March 12, 2024

Episode 337: 2024 AKC National Agility Championship Preview

In this episode (48:29)

The 2024 AKC National Agility Championship takes place March 14-17 in Perry, Georgia. In this podcast, Sarah and Jennifer explore the event’s structure, key contenders and share how you can follow along with the event in near real-time.

You Will Learn

  • The structure of the 2024 AKC National Agility Championship.
  • How to watch the event for free.
  • How dogs qualify for the Challengers Round.
  • Who is judging the event.


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In today's podcast, we are gonna take a look at the upcoming 2024 AKC National Agility Championship. This is our preview podcast for the event where we're gonna talk about where the event is, when the event is, how you can watch it, what the structure is,

who to watch for, what dogs we're gonna be keeping our eye on. And we used to do these preview podcasts. We did 'em for several years in a row and that was before Jen joined the podcast and Jen was looking at our archives and said, Hey, I've never done one of these. Yeah, I've been part of the podcast for a while.

And I was going back through and I was like, wait a minute. It's been a while since we've done one and we've done a lot of studying for nationals, helping my students through the online prep course. And I'm like, I feel very knowledgeable and I feel like a lot of the information that we have for you guys today is, you know,

not necessarily that obvious or take some digging and we've got it all together for you ready to go in one one spot. That's right. I, I'm a big rule reader. I like to read like the entire premium, like front to back and, and figure out exactly how things work. All right, so let's talk about the really easy stuff. Where and when.

So the, the podcast will be going out on Tuesday. So if you're listening to this, the day it comes out it is Tuesday and the event starts on Thursday, March 14th and goes through Sunday, March 17th. And it is happening in Perry, Georgia. And that's basically like an hour and a half from Atlanta. So if you're flying, you're probably flying into Atlanta.

It's like one hour and 24 minutes on the GPS. And I know because that is exactly what my travel plans are, land in Atlanta and drive to the fairgrounds. Exactly. So if you are not going to the event that you want to follow along, where you can watch this event is on AKC tv. So you can go to AKC tv, that's like a website,

but they also have an app for like Roku and an app for your iPad. And they're going to be streaming all of the preliminary rounds and the challengers round and the finals. And we'll get to what those words mean. If you're not really familiar with the event here in a minute, for those of you who are, I guess, you know, pretty plugged into the agility community and you're familiar with four-legged flicks,

four-Legged Flix is providing the stream to AKC TV for the preliminary rounds and possibly the challengers round, we don't know for sure but definitely not the finals round, which is produced by AKC. So, but, but you can find it all at AKC tv. That's like your, your home base for watching the event. And the other way that you can follow along is our before and after course and we'll talk about that at the end of this podcast.

But for our listeners who have been around a while, you've probably seen, we've been doing these before and after courses for years and it's essentially an inside look into the event following a handler. And the handler that we follow is Jennifer Crank. So, so we'll be following you Jen. Sounds good. I'm there with plenty of 'em and hopefully we'll have good,

good results to report back. That's right. Alright, so structure of the event is that on Thursday there's a warmup standard run. And so I wanna take just a minute for people who are actually going and especially people who have not been before, to kind of talk about what this means. 'cause it can be a little bit confusing. There's a warmup standard run on Thursday and it is a true warmup.

I couldn't find anything in the premium that explicitly says this, but every year that I've been in recent memory, this is a place where you can actually bring a toy into the ring. You have basically standard course time to do whatever you want. So if you wanna do five dog walks, you can do five dog walks, right Jen? Yes, that's exactly it.

They do give you a numbered course in case you do wanna just run a numbered course, but you can go out there with a toy. Last year I went out and did some training with a toy you can make up your own course and in the past they've done like two horns, one horn to let you know your time's almost up to kind of move towards the exit and then a second horn to say get outta there.

Right. So it is a, it is a true warmup. The second run that I think of a little bit as a warmup is the first run on Friday because it's either ISC, which is International Sweepstakes class or Premier Sweepstakes class, you get to choose one or the other. And the reason that I think of it as a second warmup is because it doesn't affect the results of the national championships.

So for whatever, whatever you do in ISC and Premier has nothing to do with whether or not you can make challenges round or finals or be named the the national champion. Yeah. You could actually not even enter that class and still go on to win nationals if you wanted. So the outcome of ISA premier does not have a direct effect on the nationals exactly as you said.

