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Old 12-19-2013, 10:09 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Agility is sure changing!

http://www.oneminddogs.com/article/running-on-the-dogs-line/

http://www.oneminddogs.com/article/agility-challenge-2/
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Old 12-19-2013, 10:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I see people handling like this in USDAA...but I agree even in the relatively short time that I have been involved in the sport (6 years), I have seen this movement toward international style courses/handling. USDAA courses which have always been tight handling and tight on time, are now getting more difficult and more "international" looking. I'm kind of disappointed by this because USDAA already has the Master Challenge classes that are international styled courses! I love USDAA but most of the courses now involve crazy wraps, backside jumps, weird angles, and the flow is getting less and less - not so motivating for a GSD who needs space to pick up speed.
I haven't competed in AKC in years, but had some friends at the invitational last weekend so I checked out the courses - they looked more like USDAA courses. Is AKC starting to incorporate some of the same things or was that more just for the event?
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Old 12-19-2013, 11:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The AKC is trying to keep it challenging for people at the higher levels and adding a bit of 'international' flair. But most judges also try to have much of the course more open and flowing so more of a mix. Course, depends on the judge too
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Old 12-19-2013, 01:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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And a huge change from when I started in 2001. Yikes! Open is the new Novice.
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Old 12-21-2013, 06:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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They always seem to make it look soooooo easy!

Cool to watch, thanks for sharing!
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Old 12-21-2013, 09:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I might be in the minority....but I love it!!! I love the handling challenge and feel that these courses are as smooth as you make them (which is the challenging part for the handler.) Having a fast, huge striding GSD sure does add extra challenge but that's why I personally love agility. I love the handling style of the people at one mind dogs, so incrediby smooth, poetry in motion.
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Old 12-22-2013, 08:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The 2nd link was really nice!
That's pretty much what it looks like when it comes to our training or trials, but unfortunately it's not always working that well like it was shown in the video... Especially with a GSD...
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:02 AM   #8 (permalink)
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can't wait to get started in agility
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Old 12-23-2013, 01:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It sure is changing! I remember when I started agility almost 10 years ago now, blind crosses were a big no-no. Now they're really popular.

I also remember threadles being a fairly new concept, and judges would draw the dog's path through the threadle on the course map to illustrate them. It made us all go "what???" I'm sure people who have been in the sport even longer than me have many more interesting observations!

USDAA has been sending judge's briefings every couple months or so, and the focus has been on Masters Challenge classes and how to differentiate between Masters and Masters Challenge. Because it had definitely become an issue that the Masters classes and Grand Prix courses were edging into Masters Challenge level. That's sort of backed off a bit since the judge's briefings started, but you do still get Masters/Grand Prix courses that are more technical than they should be.

One thing I have noticed trending in course design, especially in USDAA but a bit in AKC too (I don't trial as much in AKC), is hard chute exits. I started noticing it a couple years ago, but now it's really common. And I gotta say, I'm not a fan of any chute exit greater than 45 degrees, and even that's pushing it. But I see chute exits 90 degrees or greater fairly often now. Out of all the safety hazards that people are buzzing about, I'm more concerned about nasty chute exits. I train my dogs to run straight out of a chute for this reason. Makes off-courses difficult to avoid sometimes, but I'd rather take the off-course than my dog twist and tangle the chute trying to turn in it.
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Old 12-23-2013, 06:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoBigEars View Post
It sure is changing! I remember when I started agility almost 10 years ago now, blind crosses were a big no-no. Now they're really popular.

I also remember threadles being a fairly new concept, and judges would draw the dog's path through the threadle on the course map to illustrate them. It made us all go "what???" I'm sure people who have been in the sport even longer than me have many more interesting observations!

USDAA has been sending judge's briefings every couple months or so, and the focus has been on Masters Challenge classes and how to differentiate between Masters and Masters Challenge. Because it had definitely become an issue that the Masters classes and Grand Prix courses were edging into Masters Challenge level. That's sort of backed off a bit since the judge's briefings started, but you do still get Masters/Grand Prix courses that are more technical than they should be.

One thing I have noticed trending in course design, especially in USDAA but a bit in AKC too (I don't trial as much in AKC), is hard chute exits. I started noticing it a couple years ago, but now it's really common. And I gotta say, I'm not a fan of any chute exit greater than 45 degrees, and even that's pushing it. But I see chute exits 90 degrees or greater fairly often now. Out of all the safety hazards that people are buzzing about, I'm more concerned about nasty chute exits. I train my dogs to run straight out of a chute for this reason. Makes off-courses difficult to avoid sometimes, but I'd rather take the off-course than my dog twist and tangle the chute trying to turn in it.

LOL about the threadles! And thanks for the info about the USDAA judge briefings, glad to know they are backing away from that blurred line between the challenge classes and the regular classes!
Now I just wish they would stop combining the 26" class with the 22" class for SQs...it's ridiculous to me that I have to not only beat the larger border collies, but many times also the 22" BCs for one last SQ It's becoming so demotivating...
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