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Welcome toThe Overview

USDAA Letter
By Ken Tatsch

It is hard to imagine 30 years have passed since USDAA was founded.  USDAA was created following its first exhibition competition in November 1986.This was followed by a year of exhibitions and demonstrations in communities, and the hosting of a national team event in 1987.  The visibility of that event, despite the fact only six teams participated, propelled the sport into the limelight, inspiring many nationwide to get involved in this sport. Attracting the attention of a national sponsor, USDAA launched the Grand Prix of Dog Agility® in 1988, in Houston, Texas, attracting a whopping seventy-nine competitors nationwide, most
of whom had never run a complete course other than in training and exhibitions. The following year, USDAA established ten regionals through which competitors would qualify to participate in the 1989 Grand Prix championships. The rest, they say, is history.

Following the 1989 Grand Prix, competitors began traveling far and wide to participate in as many of those few events as possible. There were no other events for dog agility nationwide, so the dedication of those early competitors paved the way for others. Each competition was a promotional event, in that they exposed the sport to more dog owners. USDAA had a presence at community events and dog shows to promote the sport. To this day, the most effective promotion of the sport is a showcase event before the public. Such events also brought credibility to the sport, by providing well-deserved recognition from the public, earning respect for the accomplishments of competitors.

The USDAA titling program was introduced in spring of 1990, providing a means of measuring progress in training. Each level progressively requires the development of additional skill sets, patterned after the actual evolution of the sport. USDAA Title Mania® was introduced last year to feature competitors at the various levels of competition in all five titling classes, which proved to be a popular addition to the program.

USDAA titling programs and tournament series work in tandem to offer a broad-based sporting opportunity, regardless of one’s objectives. The focus on testing of specific skill sets at different levels in titling and testing the application of those skills by competing head-to-head in one or more of USDAA’s tournaments provide the complete package for enjoyment of this sport.

We invite everyone to join us at the 2017 Cynosport World Games in Murfreesboro, Tennessee this October, as well as one or more of our three Title Mania events, as we celebrate 30 years of history for USDAA and the sport of dog agility in North America. We are exploring various special functions and features for Cynosport. For those of you who have long been a part of USDAA events, we invite you to send us stories with photos or video that have been memorable USDAA moments in your past. For those of you in the sport for only a short while, we welcome your stories of moments that have inspired you to get involved. Please send to the USDAA office, at MemorableMoments@usdaa.com.

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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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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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Wild West Regional Recap

The first regional of the year on March 9-12 was a big success at the Horseshow Park in Queen Creek, AZ. It was the first non-equestrian ever at this venue and the agility competitors were warmly welcomed. 

Read more about the event hosted by Top Notch Canines.

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Research Demonstrates the Usefulness of Play Sessions While Training

A study published in the journal Physiology & Behavior this year looked at how using play time can enhance a dog's learning and memory during training sessions. Groups of dogs were trained with either rest sessions or play sessions interspersed between training tasks. The researchers found a clear benefit to play over the rest sessions.

Read more about the study results.

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IFCS Team Profiles

Members of the IFCS Team USA are getting ready for the World Agility Championships in April in Valenica, Spain. We're featuring profiles of all the team members over the next few weeks. To learn more about the team, visit Donate2DogSports.org.

Read about team member Maria Badamo.

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Training Tips from the CIA

The CIA trains some of the world's most elite explosives detection dogs for high security work. Their program utilizes Labrador Retrievers trained as puppies through a prison rehabilitation program. Their website has some fundamental training tips that are applicable to any type of service work or dog sport.

Read more about how they train their dogs.
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A Profile of a USDAA Competitor and Her Rescue Dog

Jessica Brown competes with her 10-year old Chihuahua mix, Bug, rescued from the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control shelter. Jessica and Bug received the Lifetime Achievement Diamond Award last year at Cynosport.

Read more about their story and journey with USDAA agility

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Dogs Love Peanut Butter, But Is It Safe?

March is the time for National Peanut Butter Lover's Day, and most dogs are happy to be part of that group! Peanut Butter is used often with dog toys and treats to keep them occuped and help with training so it's important to know that not all brands are safe for our dogs. 

Read more about what you should know before using peanut butter.