Right. But unlike the true warmup round, you can't go and do whatever you want Willy-nilly. It is a numbered course. It is, it is going to be judged and all of the rules of judging apply. So you know, if you're redoing contacts, you're gonna get called for, you know, training in the ring and you're gonna have to leave.

So it, it's not a warmup in the same way that the warmup is a warmup. Right, right. They, they, it would be fix and go rules, right? Yeah. So you could, you could do one repeat and keep going, but if you try to do a second repeat, you're gonna get whistled off. Yeah. And the other kind of fun thing about this is that you can win money.

It's a, it's a sweepstake so basically all the entries for that class get divided up among, you know, some percentage of the winners. And you know, you kind of, you know, I've been to, I I've been to trials where you could win a few bucks for winning, you know, like you know USDA you can, you can win for,

you can win money you know, for some of the runs but it's always been like $10, $20, you know like maybe my entry feedback. But since this is the national championship and it has so many people, those numbers kind of get on up there. So I took a look at the, the winnings and the big, big winner will be the winner of the Premier sweepstakes in the 20 inch class.

That's the class that has the most dogs and therefore has the biggest prize pool and the winner of that class can win $462. So that's not nothing that would probably pay for my plane ticket or At least cover your entry to the the nationals. Yeah, absolutely. And I was looking eight of the 10 heights the winner will win over $100. So even in,

even in preferred so Nice. Yeah. So a nice little tiny little bonus if you can win that round. One thing that I thought was interesting was how small ISC was. So you get to choose between ISC and Premier One advantage of ISC is that the first place dog in ISC gets a buy into the world team tryouts. So they don't have to meet any of the other qualifications of world team tryouts to be able to try out.

It doesn't guarantee them a spot on the team, it guarantees them their entry into tryouts. I don't know how useful that is 'cause it's not like you need a ton of runs to qualify for tryouts but I guess if you had a younger dog that didn't have time, you could like take your shot at ISC. Yeah and I think maybe for the people,

people that don't have a lot of ISE in the area, yeah there's two ways to qualify for tryouts, regular runs in IC and if you don't have a lot of ISE, maybe you're not doing the regular classes as much and so I agree, I don't know that it's super helpful but I'm sure there are some people out there that find it as a,

as a good way to just get that shortcut right into qualifying for tryouts. Yeah and the other thing about ISC is that they're only offering the four ISC heights. So, and that's 12 16 20 and 24 so there's no eight inch height and I was surprised at how small this class was. There's really not very many dogs entered in at all at the 20 inch class.

There's, sorry, at the 12 inch class there's 20 entries at the 16 inch class there's 16 entries at the 20 inch class there's five entries and at the 24 inch class there's 19 entries. So really small ISC and especially that 20 inch class because that's that new height class in international competition, it's a very, very narrow range. Just like a two inch height range.

It's kind of hard to get a dog that falls right in there. So I thought that was interesting. Only five entries and one of 'em is gonna get guaranteed to the world team tryouts. Yeah, I had not followed the ISC numbers because I'm not entered in ISC so this is the first I'm hearing of these numbers. I haven't paid attention to the results and I'm shocked that seems like a a very small entry for ISC but as you said the height cutoffs are a little bit different.

So a lot of the dogs that would measure to do 16 inches at nationals, so the next days do not measure to do 16 for ISE. So if you're using the warmup run and the premier ISE run to prep for nationals, you're probably gonna wanna jump your same jump height. Right. And so you might not do ISE because a dog like I'll use my border Colly surprise you jumped 16 in AKC but she would be 20 inches in ISC and I wouldn't wanna do 20 inches the day of my actual runs.

I wanna practice the timing and the footing and the equipment. So I'm sure there's some good reasons as to why we see those numbers a little bit off, but I did not realize they were gonna be quite that small. It'll be a fast class for sure. Yeah, exactly. And I think, tell me now we're gonna pull some stuff out of our collective memories but I think that used to,

you could choose ISC but you could also choose the AKC jump height. So they kind of af offered all of them. Like back in the day when there were just the three ISC classes, I thought that you could do like your me, your like AKC height instead of your international height back when there Was like, I just recall You don't recall, I know when like back long,

long time ago when they did the state competition, you know you did any height but I don't recall the, the what used to happen on ISC is that the winner won themselves onto the EO team. Yeah. And I remember that. And That's Not there anymore and Right. And that they don't have that anymore and I think at that time they only had the three heights if I recall right.

