances.

Cross your fingers for Kaiser because I don't want to have to get his bar redone.  :o)


  1. Congrats on getting your VNATCH tomorrow :)

    So that's the 2nd trial in this area where barrels have appeared, unrequested...

    1. Don't jinx me more than I've jinxed myself! lol

      And yup. Our judge (Mark Buehl) said that he has seen barrel courses popping up all over the country and that the inside scoop is that they are going to be everywhere before 2014. He also seems to feel pretty strongly that they'll be at Champs. So....

  2. I think it's great how you are really running and handling and putting in front crosses and blinds! It seems like most handlers in NADAC have the stand back and direct and use rear crosses only. To me, running WITH my dog is really the fun of agility! Congrats on a good couple days!

    1. Thanks :o) That's one of my biggest peeves about handlers at NADAC trials. I don't mind people who handle their really fast dogs from behind and do mostly rear crosses -- the ones who drive me bonkers are the ones who WAIT for their dog to cross in front of them. Seriously. If you are not moving, do a front cross.

    2. That's funny, because when I go to a USDAA trial I wonder why everyone is slowing their dog down so they can get a front cross in.

      My dog actually came with distance and speed built in. She is very sensitive to pressure, even in herding. I could probably easily have mentally beat her into constant collection, but I enjoy seeing her actually run. I chose to embrace what she was born with instead and figure out how to run the dog she is instead of forcing her to conform to someone else's idea of how my dog should run. Handling does happen even if you aren't constantly in front of your dog.

      One of my instructors told me ... you need to turn WHEN she needs you to turn. It's not about location, it's about timing.

    3. Of course one COULD argue that course design in other organizations at times necessitates "slowing your dog down" (I would prefer the term "collecting") to get ahead of your dog to be able to get through certain sequences without fault. I can't imagine handling, say, a Masters Challenge class all from behind my dog.

      I don't believe that agility should be simply about trying to break the land-speed record all of the time (which is what NADAC seems to be about now). NADAC courses encourage rear crosses. As I said in my comment it doesn't bother me when this is done smoothly with a fast dog. It's the handlers who are running with their dog, stop their motion, swoop their hand to encourage their dog to go on and then cross behind the dog when they CLEARLY could have fit in a cross to stay ahead of their dog and possibly motivate them to run a little faster.

    4. I agree. That's why I prescribe to the "it's not about location;it's about timing" philosophy. The same can be said about folks that force a front cross when a rear would be a better option; and I do see that happen at trials more than you'd think. Result = dog goes off course, knocks a bar, bails a contact etc.

      I don't mind teaching collection, I just prefer that my dog not have to make a turn at my feet. I do a front cross every once in a while; it just happens to be 30' in front of my dog. She needs a little time to be able to slow down and I'd like to protect her shoulders and wrists.

      NADAC has always emphasized speed. I personally do not compare my dogs to others and never have. I don't care if we're the fastest, work the biggest distance, have the highest Q rate etc. I do what works for me and my dog. I could probably get her to do bonus lines, but I'm not interested. I think there needs to be a little more individualism all the way around.

  3. I bite my tongue, behold a barrel! I still haven't seen one and I'm in the NADAC capital of the USA!

  4. Barrels have been popping at the IL and the QCDC trials since early this year. They will be used at champs according to the judges from the area. This Maribel BTW ( Kyle the tri color sheltie from IL).

  5. We had a barrel on Saturday here outside Louisville, KY.
    I even asked the judge, like you did, how we could have a course with one since they were supposed to be listed in the premium beforehand. And that it wasn't 2014 yet.
    He didn't answer me. So I dropped it :)
    But now I absolutely guarantee that they will be at Champs.

    1. I'm to the point now where if they ARE going to be at Champs, then I want one at every freaking single trial until then -- and in more than Touch-n-Go (where we saw it both days) so that my other dogs see it, too.

      One of these days I'll post something about this to the NADAC list to see what Sharon says -- But first I want to spend some time trying to dig up the post where she said that barrels would NOT be at Champs in 2013.

    2. Alrighty, I just posted -- Now we'll see if it goes through or not. Historically my odds are about 40%. ;o)

      So that I don't have to bother looking it up again, though, here are three specific posts by Sharon stating that there will not be barrels in the Regular division of Champs in 2013:;topicseen#msg3270;topicseen#msg6249;topicseen#msg8792

  6. I just got my photos back from our trial with a barrel. I was going to do a blog post about the whole thing - do you mind if I link to your post about TSB? :)