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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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Upcoming Events Calendar

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

Closing Date Host Group Location Dates
03/24 Travis Agility Group Belton, TX 03/31-04/02/2017
03/24 Rainier Agility Team Elma, WA 04/08-04/09/2017
03/24 Haute Dawgs Dixon, CA 04/07-04/09/2017
03/25 Low Country Dog Agility Charleston, SC 04/08-04/09/2017
03/26 Touch & Go Agility Club Barto, PA 04/14-04/16/2017
03/27 Magic City Canine Club Odenville, AL 04/07-04/09/2017
03/27 HOT Dog Sports, LLC Kerrville, TX 04/07-04/09/2017
03/27 Sirius Dog Agility Training Center Alpharetta, GA 04/14-04/16/2017
03/27 Pawsitive Partners Dog Training Center Indianapolis, IN 04/08-04/09/2017
03/28 Dallas Agility Working Group McKinney, TX 04/15-04/16/2017
03/29 Mid-Atlantic Agility Showcase Palmyra, PA 04/21-04/23/2017
03/30 Contact Sports Agility Indianapolis, IN 04/07-04/07/2017
03/31 Two Rivers Agility Club of Sacramento Woodland, CA 04/14-04/16/2017
04/01 Paws @ Play Santa Ynez, CA 04/15-04/16/2017
04/03 Redhot Rovers Langley, BC 04/14-04/16/2017
04/05 Pawprints Agility Club Greenwood, LA 04/22-04/23/2017
04/05 First Dog Sports Payson, AZ 04/15-04/16/2017
04/05 BARK-NH! Manchester, NH 04/21-04/23/2017
04/07 Tailwaggers Learning Center West Palm Beach, FL 04/21-04/23/2017
04/10 Blue Ridge Agility Club Tryon, NC 04/21-04/23/2017
04/10 Dog Agility Racing Team (DART) Camarillo, CA 04/20-04/23/2017
04/10 Playing Agility With Style Greenfield, MA 04/29-04/30/2017
04/10 Need Fur Speed Winnipeg, MB 04/29-04/30/2017
04/10 Bend Agility Action Dogs Powell Butte, OR 04/21-04/23/2017
04/10 Top Notch Canines LLC Phoenix, AZ 04/21-04/23/2017
04/12 Wasatch Agility Farmington, UT 04/21-04/23/2017
04/14 Agility at the Farm Campton Hills, IL 04/22-04/23/2017
04/14 Happy Dog Ranch Ashland City, TN 04/22-04/23/2017
04/16 Zen Dog Sports, Inc. Shelbyville, TN 05/06-05/07/2017
04/17 Canine Sports Zone Middleton, WI 04/29-04/30/2017
04/17 MAD CO, LLC Palmyra, VA 04/28-04/30/2017
04/17 Agility Jalisco Chapala, JAL 04/29-05/01/2017
04/17 United States Dog Agility Association, Inc. Norcross, GA 05/18-05/21/2017
04/17 Sport Agility Mexico Querétaro, QUE 04/22-04/23/2017
04/17 Center for Canine Sports, Inc. Garland, TX 04/29-04/30/2017
04/19 DataDriven Agility Springfield, VT 05/03-05/03/2017
04/19 High Octane Agility Barto, PA 05/05-05/07/2017
04/21 Highest Hope Dog Sports Grand Blanc, MI 04/28-04/30/2017
04/21 Salinas-Monterey Agility Racing Team Morgan Hill, CA 04/29-04/30/2017
04/21 IncrediPAWS Pataskala, OH 05/06-05/07/2017
04/24 Ace Agility Club Westfield, MA 05/06-05/07/2017
04/24 ARFF Agility Club, Inc. Westborough, MA 05/13-05/14/2017
04/24 Four Seasons K9 Athlete Center, LLC Washingtonville, OH 04/29-04/30/2017
04/24 Run Spot Jump Canton, GA 05/05-05/07/2017
04/24 Over Rover Training Center Cato, NY 05/05-05/07/2017
04/26 Renegade Agility LLC Leander, TX 05/05-05/07/2017
04/26 Agility Workout Society of Mid-Michigan Lapeer, MI 05/05-05/07/2017
04/26 Nunes Agility Field Turlock, CA 05/05-05/07/2017
04/28 Fast and Furryous Agility, LLC Snow Camp, NC 05/06-05/07/2017
04/28 Leaps N Bounds Peoria, AZ 05/06-05/06/2017
04/28 Front Range Agility Club (FRAC) Greeley, CO 05/13-05/14/2017
04/30 New England Agility Team Greenland, NH 05/20-05/21/2017

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