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USDAA Message
By Kenneth Tatsch

USDAA President

The 2014 Cynosport World Games is in the history books and I extend my congratulations to all the medalists. All tournaments were hotly contested and as exciting as they have ever been. Overall, competitors and staff alike enjoyed the facility, the local winery and the community of Morgan Hill. I extend a big thank you to the organizing committee members, staff and the many volunteers who assured things ran smoothly from start to finish.

Competitors, of course, were focused on the dog agility action, but they also had the opportunity to participate in a variety of other activities, reminiscent of the experience of Cynosport in Scottsdale, Arizona. Key events included dock jumping, course-a-lure and World Cynosport Rally. It was great being outdoors and enjoying the wonderful California weather. At the end of the event, there were many endorsements of the venue, signaling approval for a return visit at some point in the future.

I want to take this opportunity to again recognize the Hall of Fame inductees announced at this year’s event: Pioneers of Dog Agility Kathy Lofthouse and Janet Gauntt, and Meritorious Service Award winners Kerry Krauter, Dave Hanson, Tim Laubach, Judy Kessler, Lisa Barrett, Lynn Von Trapp and Kit Erskine. Final rounds of the tournaments that were streamed live from the main ring are now available for viewing on The on-demand videos are free for those who purchased the live stream, or they can be purchased now for only $12.95.

We now turn our attention to the IFCS Continental Championship of the Americas (CCOA), which serves as a final selection trial for Team USA for the 2015 IFCS World Championships. The event will be held in Perry, Georgia, and can be viewed online at Winners are assured a spot on the team, with an additional eight positions chosen from points earned collectively from Cynosport and CCOA. Four other positions may be filled from past IFCS medalists.

As we enter this holiday season and month of Thanksgiving, we join with Rainer Agility Team in celebrating their 25 years of commitment and growth of USDAA in the Pacific Northwest. They and other dedicated groups have weathered the test of time and have continued to work for the betterment of sport and USDAA, for which we are all thankful. I am grateful for having had the opportunity to visit each of our 25-year celebration events in 2014; it allowed time for reflection and it served as a reminder of why agility is an important part of people's lives. Since our sport relies so heavily on volunteerism and individual devotion, we should express our gratitude all year long, making Thanksgiving a lifestyle, not just an annual holiday. Please take time at every event to express your gratitude for those who have made it possible.

Wishing all a Happy Thanksgiving!
Event Report: 2014 Cynosport World Games
By Brenna Fender

The 2014 Cynosport World Games were full of fun, friendship and fantastic agility. There were many amazing stories to be told, from Lisa Barrett (who doesn't have a dog to run right now) borrowing Christine Rediker's Giddy Up and taking her all the way to the Performance Speed Jumping Championship Finals, to Jennifer Crank winning the 12" Grand Prix Championships just six weeks after having a baby. There were in-the-ring snafus (like two dogs on the seesaw at once) and astounding moves (like a handler or two, who shall remain nameless, who fell down in the ring but were still able to direct their dogs and finish without a fault). The agility showcased was some of the very best in the world!

Many competitors took advantage of the wide-range of vendors available at the Games to buy clothes, toys, equipment, gifts, treats and more. Event sponsor Petcurean gave away bags, samples, and other goodies to many spectators and competitors. Lots of competitors took advantage of other on-site events as well. Dogs went racing after a lure, jumping in a pool, scenting for rats, competing in World Cynosport Rally, and more. Rachel Sanders and others also raised money for the upcoming IFCS World Agility Championships team by hosting a practice ring, and competitors worked their dogs there for fun or to help prepare for the week's competition.

Great judges helped make the 2014 Cynosport World Games very successful. Below, from left to right: John Zhao, Janet Gauntt, David Hanson, Adrienne Lynch, event coordinator Tom Kula, Eric Quirouet, Tim Laubach, and Hisato Tanabe.

Just as with any major sporting event, there were tales of triumph and of heartbreak, but there were also lots of laughs and good times with friends. Although it was great to get back home to our regular lives, it sure was hard to say "Goodbye."

Courses, results, and other event stories are all available on

Photos courtesy of Karen Moureaux, (event photos coming soon).

Training Corner: Contacts and Weave Poles
By Elizabeth Dott

Use this Advanced Standard course by Rob Bardenett, run on September 1 at the 2014 Western Regional Championships, to focus on your dog's job in weave poles and on contacts and to proof elements of what you are asking to make sure your dog understands what to do at all times. Proofing means to test your dog's understanding of obstacle performance criteria under challenging circumstances.

Section 1: Weave Poles
There are several sequences you can use to proof your dog's performance through the weave poles. See numbers #1-#3 and work the exercises below:

#1 Running straight and getting ahead.
See how fast you can run while your dog continues to stay in the poles. Can you get away and leave him weaving while you drive to jump #4?

