All sized dogs can compete in all other venues, AKC, USDAA, NADAC, CPE, UKC but only dogs under 17″ at the shoulders may compete in TDAA. The jump heights in TDAA are 4″ – 16″ where the 12″ setting is for the Large Dog division and 16″ being for the Supers. The reason for it’s inception is pretty self explanatory once you see the equipment they use and the length of the courses they run. It is pint sized for the pint sized dogs without taking one once away from the difficulty of the course as far as handling. It merely makes a course “fair” for the smaller dogs. Remember that while the obstacles look cute and small, the course is also set small so they are running a course that is scaled down as well keeping the handler on their toes.
And don’t think that TDAA is a boring venue with only standard classes, it in fact is full of fun classes of which we will be looking at some of today. Many of these games will be familiar with other venues, but most are only found in TDAA. The list thus far includes 56 different games like Black Hole, Chutes and Ladders, Connect the Dots, Near and Far and Weakest which we will look at today. They also have more common games such as FAST!, Touch N’ Go, Full House and Jumpers.
Black Hole starts on the table obstacle and ends at the finish line. The team runs the course in numerical order accumulating points for each correctly performed obstacle. The Black Holes are the pipe tunnels and are set as traps throughout the course. If the dog goes into a pipe tunnel they are off course and scoring ends. The handler must then direct their dog to the table to stop the time.
Chutes and Ladders starts at the start line and ends on the finish line. The team runs a course comprised of contact obstacles and tunnels in numerical order. There are variations to the scoring of the game.
Connect the Dots starts and finishes on the table and only becomes live once the dog is directed on it. The object of the game is to collect points from dot to dot with the dots being the contact obstacles. No points are required to collect the first dot, but are encouraged. Each obstacle including the dots can only be performed twice for points overall. Each obstacle between dots may be preformed only once for points. The dots need to have points in between in order for the dot to count. If an obstacle is faulted all points gained from the previous dot forward are lost. If a dot is faulted the team must repeat the dot in order to earn the accumulated points. There is 50 seconds of play on the clock.
Near and Far is a distance challenge game and starts on the start line and ends at the finish line. The team will perform a numbered course and at two specified places on the course the dog will be required to perform obstacles while the handler stays behind a containment line. Only in level one can the handler cross the line and only receive a penalty, all other levels will result in a NQ.
Weakest Link is a game where the team has 60 seconds to accumulate points and bank them by performing the tire obstacle before those points will count toward the overall score. Each obstacle has an allotted amount of points and each obstacle taken has to be the same or more points than the previous obstacle. Each banked sequence must be different by at least one obstacle. When the team banks a set of points they are safe and they start over collecting points. When the 60 seconds is up only banked points will be counted.
So you can see there are some really great games to play in TDAA as well as standard classes so don’t be shy and give them a go the next time you compete at a TDAA trial, even if it is your first time. Be sure to check out our full line of both practice and competition TDAA agility equipment at www.affordableagility.com For more information on the different games you can visit the TDAA website Games Briefing page.