Games of the 2011 Petit Prix ~ Part 1

The following is a discussion of Power and Speed; one of the games of the 2011 Petit Prix. The course is dimensioned for play in the TDAA; meaning that the transitional distance between obstacles is very tight but completely appropriate for small fast dogs.

If you are going to practice Power and Speed on the lead-up to the Petit Prix you should pay special attention to the notes included below. This is a fair representation of how the game will be played at the 2011 Petit Prix.

This is the classic design for Power and Speed. The technical obstacles are arranged in an uninteresting sequence crowded over to one side. This is the Power section of the course. The use of the tunnel is for flow purposes only to ensure a nice square approach from the opening line of the section to the last two obstacles.

From a performance point of view the handler can make his way meticulously through the contact obstacles; coming close to making it a training opportunity to remind the dog of his 2o2o. Handlers who’ve taught their dogs to do a running contact have no such luxury.

As this section is not timed, the handler might even leave the dog on the down contact or put the dog on a sit-stay on the approach to the first jump of the Speed section, which is timed.

An important judging note for the weave poles: Too often TDAA judges will fail to judge the weave poles according to the rules of performance for the respective class. In Games III the weave poles should subscribe to the rules of performance for the Superior class.

The Speed section should be a ripping Jumpers course with interesting challenges… pretty much the way the course designer should approach any jumpers course. There’s not a lot of trick and trap in this design. The challenges are subtle and come at full speed.

You’ll note that the spacing between obstacles never measures below about 12′ and probably averages nearly 14′. This is as a TDAA jumpers course should be designed, providing a minimum of 12′ in the turns or in the presence of options. Inasmuch as the course is constantly turning with a number of subtle options the course designer wouldn’t really want to make the spacing any tighter.

Establishing appropriate qualifying criteria is an important part of the puzzle when designing for Power and Speed. Any game with a numbered sequence should be based on the Rates of Travel established for the standard classes. Since the Petit Prix will be based on Games III qualifying criteria, I’ll address how the SCT would be established for Games III.

This course will measure about 192’… or 64 yards. The TDAA Rules and Regulations state:

The Superior rate for standard courses for dogs jumping 4” and 8′′ shall be 1.9 yards per second plus 5 seconds for table performance, and for games courses in a range between 1.9 and 2.3 yards per second.  The Superior rate for standard courses for dogs jumping 12′′ and 16′′ shall be 2.0 yards per second plus 5 seconds for table performance, and for games courses in a range between 2.0 and 2.3 yards per second.  Maximum course time shall be set at 1.5 times the standard course time.

You will note in this paragraph that a range is specified for establishing SCT for games courses. It is in this type of game that the judge would use the range. Since this is a Jumpers course that has nice flow the judge should consider using the number at the top of the range. Thus our calculations for qualifying SCT would be based on these numbers:

  • 4″ dogs 31 seconds
  • 8″ dogs 30 seconds
  • 12″ dogs 28 seconds
  • 16″ dogs 27 seconds

These times might seem aggressive. But the truth of the matter is that the winning dog might be coming in around 18 seconds or less on a course like this. The important thing is that the game not be a giveaway. Dogs should earn their qualifying scores. If the judge uses some silly and arbitrary number for the SCT like 60 seconds that would qualify nearly every dog in the class no matter how ungainly or ugly the performance.

Note that I gave only 16″ the top of the range. And then I stepped down by jump height with the biggest jump between 12″ and 8″. Some would argue for more time for the smaller dogs. In fact this is a twisty and nearly constant turning course. The larger dogs will tend to turn wider than the small dogs and so their true course distance is greater. Should the course have featured long and straight lines, I would have put more difference in time from jump height to jump height.

Power and Speed is scored Time Plus Faults. While the Power section is untimed… it is certainly judged. And any faults earned will be added both to the time and to any faults earned in the Speed section.


Bud’s Google-Proof Trivia Contest

Score this performance of the weave poles by Beginner, Intermediate, and Superior rules for performance.

Bonus question: what should the handler have done at the end?

I’d very much like to reserve this question for fairly novice judges. But if you need to show off… go ahead. It’ll be more interesting to wait a couple days before chiming in.

Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston The Country Dream web store is up and running. Be sure to check out my distance training series: The Jokers Notebook; an (inexpensive) elaboration and improvement on the work I did in Go the Distance.


6 Responses to “Games of the 2011 Petit Prix ~ Part 1”

  1. Courtney Keys Says:

    Okay, I’ll bite. The first scenario is not faulted at any level as TDAA does not fault refusals at the weaves. The Superior dog gets an S fault at the second scenario, where he entered incorrectly. The Intermediate dog gets an S fault when he pops out after the correct entry, in the third part. All three levels will receive an F after the dog moves on to the next obstacle, as in the last part, since the dog never finished the weaves correctly.

    • budhouston Says:

      I want you to view all four scenarios as as a single attack on the weave poles. What would you have instructed the scribe to write?

      No try at the bonus question?


  2. Courtney Keys Says:

    I guess I just didn’t phrase it right. For the superior dog: S after second try where dog enters incorrectly. F after 4th.

    For I dog: S after 3rd try where dog enters correctly, F after 4th

    For B: F after 4th.

    Bonus question… My wild ass guesses…. Handler should… Be told to move on since that was 3 attempts or… Study up on correct weave performances and train better? 🙂

  3. Marsha Says:

    #1 – there are no refusals on weave poles (Superior and Intermediate). There are no weave poles in Beginner – so everything else in this scenario doesn’t matter for Beginner dogs.
    #2 – Superior – this is a missed pole fault (standard fault). Intermediate – no fault.
    #3 Superior – nothing, can go back and try again; Intermediate – a missed pole fault.
    #4 Superior – Failure to perform; tell handler to go on; Intermediate – can go back and try again and if completed correctly, does not get a failure to perform.
    What should the handler have done – superior, just gone on; intermediate – tried one more time.

  4. Marsha Says:

    OOPS! I was judging it like a standard course, not games. So disregard everything I said…

  5. tantantanner Says:

    Be positive and encouraging with the dog at the end, regardless …dog’s mistakes are the fault of the handler

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: