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USDAA Letter
By Ken Tatsch

Throughout 2017 we have been working behind the scenes on a number of different fronts that will bring some exciting developments to be introduced during the first half of 2018.

  1. USDAA Title Mania® – two events coordinated national events, East and West, featuring consistency of performance in titling classes at all levels, celebrating Olympic Day.

  2. Versatility Rankings will be compiled from local events throughout the year, with winners in each height class earning travel subsidy to Title Mania events.

  3. Chapter 12 of the USDAA Rules & Regulations has been amended, effective January 3, 2018, providing for a Time plus Faults scoring method, with qualification based upon a Qualifying Course Time, similar to qualification in the Relay classes. Modifications to course design standards for the class and provision for Masters Challenge Only events have been provided, with implementation date to be announced.

  4. We are pleased to introduce an IFCS-style event titled Masters Challenge Agility Cup. Special prizes and awards featuring a medal count with more than 200 medals awarded and a special Sweepstakes class are being offered. See the new event rules for eligibility and to learn more about this event.

  5. A totally new USDAA web site with responsive design for different digital devices, providing many new features for competitors and groups alike. 

Look for other updates and introductions in 2018. It sure to be an exciting year.


Of course, don’t forget the IFCS World Agility Championships from Milan, Italy April 25-29. Be sure and consider in your year-end tax planning that charitable contributions can be made for Team USA through donate2dogsport.org, official web site of United States Association of Cynological Sports, an IRC 501(c)(3) public charity supporting international amateur sports involving dogs. If you wish to pay by check, send your check, indicating Team USA support to USACS, PO Box 940225, Plano, TX 75094-0225.

And to wrap up the year, Cynosport 2018 will return to a favorite destination for many—West World of Scottsdale in Arizona, October 31 – November 4.

In these final days of 2017, we hope everyone is enjoying a great holiday season, and we wish everyone a Happy New Year!

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John Gilbert - A Memorial to an Agility Great!

We were saddened to announce the passing of John Gilbert, who's contribution to the sport of agility is immense. John was a critical member of the first agility pioneers in the United Kingdom.

USDAA's president Ken Tatsch remembers John as, "energetic, inquisitive, generous in his sharing of knowledge, and a lot of fun to work with. The dog agility world owes a great deal of gratitude for his contributions in helping the sport develop and grow." You can read more about John's many accomplishments here.

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USDAA OVERview Nominated!

We're pleased to announce that the USDAA OVERview received a nomination in the prestigious annual Dog Writers Association of America writing competition. The OVERview was nominated in the Club Publications: Newsletter Format category. Congratulations to all the winners and nominees this year!

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Train With the USDAA World Team!

Would you love to have the chance to increase your training skills while helping support the USDAA World Team? Become a student in the 2018 USDAA World Team online course!

Students will be able to access weekly training drills and courses used by the team all the way up to the World Agility Championship event in April. Training videos from demos and training sessions will be posted, and students can ask questions and get advice from team members and staff. The course is $149.99 and funds raised go to help support the USDAA World Team. To enroll, go to http://www.donate2dogsports.org/worldteam/course/2018-world-team-training-course/.

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Think Pawsitive Trial in Wisconsin

Think Pawsitive Dog Training held a trial on November 25-26 in New Berlin, Wisconsin. Competitors spent the Thanksgiving weekend enjoying a fun event held in an indoor agility area.

Several titles were earned and Trial Chair and Secretary highlighted competitors Mike Mertes and Fudge for their performance at their second USDAA trial ever. Read more on the USDAA website.

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Pull Across Jump and Push to Back Side

Steve Schwarz AKA AgilityNerd writes about a Masters handling sequence that could put a handler behind his or her dog on an 80 foot jumping sequence prior to the back side of a jump.

Steve shares his method of handling for this scenario with maps and a video. Read more here.

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New Research on Dogs Reacting to Human Faces

A new study published in Behavioural Processes looked at how dogs react to emotions in human faces and in human voices. Various emotions such as anger and happiness were displayed to the dogs.

The researchers found that dogs clearly displayed increased mouth-licking behavior when presented with negative facial expressions. Read more about the research project and the authors conclusions.

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Winter Weather Tips for Dogs

It's that time of year again when icy winter temperatures and snow-covered ground is a part of our walking and outdoors fun with dogs. It's important to be aware of the risks of cold weather, such as damage to our dogs' feet, chemical poisoning, loss of weight and hyopthermia.

Learn more about ways to keep dogs safe this winter season.

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Join Over 800 Members with the New USDAA Facebook Group for Agility Beginners

The USDAA's new Facebook group is called Start Line Agility. This is a private group for those who are new to agility and to competition although experienced competitors are encouraged to join as well! The group covers topics such as getting started in agility, your first competition, training tips, course maps reviews and more! Click here for more information.

You can join the group by going directly to Facebook and clicking "Join" on the group page.

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Upcoming Events Calendar

Watch out for these events with entries closing in the coming weeks:

Closing Date Host Group Location Dates
01/01 The Bay Team Santa Rosa, CA 01/13-01/15/2018
01/01 Y2K9s Dog Sports & Training Club Willow Grove, PA 01/13-01/14/2018
01/01 Front Range Agility Club (FRAC) Longmont, CO 01/12-01/14/2018
01/02 DASH K9 Sports Geneva, IL 01/13-01/14/2018
01/03 Club-Doggie Queen Creek, AZ 01/13-01/14/2018
01/03 BARK-NH! Amherst, NH 01/19-01/21/2018
01/03 Lucky Dog Promotions Tyler, TX 01/13-01/14/2018
01/05 North Alabama Canine Cruisers Huntsville, AL 01/20-01/21/2018
01/05 Las Vegas Dogs in Competitive Events (LV DICE) Boulder City, NV 01/19-01/21/2018
01/05 Clear Mind Agility Mulino, OR 01/13-01/14/2018
01/07 Low Country Dog Agility Charleston, SC 01/20-01/21/2018
01/08 International Dog Events Assoc. Devonshire, XX 01/27-01/28/2018
01/08 Dog-On-It Agility Club of Cent. Florida Winter Park, FL 01/19-01/21/2018
01/08 Canine Sports Zone Middleton, WI 01/20-01/21/2018
01/10 Happy Dog Agility Moorpark, CA 01/20-01/21/2018
01/12 Redhot Rovers Auburn, WA 01/27-01/28/2018
01/22 Contact Zonies Phoenix, AZ 02/03-02/04/2018
01/24 Minnesota Agility Club Ham Lake, MN 02/02-02/04/2018
01/26 SureFire Dogs Training Center Westborough, MA 02/16-02/18/2018
01/26 Sonlight Ranch LLC Brooksville, FL 02/09-02/11/2018
01/29 Casa de Canine of Greater Kansas City, LLC Blue Springs, MO 02/09-02/11/2018
01/31 BARK-NH! Amherst, NH 02/09-02/11/2018
01/31 Happy Dog Agility Moorpark, CA 02/10-02/11/2018
01/31 Club-Doggie Queen Creek, AZ 02/10-02/11/2018

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