Archive for the ‘Top Dog Agility Players’ Category

Top Dog in Murrieta, CA

February 7, 2015

I’d like to share the results with you from our competition in Murrieta California on February 7, 2015. I’m really tickled that these are the same courses we ran at Queen City (Cincinnati,OH) back in August of last year. So in every real sense, this is a single competition that is undertaken by players in different geographically areas.

That being said, I’m going to summarize only the results by players in California. As soon as I’m up to the task, I’ll combine results from the two different venues.

Game #1 ~ The Steeplechase

Fname Lname DogsCName Breed Jheight Score
Nancy Gyes Pie Border Collie 20 30.03
Dave Hill Flo Border Collie 20 31.72
Channan Fosty Rampage Border Collie 20 34.38
Dave Hill Viper Border Collie 26 35.78
Rachel Evers Happy Mac Border Collie 26 36.34
Barbara Hill Jagger Border Collie 20 38.22
Liz Phineas 20 38.22
Rachel Evers Chloe Border Collie 16 40.31
Michael Fitch Bing Toy Fox Terrier 8 43.06
Laura Jones Brew Border Collie 26 46.97
Channan Fosty Icon Border Collie 16 47.78
Gabriella Ravani Scarlett Dalmation 16 58.47
Joe Punzalan Meg Wire Fox Terrier 12 70.09
Christina Terbeek Rocket Italian Greyhound 12 79.53
Meghan Jordan Jaxie Jack Russell Terrier 8 80.53
Suzanne Roady Karma Border Collie 20 90.06
Morgan Orsolini Tyme Border Collie 20 110.62
Susan Paulson Butter-fly papillon 12 138.28
McKenzie Minto Breeze Border Collie 16 154.25

 

Game #2 ~ Time Warp

Fname Lname DogsCName Breed Jheight Score
Nancy Gyes Pie Border Collie 20 -13.03
Liz Phineas 20 -9.09
Barbara Hill Jagger Border Collie 20 -6.62
Channan Fosty Icon Border Collie 16 -6.19
Laura Jones Brew Border Collie 26 -3.91
Channan Fosty Rampage Border Collie 20 -0.34
Gabriella Ravani Scarlett Dalmation 16 9.12
Rachel Evers Chloe Border Collie 16 41.91
Michael Fitch Bing Toy Fox Terrier 8 47.22
Joe Punzalan Meg Wire Fox Terrier 12 50.54
Rachel Evers Happy Mac Border Collie 26 53.57
Christina Terbeek Rocket Italian Greyhound 12 56.47
Morgan Orsolini Tyme Border Collie 20 68.4
Dave Hill Viper Border Collie 26 70.13
Susan Paulson Butter-fly papillon 12 75.69
McKenzie Minto Breeze Border Collie 16 79.41
Meghan Jordan Jaxie Jack Russell Terrier 8 88.4
Dave Hill Flo Border Collie 20 96.5
Suzanne Roady Karma Border Collie 20 111.6
Jean Rowe Chaos Labrador 20 130.31
Dylan Machal Marley Standard Poodle 20 153.63

 

Game #3 ~ Standard Course

Fname Lname DogsCName Breed Faults Time
Nancy Gyes Pie Border Collie 0 32.5
Dave Hill Flo Border Collie 0 35.34
Michael Fitch Bing Toy Fox Terrier 0 36.13
Channan Fosty Icon Border Collie 0 36.38
Channan Fosty Rampage Border Collie 0 36.44
Rachel Evers Happy Mac Border Collie 0 44.62
Meghan Jordan Jaxie Jack Russell Terrier 0 58
Gabriella Ravani Scarlett Dalmation 0 60
Suzanne Roady Karma Border Collie 0 62
Dave Hill Viper Border Collie 5 35.06
Laura Jones Brew Border Collie 5 37.16
McKenzie Minto Breeze Border Collie 5 42.88
Susan Paulson Butter-fly papillon 5 61.34
Rachel Evers Chloe Border Collie 10 40.57
Christina Terbeek Rocket Italian Greyhound 10 53.22
Liz Phineas 15 42.66
Jean Rowe Chaos Labrador 15 57.19
Dylan Machal Zippy Standard Poodle 20 145.18
Barbara Hill Jagger Border Collie 25 45.16
Joe Punzalan Meg Wire Fox Terrier 35 69.22
Dylan Machal Marley Standard Poodle 45 111

