It’s heating up across the country and our obedience and rally entry numbers are heating up too. AKC obedience and rally entries have been on the rise for a while now and this rise in numbers is due in part to the dedication of our judges, clubs, and volunteers, who make our sports a fun and enjoyable way to spend a weekend. People have lots of choices of fun things they can do with their free time these days. When you are at the trials keep in mind why you wanted to become a judge and show that you really enjoy what you are doing. Otherwise, why else would you be out there doing it?
There have been a few changes passed by the AKC Board of Directors that you should be aware of as advocates of our sports. Obedience Regulations – Chapter 1, Section 16a. Effective July 1, 2012, after a dog earns a title, it may be moved to another class in a future trial even though the closing date for the trial has passed, provided the club offers move-ups. This regulation change allows move-ups to any class for which the handler/dog is eligible and applies to obedience and rally classes. However, move-ups may only be completed within the same sport, e.g. obedience class to obedience class, or rally class to rally class and the request to move-up must be presented in writing to the superintendent or trial secretary at least 30 minutes prior to the start of each trial. Dogs competing in obedience in the Optional titling classes can be moved to Regular titling classes and vice versa or even to Non-Regular classes at the request of the exhibitor.
Also, effective for events applied for after January 1, 2013, clubs may offer a reduced entry fee for Junior Handlers in their Obedience & Rally events (Tracking and Agility too). A Junior must have an AKC Junior Handler Number and is defined as anyone under 18 years of age on the first day of the event. Please remember to encourage new exhibitors, especially juniors to participate in our sports, they are the future of the sports we love so much.
Effective immediately there has been a moratorium placed on all requests from Parent Clubs to receive a three-quarter (¾) jump height exemption in obedience for their breed until December 31, 2016. During this moratorium AKC will research and review the Obedience Regulations pertaining to jump heights.
Rally Sign Clarifications
Sign #36. HALT – Slow Forward From Sit – The handler halts, and the dog sits in heel position. The handler then commands and/or signals the dog to heel and moves forward at a slow pace. The dog must maintain heel position as handler slowly moves forward. This must be followed by a normal pace, unless it is the last station on the course. (Stationary exercise) (Yes, maintaining acceptable rally heel position is a principal part of this exercise.)
Sign #115. HALT – Stand – Handler halts and dog sits. With the dog sitting in heel position, the handler will stand the dog. Handler then resumes heel position while the dog stands in place. Handler pauses before moving forward. In the Advanced class, the handler may touch the dog, move forward to stand the dog, and may pose the dog as in the show ring. Handler may not touch the dog in the Excellent Class, but may move forward to stand the dog and may pose the dog as in the show ring. (Stationary exercise)
Sign #'s 208 & 209: Should a judge choose to, in order to help exhibitors remember what they are to do and in which order, it is allowed for a sign to be set behind these exercise signs, facing the handler who has gone to the Call to Heel marker, that provides the order of "Sit Dog, Call Front,Finish" and "Down Dog, Call Front, Finish." For judges wishing to do this, you must provide your own additional signs as the clubs and superintendents will not have them.
Sign #210. Send to Jump. There has been some discussion recently regarding this station. After sending the dog to the jump the handler may pause as needed, but must not pass the plane of the jump until the dog has returned to the heel position. If the handler has to pause, stop, or back up to get the dog to return to heel position before passing the plane of the jump, there are no direct penalties for doing so.
Returning to the Handler after the Jump: The dog must jump the jump in the correct direction on the first attempt and then return to the handler. “What if the dog back jumps on the return to the handler?” The back jump in and of itself is not a problem, nor is returning around the jump; but if the dog is not under control points would be assessed for lack of control.
Jumps: If the same bar jump is used more than once in an Excellent Course and a dog knocks the bar off the uprights, the handler may reset the bar.
Rally Regulations – Chapter 2, Section 9. Qualifying Scores and General Scoring. “…The maximum number of points that can be deducted for any station is 10, with the exception of a non-qualifying performance.”
Handler Errors can be assessed from 1 to 10 points up to non-qualifying. Handler errors can be assessed at any station or during movement between stations on a course. Once a handler has stopped on any halt exercise, the handler cannot move their feet to assist a dog without incurring a handler error.
