New Year’s Message from the Secretary



January courses and rosters should be out later today.

I have received feedback from many of the team captains and players based on the query I sent out a short while back. Based on that feedback and some other ideas, I have been editing the rules. Those will be out sometime this week. Changes include modifications to the fault schedule, season length, titles, levels, clarification to some of the equipment that is described, clarification on a couple of existing faults, addition of a junior handler category, etc. Most are very small changes.

Novice and Open level handlers will get a little assistance for their scores and success. Clubs with fewer than 5 dogs will also be getting a little help as they compete against larger teams.

LPP calculation remains the same. Team LPP calculation remains the same, but each season will be a discreet unit rather than running for the entire year.

In the hopes of getting some more of our teams back in the game, we have a New Year’s gift. For the first 3 months of this year, all run fees are WAIVED as are new dog registrations. All registrations paid in December will be refunded. Funds paid by individuals will be directly refunded. Funds paid by host clubs will be refunded upon request OR held as a credit on future run fees and registrations when they start back up in April.

Until further notice, junior handlers will not need to pay registration fees or run fees. Juniors are defined as under 17 years of age. Their status as a junior ends on the day after their 18th birthday. If sufficient junior handlers are in the leagues, there may be a mini-league for them, but they will run on the same league courses as everyone else.

I will be working with the team captains on some ideas for handling the videos. I want your life to easier in this respect.

I am excited about some awards that I will be sending out when I get them in hand. I hope you will like them. Certificates will also be coming. As I have mentioned previously, the database had some errors that are not unexpected given how long it has been in use. I will be using this data for certificates, and I will carryover all LPP earned as indicated in the previous database to the new one.

That is all I have for now. I look forward to an exciting new year. As always, ANYONE can submit courses for review to be used in the league. This includes games. Judges from other organizations (I know we have some TDAA judges competing) are definitely welcome to submit. Obviously, TDAA courses would need to be modified, and some elements of approved maps for other organizations should be modified so as not to be considered plagiarized.


Questions comments & snide remarks should be directed to Melissa Wallace at payments for the IDAL should be directed to this page: Bud Houston’s Book of Games is available at Any donations given to support the effort to keep it updated will go to Bud.


1st Quarter Series 2016 National Dog Agility League

Playing with the NDAL is a simple matter. We’re running three separate leagues based on the size of the working space. So, if you have a working space big enough you can participate in any or all of the three leagues.

Each of the leagues also has a flavor or level of difficulty for the courses played.

50×50 ~ Focusing on international skills

50×70 ~ Focusing on masters skills

60×90 ~ Focusing on basic to intermediate skills (more emphasis on flow)

The series will run for three months. Below is a course map for each. Each has a unique downloadable scorekeeping worksheet.

Dogs must be registered with the National Dog Agility League. For now, the franchise clubs keep the fee or pass it along as a perk to your league players. You can download the registration form HERE.

All courses in the first series will be conducted under Top Dog Agility Players rules for performance. The Top Dog Rules and Regulations can be downloaded HERE.

50 x 50

Download the scorekeeping worksheet: HERE

This course is intended to allow the practice of “international” handling skills. The game is scored Time, Plus Faults.


50 x 70

Download the scorekeeping worksheet: HERE

This course is intended to test handling skills somewhere between an intermediate level and masters level. The game is scored Time, Plus Faults.


60 x 90

Download the scorekeeping worksheet: HERE

The focus of the 60′ x 90′ league is to provide smooth and flowing courses focusing on basic to intermediate skills. Of course there will be challenges …

That is not to say that this league is reserved for Novice players. That’s not the idea at all. At the end of the day we wanted a league offering that didn’t make people’s heads hurt when walking the course… preferring instead, something logical and smooth.


