Calera NADAC Fun-Raiser!

Several of us PAWSters converged on Calera on Saturday, September 24th, for one of their NADAC fun-raisers.  These are actual trials, but the atmosphere is very laid back, so it’s a great way for those new to agility (or training new dogs) to get started trialing without all the stress that so often goes along with it.

Some benefits about this particular venue:

–         Only one ring that’s enclosed on three sides and curtained on the entry/exit side.

–         Only one dog off-leash in the ring at a time.  When one dog finishes a run, the dog waiting its turn is not unleashed until the dog that just finished running has its leash back on.

–         Some training in the ring is allowed, so this was a perfect time to work on start-line stays, contacts, weaves, distractions.

As for me, I went for two reasons:  (1) to work on Braedan’s start-lines and contacts, and (2) to encourage some of our newbies to go and be there to support them.

Special kudos to:

Dave Fulenwider & Toby (Dachshund).  Toby is the first dog Dave has trained, and this was Dave’s first trial.  While Toby was somewhat distracted by all the new smells in this arena, Dave did an exceptional job of maintaining his composure and running Toby just like he does in class.

Janet Johnson & Gus (Pit Bull).  Despite my promises that this would be a very comfortable venue for Gus’s first trial, Janet was a nervous wreck.  Gus was also a bit distracted by the new place and its myriad of smells, but Janet held it together and never gave up on Gus.  I was proud of her great handling.  Janet admits she had fun and wants to go again J.  She had this to say:  “Even though my dog peed in the tunnel during one run and ran out of the ring on two runs, we still had loads of fun. Everyone was so nice, positive and encouraging. I felt like we were still welcome despite the multiple faux pas.”

Gayle Fox & Chunkers (Pomeranian).  Gayle has been working hard on Chunk’s start-line stays and “Go’s!”, and she worked them nicely at this trial.  Chunk, too, had to check out the smells (and the judge and ring crew ;-), but she continues to improve her focus with every outing.

Comments from other PAWSters about this venue:

–         It was a great place to take a novice dog for a trial. The relaxed setting and all the encouragement from everyone was a great plus, too.

–         Like a fun match but with a judge, Q’s, and ribbons.  You can train some in the ring, too, which was great.

–         What I liked the most was the positive attitude of the NADAC ‘regulars’ and judges. And, as always, the support & encouragement from fellow PAWSters!

–         It was especially good for people who had not been in trials before. It boosted my confidence to be able to go through all the steps of running my dog:  getting ready, getting the dog in position, leash/collar off and then running his dog and exiting the course correctly. Excellent practice – not so many people, so less overwhelming for an inexperienced dog.