Games of the 2012 Petit Prix ~ Part 7

The idea of a championship tournament in the dog agility world is to showcase great performances and to honor those dogs that play at the top of the game. Every venue has its own formula for this endeavor. In the TDAA our championship tournament, the Petit Prix, seeks a balance between speed and accuracy, skill in sequencing, distance work, and strategy; and without giving inordinate weight to any of these individually.

And so the format is this, all dogs compete against all other dogs earning a ranking within the field. Consequently dogs will continue to earn points for placement that accumulate to the very last game that we play. At the end of the day, when the dust settles, the dogs with the highest accumulation of points will place at the top of the field.

There is a calculation to appropriately compare the performance of our smallest dogs, to the performance larger dogs. Rankings within the field are handicapped. Placements will be accorded by jump height.

The Game within the Game

At the Petit Prix a dog can earn a qualifying score that goes towards our titling programs. Of course, the qualifying score is earned at the dog’s respective level. That being said, all games will be scored using Superior rules for performance and faults.

The idea of qualifying can be an unnecessary distraction in Petit Prix competition. The very worst thing a handler can do is abandon a game in abject resignation because the dog has committed some fault that leads to a non-qualifying score. The competitor should get it into his head that he’d much rather his dog earns the background ranking points of dogs in the 70 to 80 percentile than in the zero to 10 percentile.

Melting down in competition is little more than surrender. If you fall down, pick yourself up and make a respectable finish.


We’re working with the Host clubs to prepare a catalog that will have all of the courses, games and briefings of the Petit Prix. As much as possible the briefings will be concise and clear enough that every competitor can grasp the play of the games and map out the strategy for each of your dogs before you walk into the ring for briefing.

If you have questions about how to play a game that is pertinent to your strategy be sure to ask those questions in briefing. As a courtesy to other exhibitors ask your questions while the judge has everyone’s attention… rather than asking the judge that question offline, so that nobody else gets the benefit of his answer.

Warm your dog up before you go into the ring. Remember that “warming up your dog” refers to his mind as much as his body.

Petit Prix Warm-Up Workshops

For each regional Petit Prix we’ve scheduled four workshops over two days, working game-by-game through the classes of the Petit Prix, discussing handling and strategy choices.

We’ve made one important change to the format of these workshops. We’ve decided to use the Warm-Up Workshops to test our new tournament software; and since we’re doing all that work… the warm-up games we’ll be playing will eligible for qualifying scores and will go into the record-book. Otherwise, there’s no change in price or in the format. I believe we might have a spot or two still open. But I won’t guarantee that.

You can find the registration forms here:

Latrobe, PA:

Wichita Falls, TX:


Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston The web store is up and running. I have five volumes (over 100 pp each) of The Joker’s Notebook available on my web-store at an inexpensive price. These are lesson plans suitable for individual or group classes for teaching dog to work at a distance.

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One Response to “Games of the 2012 Petit Prix ~ Part 7”

  1. Vanita Ellis Says:

    That is great news! I can’t wait to start working on these games.

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