NADAC- injury, happiness, and rant

NADAC trial this past weekend and we got to be indoors at the Soccer Blast.  Another one of the few weekends we get to steal it from the AKC people!

Unfortunately the Corgi didn't want to jump in the van on Saturday morning.  So I boosted him up and worried.  Worries were confirmed on arrival as he didn't want to do any trick that involved lifting his front end of the ground.  I didn't even try the warm up jump.  Trying what limited feeling stuff I know I felt his back muscles trembling.  A friend tried to help with some massage stuff but it wasn't enough.  Lance had to be scratched from all of his runs, both days. On Sunday I was able to get him adjusted as his chiropractor was there, but he's still on restriction and still doesn't want to do any running or begging.  My fingers are crossed that a few days of rest and he will be back to normal.  Lance was super happy to be out walking about and I think he was confused as to why he didn't get to run.  Definitely as charming as ever to his beloved audience!

Super sucks that Lance has only competed in 1 NADAC trial this year so far, and 2 UKI Trials.  I was really hoping to finish up his NATCH this year and was going to trial him a bit more.  Between lack of money and then a canceled trial, it just hasn't happened.  This weekend Lance was just a very expensive accessory!

And then because I'm super helpful, I mixed up the boys drugs when I got home and wrapped pills in cheese.  I was planning on giving Lance some Traumeel to help with his back and of course Vito needed his anxiety drugs.  An hour later I saw Lance stumbling drunk around the house and I knew what I did :(  Poor Corgi on a large dose of Clorazepate.  At least his back pain was likely less noticeable to him!

While I was looking forward to trialing with Vito I also wasn't sure on the timing.  I had just increased Vito's new drug, Zoloft, a few days before and had started to see a small sedation effect.  I'm hoping it goes away as he gets used to the new drug, and fingers are also crossed that Zoloft will help him.

I need not have worried as Vito has a FANTASTIC trial!  Especially on Saturday, Vito was back to screaming on the start line and mostly running!  Sunday was a little bit more tired but he was still happy and doing some very good moments.

We also worked on our leaving the ball behind to enter the ring and then MYSELF getting it for him on exiting.  I do think our practice work is paying off as Vito not only ran a bit better but fully understood that he had to do a tiny sit stay while I handed the ball to him.  He was clearly tempted to run out of the ring after the last obstacle to get it himself, but called easily to me to get his leash and even walked nicely with me to it.  Yay for little victories!

Total Q rate for Vito was 5 of 9, with a 6th run being completely my fault for sending him off course as I did a "bonus" front cross to try and speed him up in a spot that no cross was needed.  I realized my mistake barely too late but didn't bother fixing it.  Two of the NQs were in chances, but he did some brave handling where he was farther away than he would have been in a trial even a few months ago.  Last NQ was a missed discrimination in Touch n Go.

I like NADAC.  I really do.  The dogs just love running FULL speed.  But on Sunday it was hard to get enthused about any of the courses (Saturday was better).  The elite regular course had a total of 2 side changes and one was at a tunnel.  It was basically a gigantic loop around the outside and then a tiny inside loop with a contact discrimination thrown in.  (On video above).  I honestly had to check to make sure I was walking the elite course and not novice.  I'm not saying that it can't be challenging for fast dogs, and I surely don't have a 100% Q rate in NADAC.  But it was painfully obvious to me how uninspired I personally am about running NADAC courses.  I think Vito is at the point where he doesn't need the courses to gain confidence anymore.  But with Lance it's pretty much the only agility option I have with the shortie other than a tiny amount of UKI trials.  Why can't USDAA acknowledge that small dogs want to play their program too!?  I think trying to get to bonus line distance would be enough to hold my interest in NADAC with him, but he stutters worse when I'm too far away so it's not something I do a whole lot of.  NADAC, please give us a little bit more inspired courses rather than gigantic loops with a pinwheel thrown in.  Ok, end of rant.

Karissa  – ( July 7, 2014 at 11:34 AM )  

I'm right there with you on the NADAC rant. While Roger Coor picked some courses that were actually kind of fun for our last trial in La Crosse, the majority we see are snoozers -- made even worse by the fact that you will see them more than once quite often! NADAC is getting pushed out of my calendar more these days -- I'm actually traveling to do AKC later this month instead of running NADAC at home. It comes down to time and money and I'd rather play in a different venue these days. Unfortunately NADAC is the only place I can run Luke now, and Kaiser does still enjoy it, and Kizzy could probably use the experience of the small trials and Novice courses. Once Luke is done, though, there won't be much incentive for me to continue.

Vito looked great!

Gina  –   – ( July 7, 2014 at 1:06 PM )  

Speed of the dog definitely changes your perspective of the course challenges in NADAC. I'm never able to take anything for granted and very little is easy for me. Just the timing of commands alone is a challenge!

I always laugh at the number of people who told me how great it was that Abbey was able to find her lines when we were at some early seminars. Yes, yes she can, and then some!

I think I've actually got a better Q rate in USDAA, granted it's only at the Novice level, but collection makes her much more accurate.

Vito was a happy guy. Hope Lance is feeling better.

