Dedicated to maintaining the border collie as a working stockdog

Dale Goodell Novice Series

Dale Goodell Novice Series

The 2015 Dale Goodell Novice Series will kick off the year with two days of trials in May. There will also be a trial in June, July, and October. We will try to run two trials each day. That will give handler’s 10 trials for the year 2015. Points will be awarded at each trial based on the number of novice dogs entered. If there are 5 dogs then 5 points for first place and down the line. If you get disqualified or retire you will get 1/2 point no matter how many dogs are entered. This is to encourage novice dogs and handler’s to keep working at it. So if you come to all 10 trials you will have at least 5 points. We will also try to have a pro novice class along with the novice class if time and sheep allow.

  1. 1st trial: May 16th and 17th at the home of Pam Bruns
    1. Two trials for each class per day for both days
    2. Novice runs first followed by pro novice (same for 2nd trial each day)
    3. Judge: Laura Esterman
    4. 8:45 Handler’s meeting, 1st run at 9:00 AM, pot luck lunch at noon following 1st trial for an hour. Beer in the shade on Saturday after the trials.
    5. Cost $15 per run ($5 place fee is being donated by Pam).
    6. Entry form for the trial can be found here: 2015 Dale Goodell Novice Trials Wellington
  2. 2nd trial: June 27th or 28th at the clinic of Lise Andersen (tentative)
    1. One-day trial with two novice runs.
    2. Judge: Lise Andersen
  3. 3rd trial: July 11th at the home of Cathy Balliu
    1. One-day trial with two novice runs.
    2. Judge: Cathy Balliu
  4. 4th trial: October TBD
    1. One day trial with two novice runs.
    2. Judge: TBD

Please watch the website for further information and updates. Email any of the committee members for more information.

Karen Kloverstrom: kklover_2@msn.com
Pam Bruns: brunspam@yahoo.com
Marsha Henning: dublegather@gmail.com

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The 2013 Dale Goodell Novice Series was designed to help novices progress in their handling skills through a series of training clinics culminating with a trial in September so participants could put everything they’d learned in practice to the test.

Prior to 2013, the series consisted of six novice trials held on three different days throughout the year. It was open to novices handlers and novice dogs, and the trials were characterized by one straightforward course consisting of an outrun of about 50 yards, a lift, a fetch to a pen, and a pen. The team who scored the highest in the most number of trials attended won the series. While this format allowed novices to test their handling skills and their dogs’ training in a trial situation, some felt it did not seem to do enough to help our novices progress in their handling skills.

Meg01To address this, we’ve decided to add a training element to the series. Rather than having three days of trials, we would like to have three (or more) training days culminating with one big novice (and possibly pro-novice) trial at the end of the summer to put everything the handlers have been learning all summer to the test. The winner of this trial will be named the winner of the Dale Goodell Novice Series and awarded the trophy. The first training day, which was held on April 20, 2013, began with a roundtable discussion introducing beginning handlers to many of the unfamiliar and often confusing aspects of working sheepdogs and trialing in an informal, nonthreatening way. We demystified some of the challenges beginning handlers face, like trial etiquette (walking to the post, running orders, ways you can help out, etc.), terminology, class descriptions (the differences between them and how they differ regionally), what to expect at your first trial, and how you can begin to prepare for a trial someday—whether that someday is next month or next year.  This will be followed by an assessment run designed to see where handlers are at with their skills and ensuring they have enough control on their dogs to safely take part in the series and make sure the dogs are ready to participate.

The training component for the rest of the series consisted of at least experienced, open-level handlers helping novices prepare their dogs to run different parts of the novice course. We held several clinics focusing on training for different aspects of a novice trial course. We had originally hoped this would also consist of mini clinics or fun runs with experienced handlers both running dogs and critiquing parts of the runs for the novices or teaming up experienced handlers with novices to run a dog together, but there was simply no time to fit that in this year–we hope to be able to add this to the program in 2014. In any case, the idea is to provide the novice with guidance so that they do not feel like they are “on their own” when the work they do with their dogs doesn’t look exactly like textbook open runs at Meeker.

