Another Dollar

We did play Ralphie’s Run ‘til You Drop in our Sunday clinic. It was quite fun. Several of us are heading for the Petit Prix this year and want to be tuned up nicely on this game. You can refer back to for a game briefing. [Though wouldn’t you know it, I abridged it in several respects. I’ll have to go back and tweak the documentation to reflect those changes.]

One of these days I want to share with you a good discussion on how to come up with qualifying criteria for points games. Not tonight though.

Below I’ve given a gentle rewrite to the rules for “Copycat”. One of the embellishments I’m adding at the bottom of games documentation is what I call the “Premium Blurb”. This is really a problem area. When I review TDAA premiums I typically have to rewrite almost every games description. Someone has suggested that we need a solid catalog of games descriptions that the host club can plug into their premiums. The games book seemed like a logical place to put such a thing.


Copycat is the invention of Trisha Stall from Latham, New York.


Copycat is a “dog’s-choice” game. That means the handler can direct the dog through the performance of obstacles in the order and direction of his own choosing, or the dog’s choosing, as the case may be.

Big dogs will have 35 seconds and small dogs will have 40 seconds to gather points. Point values for obstacles are:

  • Jumps 1 point
  • Tunnels, and tire 3 points
  • Contacts and weave poles 5 points

The dog may perform each obstacle only twice for points. Obstacles must be correctly performed to earn points. If the dog performs obstacles of the same value one after the other the dog will earn a fault for “copycatting”. For each copycat fault the dog will be penalized 5 points; (and will not earn the value of the second obstacle). Every second over course time will be penalized one point.


Copycat is scored Points, Less Faults, Then Time. The dog with the highest number of points wins. Time is a tiebreaker only.

The scorekeeper is responsible for determining faults for copycatting. In a copycat sequence the dog is not awarded the value of the second obstacle.

Time starts and stops when the dog crosses the start/finish line.

Course Design

The course should be designed with subtle traps for repeating two obstacles of the same value. The line of jumps in the center of the course should obviously be avoided by the handler. Less obvious is the possibility of being trapped by the tunnels and tire at the right side of the course; and by the weave poles to teeter at the top of the course.


  • Games I      16 points or better
  • Games II     18 points or better
  • Games III    20 points or better

Premium Blurb

Copycat is a dog’s-choice game. The handler’s job is to avoid taking two obstacles, one after another, of the same point value for which the dog earns a “copycatting” fault. Copycat is scored Points, Then Time.


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.



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