Gina and Abbey

Laura, Lance, and Vito  – ( July 7, 2014 at 1:25 PM )  

Gina, I am well aware that fast dogs running full speed can be very difficult to handle on NADAC courses and it can even be harder than USDAA for some teams due to timing of commands and the massive amount of ground those dogs can cover. Not an easy task.

While I prefer running USDAA courses with my dogs, I know my dogs love NADAC and I am fine running them in their trials. I didn't really have a problem with Saturday. I just personally hated Sunday when it seemed as if all the courses were just outside loops. Not all NADAC courses are that way, but it made me sad to see several.

Elayne  – ( July 7, 2014 at 1:33 PM )  

This past weekend I was at a USDAA trial watching a poor Rottweiler muscling his way over 26" jumps and expressing how this makes me cringe to a USDAA board member who was sitting next to me. And while I don't want to publicly go into detail about what was an informal private conversation let's just say I wouldn't hold your breath on USDAA jump heights changing anytime soon.

And yeah, I stopped doing NADAC a million years ago because the courses were just big loops. So boring and yes I have a fast dog. May make it challenging but doesn't make it interesting or fun.


Karissa  – ( July 7, 2014 at 1:43 PM )  

Unfortunately you see the jumping issues at AKC trials as well. People refusing to bump their dogs into the Preferred program because they want the MACH and not the PACH. That's one thing I'll give to NADAC, when they joined the awards programs so that Skilled & Proficient ran for the same titles, you sure did start seeing a lot fewer dogs jumping too high for their body type. I run all of mine in Skilled in NADAC -- even Secret, who jumps 24" in AKC, jumps 16" in NADAC because, well, why not? I only run her in NADAC Reg & Jumpers to work on her speed and the lower jumps sure do seem to help. :o)

I'm quite sure that running NADAC is different when you have one of the "super fast" dogs -- I've gotten to run dogs for other people before and I've gotten to experience the exhilaration. Kaiser is a fast small dog, but he's never going to hit 7-8 yps on a tunnelers course. If I had one of those dogs maybe I'd enjoy NADAC more. Hard to say.

I like running with my dogs. I enjoy handling from in front. In NADAC there just isn't much handling and the "challenge" you see most frequently (to excess) is discriminations.

Back when Sharon posted on the NADAC list that it wasn't the course's responsibility to challenge us is when I pretty much lost respect for the game. She thinks that we should be able to run the same course 20 times and find ways to challenge ourselves and be happy about it. When you have two changes of sides on a course it's kind of hard to imagine finding new ways to challenge myself on said course.

Elayne  – ( July 8, 2014 at 10:01 AM )  

And just to be clear, I wasn't so much complaining about the Rottie as I was USDAA jump heights. I didn't even realize this person I was ranting too was still on the board, I just saw this poor dog and it was making me wince and my standard 'USDAA jump heights suck' and 'don't tell me to enter Performance because that sucks too' rant just slipped out. It started an interesting and somewhat disturbing to me discussion about agility in general and jump heights/equipment and in the end my impression was that USDAA has its heels dug in. Which was my impression anyway, just interesting to have it somewhat confirmed. I so wish we had more UKI in my area, I'd abandon USDAA in a heartbeat.

Laura, Lance, and Vito  – ( July 8, 2014 at 11:56 AM )  

No I don't expect USDAA to change their jump heights. they've demonstrated that pretty clearly when they added heights for medium sized dogs and ignored the small dogs and the large dogs recently. I will faint if they ever get over their whole no dog ever jumping below shoulder height in their championship program.

I really do applaud NADAC's merging of skilled and performance titles into one group so there is zero stigma about jumping the height you want. It does mean that Vito is usually one of a tiny group of 20in dogs, but it doesn't bother me at all that everyone jumps lower.

I love UKI's jump height's the best and think it's a great answer for those who both want to jump international heights and for those who want to jump low.

Gina  –   – ( July 9, 2014 at 12:47 PM )  

To each our own.

I find that things like back side jumps and no flow just make me and my dog unhappy and sad.

Could I train her to do those type of courses ... I have no doubt, but I just find that kind of challenge convoluted, un-natural, and illogical. All things that go against my Engineering brain.

I think I must be a bit of a Border Collie myself because I don't like the pressure of standing in front of my dog any more than she likes it! When I have to do it I feel like I should go take a shower. Ick!


Merinda  – ( July 9, 2014 at 2:35 PM )  

I agree about the courses in NADAC getting monotonous :( I'll still run the local ones because I love the group that puts on the trials, but I find it hard to travel for...
I wish other people were allowed to design the NADAC courses, I think some problems would be solved. I have noticed that at least the weave entries are starting to get harder. Or maybe just less obvious.

Laura, Lance, and Vito  – ( July 9, 2014 at 11:27 PM )  

Actually the weavers course this weekend did have a harder first entrance that I'm used to seeing! And I think one of the regular rounds had a harder turn that fast dogs really had to collect for or they shot past them.

And I think anybody can submit designs for NADAC courses, although I'm not sure how. I do agree though that I would love to see the allowance/encouragement of judges to design their own courses versus choosing from a few. DRI's are interesting and fun, but I'd fine it much more exciting to see the variations judges could think of. Maybe a little bit less of the dogwalk ALWAYS being in one of 3 places and if on the side always being the 2nd or 2nd to last obstacle.

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