Clean Run - March 2011 - (Page 7)

Everything you always wanted to know about agility By Brenna Fender At USDAA trials, a judge isn’t allowed to judge spouses and other immediate family members. Does this rule also apply to special events like regionals and the Cynosport World Games? United States Dog Agility Association president Kenneth Tatsch says that the rule was originally designed to apply “only to classes defined in the titling program other than tournament classes. It is presumed in tournament classes that at some level the chance is an assigned judge may be confronted with judging a person meeting this definition. It is believed that the events are high profile enough that they would be under close scrutiny and integrity maintained. Just in case, at the Cynosport Games, a grievance committee is also in place to field any challenges that may occur.” The restriction on titling classes was originally implemented to “reduce the number of situations where a challenge to a judge’s integrity might arise, and it was deemed in best interest of the sport not to subject the judge to those challenges given there are ample opportunities for judges and their family members to show again or go to a different geographic location to avoid the problem altogether,” says Tatsch. But changes in USDAA’s agility program have created a gray area. Tatsch says, “Tournaments at the local level were not originally considered ‘titling’ under the rules, as the no compete rule was drafted long before tournament Qs counted toward a title (for example, Tournament Master). It is preferable at all times that conflicts of interest be avoided; it takes the pressure off the judge and reduces the likelihood of ill will arising at the event.” Am I allowed to practice measuring my dog with the measuring equipment at a trial site? Do I need to ask someone for permission? At many trials, it is not against the rules for handlers to check their dog’s measurement, although repeated or lengthy practicing may be frowned upon. And, at some organizations’ trials, practicing is encouraged. Jim Mills of Dogs On Course in North America says, “Yes, and if you ask, there is always someone around to help simulate a judge.” This kind of practice with the wicket can be very helpful. Australian Shepherd Club of America representative and multi-organization judge Allison Bryant says, “As a judge, I appreciate dogs that have experience being measured. It helps give a more accurate measurement when the dog is standing calmly and not squirming around. It also can set a negative tone for the day when the dog has a bad or scary experience with the judge on the table first thing in the morning. You do everyone a favor if your dog is Do you have a question about agility rules or anything else agility related? Mail your questions to Brenna Fender: Brenna collects the questions and forwards them to us so we never see the names. ? trained and comfortable being measured by the wicket. And don’t forget your treats! I’m always amazed by how many handlers show up to have their dog measured and don’t have any treats.” Bryant and others agree that it’s best to ask the trial chair or another club official before using the measuring equipment. Doing so shows courtesy and respect as well as eliminating any impression that you might be doing something sneaky. Some organizations do not allow measuring practice without permission. It is important to note that North American Dog Agility Council trials do not allow practicing with measuring equipment at any time. If equipment is left out at a trial, like the table, can my dog and I practice on it? If equipment is sitting ringside for use in a future class or is left elsewhere on the grounds without being designated for warmup use, it should not be used by competitors or spectators. Most organizations set aside some equipment for warm-up use. Some, like USDAA, have regulations that provide only for a single warm-up jump. Others, like DOCNA, allow a warm-up area where the club may place various pieces of equipment. Regardless of the available equipment, warm-up equipment is for just that purpose, to warm up your dog. It is not for training a dog, and it is not for setting up sequences from an upcoming course. And warm-up equipment is always for the use of entered dogs only. Unentered dogs belonging to competitors or spectators are not allowed on the equipment. Inappropriate use of extra equipment could have serious consequences. For example, Carrie DeYoung, AKC director of agility, says, “If any other equipment is left out and a handler is found to be practicing with a dog on it, the handler may be [noted for] misconduct by the Trial Committee and risk being fined and/or suspended from AKC events if found guilty by the Trial Committee.” NOTE: While it is not permissible to make copies of Clean Run magazine, we wish to give readers permission to make copies of this particular column for personal use. This means you are free to share copies of this column with students, friends, or club members. The information may also be included in not-for-profit newsletters as long as credit is given to Clean Run. March 11 | Clean Run 7

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

Clean Run - March 2011
Editorializing: Go Get the Dog
Tip of the Month
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility…
Backyard Dogs
Who Needs a Training Partner?
Difficult Students, Difficult Dogs, Happy Endings
Ready, Set, Trial! Volunteering at Agility Trials
The Breeders Behind the Dogs
Working on Stimulus Control
Teaching FOCUS and Impulse-Control Classes: Introduction
Power Paws Drills: Long Way, Short Way
Help for Heel Pain: The Facts About Plantar Fasciitis, Part 1
Hydrotherapy for the Canine Athlete
Getting the Biggest Bang for Your Seminar Dollar
When Pigs Fly: You Can Do It
You Know Your Dog Is Aggressive If... Part 5
Want the Best Training Results? Then Play!
Challenges for Rising Stars

Clean Run - March 2011