a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: USDAA rule updates for 2008

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

USDAA rule updates for 2008

SUMMARY: Good news for Performance dogs

Friend and Bay Teammate Holly Newman sent this to the club and gave me permission to post verbatim here. Thanks, Holly!

If you have been paying close attention to the USDAA Performance Program changes for 2008, then this is redundant and you can delete it. But if you haven't, and you have a Performance or a split-Pf/Ch dog, the rule changes are VERY important as regards titling.

Here are the highlights from http://www.usdaa.com/article.cfm?newsID=793, with some confirmed interpretations.


1. "...the Board has postponed the inclusion of Relay qualifications in the Performance Dog I, II and III titles (PD1, PD2 & PD3) to January 1, 2009."

This change was originally supposed to happen on January 1, 2008, but they found that in some areas, people were having trouble getting enough Performance dog entries to put together a meaningful Relay class. So they're giving an extra year for the program to grow. So the PD1,2,3 still only requires Standard, Jumpers, Gamblers, and Snooker classes.

2. "...Similarly, tournament qualification inclusion in the Accomplished Performance Dog title will be postponed until January 1, 2009."

This change is for the same reasons as #1. So the APD through 2008 requires 5 of each Standard and Games class, and 5 PNS legs but no Relay, VP or PSJ legs.

3. "...because the effective dates of implementation of the relay and tournament requirements in the versatility titles -[PDI, PDII, PDIII, and APD] - are being postponed for another full year to 2009, there will be no grandfathering of the old titling requirements for these awards once the new regulations become effective."

Wow, this means that if you don't finish your APD in 2008, you WILL have to meet all of the new Tournament and Relay requirements. When the ADCH changed to require tournaments and the MAD changed from 7 Standard to 5, there was a year of grandfathering when you could earn your ADCH under the old rules if you got your MAD by a certain date. NOT SO with the new APD requirements.


1. "...beginning in 2008, the Lifetime Achievement Award will be calculated without regard to which program a qualification has been earned."

This one is a HUGE change for those of us with aging dogs. We still have to get 15 legs of everything (except Tournament) and 150 total, but the 15 legs NO LONGER have to be all in Championship. They can be any combination of Championship and Performance. Here's why this is huge: in the past, if you had a struggle for 15 in any Championship class, you had to decide whether to go for the LAA or the APD. In other words, you might have struggled for one or two last Ch Gamblers to get 15, which means you never had an opportunity to get the 5 Pf Gamblers you need for APD. Now, you can move to Pf and all of the Ch and Pf legs combine toward the 15 required in each class. This means that you can go for your APD without sacrificing your LAA goals. Woo hoo! I'm expecting this single change to move a lot of dogs to Performance, which will also help alleviate the problems that led to #1 and #2 above.

2. "In all cases, as in previous changes, any qualifications earned become a part of a competitor's permanent record, and such qualifications will be considered at such time a new titling requirement may become effective. For example, 2007 qualifications in Performance tournaments will count toward the Lifetime Achievement award under its new formula beginning January 1, 2008."

So if you had gone back and forth between Ch and Pf for any reason, you might have earned some Pf legs. Even if you earned these prior to this year, they will count under the new combo rules. This is GREAT news for the dogs that have re-entered in Pf after an injury, because the legs they have already earned will count toward the LAA minimums.


  1. Do you know if the legs have to be a mixture or can they be all from Perf.?

    On the one hand I think a 2 year grace period for those Tourney/Relay legs for the APD is plenty so they shouldn't need to provide another year of grandfathering. On the other hand it's not much help if you live in an area where you can't get relay or team partners and your dog's not getting any younger. Hopefully the new rules will encourage more people to take advantage of the drop in height for their older dogs. There are a huge number of dogs in the 16" PIII classes in my area this year compared to last, hopefully other areas will enjoy increases as well.

  2. For LAA, since it says "...the Lifetime Achievement Award will be calculated without regard to which program a qualification has been earned." and Holly confirmed "They can be any combination of Championship and Performance. ", it seems clear to me that that means they can all be Performance.

    I think that this change in particular will draw a lot more people into Performance, just based on people I know in this area.