Game for the Week ~ Just In Time


Just In Time is a game of timing and daring. It’s identical to the point-accumulation period of the Gamblers class, as played in venues like the USDAA and TDAA, because the dog must be directed to begin the distance challenge after the time whistle. This game is designed to reward the timing element.

The objective of this game is to arrive at the table as quickly as possible after the expiration of the point accumulation period.

The dog has only 30 seconds to score points. This is a “dog’s choice” game. The dog can perform obstacles in the order and direction of his choosing (hopefully, with some collaboration from the handler). Obstacles can be performed only twice for points. Back-to-back performances are permitted.

If the dog arrives at the table before the 30-second whistle, time stops and no time bonus can be earned.


Just in Time is scored points then time.

The points system is 1-3-5.

  • Jumps and hoops are worth 1 point
  • Tunnels, the tire, and a short set of weave poles are worth 3 points
  • The dogwalk and A-frame are worth 5 points.

The dog will earn a time bonus for getting to the table or finish line after the end of the 30-second point-accumulation period.

  • A time of 30 to 32 seconds earns 30 time bonus points
  • A time of 32.01 to 34 seconds earns 20 time bonus points
  • A time of 34.01 to 36 seconds earns 10 time bonus points

Unproductive loitering near the table is not permitted and shall result in loss of time bonus points.

Qualifying and Titles

Just in Time is an eligible game for titling in both TDAA and CWAGS. To qualify the dog must earn 21 points in the opening and earn a time bonus.

  • Games I = 31 points or  more
  • Games II = 41 points or more
  • Games III = 51 points or more

Notes on Play

So… last week we played Nested Gamblers. While my students did an adequate job getting the distance challenge the game was a bit of a bust because everybody did such a terrible job being set up in a timely manner for the start of the performance of the gamble. By the time league play was all done I knew that I had to get some timing games into the mix as soon as possible. It doesn’t matter how skillful and reliable the dog is at working at distance if the silly handler doesn’t know how to approach the gamble line in a timely manner.

The game for the week is the ultimate timing game. I shall also have to work into the lesson plan for the week some speed calibration. We went through this quite a bit last year, especially as we had a handful of handlers heading for the TDAA Petit Prix where the finals game was “Who Dares Wins”… another ultimate timing game.

I apologize for the use of “hoops” in the course map. I have students who compete in NADAC and so I shall have to subject all of my students to teaching the “hoop” obstacle to their dogs. You just feel free to substitute a bar jump anywhere I’ve placed a hoop. Nelson will forgive you.

Go the Distance Notebook

I’m having a lot of fun writing a distance curriculum. But I need to learn to pace myself. Over the weekend I wrote like 50 pages… just for this week’s lesson plan. I’m sorry, that’s just a bit over the top. I think that the product should have some heft. I mean if you spend $5 or $10 for a training reference you really should have a month’s full study even if you’re one of those intense trainers who’ll give the dog about an hour of work every day of the week.

The weekly lesson plan really should come in around 32 pages, and no more. As it stands I’ve included enough escalation of criteria and skill that a dog trainer could dwell on a lesson plan for three weeks (never mind only one week). While I don’t want to take anything for granted… I also don’t want to overwhelm.

The typical lesson plan will include study notes for the instructor who has the ultimate responsibility either to raise criteria for a lesson plan or return to fundamentals/basics. The lesson plan also has a handout for the students so that they can take to their back yard skill exercises that compliment the lesson plan. And, of course the focus skills should be covered in the appendices.

In case you’re interested… the theme of the training plan this week is teaching the directional command “Get Out!” A lot of handlers use the words “Get Out,” but appreciably fewer actually teach the performance to the dog. We also will work into the lesson plan a discussion of timing and understanding a dog’s working speed… just to help people prosper with the game for the week.

If you’d like a look at Notebook #1 (Vol II)… for readers of my web log I’ll discount the already modest price! Follow this link to the Country Dream web store:

Okay, and once you start the order enter “special01” in the box for the discount code. And that will take $5.00 off the price of the order.

It is my practice now with electronic books… any Clean Run Course Designer course map can be opened into your CRCD if you click on the upper-right corner of the course map. That will allow you to move things around or even swap equipment to put the lesson plan to work in your training center!


Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: And Check out my latest publication the Go the Distance ~ Dog Agility Distance Training Notebook – Jan 2010 available on the Country Dream Web Store:

One Response to “Game for the Week ~ Just In Time”

  1. budhouston Says:

    CRCD code for this course:

    Begin Course Designer
    Version 3
    For a free viewer, go to
    End Course Designer

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