 

Team Results

The team results were based on accumulated Lifetime Performance Points (LPP) scored by dogs over the three rounds. These were the final results:

209      Team B ~ Pie; Rampage; Brew

175      Team E ~ Bing; Jagger; Viper

164      Team F ~ Phineas; Flo; Jagger

154      Team A ~ Happy Mac; Chloe; Buttter-Fly

128      Team “Gotcha” ~ Icon; Breeze; Tyme

117      Team D ~ Chaos; Meg; Scarlett

Our team “F”, by the way, followed what we called the “Queen City” formula. The scores of every dog who was not on a team were aggregated into a single team based on the highest scores in the first two rounds. In the Murrieta California competition, they were the third place team.

Oogachaka ~ Hooked on a Feeling

For Nancy Gyes, who was seeking true inspirational Rock & Roll for her teams, take it from an old timer from the day, this is rock & roll: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=w5jkAkm4JmM

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Houston.Bud@gmail.com. The web store is up and running. www.dogagility.org/newstore. 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.

The Event

February 6, 2015

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Steeplechase Briefing

This is a simple numbered course. The scoring basis is Time, Plus Faults.  Follow the numbers, keep the bars up, hit the paint. And have fun.

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Time Warp Briefing

This is a simple game, run like a standard course. The Scoring Basis is Time, Plus Faults, Less Bonus.

There is an opportunity on this course to earn a 50 point bonus which is subtracted from the Time, Plus Faults part of the dog’s score: if the handler can stay on the opposite side of the containment line through your dog’s performance of obstacles #12 through #15, then the dog will earn a 50 point bonus. Note that the bonus is lost for any performance faults in the distance challenge.

Otherwise, it’s follow the numbers, keep the bars up, and hit the paint.

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Standard Briefing

This is a standard course. The scoring basis is Faults, Then Time. Follow the numbers, keep the bars up, and hit the paint. And have fun.

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Houston.Bud@gmail.com. The web store is up and running. www.dogagility.org/newstore. 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.

Seeking Jr. Handlers for Dog Agility Reality “Sizzle”

January 24, 2015

I know this is really very short notice… we’re looking for junior handlers (kids) for the filming of a “sizzle” reel for a reality show based on dog agility.  If we put the focus on the preparation and training and competition of youngsters it will be a very very interesting program.

To this end we extend this invitation to participate in the agility competition on which the reality show sizzle reel will be based! We’re looking for young dog agility enthisiasts! Mature players will be welcomed. The competition is in Murietta, Califhnia on February 7th, 2015. First dog on the line at 9:30 a.m.  [I did say it was very short notice. Right?]

We’ve scheduled an agility competition for February 7, 2015 in Murietta, California.

  • Apex Dog Agility
    41674 Corning Place
    Murrieta, CA 92562
  • Out-of-doors, rain or shine

Download the dog registration form here:
http://www.dogagility.org/documents/FilesForms/TopDogRegistration.pdf

RSVP to Houston.bud@gmail.com. I’ll reply straight away!

You can download the working rules and regulations here:
http://www.dogagility.org/documents/FilesForms/TopDogRules3.5.pdf

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Houston.Bud@gmail.com. The web store is up and running. www.dogagility.org/newstore. 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.

Building a Semi-Pro Agility League

January 14, 2015

For the express purpose of creating a foundation for competition for a dog agility based reality TV program, I propose that we build a semi-pro agility league. And I am working to accomplish that goal.