Yes. 'cause Lucky one on the EO team doing it that way and I think at that time, so it would've had to be way back that they allowed any height. I think they've kept it at that the FCI height cutoffs for a while. So my memory is not that good to be able to answer that. I know that's it's, it's both a pro and a con to have been involved for so long because we remember all the things like,

I mean we remember we're like, wait, can't you do this? And people are like, yeah you could 10 years ago. And I'm like, oh okay. Yeah, like the state competition, only a few select listeners are gonna remember that that's gonna I know Date you back to when they did the state competition. Exactly. Which if APCs listening,

I'm still a fan of and I fully support bringing back but moving on. Yes, moving on. Okay, so that is ISC or Premier. So I guess you kind of, I was gonna ask you, I was gonna put you on the spot and ask you why you chose Premier I guess for Surprise. That's pretty obvious because of the height. Well Surprise isn't actually going that.

Oh okay. So she was just an example but for me I, this is, this is a really probably uncharacteristic answer for me, but I just didn't want to deal with one additional course to walk and remember for both my warmup and the ISC run. It's, it's one ring that I don't even have to worry about because they do ISC warmup is different than the regular warmups and then they have an ISC run.

So it was like another walkthrough, another ring, another place I needed to be and I just decided if all of my dogs were doing Premier it was one course and one less conflict that I was going to have. So even though I deal with conflicts and multiple dogs pretty well or at least I, I like to think I do, I just didn't do it because my dogs are qualified for tryouts and I do have Rio for example,

meets that height thing. She jumps 12 inches for AKC but would do 16 for ISC and I just didn't want different dogs in different rings on different courses. So I, it is sort of kind of more for like my mental management and ring conflicts at the event. All right, makes total sense. Okay so that happens on Friday that I, you start the day with the ISC or the Premier,

you can treat it as a warmup. Oh you were telling me so I did not, I did not know this. You were telling me that there might be another reason why you might care about the Premier run on Friday. Yeah, so Premier results from AKC nationals have had some loose ties to invites for the Premier Cup. Now from what I can determine,

I have not seen anywhere in print that states that you know, the top four results from Premier class or the top four results from ISC class get an invite to Premier Cup. But each year when the invites for Premier Cup come out and you kind of try to figure out how people got invited or where the invites came from, there does seem to be a direct correlation to the results at AKC Nationals from both Premier and ISC and then finals.

So there has kind of been some discussions that you know, one reason you might try to go do well in Premier or get a top four placement in Premier is that it might give you a, some kind of invite or some kind of tie to an invite for the Premier Cup. So if the Premier Cup's something on your radar, you might have more incentive to try to run clean and place high and do well.

I'm kind of more like you. I think of Premier as more of a one last opportunity to do a little bit of training. If you gave me a choice between winning Premier and faulting in rounds one through three, I would choose to be clean in rounds one through three and fault Premier. But yeah there, there seems to be a little bit of a correlation there that I can't quite put my finger on exactly and I,

I haven't found in writing but it is something that enough of us, us have discussed the correlation that I've told some students, you know, hey go out there and kick butt and try to win Premier and maybe you'll get that invite. So it's a theory. It's a theory That's a good Theory hasn't been proven Yet. That's a good way, It's a theory.

All right, so we have a theory, okay so that will be the first round on Friday and then we go into the actual national agility championship on Friday with standard. So we only have, there are three preliminary rounds in the National Agility Championship. There's standard jumpers and hybrid and standard happens on Friday after the ISC and the Premier. So at the end of Friday you will have one run under your belt.

Then on Saturday there are the two remaining preliminary rounds, jumpers and hybrid. So hybrid is like for I, I guess most people know what standard and jumpers are standard if you're not an American listening standard is essentially agility. It has all the contact obstacles. So it has the A frame, dogwalk Teeter, it does not have a table even though tables do exist,

at least at this point in standard in the rest of AKC. And then jumpers does not have the contacts and then hybrid has two of the three And yeah, Hybrid's like it's like time to beat. I always tell people it's like time to beat. Yeah, there you go. And Typically it's gonna be the A frame and the Teeter and it's gonna have a lot more fast and flow,

slightly less challenging, very time to beat feeling. Yeah. All right. And so those happen on Saturday and so at the end of Saturday everybody will know whether they have made the finals or not. So there, I guess I suppose a number of people could go home on Sunday when they first moved to the schedule. I was afraid it was gonna be a ghost town on Sunday with kind of the preliminary being done on Saturday.

