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The Overview from USDAA
USDAA Message

By Kenneth Tatsch

USDAA President

We are moving full throttle towards what will be our biggest Cynosport® World Games to date. With 1,100 dogs and 750 handlers entered from six different countries, the five-day event, running October 23 through October 27 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, will be a giant celebration of dogs and the people who love them. Judges Evelyn Robertson, Scott Chamberlain, Scott Lovelis, Adrienne Lynch, Francisco Berjon (from Mexico), and Bob Griffin (from England) will help us crown champions in the Grand Prix of Dog Agility®, Performance Grand PrixSM, $10,000 Steeplechase®, Performance Speed JumpingSM, Dog Agility Masters® Team, Performance Versatility PairsSM, and the all new Masters Challenge BiathlonSM and Performance Masters Challenge BiathlonSM.

In addition to the hotly contested agility competitions, we are offering multiple sporting activities, including a Splash Dogs® dock jumping competition, Lure for the Cure (course-a-lure) supporting the National Canine Cancer Foundation, Melissa Heeter with flying disc exhibitions and seminars, and more. We will have some 40 vendors on site, selling everything from training equipment to instructional materials, dog treats and toys, and fun gifts for humans as well. This year's off-site welcome dinner will be at the Oaklands Historic House Museum on Thursday evening, and on-site dinners are being offered on Friday and Saturday nights. As a special treat, with Murfreesboro so close to Nashville, we are bringing Nashville sounds to the Games to fill the void between day and evening classes and during downtime on Sunday.

We will be live streaming the event for those of you who will be staying at home. There will be an open feed (one static camera focusing on the main ring) Wednesday through Saturday, and multi-camera finals events that will have live commentary by myself, internationally known agility expert Julie Daniels, and possibly others. The video stream will be available on demand following the event, and DVDs are being offered with special pricing prior to the conclusion of the event. Stop by the USDAA booth at the show or contact for more information.

You can also follow along with all the excitement via your home computer or mobile device. We'll have updates for the general public through our new twitter handle @USDAAInfo and details for competitors on @USDAAEvents. We'll also have lots of coverage via our facebook page ( A custom mobile app is also available for competitors. If you haven’t downloaded the app yet, be sure to pick up the download details at check-in.

We hope you'll join us in some way at the 2013 Cynosport® World Games, whether you will be competing, volunteering, spectating in the stands, or cheering at the live stream at home. It's going to be a great event!

Cynosport Judges Spotlight
By Brenna Fender

The six judges for this year's Cynosport World Games come from all walks of life, but have a common love for USDAA agility. Learn a little more about the people who will preside over this prestigious event:

Francisco Berjon

Francisco, also known as "Paco," lives in Mexico and owns two Border Collies that do agility. He got involved with the sport 13 years ago after attending an agility seminar with his Labrador Retriever at a friend's suggestion. Although Francisco has competed in the Cynosport World Games three times (in 2008, 2011, and 2012), this will be his first time judging. He says, "When they asked me [to judge the Games], I felt so happy and honored for that opportunity. It was easy to say yes to that offer, because I think it's every judge's goal to be in a big event like this."

Francisco says he has a little advice for those who plan to compete at this year's Games. "The only thing that I can tell them is to have fun and do what they do in training, and that way they will be clean and fast."


Francisco judging. Photo by Barbara de la Parra.

Scott Chamberlain

Scott lives in Mount Wolf, Pennsylvania, and manages the computer network for his company. He has been involved in agility for over 20 years and has been a USDAA judge for 18 years. Scott is also a USDAA course reviewer. His current assignment is to review all tournament courses. Scott currently does not have any dogs but in the past he competed at the national level with his Australian Shepherd, Focus.

This will be Scott's fifth time judging the Cynosport World Games (he judged previously in 2001, 2006, 2007, and 2009). Based on his previous experiences as a judge at Cynosport and elsewhere, he offers this advice to competitors preparing to run one of his courses: "Concentrate, give your undivided attention to your dog and the course for 30-40 seconds, don't ever take your eye off your dog, don't let up until your dog has cleared the last jump, and don't worry about making a mistake."

Scott and Focus. Photo by Michael Godsil of Godsil Photography. 