We’ve scheduled an agility competition for February 7, 2015 in Murietta, California.

  • Apex Dog Agility
    41674 Corning Place
    Murrieta, CA 92562
  • Out-of-doors, rain or shine

This is a team event (3 dogs & handlers) competing for top honors running three courses.

We’re faced now with the task of creating this semi-pro agility league. In order to be a member of that league the host club needs a venue, which should be a field or floor with adequate floor space.

Clubs joining the league now will be founding members of the league. All league matters will ultimately be the province of a Board of Governors elected from each of the league clubs. They will have oversight in designing the structure of competition, the length of a season, and every other detail for the conduct of the league.

Right now it doesn’t really matter if the league is only three or four clubs. It will grow over time.

For the premier event in Murietta the entry fee is $20. Entry is limited to dogs that are registered with Top Dog Agility Players. For this first competition we will waive the $10 dog registration fee. To make your entry simple:

  1. Download the dog registration form here:
    http://www.dogagility.org/documents/FilesForms/TopDogRegistration.pdf
  2. Send your $20 entry fee, and the completed form to Top Dog Agility, 14543 State Route 676, Waterford, OH 45786.
  3. On a separate piece of paper indicate what other handlers and dogs will make up your team (3 dogs and 3 handlers); or indicate if you’d like to be on a draw team.

You can download the working rules and regulations here:
http://www.dogagility.org/documents/FilesForms/TopDogRules3.5.pdf

Please note: A club does not have to send a team to Murietta to become a founding member of this league. Most of league competition will be conducted at the host club’s private venue. The club simply has to get a judge approved for the conduct of competition within the league; and that judge can and should be a member of that club.

The only expense for participating in weekly league competition will be a very nominal/inexpensive $1.00 / run.

Semi-Pro?

Before the league becomes the property of some network publisher we must establish that something on the order of half of recording fee income goes to league competition awards.

Reality Show Concept

The vision that I have is like a training center/agility dog gym sit-drama. The show will largely focus on a single team that competes in an ongoing agility league, and principally the coach of that team. The coach’s job is to put together the “A” team for their competition against the world; but of course there’ll be a larger pool of handlers vying with their dogs for a spot on that team. “Against the World” means that any club/group/host in the world can put up the course that will be on the program and compare their scores against the team featured on the program. We’re going to publish these courses for public consumption; and we’ll record their results.

The “situation” in this sit-drama is the very human and compelling drama of the pressures of competition and how we strive for perfections/excellence, or at the very least, not to look the fool. And with any artistry at all we can capture the personality, devotion and working attitude of some of the great agility dogs of our day.

The way I would like see it there will be this bigger league spread around the country (and possibly around the world) that competes in a weekly competition. And then, once a month the Top Dog team would go out into the world to have a head-to-head competition with them on their own field.

Back to Reality

Frankly we’re relying on Bishop-Lyons Entertainment LLC to use their expertise to direct the focus of the show. It’s possible that my vision won’t be anywhere near the finished product. And, of course, they have to find a network broadcaster interested in the concept.

Top Dog (the name ultimately won’t pass the TM test) is an important asset for whoever adopts the program idea. There’s a real possibility that the program could bring in something on the order of $30K every month in recording fees from around the world. In order for that to happen, however, we need to have the underlying league that is the foundation of the ongoing competition.

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Houston.Bud@gmail.com. The web store is up and running. www.dogagility.org/newstore. 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.

Getting Real

January 9, 2015

We’ve working to create a Reality Show based on the sport of dog agility. Bishop-Lyons Entertainment LLC has been contracted to create a “sizzle reel” for presentation to network executives.

To this end we have scheduled an agility competition:

  • February 7th 2015
  • Apex Dog Agility
    41610 Oak Trail Court,
    Murrieta, CA 92562
  • Out-of-doors, rain or shine

This is a team event (3 dogs & handlers) competing for top honors running three courses.

