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USDAA Letter
By Ken Tatsch

September has gone on record as one of the most devastating months for hurricanes in the Atlantic. The southern U.S. and the Caribbean have suffered severe damage, and one cannot imagine the day-to-day challenges that continue to exist. I’ve been proud to hear of the great response from many USDAA competitors to help others in the devastated regions, and we all at USDAA wish our fellow competitors well in Texas, Florida, and in Puerto Rico.

Both individuals and dogs (and all pets) will continue to struggle long after news media has moved on. I’m sure there will be ongoing needs for not just agility competitors but others too, with many seeking to reunite with their dogs. For those who may have an interest in exploring relief efforts, we have compiled a list of articles below that are focused on hurricane relief causes. USDAA does not endorse any specific charity or group, but we think it is appropriate for us to continue to highlight the cause at hand and pass along information when we find it to be of general interest.

As we continue to develop the sport, we recently rolled out our new Facebook group called Start Line Agility. This is a private group for those who are new to agility and to competition, however anyone can join. The purpose is to create a supportive community for asking questions, growing friendships and gaining deeper insights into USDAA agility. The group's moderator is Kari Massoth who teaches beginner agility in Boise, ID and has been competing since 2013.

I extend congratulations to the members recently selected and named to the 2018 IFCS World Team. They will represent the U.S. in Italy next April at the 2018 IFCS World Agility Championships (WAC). The team starts earlier than in years passed so that the team coaching staff may organize more formal preparation for the event as we seek to return to the podium in greater numbers in 2018. We have made changes in the selection process and will continue to evaluate their effectiveness. One newest effort is to share training methods with members of a supplemental Development Team. This group will be training alongside the IFCS World Team as they prepare for the 2018 IFCS WAC.

Finally, Cynosport 2017 is rapidly approaching. A familiar face will be absent this year, as we announce the retirement of Merlene Stiles from our staff. She has handled many tasks in the office and at USDAA special events for more than 15 years. She and her husband will be moving to Washington State, where they have traveled each year for vacation, and will be enjoying a more relaxed lifestyle with their dogs. I know many of you know Merlene and will be sorry to see her go, just as much as we are here in the USDAA office.

We congratulate Contact Agility Club in New York and thank them for their 25 years of support in developing and promoting dog agility in the region. They celebrate their 25th anniversary at their event in Carmel this weekend.

We wish everyone coming to Cynosport safe travels and the best of luck at the event, and please be sure to sign up for regular updates on www.cynosport.com. We look forward to making this year’s 30th running of the Grand Prix of Dog Agility® and the Cynosport World Games the best yet!

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Hurricane Relief

The following links contain articles of interest regarding helping dogs and pets in need from the recent hurricanes:

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Are You Competing at Cynosport with a Rescue Dog?

Every year we feature on our website dogs adopted from a shelter or rescue group who compete in the Cynosport World Games. If you will be competing with a rescue dog this year, please email news@usdaa.com for information on how we can feature your dog!

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Reminder: Judges Continuing Education Clinic in Conjunction with Cynosport

The afternoon clinic will be held Tuesday, October 24.

Judges not under supervision should attend a clinic every five years.  Judges under supervision who have not attended a clinic to advance in level should attend a CE clinic every three years.  Please check your status online.

The clinic application can be found here. 

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A.C.E. Agility Club Trial Report

A.C.E. Agility Club held a USDAA trial for Advanced/P2, Starters/P1, and Intro dogs in Westfield MA on August 26-27. A.C.E. stands for Ability, Confidence, and Enthusiasm. Both the dogs and handlers entered in this trial showed a lot of all three!

You can read the more about the trial and titles earned here.

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USDAA Trial Hosted by ARFF Agility Club

ARFF Agility Club held its popular two-day, two-ring outdoor trial over the Labor Day weekend, Sept. 2 and 3, 2017 at the Middlesex County 4H Fairgrounds in Westford, Massachusetts. Along with the trial, the fun activities included a BBQ dinner and a worker's raffle to show its appreciation for all of the volunteers.

Read more on the USDAA website.

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Hurricane Harvey Did Not Stop DASH Agility!

Just two weeks before the DASH trial, Hurricane Harvey hit Houston and many club members were forced to evacuate. Despite the conditions, including lack of gas, water and power, the club members found that the trial site and hotels did not have damage. Club members were safe and willing and able to get to the arena and chose to hold the trial.

A full report on this trial is available on the USDAA website.

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Tips to Create a Solid Recall!

Does your dog have a good recall? Or do you find yourself sometimes chasing after him or her when you need them to come when called?

The recall can be a difficult cue for many dogs to learn perfectly, because the environment is a powerful distraction, filled with sights, sounds, smells and squirrels to compete with your dog's attention. Read some training tips on how to build your dog's recall to perfection.

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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
10/07 HomeGrownDogSports Monkton, MD 10/21-10/21/2017
10/09 Teamworks Dog Training, LLC Youngsville, NC 10/20-10/22/2017
10/09 Four Seasons K9 Athlete Center, LLC Washingtonville, OH 10/14-10/15/2017
10/09 Pawsitively Fun Dog Training Group Fort White, FL 10/21-10/22/2017
10/09 Saguaro Scramblers Marana, AZ 10/21-10/22/2017
10/09 Paws @ Play Santa Ynez, CA 10/21-10/22/2017
10/11 United States Dog Agility Association, Inc. Murfreesboro, TN 10/24-10/24/2017
10/18 BARK-NH! Amherst, NH 11/03-11/05/2017
10/20 SureFire Dogs Training Center Westborough, MA 11/10-11/12/2017
10/20 Good Dog Agility Club Tempe, AZ 11/04-11/05/2017
10/23 Magic City Canine Club Odenville, AL 11/03-11/05/2017
10/23 Blue Ridge Agility Club Waynesville, NC 11/03-11/05/2017
10/24 Canine Sports Zone Middleton, WI 11/03-11/05/2017
10/25 High Octane Agility Barto, PA 11/11-11/12/2017
10/26 Southwest Agility Team Albuquerque, NM 11/10-11/12/2017
10/26 Never Go Back Watertown, TN 11/10-11/12/2017
10/27 Low Country Dog Agility Charleston, SC 11/11-11/12/2017
10/30 Contact Sports Agility Spring Grove, IL 11/11-11/12/2017
10/30 Center for Canine Sports, Inc. Garland, TX 11/11-11/12/2017
10/30 Canine Capers Gainesville, GA 11/10-11/12/2017

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