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USDAA Message
By Kenneth Tatsch

USDAA President

We are pleased to announce that the United States Association of Cynological Sports has been granted 501(c)(3) status as a public charity by the IRS. Retroactive to September 14, 2014, general donations made to USACS are tax deductible as charitable contributions. We look forward to reaching out to the general public to raise funds to further the organization's purpose of supporting international amateur sports involving dogs.

Also, visit our new Team USA page on under the News & Events link. Contributions and sponsorships can be made through this page. Be sure and get your 2015 IFCS Team USA support lapel pin for a $10 donation to the team. A link is also provided to the IFCS World Team website for the team's other fundraising efforts.
The IFCS World Agility Championships is starting to take shape, and we are pleased to see Greece joining in the event for the first time, along with many returning nations. Judges for the competition will be from Italy, New Zealand and Russia. The Championships will be here before we know it! Mark April 8-12 on your calendar so you don't miss out on the event coverage.   
In other news, congratulations to Stuart Mah for his Lifetime Achievement Award – Diamond level, which he recently earned with his dog Ares. This award, created in 2013, is achieved by earning a total of 1000 qualifying runs, with a minimum of 100 qualifying scores in each of the Masters titling classes. Stuart is exemplary of the excellence in USDAA dog agility sport. He has earned more than 400 titles among 8 dogs, with a competitive career in dog agility spanning just over 24 years. This is Stuart's second Diamond LAA award.

Meanwhile, on the tournament front, we look ahead to next Regional Championship to be held in Kerrville, Texas, in mid-March. While the competition season heats up, some parts of the U.S. are in a deep freeze, trying to stay out from under feet of snow. Please stay safe and exercise caution when heading out on the road.

USDAA Founder Kenneth Tatsch in the News

In Dog Fancy's March 2015 issue, the magazine lists 45 of the most influential people in the dog world. These people have made "lasting contributions to dogs and dog lovers." The alphabetically-ordered list includes:
  • Notable veterinarians like R.K. Anderson, D.V.M., co-inventor of the Gentle Leader head collar and Easy Walk harness, who helped found Pet Partners (Delta Society), a well-known pet therapy association; and Jean Dodds, D.V.M., who is known for her revised vaccination schedule and other accomplishments.
  • Scientists with a canine focus, like Ada Boyko, PH.D., who "studies village dogs around the world" to research genetic diseases and other topics.
  • Dog trainers like Jean Donaldson, whose book The Culture Clash: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding the Relationship Between Humans and Domestic Dogs changed the way many people view their pets; and Ian Dunbar, BVETMED, PH.D., whose books, videos, and training programs have "helped change how dogs are trained."
  • And many more notable people who have had a great impact on both dog sports and dogs' lives in general.

Of special interest, along with well-known veterinarians, authors, dog trainers, scientists, advocates and innovators, is USDAA's own Kenneth Tatsch. Author Kim Campbell Thornton says, "Tatsch is credited with bringing organized dog agility to the U.S. He founded the United States Dog Agility Association in 1986 and the first national championship tournament series in North America in 1988."

Dog Fancy is re-launching as Dogster with the April issue, but the 45th anniversary issue (and the last as Dog Fancy) is available now.

Read more....

February is National Pet Dental Health Month

February is National Pet Dental Health month, so USDAA has been sharing links and articles to help you learn more about this important aspect of canine health. The American Veterinary Medical Association and other veterinary groups have sponsored this month to "address the significance of oral healthcare for pets," according to the AVMA website.

Want to watch video instructions on how to teach your pets to tolerate daily tooth brushing, learn about periodontal disease, listen to a discussion about the importance of pet dental health, and find out a lot more information? Read more.

Jolt shows off some pearly whites! Photo courtesy of Tawni Millet.

Training Corner: Practicing Pressure to Direct Your Dog
By Elizabeth Dott

These two exercises include a similar sequence that requires a difference in handling. After #2 in the first exercise, the dog is turning right and taking the triple jump in a pinwheel. Later, in the second exercise, the dog is coming in and not taking the triple jump. So let's discuss the best way to tell our dogs what we want.

If I want my dog to go out and take the triple jump, I will apply what I call "pressure." Pressure is when you use your energy and body to propel your dog away from you. I like to explain it like this: if you were standing and talking to someone and they kept getting closer and closer to you in your space, you would naturally move away from them or it would get quite uncomfortable. It is the same with our dogs. If you use your arm straight out to your side and you lean into their space, it will cause the dog to drive out away from you. Use this in the first exercise to show your dog you want them to go out to the triple jump.   

Exercise #1

In exercise two, you want to remove pressure to keep your dog from taking the off-course spread jump. Drop your arm and stay behind jump #2, moving laterally between jump #2 and #3.

Exercise #2

In both exercises, keep in mind that different dogs react differently to pressure from their handlers, so practice to determine how much pressure your dog needs for each exercise.

Read more....

