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USDAA Letter
By Ken Tatsch

Spring has arrived and Team USA is heading to Spain for the 2017 IFCS World Agility Championships, April 26-30. The event has record participation as its national theme begins to take hold in Europe. Competition is sure to be the toughest yet, and Team USA, under the direction of coach Tracy Sklenar have been working hard in preparations for this year’s event. Many of our supporters have been working hard to, as we have seen a marked increase in charitable donations through the United States Association of Cynological Sports (USACS). We cannot thank everyone enough for the outpouring of support we have seen this year. While it still isn’t enough to cover all travel, it gives the team some peace of mind going into the event that their financial burden will be reduced. If anyone has thought about contributing and has not, you can still log onto donate2dogsports.org to learn more, and to make your tax deductible charitable contribution.

This year’s IFCS World Agility Championship will be streamed live and free of charge on behalf of one of the event sponsors. They have been testing the webcast feed in the past few days, and we will announce the timing and location on the web as soon as we have it all confirmed. Of course the time zone difference must be considered, with Spain being on Central European Summer Time, which is US Eastern Time Zone plus 6 hours. You can sign up for posts on worldagilitychampionship.com, and connect to the IFCS Facebook page as well.

Closing dates are rapidly coming for the May regional championships. The Southwest in southern California and the North Central regional championship in Michigan are both on May 12-14. Canine Combustion is hosting the North Central Regional and are celebrating 25 years of USDAA and dog agility. It will be an event you won’t want to miss, with special festivities planned. And then at the end of the month is the Pacific Northwest Regional. Mark your calendars.

Also at the end of May will be the second of three regional Title Mania events in New England, with a closing date of May 3rd. In every issue of the Overview, we publish a list of upcoming events in closing date order for the coming month. Be sure to check this out each month so you don’t miss one of your favorite events.

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Hotel Information Now Available for Cynosport

USDAA has partnered with PSE Event Housing to provide attendees with the best available hotel rates and a smooth booking experience. Visit the Cynosport website for information on booking your stay in Murfreesboro, TN this year!

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Two New Judging Clinics in 2017

If you're interested in becoming a judge, or simply attending a clinic to learn more about how courses are designed and judged, we have two otions for you this summer:

  • May 18-21 in Norcross, GA
  • June 22-25 in Shingle Springs, CA

Read more for closing dates and to download the application forms.

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A Tribute to an Amazing Journey

Competitor Sheri Boone writes about her "gift of a lifetime," Figment, who recently passed away. Figment earned the 2016 Veteran Snooker Dog of the Year at Title Mania last year.

Read more about Sheri's beautiful tribute to her canine teammate.

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The Importance of Proactive Handling

Steve Schwarz AKA AgilityNerd discusses the most important agility handling concept he knows in this article on being more proactive in the ring. It's a simple concept that can have a powerful impact on your success on a course.

Read more about how about successful handlers tackle a course by being proactive, not reactive, with each obstacle with their dog.

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IFCS Team Profiles

Members of the IFCS Team USA are getting ready for the World Agility Championships on April 26-30 in Valenica, Spain. We're featuring profiles of all the team members this month in anticipation of the big event. To learn more about the team, visit Donate2DogSports.org.

Read about team members Judy Reilly, Brenda Kelly, Beth Martin, Chip Gerfen, Steffi Diem, Melanie Rock, Diane O'Reilly and alternate team members Mary Ann Wurst and Ivette White.

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Do You Use "Dog-Directed" Speech In Training?

A recent study looked at the ways that people raise their pitch and alter their speech patterns when speaking to dogs, particularly puppies. This higher, "sing-song" tone of voice was found to have a positive association with focus when working with young puppies. 

Read more about the research project and its findings.
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Reminder: New Procedure for Permanent Jump Height Status

In February we posted an announcement regarding the new procedure for permanent jump height status and permanent cards. At this time we are not sending out the plastic permanent cards. Instead you will be able to print the Dog Information Page from your online account to use at check in.

Read more about the new procedure.

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Help Fund the IFCS Team!

The IFCS Team USA is getting ready for the World Agility Championships in Spain in April. The team relies on public contributions and public sponsorships to fund international travel. The cost for a team of 20 exceeds $50,000. 

Help the team fund their goal with your tax deductible contribution. Contributions of $25 and higher receive a free Team USA lapel pin.

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Training & Handling Writers Needed!

We are always looking for writers who can discuss the ins and outs of agility training for the USDAA website and social media accounts. Any topic related to agility training is welcome, from working specific obstacles, training exercise, handling common training issues, strategies at trials, setting criteria, course analysis, working with specific issues (i.e. dogs with disabilities, unusual breed traits, etc.) and more. We have the ability to include links to video in articles as well, so an article could be a description of an exercise in a video or a challenge handled on a course, for example. Writers will be featured on both the USDAA website news section as well as on our Facebook page and on the USDAA Sounding Board list.

Please contact Mychelle Blake, Web News/Social Media Editor, at news@usdaa.com if you are interested and include links to writing samples if available.

