Follow the Fun to Improve Trial Attendance

Up and down the west coast, dog sports events – from official trials & shows to workshops & training opportunities – are available EVERY weekend of the year. (Maybe not Christmas when it falls on a Friday Saturday or Sunday.)  Exhibitors have an unprecedented amount of choice about where and when they spend time and money.  With that in mind, all dog clubs need to be thinking about how to improve trial attendance.

The perfect illustration in our region is how agility trials have shrunk back to one judge or two judges and smaller profits. We will discuss how this microeconomic disaster came to plague our local community later.

In general, there are only two ways to make money: Increase Income (improve trial attendance) or Decrease Expense (single judge, two days, ribbons as required). Along those lines, a club could split the weekend with another club but given that Saturday is the most profitable day, the second club would need to be given Friday AND Sunday (so a Hope AND a Prayer). Or two clubs could alternate annually for the corresponding weekend but that requires careful planning and cooperation between separate entities which makes the governing organizations (NADAC, AKC, CPE etc.) uncomfortable.

a laundry list of fun to improve trial attendance.

Here are some ways to attract exhibitors to your current event. Most of these involve pairing up with another club to hold an event. Or, if your club can hold the additional attraction, have a few more club members around to help. Some examples require additional administration (trial secretary paperwork) but many just need a club member to step up and help out.

Training Matches

In AKC, sometimes called B Match or Show N Go or Ticker. If room on the grounds,  hold Matches or Show N Go in conjunction with the main sport if they are a different sport. Otherwise, you have to wait until the end of the trial day. For example: at an Agility Trial you may have an Agility B Match when the trial day is over or you could have a Puppy Conformation B Match or Obedience Show N Go DURING the day.

Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Tests – Trick Dog Tests – Farm Dog Tests (requires some small livestock)

These are all AKC pay as you go titles/test. All can be administered by a CGC evaluator who splits fees with the club or, if the evaluator is a club member, donates fees to the club.

Rally Trial

Fits well with the pace of an agility trial. Good return on time investment. Would not want too close to exciting agility rings. Needs around four stewards ringside (the trial chair could be one) and a separate judge from agility.

Obedience Trial

Best offered before an agility event or some distance away as exhibitors are very noise sensitive. Works well as a Friday morning when you have a Friday afternoon start. Highest levels of obedience competitors are always looking for opportunities to compete, so small trials can be well attended.

FAST Cat Trial or Test

Lure coursing for all breeds! Requires special equipment and space so best to partner with a coursing club.

Barn Hunt Trial or Rat N Go

This takes dry space under cover. A trial has two to three rings and four to five levels You have to clear up the straw afterward so be thoughtful about where this is set in relation to the competition rings. Expect this to be done partnering with a Barn Hunt club.

Scent Work Sniff N Go

Scent Work trials may not work with other events because of the isolation issue (teams must remain in the car until called to work). But Sniff N Go – their version of a training match — might fit in nicely. Even these types of matches help expose new folks to how the sport works.

Partner-up  in the Neighborhood

Work with a club holding an event in the same geographical area and cross-market both events. This allows exhibitors to get more chances to compete or train while in the area or to travel with friends or family who participate in a different sport.

Special Competitions/Attractions

Add unique games to be played post competition. You must have a game, rules and scoring written out before you start. These could be based on classes in other organizations to help with structure. In AKC, submit this type of event on the Special Attraction Form. Examples might be:

  • Weave-a-thon  ( like drag racing with weave poles)
  • Tunnel Madness (4 or 5 tunnels with a timed course) or
  • Retriever Relay (4-inch jumps and the dog has to hold an item in mouth going over # jumps to hand off to a team member)
Fun Things with Your Dog

Highlight things that celebrate or are enjoyed by  the dog:

  • Parade of Double Digits (price of entry includes a nice rosette ribbon when nationals do this)
  • Retirement For Exhibition Only (FEO) runs of Double Digits (Dog may not be entered in the trial if this is AKC event)
  • A prize for High In Trial Old Dog (oldest dog over 10 years with fastest YPS Qualifying run)
  • Parade or FEO or Prize for High in Trial of Rescue/Rehomed Dogs (exhibitors need to sign up for this one)
  • Painting with your Dog – dog paw prints as art
  • Holiday Snapshots or Games – bobbing for hot dogs or watermelon eating contest or Fastest Recall or Santa pictures or Halloween costume contest or Photography contest.

