The Dog Agility Course as Artifact

A key element for competition with the National Dog Agility League is the open challenge of a game or course. What this means is that the agility course is an artifact that is forever open to competition observing the same placement of equipment, scoring basis and rules for performance.

We ran an agility league at Dogwood Training Center for eight years. This was a training center with more or less 150 students a week, who for the most part participated in league play. While I have saved all of the old courses (documented forever in the pages of The Just For Fun Agility Notebook), I did not save the scores or even the rosters of participants.

Today I’m absolutely intrigued by how I might do with the generation of dogs that I now own… competing against a younger version of me, and another generation of dogs.

We are going to maintain a Catalog of Games and Courses which will forever be open for competition. The top dog in each competition will have a score that sits atop the marquee like the high score on a video game. New scores will be combined and aggregated with existing scores! (forever)

In 20 years somebody might want to compete on that same course and have a go at the high score set by some World Team superstar (long time passing).

Another utility of the course or game as historical artifact is as a teaching tool. The intrepid agility teacher might put up the same course to students every year; and track their progress by the improvement of scores in that game.

Seriously, think of the possibilities.

The Catalog of Games and Courses can be found here:

The Recording Secretary

I have a guy working on a reporting system interface for the internet. It’s not done yet. Until it is done I’m the recording secretary and will do everything by hand. I’m hoping my guy gets something in place fairly soon. Recording scores is a boatload of work.

The Assignment

We’re starting a series of classes here at Country Dream that we’re calling: Intensity Agility! To be honest the intention of these classes is to require the best effort from our students. That means that we’ll set a demanding pace, establish firm objectives, assign homework, and test the efficacy of both practice and homework.

Marsha has challenged me to design the full suite of course-work in advance. This will include a “Game of the Week”, lesson plans, and homework.

The “Game of the Week” will be designed for a 90′ x 60′ working space and will automatically go into the Catalog of Games and Courses that I mentioned above. I will no doubt share those courses with you here in my blog.


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.

Proverbs 11:29

He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.

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2 Responses to “The Dog Agility Course as Artifact”

  1. Melissa Wallace Says:

    Love the video game analogy. What a cool idea!

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