Jealousy in Dogs
By Claudia Bensimoun

Most dog owners have seen their dogs showing what we consider to be signs of jealousy. In fact, dog trainers have long been using jealousy as a training tool by removing unresponsive dogs during training, allowing the dogs to watch their handlers working another dog close by. This appears to be a great motivator for many dogs. But do dogs really experience the emotion of jealousy? Researchers have argued about whether dogs can become jealous since this requires complex cognition.

In a recent study published in PLOS ONE, researchers Dr. Caroline Prouvost and Dr. Christine Harris addressed this topic. In this study, dog owners had to recount stories of when their dogs were "jealous." Most of the dog owners described similar characteristics of jealousy that their dogs had displayed in the past. When their dogs were jealous, they would engage in attention-seeking behaviors like pressing up against their owners, or going in between the owner and the person who was the object of the jealousy. These dogs would bark, growl, whine and sometimes become aggressive.

Researchers recorded aggressive behavior as a possible sign of jealousy in dogs. Photo courtesy of Andrea Davis.

Dr. Harris and Dr. Prouvost modified a test used to assess jealousy in six-month-old babies. This is the first test used on dogs to measure jealousy. Thirty-six dogs participated in this study for three different tests. These dogs were videotaped inside their homes by the researchers who recorded the dog's owners ignoring their dogs and focusing on a stuffed, animated dog or jack-o-lantern pail. In this scenario, the dog owners treated the objects like real dogs. The owners petted and talked to the objects affectionately. Next, the owners had to read a pop-up book that played melodies to the pretend dog. Two independent researchers then rated the videos for different forms of aggression and other behaviors that are associated with jealousy.

The researchers found that one fourth of the dogs snapped at the stuffed object when they were jealous. During the post-interaction phase when the owner was no longer holding the object, 36% of dogs snapped and showed aggression at the stuffed dog. Many of the dogs that did not snap showed other jealous behaviors like trying to get in between owner and object; 61.9% pushed against their owners, and 57.1% pushed against the stuffed dog.

Researchers considered these results supportive of the theory that jealousy as seen in young children can be seen in dogs. According to research in PLOS ONE, domestication may have given rise to this behavior because of how strongly bonded we are with our dogs today. Researchers say that it could also be because dogs are able to track a human gaze or see what their owners are focusing on. The research paper also questions whether jealousy in dogs came about because animals need cooperation from other group members to survive. Regardless of the reason, it's nice to see that science is catching up to what dog owners have always known!

Read more.

IFCS World Agility Championships Team USA on the Web

Team USA will be competing in Voghera (PV), Italy, April 8-12, 2015 at the IFCS World Agility Championships. The team now has its very own new website and fundraising efforts are underway! Check back often for updates! Sponsorship information is also available.

