Clean Run - September 2011 - (Page 39)

By Jamie McKay, CPDT KA Should You Move Up? Congratulations on earning your rst agility title! Now that you have earned that title, whether or not you are required to advance to the next level depends on which organization you earned the title with. Some organizations require lateral moves once you have achieved a title. In AKC dogs that have attained their rst AKC agility title must move from Novice A to Novice B. UKC agility has rules about moving from A to B classes once titles are earned in each level. In USDAA dogs cannot remain in a level they are no longer eligible for. If handlers want to remain at the same level they have the option of entering the Performance program at the level the dog earned a Starters title in (or vice versa). If the dog earns a versatility title, you may nish the remaining titles for the nonstandard classes at that level or move up to the next level. In AKC agility you may remain in Novice when your titles are completed but earned “legs” will not count. If you wish to remain in Novice to earn additional titles you may switch your dog to his Preferred jump height (or vice versa). In CPE agility you remain at the level you begin in until your titles are completed before moving up. If you earn an individual title you may move up in that category. UKI agility requires a move-up a er you earn the required points in your current competition level. NADAC and ASCA o er extended titles. If you earn a Novice title you may continue to compete at that level while ful lling the requirements for an Outstanding or Superior Novice title. TDAA is exible about moveups. Handlers can continue in Beginner’s levels if they wish or fast-track their move-up. e decision to move up is an individual one and should not be made lightly. e handler makes the decision and shoulders the responsibility for the team. As the levels go up the courses become more challenging and may require different skill sets. Course times are faster. You are allowed fewer or no mistakes at all to qualify. It can be a big leap to go from an entry level course to more advanced courses. If you are inadequately prepared your Q-rate may drop due to inexperience. It can be emotionally and nancially draining to struggle at the next level without achieving success. How do you know if you are ready to move up? Many green handlers and dogs perform well in their rst trials and are ready and able to move up as soon as they have met the quali cations. A good indication that you are prepared is the ability to run higher level courses cleanly in practice. Ask your instructor if you are ready. Another indication is your dog’s past performance in the trial setting. If your dog has run happily and held to criteria in your rst few trials, then moving up to the next level is reasonable. If your dog has ring stress, yet you managed to achieve a title anyway, reevaluate and consider taking a step back before entering higher levels in competition. A dog that has di culty nding the weave entrance and completing six poles in AKC Novice is not going to nd it any easier completing 12 poles in AKC Open. If you move up in one level but not another, are you prepared to deal with ring conicts? Con icts are a fact of life in agility unless you enter a one-ring trial. Con icts can occur if you are running more than one dog. You may be scheduled to be in two rings at about the same time. One ring usually takes precedence over the other. You may have to remember two courses at once. It is possible that you may have to walk a second course while waiting for your rst run. Con icts can be stressful. For an overview of the topic see “Dealing with those Confounding Con icts” in CR November 2010. ere is nothing wrong with waiting until you feel ready before moving up. Not only will you step into the ring with more con dence when you do but it’s also more likely your runs will be successful. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses as a team and training accordingly will boost your chances for clean runs in the future. How do you move up? Deadlines and noti cation for move-ups are stated in the premium. Some trials allow for next day move-ups. Remember titles and ribbons are an acknowledgement of your team’s achievements but in the long run agility is about having fun with our dogs. Keep having fun and your runs will always be successful in your dog’s eyes. D Jamie gained her early experience in New York at the New Rochelle Humane Society, providing training to enhance the adoptability of shelter dogs while teaching safe handling skills to volunteers. She teaches puppy, family manners, focus, impulse control, and tricks classes at the Port Chester Obedience Training Club. Jamie competes in rally obedience and agility. Jamie and her husband Stephen are owned by two Shetland Sheepdogs, a Golden Retriever, and a West Highland White Terrier. September 11 | Clean Run 39

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clean Run - September 2011

Clean Run - September 2011
Editorializing: When a “Lifetime” Only Means Five Years
Tip of the Month
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility
Backyard Dogs
Who’s Premack and What Does He Have to Do with My Start Lines?
Power Paws Drills: Front Side, Back Side
Improving Your Sports Vision, Part 1
Choosing the Most Efficient Path for Your Dog: Decision Making
Dylan’s Story
Teaching FOCUS and Impulse-control Classes: Week 5
Ready, Set, Trial! Should You Move Up?
Agility Bloopers
Training to Your Weakness: Exercises for Dogs with a Straight Front
Building and Balancing Handler and Obstacle Focus, Part 6
Great Expectations
Agility Games to Play with Puppies
Challenges for Rising Stars: Snooker Expanded
Agility Defined by Me

Clean Run - September 2011