League Rules and Stipulations ~ 1st Quarter Series 2015

  1. The league will run three months with a separate competition held each month.
  2. Three distinct league competitions shall be conducted each month, based on the size of the working space and by level of challenge. The 1st Quarter Series shall be:50×70 ~ Focusing on masters skillsFranchise clubs are free and encouraged to participate in all three of the ongoing leagues.
  3. 60×90 ~ Focusing on intermediate to masters skills (more emphasis on flow)
  4. 50×50 ~ Focusing on international skills
  5. Numbered courses and games shall be scored according to Top Dog Agility rules for performance. Any game can be used so long as placements are clearly defined and the game can be played by all participants in a timely fashion (about one hour).
  6. For each of the three separate leagues team results and MVP (Most Valuable Puppy) statistics will be tracked by the League Secretary and reported back to the league membership at the termination of the league schedule.
  7. The League Secretary shall be responsible for maintaining a roster ofw teams, posting results of league competitions and accumulated scores in a timely fashion. The League Secretary shall be eligible to participate in competition with one or more dogs.

Determining Team and MVP Scores

  1. Team scores will be determined by placement and LPP earned by the top scoring five dogs for each participating franchise.
  2. MVP scores will be determined by placement and total accumulated LPP. The team and dog with the highest accumulated points after eight weeks shall be determined the winner.
  3. Ties between two or more teams shall be resolved by standing in secondary and tertiary league competitions.Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston The web store is up and running. You’ll find in the web store The Book of Agility Games, an invaluable reference to clubs engaged in league play.
  4. Blog1082 NDAL

December NDAL Game ~ Winter Series 2015


This is the final game of the 2015 winter series.

It is a simple (?) numbered course that is scored Time, Plus Faults.

Jumping Into the League

We welcome all new clubs who would like to establish league franchises. The National Dog Agility League stands apart from most agility organizations in the world. This is not a titling organization; and it’s really inexpensive to play.

Think of it this way… The National Dog Agility League is the only world championship forum to which all dogs are invited.

You can download the score-keeping worksheet for final game of the Winter 2015 series here: Scoresheet.

Results from the November league game can be found here: Nov Results.

Blog1076 NDAL

Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston The web store is up and running. You’ll find in the web store The Book of Agility Games, an invaluable reference to clubs engaged in league play.

October League ~ A Numbered Course

The final course of the summer series is a numbered course designed by Game Master Steve Schwarz.


Each of league clubs will get the scorekeeping workbook for October with their current rosters upon submitting the September league results. For anyone who’d like to establish a new league franchise download the scorekeeping workbook HERE.

The Catalog of Games

As league participation increases some clubs might be interested in weekly competitions that coincide with regularly scheduled classes.

With this in mind, the Catalog of Games has been updated with all National Dog Agility League games and courses that have published results. The courses are organized by the size of the field; so it should be relatively easy to find a challenging game or course that fits in your working space. Download the Catalog of Games HERE.

If dog agility is to remain a game we play with our dogs and our friends, we first want to shift the focus away from the infrequent and costly qualifying attempt to a light-hearted and weekly romp in the park. As well as being just plain fun, it league play also serves to strengthen relationships with our dogs. As we lighten up and get more chances to play the game, our mood lifts, our nerves settle, and our dogs have a much better time.

Running a league sounds very involved and time-consuming. But the benefits far outweigh your efforts. A wonderful sense of community is built around league teams. And every league course presents an abundance of training objectives.

Jumping in to the League

If you have interested in jumping into League Play, you still have time to play on the first course of the summer league. The workbook can be downloaded here: September League.

While it is too late to compete in the summer league, you are invited to run that course and record your scores with all previous competitors. The August workbook can be downloaded here: August League

The score-keeping workbook for the out-of-league course can be downloaded here: Pick-up Game

Blog1047 NDAL

Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston The web store is up and running. You’ll find in the web store The Book of Agility Games, an invaluable reference to clubs engaged in league play.

Wild Ride! The May 2015 League Course

We are pleased and proud to present the May 2015 National Dog Agility League course. This is a course designed by Steve Schwarz, the self-proclaimed “Agility Nerd”. It is a wild ride!


Download the scorekeeping workbook HERE.

League Rules and Stipulations

This course marks the beginning of the Summer 2015 National Dog Agility League schedule. You can view the League Rules and Stipulations here:

Franchises are open. This is a wonderful time to join the league.


Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston The web store is up and running. You’ll find in the web store The Book of Agility Games, an invaluable reference to clubs engaged in league play.

Everything That’s Old is New

TDAP Marquee

We are working on some sweeping changes to the basic rules, mostly to simplify and make play in Top Dog more attractive and easy to assume. Stand by for a gentle rewrite of our Rules and Regulations.