Next Step…marketing of course

There are ways to improve the attendance of trials that are fun and could invite new exhibitors to your particular club and trial.  After you decide what to add to your event, we need to talk about how to get the word out so you see an impact in the financials sooner rather than later.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nationals with a Capital N or how to build you Dog Sport Karma

In dog sports, the term “Nationals” means an annual event for that sport (conformation, agility, rally, obedience), breed (Pugs, Poodles, Pumis) &/or organization (AKC, UKC, CPE, NADAC, ASCA). For example: American Kennel Club (AKC) as an organization hosts Agility Nationals. Dogs that are registered and compete in AKC agility events at the Master level and meet the annual criteria will be invited to attend this event and compete against other dog/handler teams from all over the US (and Canada too!). The next AKC Agility Nationals will be in Perry GA March @4-26 2017.

Breed groups in AKC, for example, also have annual meet ups where only that breed competes in various performance sports depending on the breed of dog (Herding for shelties, Hunting for Gordon Setters, Lure Coursing for Greyhounds) as well as the companion sports (agility, obedience, rally, tracking) that the club thinks people would like to compete in for the week. If they expect that there aren’t enough folks to have an event of just that one breed they may hold small All Breed trials but only give prizes to the host breed. Of course, the historical foundation of these events is confirmation so you can see the depth of the stock that makes up your breed.

An example of this type of event in our own backyard is the Australian Cattle Dog Club of America (http://www.acdca.org/ ) Nationals to be held here in the Pacific Northwest. Events will be held in and around Lacey WA from September 18th to 23rd. As you can see by the schedule of events the club will hold agility for just Cattle Dogs on Sunday and herd trials on the last two days at a local facility.

The Australian Shepherd Club of America (www.ASCA.org ) will be hosting its 2016 National in Albany OR September 9-17. While this organization allows mixed breeds and other pure breeds to participate in its various programs The National and its pre-event warm up competitions are only for Australian Shepherds who have met the requirements to compete.

Now that being said you should know that these various types of Nationals are held a different locations around the US depending on a number of factors such as regional clubs willing to do the support work and the necessary facilities being fairly close to each other. Because the population is spread out over greater distances, Nationals held west of the Mississippi tend to be smaller and need more help from the dog sport community at large.

With the is in mind, if you would like to lend a hand bar setting or stewarding or course building or anything that you already have a skill at with either of the above events you can contact the trial chairs directly. Let them know what you can help with—sometimes they need folks who are not entered to drive judges around or to help pack equipment up at the end of the whole production—and the times you are available.

Budgets are tight so don’t have any expectations of more than a few refreshments but these are wonderful opportunities to watch a great many dogs compete in a unique environment and perhaps get you interested in upping your own dog sport bucket list.

Here is Althea with the ribbons she won for herding, rally, and agility at the Cardigan Welsh Corgi National in Ca in 2007.
Here is Althea with the ribbons she won for herding, rally, and agility at the Cardigan Welsh Corgi National in CA in 2007. And yes she was the SMALLEST Cardigan Corgi at the Nationals that year.

 

Fun Match -Obedience/Rally all-breed-Newfies in New Location

Just a reminder that the  Newfie fun match still has room

SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2016

Outside, rain or shine!

New Location! 22117 – 40th St. E, Buckley, WA 98321

Obedience – pre-registration: first run $11.00, additional runs with same dog $9.00

Rally – pre-registration: $6.00 per 5 minute ticker

Newfoundland Conformation – pre-registration: $8.00

Pre-Registration must be received by Wednesday, June 8th

Questions: Contact Michelle Fuqua at mfuqua@centurylink.net

Download the flier here 2016 NCS Fun Match Flyer

Seminar–Mental Skills for All Dog Sports

So how well did you do last weekend at the dog show or agility trial or obedience trial or, heck, even a fun match??

If your dog sports competitions aren’t quite as successful or fun as you would like perhaps you might like to join the Mental Skills Training For Competitive Canine Handlers seminar at Family Dog Training Center in Kent Wa on April 16 & 17 with Brenda  Riemer, Ph.D..

Brenda is not only a sports psychologist, she is also a dog sport competitor with championship and High in Trial canine team mates.

Saturday: What is competition; Why we get ring nerve; Skill training; Ways to reduce stress; Use of imagery; Exercises for all participants

Sunday: the working spot teams will do a complete run thrus with Brenda coaching them. the Auditors will play judges, steward, audience and get to see Brenda’s teachings in action.

All the working spots have been taken for the seminars but there are plenty of auditor (attending without a dog) slots left. Brenda has exercises in the seminars for both those with and without dogs. Saturday & Sunday Auditor $150 / One Day Auditor $85

Online Registration: Register

More information and paper registration: docx pdf

March BTWW at Argus update

always working on the computer

My continued struggle with technology reaches a new low as some exhibitors—who have never had a problem in the past—were not receiving their confirmation emails nor my direct reply to their emails. Turns out that when we renewed my Office 365 it hijacked my email settings at my web host. Hopefully it is fixed now—I had to wait 48 hours to be sure the (hold on for tech jargon) DNS was completely repopulated.

