Gearing Up for the TDAA Petit Prix

The 6th Annual TDAA Petit Prix National Agility Tournament will be held October 09, 10, 11, 2009 at the Racine Civic Center, in Racine, WI. For more Information contact Michelle Reehl at

For the past several years I have led warm-up workshops just prior to the TDAA Petit Prix; typically in the same location and using the equipment that will be used on the weekend. The intention of these workshops is really twofold. First of all I teach basic survival skills for play in the TDAA. The diminutive size of the courses and equipment gives the illusion that the handler doesn’t have to move as much or as briskly as in the big dog venues. I dispel the myth, and teach strategies for the practical use of real estate. Secondly, and possibly more importantly, I will focus on the games to be played in the National Agility Tournament; teaching the killer strategies for each.

This year I will be leading no fewer than six opportunities to prepare competitors for the Petit Prix.

  1. August 11-14, 2009 – Teacup Camp at Country Dream, Waterford, OH. Followed by …
  2. A TDAA seminar/trial on August 15 & 16, 2009. Accommodations are no longer available. There will be a Live to Run Again Library Exchange at this event. For more information contact
  3. September 18, 2009 – Small Dog Seminar, Springfield, IL; Followed by a TDAA trial on September 19-20, 2009; Followed by a big dog seminar on September 21&22, 2009. For information contact
  4. TDAA seminar/trial on September 26-27, 2009 in Exton, PA (near Philadelphia). For information contact Denise Lacey
  5. September 29 – October 2, 2009 – Teacup Camp at Country Dream, Waterford, OH. Accommodations available. There will be a Live to Run Again Library Exchange at this event, as well as during the TDAA trial of October 3-4. For more information on camp contact
  6. October 7-8, 2009 – Petit Prix Warm-up Workshops, Racine, WI. These will be delivered in four modules of three hours each; focusing on different Petit Prix games; and all inexpensively priced. Participants may sign up for one, or all, to accommodate your travel plans to the National Tournament. For information contact

Best Tournament Ever?

Every year the Petit Prix Tournament has grown more competitive, the dog’s keener, and the handlers more savvy. This year promises to be no exception.

The TDAA has become a culture of crafty games players. This venue has no predefined suite of games. On a competition weekend we can play virtually any agility game. So the initial shock of muddling through some obscure system of rules has given over to cunning analysis. So when the competitor steps into the ring for the judges’ briefing the only questions he will have are the fine points that strengthen his working strategy for solving the riddle of the game.

Moreover, we’ve gotten over the “Oh how cute!” thing that people say when they first see a teacup agility course. Oh yeah it’s cute. But it’s also hard. It was our intention from the beginning to create challenges for the small dog handler that are comparable to what big fast dog handlers face in the big dog venues. In the TDAA the small dog handler must own considerable skill in handling and a deft sense of timing.


Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: And Check out my new publication the Idea BookAgility Training for a Small Universe available at

One Response to “Gearing Up for the TDAA Petit Prix”

  1. Deb Auer Says:

    Bud – I’ve corrected this information with Marsha, but just so it’s posted here…we will have the TDAA handling seminar on Friday, September 18. We will have a “Basics” seminar on September 21, and then an Advanced seminar on September 22 and 23. We get to keep you out here for six days – we can’t wait!

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