March 6, 2024

March 6th, 2024 Wednesday Wrap Up (New ISC National Championship Announced, NAC Before and After, Leaving the Ring)

American Kennel Club (AKC) ISC National Championship
Eagle-eyed agility fans discovered an interesting tidbit in the 24-page minutes of the AKC Board of Directors meeting:

Although approval won’t be granted until April at the earliest, casting doubt on the “fall of 2024” timeline, I think that this event will be an exciting new addition to the AKC calendar, likely drawing many of the nation’s top handlers for a spectacular showcase of agility!

As the event is still awaiting approval, specific details about its format and qualification criteria remain under wraps. However, for those keen on participating, it would be wise to get involved in some AKC ISC events ahead of time.

NAC “Before and After” Coming Soon
Our “Before and After” course has been a fan favorite, captivating audiences since its debut at the AKC National Agility Championship in 2015. Imagine merging 1 part online agility instruction with 1 part reality TV, and you get a unique peek into the minds of elite competitors facing the pressures of top-tier events. This season, we’re excited to bring you inside Jennifer Crank’s NAC journey. She’ll offer a detailed pre-run analysis of course maps, sharing her strategic planning before stepping onto the course. This real-time insight will help you refine your own course analysis and planning abilities.

Post-run, Jennifer will dissect her performance using the onForm app, employing slow-motion and directional arrows on her videos. Joining her this year are AKC National Agility Champions Cynthia Horner and Amber McCune, who will each break down a selected preliminary run (plus Challengers and Finals rounds if applicable), adding their own perspectives.

Unlike typical online courses that showcase an instructor’s flawless execution post-run, our series emphasizes the raw, unfiltered process of first-time course navigation under pressure. You’ll gain insight into Jennifer’s initial approach as well as her on-the-fly adjustments.

Watch your email and our Facebook page for the registration link!

Podcast: How to Walk Your Dog Off the Course
In our latest episode of the BDA Podcast, “How to Walk Your Dog Off the Course,” released just yesterday, Jennifer, Sarah and I discuss a very effective yet nuanced training technique—walking your dog off the course for undesirable behavior like missing a contact on the dogwalk or a-frame. This strategy, which I’ve personally found to be very useful with a subset of dogs, employs negative punishment. Negative punishment works by removing the chance to complete the course when criteria aren’t met, which then reduces unwanted behaviors, such as missed contacts or incorrect weave pole entries. It’s particularly potent for “ring-wise” dogs who can distinguish between practice and competition, sometimes taking liberties during actual trials.

However, the technique’s success hinges on its correct application. Incorrect use can lead to positive punishment, introducing adverse reactions like confusion, frustration, or obstacle avoidance in your dog. In this episode, we take a very deep dive into when and how to employ walking off the course correctly, and which dogs will benefit the most.

After you’ve listened to the podcast, email me at with your comments and questions.

Happy Training,

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