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Rally Program Changes

From the February 2017 Board minutes:

 
Rally Program Enhancements The Board VOTED to create two additional Rally classes – the Intermediate class and the Master class. In terms of difficulty, the Intermediate class is between the current Novice and Advanced classes. The Master class will be more difficult than the Excellent class. There will be titles associated with these new classes. In addition, a Rally Championship prefix title (RACH) is recommended for dogs that achieve a given number of triple Qs (qualify in the Advanced, Excellent and Master class at the same trial) plus earn a given number of points from the Master class. Clubs may start to apply for events with these new classes on August 1, 2017 for events held on or after November 1, 2017. (Changes Underlined)  Chapter 1 Section 1. Application to Hold a Rally Trial. (Paragraph 3)   A licensed or member rally trial need not include all the regular rally classes, but a club will not be approved to hold the Intermediate class unless it also holds Novice classes. Likewise, it will not be approved to hold Advanced classes unless it also holds Novice and Intermediate classes. Nor will it be approved to hold Excellent classes unless it also holds Novice, Intermediate and Advanced classes; and it will not be approved to hold the Masters class unless it also holds Novice, Intermediate, Advanced and Excellent classes. Any club that has been approved to hold a licensed or member rally trial may offer additional non-regular classes upon AKC approval. If a non-regular class is one that is not defined in these regulations, a clear and complete description of both the eligibility and performance requirements will appear in the premium list.

Section 20. Judging Program.

To facilitate a more efficient trial, it is strongly recommended that clubs assign the A and B classes of the same title level to the same judge. The order in which the classes are scheduled each day may vary, e.g. Master, Excellent, Advanced, Intermediate, then Novice; or Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, Excellent, then Master.   After entries have closed, any club holding a licensed or member rally trial must prepare a program. The judging program must list the start time for each class scheduled to start before 12:00 noon. The listed start time for each class is the time of the walkthrough and judging of the class will follow. An additional 10 minutes must be added into the first hour of judging for the first walkthrough. Classes scheduled to start at, or after 12:00 noon will be listed to start “after noon” and must be judged in the order and ring listed in the judging program. If the published judge and ring are available prior to the listed start time and all exhibitors have checked-in and agree, the judge may start a class earlier than the class time listed in the judging program. Section 22. Limitation of Entries. (Beginning at Paragraph 3)   When entries are limited, a club must designate an RAE and a Rally Champion (RACH) class in the premium list. Dogs entered in this RAE class would be entered in both Advanced B and Excellent B, and the combined entry fee for these two classes must be paid. If due to entry limits an exhibitor cannot be entered in both the Advanced B and Excellent B classes the RAE class will be considered closed and any subsequent entries for this class will be unacceptable in their entirety.   Dogs entered in the RACH class would be entered in Advanced B, Excellent B and the Master class. The combined entry fee for these three classes must be paid. If due to entry limits an exhibitor cannot be entered in the Advanced B, Excellent B and Master classes the RACH class will be considered closed and any subsequent entries for this class will be unacceptable in their entirety.   However, a club at its discretion, may choose to establish a wait list in order to fill openings created by entries that are withdrawn prior to the event closing day. If a club is maintaining a wait list, this shall be stated in the premium. The full entry fee shall be refunded to an entrant whose entry is replaced by a wait-listed entry.

Chapter 2

Section 16. Heel Position. The dog is at the handler’s left side, facing the same direction the handler is facing; the dog’s body is within the area of the handler’s left hip; and the dog should be close to, but not crowding its handler so that the handler has freedom of motion at all times. Section 17. Commands.

Section 18. Orders and Minimum Penalties

Section 19. Misbehavior.

Section 20. Training and Warm-up on the Grounds.

Section 21. Disciplining in the Ring.

Section 22. Abuse of Dogs.

Section 23. Declining Entries.

Chapter 3

Section 7. Qualifying Scores and General Scoring.

Minor to Substantial Deduction (1-10 points) for each of the following:

• Repeat of a station — only one (1) retry of each station will be allowed for all class levels, except there are no retries in the Rally Master class. Repeat of a station is an automatic 3-point deduction

Section 10. Rally Ribbons. At licensed or member rally trials, the following colors must be used for prize ribbons or rosettes in all regular classes:

First Prize – Blue Second Prize – Red Third Prize – Yellow Fourth Prize – White Qualifying Prize – Dark Green

Highest Combined score in Advanced B and Excellent B award ribbon or rosette shall be Blue and Green.

