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USDAA Message
By Kenneth Tatsch

USDAA President

The IFCS World Agility Championships are coming soon! I want to congratulate Courtney Keys of Austin, Texas, on her appointment to the team. She was an alternate that has been called into action in light of the withdrawal of Daneen Fox and Masher due to injury. We wish them all the best for a speedy recovery. Profiles for Courtney and other team members will be posted daily leading up to the event, so check out the news page.
Team USA can still use some funding in order to avoid having to dip into their personal funds for necessary travel costs (i.e., airfare, hotel and ground transportation). Tax deductible, charitable donations can be made to United States Association of Cynological Sports. Each donor making a donation of $10 or more will receive a TEAM USA lapel pin as a thank you for your contribution and support. Those giving more than $50 will get a public acknowledgment on following the event. Be sure to watch the Championships on www.cynosport.TV, April 8-12, from Voghera, Italy, and follow team posts on their separate web site at Sign up for the live stream after April 1.
At Cynosport® 2014, we permitted bitches in season (BIS) to participate for the first time. Having no significant issues with this practice, guidelines are being published to permit BIS to participate at Regional events for the remainder of the 2015 tournament season. The guidelines generally provide that BIS be isolated when not performing, be readily identifiable when going to and from the ring, and that the host group provide a mat to be used at the start line. A disruption that might occur as a result of the BIS would be subject to normal disciplinary review process by the Disciplinary Action Committee (Appendix C, USDAA Rules & Regulations). The detailed BIS Guidelines will be published on in the near future. If we continue to see no significant issues arise, it is possible beginning in 2016 that individual events may, at the host group election, choose to permit BIS to participate.
As April approaches, we have two Regionals running in different parts of the country, as well as the IFCS World Agility Championships. You won’t want to miss the North Central Regional April 10-12, in Naperville, Illinois, and the Southwest Regional April 22-24, in Camarillo, California. Good luck to all competitors at the Regionals and to members of Team USA!

Group Spotlight

Each spring, several groups from the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. pool their resources to put on one of the best trials in the area: the Mid-Atlantic Showcase. The event was originally created by MADco, Mid-Atlantic Madness and Virginia Ruff Riders to fill a void in the region left by the discontinuation of the Spring Festival of Dog Agility, which USDAA held for a number of years in Kentucky each spring. The Showcase continues to grow in popularity and to evolve, as has its co-hosts.

This year, the Virginia Ruff Riders, Keystone Agility Club and Mid-Atlantic MADness are working tirelessly to provide three rings of competition over three days, offering not only USDAA tournament qualifiers, but the Showcase's unique Triathlon event. What makes the Triathlon special is the cumulative scoring from the USDAA Team and Performance Versatility Pairs Jumpers and Standard classes to determine who will get to run for $4,000 in prize money in a special individual class offered to form the Triathlon.

This month's Overview features The Virginia Ruff Riders, one of the Showcase's long-time organizers. In addition to being one of the driving forces behind the Showcase, they've been a staple in USDAA agility in northern Virginia for many years. A small-but-mighty group, Ruff Riders is known for putting on fabulous, well-run trials and for taking good care of both their volunteers and judges at every show. They typically host two or three trials a year, in addition to co-hosting the Mid-Atlantic Agility Showcase. They pride themselves on handling the many challenges that come with hosting trials. For example, a few years ago, they lost their show site just three weeks before a trial. Through their resourcefulness, they were able to find a better site to host that trial and to use for future trials.

Anyone who holds numerous trials a year knows that doing so is no small undertaking. What is even more impressive about the Virginia Ruff Riders is that their group consists of just three hard working club members who make everything happen: Melissa Bishop, a professional musician with the U.S. Navy; Averill Ring, operator of Mountain View Dog Training in Amissville, Virginia; and Erica Vandover, who can be found enjoying riding her 2012 Harley Davidson Nightster in her free time.

The trio have many dedicated friends and volunteers that help put on all these trials, but you'll find these three ladies taking the lead and doing whatever it takes to get the job done.

Melissa, Averill and Erica bundled up at a Virginia Ruff Riders trial.

To show their appreciation to their devoted workers, Melissa, Averill and Erica keep their volunteers well-fed, especially during their traditional Thanksgiving weekend trial. Workers are often treated to homemade, hot soups each day during this trial. (Erica makes a killer Thai soup, by the way.) They also treat their judges well. They've been known to take judges sight-seeing in Washington, DC, either before or after a trial, especially if it's their first time visiting the area.

