a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: The Campaign

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

The Campaign

SUMMARY: Because it's all about the titles.
For many years I've heard about show dogs (yeah, the pretty, conformation-type show dogs) who campaign for their championships. That's not going out and shaking hands and kissing babies; no, it is in the true sense of the word: "To engage in an operation planned to achieve a certain goal." Or, I'm running a campaign: "An operation or series of operations energetically pursued to accomplish a purpose." Yeah!

I started describing to a friend my nascent agility goals for the next year, and she pointed out, fondly and with a little amazement, "You're campaigning!" And, yep, it took me only a moment to realize that that's exactly what I'm thinkin', dogs & gods be willing and the tide don't rise.

So, here's the whole plan: By the end of 2012, complete:
  • In USDAA:
    • Tika's PTM-Platinum (highest tournament award you can get)
    • Tika's LAA-Platinum (highest lifetime you can get)
    • Tika's PDCH-Gold (Bonus goal)  (2nd-highest you can get)
    • Boost's USDAA ADCH (championship)
  • In CPE:
    • Tika's  C-ATE (highest you can get...well, then you can repeat it and get C-ATE2, ad infinitum)
    • (Bonus goals) Tika's ExST, ExSN, ExJP, ExFH
    • Boost's  C-ATCH (championship)
OK, that's all gobbledygook, eh? Here are the descriptions:
  • PTM-Platinum: Performance Tournament Master platinum, that's  50 Performance Tournament Qs (Grand Prix, Steeplechase, and DAM Team, with at least 10 in each).
    Tika earned her TM-Platinum--same thing in the Championship level--and now we're doing it all over again. What Tika needs: A DAM Q and any other Q.
  • LAA-Platinum: Lifetime Achievement Award Platinum. That's 500 Qs in any Masters, P3, or Tournament class, with at least 50 in each regular titling class (Standard, Jumpers, Snooker, Gamblers, Pairs). What Tika needs: 95 Qs. (We already have the required 50 each.)
  • PDCH-Gold: Performance Championship Gold: At least 35 Qs in each regular titling class and at least 35 tournament Qs. What Tika needs:  9 Standard, 4 Pairs Relay, 1 Gamblers, 9 Snooker, 6 Jumpers.
  • ADCH: Agility Dog Champion. That's 5 Qs in each of the regular titling classes--3 of hte Snookers must be SuperQs--plus 5 tournaments with at least 1 of each tournament. What Boost needs: 2 superQs, 2 Jumpers. (You'd think this would be easy--just 4 Qs. Apparently not.)
  • C-ATE: CPE Agility Team Extraordinaire. That's 5000 points at level C (which, unlike lower levels in CPE, requires clean runs for Qs), including at least 20 Qs in each of the 7 classes. Point values vary by class; for example, Standard is 25 points, Jumpers is 20, Colors is 15. My estimate is that, on average, runs on any given weekend average about 21.5 points each. What Tika needs: 965 points, roughly 46 Qs (she already has her 20 in all 7 classes).
  • ExST ExSN ExJP ExFH: Extraordinaire [class], 30 of that class at level C. So my stretch goal is for Standard, Snooker, Jackpot (Gamblers), and Full House Ex titles. We might also end up with our Wildcard, Colors, and  Jumpers Ex, too, but those aren't specific goals.  What Tika needs: ExST: Oh, we got this last weekend! Yeah! ExSN: 2 Qs. ExJP: 1 Q. ExFH: 2 Qs.
  • C-ATCH: CPE Agility Trial Champion. You compete at Level 5 to earn this, where you can still have some faults but fewer than you can at lower levels. For example, you can still Q in Jumpers with one bar down. It requires 10 Standard and 5 each of the other 6 classes. What Boost needs: 6 Standard, 5 colors, 2 Wildcard, 3 Snooker. (Already has Jackpot, FullHouse, and Jumpers).
How I'm going to get them:
  • Do more agility for a year, back to a crazy schedule.  For the next 12 months, I count about 24 trials.  Our highest-ever year was 23 trials, and I was pretty burned out. But this time, I have specific goals and so have a stopping point, as well.  Well, the dogs will enjoy it all!
  • Try to fix some of the things that are broken. In particular with Boost, although Tika can always use a refresher. I have plans that I'm gradually working on in the background; more on that some other time.
I'm going to try to come up with some kind of table or chart to track this and see our progress at a glance. Sometime before this weekend, because we have another trial coming up, and I hope I'll be able to tick off a few items!


  1. Good luck with your goals! I'm coming up on a 6-7 week rest period which I'm really looking forward to. I'm even taking a break from teaching and actually going to take some classes with my dogs. Starting about mid-January I'm slowly ramping up to AKC Nats in March and then taking another solid break after that.

  2. Good luck with your goals!!!

  3. I've been so very much enjoying having fewer agility weekends--it'll be interesting to see how I actually deal with such an intense load. The driving factor--which I've mentioned in other places but not in this post--is Tika getting older. She'll be 11 in February.