Agility FAQ's

 

Points Progression and Grade Change

1. Question: If a handler progresses up a grade using the Agility Warrant points scheme and has entered a show, do they need to send in their record book to let us know?

Answer: No - all they need to do is get their record book signed by the Show Secretary at the first show they enter a higher grade. If they have already entered the show and the entry date has closed then they must enter the show at the grade they put on the form (if you enter the show at Grade 1 then you must run at Grade 1).

However if the entry closing date has not passed then the competitor can apply for a grade change by contacting the Show Secretary or the online processors.

2. Question: In relation to rules relating to progression via points,  my understanding has always been that wins within 25 days before a competition are not to be taken into account when moving to a higher grade. Annex A states, with regard to progression on points:

"There is no time limit on this progression, however, once a dog has progressed, it cannot return to a previous grade."

It is not clear whether this statement refers to when points for progression can begin to be taken into account, how long after 100 points have been gained a grade change can be claimed, or both.

Answer: To progress on points you can only claim points gained whilst in the current grade.  Therefore if you won into Grade 3 you could only claim points towards Grade 4 progression once you had actually started competing at Grade 3 (Grade 2 results don't count).

Agility Matches

3. Question: Does a dog have to be measured to compete in a match?

Answer: Kennel Club Regulations for Agility Matches do not specify any requirements in respect of dogs being measured.  Although they do not have to be measured for special classes at Limited Shows, it is advised that dogs are measured before competing in a match.

4. Question: Can I compete in a match class if my spouse is judging, but the dog is in my name?

Answer: There is no specific Regulation that covers competing under a spouse at a match. However we would advise caution about how it will be perceived.

5. Question: Can I compete with the same dog in classes another judge is judging, if my spouse is judging at the same show?

Answer: Yes - you can compete your dog under a different judge that is not a spouse.

6. Question: A handler is grade 1 and runs two grade 1 dogs. She wins out with one of the dogs and therefore is a grade 2 handler with one dog at grade 1 and one dog at grade 2.

Does the grade 1 dog skip to become a grade 2 dog? If not, does the handler have to run the grade 1 dog in a 1-2 combined class only until it wins out by itself?

Answer: This will partly relate to who owns the dog.  If a friend/relative owns the dog and they have never done agility before it will start at grade 1. You are correct in your assumption that the grade 2/3 handler has to run it in a combined 1-2 or 1-3 class.

In respect of your query that a grade 1 handler runs 2 dogs, again it depends on who owns the dogs. If the handler owns the dogs (or they are owned by the same non agility person) then they both move up to Grade 2.  If two different non-agility people own the two dogs then the initial scenario comes in and the grade 1 dog can only be handled in a combined 1-2 class.

7. Question: A handler handles a dog all the way to grade 4 but never handled the dog at any of the shows when it won out into the next grade. However the progression from grade 3 to 4 was based on points and this handler was responsible for some of these points which made up the total for eligibility to be able to progress on points. Does this handler still qualify to run in grade 1 classes with a new grade 1 dog? 

Answer: The dog can progress on points it has won, regardless of who has handled it.  In respect of whether the handler can go back to grade 1 this is not clear cut as you have said the dog was already grade 3 but not how it got there or who owned it.   Therefore if the handler won the dog into grade 3 initially they cannot then go back to grade 1 or grade 2.

8. Question: I have been running a dog in agility competitions for a couple of years now and we are still in grade 1. I am just starting with my second dog and would like some clarification about progression.

At the moment because me and my 1st dog are still grade 1, I will run my 2nd dog in grade 1 as well. If either moved into grade 2 I believe I could still run the other in grade 1.  Is this correct?  What happens if either wins into grade 3  - does the other automatically get moved into grade 3 as well?

Answer: I am assuming that you own both dogs.  If so,  when either dog progresses to Grade 2 and subsequently Grade 3 the other dog will also progress to that Grade.  Once the dogs are in Grade 3 any future progression will only relate to that dog.  When you progress to Grade 2 you can no longer compete in Grade 1 and the same applies to Grade 3, you can then no longer compete in Grade 2.

9. Question: The first 20 dogs ran and only 2 of those dogs 'ran' clear but both had time faults.  The judge then went over to the scorer's tent and changed the course time to 46 secs, and the tickets were changed accordingly.  A  short while after this I returned and ran my dog still under the assumption that the course time was 46 secs.  We went clear at 42.995 so were inside the 'new' course time, but unbeknown to myself the show manager had had a complaint about the course time being reset, and had changed the course time back to the original time. 

After I had run I saw that  the course times had been put back to the original time.  I went to see the Show Manager and asked her why the course time was changed back again. I was told that a course time  may not be changed. If it was not permissible for it to have been changed in the first place, surely the class should have been re-run?  Surely the judge should have sought confirmation that a course time change is allowed (or not) before doing this.

Answer: I do not believe the judge should have changed the course time in the first place. The course length must be measured and the time calculated accordingly using a matrix of expected dog speeds.

Regulation H(1)(B)1.a(4) states: "The set time shall be stated by the judge before judging commences."  I do not see why there would be a reason to re-run the course due to the course time being changed. Nothing within the course had been changed and handlers would have handled the course in the fastest manner for their dog. 

10. Question: Can a Listed Status Agility Team Club compete at Crufts?

Answer: Yes -if they put together a team and that team wins at a Registered club's qualifying heat then they can compete at Crufts.

11. Question: Our club is looking to get a set of measuring hoops to aid us in putting the right size dogs in the right classes. Please could you suggest where we can purchase these from?

