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Event Report: USDAA Informational Seminar

Jennifer Crank helped others in her area learn more about USDAA.

On August 27, 2014, USDAA competitor Jennifer Crank of IncrediPAWS Dog Training decided to offer a free USDAA seminar/discussion/lecture to discuss the rules of both USDAA in general and Cynosport World Games-specific rules and qualifications. She believes that an increased interest in USDAA from competitors would inspire more clubs in her area of central Ohio to offer USDAA trials. 

Crank decided that the time to promote USDAA via a short seminar was right for two reasons: "Number 1 - Cynopsort was announced in Tennessee for 2015. That is only six hours [away] for those of us in Columbus. Number two - I took up a lease at a building that will allow me to offer trials. Yay! So with those two things happening, I decided that this was my chance to really push USDAA to my students and other local competitors. What better way to do that than to offer them a chance for a free seminar to learn all about it?" 

The seminar, which ran for two-and-a-half hours, was designed to appeal to both the seasoned USDAA competitor and the novice competitor. Crank says, "For those already involved in USDAA, I wanted to go over the changes in the 2015 tournament seasons, specifically the Masters Challenge Biathlon changes, and how [competitors] can qualify for Cynosport. For the attendees who were a bit newer to the organization, I wanted to explain the differences in tournament classes versus titling classes and how to progress and title in the various classes. In hindsight, I probably could have made it two separate seminars, but all-in-all, I thought things went well. There ended up being about 25-30 people attending, most of who had never done USDAA. I think only four or five of them had done USDAA before. The rest were new and seemed very interested in trying it after the seminar was done."

In order to keep the seminar manageable and not-too-long, Crank set parameters on what she covered. She explains, "The seminar was never intended to go over rules of the various games and classes, but rather to be a general overview to get people started. I did not explain Snooker, or talk strategy of Gamblers, or even differences like A-frame height or up contacts. I told them that would be saved for another seminar!"

Crank addressed the most popular questions from attendees about USDAA agility. The "big" three questions, according to Crank, were:

1. Understanding the jump heights and knowing what [each competitor's] dog would jump in USDAA versus other organizations.
2. Learning what the different classes are and how you title in each.
3. How to fill out a USDAA entry form.

Seminar attendees had great things to say about the event. Barbara Klonowski says, "Jennifer Crank generously offered an enthusiastic, logical, and comprehensive seminar describing the USDAA programs from the top down and the path to the Cynosport Games. [It] was well worth my almost three-hour drive to attend. Thank you, Jennifer!" Jen Waller agrees that the event was worthwhile. "The seminar was fantastic and answered so many of my questions as well as clearing up a lot of confusion over the new rules. I am hoping all the people there who are new to USDAA will give it a shot!" Anissa D'Souza also found the seminar helpful. "[I learned] how the titling works to move up the ranks but then how the tournament classes come into play for the ADCH. I never really understood the ADCH title before this."

Jennifer and Clever at the 2014 Southeastern Regional Championships.

From Crank's point of view, the event was very successful. She says, "I was very happy with how things went. On my end, it was very easy. I only had to look up a few things before the seminar. Most of the stuff I already knew from years of experience." Crank hopes that the seminar will help achieve her goals: "I would love to see my students do more USDAA. I hope this helps." 

Thanks, Jennifer, for supporting USDAA agility!


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