Not too long ago somebody told me “If you keep picking at it, it will never get better.” The point is well taken, of course. In my own defense you should understand that I have always observed the Antonio Stradivari method. He is rumored to have said “I just polish and polish until they come to take it away.”

The rules change that I’m most excited about is removal of the closing date for a posted course or a game. Results will be collected perpetually for any published event. With that in mind, we are going to go back through posted courses since the first moment we launched Top Dog. Some of these have robust results… and some are orphans.

This also means, you should know, that any player can call for an immediate “Mulligans” or a do-over. Both runs/attempts, should be reported in results. This is a dramatic departure from the way nearly any agility organization in the world operates. Who is to say that the “standard” is actually the best rational standard? All systems of rules at their core are irrational. We will observe our own standard of the irrational.

I wrote about today’s posted rerun in my personal blog:

July 2013 Event Rerun

This is: 113012A86x98. Click to download the score sheet (complete with course maps for CRCD).


This course is both the oldest and the latest course challenge for Top Dog Agility. We’ve had a subtle rules change that allows re-running of any course. What it really means is that a course or game never “closes” but is left open like the high scores on a video game at the arcade where everybody has a shot at getting to Top Dog.

I’m having a conversation with a club down in Valencia, Argentina about joining us in the play of this course. That should be fun! Hey… isn’t it Winter in Argentina?


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.

April 2013 Events


I’ve been working through the score-keeping task for literally everything we’ve done to date. It is far more complicated than you might think! Possibly by tomorrow everybody who has played with us will get an email showing their qualifying scores and Lifetime Performance Points earned to date.

Top Dog Top Ten

Top Dog Agility Players is proud and pleased to announce the top ten dogs as of April 12, 2013:

#1 Cocoa ~ Dachshund owned by Teresa Kolean ~ 231 LPP

#2 Ziva ~ Australian Shepherd owned by Elizabeth Britton ~ 204 LPP

#3 Chili ~ Puggle owned by Jenn Soden ~ 191 LPP

#4 Flaire ~ Dachshund owned by Teresa Kolean ~ 187 LPP

#5 Misty ~ Cattle Dog owned by Holly Fitzgerald ~ 182 LPP

#6 Maggie Mae ~ Yorkiepoo owned by Kathy Partin ~ 181 LPP

#7 Silver ~ Dachshund owned by Teresa Kolean ~ 179 LPP

#8 Magic ~ Dachshund owned by Teresa Kolean ~ 171 LPP

#9 Missy ~ Cocker Spaniel owned by Hannah Page ~ 169 LPP

#10 Casey ~ Shetland Sheepdog owned by Romona Crain ~ 167 LPP

April Event

Today we are publishing one numbered course, designed by Kuliga judge Brenda Gilday.


Want to run this with us? To download the score-sheet, click here: 040913A60X100. All scores must be in by the end of May.


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.

Welcoming the New Year!

TDAP Marquee

I am excited about the start of the New Year as we begin the marketing of Top Dog Agility Players in earnest.

Top Dog is intended to be a truly recreational venue. As such TDAP should not be compared to any of the training venues that all subscribe to essentially the same model of progression and distinction. While we aspire to eventually have our own world championship tournament, right now we modestly aim at growing participation and figuring out the complicated logistics of a competition that is conducted in more than one physical place.

Change to the Rules

I have agonized for some time over the issue of jump heights, especially. Mind you that I’m an old timer. My first agility dog, Winston the Wonder Dog, was 13″ tall and had to jump 18″ (back in the day) to earn his ADCh title in the USDAA. And big dogs actually jumped 30″ in those days. In any case, all jump heights are arbitrary and by some measure or another irrational.

We began our definition in the rules by establishing jump heights, and then providing for Jump Height Exemptions for long aback dogs, dogs with dwarfish legs, and so forth. But the more I thought about it the more I was convinced that there are any number of reasons a handler/owner might want to jump his dog at a lower height. Giant breeds, for example, might deserve a lower jump height; or the handler might have a dog that is convalescing from some injury; or who knows… I don’t really care to explore the entire psychology of jumping at a lower height.

