TDAA Petit Prix Handler Experience!

The January/February 2010 Issue of DogSport Magazine will feature extensive coverage on the 2009 TDAA Petit Prix. But for now… take a peak at what the skilled handlers had to say about the event! Quotes gathered courtesy of Marsha Houston.

Quotes, Advice, Comments and More!

“All in all, I’m going to have fun with my dog and do my best. She’s the best little dog in the world and I know that she always works hard. Hopefully my handling won’t spoil her efforts.” Joan Kimmel, owner of Shilling, Miniature Dachshund.

“I prepared for the final game, Who Dares Wins, by losing miserably at this during a previous trial, reading Bud’s blog, and studying Zibbit’s agility record book to see how many obstacles he averages per second.” Ultimately, Kimberly decided, “simply to work on NOT overhandling. To learn how to ‘go for the win’ rather than to just ‘go for the Q’ Finishing our TACh in July really helped me to relax and just play again.” — Kimberly Boothe, owner of Zibbit, Miniature Dachshund.

“For Steeplechase, in the semifinals, my preparation included practicing a lot of speed at the demo in September. The weaves are done with a toy to help create drive forward. Also I treat the weaves as one obstacle not 12 poles.” — Carol Ely, owner of Abby.

“I loved getting together with everyone from different areas. I attended the first Petit Prix and am amazed at how it has grown. There are a lot more dogs competing and I was pleased with the challenges each course offered. I enjoyed watching my retired 9 yr old American Eskimo win the 16″ Chutes and Ladder game at Friday’s trial and the 24 Weave Pole Challenge.” — Kay Miller, owner of rescued American Eskimos Bolt, Chase, and Diesel.

” I was in sort of an unusual situation–I don’t have a dog ready to compete at this level; my husband does but he was one of the judges; so I ran his dog with minimal work together. I did attend a one-day workshop on the Petit Prix games prior to a two-day TDAA trial in Springfield, IL. The discussion of game strategy was extremely helpful.” — Diane Jensen, handler of husband Paul’s West Highland White Terrier, Amos.

“I truly enjoy seeing folks from around the country. It feels like time hasn’t passed by. We have so much to talk about. I must admit, when we were in the ring for the Championship round and Sassy was announced, I felt really proud of my little partner. I watched her taped runs – she was a very happy dog!” — Kathy Swan, owner of Sassy.

“For me the most fulfilling element of the Petit Prix was seeing that our championship round brought forward the most deserving teams this year. The competition was fierce and the performances were edgy. For me that is what a championship tournament is all about. I was cheering for team after team and was pleased to see the variety of breeds competing. I think our background scoring did indeed level the playing field and make it the most fair and most competitive Petit Prix to date. We are growing strong!” — Michelle Reehl, TDAA Board Member who attended the Petit Prix without her dogs Presley and Elvis.


Marsha Houston began training dogs in 1990, focusing on the rehabilitation of adolescent dogs in the shelter system, fostering throw-away dogs and rehoming them. After several years of competition obedience and agility with her aussie, Banner, and a long line of rescued aussies and mixed-breed dogs,  Marsha now focuses on showcasing the rehabilitation and skills of shelter mutts.  Marsha writes training manuals for basic obedience, rally obedience, and essential agility skills, and helps her local shelters. The Houstons own Country Dream dog training resort in southeastern Ohio, where they offer group camps for agility and rally-o, as well as private vacation experiences. Website is and e-mail is