By Francis Raley on Jun. 13, 2018 at 08:41 AM


TSDA is making headway on having a reliable, member-friendly method of tracking points accrued by your dogs.  As you may be aware, Francis and Vivian have expended considerable efforts to manually update the points totals for each dog that has competed in a TSDA-sanctioned trial.  In some cases, the compilation went as far back as 2014 (we don’t have computer data earlier than that), but most dogs didn’t require that much effort.  The amount of time and work expended by these two volunteers cannot be overstated.  Without their efforts this project would not have been possible.

The next step is programming an app on the TSDA website (thanks, Richard) to allow members access to these numbers.  At this point we have encountered a major problem.  When dogs change hands, are trialed for a while by a training handler and are later trialed by their owner, an owner recycles a dog’s name, or someone acquires and renames a dog, the odds that the points for that dog may be listed under more than one handler increase markedly.   This has been a real problem and has, in a couple of cases, led to dogs running in classes in which they are no longer eligible.

The best solution to this problem is to connect the points directly to the dog and not to sometimes the owner or sometimes the handler as does the present system.  To do this, we need a unique identifier for the dog, so that, no matter what, the points will always follow the dog.  Rather than devise our own numbering system, we’ve decided to use the dog’s registration number.  We have modified the TSDA entry form to include space for the dog’s name and its ABCA, ISDS, or CBCA registration number.  Please include this number when you fill out the entry form (Example:  “Fly, ABCA 251264”).  If your dog is not registered or registered with another association, enter “Not Registered.”  In that case, Francis will assign an internal number to that dog so the program has something to track.  To begin loading the system, we will start using the revised entry form almost immediately, but it will likely be the next trial year, i.e., after the finals, before the new app will be fully functional.  After the new system is implemented, registration numbers (or “Not Registered”) will be required for entry to TSDA-sanctioned trials.  If you would like to get a head start, you may now send Francis your registration numbers for the dog(s) that you routinely trial.

The plan (not a promise) is to have this new system in place at the end of the year to begin for future years.  When it is up and functioning, TSDA should be able to take responsibility as the official keeper of the points.  At present and until then, handlers remain responsible for tracking their dog’s points.  The handlers will still remain an integral part of this new system.  We will likely have a specific time period (length of which is yet undetermined) to report errors or question the results of a trial.  We need to be made aware of any errors.  They are bound to happen because there is going to be a lot of numbers flowing through a couple of people.

Francis and Vivian have a couple of requests regarding the entry forms.  Please write legibly (or better yet, modify the TSDA form with a document program so that your personal information is printed out).  Illegible email addresses have been an issue.  Please do not make someone track you down at a trial because some information is missing or illegible on your entry.

Thanks, John Lewis