In any case, we are going to make an important and fairly bold change to the rules (that is bound to cause smart-alecky purists to not take us very seriously). The following bit comes right out of the rule book. Red text indicates change or addition:

2.6 Jump Heights

Jump heights are determined based on the height of the dog at the withers. It is the responsibility of the judge appointed by the host club to measure and determine the correct scoring jump heights for all dogs in competition. The score sheet for an event shall contain two important indicators: 1) Jump Height; and 2) Scoring Jump Height.

A dog may jump at any jump height the owner/handler desires. Jump height exemptions are self-declared. A dog may be jumped at a lower height for any number of reasons (the dog is slightly lame; the surface is not optimal for jumping at full height; the dog is a non‑confident jumper). Top Dog Agility Players will not monitor dogs’ jump heights in league competition.

Dogs with a jump height exemption jump at their exempt height but are scored with dogs in their measured height (Scoring Jump Height). Please note that a dog can jump at any height greater than his measured height if desired. This includes 24″ and 26″ jump heights.

Scoring Jump Height is the measured height; the height at which the dog would jump if no jump height exemption whatsoever is extended.

Jump Height is the exempt height; the height at which the dog actually competes.

New Events

Opening Jan 4, 2012 ~ Closing Jan 25, 2013

This is a numbered course, judged under TDAP rules.

Competition shall be conducted by a judge and stewards appointed for specific tasks in conduct of the event. No certification process exists for judges. TDAP will rely on good sense in the selection of experienced persons to perform this task. A judge is initially registered with TDAP upon submitted event results.

The judge or appointed stewards shall observe and signal course or game faults or points. The judge alone will sign off on competition results.

The Event Closing Date January 25, 2013.

010413A60x85 ~ A numbered course for an 60′ x 85′ space.



Visit our web site:

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.

New Events Posted: Oct 30, 2012

TDAP Marquee

The new TDAP Secretary Picks are published on:

Opening Nov 30, 2012 ~ Closing Dec 21, 2012

113012A86x98 ~ A numbered course for an 86′ by 98′ space.

113012B40x40 ~ A game, the Minuet; for a 40′ by 40′ space.

113012C70x70 ~ A numbered course; designed for a 70′ by 70′ space; Flavor: Played  under the rules  of the Teacup Dogs Agility Association (TDAA).

I’ve really been looking forward to introducing the Minuet to the larger agility world. It is not really quite as simple as it seems.

Bud Houston


This is the premier offering of Top Dog Agility Players. The mission of the TDAP is to provide an inexpensive, competitive, games-oriented venue for dogs of all sizes without regard to breed or pedigree; and facilitate broad-based league play competition providing a shared experience that spans geographic boundaries.

Initially our intention is to operate as a broad-based agility league in which all scores will be aggregated for the ranking of dogs in competition. We have our own rule book; and we will confer titles for qualifying scores to dogs that distinguish themselves in competition; in much the same way the big and important dog agility organizations do.

The difference:

  • There are no dog registration fees in TDAP
  • There are no club membership fees in TDAP
  • There are no Trial Application fees in TDAP

The single expense for play in TDAP shall be the League Secretary (or Recording) Fee. This is the lowest comparable in the sport of dog agility at $1.00 per run; paid when results are reported.

League Secretary’s Picks

Opening Nov 16, 2012 ~ Closing Dec 7, 2012

111612A60x90 ~ A numbered course (resembling a Steeplechase); designed for a 60′ by 90′ space; nested with:

111612B60x90 ~ A game, Dare to Double; designed for a 60′ by 90′ space; nested with the numbered course (above).

111612C110x80 ~ A numbered course; designed for an 80′ by 110′ space; nested with:

111612D60x90 ~ A game, Dare to Double; designed for an 80′ by 110′ space; nested with the numbered course (above).

On selection of any of the Secretary’s Picks the local group will download the Competition Package associated with that event. Contents are in a .zip file that will include:

  • Read Me file
  • Course Map
  • Score Sheet

Rules and Regulations, v 3.1

Everybody Should Get to Play!

If you have a training floor or field size not accommodated by the League Secretaries Picks and would like to play in the TDAP please write to There are most likely others in the world with the same sort of facility; and we’d like to match you up with them.