The Championship Round

I’m doing a warm-up workshop at Argus Ranch in the couple days prior to the TDAA Petit Prix this year. I have done so for several years, and it’s always great fun for me. It is a format and venue that allows me to get my own dog warmed up for the competition. Any time I do a “small dog” workshop I spend quite a bit of time exploring handling and training discipline that makes the small dog more competitive and successful. But we cannot escape a discussion of killer games strategies.

This is the championship round. To gain this round the top 40 dogs from the Semi-Finals are advanced based on their competitive scores from the Semi-Finals. The slate is wiped clean in respect to all points earned in the qualifying rounds. Everything will now ride on performance in one game:

  • Super Dog, judged by Wayne van Deusen

This round will determine the Petit Prix Champion for each score height. I won’t actually share with you right now the killer strategy. I mean, really, why would I give my competition any insight into what mightn’t be so obvious? But I promise after the competition I’ll return to the discussion.

The course drawn below isn’t the layout from the Petit Prix. So if you come up with an effective strategy you’ll just have to generalize. Super Dog is one of those kinds of games that allow or require a random distribution of obstacles. It would be a great pick-up game based on a standard course without moving any equipment.

I’m going to get my campers to play the game today. It’s always fun getting people who do mainly AKC to play any “game” as all most of them really understand is “follow the numbers”. It’s like to make their brains explode.

Super Dog is a strategic point accumulation game. In concept it is based on the old PACMAN computer game that if the smiley ate a “power pill”, it could move faster and gobble up things in its path.

The point accumulation period is 50 seconds for small dogs and 45 seconds for big dogs. Time starts when the dog crosses any point of the start line at handler’s choice. Point accumulation ends at SCT seconds with a whistle and the team must cross the finish line to stop time. Super dog is scored points with time as a tie breaker.

There are two designated sequences strategically placed on the course that includes contacts, weaves, tunnels and jumps. The designated sequence is “The Power Pill”. Each may be taken only twice. The team may begin with a Power Pill sequence from the start line.


  • Weaves: 7
  • Contacts: 5
  • Tires and tunnel: 3
  • Jumps: 1

During regular play, obstacles may not be taken back-to-back.

When the dog has successfully completed the Power Pill sequence the next four obstacles taken by the dog have a ten-fold point value (70-50-30-10). While the Power Pill is in effect, obstacles may be taken back-to-back. Once the four obstacles have been taken, scoring reverts to regular values.

Only regular value points are awarded for Power Pill obstacles. Power Pill obstacles may not be scored for ten fold values. If Power Pill obstacles are taken while the Power Pill is in effect they count as one of the four obstacles but given only the regular point value. The Power Pill is in effect only when the power pill obstacles have been correctly performed. The obstacles in the Power Pill may be taken in any order and direction. If a jump bar in the Power Ill is dropped then the that Power Pill is out of play for the remainder of the game.

No points are awarded for faulted obstacles. Jump bars are not reset. While the Power Pill is in effect, an attempted obstacle counts as one of the four obstacles even if points are not awarded.

Qualifying Criteria

Super Dog is scored points then time. Time is a tie-breaker only.

  • Games I: 150 points
  • Games II: 250 points
  • Games III: 350 points

Bud’s Google-proof Trivia Contest

The little hole with a plug in it at the back of my fishing boat was actually invented by an American president. Who was the inventor?

First correct answer, posted as a reply to this blog post, wins a free copy of the August Jokers Notebook.


Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: Check out my latest publication the Jokers Notebook ~ Dog Agility Distance Training ~ Issue #0 ~ August 2010 available on the Country Dream Web Store: . Readers of my web log get a discount: Enter “special00” in the box for the discount code. And that will take $5.00 off the price of the order.

2 Responses to “The Championship Round”

  1. Ronni Says:


  2. Adrienne Says:

    Lincoln drilled a bilge hole to free a stranded boat.

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