Additional Retries: Only one retry per station is allowed and if performed correctly the team is assessed a mandatory 3-point deduction for the retry. If the team is not successful on the retry, the team must move on since only one retry per station is allowed. If they do not move on, or if they perform the station incorrectly on the second attempt, they will be penalized 10 points for an Incorrectly Performed station (IP).
Judges Books and Covers:
If you need to make a note on the inside cover of the judges’ book in either obedience or rally please be certain to tell the Trial Secretary or Superintendent that there is a note on the cover and to please include it with the book when submitting the event results to AKC.
HELP! Weekend Hotline # for Obedience and Rally Judges:
Should you be at a trial and need to reach someone in Companion Events call the following number(s) for assistance: 919-816-3957 or 800-252-7984. The latter number is a direct line to CAR (Companion Animal Recovery). You will need to explain what it is you need such as “I am a judge and I need to speak with someone in Companion Events for immediate assistance” and they will redirect you.
Is that dog down?
The theoretically mental picture of a dog in a perfect down position might entail a dog that has both elbows and rear hocks in contact with the floor, or a dog that has rolled on its back, side or hip. Deep chested dogs or dogs with short legs may have trouble getting all of their parts on the floor. A dog with its chest on the floor and both hocks on the floor really can’t get any lower, regardless if one elbow or both elbows are not touching the ring surface. Not all dogs have the same physique and their physical characteristics should be considered when forming your mental image of what a down should be.
Beginner Novice – Additional Command to Come?
As stated in a previous newsletter, there is no restriction as to when a second command to come can be given. However the dog must be under control and if it is not would be penalized accordingly.
CHECK those Collars!
Remember to keep a check on collars as there are NO special training collars allowed!
CONTINUING EDUCATION SEMINARS
Click here to go to the AKC website for information on future seminars .
Obedience Judges must attend an Obedience Seminar every three years; Rally Judges must attend an Obedience & Rally Seminar every three years. In most cases, the Obedience Seminar is held on Saturday and the Rally Seminar is held on Sunday.
Upcoming AKC Obedience & Rally Judges’ Continuing Education Seminars:
Plan ahead, seminars will be limited to six per year and they will rotate regionally so that a seminar will be held in that region once every three years. Additionally, there will be a seminar held each year in Raleigh, NC that will be limited to Judges only. Judges should watch for seminars scheduled in an area near them and may need to attend a seminar earlier than their third year to get on track to attend the seminar once every three years in their region. Questions regarding the seminar schedule should be sent to Bill Thayne at WVT@akc.org for assistance.
News and Updates
Please watch for news and updates on the AKC obedience webpage for exciting information coming soon about the AKC Obedience Classic to be held in December 2013 in Orlando, Florida. Also, the AKC National Obedience Championship will relocate in 2013 to become part of the AKC Companion Events Extravaganza, which will include the inaugural AKC Rally® National Competition and the AKC National Agility Championship all in one location. These events will require many volunteers; we hope you will be able to attend the events on March 15-17 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A volunteer form will be published on the event page later this summer.
CHANGES in the AKC Companion Events Department
After seven years of service, Curt A. Curtis has retired as AVP of Companion Events. Please join us in wishing Curt the best of times as he ventures back to the Northwest to return to training, showing and judging.
Please welcome Doug Ljungren, who is the Vice President of the newly consolidated Companion and Performance Events Department. Ljungren has been responsible for all facets of AKC Field Trials, Hunting Tests, Herding, Lure Coursing, Earthdog and Coonhound events. He has also assisted in the development and launch of several new programs including the AKC Canine Partners(SM) Program, the Coursing Ability Test and the AKC Therapy Dog title program. He joined AKC in March 2007 and has been involved with field events for over 30 years; plus he has handled his dogs to several obedience titles.
Please welcome our two new Obedience/Rally Field Representatives, Mary Higdem of Minnesota and Sharon Hodgens-Wood of Wisconsin. Both Mary and Sharon have a strong background in obedience and rally and we are very excited that they will be joining our team. Look for them at upcoming events in the late summer 2012.
Until Next Time…
Remember, YOU Make it Work!
Your continuing efforts to judge in a friendly, courteous, honest, impartial and consistent manner are appreciated by exhibitors, clubs and the Companion Events Department. Keep up the good work.
Pam Manaton, Director of Obedience, Rally & Tracking
Bill Thayne, Diane Schultz, Mary Higdem and Sharon Hodgens-Wood, AKC Obedience/Rally Field Reps.
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