'cause that was new last year, but it didn't turn out to be that way. It was like ev, most everybody stayed. So I thought that was, Yeah, last year was the first year with this format, right. So it'll be interesting to see if this year's different, the concerns that I have heard from people who stick around even though they're not in is the hotel issue,

right? So when you wake up Saturday morning you can't check out because you have to run on Saturday and you don't know if you're gonna be in challengers or finals. So you kind have to keep your room and then if you're gonna keep your room and you're gonna stay Saturday night, well why not stay and watch challengers and finals? It's the most exhilarating of the event.

So I think there's potential for teams to be done very early on Saturday. I have a student who said that they are, they're done by 11:00 AM on Saturday with all their runs. So wow. Presumably they're gonna know at that point if they're three clear or not and you know, if they're absolutely out of it then they, they potentially could go home.

But if you're later running on Saturday, because we don't know the results till the evening, it's, it's kind of a lodging situation I think for a lot of people. They can't, they can't plan to go home, right? And if you're gonna stick around and stay, why not watch? Yeah and I would encourage people to stay and watch Like I love watching challengers and finals.

I think it's a lot of fun. I think it's a lot of fun to watch live. But you are pretty tired by that by, by Sunday. So the challengers round and the finals both happen on Sunday there. They're on a pretty strict schedule because of, because I I do think they air those live right or they have in the past, at least on AKC TV Yes,

I was gonna say on AKC TV, yes. Yeah. And then they do the production and usually air it on ESPN like 24 hours or 48 hours later. Right. So for those of you who are not familiar with challengers, let me explain it as succinctly as I can. It kind of confuses people who aren't familiar with it, but challengers round is like a last chance into finals.

So at the end of the preliminary rounds, the standard of the jumpers in the hybrid at the end of Saturday, they will determine who makes the finals and it is the top, hold on, I've got it right here. Top 7% of dogs make the finals. So they, so they basically take the cumulative score then time. So 300 is gonna be the top score.

You can get three one hundreds, that's gonna be three clean. So they're gonna take the three clean dogs first. Usually that's going to fill the, the finals. So usually there are not going to be dogs in the finals that were not three clean very occasionally it might happen if there's a really tricky preliminary course and one of the very small classes, like one of the preferred classes,

you might have a dog go in that has like one faulted round but, but basically the majority of the dogs and especially in the regular class are gonna be three clean and that's gonna be at the end of Saturday they're gonna pull their top 7% and all those dogs are into finals. Then they're gonna look at each of the preliminary rounds and they're gonna start with the first place dog and start going down the list.

And any dog that did not make the finals and has at least two preliminary rounds clean, they'll take the first four and those dogs make the challenge round. So basically let's say they start with standard, they're looking at the results from standard and the the dog who got first place in standard, they ran clean and jumpers in hybrid, they have a great score,

they end up in the finals, okay, that one doesn't count. They go to the second place dog. That dog got second place in standard and they were clean in jumpers but then the pressure got to them and they faulted in hybrid. So they say okay, that dog, they have two clean, they got second standard, they get to go into the challengers round,

then they go to the third place dog and they just keep going down the list until they get four dogs. So basically it's gonna be the top four dogs that haven't already made the finals and have at least two clean runs. And then they go look at jumpers and they do the same thing. They start at the number one, take the first four dogs that aren't already in finals and have at least two clean and then they go to hybrid.

So you end up with a maximum of 12 dogs per height in challengers and then it's winter take all the challengers round, they all the dogs go and they run and the one top dog who's clean in challengers gets to go into finals. So I think of it like a wild card, like it's like that last chance to to get into finals. It's for those dogs that have the speed to place but had one hiccup on the weekend and they still get a chance at finals.

And so they do end up being some of the fastest dogs and it is not uncommon for the challengers round winner to go on and win finals because of that. It's actually very common for the winner of the challengers round to go on and win. We see that almost, almost every year. I don't have the stats in front of me, but I feel like for the last many years we in,

in one of the heights, whether it be regular preferred, you do see the, the dog that wins challengers win into finals. And I will also add to that is in the preferred classes it is not uncommon that a dog who ran a 300 is in the challengers but not finals. So it's not, it's it's designed as kind of a wild card spot.