Bob Griffin

Bob and his wife, Cyd, live in Cornwall, England, where they have been running their own agility training club for over 20 years. Bob has been involved with dogs since 1968, first in obedience, then in working trials as well as showing and breeding Heikym German Shepherds. He started in agility in 1983 with a GSD and began judging in 1985. Bob has been a Kennel Club Championship agility judge since it was introduced in 2001. He has judged at numerous shows throughout the UK and Europe as well as in Japan and in the US at the 2011 Mid Atlantic Showcase. In 2010, Bob judged the IFCS World Championships and since 2011 he has been Head Judge for the World Agility Open Championships. In February of 2013, Bob judged agility at Crufts.

Bob says his hobbies are "Dogs, dogs, and dogs as we own 13 of them! We have five Border Collies, six Kromfohrlanders, having imported the first dogs of this breed into the UK, and 2 of their crosses (Collanders!)." In his non-dog life, Bob owns a refrigeration and air conditioning company with his wife but, since he is now semi-retired, his two sons are running the business.

Bob says, "I feel very privileged and honored to be invited to judge at this year's Cynosport and would like to wish all the competitors the best of luck."

Bob and some of his pack. Photo by Cyd Griffin.

Scott Lovelis

Scott and his wife, Tracy, live in Alta Loma, California, with their four Australian Shepherds: Merlin, Jester, Charlie, and Slyder. They have been competing in agility since 1994. Prior to agility, Scott and Tracy enjoyed camping and backpacking. As more Aussies joined their family, the focus turned to agility training and competition. Now, Scott says, "Our lives seem to revolve around agility!" Scott has been a leader in his local agility club for the past several years, and then he decided that the next step in giving back to the agility community was to become a judge. Scott says, "After taking the test in 2004, I have traveled all over the country, witnessed some amazing dog and handler teams, and made many friends along the way. I thoroughly enjoy the judging aspect of this sport. This is my first year judging Cynosport and I'm looking forward to a week of judging great dog and handler teams!"

When not playing with his dogs, Scott is a recording engineer. He currently works in a music store and judges USDAA and ASCA trials on the weekends.

Scott on course. Photo by Photography by M.

Adrienne Lynch

Adrienne is a partner in a civil engineering firm located in Decatur, Illinois. She's moved around a lot in her life, having lived in New Jersey, Maryland, Nebraska, Arizona, and Colorado. She says she enjoys "horseback riding, scuba diving, NFL football, and vacations."

Adrienne has been showing dogs for more than 23 years. She started agility with her Doberman that began competing when he was six years old. She currently has a nine-year-old chocolate Labrador Retriever and a one-year-old Border Collie. Adrienne has been judging agility since 1995 and says she "thoroughly enjoys every aspect of our sport. I'm honored to be asked to judge this event and wish each of you the very best of luck as well as fond memories of the 2013 Cynosport World Games in Murfreesboro, Tennessee."


 Adrienne and her Border Collie. Photo by Dean Lynch.

Evelyn Robertson

Evelyn lives in Seattle, Washington, where she is a small animal veterinarian. She currently owns two Border Collies that both compete in agility. She started in agility with her first Australian Shepherd about 17 years ago after competing in obedience and trying out herding. Evelyn previously judged the 2011 Cynosport World Games and says that this time, she will "relax more, and work even harder! But I don't think I will do anything really differently, just do the best job I can and have a good time as well."

Evelyn's advice for competitors this year is "Trust your dog, support your dog's path, and don't take anything for granted."

Evelyn and Rusty, one of her late Australian Shepherds. Photo by Joe Camp.

Check out for interviews with each of the judges. 

Training Corner: Opposite Side Tunnel
By Bud Houston 

The opposite-side tunnel entry appears all too often in course design and we all need to know how to answer this riddle. The exercise shown here is not a dictated handling drill. I'd like my students to understand all of the various handling options and practice them all. Beyond that, the handler should understand what might work best with his or her own dog and practice that to the extent that it becomes a capable skill.


For many dogs, a simple "post and tandem" solves. Though I like to see the handler put on the brakes for a bit of a static post (a turn in which the handler and dog turn in the same direction, with the dog moving next to the handler, who is pivoting) to pre-cue the dog into the turn. The handler might turn on post as though preparing to make a presentation of jump #4. As the dog curls in to attend, the handler will flip back into the tandem (a rear cross in which the dog and handler move "in tandem" so that their arcs are of equal size, crossing somewhere in the middle) to turn the dog away into the pipe tunnel.

