One of my agility instructors, Diane Eggleston, has been trying to get me interested in running my dogs in the Teacup Dogs Agility Association trials in our area. My feelings were that this was a group of agility folks who could not make the "big time" in the AKC trials and wanted something "easier" for their dogs.
I kept pooh-poohing the idea, until one day I said I'd try it. The weekend of December 10th-11th I entered my first TDAS trial with my Norfolks, Ollie and Beacon. I had no idea what to expect, and what I saw and experienced was absolutely wonderful!
The first thing I noticed was that the equipment (except the dogwalk) is smaller, the jumps are narrower and the distance between obstacles is shorter. The times are very fast. When I walked the course I felt as though I should take tiny steps as everything appeared so little. When I ran Beacon for the first time I found that this "easy" course was very hard and very fast. Because of the shorter distances between jumps, I really had to have a plan, think fast and move my old body at record speed! It was so much fun. Everyone cheered for each other, laughed at our mistakes, and was so supportive of my first attempts in this venue.
Taken from the Rules and Regulations of the TDAS, "The purpose of the Teacup Dog Agility Association is to provide a competitive venue for dogs of small stature without regard to breed or pedigree; and to encourage course challenges that are comparable to course challenges which face large dog handlers in other popular venues."
The rules are different, and you learn them as you go along. TDAA is for any dog, purebred or not, that measures 17" or less at the withers.
The jump heights are 4", 8", 12" and 16". There are special exemptions for long-backed dogs and short-legged dogs as well as veteran dogs. There are three titles for Standard competition: Teacup Beginner Agile Dog (TBAD), Teacup Intermediate Agile Dog (TIAD), and Teacup Superior Agile Dog (TSAD).
The Games titles are: Teacup Games 1 (TG1), Teacup Games 2 (TG2) and Teacup Games 3 (TG3).
At the Beginner and Intermediate levels, the handler/dog team needs three qualifying scores to title. Five Qs are needed at the Superior level. The ultimate goal is to earn the title, Teacup Agile Dog Champion (TADCh). This takes 10 more Qs in Standard with three wins, and 10 Qs in at least five different games with three wins.
TDAA offers four runs a day. There are two Standard courses offered at the three levels. You will find the same equipment used as in AKC, but smaller. There is no jumper class. The two Game classes are the most challenging and the most difficult (my opinion), but are also the most fun. Again, there are three levels in Games. Many of the games are found in other agility organizations. Anyone can "make up" a game and have it submitted to the TTDA for review and approval.
My experience was so very positive and I would encourage all of you with Norfolks or mix breed dogs to give it a try. Ollie earned two Standard legs and two Games legs and was High in Trial. Beacon earned one leg in each class and almost wagged her tail off! I am looking forward to the next trial.
If you are interested in learning more about the TDAA go to their website at www.dogwoodagility.com or write to Teacup Dog Agility Association, PO Box 69, Ostrander, OH 43061.
ANTIC, March, 2006
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