But if you're in the, in the preferred classes, be prepared because let's say that you had a 300 but they were only taking four into finals and you were fifth. Well if you were fifth cumulatively the odds are that in one of those rounds you probably placed pretty high. So if you take out those four dogs in front of you, I have been in,

and I'm speaking from personal experience here, I have been in challengers with a dog who had a 300. So basically I was clean in all the preliminary rounds but not fast enough to make finals but fast enough to make challengers. So typically it's a dog who has only had two clear but don't leave. If you were 300 and not in finals, 'cause there is a good chance that you could get pulled up into challengers more likely for the preferred classes.

Not as, not as likely to happen in the regular jump heights. That's a really great point because I know for a fact that there are people that left like packed up and went home. I know of at least one person, I can't remember, I'm not even, I'm gonna, I'm not gonna out anybody anyway, but I can't even remember who it was.

But I distinctly remember at least one person whose friends had to find, track them down and find them because they assumed that they were out. They didn't really understand how challengers round worked and they had left. And I also distinctly remember somebody that left for good, like left, left, missed the challenge round even though they were eligible for it because they didn't understand.

So make sure that number one, you kind of understand how things work and number two, like stay long enough on Saturday to check the final results to see which dogs are making it into challengers round. I've seen it go as far down as like 11th and 12th place gets a spot to run a challenger. Like a lot of people think oh well it's placement and I didn't get a top four placement so I'm gonna pack up and go.

But as you explained it, they will bump down. So I have seen it to go down as far as like a dog who placed 11th and round because the dogs in front of 'em were knocked out by either not being too clear or automatically being in final. So yeah, check the results. Wait for Steve to put up that C or that F by your name to know that it's official.

Absolutely. Okay. And I guess while we're talking about those numbers, let's take a look at the number of dogs because I was surprised by this. I was looking at the number of dogs and there are 1,330 dogs total. Of that 942 is regular, 388 is preferred, it's the preferred number that surprised me. I always thought of preferred as being a very small class and it's you know,

significantly smaller than than regular. But we're still talking like, you know, I'm like rounding here but basically like two thirds, one thirds, like two thirds regular, one thirds preferred. Yeah it's almost 400 preferred dogs. Which is, which is great. Yeah, so, so that is a lot and the biggest height class as it always is, is the 20 inch height class.

So that that the regular 20 inch height class has 339 dogs and so that puts 25 dogs in the 20 inch class into finals. So it's gonna be 7%. I also ran the numbers because in the past there have been class usually preferred that were so small that 7% did not meet the minimum number. So they say 7% but there has to be at least six dogs in regular and four dogs in preferred.

And so there would be times where, I mean I remember in like the 26 inch class or the 24 seed, which is like an optional class, there would be so few dogs entered that it was like 75% of the dogs were making finals or something. It was like, it was a little it, it was a little absurd. So we should note that there is no 24 C this year and this is the first year since they introduced 24 C.

24 C. For those of you who don't know is was an optional height class. It's like the history of it is that they always offered a 26 inch height class because world team coaches were looking at nationals to help inform their choices on who was going to make the team USA the world team at 26 and they wanted to see the dogs at 26 inches.

So they had this 26 inch height class and it was optional. You could do your measured height or you could choose to do 26. Then internationally they reduced the height. We said we don't need any dogs jumping 26, that's kind of high, there's no real reason, we're not really, you know, learning that much more about their abilities by having them jump two inches higher.

And so the international height switched for the large dogs switched from 26 to 24. Well the AKC already had a 24 inch class and they didn't want all of the world team people competing against all of your actual natural 24 inch dogs, which is like your we Morans and your Dobermans and your very, very large border colies. But really that's a small minority of the class.

The the large border colies, it's really those big, big breed dogs. And so they created this 24 sea, the sea stands for choice so you could run in 24 C if you weren't in the 24 inch class. So it was really kind of convoluted, a little bit of just kind of like, to me it's like an example of like how something changes over time and it becomes a little bit warped.

I dunno what you Think. Yeah we still, we there, there's still a 24 C at local offense. Yes. Right. So it still exists at local shows and at qualifications for nationals, but at nationals there's no 24 C, right? Which, because that, that element is a bit odd too, right? Although at regular trials you also,

anybody could jump up. So if you have a 12 inch dog you can jump 16 at regular trials. But at nationals they make everybody jump their measured heights. So there's no, none of this gamesmanship about I have, you know like what, where should I run my dog should, you know, should I run my really small fast border Collie at 16 where they measure or up to 20 or all the way up to 24 because they are doing international.

