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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-29-2019, 12:00 PM Thread Starter
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Junior Handlers

My granddaughter wants to work with a dog so badly. She just turned 8 so I took her to my club and let her work with Winx while there wasn't a class. Winx loves agility and was happy to work with Lydia. In the end, I have found a couple of people willing to take her under their wing. What I can't figure out is why I was turned down when I wanted to put her in a class at my club. I offered to be right there to be sure Winx didn't try anything silly. Our club policy is the child needs to be 8 years old to handle a dog. She has already shown a dog in obedience and qualified twice. Technically, she's the top UKC Obedience Junior Handler in the country right now. She can't be in 4-H because the rules in Ohio won't let her show a dog for a couple more years. Is this something that's a problem in other clubs? I'm considering letting her take over showing Winx in agility sense she is still in Novice in AKC. We are going to start with CPE I think.


Pilot - UCD URO3 Twincreek's Black Tie Affair CD BN RN CGC TKN
Winx - UCDX URO2 Twincreek's Sweet Tiddlywinks Rose CD BN RN CCA CGC TKP
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 11:21 AM
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 12:23 PM
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I'm not sure how it works with the US organizations, but here in Canada, the Agility Association of Canada has a specific program for junior handlers. There is no lower age limit, and juniors can stay in the program until December 31 of the year in which they turn 18.


Under the program, they are able to earn qualifying legs with different dogs, and the legs, instead of being accrued to the dog, are accrued to the junior handler. This means that the juniors are able to earn all titles at all levels. It doesn't matter how many different dogs the junior handles; all the qualifiers accrue under his or her name. Juniors can also run expert-level dogs at novice level. Entry fees are half-price for juniors running under the junior handler program. The program was created as a means of encouraging juniors to enter the sport. My daughter did her first run when she was 4 years old, and even though she didn't qualify (I was in the ring with her), the club gave her a special pink ribbon to mark the occasion! This really was the spark that lit the fire. She's now 17 years old, has had her own dog since she was 9 years old, and has been the Canadian junior national champion every year since the junior class was first created at our annual national championship event three years ago. She and her dog are also the reigning national champions in the dog's class (i.e. competing against adults).


I do think it's very short-sighted of clubs and associations to limit juniors by age or otherwise. It's not easy for kids to enter our sport; the vast majority of competitors are adults, often older adults at that, and the sport isn't well-known or valued by other, non dog-loving kids. So they have to be very single-minded and dedicated to continue. IMHO we should be doing everything we can to encourage them, not setting rules that limit them.


I've been very active in helping to improve the sport for juniors in Canada, and would be glad to go into more detail if you want to PM me.

Christine

Ruby 13-01-2007 to 18-03-2015.
My dog of a lifetime. I'll miss you forever.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 12:29 PM
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And, for interest, here's the tribute I published when my kid and her dog became the first junior team ever to get a lifetime achievement award (100 standard Qs, 125 games Qs). It really is the small stuff that makes a difference, and clubs have a big role to play.


The Little Pink Ribbon


Sometimes the stars align and things go exactly to plan. That’s what happened to my 16-year-old kid and her dog this weekend, at the Guides canins spring agility trial. Their 50th Gamble Q, for their Gold Gamble title. Their 5th Challenge Q, for their Challenge title. Being chosen to receive the Challenge Award for handling skills on Saturday. And not least, their 100th Standard Q, for their Lifetime Achievement Award: the first junior team ever to get one.


A lot of people in our agility family have played a big role in getting her to this point, and she’ll be thanking them herself. But sometimes, it’s the small stuff – the stuff you don’t think twice about – that makes all the difference.


Let me tell you a story.


My kid started coming to agility trials with me when she was about 3 years old. For the first year or two, all she did was walk the courses with me, and watch from the sidelines. It was an exercise in patience for both of us. But then, she wanted to run too. Eventually, I entered her FEO in a novice jumper with my old dog, Cannelle. She was so excited! When the time came, we all went into the ring – her, me and Cannelle – and negotiated our way around her first-ever agility run. It was a serious business, and she was ever so proud when she crossed the finishing line.


But the icing on the cake came when the owner of our training club ran into the ring and presented her with a little pink ribbon, made especially for her. You should have seen her eyes light up! Her own ribbon – in her favourite colour! When we got home, we hung it on her bedroom wall. It became her most prized possession.


One day, not long afterwards, she came to me and asked: Mom, if I keep practising agility, will I be able to win more ribbons?
Yes, Jackie, you will, I said.
And she did.


Sometimes it really is the small stuff – like that pink ribbon – that sets great things in motion. Thanks to our club, Guides canins, for being the spark that lit the fire.
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Christine

Ruby 13-01-2007 to 18-03-2015.
My dog of a lifetime. I'll miss you forever.

Last edited by ceegee; 04-03-2019 at 12:37 PM.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 01:39 AM Thread Starter
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Thats awesome! Shes adorable! AKC does allow junior handlers but I think they have to be 10 for the program. They can show at any age. I think Im going to start her out in CPE since its easier. (And cheaper) She has loved showing UKC obedience with my friends dog. Shes even qualified twice. The first time she showed they dug up a High Scoring Junior ribbon for her that the judge awarded her even though she didnt qualify and one of the competitors gave her the toy her dog earned for placing. The judges have been wonderful with her. She was very well supported there. Id like to see that support in agility too.

This is her with her buddy Rocky.
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Pilot - UCD URO3 Twincreek's Black Tie Affair CD BN RN CGC TKN
Winx - UCDX URO2 Twincreek's Sweet Tiddlywinks Rose CD BN RN CCA CGC TKP
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 11:40 AM
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Thanks for the compliment about my kid! She's 17 now, just passed her driving test ...!



For the support in agility, we've had to make a few changes here, but the Association has been very open to them and continues to work on a better system for young handlers. I wish you good luck with your granddaughter and her activities - and don't be afraid to knock on Association doors and make unsolicited suggestions, We did that here and it was well worth the effort.

Christine

Ruby 13-01-2007 to 18-03-2015.
My dog of a lifetime. I'll miss you forever.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advise! There are a few people who are supportive. Just a weird thing that goes on at my club I guess. Shes so proud of herself taking her dog in and out of the training building. Even learning about folding the crate up herself. Deal is though that Winx needs to earn her CDX first. Then she can go back to Agility competition.


Pilot - UCD URO3 Twincreek's Black Tie Affair CD BN RN CGC TKN
Winx - UCDX URO2 Twincreek's Sweet Tiddlywinks Rose CD BN RN CCA CGC TKP
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