A simple front cross (a maneuver in which the handler changes sides in front of the dog's direction of motion) dog might serve as well. Though I have to remind my students from time to time that in order to do a front cross, the handler should actually be in front.

For certain dogs, we also played with the pre-cue front cross. This means the handler will rotate back towards the dog and show the lead hand almost like a catcher on a baseball team holding out his mitt to catch a ball. As the dog comes up over the jump (#2), the handler will swoop the dog into the turn.

For at least one dog (about as hard to turn as a bowling ball), we used a vee-set. That means the handler puts the corner of approach in such a way that the dog is lined up through jump #2 into the right side of the pipe tunnel (with the point of the "V" being between #1 and #2).

What happens after you solve the riddle of the pipe tunnel? Click here to find out.

Congratulations to the 2013 Mexico Regional Champions!

The 2013 Mexico Regional Championships ran from September 14-16 in Toluca, Mexico. It was hosted by Club Agility Chiluca. It was streamed live on You can see some of the courses that judges Tom Kula and Frank Holik used for the event here. Congratulations to the winners!

2013 Mexico Regional Grand Prix of Dog Agility Champions
12"- Oscar Gonzales & Mika 22"- Malú Monroy & Queen
16"- Martin Contreras & Luna 26"-  Antonio Nolasco & Pilot

2013 Mexico Regional Performance Grand Prix Champions
8"- None 16"- Rafael Cano & Luci
12"- Fernando Bautista & Oddie 22"- Graciela Calderon & Nahomi

2013 Eastern Canada Regional $10,000 Steeplechase Champions
12"- Oscar Gonzales & Mika 22"- Gabriela Orozco & Twister
16"- Martin Contreras & Luna 26"- Osbaldo Duran & Vedder

2013 Mexico Regional Performance Speed Jumping Champions
8"- None  16"- Alcocer Maria del Carmen & Michelle
12"- Fernando Bautista & Sally 22"- Graciela Calderon & Nahomi 

2013 Mexico Regional Dog Agility Masters Team Champions

Borders & Sheltie
Eva Tapia & Wezen (Shetland Sheepdog)
Rene Esquivel & Queen (Border Collie)
Malú Monroy & Stormy (Border Collie)

2013 Mexico Regional Performance Versatility Pairs Champions

Duo Dinamita
Carlos Bautista & Newton (English Cocker Spaniel)
Carla Cevallos & Chiripa (Shetland Sheepdog)

The winners of the 16" 2013 Mexico Regional Grand Prix of Dog Agility Championship:

1 - Martin Contreras & Luna (Maltese)
2 - Gonzalo Mendoza & San (Miniature Schnauzer)
3 - Eva Tapia & Wezen (Shetland Sheepdog)

 See more results from this regional by clicking here.

Cynosport Practice: The Long Jump
By Mary Ellen Barry 

We set up two of Bob Griffin's previous courses recently and had over a dozen dogs run them. Overall, the courses were tons of fun and I am really looking forward to seeing what Bob has in store for us in Tennessee later this month.

On the course shown here, several of the open dogs (those jumping 22" or 26") had an issue with the long jump. Handlers were decelerating or moving laterally in order to cue the turn from the long jump to the #4 straight tunnel. The dogs were anticipating the turn and were slicing the long jump, earning a refusal. In several cases, the dogs were into the tunnel before the handlers could stop them.

Check out the following sequence based on that course in order to help you tune up your long jump skills in preparation for the Cynosport World Games.

For lots more long jump practice, click here. Good luck and, most of all, have fun! 