Erica, Averill and Melissa working hard at the score table.

Whether you're in the area or from out of town, make it a point to enter one of the Ruff Riders' upcoming trials.  Watch for the Mid-Atlantic Showcase coming this April.

If you like to see your group in the spotlight, contact Annie DeChance at

Photos courtesy of Melissa Bishop.

IFCS World Agility Championship Team USA Member Change

We regret to announce that Team USA members Daneen Fox and Masher will not be competing at the IFCS World Agility Championships due to injury. Alternate team Courtney Keys and Francine will be taking their place. Best wishes to Masher for a speedy recovery, and congratulations and good luck to Courtney and Francine!

Learn more about Team USA and help support their fundraising efforts.

Training Corner: Tunnel Discrimination
By Elizabeth Dott

A common agility challenge involves asking the dog to take the "less obvious" end of the tunnel. A course is often set up so that the entrance that seems to be correct is not. How do you get your dog to take the correct end? Elizabeth Dott shares a video demonstrating how to use verbal cues to direct your dog appropriately. Watch the video, and then set up the exercise to practice at home.

Set up one, two or three jumps leading up to the tunnel. Start closer to the tunnel and move back, using more jumps for greater difficulty.

Read more.

Hotel Etiquette
By Annie DeChance and Brenna Fender

Most agility competitors consider ourselves to be responsible pet owners. We take the time to provide loving, happy homes for our pets, use positive methods to train our dogs to behave properly, exercise them daily, feed them a quality diet, and see the veterinarian regularly too.

But, as competitors, it is our responsibility to take extra steps to provide a positive image to others, particularly when staying in a hotel near a trial site. It's both important and easy to be responsible for your pets and their behavior, no matter where you go. If we leave a positive impression when we are out and about, it will be easier for us to get hotels and show sites in the future.

So, how can you do your part to leave a good impression on hotel owners, staff and the general public?

  • When packing for your dog, remember to toss in an extra sheet or two to cover the bedspread at the hotel.
  • Always pick up after your dog. If possible, pick up after others who "accidentally forgot" to pick up after their dogs as well.
  • If your dog barks while you're away, don't leave him in the room while you go out to eat or visit friends.
  • Any time you open your hotel door, be careful that your dog doesn't run out. It's not unusual to hear about a well-trained dog running out of a hotel room and getting lost, hurt, or causing trouble.

Zeppie, Drix, Pink and Stella are shown here enjoying their hotel stay by lounging on the bed... on top of a sheet. Photo courtesy of Annie DeChance.

Remember, before most of us got into competition sports with our dogs, we considered ourselves dog savvy. Then we were exposed to a whole new world of responsibilities. The more we can lead by example and take every opportunity to (politely) educate others, the better it will be for us, for the non-suspecting pet owners we encounter and the dogs.

And you never know.... Some of the people you help educate along the way may become the future of the great sports we love playing with our dogs. And you might be in the hotel room next to them!

Read more.