Because I don’t know how long this has been going on I am sending this message to everyone in my agility and obedience trial databases AND Facebook AND my newsletter folks. Apologies for the repeats but I could not think of any other way to reach folks.

If I have processed you for the March BTCWW all breed AKC agility trial you will be getting another (or maybe the first to actually reach you) email with confirmation attached.

Maybe you would like to join us for the March trial at Argus Ranch in Auburn WA?? Here is a direct link to the Premium

Thank you for your patience Theresa

 

 

UPDATE!! AKC-Obedience & Rally Trial – Mt Hood Doberman Pinscher Club

mhdpc logoI have gotten caught up on the Mt Hood Doberman Pincher Club (MHDPC) AKC All Breed Rally and Obedience micro trial at Clark County Fairgrounds on February 5th.

There is still room in all classes because we have split both rally and obedience between the judges to better accommodate the UDX / REA crowd.

Trial closes January 20, 2016 and is PAPER entry only so you need to get your entry in the mail NOW!!

Here is the link to the premium on my website under Upcoming Events http://www.k9eventsnw.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/MHDPC-premium-Feb-2016-rally-and-obedience.pdf Got questions?? Email me at Theresa@K9EventsNW.com with MHDPC in the subject line.

 

AKC-Obedience & Rally- Seminar for new Regualtions

AKC logoIf you show– or plan on showing– in AKC Obedience &/or Rally, then you need to make time on Thanksgiving Weekend to attend the Judges Education Seminar that is open to the dog sport community. Saturday  11/28 is Obedience and Sunday 11/29  is Rally.  Pre-Registration closes November 18th!! Click on this link  http://clubs.akc.org/saints/Archives/Seminar.pdf  to download the registration form (pre-registration closes 11-18-15) and mail to the address noted on the form.

NEW Regulations will be taking effect on December 1st. Now is the time to bone-up and review the changes! There will be demonstrations (dog and handler in a ring) for the various exercises and how they are performed and scored. Including the new Scent Discrimination, Utility & Graduate Open Moving Stand For Examination, and the Novice Group Exercises.

The event will be held at Family Dog Training Center, 1515 Central Ave S Kent WA.

Here is a link to the new Obedience Regulations on the AKC site that take effect 12/15/15.

Here is the link to the Rally Regulations on the AKC site which were last updated 5/15.

Know Before You Show!!

Seminar-Obedience-Matthew Twitty Nov 7 & 8 & 9

had to use the pic with Boston Terrier puppy!!
had to use the pic with Boston Terrier puppy!!
Family Dog Training Center in Kent WA is hosting Matthew Twitty on November 7 (Happy Heeling) & 8 (Open& Utility) & 9 (Private Lessons). Matthew’s students and seminar participants on the East Coast rave about him. He works with a wide range of folks and dogs teaching the skills to get perfect scores, but presented for regular people and dogs. Lots of problem solving opportunities. Lots of different breeds train with him.

Here’s a link to the online registration—https://familydogonline.dogbizpro.com/Public/Registration/Index.aspx?tab=events As of this writing there are plenty of auditing spots but only ONE Saturday working spot, One Saturday & Sunday working spot and FOUR Sunday working spots. There may also be a few spots left for Monday private lessons:
Here’s a link to the PDF flyer if you would like to pass the information on:
http://www.familydogonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/WS_110515.pdf
FULL DISCLOSURE—I am the office lady at Family Dog AND I am going to be at this seminar. Some of you know I NEVER do seminars because I barely process all the information my instructors have been telling me for years! But, as I will discuss in future blog posts, I think I am better able to process additional information about how to train my next performance puppy for competition obedience because I have a better picture of what I am working towards. And by jingo who doesn’t want Happy Heeling!!

Some dets (as the kids say) about Matt: Matt has a newer border collie he just brought out in Open two weeks ago. Three legs in a row with scores above 198. A couple months prior he just brought the dog out in Novice and earned her CD with two HITs. Between those two things he went to a Florida invitational obedience competition and went HIT over 300 other dogs. His dogs are not perfect; he’s been very open about sharing his struggles and creative ways he’s working through his dogs’ problems on his social media.
Matt’s website is somewhat limited as he’s working to get it updated:
http://www.lakelandcanineacademy.com/ Lots more info and videos of him and his dogs on his Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/matthew.twitty1?fref=ts