Obedience News and Updates

July 5, 2017
The AKC convened a task force of five judges, exhibitors and trainers to explore changes that could maximize safety, while still testing the important aspect of the "stay" skill. 

Mindful of the concerns and suggestions sent to the AKC from all sectors of the sport, the Task Force members spent three days exploring and formulating changes.     

In today's culture of diverse dog training methods and philosophies that variously impact the behavior of dogs coming to trials, the AKC recognizes exhibitor concerns for stronger safety measures to protect all dogs from interference of any kind in the ring during competition. At the same time, there is also a strong consensus in the sport that the impulse control and obedience demonstrated in group stays must be preserved.

The committee’s work resulted in the following recommendations:  

  • The creation of new individual exercises for Novice and Open that will test a stay with distance between dog and handler.  
  • That one group exercise be retained in Novice that will test both sit and down stays in the presence of other dogs, with spacing and leash use to ensure safety, and a formation option that will allow up to ten dogs in the ring.
  • That open out-of-sight stays be replaced by an individual exercise also testing sit and down skills, and a command discrimination exercise that will demonstrate steadiness and obedience at a distance with skills performed in place. For Open A dogs the exercise creates a stepping stone toward Utility. For the Open B dogs, a randomized order of skills is designed to challenge experienced teams at least as much as the group exercises do now.

The recommended changes will streamline scheduling for judges, reduce conflicts for exhibitors showing multiple dogs, and maintain a level of challenge appropriate to the class. With more confidence in their dogs’ safety in the ring, we hope that concerned owners will re-engage in AKC obedience and feel inspired to pursue their goals.

More details will be published when descriptions have been fine-tuned by AKC. It is anticipated this will occur around the beginning of September.

May 12, 2017

The obedience and rally regulations were amended to include language for a closing time for entries and that the closing time shall be no later than 11:59 pm on the third Wednesday prior to the trial for trials held on Friday through Monday.  Previously the regulations governing these sports did not address a closing time for entries, but instead defaulted to the Rules Applying to Dog Shows. Clubs have the ability now to extend the closing hour for their entries at their option following the requirements listed below. Effective May 1, 2017, clubs may apply for events with a later closing hour at their option.

  • Obedience Regulations - Chapter 1, Section 3. Premium Lists, Entries, Closing of Entries.  (Insert as paragraph 5)
  • Rally Regulations – Chapter 1. Section 3. Premium Lists, Closing of Entries and Catalogs. (Insert as paragraph 2)
  • Every premium list shall specify the date and time at which entries for a trial shall close. The premium list shall also specify the name and address of the Superintendent or Trial Secretary who is to receive the entries.
  • For all trials the specified closing date and time must be no later than as outlined in the following schedule:
    •    For a trial which opens on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or Monday, entries accepted not later than 11:59PM on the third Wednesday prior to the trial.
    •    For a trial which opens on Tuesday, entries accepted not later than 11:59PM on the third Thursday prior to the trial.
    •    For a trial which opens on Wednesday, entries accepted not later than 11:59PM the third Friday prior to the trial.
    •    For a trial which opens on Thursday, entries accepted not later than 11:59PM on the third Wednesday prior to the trial.
  •  Clubs in a cluster of no more than five consecutive days have the option of closing no later than 11:59PM on the third Wednesday prior to the last trial in the  cluster.
  •  Whenever the closing day noted above falls on a postal holiday, entries received in any form up to 24 hours from the published closing date and time may be  accepted.
  • All other paragraphs in these sections remain unchanged.
May 12, 2017
Transfer of Entries in Obedience
The regulations will allow a transfer of an entry from one class to another at the request of the exhibitor after the closing date for entries, provided the club allows transfers and only if the class and judge are available and the class has not reached its limit. The request for the transfer is still required to be presented to the superintendent or trial secretary at least 30 minutes prior to the start of each trial. Transfers in both Obedience and Rally were amended and is effective July 1, 2017.
 
Obedience Regulations – Chapter 1, Section 16a. Transfers.
  • The club will clearly state in its premium list whether transfers will or will not be allowed. If no statement is provided in the premium list the default is to allow transfers.
  • A transfer (i.e., from an obedience class to an obedience class; or a rally class to a rally class) may be requested if, according to the owner’s records the handler and dog are eligible provided the club offers transfers.
  • Transfers from an “A” to “B” class at the same level are allowed provided the host club allows transfers. (When a club does not allow transfers, refer to Section 16b. Entry of Ineligible Dog.)
  • The request for a transfer must be in writing and presented to the superintendent or trial secretary at least 30 minutes prior to the start of each trial.
  • Clubs may choose to accept transfers prior to the day of the trial and this should be clearly stated in the premium list.
  • Transfers may be approved provided the class and judge are available, and the class has not reached its limit.

April 22, 2017

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