Friday, December 01, 2006

10 Things I Like About NADAC

I have a NADAC trial this weekend and I'm actually a bit excited for it. I've gotten really down on NADAC over the past few years and after attending NADAC Champs. and USDAA Nationals I've decided to try to focus more on USDAA even if it means driving farther. However, there are limits to my insanity and given the choice of driving 7-8 hours over the Continental Divide in December to Utah for USDAA or less than 20 minutes to Longmont for NADAC, well, it was a no brainer. I don't hate NADAC that badly. Also, it will be a nice mental break after those challenging USDAA courses at Nationals since NADAC courses are usually pretty easy by comparison. Lots of flat out running for the dogs with a handling challenge or 2 sounds good right about now.

Going to NADAC trials in the past with a ho-hum, I could care less attitude has proven to be not very productive so I'm trying to think of all the things I like about NADAC and put aside the many things I don't. I've paid a lot of money in entry fees, it's important to go in with a good attitude and a plan for what I want to get out of it. So in light of that, here's my list:

6. We've got our Elite Standard & Jumpers titles and I don't care about anything else so there's no pressure to qualify and I can try handling moves in trials I normally wouldn't if I was worried about a Q.
5. I get to run a lot more so I'll get a better workout
4. Easy-ish courses means I'm less likely to get lost
3. Tunnelers-yee ha
2. No stinkin' table!!!
1. Dogs love to run those relatively straightforward courses

O.k., so I can think of only 6 things. Goals for the trial:

1. Mainly to work on speed & motivation. Let's see how fast these pups can fly and still keep their heads about them (me too).

2. Try some handling moves that are going well in practice but I wouldn't normally risk during a trial, if the opportunities present themselves. I'm not going to do anything that isn't going well in practice.

3. Work on those contacts. I'm going to try not babysitting so much, except for maybe Cody on the dogwalk because that stinker has bailed almost every dogwalk in the past year of NADAC trials. I want Lola running over the contacts, no stopping or creeping. I'm letting her run through the bottom right now until I can get some speed and retrain her stop properly.

4. Mayyybe practice some longer lead outs for some runs, then start right from the line on others.

That's it, best to keep the list short & simple. In general, I'm interested to see how they'll do stress/attention wise after being at Nationals, esp. Lola. I was thinking that Lola would probably be great at a local trial after working through her issues at Nationals (she was running pretty good the last 2 days). We'll see.

Have a great weekend.


  1. I should do this same exercise. I really blew a couple of course with Lucy at our last NADAC trial simply because I had the "who cares, it's only NADAC" attitude.

    But nothing will change the fact that the NADAC Regular class isn't really a "regular" class as long as they keep the mandatory distance challenge. Isn't Chances for distance? Now that they have Chances, why can't we have Regular just be Regular again (an optional distance challence is OK, albeit unnecessary).

  2. The distance challenge in standard is pretty ridiculous, though I'll confess all the ones we had this weekend were fairly trivial. I need to work on both dogs' contacts at a distance, this is a basic skill they should have anyway. The main thing I don't like about them is that they're gratuitous and sometimes even put you in a poor position for handling the rest of the course. Distance skills are great if they give you an advantage in handling a course but doing them for the sake of it, esp. when there's Chances to prove distance skills, is just stupid and often demotivating for the dogs.

    After seeing what went on at NADAC Champs. and following some of the discussion afterwards, I strongly believe that Sharon is molding NADAC to her method of distance handling. This is going to sound bad but it seems like she created the distance boxes so she could showcase her own style of handling and create a bunch of new awards for her to win. O.k., that sounds really bad but I can't see any other reason for these stupid boxes and only a handful of people in the entire country seem able to do them.