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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
04/21 IncrediPAWS Pataskala, OH 05/06-05/07/2017
04/21 Salinas-Monterey Agility Racing Team Morgan Hill, CA 04/29-04/30/2017
04/21 Highest Hope Dog Sports Grand Blanc, MI 04/28-04/30/2017
04/24 Run Spot Jump Canton, GA 05/05-05/07/2017
04/24 Ace Agility Club Westfield, MA 05/06-05/07/2017
04/24 Four Seasons K9 Athlete Center, LLC Washingtonville, OH 04/29-04/30/2017
04/24 Bar-Bax Agility CR El Alto de Ochomogo, C 04/29-04/30/2017
04/24 ARFF Agility Club, Inc. Westborough, MA 05/13-05/14/2017
04/24 Over Rover Training Center Cato, NY 05/05-05/07/2017
04/26 Agility Workout Society of Mid-Michigan Lapeer, MI 05/05-05/07/2017
04/26 Renegade Agility LLC Leander, TX 05/05-05/07/2017
04/26 Nunes Agility Field Turlock, CA 05/05-05/07/2017
04/28 Leaps N Bounds Peoria, AZ 05/06-05/06/2017
04/28 Fast and Furryous Agility, LLC Snow Camp, NC 05/06-05/07/2017
04/28 Front Range Agility Club (FRAC) Greeley, CO 05/13-05/14/2017
04/30 Artful Dodgers Agility Group Millersville, MD 05/20-05/21/2017
04/30 New England Agility Team Greenland, NH 05/20-05/21/2017
05/01 Carolina Piedmont Agility Chapel Hill, NC 05/12-05/14/2017
05/01 K-9 Sports, LLC Salem, OR 05/13-05/14/2017
05/01 Canine Combustion Dog Agility Club Canton, MI 05/12-05/14/2017
05/02 West Valley Dog Sports Camarillo, CA 05/11-05/14/2017
05/02 HOT Dog Sports, LLC Belton, TX 05/12-05/14/2017
05/03 Riverside Canine Center North Kingstown, RI 05/25-05/28/2017
05/06 Countryside Agility LLC Erie, PA 05/19-05/21/2017
05/08 Pals & Paws, Inc. Elkton, FL 05/19-05/21/2017
05/08 GameOn K9 Agility Oakdale, CT 05/20-05/21/2017
05/08 All Colorado Agility Team Pueblo, CO 05/20-05/21/2017
05/10 Lucky Dog Promotions Tyler, TX 05/20-05/21/2017
05/10 Canine Agility of Central Minnesota St. Cloud, MN 05/19-05/21/2017
05/10 Fast and Furryous Agility, LLC Snow Camp, NC 05/19-05/21/2017
05/12 Contact Sports Agility Spring Grove, IL 05/19-05/21/2017
05/12 Low Country Dog Agility Charleston, SC 05/26-05/28/2017
05/13 Redhot Rovers Auburn, WA 05/25-05/28/2017
05/13 B&D Creekside Activity Center LLC Latrobe, PA 05/27-05/29/2017
05/14 Minnesota Agility Club Minnetonka, MN 06/02-06/04/2017
05/15 Top Notch Canines LLC Phoenix, AZ 05/27-05/29/2017
05/15 Contact Agility Hamden, CT 06/03-06/04/2017
05/15 Hog Dog Productions Millersville, MD 05/27-05/28/2017
05/15 PDC Barrie, ON 06/09-06/11/2017
05/15 United States Dog Agility Association, Inc. Shingle Springs, CA 06/22-06/25/2017
05/16 Think Pawsitive LLC New Berlin, WI 05/27-05/29/2017
05/17 Happy Dog Agility Moorpark, CA 05/27-05/29/2017
05/19 Canine Sports of Indiana Buckner, KY 05/27-05/28/2017
05/19 Southwest Agility Team Albuquerque, NM 06/03-06/04/2017
05/22 DrivenDogs Agility Camarillo, CA 06/03-06/04/2017
05/22 Center for Canine Sports, Inc. Garland, TX 06/02-06/03/2017
05/22 Flexible Flyers Agility Group Barto, PA 06/03-06/04/2017
05/22 Never Go Back Watertown, TN 06/02-06/04/2017
05/22 Over Rover Training Center Cato, NY 06/03-06/04/2017
05/22 Greater St. Louis Agility Club Glen Carbon, IL 06/03-06/04/2017
05/24 Lehigh Valley Dream Weaver Agility Club Barto, PA 06/10-06/11/2017
05/24 Canine Agility Training Society Swanzey, NH 06/09-06/11/2017
05/30 Canine Sports of Indiana Buckner, KY 06/10-06/11/2017
05/31 Dog Agility El Salvador San salvador, SS 06/09-06/10/2017
05/31 Keystone Agility Club Barto, PA 06/15-06/18/2017
05/31 Canine Capers Perry, GA 06/08-06/11/2017

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