The YouTube Agility Challenge

This is a test presentation of event results linking individual records to YouTube recordings. We’re excited by the possibilities. The month isn’t over yet; and we expect results from other quarters.

These results are from the League Challenge, the final round we ran at Queen City earlier this month. The experiment surely wasn’t perfect. Our novice camera-people missed some of the performances. And two of the final team runs were missed. But the world isn’t perfect.

Sharon Lafuse, Garnette, Belgian Sheepdog, 0, 45.36, 1,

Brenda Gilday, Bella, Miniature Schnauzer, 0, 52.89, 2,  

Marsha Houston, Katniss, Mix, 0, 84.49, 3,

Catherine Berberich, Penny, Lab, 5, 44.57, 4,  

Cindy Ponyah, Molly, Jack Russell Terrier, 5, 51.68, 5,

Marsha Houston, Phoenix, Border Collie, 5, 55.38, 6,

Jane Dewey, Tattle, Sheltie, 5, 65.14, 7,

Chris Puls, Dazzle, Malinois, 10, 54.19, 8,

Linda Schwartz, Zorro, Schipperke, 10, 60.17, 9,

Diane Carr, Drifter, Border Collie, 10, 60.51, 10,

Ruth Ann Stewart, Coyote, Poodle, 10, 71.47, 11,

Catherine Berberich, Erik, Lab, 10, 75.61, 12,

Brenda Gilday, Leela, Border Collie, 15, 50.88, 13,

Erica Behnke, Tressel, Brittany, 15, 60.23, 14,

Bud Houston, Kory, Border Collie, 15, 75.64, 15,

Kandy Robinson, Frenzie, Border Collie, 25, 74.79, 16,

Cindy Ponyah, Nikki, Jack Russell Terrier, 35, 55.28, 17,

Pearl Tsang, Simeon, Tervuren, 35, 77.71, 18,

Shirley Harrison, Thistle, Border Collie, 60, 76.64, 19,

The number of dogs that ran the final round was roughly half of the dogs who showed up; many people bailed because they didn’t make the “team”. It’s a bit of an error in thinking, as this is the round that ultimately will earn the greatest number of Lifetime Performance points.  

It’s worth pointing out, again, that the League Team was selected before the running of the final round. As it happens this was not collectively the best performance of the dogs on the team for the evening. Indeed, the first place dog (Sharon Lafuse’s Belgian Shepherd Garnette) just missed getting a spot on the team.

It’s All About Me

As I do the editing of this file, I consider not including the video/YouTube of my own run with Kory. It was pretty pathetic. On the evening my arthritis has me nearly crippled and I cannot provide the minimum kind of movement that a brilliant distance working dog like Kory needs to be well directed. But don’t you know… it’s this human notion of self-reflection. We all have a story, an excuse, a brag, and a ponderable.

In a way that’s the magic of the YouTube recording. It’s trapped there, in amber, and forever.  Life, don’t you know, is like a movie that goes on and on. We take these snapshots of a moment in space and the overall movie is lost. It’s not the 35 year old man out there out-running a bunch of little old ladies with his pure-for-motion Sheltie. No, it’s the 60+ guy with arthritic knees running his compensatory Border Collie.

Everybody’s going to have a story. So… the YouTube stays.

Crazy Eddie

A course that is published by Top Dog is forever open to play. You must appreciate that “forever” is a very long time. You may run a two year old pup on a course today, and then run that same dog on the same course when he is seven years old. It allows the interesting prospect of comparing the performance of the dog on the course at two unique intervals in his life.

Let’s take this unusual event recording a step farther. Let’s say that in 20 years the dogs with which you competed on this course are over the bridge and you’ve moved on to a new generation of dogs. That’s what dog lovers do. Now, wouldn’t it be fun to compete on the same course or game with two separate generations of dogs?

The real complication of this is the data processing puzzle. Lifetime Performance Points are awarded on a fairly strict 1 point for every lesser score. Because the course is open for play “forever”… this means that a dog who earns 20 LPP on a course today might ultimately earn 800 points, or more, over the course of 10 years or so; even though he only ran on the course that one time.

How to Participate!

Anyone (club, group or individual) may set up any or all of the Challenge Courses. For results to be recorded for this event the courses must be run in the month of August, 2014, and results must be reported by midnight on August 31, 2014.

If you would like to play, these are important resources for you:

Top Dog Pup Registration Form (it’s free);
Scorekeeping Package for August 2014 Challenge Courses (Excel file);
Top Dog Rules and Regulations (Our simple system for scoring performance)


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’ll play in Top Dog Agility Players.


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