The Concept

The program will be based on the competition within a semi-pro agility league. And so we are building not just the “reality show” but the semi-pro agility league as well. A primary objective in this first competition will be to establish the league and the teams that make up the league.

The entry to the competition in Murrieta is limited. The event will be filled by the first entries that we receive. This is a production of Top Dog Agility Players. For the record, that name may change as it is unlikely to pass the “Trademark” test.

The entry fee is $20 and; entry is limited to dogs that are registered with Top Dog Agility Players. For this first competition we will waive the $10 dog registration fee. To make your entry simple:

  1. Download the dog registration form here:
    http://www.dogagility.org/documents/FilesForms/TopDogRegistration.pdf
  2. Send your $20 entry fee, and the completed form to Top Dog Agility, 14543 State Route 676, Waterford, OH 45786.
  3. On a separate piece of paper indicate what other handlers and dogs will make up your team (3 dogs and 3 handlers); or indicate if you’d like to be on a draw team.

You can download the working rules and regulations here:
http://www.dogagility.org/documents/FilesForms/TopDogRules3.5.pdf

The Agility Challenge League

The semi-pro agility league we are starting is not limited to southern California. Weekly competitions will be in a simul-match format. The only real expenses to participating clubs is the dog registration fee and very nominal recording fees.

If you would like to establish a club (one or more teams), get in touch: BudHouston@gmail.com.

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Houston.Bud@gmail.com. The web store is up and running. www.dogagility.org/newstore. 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.

Top Dog 2015

December 30, 2014

We have contracted with Bishop-Lyons Entertainment LLC to shoot a “sizzle” segment to promote a dog agility reality program. Bishop-Lyons will endeavor to sell the program concept in the mass media marketplace.

Concept

The program focuses on the Top Dog team. The captains of the Top Dog team work with their club in the training and development of a competitive squad. A dozen or more dogs and their handlers will vie for a spot on the team. The captains of the team may, or may not, have dogs on the team in competition.

On a weekly basis the featured team competes in the ongoing Top Dog league. And once monthly that team will go into the world to challenge the high scoring league team on their home field.

The television program is uniquely tied to a broader social network. Clubs around the country, and around the world, can field league teams which compete on the same weekly courses as the Top Dog team and compete against them. And all of them will be eligible for a top spot on the program.

Preliminaries

We have identified a venue in Murietta California (near Temecula) for a Top Dog competition which will be used to shoot the sizzle segment.

The competition will be three rounds in a team format. We’re hoping for a lot of local interest to come out and play. Likely we will have to limit entry. At this competition we’ll introduce the Top Dog team.

At the same time, the course will be published as a challenge so that anyone in the world who wants to play these games and field a team in the Top Dog league can do so. All teams that compete on this premier weekend will become founding members of the world’s first semi-pro agility league.

Did I Say Semi-Pro?

Top Dog Agility will create a fund from recording fees to pay out to top performing teams in the league. This idea has some real possibilities. Dog agility is played around the world. We’ll welcome everyone to join the league.

At the same time, we will identify a robust curriculum of titles and meritorious awards for the earnest recreational player. This isn’t going to be about the top players in our sport only.

Consequences

Top Dog Agility will ultimately be the property of any network that buys the production of the reality show. Consequently I’ll be purging and allowing to go dormant existing blogs and Facebook accounts related to Top Dog Agility Players. These will likely get a new start, under the direction of our partners at Bishop-Lyons.

I will publish information about the upcoming competition in Murietta California; how to register dogs and teams, and so forth, on this blog. Email me off-line if you need help getting started with us.

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Houston.Bud@gmail.com. The web store is up and running. www.dogagility.org/newstore. 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.

Training with Games

November 26, 2014

It’s a relatively simple matter to cleverly disguise training objectives within the context of a simple agility game. Playing a “game” has certain benefits for the agility instructor. The game can be used to measure skills and analytical abilities for each student. And, of course, by putting a stopwatch on the dog and scoring his performance puts the special pressure competition on the handler.