Upcoming Events Calendar

Watch out for these events with entries closing in the coming weeks:
Dates Host Group Location Closing Date
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
04/10-04/12/2015 Splash & Dash K9 Sports Latrobe, PA 03/30
04/18-04/19/2015 SCOR Agility, LLC Middletown, NY 03/30
04/11-04/12/2015 Paws @ Play Santa Ynez, CA 03/30
04/17-04/19/2015 Virginia Ruff Riders, LLC Palmyra, PA 03/31
04/17-04/19/2015 BARK-NH! Manchester, NH 04/01
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
04/18-04/19/2015 Salinas-Monterey Agility Racing Team Prunedale, CA 04/03
04/18-04/19/2015 Good Dog Agility Club Phoenix, AZ 04/03
04/18-04/19/2015 Redhot Rovers Langley, BC 04/04
04/17-04/19/2015 Fast and Furryous Agility, LLC Snow Camp, NC 04/06
04/25-04/26/2015 Center for Canine Sports, Inc. Garland, TX 04/06
04/25-04/26/2015 Playing Agility With Style Greenfield, MA 04/07
04/18-04/19/2015 Action Dog Sports Moorpark, CA 04/08
04/24-04/26/2015 Keystone Agility Club Barto, PA 04/08
04/17-04/19/2015 Wasatch Agility Farmington, UT 04/08
04/24-04/26/2015 Blue Ridge Agility Club Tryon, NC 04/10
05/02-05/03/2015 Ace Agility Club Westfield, MA 04/12
05/01-05/03/2015 High Octane Agility Barto, PA 04/12
04/17-04/19/2015 Tailwaggers Learning Center West Palm Beach, FL 04/13
04/19-04/19/2015 GameOn K9 Agility Middlefield, CT 04/13
04/25-04/26/2015 Canine Sports Zone Middleton, WI 04/14
04/24-04/25/2015 Highest Hope Dog Sports Grand Blanc, MI 04/15
04/25-04/26/2015 Four Seasons K9 Athlete Center, LLC Washingtonville, OH 04/15
05/01-05/03/2015 Nunes Agility Field Turlock, CA 04/17
05/09-05/10/2015 Front Range Agility Club (FRAC) Brighton, CO 04/17
04/24-04/26/2015 Happy Dog Ranch Murfreesboro, TN 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
05/09-05/10/2015 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 Over Rover Training Center Cato, NY 04/20
05/01-05/03/2015 Run Spot Jump Canton, GA 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
05/08-05/10/2015 Twister Agility & Dog Sports Oklahoma City, OK 04/22
05/01-05/03/2015 Sky Blue Events Indianapolis, IN 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
05/08-05/10/2015 Boise Agility Runners & Climbers Caldwell, ID 04/27
05/16-05/17/2015 New England Agility Team Greenland, NH 04/29
05/22-05/24/2015 Riverside Canine Center N. Smithfield, RI 05/05
05/16-05/17/2015 All Colorado Agility Team Pueblo, CO 05/05
05/21-05/24/2015 Redhot Rovers Auburn, WA 05/06
05/22-05/24/2015 Windsor Agility Group Ilderton, ON 05/06
05/15-05/17/2015 Costa Rica Agility Team Alajuela, A 05/06
05/16-05/17/2015 Agility at the Farm Campton Hills, IL 05/08
05/15-05/17/2015 Canine Combustion Dog Agility Club Canton, MI 05/08
05/23-05/25/2015 Countryside Agility LLC Erie, PA 05/09
05/23-05/25/2015 Stockade Agility Glenville, NY 05/10
05/23-05/25/2015 Dallas Dog Sports McKinney, TX 05/11
05/29-05/31/2015 Contact Agility Club Hamden, CT 05/11
05/23-05/25/2015 Top Notch Canines LLC Phoenix, AZ 05/11
05/23-05/25/2015 Think Pawsitive LLC New Berlin, WI 05/13
05/30-05/31/2015 Flexible Flyers Agility Group Barto, PA 05/15
05/29-05/31/2015 Minnesota Agility Club Lake Elmo, MN 05/15
06/04-06/07/2015 Canine Capers Perry, GA 05/17
06/06-06/07/2015 Bend Agility Action Dogs Prineville, OR 05/17
05/30-05/31/2015 Greater St. Louis Agility Club Glen Carbon, IL 05/17
05/30-05/31/2015 Over Rover Training Center Cato, NY 05/18
05/30-05/31/2015 DrivenDogs Agility Somis, CA 05/18
06/06-06/07/2015 Go! Agility Dogs Oceanside, CA 05/18
06/06-06/07/2015 Lehigh Valley Dream Weaver Agility Club Barto, PA 05/20
05/30-05/31/2015 Lucky Dog Promotions Tyler, TX 05/20
06/05-06/07/2015 Canine Agility Training Society Swanzey, NH 05/20
06/12-06/14/2015 NOMAD Stowe, VT 05/21
07/23-07/26/2015 United States Dog Agility Association, Inc. Shingle Springs, CA 05/22
06/06-06/07/2015 Southwest Agility Team Albuquerque, NM 05/23
06/05-06/06/2015 Center for Canine Sports, Inc. Garland, TX 05/24
06/12-06/14/2015 Keystone Agility Club Barto, PA 05/27
06/05-06/07/2015 TNT Dog Center Midland, MI 05/29
06/12-06/14/2015 Two Rivers Agility Club of Sacramento Woodland, CA 05/29

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

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