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Welcome toThe Overview

USDAA Letter
By Kenneth Tatsch, President

The 2016 regional season is coming to a close this month, with the final Regional Championship in Mexico. Competitors from Mexico and throughout Central America are setting their sights on Scottsdale this November, among the ten or more countries to be represented at Cynosport this year. Remember, entries for Cynosport close this Friday, September 17th, so don’t let that date slip by. It will be a week of fun and great competition you won’t want to miss.

There is lots of behind-the-scenes activities currently underway as we finish up some of the logistics and floor plan for the event. Helen McNenly, Cynosport Trial Secretary, is keeping up with entries as quickly as she can. You can check out her website - http://www.dognutmom.com/ to see where your entry is in the process. The schedule is being fine-tuned, and we will be able to provide more details about the event once all entries are processed. Watch www.cynosport.com for posts of event information in coming days leading up to the event.

The IFCS fundraising rings will be ready to go again this year. Splash Dogs (dock jumping), Lure for the Cure (lure coursing), and herding instinct tests will be on site. A portion of fees from Lure for the Cure support the National Canine Cancer Foundation, and a portion of the fees from the herding instinct tests will go to the United States Association of Cynological Sports, a public charity in support of the 2017 IFCS Team USA. 

Finally, we also want to provide our support and encouragement for our long-time friend and pioneer in dog agility Julie Daniels, who is facing the toughest battle of her life right now. Julie has played a huge role in education and fostering growth of the sport. She worked with us on introducing dog agility to television and was our voice on Animal Planet from 1998 – 2001, and has provided commentary on webcasts of Cynosport for a number of years. Despite Julie’s reluctance, her friends and students have set up a crowdsource medical expense fund at www.youcaring.com/julie-daniels-641325 to help with her insurmountable medical bills. Any support is welcomed and much appreciated. As always, Julie has a positive attitude and determination to conquer this devastating disease. Please join us in wishing her well. 

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Training for the Long Jump

Long-time competitor Pati Mah discusses how she trains the long jump article. She states that, "One reason for our faster times and greater accuracy is a reflection of the understanding that our dogs are far more capable of learning a large number of cues than previously thought possible."

Read more about her training routine for the long jump and other obstacles. 

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In Memory of Luka

Sadly one of USDAA's champions passed away this month. Among her many accomplishments in agility, Luka is the #1 Top Dog in the 16" jump height in Standard, Jumpers and Tournament, and Second in Snooker and Third in Gamblers.

Her owner and handler Ashley Deacon memorializes her achievements and their relationship in a heartfelt tribute.

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Judge's Continuing Education Clinic

There will be a Judges Continuing Education Clinic held on November 8th in Scottsdale, AZ. The location will be the La Quinta Inn and Suites on 8888 E. Shea Blvd and hours will be 1:00 - 7:00 p.m. The clinic is open to all current judges at any level - Starters through Masters.

Visit the event calendar page on the USDAA webiste for an enrollment application and more details. 

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Challenge Your Handling - Training Advice from Steve Schwarz (AgilityNerd)

In an article reprinted from the well-known AgilityNerd blog, Steve Schwarz discusses how to improve your training and handling by moving obstacles in the same sequence. This training regiman works well even if you have a small space to train in and few obstacles. Course maps and ideas are provided in the article with a variety of training sequences.

Read more to learn how to use this plan to take your handling skills to the next level.

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Two Competitor Profiles!

Steffi Diem and Inara are an unusual team! In Steffi's professional life, she works as an Experimental Plasma Physicist working on fusion energy. And Inara is an Alaskan Klee Kai, a non-traditional breed in the agility world. Inara is Steffi's first agility dog and was initially fearful of contacts, but with work and dedication, they managed to earn a spot on the 2017 IFCS Team USA at Title Mania!

Lisa Anne Zilney and Tennessen were also competitors at Title Mania, which was only their second USDAA competition together. Lisa was worried about Tennessen's focus in a large, new venue such as the SPIRE Institute, but she was thrilled and says, "Tennessen exceeded all my expectations!" Tennessen earned his AD title and went home with three gold medals in the even as well!

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Does Your Dog Prefer Treats to Praise?

The research group "The Dog Project" has been using fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging uses MRI technology to measure brain activity) to study the brains of dogs when presented with different types of stimuli. The goal is to determine what parts of the brain correlate to social preferences in dogs. One of the findings of a recently published study from the group is that dogs (at least the 15 dogs in the study) indicated a preference for praise from the owner over food treats.

Read more about the study methods and results and the practical applications for dog trainers.

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What's New This Month on USDAA Social Media!

Do you follow all the latest news and articles from USDAA on social media? If you haven't visited the Facebook page this month, make sure you do! In the month of September, we'll be holding "USDAA Trivia" - Test your knowledge about USDAA with this fun game. Visit our Facebook page to join in, and make sure you "like" the page to learn about more fun contests and events in the future!

