July 5, 2012
The AKC Companion Events department has some exciting news for clubs licensed to hold obedience/rally events regarding changes to the regulations.
The Department continues to focus on growing participation by varying levels of competitors. To continue generating new competitor interest, the AKC has developed new Optional Titling classes and titles: the Pre-Novice Class, Pre-Open Class and Pre-Utility Class. The classes have been developed with no Group Exercises and the jumps in Pre-Open and Pre-Utility are set to half the height of the dog at the withers. With the addition of the new Pre-Novice Optional Titling Class, the current Non-Regular Pre-Novice Class has been renamed the Sub-Novice Class. These new classes become effective and may be offered at events beginning July 1, 2013.
With the addition of more new classes, it became apparent that AKC needed to allow exhibitors the ability to move their dog to more than just the traditional level classes when they complete a title. The language in the Obedience Regulations, Chapter 1, Section 16a has been changed from "Move-ups" to "Transfers". Effective July 1, 2012, after a dog earns a title, it may be transferred to another class in a future trial even though the closing date for the trial has passed, provided the club offers transfers and provided the dog and handler are eligible. Dogs competing in obedience in the Optional Titling classes may be moved to Regular Titling classes and vice versa or even to Non-Regular classes at the request of the exhibitor.
Transfers are only allowed within the same sport, e.g. obedience class to obedience class, or rally class to rally class. The request to transfer must be presented in writing to the superintendent or trial secretary at least 30 minutes prior to the start of each trial. Transfers may be approved provided the class and judge are available, and the class has not reached its limit. Movement between an "A" and "B" class at the same level is not considered a transfer — refer to Chapter 1, Section 16b of the Obedience Regulations.
Another change applies to the Beginner Novice B Class eligibility requirements (Obedience Regulations – Chapter 6, Section 2). Previously once a dog had earned the BN title, they were required to move out of the Beginner Novice Class. Effective August 1, 2012, a dog may remain in the Beginner Novice B Class until the handler believes the dog is ready to enter another level class.
Lastly, we know that parents have a lot of choices for their children to participate in multiple activities these days. The AKC has approved that clubs may offer a reduced entry fee for Junior Handlers in their obedience, rally, tracking and agility events effective for events applied for on or after January 1, 2013. 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.
Director of Obedience, Rally & Tracking