#2 Crossing at the entrance.
Can you send your dog ahead in the weave poles and blind cross (turning your back to your dog as you cross in front of him), front cross (turning in to your dog as you cross in front) or rear cross (crossing behind your dog) at the entrance?

#3 Crossing at the exit.
See if you can get ahead of your dog and blind cross or front cross at the exit while your dog remains in the weave poles.

Section #2 A-frame and dogwalk
To work on your A-frame and dogwalk contacts, use these exercises, and keep in mind your own criteria for contact performance:

#1 From jump #4 and jump #7, see if you can blind cross or front cross the entry to your contact.

#2 Now try keeping your dog on your left for the A-frame and on your right for the dogwalk; blind cross or front cross the end of your contacts while the dog maintains his criteria.

#3 Remain on the left for the A-frame and on the right for the dogwalk and try rear crossing jumps #5 and #9.

You can work the teeter as well by trying all of the things listed above while asking your dog to maintain his criteria.

Happy training!

Read more.
USDAA Hall of Fame

For almost 25 years, USDAA has recognized and honored individuals who have contributed to the development and growth of dog agility. Inductees to the USDAA Hall of Fame, who were nominated by friends, competitors and others in the USDAA community, are announced annually at the Cynosport® World Games.

Each year, Hall of Fame nominees fall into the following categories:

Pioneers of Dog Agility - Individuals or groups that have contributed to the sport of dog agility with lasting, significant results.

Meritorious Service Award - Individuals who have contributed significant volunteer hours to USDAA and/or its licensed groups. This includes both behind-the-scenes and high profile contributions of dedicated service that resulted in notable, measurable advancement of the sport.

Years of Service - Groups and individuals who have consistently been active with hosting and/or supporting USDAA events.

Special Recognition - Competitors at any level (Championship, Performance, Veterans, Intro or Junior Handlers) who have gone above and beyond in community service and/or overcome physical or behavioral challenges that may serve as inspiration to others.

We were proud to induct the following outstanding individuals into the USDAA Hall of Fame in 2014:

Pioneers of Dog Agility
Janet Gauntt
Kathy Lofthouse

Meritorious Service Award
Karey Krauter
Dave Hanson
Tim Laubach
Judy Kessler
Lisa Barrett
Lynn Von Trapp
Kit Erskine

USDAA President Kenneth Tatsch and Meritorious Service Award winners Judy Kessler, Lisa Barrett, Lynn Von Trapp, and Kit Erskine. Photo courtesy of Karen Moureaux,

At the Cynosport induction ceremony, each inductee was introduced as they were receiving the awards. Congratulations to all the "new" Pioneers of Dog Agility and Meritorious Service Award Hall of Fame inductees!

Want to nominate someone for next year's induction ceremony? Read more.

Training Center Offers USDAA Informational Seminar
By Brenna Fender

Late this summer, USDAA competitor Jennifer Crank of IncrediPAWS Dog Training decided to offer a free USDAA seminar/discussion/lecture to discuss the rules of USDAA in general and Cynosport World Games-specific rules and qualifications. She believes that an increased interest in USDAA from competitors would inspire more clubs in her area of central Ohio to offer USDAA trials.

Jennifer Crank on course at the 2014 Cynosport World Games. Photo courtesy of Karen Moureaux,

Crank decided that the time to promote USDAA via a short seminar was right for two reasons: "Number 1 - Cynopsort was announced in Tennessee for 2015. That is only six hours [away] for those of us in Columbus. Number two - I took up a lease at a building that will allow me to offer trials. Yay! So with those two things happening, I decided that this was my chance to really push USDAA to my students and other local competitors. What better way to do that than to offer them a chance for a free seminar to learn all about it?"

The seminar, which ran for two-and-a-half hours, was designed to appeal to both the seasoned USDAA competitor and the novice competitor. Crank says, "For those already involved in USDAA, I wanted to go over the changes in the 2015 tournament seasons, specifically the Masters Challenge Biathlon changes, and how [competitors] can qualify for Cynosport. For the attendees who were a bit newer to the organization, I wanted to explain the differences in tournament classes versus titling classes and how to progress and title in the various classes. In hindsight, I probably could have made it two separate seminars, but all-in-all, I thought things went well. There ended up being about 25-30 people attending, most of who had never done USDAA. I think only four or five of them had done USDAA before. The rest were new and seemed very interested in trying it after the seminar was done."

In order to keep the seminar manageable and not-too-long, Crank set parameters on what she covered. She explains, "The seminar was never intended to go over rules of the various games and classes, but rather to be a general overview to get people started. I did not explain Snooker, or talk strategy of Gamblers, or even differences like A-frame height or up contacts. I told them that would be saved for another seminar!"

Crank addressed the most popular questions from attendees about USDAA agility. The "big" three questions, according to Crank, were:

1. Understanding the jump heights and knowing what [each competitor's] dog would jump in USDAA versus other organizations.
2. Learning what the different classes are and how to title in each.
3. How to fill out a USDAA entry form.