Below I’ve adapted a very old agility game called “Power and Speed” to work on very specific training objectives. In case it’s not obvious, we’re working on a nice stable finish on the dogwalk in the Power section and pose a nice handling riddle to test analytical skills in the Speed section.

Power and Speed

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Briefing

Each handler and dog runs a course that is split into two sections: Power and Speed.

Power – The Power section is occupied only by the dogwalk on this course. It is performed back-to-back-to-back.

The Power section is un-timed. Consequently the start-line is positioned between the last obstacle of the Power section and the first obstacle of the Speed section.

Any faults earned by the dog will be added to the dog’s score. For example, if the dog misses a contact or earns a refusal on a contact obstacle, his score would be 5 for the Power section. Obviously, the ideal score for the Power section is 0.

Speed – The Speed section contains a straightforward Jumpers sequence. The goal is for the dog to run the course as fast as possible, preferably with no faults.

Scoring

Scoring for Power and Speed is Time, Plus Faults: faults from the Power section plus time from the Speed section plus faults from the Speed section. The dog with the lowest score wins.

Catching Up

Okay, it’s been a long time since I’ve written to my blog. You’ll have to forgive me for finding priorities that are higher. It’s kind of a perfect storm of circumstances. I have of chores and work to do; and I don’t have the stamina I used to have for working all day. There was a time I could work a full-day… then flip a switch, and work well into the evening. I just don’t have that switch working much anymore.

I have to ramp up for our month of Top Dog. And so I’m going to do a training series that features a new game or course each week.

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Houston.Bud@gmail.com. The web store is up and running. www.dogagility.org/newstore. 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.

Meet Me in Latrobe

September 16, 2014

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Here’s a picture from our front porch that I took a couple days ago. Fall has arrived with an abrupt turn in the temperature, chilling just enough to scare the tomatoes and make the humming birds consider the southern horizon. It’s a beautiful view and begs for sitting on the porch in the morning with a hot cup of coffee, wearing your robe a bit longer into the day than most people do.

Petit Prix

Hey, I have a couple events up and coming that will take me to Latrobe, PA. Obviously, there is the 2014 TDAA Petit Prix my very favorite agility event. That’s like six weeks away. For two days before the Petit Prix we’ll be doing the warm-up workshop. I get to work with canny competitors to gear them up for the tournament and give them a competitive edge in understanding the strategies of the games we’ll be playing. There might be a couple working slots still available. Contact Marsha Houston.Marsha@gmail.com for information.

Top Dog

This Saturday we’re doing a Top Dog league intro in Latrobe. I have no idea if anybody is actually going to show up. I didn’t take advanced reservations (because it’s not my league). But we’re going to film it with our vague notion of a reality show; and we’re going to play three games. It’ll be fun discovering who the Latrobe league team will be for the September Top Dog Challenge.

Now, if you’ve read down this far you’re actually reading my blog. I can loosen my tongue and not have to sound like I’m selling something. I have this vision you know, of an inexpensive/recreational approach to the game of dog agility. These are terms that easily slip off the tongue but don’t have much real definition in the world.

So let me put it like this, I’m a semi-retired man living in a cabin in the country. I have half a dozen continuing students. My wife and I run a small but very fun agility organization. And I subsist by the occasional seminar and selling ebooks for training dogs in agility. And you know, I can’t really afford to do dog agility like I want to. Agility trialing is like 10 times more expensive than a golfing habit.

I’m trying to create in Top Dog a model for play of the game that is as inexpensive and natural as a pick-up game of softball in the corner lot. Very few people really understand Top Dog. There’s plenty of information out there; I know because I’ve published it. But dang, we’re in the age of information over-load.  Being semi-retired I’m not in any hurry. I know that this new lonely outcast idea has to be built a brick at a time, a dog at a time, a club at a time.

