In Dog Agility “Keeping Score” Is A Good Thing

keeping score in dog agilityFor those of you that are trialing and trying for titles, it is a lot of fun to keep track of your scores so you know when that final Q run is coming up.  Yes, the agency you are competing under will notify you when you reach that title, but that can be long after that final run.  Not only that, you can also learn a lot from your runs when you get into the habit of keeping scores and taking notes on those runs.  Plus, each organization has it’s own criteria for gaining titles so it can be confusing trying to remember where you stand in each one you compete in.

So how do you keep it all straight? A record book can help you keep it all straight. You can use a notebook, or an actual record book such as we carry!  Our record book holds all your dogs’ important information (shots records, emergency numbers, etc.) as well as pages for runs, trials and title.  Plus, there are sheets for Agility Club information and agility friends.  It’s in a three ring binder for easier access, and has all the major venues inside (AKC, USDAA, NADAC, UKC, and CPE) – and many of the less common ones are available on request.

After you get your record book and fill in all the necessary information you are ready to use it to it’s fullest benefit.  You should record all the info you get from the trial as soon as possible.  If not when it happens, the as soon as you can while it is still fresh in your mind.  Especially the things you did right and the the things you did wrong, so you can learn for the next time.  You won’t be alone if you run your dog on Friday and cannot remember what happened on Sunday.  There is a lot of info flying at you all weekend.  A good routine is to write your scores, keep a copy of the corse and write a critique of how you do and what you could improve on.

So, how do you keep score?  It can be a bit overwhelming especially for beginners so here are some examples of scores and what they are telling you from one of our viewers score cards.

Distance: 177 yards SCT: 67 seconds Excellent A Pref 20 inch Judge: Kurt Matushek
Place Name Time TFlts RFlts WCFlts TblFlts E/F Score
Ruger/L.Freed 60.21 0 1 0 0 2 Elim

The Distance is the total yards the dog must run. This is measured by the judge prior to running the course. You will see the judge out there with a measuring wheel, checking the yardage.

The SCT:67 seconds means that the course should be completed within 67 seconds. SCT = Standard Course Time.

The rest of the information tells me that I was running in Excellent A Preferred at 20″ and my judge was Kurt Matushek.

The second part of the scoring is as follows, the top row is labeled with the headers: Place, Name, Time, TFlts, RFlts, WCFlts, TblFlts, E/F, and Score.  Directly below these headers will be the information pertaining to your run.  Place is if you ran a qualifying run and got a ribbon placement.  You would have 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th under Place.  Obviously, in this example Ruger did not Place.  Name is self explanatory, the dogs name/owner name.  Time is the amount of time it took your dog to run the course.  TFlts =Time Faults, this indicates the amount of time you went over the SCT. RFlts = Refusal Faults, this will show any/every time you had a refusal on course.  WCFlts = Wrong Course Faults, will show any/every time your dog went off course.  TblFlts = Table Faults, which indicates any fault occuring at the table.  E/F = Error/Fault indicates any errors or faults other than the previously listed ones. Things like dropped bars and missed contacts are indicated under the E/F heading.  Score, will show if you were Elim (Eliminated) or if you Qualified (Q).

Once you learn the language it will become easier to jot it all down, but you have to practice.  You will also learn your own shorthand that will make taking notes easier and faster.  Then you will start seeing the huge advantages you will have when you take all this information home and practice.  Hope this helps and you will love keeping score on your dog!