Rules Changes for Comment


The Teacup Dogs Agility Association is due for a revision of rules. While these changes are few, they are certainly substantial.

The following are presented for your review and comment.

Executive Summary

  1. The TDAA will allow a dog’s handler/owner to choose what jump height is appropriate for that dog. That means that all jump height exemptions based on body type will go away; and jump heights will become self selecting.These changes are to section 3.5 Jump Heights.
  2. The TDAA has moved sections describing the provisions for granting additional time to Veterans Dogs and Disabled Handlers to section 5 Superior Agility Classes, specifically 5.3.2 Standard Course Times. These paragraphs were originally (mis) placed in section 3.5.
  3. The TDAA will no longer observe a four-paw safety rule on contacts in the Beginner Standard class (or in any game using Beginner rules for performance). The Beginner dog will have three chances to perform a contact obstacle, and would not be faulted until a third on-and-off refusal.These changes are to section 7 Beginner Agility Classes, specifically 7.2 Performance Standards.

These revised pages from Rules and Regulations v 5.5 are presented in their entirety, below.

The real questions for the TDAA will be when these rules should go into effect.  Our current thinking is that we will make the rules changes optional for any club that has a trial scheduled in 2014; and make the official release date January 1, 2015.

On the other hand, we would very much appreciate implementation of these changes, especially changes to jump height requirements, by any club that would like to help us test the implications of the changes on the trial software.

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3.5 Jump Heights

Measured heights are determined based on the height of the dog at the withers.  Dogs of the same measured height compete at the same course times, even when jump heights differ. Dogs of the same measured height compete against each other.

3.5.1 Measuring of dogs and jump height cards

All dogs not having a permanent jump height certificate will be required to be measured by the judge of record at a trial. The judge will record the dog’s measured height and legibly print their name on the measuring form. After receiving two measurements that agree, the dog will receive an official jump height certificate. If two measurements result in two different measured heights, then a third judge is required to make a final measurement.

A dog may be measured using wickets or a measuring device.

3.5.2 Measured heights

  • 2′′ measured height ~ dogs measuring 4′′ or less at the withers
  • 4′′ measured height ~ dogs measuring 8′′ or less at the withers
  • 8′′ measured height ~ dogs measuring 12′′ or less at the withers
  • 12′′ measured height ~ dogs measuring 16′′ or less at the withers
  • 16′′ measured height ~ dogs measuring 20″ or less at the withers.

3.5.3 Guidelines for Jump Height Selection

A dog’s owner or handler may enter a dog at any jump height desired. Consequently, no special provisions are made granting jump height exemptions (formerly body type exemptions) for dogs. Dogs jumping at a height other than their measured height will earn qualifying legs and all TDAA titles.

A dog may enter a trial at only one jump height. A dog’s jump height may be changed, at the trial, only with the permission of the trial secretary.

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5.3.2 Standard Course Times

In tests in which performance is measured on the basis of faults, the judge shall measure the dog’s path and set a Standard Course Time (SCT). For standard classes the judge shall use the number at the low end of the range. This is typically automatically calculated by the trial software.

The Superior rate for standard courses for dogs jumping 4” and 8′′ shall be 1.9 yards per second plus 5 seconds for table performance, and for games courses in a range between 1.9 and 2.3 yards per second. The Superior rate for standard courses for dogs jumping 12′′ and 16′′ shall be 2.0 yards per second plus 5 seconds for table performance, and for games courses in a range between 2.0 and 2.3 yards per second. Maximum course time shall be set at 1.5 times the standard course time. Veterans Dogs

A veteran dog is a dog of at least 7 years of age. Veteran dogs receive an extension in standard course time. 4′′ (measured height) veterans receive an additional 4 seconds while 8′′, 12′′, and 16′′ veterans receive an additional 2 seconds. Disabled Handlers

A time exemption will be granted to disabled handlers amounting to 4 seconds standard course times and qualifying course times for games classes. The proof of disability shall be the issued disability parking tag. There will be no special system of titling for disabled handlers.

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7 Beginner Agility Classes

All dogs in sound physical condition, meeting the height specifications of the organization, and familiar with all obstacles shall be eligible for participation in this class.

7.1 Minimum Obstacle Requirements

A course shall include a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 14 obstacles in the Beginner class. All three contact obstacles (teeter, dogwalk, and A-frame) are required, and only three contact performances are allowed. Weave poles are not allowed.

Otherwise, the obstacle requirements shall be the same as used in the Superior class.

7.2 Performance Standards

Refusals are not faulted on the dog’s approach to any obstacle.

Leaving a contact obstacle on the ascent side, when it is the next obstacle in sequence, after committing all four paws, shall not be faulted. The dog may attempt the obstacle three times only. After a third refusal the performance shall be deemed a failure to perform. The judge shall advise the exhibitor to continue on course. If the dog is directed back onto the contact obstacle, the performance shall be scored a wrong course.

The first failure to perform will be scored as 20 faults; the second failure to perform will be scored as elimination.

Otherwise, performance faults shall be the same as used in the Superior class.


Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston Visit the web store at: 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 play in the TDAA.

TDAA on Facebook!

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I’m pleased to announce that the Teacup Dogs Agility Association now owns a Facebook page! This is a project that has been under development for some time. The purpose of the Facebook page is to provide fans of the TDAA with a sociable community forum (network) to post brags, pictures and news of special interest.

TDAA’s Facebook page will not replace our Yahoo groups, you needn’t be a TDAA member to join, and no one will be connected without setting up a personal Facebook account and requesting to join us on Facebook.

TDAA’s Facebook page is intended to replace the Newsletter for sharing information of broad interest. We’ll have no size limitations; no extreme labor requirements; no printed matter; no postage; and no more submission deadlines.

If you want to celebrate and share your dog’s most recent and magnificent accomplishment (a TACh for example) or stellar video, just post picture or link to video and brag on Facebook.

If you want to remind exhibitors about an upcoming event, or if you want to share group pics from your trials, just post on TDAA’s Facebook page!

To become a fan of TDAA on Facebook follow this link:

I look forward to seeing your contributions to our Facebook community forum!


Bud Houston


Divesting Assets

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The TDAA effective January 1, 2011 is (was) no longer a 501c(7) not-for-profit organization. We operate under Topdog Agility Players, an Ohio-based LLC.

We have some unfinished business. Approximately $90,000 in assets must be divested to other not-for-profit entities. We would like to find out from our membership to what charitable organizations you would like to see this money donated.

The TDAA will make some donations at the behest of former members of the Board. We will make charitable contributions in the names of these people who’ve given countless hours of work to make the TDAA a viable concern. We urge former Board members to contact us with your dates of service. Charitable contributions will be made in your names based on length of service to the TDAA and to the charitable organization of your choice.

The TDAA also has certain physical assets which will be donated to charitable organizations within reasonable driving/shipping distance from our home office in Waterford, Ohio.

For our members, please send your suggestions for charitable contribution directly to: We will not review public discussion lists to make our decisions.

When we have a specific plan for divesting assets we will publish that plan to our membership.