The second training day took place on June 15 at the home of Pam Bruns in Wellington. In conjunction with a fun day for more experienced handlers, Terry Murray led a clinic focusing on the outrun, lift, and fetch portion of the trial course. This is a logical first place to start as greener handlers begin to work to improve their skills on the trial field or while working their own flock at home. On July 20, we’ll have another clinic focusing on turning the post, wearing, the assisted drive, and–for those handlers ready for it–driving with their dogs. In this next clinic, Terry Murray will help novice handers and their dogs learn to move sheep toward a destination some distance away from them. We will start with wearing, where handlers can walk alongside their dogs as they move sheep toward a target. This is the first step in encouraging a dog to drive. Following this, we’ll move onto the assisted drive, whereby dogs are ahead of their handlers as they take control of the sheep but the handlers are a reassuring short distance behind and are moving with their dogs and the sheep. Finally, dogs who are ready will work on driving, with the stationary handler directing the dog to move the sheep toward a destination some distance away. More advanced dogs will work on inside flanks and off-balance stops. This clinic will take place on July 20 at 9 am in Ebert, Colorado. To sign up, contact Laura Esterman at tazimodo@comcast.net.

CathyBalliuBen

In the third clinic, focusing on driving, assisted driving, and wearing, Terry Murray helped novice handlers and their dogs learn to move sheep toward a destination some distance away from them. We began with moving around the post, before moving onto wearing, where handlers can walk alongside their dogs as they move sheep toward a target. This is the first step in encouraging a dog to drive. Following this, we covered the assisted drive, whereby dogs are ahead of their handlers as they take control of the sheep but the handlers are a reassuring short distance behind and are moving with their dogs and the sheep. Finally, dogs who were ready worked on driving, with the stationary handler directing the dog to move the sheep toward a destination some distance away. More advanced dogs were able to work on inside flanks and off-balance stops. This clinic took place on July 20 at 9 am in Ebert, Colorado.

The fourth and final clinic took place on August 17 at the home of Cathy Balliu and focused on penning skills. Penning sheep can seem deceptively easy, but convincing wild, suspicious sheep to willingly enter a small enclosure in the middle of a field can be quite a frustrating task! Cathy broke down the skills involved in working with your dog to pen sheep in a calm and smooth manner.

The Dale Goodell Series trial was held on November 2, 2013, at Irene and Bob Stoller’s place in Longmont. All novice participants attended at least one training day (not including the assessment day) in order to be eligible to compete in the trial. Past series winners were allowed to participate and compete, but they were not eligible for the trophy. The novice class consisted of an 85-yard outrun, a lift, a fetch through panels, an approximately 30-yard wear (whereby handlers were able to walk with their dogs through a set of drive-away panels), and then handlers and their dogs moved the sheep to an open pen. The judge, Lisa Webb, had not participated in the training days, and runs were judged on the lines of the sheep. In addition, there was a pro-novice class as well following the novice class.

It is because we found our novices having trouble progressing that we decided to change the format of the series this year, so that it is more of an educational experience than a strictly competitive one. The winner of the trial was named the series winner and was awarded the traveling trophy at the Mountain & Plains Border Collie Association annual meeting over the winter. More than that, we’re hoping this will be a great start for our Colorado novices to develop as handlers and become part of our larger sheepdog community. Novice handlers who have at least some experience and some level of control over their dogs are encouraged to participate in the series next year. It will be a great learning experience, and should be a lot of fun!

2013 Dale Goodell Novice Series SDT Results

1. Mike Crase Mist – 32
2. Jolie Clark Meg – 31
3. Paula Morgan Nell – 28
4. Katy Fitzgerald Hatch – 24
5. Linda Sunday Una – 15
6. Pam Bruns Bel – Exhibition
7. Pam Bruns Trixie – Exhibition
8. Carol Benjamin Kellie – Scratch