It's like it took all of that away and so now everybody just runs their measured height and and they retired the 24 C class from nationals. It had gotten really, really, really small because it is the only optional class. So now we don't have that class here, we just have the five regular classes and the five preferred classes. Okay. So that is kind of the numbers behind the,

the height classes. I guess the smallest class we have is the four inch preferred. There's 53 of those and then as we said the largest class is the 20 inch regular. There's 339 of those. Okay, so one thing to talk about is the judges. So I don't know if you've heard anything new Jen about the preliminary rounds. I have no insider info.

Okay, So the only insider info, and it's funny because people are like how did you know that Zach Davis was doing the challengers round? And I'm like because his name was listed next to challengers round in the schedule. So we know who's doing challengers, we know who's doing finals because there's only one judge each for those. But we don't know who's doing the preliminary rounds because there will basically be like four rings that all have,

you know, jumpers set up and obviously one judge can't be in all four rings and so the judges are spread out and so we don't know who designed JU judges, I mean jumpers because there's four different judges assigned to the jumper's ring And ISC is the other one that Zach is doing and that's because the ISC is only in one ring, right? So where you mentioned there'll be four or five rings all filled with jumpers.

We do also know ISC will be Zach, which is the ISE warmup and then ISC standard, right? We have six total judges but we only have five rounds of nationals. So somebody is not, I guess somebody presumably would be doing the premiere Or warmup. Warmup, somebody has to design the warmup, somebody has to design premiere and then we have the three rounds.

Okay, so let's start with the two judges that we know what they're doing. So the first is Zach Davis, he's designing the challengers round and I did take a look at some data for him for the last two years and it looks like I only looked at standards since we, since Challengers is a standard round and it looks like his Q rate and standard of the last two years ranged from 42% for 20 inch dogs to 55% for eight inch dogs.

So that's kind of his Q rate on regular classes. Of course he is gonna, you know, pull out his most creative exciting elements for this you know, exciting event for the AKC for the challengers round. And then Susan Ner is the designer of finals and her Q rate over two years range from 40% for the 20 inch dogs to 60% for the eight inch dogs.

But again they get to do, you know, kind of let their creativity flow for the challengers round and the finals. And I will put in the show notes page a link to a webinar that we did last year that was about the design of the finals course. It was super interesting to hear from the judge, like how she put it together and how it changed over time and what input AKC had and what input they didn't have,

like how much they were kind of hands off. So if you didn't catch that last year or if you wanna refresh your memory, especially if you're going, it was a super interesting webinar. And then our other four judges are Todd Bula. I don't know how to say these names but Jen is just nodding at me. She's like, go ahead Sarah,

you've got it. There's Michael Case Mark Giles and Inga Hooper are the four other judges and we don't know who is designing what that they will all be there. I guess for those of you who are at the event and you're, or if you're watching on TV and you're kind of curious what's going on at this event. Four challengers and finals but not for the preliminaries.

There's always a second judge sitting right next to the dogwalk down to help verify the calls for the dogwalk. All right, now let's talk a little bit about who to keep an eye on. So I went back through last year's winners to see if people were coming back or if they weren't, if they ended up on the the schedule. And I confirmed that all six winners from the regular class 'cause there was 24 C,

so that's the sixth one, all six winners are coming back and they're all still in the regular height class. So nobody has moved down to preferred. So those winners are Andrea Samuels and Papillon, Gabby, Cynthia Horner and all American Nimble Emily Claman with Border Collie Vanish Perry dewitt with Border Colly Witt, they came in from the challengers round, so there's your challengers round then winning finals for the year,

Steve Basin and Weran Hogan and Amber McCune and Border Colly typo. So Amber and Typo won the 24 inch C class last year and since that class isn't here this time they are running their measured high class of 20. So we'll have two returning national agility champions in the 20 inch class wit and typo. And then in the preferred class it looks like three of the five winners are returning.

So the three that are returning our Antonio Rotel and with a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Zoom. Okay, I'm really sorry. In fact we put this in print in our in our wrap up last year because we were like, oh my gosh, I'm not gonna say that but I'm gonna, I'm gonna give it a shot. There's a poodle Alina in the preferred class handled by,

or at least on the, I'm not, there were two handlers listed on the, the finals from last year and only one handler listed in the writing order this year. So hopefully this is the handler. Hi Boone. Tana Pippa Hai. That's my, that's my best. I'm trying Tana. Hey, sounds Good to me. I'm reading it on print in front of me and that was a better shot than I could Gitchi.