Seminar attendees had great things to say about the event. Barbara Klonowski says, "Jennifer Crank generously offered an enthusiastic, logical, and comprehensive seminar describing the USDAA programs from the top down and the path to the Cynosport Games. [It] was well worth my almost three-hour drive to attend. Thank you, Jennifer!" Jen Waller agrees that the event was worthwhile. "The seminar was fantastic and answered so many of my questions as well as clearing up a lot of confusion over the new rules. I am hoping all the people there who are new to USDAA will give it a shot!" Anissa D'Souza also found the seminar helpful. "[I learned] how the titling works to move up the ranks but then how the tournament classes come into play for the ADCH. I never really understood the ADCH title before this."

From Crank's point of view, the event was very successful. She says, "I was very happy with how things went. On my end, it was very easy. I only had to look up a few things before the seminar. Most of the stuff I already knew from years of experience." Crank hopes that the seminar will help achieve her goals: "I would love to see my students do more USDAA. I hope this helps."

Thanks, Jennifer, for supporting USDAA agility!

Upcoming Events Calendar

Watch out for these events with entries closing in the coming weeks:
Dates Host Group Location Closing Date
12/06-12/07/2014 International Dog Events Assoc. Devonshire, XX 11/17
11/28-11/30/2014 Virginia Ruff Riders, LLC Herndon, VA 11/17
12/12-12/14/2014 BARK-NH! Manchester, NH 11/18
11/28-11/30/2014 Happy Dog Agility Moorpark, CA 11/19
11/29-11/30/2014 Think Pawsitive LLC New Berlin, WI 11/19
12/06-12/07/2014 The Bay Team Santa Rosa, CA 11/21
12/05-12/07/2014 All 4 Fun Agility Club Gray Summit, MO 11/21
11/28-11/30/2014 Bella Vista Training Center Lewisberry, PA 11/21
12/13-12/14/2014 Pawsitive Partners Dog Training Center Indianapolis, IN 11/21
12/06-12/07/2014 DASH - Dog Agility Sports of Houston New Caney, TX 11/22
12/05-12/07/2014 Paws & Ques Williston, FL 11/24
12/05-12/07/2014 Contact Point Agility Club Fillmore, CA 11/26
12/06-12/07/2014 Wasatch Agility Farmington, UT 11/26
12/12-12/14/2014 Pals & Paws, Inc. Jacksonville, FL 11/30
12/12-12/14/2014 Blue Ridge Agility Club Fletcher, NC 11/30
12/05-12/07/2014 All Dogs Can Agility Lapeer, MI 12/01
12/06-12/07/2014 Contact Zonies Phoenix, AZ 12/01
12/13-12/14/2014 Club-Doggie Queen Creek, AZ 12/01
12/13-12/14/2014 Keystone Agility Club Barto, PA 12/02
12/12-12/14/2014 HOT Dog Sports, LLC Kerrville, TX 12/03
12/19-12/21/2014 Sonlight Ranch LLC Brooksville, FL 12/05
12/14-12/14/2014 NOMAD Waterbury Center, VT 12/06
12/20-12/21/2014 Dog Agility Sport Handlers Costa Mesa, CA 12/08
12/27-12/29/2014 Contact Agility Club Hamden, CT 12/09
12/27-12/29/2014 Greater St. Louis Agility Club Glen Carbon, IL 12/12
12/26-12/29/2014 Dog Gone Fun TX Spring, TX 12/12
12/27-12/28/2014 Saguaro Scramblers Tucson, AZ 12/13
12/27-12/28/2014 Penn-Ohio Agility Edinboro, PA 12/13
12/27-12/28/2014 Mid-Atlantic MADness Harmans, MD 12/13
12/27-12/29/2014 Sirius Dog Agility Training Center Perry, GA 12/14
01/02-01/04/2015 BARK-NH! Manchester, NH 12/17
01/02-01/04/2015 IncrediPAWS Pataskala, OH 12/19
01/02-01/04/2015 Synergy Dog Sports Mt Vernon, WA 12/19
12/27-12/28/2014 Contact Sports Agility New Berlin, WI 12/19
01/01-01/04/2015 Good Dog Agility Club Tempe, AZ 12/22
01/02-01/04/2015 Tails in Motion Ham Lake, MN 12/23
01/10-01/11/2015 Salinas-Monterey Agility Racing Team Morgan Hill, CA 12/26
01/09-01/11/2015 Magic City Canine Club Birmingham, AL 12/27
01/09-01/11/2015 Front Range Agility Club (FRAC) Longmont, CO 12/29
01/16-01/18/2015 BARK-NH! Manchester, NH 12/31
01/09-01/11/2015 Carolina Piedmont Agility Raleigh, NC 12/31
01/10-01/11/2015 Lucky Dog Promotions Tyler, TX 12/31

Questions? Mail - USDAA, PO Box 850955, Richardson, TX 75085; Call - (972) 487 - 2200; Email -

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