Top Dog Challenge at Home

The weekend following the Top Dog intro in Latrobe, I’m going to invite a bunch of people to our place here in Watertown to run the challenge courses. This might be the last bit we can do outside this year.

Class Plan

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I pulled out an old skills exercise for our class this past week. This set-up is used for teaching the Tandem Turn which, as you should know, is a form of the rear cross in which the handler crosses behind his dog on the dismount of an obstacle, or on the flat.

We filmed most of the exercises (I bought a new camera last month!) I’m thinking that I want to make a DVD though I have no experience or particular expertise at that kind of publishing. I do know how to teach people to be master handlers… and that is the bit I’d like to share. It seems like a lot of work and bandwidth to put it all up as YouTube.

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Houston.Bud@gmail.com. The web store is up and running. www.dogagility.org/newstore. 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.

Business Model for Top Dog League Play

September 7, 2014

This discussion is intended for the dog agility professional engaged in training services as a business; providing training expertise, site, and equipment. The addition of agility league play to the business mix provides a supplementary income stream, attracts new customers, and enhances student retention.

This business model is intended to provide an overview of dog agility league play, its income potential, and the business owner’s relationship with Top Dog Agility Players.

Income

Dog agility league play is intended to be a weekly competition. It can be (and should be) conducted in conjunction with agility classes. If the business has 24 students who will participate in league play, and they are charged $5 each week for their participation, in a year the business earns $6,240.

Note that this is supplementary income and is not based on the recruitment of new students.

If the business is a large training center the math can be extraordinary. If there are 100 students and they are charged $10 each week, then the annual income from league play amounts to $52K.

A League of Your Own

Putting together an agility league in the training center can be an interesting logistical problem. You might have a staff of instructors who all have a different vision for training objectives for their own students. And you have students who come and go throughout the week on different days, at different hours.

The simple approach would be to select a course or game and set the floor for the entire week with that layout of equipment. Give the layout to your instructors and challenge them to find their training objectives without moving equipment.

The league play competition could be sandwiched between classes. For example, you have a one-hour class that begins at 6:00 pm; and another that begins at 7:30. To introduce league play you ask the later class to come a bit early. Briefing begins promptly at 7:00 pm, then walkthrough, then run the game. The later class begins immediately after the last dog has run and will have its own full hour.

Top Dog Agility Players

Top Dog Agility Players features a titling program that measures the skill and development of both recreational and serious dog agility competitors. This program can be conducted at the host clubs site without many of the associated costs and requirements imposed by other agility organizations.

Top Dog provides incentive for your customers to participate in league play. Their achievements are recognized and celebrated by agility titles conferred for each dog’s performance in competition.

Contact

If you would like to participate in Top Dog Agility Players league competition contact Bud Houston at Houston.Bud@gmail.com. We will endeavor to help you get your league competition up and running smoothly.

How to Participate!

Anyone (club, group or individual) may set up any or all of the Challenge Courses. For results to be recorded for this event the courses must be run in the month of September, 2014, and results must be reported by midnight on September 30, 2014.

If you would like to play, these are important resources for you:

Top Dog Pup Registration Form (it’s free);
Scorekeeping Package for September 2014 Challenge Courses (Excel file);
Top Dog Rules and Regulations (Our simple system for scoring performance)

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Houston.Bud@gmail.com. Visit the web store at: www.dogagility.org/newstore. Please note that the web store carries The Book of Agility Games. This is an important reference for any club who plays the variety of games that we’ll play in Top Dog Agility Players.

Kickstarting The Agility Challenge Program

September 4, 2014

On a practical lark, I have initiated a Kickstarter project for The Agility Challenge Program. We are determined to create programming (internet streaming) for agility fans! Follow this link:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1378126423/1096756422?token=fa02cee2

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Houston.Bud@gmail.com. The web store is up and running. www.dogagility.org/newstore. 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.