Yeah. Yes. And I am sorry for mispronouncing your name. I'm gonna, I was thinking about this earlier today because I, it, it does hurt me a little bit. Like I, I feel like you know, I wanna get your name right, I really do and it's not your fault like, you know, I like that my eyes don't really know how to say that,

but I'm gonna channel every time anybody has said my name wrong and just put all of that karma to cancel out how bad I just did on, on this name. So I'm gonna forgive everybody who's Mis has messed up my name and hope that you will forgive me mispronouncing your name. And then there's Karina Costco and Border Collie Jacks. So they are all returning in their preferred classes.

And then we have a couple of the challenge round winners from last year who I confirmed are on the schedule this year. So those will definitely be dogs to watch out for. There's Laura Dolan with her poodle co, co COOS and then of course who's the next one? It is a Miss B. Yes, we were the 16 inch winners of last year's Challengers round.

I would love to stay out of challengers this year if at all possible, but we are making, making the trip down there, we'll be back at it this year. That's Right. And B is just B is even more famous than before because now B has been on ESPN and has been handled by football players and you know if you know, you know,

but B is making the rounds on all kinds of TV shows, variety shows kind of type of things. So she's famous now super famous. She even shows up as a a gif in Instagram if you search for Bee there'll be a whole bunch of gifs of bees like, you know, honeybees and stuff and then there's a gif of the Shelty Bee like Jennifer Cranks Bee,

that's how Famous Bee is. And then we have Renee White and Boor Col Scorch and at 24 inch they are returning as well. In the preferred class we have Andrea Samuels with Papillon Fortune, Suzanne we Wesley with Poodle Sin, Brenda Kelly and Boor Collie Vu and Amber McCune with kaboom are all returning in the preferred class. They all won their challengers round round last year.

So definitely they have the speed to make it into finals and put up good runs. And as we mentioned earlier, the 20 inch challengers round winner, which was Perry de Whit and Whit will be coming back, but she went on to win so we already listed her name. That's right. So she's coming back as well. That's right. Two other things that I wanted to mention before we wrap up.

The first and I, I mentioned mention this when we talked about where to watch it and AKC tv, but there are a ton of scams that are claiming to be the, the live stream for AKC nationals. It's a real problem these days on Facebook. You do not have to pay to watch AKC TV is free. You can watch it online, don't put in your information on any of those sites.

And I will put in the show notes page a webinar that we did on spotting these scam pages. Some of them are kind of obvious but some of them are very subtle. So I think it's a great webinar really for anybody who does anything on the internet, which if you're listening to this podcast is probably you. But I will put a link to that if you want to refresh your memory on how to keep yourself safe in Facebook.

And then the last thing that I want to mention is that we are doing our before and after online course. This is something that we've done for many years and the idea of it, and the reason why it's called before and after is that we have one of the competitors analyze the map before they run it and then analyze their performance after they run. And the idea is that,

that this is very, very different than your typical online class where somebody might put together a training sequence and they might create training videos, they might run it a couple of times till they get it just right the way they want. They might tweak the layout if it does, if there's something unexpected about it. And there's not to say that those courses aren't valuable,

they're hugely valuable. And we produce those kind of courses like our prep course where we put together a sequence that we designed to kind of facilitate very specific handling that we want to see you do. And we have demo videos and of course we wanna show you like a demo of a good performance so that you can emulate it, right? So we do that kind of thing.

But this is different, this is almost a little bit of reality tv but also in my mind it's this is what you the handler have to do every time you show up to a trial, you have to take a map of something that you haven't run. You have to figure out what your plan is, then you have to go and walk it and run it and your plan might have been good,

your plan might have been bad, there might have been tweaks on the course that meant you had to change things. So you are kind of getting inside the head of an elite competitor while they're going through that entire process and seeing it play out with basically no filter. So if things go great, awesome. If things fall apart, you get to hear exactly why,

you know, was it a handling error? Was it a, a gap in training that the handler knew about? So we have Rope Jen in and Jen, you've been doing this for a couple of years. Like how, how do you view the before and after? Like what is, what is it like to do it? It's as, it's as live as you can.