Upcoming Events Calendar

Watch out for these events with entries closing in the coming weeks:
Dates Host Group Location Closing Date
11/09-11/10/2013 High Octane Agility Barto, PA 10/23
11/16-11/17/2013 Bloomington Obedience Training Club Bloomington, MN 10/23
11/01-11/03/2013 BARK-NH! Manchester, NH 10/23
11/08-11/10/2013 SureFire Dogs Training Center Westborough, MA 10/25
10/26-10/27/2013 Philippines Dog Athletics & Agility Corporation Olongapo City, ZMB 10/26
11/08-11/10/2013 Pals & Paws, Inc. Jacksonville, FL 10/26
11/16-11/17/2013 Canine Capers Gainesville, GA 10/27
11/09-11/10/2013 Center for Canine Sports, Inc. Garland, TX 10/28
11/08-11/10/2013 Southwest Agility Team Albuquerque, NM 10/28
11/09-11/11/2013 Rainier Agility Team Elma, WA 10/28
11/08-11/10/2013 Magic City Canine Club Birmingham, AL 10/28
11/16-11/17/2013 International Dog Events Assoc. Devonshire, XX 10/28
11/09-11/10/2013 Contact Point Agility Club Fillmore, CA 10/30
11/09-11/10/2013 Nunes Agility Field Turlock, CA 10/30
11/09-11/09/2013 SCOR Agility, LLC Middletown, NY 10/31
11/09-11/09/2013 Boone County Dog Sport New Berlin, WI 10/31
11/16-11/17/2013 Hog Dog Productions Millersville, MD 11/01
11/15-11/17/2013 Teamworks Dog Training, LLC Youngsville, NC 11/01
11/16-11/17/2013 Salinas-Monterey Agility Racing Team Morgan Hill, CA 11/01
11/23-11/24/2013 Low Country Dog Agility Charleston, SC 11/02
11/22-11/24/2013 Dog-On-It Agility Club of Cent. Florida Winter Park, FL 11/03
11/16-11/17/2013 Y Agility Waterbury, CT 11/04
11/17-11/17/2013 Contact Zonies Phoenix, AZ 11/04
11/16-11/17/2013 Dog Agility Racing Team (DART) Irwindale, CA 11/04
11/22-11/24/2013 Knight Flyer Agility Frankston, TX 11/06
11/23-11/24/2013 Agility at the Farm Campton Hills, IL 11/08
11/16-11/17/2013 Cream City Canines Waterford, WI 11/08
11/16-11/18/2013 Club Agility Lerma Lerma, MEX 11/08
11/23-11/24/2013 4 PAWS Agility Holly Springs, MS 11/09
11/21-11/23/2014 KineticDog, LLC Barto, PA 11/10
11/30-12/01/2013 Costa Rica Agility Team Alajuela, A 11/10
11/23-11/24/2013 Denver Dog Sports Agility Denver, CO 11/11
11/22-11/24/2013 KineticDog, LLC Barto, PA 11/11
11/16-11/16/2013 Blue Ribbon K-9 Training Center West Monroe, LA 11/11
11/23-11/24/2013 PDC Barrie, ON 11/12
11/29-12/01/2013 All Dogs Gym Agility Manchester, NH 11/13
11/30-12/01/2013 Bexar Regional Agility Team Selma, TX 11/13
12/07-12/08/2013 Contact Zonies Phoenix, AZ 11/17
11/30-12/01/2013 Good Dog Agility Club Phoenix, AZ 11/18
11/29-12/01/2013 Happy Dog Agility Moorpark, CA 11/18
11/29-12/01/2013 Virginia Ruff Riders, LLC Herndon, VA 11/19
11/29-12/01/2013 Think Pawsitive LLC New Berlin, WI 11/20
12/07-12/08/2013 The Bay Team Santa Rosa, CA 11/22
12/07-12/08/2013 DASH - Dog Agility Sports of Houston New Caney, TX 11/22
12/05-12/08/2013 Carolina Piedmont Agility Yadkinville, NC 11/22
12/13-12/15/2013 Hill Country Agility Kerrville, TX 11/22
11/29-12/01/2013 Bella Vista Training Center Lewisberry, PA 11/22
12/07-12/08/2013 Low Country Dog Agility Charleston, SC 11/24
12/06-12/08/2013 All 4 Fun Agility Club Gray Summit, MO 11/25
12/06-12/08/2013 Paws & Ques Williston, FL 11/26
12/07-12/08/2013 Wasatch Agility Farmington, UT 11/26
12/13-12/15/2013 BARK-NH! Manchester, NH 11/27
12/07-12/08/2013 Contact Point Agility Club Fillmore, CA 11/27
12/14-12/15/2013 Pawsitive Partners Dog Training Center Indianapolis, IN 11/27
12/08-12/08/2013 Branchwater Training Center Reisterstown, MD 11/28

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

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