Section 12. Highest Combined Score in the Advanced B and Excellent B Classes.  The dog receiving the highest combined score in Advanced B and Excellent B will be awarded the ribbon and any prizes offered for this placement after the Advanced B and Excellent B classes have been judged and after the announcement of those final scores. The superintendent or show or trial secretary will mark the catalog with an (HC) to identify the dog receiving this award.

Section 13. Highest Scoring Triple Qualifying Score. The dog receiving the highest combined score in Advanced B, Excellent B and Master class will be awarded the ribbon and any prizes offered for this placement after the Advanced B, Excellent B and Master classes have been judged and after the announcement of those final scores. The superintendent or show or trial secretary will mark the catalog with an “HTQ” to identify the dog receiving this award.   In the case of tied scores between dogs eligible for the above award, the dog completing the three courses in the least amount of combined time will receive the award. In the event that both the score and time are the same, each dog will be tested again, individually, by performing a course as chosen by the judge. The original scores will not be changed, but a plus (+) will be added after the score of the dog winning the runoff. The judge for a run-off will be designated by the club from among the judges of the rally trial.   When a run-off has been completed, the judge will record the results on a special sheet that identifies the dogs taking part in the run-off by catalog number, class and breed. When the judge has marked and signed the sheet, it will be turned over to the superintendent or show or trial secretary who will mark the catalog accordingly and forward the sheet to the AKC as part of the records of the trial. If a club chooses to allow dogs listed with AKC Canine Partners to enter their trial, such dogs are eligible for the Highest Triple Qualifying Score in the Advanced B, Excellent B and Master classes

Chapter 4 Section 2. Rally Intermediate Class. To be eligible for this class dogs must have won the Rally Novice (RN) title but have not earned a qualifying score in a Rally Advanced.   All dogs are judged on leash.

Rally Intermediate must have between 12 to 17 signs (Start and Finished not included) with a minimum of three and a maximum of seven stationary signs. Intermediate courses will have a minimum of three Advanced level signs. There are no jumps in this class.   The letters RI may be added after the name of each dog that has been certified by at least two different judges to have received qualifying scores in Intermediate class at three licensed or member rally trials. That dog will receive a Rally Intermediate certificate from the AKC.

Section 3. Rally Advanced Class. The Rally Advanced A Class. To be eligible for this class, dogs shall have won the Rally Novice (RN) title, or the Rally Intermediate (RI) title, but have not won the Rally Advanced (RA) title or any AKC Obedience title (including optional class titles) prior to the close of entries. The Rally Advanced B Class. To be eligible for this class, dogs shall have won the Rally Novice (RN) title, or the Rally Intermediate (RI) title prior to the close of entries.

Section 4. Rally Excellent Class.

Section 5. Rally Master Class. To be eligible for this class a dog must have won the Rally Excellent (RE) title.    All dogs are judged off leash.    The Master class must have between 15 to 20 signs (Start and Finish not included) with a minimum of three and a maximum of seven stationary signs.    Courses will have a minimum of three Advanced level signs, three Excellent level signs, four Master level signs plus the one required jump sign    There are no retries for any of the signs on the Rally Master course.    Unlike in the Rally Novice, Intermediate and Advanced classes, in the Rally Master class handlers are not allowed to pat their legs or clap their hands to encourage the dog. Verbal encouragement, multiple commands and/or inaudible signals using one or both arms and hands are allowed; the handler’s arms need not be maintained in any particular position at any time. Handlers may not touch their dog or make any physical corrections.   The letters RM may be added after the name of each dog that has been certified by at least two different judges to have received qualifying scores in the Master class at ten licensed or member rally trials. That dog will receive a Rally Master certificate from the AKC.   The letters RM will be followed by a numeric designation indicating the number of times a dog has met the requirements of the RM title as defined in these regulations. (RM2 for 20 qualifying scores, RM3 for 30 qualifying scores, RM4 for 40 qualifying scores, etc.)

Section 6. Jumps. A dog is required to jump once in the Advanced class, twice in the Excellent class and once in the Master class.

Chapter 5 Section 1. Dogs that May Compete. Rally Championship points will be recorded for dogs after they have earned the Rally Master title. When a dog earns the Rally Champion title, it may continue to compete and earn points.

Section 2. Championship Points. Rally Championship points will be recorded for dogs earning a score of 91 or better in the Rally Master class. A dog must earn a total of 300 points. Additionally, the dog must have received qualifying scores in Advanced B, Excellent B and the Master class, on the same day at the same trial at 20 separate licensed or member rally trials.

Section 3. Point Schedule.