Gitchi mentioned that part. It's as live as you can get. We try to get the, the befores out before I walk. Like I, as soon as the course map is available in the morning, I'm doing the analysis talking about what I see on the map. Often I'm actually analyzing the map before I've seen the course. So I remember last year doing some of them at the Airbnb when the maps came out,

which then is slightly a different plan or a different perspective when you actually get to the show site and see the course. So that's something that we didn't talk about in the after, why is my plan that I thought I was gonna do based on the map different than what I ran. And in the case of me having multiple dogs at multiple jump heights,

why my plan for one dog might be different than another. So you really get inside my head in terms of why I'm making the decisions that I am. You know, you you kind of find the dog's strengths, the dog's weaknesses, my strengths, my weaknesses a little bit on the mental game. And again, we try to keep it as alive as possible.

So as soon as the run's done, I'm trying to kind of analyze it and break it down. And as Sarah said, the good, the bad, the ugly, it might be a great run, it might be a clean run, but it also could be a faulted run breaking down why that fault happened if I can analyze and figure it out.

So it's, I I enjoy it. I think it's really, it, I think it helps me, I think it forces me to look at the map and analyze the map, but honestly I, I sometimes wouldn't do, I don't typically look at maps, so it forces me to analyze and take a closer look at things. And then it also,

you know, it has me reflect on the run and analyze why something maybe happened and because I'm doing it right away or as quick as possible, I'm looking at that run and I'm reviewing that run potentially before I run another dog on that same course. I'm using that information to help me hopefully help me with the next performance. So it's, it's something that I really enjoy.

We get a lot of great feedback, so we're gonna, we're gonna offer it again and, and hopefully give you that kind of that next level insight or look more than what AKC can provide with the livestream. Yeah, absolutely. And, and I'll tell you that people are always telling me, well what, what a class act you are. And so like when things don't go well,

like hearing how you deal with that and I, I think that it's really good for people. I know that you want all of your runs to be perfect, but people are always emailing me and saying like, I learned just as much from, I learned more from the Bobs than I do from the perfect runs. And people are just so appreciative that you'll,

you'll give them that inside look that you'll be so like open and honest with like how things are going and like how you're feeling and you know what you're unhappy with and what maybe what you regret from your own, you know, handling choice or, or anything like that. And so it just, you know, makes you a real person but it also gives people that perspective so that they can start to see themselves as capable of,

you know, ultimately being able to do the things that you do, you know, and being able to make it to finals and, and and, you know, win win rounds and things like that. So I think that's really cool. And then we are joined this year. We, we always, we the past year have added like kind of guest handlers.

They don't do the map but they will choose one preliminary round. And so our guest handlers this year are Cynthia Horner with Nimble. So they are the defending champion. They won the 12 inch class and we specifically wanted to get kind of jump height, different jump heights. So they won the 12 inch height class. So you will get to see at least one analysis from a 12 inch dog and you'll get to hear exactly what Cynthia was thinking and how she thinks it went and,

and her breakdown of a preliminary round. And then if she makes the challenges or the finals, she will do those as well. And then our second guest handler is Amber McCune, also a, a returning national agility champion. We're not gonna do Typo though, who is the one she won with last year. We're going to follow Howie at 24 inches.

So I wanted to get kind of that really big dog perspective. So all three of the handlers that you'll be following are national agility champions, the handlers themselves are. And so it'll be really interesting to hear what those two ladies have to say as well. So if you're interested in that course, there'll be a link in the show notes page and register as early as possible.

People always wait till the last minute and once I actually get to the trial, things get so crazy. So if you know you wanna do it, just go click and register now so I can Gitchi all set up if you need your password reset or let you into the Facebook group and all of that fun stuff. All right. And that is it for this preview podcast.

For all of you who are going to the event, good luck, have a great time. I like to say that this event is one part competition, one part convention, and one part reunion. So I always like seeing everybody that I only get to see once a year at nationals and being able to walk around all of the vendors and then of course watch some amazing agility.

And that's it for this week's podcast. We'd like to thank our sponsors, St. Rocco's Treats and hit it Check out the Teeter TeachIt only at HitItBoard dot com. The Teeter TeachIt is an easy to use tool that controls the amount of tip on your teeter. So you can introduce motion to your dog in a gradual way. Go to hit

for the new Teeter TeachIt and other training tools and toys, use discount code BDA 10 to get 10% off your order. That's hit We'll see you next week. Happy training. Thank you for listening to Bad Dog Agility. We hope you enjoyed today's episode. For more information updates and links to all our socials, just check out our website,

If you haven't already signed up for our email subscription, we would love to have you join the BDA community. Until next time, take care. I just found out the company that produces yardsticks won't be making them any longer.


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Trial Review Tuesday 4/9/2024

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