The Weakest Link is a dog’s choice game based on a television show from several years ago in which contestants earned a growing pot of cash that couldn’t be kept until “banked”.

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Briefing

The objective of The Weakest Link is to score as many points as possible in the allotted time. Only “banked” points will count toward the final score.

Small dogs have 60 seconds, big dogs have 55 seconds to accumulate the best score possible.

The handler starts the round by directing the dog to any obstacle to earn points. Each obstacle taken by the dog must be worth as much as or more than the previous obstacle taken. The dog’s potential score will increase as each obstacle value is added to the overall total. Points earned for the performance of obstacles earned will be credited to “potential” points. But the dog can’t keep or count on these points until they are “banked”.

Points are banked when the dog performs the tire. When the dog banks his points they are kept secure toward the final score and cannot be lost. When points are banked the potential points score is set to zero; and the dog may begin again with lower value obstacles.

Each sequence banked must be unique. That means there must be at least one difference from any sequence previously banked. The difference might be what obstacles are performed, the order in which obstacles are performed, or the direction which obstacles are performed.

Back-to-back performance of obstacles is permitted, but only back-to-back. A third performance shall constitute a fault.

This course includes a “Gamble”, or distance challenge. The numbered sequence, two jumps and a tunnel are valued at 16 points. The gamble is bi-directional.

If a dog faults, all potential points are lost (banked points can never be taken away from the dog). Faults include:

  • Dropped bars
  • Missed contacts
  • Taking an obstacle of a lesser value than the previous taken
  • Taking an obstacle out of sequence in the gamble (only faulted if the cumulative sequence violates the points rule)
  • Failing to bank points before the final whistle

When a dog faults the judge will call “fault”. The handler is obligated to direct the dog to the first obstacle in a new sequence to earn potential points.

If a bar is dropped on a jump, that jump is out of play for the remainder of the game except when that jump is in the gamble sequence. Every attempt will be made to reset the bar on a gamble sequence; if it has not been reset, the dog must be directed between the standards of the jump.

Scoring

Weakest link is scored points, then time. Time is a tiebreaker. The point values are:

  • Jumps, 2 points
  • Tire or tunnels, 4 points
  • Contact obstacles, 6 points
  • Weave poles, 8 points
  • Gamble, double the usual value of the obstacles in the gamble

In the dog’s score each number earned is added to the potential points until the dog “banks” those points. Points that are not banked are lost on a fault or when time expires.

 

Strategies

  • The winner of this game is likely to be the dog that successfully completed the gamble more times than any other dog. The handler must be mindful that every sequence must be unique, as the judge has a mind like a steel trap and will fault a repeated performance. Key to scoring on the gamble multiple times will be finding different combinations that end with the 16-point gamble.
  • When the dog earns a fault… don’t go to the bank. You have nothing to deposit. The next obstacle the dog takes will begin a new accumulation.
  • On this course, when attempting the gamble as numbered it is not a terrible fault if the dog commits to A-frame rather than the tunnel. The “wrong course” doesn’t keep the dog from earning the simple value of obstacles. Instead of earning 16 points, the dog will earn 10.
  • On this course, when attempting the gamble in reverse order, if the handler has to step over the line after the pipe tunnel, it would be a mistake to go on to the jump, because that would be a fault for taking an obstacle of lesser value than the last. So, if you must step over the line, the dog should be turned around to repeat the pipe tunnel or put up and over the A-frame before going to the bank.

 

The Warm-Up Workshop

Consistent with tradition, we set aside two days before the Petit Prix for the warm-up workshop, lead by Bud Houston. The workshop is provides very detailed and granular analysis of games strategies and strategies for excelling in the Petit Prix tournament.

Only a few working spots remain. This is an opportunity to acclimate a dog to the building and turf and equipment as the Petit Prix. While courses and games in the workshop will be judged using Superior rules for performance, qualifying scores will accorded to a dog at their respective levels.

Oct   3 – 4  , 2018   TDAA PETIT PRIX warm-up workshop  Trial number T18998
at Four Seasons K9 Athlete Ctr
Washingtonville, OH
Workshop presenter:  Bud Houston
Contact:  Marsha Houston at Houston.marsha@gmail.com
Working with the Petit Prix site and equipment; the workshop provides a comprehensive discussion of Petit Prix games and strategies. Each morning session includes two games and a standard course; each afternoon session one game and one standard.
Registration

 

Early Bird Reminder

Entries Postmarked by tomorrow 7/14/18 get a $20 discount for each dog. You can download the Petit Prix premium following the link below:

Oct  5 – 6 – 7 , 2018   TDAA PETIT PRIX  Trial number T18999
at Four Seasons K9 Athlete Ctr
Washingtonville, OH
Judges:  Sheri Rockhill, Pittsburgh, PA,  and Christina Wakefield, Louisville, KY
Contact:  Marsha Houston at Houston.marsha@gmail.com
Indoors on padded turf, TDAA-sized equipment, 10 runs for all + final round.
Premium

 

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Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Houston.Bud@gmail.com. Visit our web store: www.dogagility.org/newstore. You’ll find in the web store The Book of Agility Games, a comprehensive reference to all manner of agility games played for competition and fun around the world.