Upcoming Events Calendar

Watch out for these events with entries closing in the coming weeks:
Dates Host Group Location Closing Date
03/06-03/08/2015 Travis Agility Group Belton, TX 02/20
02/27-03/01/2015 TNT Dog Center Midland, MI 02/20
03/06-03/08/2015 Pals & Paws, Inc. Jacksonville, FL 02/21
03/13-03/15/2015 Willamette Agility Group Corvallis, OR 02/22
03/07-03/08/2015 Hog Dog Productions Millersville, MD 02/23
02/28-03/01/2015 Dog Sports Federation Ciudad de Guatemala, GU 02/23
03/13-03/15/2015 BARK-NH! Manchester, NH 02/25
03/14-03/15/2015 B&D Creekside Activity Center LLC Latrobe, PA 02/25
03/06-03/08/2015 Front Range Agility Team Castle Rock, CO 02/25
03/07-03/08/2015 Boone County Dog Sport Middleton, WI 02/25
03/07-03/08/2015 Redhot Rovers Auburn, WA 02/25
03/06-03/08/2015 Teamworks Dog Training, LLC Youngsville, NC 02/27
03/14-03/15/2015 The Bay Team Santa Rosa, CA 02/27
03/08-03/08/2015 NOMAD Waterbury Center, VT 02/28
03/13-03/15/2015 Contact Sports Agility Loves Park, IL 03/01
03/14-03/15/2015 Club-Doggie Queen Creek, AZ 03/02
03/14-03/15/2015 Dog Agility Racing Team (DART) Irwindale, CA 03/02
03/12-03/15/2015 HOT Dog Sports, LLC Kerrville, TX 03/02
03/21-03/22/2015 All Dogs Gym Agility Manchester, NH 03/06
03/21-03/22/2015 All 4 Fun Agility Club Gray Summit, MO 03/06
03/20-03/22/2015 Dog-On-It Agility Club of Cent. Florida Winter Park, FL 03/07
03/20-03/22/2015 Fast and Furryous Agility, LLC Colfax, NC 03/09
03/20-03/22/2015 Bella Vista Training Center Lewisberry, PA 03/09
03/27-03/29/2015 Contact Agility Club Hamden, CT 03/09
03/20-03/22/2015 Tyler Obedience Training Club Tyler, TX 03/09
03/20-03/22/2015 On The Run Canine Center Ham Lake, MN 03/09
03/28-03/29/2015 Happy Hounds Agility Team Prosper, TX 03/10
03/21-03/22/2015 Happy Dog Agility Moorpark, CA 03/11
03/20-03/22/2015 Agility Workout Society of Mid-Michigan Lapeer, MI 03/11
03/27-03/29/2015 Boom Towne Canine Campus Farmington, NY 03/13
03/28-03/29/2015 Santa Barbara Flyers Buellton, CA 03/13
03/28-03/29/2015 Mid-Atlantic MADness Millersville, MD 03/14
04/04-04/05/2015 Rainier Agility Team Elma, WA 03/14
04/03-04/04/2015 SCOR Agility, LLC Middletown, NY 03/16
03/27-03/29/2015 Paws & Ques Williston, FL 03/16
03/28-03/29/2015 International Dog Events Assoc. Devonshire, XX 03/16
04/03-04/05/2015 Riverside Canine Center N. Smithfield, RI 03/19
04/04-04/05/2015 Pawsitive Partners Dog Training Center Indianapolis, IN 03/20
04/11-04/12/2015 Low Country Dog Agility Charleston, SC 03/21
04/10-04/12/2015 Teamworks Dog Training, LLC Youngsville, NC 03/22
04/04-04/05/2015 Puerto Rico Agility Team Bayamon, PR 03/22
04/03-04/05/2015 Dog Agility Sport Handlers Costa Mesa, CA 03/23
04/04-04/05/2015 Just Jump It, LLC Reva, VA 03/23
04/03-04/05/2015 HOT Dog Sports, LLC Kerrville, TX 03/24
04/09-04/12/2015 Haute Dawgs Dixon, CA 03/25
04/10-04/12/2015 Sirius Dog Agility Training Center Alpharetta, GA 03/25
04/10-04/12/2015 SureFire Dogs Training Center Westborough, MA 03/27
04/10-04/12/2015 Contact Sports Agility Naperville, IL 03/27
04/11-04/12/2015 Paws @ Play Santa Ynez, CA 03/30
04/18-04/19/2015 SCOR Agility, LLC Middletown, NY 03/30
04/10-04/12/2015 Splash & Dash K9 Sports Latrobe, PA 03/30
04/17-04/19/2015 Virginia Ruff Riders, LLC Palmyra, PA 03/31
04/11-04/12/2015 Dallas Agility Working Group McKinney, TX 04/01
04/17-04/19/2015 Pawprints Agility Club Greenwood, LA 04/01
04/17-04/19/2015 BARK-NH! Manchester, NH 04/01
04/18-04/19/2015 Good Dog Agility Club Phoenix, AZ 04/03
04/17-04/19/2015 Redhot Rovers Langley, BC 04/04
04/25-04/26/2015 Center for Canine Sports, Inc. Garland, TX 04/05
04/17-04/19/2015 Fast and Furryous Agility, LLC Snow Camp, NC 04/06
04/25-04/26/2015 Playing Agility With Style Greenfield, MA 04/07
04/17-04/19/2015 Wasatch Agility Farmington, UT 04/08
04/24-04/26/2015 Keystone Agility Club Barto, PA 04/08
04/18-04/19/2015 Action Dog Sports Moorpark, CA 04/08
05/01-05/03/2015 High Octane Agility Barto, PA 04/12
04/19-04/19/2015 GameOn K9 Agility Middlefield, CT 04/13
04/17-04/19/2015 Tailwaggers Learning Center West Palm Beach, FL 04/13
04/25-04/26/2015 Canine Sports Zone Middleton, WI 04/14
04/25-04/26/2015 Four Seasons K9 Athlete Center, LLC Washingtonville, OH 04/15
04/24-04/25/2015 Highest Hope Dog Sports Grand Blanc, MI 04/15
05/09-05/10/2015 Front Range Agility Club (FRAC) Brighton, CO 04/17
04/25-04/26/2015 DASH K9 Sports Geneva, IL 04/18
06/06-06/07/2015 Canine Sports Zone Middleton, WI 04/19
05/01-05/03/2015 Over Rover Training Center Cato, NY 04/20
05/01-05/03/2015 Run Spot Jump Canton, GA 04/20
05/09-05/10/2015 K-9 Sports, LLC Salem, OR 04/20
04/25-04/26/2015 Dog Sports Federation Ciudad de Guatemala, GU 04/20
05/01-05/03/2015 Happy Hounds Agility Team Prosper, TX 04/21
05/01-05/03/2015 Agility Workout Society of Mid-Michigan Lapeer, MI 04/22
05/01-05/03/2015 Sky Blue Events Indianapolis, IN 04/22
05/08-05/10/2015 Twister Agility & Dog Sports Oklahoma City, OK 04/22
05/09-05/10/2015 ARFF Agility Club, Inc. Westborough, MA 04/24
05/15-05/16/2015 Low Country Dog Agility Charleston, SC 04/25
05/16-05/17/2015 New England Agility Team Greenland, NH 04/26

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

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