I recently moved across the country (literally from Seattle, WA to South Florida) and during that process I took some time off of competing in agility to settle myself, my hubby and my 4-legged family into our new location (we’re loving it here by the way!). Now it’s time to get back in the game and I’ve entered a 3-day trial.
But here’s the thing. I need to closely track the progress of one of my dogs as she has 2 qualifiers in Standard and one in Jumpers and I want to know when to move her up immediately after she earns that 3rd qualifier.
Wait, or was that 2 Q’s in Jumpers and 1 Q in Standard? Ugh, it’s so easy to mix this sort of detail up, so I’ve created a solution that doesn’t rely on a potentially faulty-memory-moment to track my dog’s Qualifiers.
In keeping with my last article where I talked about Why Timely Record Keeping Is Important in agility (if you haven’t read it, click HERE), let’s talk about HOW to easily track those qualifying runs, even when traveling.
Here’s What I Use:
A pen, a yellow highlighter, a clear page protector and a simple worksheet. Best part is, I keep all of these things in my agility bag so it’s always there for me to reference and fill out in real time.
The Worksheet Details:
Each dog has their own worksheet for every agility organizations they compete in. So my first Dalmatian, Pinky, would have one sheet for AKC, one sheet for USDAA, etc.
On that organization’s worksheet, I designate a column for each Class. Some agility organizations may require an additional sheet, depending on how many titling classes they have. As an example, the worksheet below is pre-populated for AKC.
Step 1 – How To Use The Worksheet:
As my dog earns a Qualifying run, in the corresponding column the Q was earned, I write the date and level of the Q.
I use the following letters as an abbreviation for the level my dog is competing at (use what feels natural for you): N for Novice, O for Open, A for Advanced, E for Excellent, M for Masters, etc.
As an example, here is what my worksheet would look like when my dog earned the following 5 qualifiers:
- a Standard Q on 2/1/16 in Novice
- a Standard Q on 2/2/16 in Novice
- a JWW Q on 3-17-16 in Novice
- a Standard Q on 3/18/16 in Novice
- a JWW Q on 4/27/16 in Novice
Step 2 – When A Title Is Earned:
When my dog has earned the appropriate number of qualifying runs for a title, I put a large ‘X’ across those dates. This makes it easy to know exactly where I am in the Q progression for each level, as the ‘X’ signifies I’ve earned a title and have moved up to the next level.
In the example below, my dog has completed their Standard Novice title and I am now accumulating Open qualifiers. Note: The JWW column should have an ‘X’ as well, however I opted not to add it so you could compare what the worksheet looks like with and without the X.
Step 3 – Checking Results With the Official Agility Organization:
Upon the completion of a title or at the very least each quarter, I check with the agility organization’s official records (usually available on their website) to be sure each of the Qualifying scores I have listed on the worksheet matches their official records. FYI – Keep in mind that there can be up to an 8-week lag between the date my dog earned a Q and the time it shows up on the official site.
Once I’ve confirmed that a Q matches both my records and the agility organization’s records, using a yellow highlighter, I draw a thick line through it. This tells me a Q has been confirmed and it also allows me the option to read and/or photocopy the information for future analysis.
- As my dog progresses into levels where I’ll need to track points, I can add the number of points earned next to the date and level. I will then either tallying the points as I go and use either the left or right margin, or I will tally my points at the end of the column and use the bottom margin to write the total. As I check the official website, I highlight the points as they become a part of the official record so I can track what matches.
- I also use a backup system every few weeks. It can be as easy as a photocopy or quick picture with my phone or as complex as retyping the information into an Excel Spreadsheet. It all depends on what I’m tracking and why. I do a backup of my worksheet just in case my paper worksheet gets lost, damaged by water, misplaced, taken by my significant other or chewed up by a dog.
- Sometimes I like to add the name of the trial and/or judge my dog earned a Qualifier under. This is especially handy if I’m attending a 4 or 5 day show.
Want Your Own Worksheet to Download and Keep?
Sharing is caring and I’d love to give you a FREE copy of the Worksheet that I use. Click HERE, let me know your first name and email (so I can email the worksheet to you) and I’ll get that sent out immediately. BE SURE to include my email (Lisa@SpotOnAgility.com) to your address book so that the Worksheet doesn’t end up in your SPAM folder!
Let me know if you found this helpful.