What are Wackronyms? The absurd agility title acronyms perpetuated by USDAA’s inexplicable resistance to make the final logical change that would truly bring the Championship and Performance programs into alignment.
- MAD (Masters Agility Dog) = PD3 (Performance Dog 3) – should be P-MAD or MAD-P
- ADCH (Agility Dog Champion) = APD (Accomplished Performance Dog) – should be P-ADCH or ADCH-P
- And my personal favorite, SCH (Snooker Champion) = AKD (Accomplished … um … Knooker Dog?) – should be P-SCH or SCH-P
It has taken a few years, but with various changes in the titling requirements, USDAA has finally brought the Performance program into line with the Championship program. It is no longer the inferior red-headed stepchild of the “real” agility program. The only difference now is that handlers can choose to allow their dogs to jump and climb a little lower. Requirements for top titles in both programs include Super-Qs, Pairs, and all three Tournament classes.
In January 2008, USDAA further legitimized the Performance program by removing the requirement that the titling class minimums for LAA awards had to be earned in Championship – handlers can now earn LAA awards without ever running the dog in a Championship-height ring. That single move completely changed my agility goals with Jasmine, and allowed me to finish her LAA-Silver yesterday.
Handlers have many reasons for choosing the Performance program – the dogs may be older, bulkier, slower, recovering from injury, or maybe it’s just to avoid confusion for the dog who competes in another venue with lower height requirements. Whatever the reason, the Performance dogs deserve the same respect as their Championship brethren, and because the two programs are now truly on par, they finally have it.
Except for the silly acronyms.
Please, USDAA, fix this problem, so we can avoid the following conversation, which occurs every weekend at agility trials throughout the country:
Handler 2 (looking puzzled): “What’s an APD?”
Handler 1 (feeling disheartened, and perhaps a little defensive/apologetic): “It’s a Performance ADCH…”
Handler 2 (trying to rise to the occasion but still puzzled by the stupid Wacronym): “Oh . . . congratulations . . . what does APD stand for?”
And yes, even this – Handler 1 (now puzzled instead of elated): “I’m not really sure … I just know it’s a Performance ADCH.”