Master Class
91 1

92 1

93 1

94 1

95 1

96 1

97 2

98 3

99 4

100 5

Section 4. Rally Champion Title. The AKC will issue a Rally Champion certificate and will permit the use of the letters RACH preceding the name of each dog that meets the requirements.    The letters RACH will be followed by a numeric designation indicating the number of times a dog has met the requirements of the RACH title as defined in these regulations. (RACH2 for 40 triple qualifying scores and 600 points, RACH3 for 60 triple qualifying scores and 900 points, etc.)

Rally Program Enhancements Approved

From the February 2017 Board minutes:

The Board VOTED to create two additional Rally classes – the Intermediate class and the Master class. In terms of difficulty, the Intermediate class is between the current Novice and Advanced classes. The Master class will be more difficult than the Excellent class. There will be titles associated with these new classes. In addition, a Rally Championship prefix title (RACH) is recommended for dogs that achieve a given number of triple Qs (qualify in the Advanced, Excellent and Master class at the same trial) plus earn a given number of points from the Master class. Clubs may start to apply for events with these new classes on August 1, 2017 for events held on or after November 1, 2017.

http://images.akc.org/pdf/board_minutes/0217.pdf

New Trick Dog Program

From the February 2017 Board Minutes:

The Board VOTED to approve a recommendation to develop an AKC Trick Dog titling program. There will be four levels of titles – Novice, Intermediate, Advanced and Performer Trick Dogs. The performance of a dog attempting to earn its Trick Dog title will be certified by CGC evaluators. In addition, titles earned through the “Do More with Your Dog” (DMWYD) Trick Dog organization will be acknowledged by the AKC at the request of the owner. The program will launch on May 1, 2017.

AKC Scent Work – A New Sport

From the February 2017 Board Minutes:

The Board VOTED to approve a new sport called AKC Scent Work. Scent Work is a sport that mimics the task of working detection dogs to locate a scent and communicate to the handler that the scent has been found. This proposal responds to many requests that the American Kennel Club provide such an event. Significant research has been done in developing this program and it is believed it will meet the needs of many dog owners. Scent Work is a sport in which a dog-handler team must locate hidden scents within a defined search area. The dog uses their sense of smell to locate the target odor, which may be an essential oil or the scent of the handler. Any team who finds and calls all hidden odors within the designated time will qualify. Scent Work is a pass/fail sport, however placements will be awarded for the first through fourth place teams, based on fewest number of faults and then on time. Titles are earned when teams reach a certain number of qualifying legs. The event will be open to all breeds and Canine Partners. Dogs must be registered/listed with the AKC. Scent Work is a fun and engaging activity that taps into the dog’s strongest sense. Clubs may start applying to hold AKC Scent Work events on August 1, 2017. Events may be held starting October 1, 2017.

Qualification Requirements at the Obedience Regional Competition

The new Obedience Regional Competitions were developed to provide an additional avenue for exhibitors to qualify for the National Obedience Championship (NOC).

These competitions will not replace the current qualifying methods as outlined in the AKC Obedience Regulations for the NOC, but are intended to give exhibitors and their dogs another avenue to qualify for an invitation to compete at the NOC.

The requirements to qualify at a regional competition can be found in Chapter 8, Section 2 of the AKC Obedience Regulations but have also been listed on this page; see below.

Please note: In the event an exhibitor qualifies by both methods for the NOC, the traditional method (OTCH Points and/or Breed Ranking) and in one or more regional competitions, the selection process will be as follows:

  1. OTCH points and/or Breed Obedience Ranking will take precedent over the placement at the Regional Level.
  2. If a dog is selected by OTCH points and/or Breed Obedience Ranking the placement at the regional level will be awarded to the next highest scoring dog, based on points, from the affected regional competition.
  3. All non-qualifying (NQ) scores will be counted as zero and will be included in the cumulative score.
  4. Only the top scores will be listed for each event up to 20 dogs in the online results.

AKC Obedience Regulations – Chapter 13 – Effective July 1, 2012

Section 2. AKC Regional Competitions. The American Kennel Club will identify yearly the events/shows to be regional qualifying events for the next year. Events will be selected based on criteria established by the American Kennel Club Companion Events Department. Regions will be based on divisions currently established by the AKC Companion Events Department. The only exception will be the division containing Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico, which will be combined as one division, with separate qualification criteria to be set. For all divisions, the top four dogs based on the qualification criteria as established by the Companion Events Department will be invited to attend the American Kennel Club National Obedience Event.

The qualification time period for regional competitors will be from December 1 to November 30 for qualification to attend the National Obedience Championship following the November 30 cut-off date.

