Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Re: Bad Day at the Club-Rant
Well, our club is very new as well, and even in just one year we have gone through some huge changes in membership and shifting of who runs what, who is the TD, who is in charge, etc.
I don't think it's too unusual for dogs who are preparing to trial to basically get priority. However, to me that means maybe an extra turn, or more time on the field or with the helper, but not totally shutting out everyone else. Basically, our club goes like this: people sort of trickle in an those of us that are serious about tracking or need instruction go out and track. By the time we are done, everyone is there. Then we do obedience. Lately it's basically been 2-3 dogs out at a time, generally an adolescent dog working with the ball learning to Fuss, etc with an older or titled dog working in a corner or holding a long down. Sometimes there is a third dog, generally just an extra dog learning the long down. We just sort of put people together depending on who needs to do what and who the TD wants to work with. Then we do the bitework. Right now, the really little puppies kind of do ob and bitework together, so we start with the youngest and move up (writing the names on a board so the next person knows when go to get their dog ready). The babies just do some very basic ob with the TD and then get a few bites of rag work. We just move down the list going in order of age. Generally the older the dog and/or the higher the title, the longer they last. Since we do all three phases in one evening and often do ring training as well (lots of running in the heat), our dogs generally only get one shot at bitework and are then pooped.
We train Friday nights, like 6pm-midnight. It's an hour and 45 minute drive for me with the dogs crated. All told they are probably out *maybe* an hour total combining all three phases + ring training. Yeah it is a lot of crating but even 10 minutes working obedience with ball drive and then 3 minutes doing bitework is hard work for the dogs. The crate issue might be something to work on, I'm not sure. At home, in the car, and at dog shows Nikon and Kenya settle in the crate, but at SchH Nikon sometimes is sounding off for a while, but that's just the nature of the sport. He sees a dog run past with a sleeve in his mouth, or someone revving up their dog with the ball three feet from his crate. I don't worry about that too much. I don't encourage him lighting up, but at the same time he gets a lot of mixed messages, seeing equipment and dogs going in and out already in drive so I am not bothered by some barking as long as it doesn't effect his training or make him too tired to work.