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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
09/14 Canine Agility of Central Minnesota St. Cloud, MN 09/23-09/25/2016
09/16 Top Notch Canines LLC Phoenix, AZ 10/07-10/09/2016
09/17 Artful Dodgers Agility Group Halethorpe, MD 10/01-10/02/2016
09/17 United States Dog Agility Association, Inc. Scottsdale, AZ 11/09-11/13/2016
09/18 Arrowhead Agility Club Proctor, MN 10/07-10/09/2016
09/18 Four Seasons K9 Athlete Center, LLC Washingtonville, OH 10/08-10/09/2016
09/19 Agility at the Farm Campton Hills, IL 09/30-10/02/2016
09/19 On The Run Canine Center Ham Lake, MN 10/01-10/02/2016
09/19 Las Vegas Dogs in Competitive Events (LV DICE) Boulder City, NV 09/30-10/02/2016
09/19 Redhot Rovers Auburn, WA 09/30-10/02/2016
09/19 Contact Agility Club Hamden, CT 10/01-10/02/2016
09/19 Travis Agility Group Belton, TX 09/30-10/02/2016
09/20 Blue Ridge Agility Club Tryon, NC 09/30-10/02/2016
09/21 Keystone Agility Club Barto, PA 10/07-10/09/2016
09/21 Valley Agility Sports Team Turlock, CA 09/30-10/02/2016
09/21 BARK-NH! Manchester, NH 10/07-10/09/2016
09/21 Think Pawsitive LLC New Berlin, WI 10/07-10/09/2016
09/21 Leaps N Bounds Peoria, AZ 09/28-09/29/2016
09/23 Club-Doggie Queen Creek, AZ 09/24-09/25/2016
09/25 Paws @ Play Santa Ynez, CA 10/15-10/16/2016
09/26 Columbia Agility Team Ridgefield, WA 10/07-10/09/2016
09/26 Just Jump It, LLC Reva, VA 10/08-10/09/2016
09/26 Agile Dogs Agility Training Stephentown, NY 10/08-10/09/2016
09/28 Wasatch Agility Draper, UT 10/08-10/09/2016
09/28 Happy Dog Agility Moorpark, CA 10/08-10/09/2016
09/28 KineticDog, LLC Barto, PA 10/14-10/16/2016
09/28 Lucky Dog Promotions Tyler, TX 10/08-10/09/2016
09/28 Haute Dawgs Dixon, CA 10/08-10/09/2016
10/01 Dallas Agility Working Group McKinney, TX 10/15-10/16/2016
10/03 Canine Sports Zone Middleton, WI 10/15-10/16/2016
10/03 Saguaro Scramblers Marana, AZ 10/15-10/16/2016
10/04 GameOn K9 Agility Middlefield, CT 10/21-10/23/2016
10/05 Lehigh Valley Dream Weaver Agility Club Barto, PA 10/22-10/23/2016
10/07 Canine Combustion Dog Agility Club Canton, MI 10/21-10/23/2016
10/07 Las Cruces Dog Sports ALAMOGORDO, NM 10/22-10/23/2016
10/07 The Bay Team Morgan Hill, CA 10/22-10/23/2016
10/08 Teamworks Dog Training, LLC Youngsville, NC 10/21-10/23/2016
10/10 Dog Agility Racing Team (DART) Camarillo, CA 10/22-10/23/2016
10/10 Center for Canine Sports, Inc. Garland, TX 10/22-10/23/2016
10/11 Pawsitively Fun Dog Training Group Fort White, FL 10/21-10/23/2016
10/12 BARK-NH! Manchester, NH 10/28-10/30/2016
10/12 High Octane Agility Barto, PA 10/28-10/30/2016
10/14 Tailwaggers Learning Center Fort Pierce, FL 10/28-10/30/2016
10/14 Dallas Dog Sports McKinney, TX 10/29-10/30/2016
10/14 Happy Dog Ranch Ashland City, TN 10/22-10/23/2016
10/14 Club Agility Chiluca Lerma, MEX 10/22-10/23/2016
10/17 Leaps N Bounds Peoria, AZ 10/29-10/30/2016
10/17 DrivenDogs Agility Camarillo, CA 10/29-10/30/2016
10/17 Low Country Dog Agility Charleston, SC 10/29-10/30/2016
10/17 Magic City Canine Club Odenville, AL 11/04-11/06/2016
10/17 Dog Gone Fun TX Spring, TX 10/28-10/30/2016
10/17 Contact Sports Agility Loves Park, IL 10/28-10/30/2016
10/17 Carolina Piedmont Agility Yadkinville, NC 10/28-10/30/2016
10/19 Good Dog Agility Club Tempe, AZ 11/05-11/06/2016
10/19 Southwest Agility Team Albuquerque, NM 11/05-11/06/2016
10/21 United States Dog Agility Association, Inc. Scottsdale, AZ 11/08-11/08/2016
10/23 Hog Dog Productions Millersville, MD 11/12-11/13/2016
10/24 Paws & Ques Williston, FL 11/04-11/06/2016
10/24 Canine Sports Zone Middleton, WI 11/04-11/06/2016
10/26 Contact Point Agility Club Camarillo, CA 11/05-11/06/2016
10/31 SureFire Dogs Training Center Westborough, MA 11/11-11/13/2016

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