Wild Card Classes – Jump Height Regulations

From the January 10, 2017 AKC Board Minutes:

Obedience Regulations

CHAPTER 20, NON-REGULAR CLASSES

Section 3. Wild Card Open.

The Wild Card Open class is for any dog capable of performing the Open exercises and that is eligible under the Obedience Regulations to compete in AKC events. No title is required to enter and handlers may enter more than one dog. Dogs in this class may be handled by the owner or any other person and may be entered in another class or classes. The Open exercises will be performed and judged as in the regular Open A class except that the minimum jump height a dog must jump is to be set at ½ the height of the dog at the withers, rounded to the nearest multiple of 2 inches. The actual height of the dog shall be rounded to the nearest multiple of 2 inches to determine the minimum jump height, with the exception of dogs eligible for the 4- and 18- inch jump heights. Dogs eligible for the 4-inch jump height must be 12 inches or less at the withers and all dogs over 34 inches are eligible for the 18- inch jump height. Handlers who choose to have their dogs jump more than the minimum required height will neither be penalized nor receive extra consideration.  Additionally, verbal praise during the exercises is to be encouraged and not penalized. (Good, yes, nice, super, great and atta boy are some examples of praise that would be allowed.) Handlers may give additional commands but they will be penalized accordingly. Each handler may choose to select one exercise as a wild card. The exhibitor will have the option of performing the selected wild card exercise but will receive the full point value regardless of how the dog performs. When checking in, the handler must inform the steward or judge which exercise will be used as the wild card. The exercises will be performed in the same order as in the regular Open A class. The point values for the exercises, scoring and maximum total points are the same as in the regular Open class.
Section 4. Wild Card Utility.

The Wild Card Utility class is for any dog that is capable of performing the Utility exercises and that is eligible under the Obedience Regulations to compete in AKC events. No title is required to enter and handlers may enter more than one dog. Dogs in this class may be handled by the owner or any other person and may be entered in another class or classes. The Utility exercises will be performed and judged as in the regular Utility A class except that the minimum jump height a dog must jump is to be set at ½ the height of the dog at the withers, rounded to the nearest multiple of 2 inches. The actual height of the dog shall be rounded to the nearest multiple of 2 inches to determine the minimum jump height, with the exception of dogs eligible for the 4- and 18- inch jump heights. Dogs eligible for the 4-inch jump height must be 12 inches or less at the withers and all dogs over 34 inches are eligible for the 18- inch jump height. Handlers who choose to have their dogs jump more than the minimum required height will neither be penalized nor receive extra consideration. 

 Additionally, verbal praise during the exercises is to be encouraged and not penalized. (Good, yes, nice, super, great and atta boy are some examples of praise that would be allowed.) Handlers are allowed to praise their dogs during the performance of all Utility exercises except the signal exercise. Handlers may give additional commands but they will be penalized accordingly. Each handler may choose to select one exercise as a wild card. The exhibitor will have the option of performing the selected wild card exercise but will receive the full point value regardless of how the dog performs. When checking in, the handler must inform the steward or judge which exercise will be used as the wild card. The exercises will be performed in the same order as in the regular Utility A class. The point values for the exercises, scoring and maximum total points are the same as in the regular Utility class.

Obedience Trial – Preferred Classes Option for Clubs

From the January 10, 2017 AKC Board Meeting Minutes:

Allow Obedience Preferred Class Trials Without Regular Classes

The Board VOTED to allow clubs licensed for obedience to hold trials limited to the Preferred classes without offering the Regular classes. A Preferred class trial is defined as one where the club offers the Preferred Novice, Preferred Open and/or the Preferred Utility classes without the Regular AKC classes. The Non-Regular classes will be allowed to utilize the Preferred class jump heights in all obedience trials. Clubs still will have the ability to offer the optional or non-regular classes like Beginner Novice and Veterans in addition to the Regular or Preferred class trials. This Regulations change is effective February 1, 2017. (Changes underlined)

Obedience Regulations CHAPTER 1 GENERAL REGULATIONS Section 4. Obedience Classes Offered. Clubs may elect at their option to apply to hold a licensed or member obedience trial limited to the Regular and/or Preferred classes.  A licensed or member obedience trial need not include all the regular or preferred obedience classes, but a club will not be approved to hold the upper level classes without the lower level classes being offered in the same titling program.   For either the Regular or Preferred class titling path, a club will not be approved to hold the Open classes unless it also holds the Novice classes. Nor will it be approved to hold the Utility classes unless it also holds the Novice and the Open classes.

Any club that has been approved to hold a licensed or member obedience trial for the Regular and/or Preferred classes may also offer a mix of the optional classes and/or non-regular classes upon AKC approval.