Clean Run - September 2011 - (Page 7)
Everything you always wanted to know about agility
By Brenna Fender
What is the new USDAA Intro Program about?
The United States Dog Agility Association began a new program on August 1, 2011 intended to offer training schools opportunities “to reward students for measured progress in training, while acclimating them to dog agility competition in a known environment,” per USDAA president Kenneth Tatsch. According to the USDAA website, “The Intro Program is designed to help new and existing competitors get their dogs started in dog agility, easing them into the fun and exciting world of USDAA.” The program offers opportunities for dogs and handlers that are just beginning their careers in USDAA agility as well as those that are already competing in the Championship or Performance programs. The Intro Program is open to USDAA-registered dogs that are at least 14 months old. This is an optional titling program; an Intro title is not a required portion of USDAA’s Championship or Performance titling programs. Competitors can still enter Starters (USDAA’s entry-level classes) without having any Intro experience. There are four Intro classes available: Standard, Jumpers, Gamblers, and Snooker. The Intro classes were designed to be offered separately at an Intro Program Only (IPO) event, but they can be integrated with a regularly USDAA-sanctioned trial as well. Judges for Intro may be people with previous experience in dog agility or fully approved USDAA judges. Criteria for being approved to judge Intro are listed in the 2011 USDAA rule book. IPO events can take place in facilities that are too small for a regular USDAA-sanctioned trial (regular trials require a minimum of approximately 3,000 square feet), which means that many training schools and clubs can hold an event. The opportunity for dogs to have their first competition experiences where they train can be beneficial to dogs and handlers. To hold an IPO event, the school or club must sign up with USDAA as an Intro Group; clubs that currently offer USDAA trials are also eligible. An IPO event may be held the night before a sanctioned event at the show site on the show equipment (the rule that prevents training at a trial site for 24 hours before a USDAA event is waived for IPO). Dogs that are entered the next day at the trial may also attend, which makes running at an IPO a great way for handlers to give dogs an introduction to the equipment and trial environment they will encounter the next day. The Intro program does not benefit only dogs that are just beginning agility. Dogs that are already titled in USDAA may attend
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an IPO events and run “for exhibition only” (FEO), meaning that the dogs cannot earn titles or placements during the run. But FEO competitors may use certain types of toys (inaudible ones that remain in the hand only) in the ring and have up to standard course time to run their dogs (no food rewards are allowed). A dog may not be entered in both the Intro Program level of a class and the Championship, Performance, or Veterans level of that class when the Intro Program is offered at a regular sanctioned event. But a dog may compete in an Intro class at an IPO event held the night before a trial and then compete in regular classes the next day. There are 20 new titles available through the Intro program. Each of the four classes has a base title and offers bronze, silver, and gold titles. These titles are based on the number of qualifying scores earned (3 for the Intro title, 6 for bronze, 9 for silver, 12 for gold). An Intro Versatility Dog title is also available for dogs that earn 3 standard qualifying scores and 1 in each game (6 qualifying scores total). Bronze, silver, and gold titles are also offered for Intro Versatility Dogs. Clubs are not required to offer the Intro Program, so it won’t be available at every trial. In fact, the program was not designed to be an addition to every trial. It will probably be seen more often as a standalone IPO event. Used this way, the program will be a great way for instructors at training centers and clubs to evaluate their students’ progress and determine weaknesses in a competitive environment before a dog enters a trial. Learn more about the Intro Program at www.usdaa.com/binary/ files/rules_ebook_2011_chp101112rev060211.pdf or check the complete rules at www.usdaa.com/rulesReg_eBook.cfm.
NOTE: While it is not permissible to make copies of Clean Run magazine, we wish to give readers permission to make copies of this particular column for personal use. This means you are free to share copies of this column with students, friends, or club members. The information may also be included in not-for-profit newsletters as long as credit is given to Clean Run. September 11 | Clean Run 7
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Clean Run - September 2011
Clean Run - September 2011
Editorializing: When a “Lifetime” Only Means Five Years
Tip of the Month
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Agility
Who’s Premack and What Does He Have to Do with My Start Lines?
Power Paws Drills: Front Side, Back Side
Improving Your Sports Vision, Part 1
Choosing the Most Efficient Path for Your Dog: Decision Making
Teaching FOCUS and Impulse-control Classes: Week 5
Ready, Set, Trial! Should You Move Up?
Training to Your Weakness: Exercises for Dogs with a Straight Front
Building and Balancing Handler and Obstacle Focus, Part 6
Agility Games to Play with Puppies
Challenges for Rising Stars: Snooker Expanded
Agility Defined by Me
Clean Run - September 2011