Answer: RVA Agility equipment supply the measuring hoops. Their contact details are available on the website: http://www.rvaagility.com/.

Class Progression - special classes

12. Question: My Medium dog won the qualifying jumping run for the Novice Cup at the KCI this year. This wasn't an ABC class but I was wondering since it is still a special class (as you had to have x amount of points to enable you to run in it), does that win count towards grade progression?

Answer: No-special classes do not count towards progression.  As you say there was a qualification criteria to be able to enter the class and it was therefore not open to every dog at that grade and therefore it does not count for progression.

Judging spouses / immediate family

13. Question: In the Agility rule:

''Dogs may be disqualified if proved to have been handled in the class by the scheduled Judge's spouse or immediate family or resident at the same address.''

Can you please clarify what is meant by immediate family, when not living at the same address?

Answer: This relates to one generation of family members.  The press release which was issued in June 2011  states: 

''The term 'immediate family' includes a judge's father, mother, daughter, son, brother and/or sister. Step-children, grandparents, aunts or uncles, nieces or nephews or cousins are not covered unless the dog they own resides at the same address as the judge.'' (Press release dated 15 June 2011, entitled: Announcement: Judging Of Dogs Owned By Spouses And Close Relatives In Agility)

Judging dogs in your ownership at a show in which you are judging

14. Question: Can my wife run a dog which is in my ownership on the same day I am judging?

Answer: At an Open show a dog you own cannot compete on the day you are judging. However it may compete at a Limited show on the same day you are judging. Please see Reg. H(1)(D)10.d for further information.

Splitting classes

15. Question: When splitting a class into part 1 and 2, can we have part 1 with 80 dogs and part 2 with 101 dogs or does it have to be a 50/50 split?

Answer: It depends on what the class is.  If it is a graded class for example 3-5 then you can put grades 3 and 4 in one ring together and grade 5 in another ring.  However if it is a combined class it has to be a 50/50 split (to within one dog).

16. Question: I am running an Agility show, the Large Agility combined grades 1 - 4  has 470 entries at Full Height and 100 entries at Lower Height.  We are offering separate results for each height.  Therefore could we put all the Lower Height entries in one “part” and split the Full Height entries into either 2 or 3 parts. 

Answer: If a combined class (or single grade class) needs to be split it should initially be split be lower / full height and if subsequent splits are required this should be randomly within the height.

Minimum Age for a Judge

17. Question: Can you tell me whether there is a minimum age requirement for judges?

Answer: No-there is no minimum age for a judge, they just need to make sure they have passed both seminars and that the inviting society is happy that they are capable of fulfilling their role as a judge. 

Combination of Owner, Handler and Dog competing

18. Question: I own a Grade 3 Dog and I am the handler. I am getting a new dog, what grade do I enter it in? (And variations on that question)

Answer: If the owner is Grade 3 (due to having won a dog up to Grade 3) then the new dog will automatically be Grade 3. For Grade 3 and above it is only the Dog's grade that makes a difference. A handler can handle above their grade. If you have a Grade 1 owner but a Grade 7 handler then the dog could only compete in combined 1-3.

19. Question: When running your dogs in agility, are you allowed to run with your dog lead clipped around your body or would the judge be entitled to eliminate you?

Answer: Whilst this is not advised, there is no Regulation that forbids this activity and therefore you should not be eliminated for this. 

The Lower Height Option

For some time now there has been a call for the introduction of an additional jump height of 55cm and creation of an additional dog height between the current Medium and Large, (This has been popularly referred to within the agility fraternity as the 4thheight).

There has also been a request to consider a further height to be introduced below the current 35cm Small dog height as well. Considering these specific options raised the opportunity to address issues for ALL heights of dog.

Whilst considering this it is also imperative to retain the ability for show organisers to still have choice over what they schedule, and, that competitors still have choice of jump height they perceive to be suitable for their dog.

Therefore, with all of this in mind the Lower Height Option is to be introduced from 1stJuly 2016 which satisfies all the above. 

Lower Height Information

Full Height Jump heights: Small – 35cm, Medium – 45cm, Large – 65cm
Lower Height Jump heights: Small – 25cm, Medium – 35cm, Large – 55cm

When the Lower Height Option is listed on the schedule a dog may only be entered at either the Full height or at the Lower Height and cannot compete at a different height in any class at that show.

The Lower Height option detailed here is only applicable to Standard Classes as it is already possible to reduce hurdle heights for Special classes within the current regulations.

General

20 . Question: Why has it been decided to do this now?

Answer: In order to provide professional advice regarding the jump height debate, the Kennel Club has commissioned research to fully understand the impact of jump heights on dogs. However, this research is likely to take some considerable time before it is concluded and the findings made available to inform the debate.

21. Question: When will this become effective?

Answer: This will become effective for any shows from 1 July 2016

Show Organisers

22. Question: Can you give me an example of what a schedule will look like?

Answer: The class listing on the show schedule will need to identify which classes will have the Lower Height Option available such as:

Class 15 Large Agility Graded 3,4,5 *
Class 16 KC Olympia Large Novice Agility Stakes Combined 3-5
Class 17 Small Agility Graded 3,4,5 *
Class 18 Special Small Steeplechase Combined 4-7
(* with Lower Height Option)

23.Question: How will this be accommodated on the entry form? Will they have a box to tick that they will be entering all the lower height classes?

Answer: Yes, there will be a tick box on the entry form to indicate which dogs are entered at the lower height.

24. Question: Will the class numbers be the same?

Answer: Yes, it will be one class.

25. Question: Do shows have to schedule lower height options as small shows might find it hard to fit them in?

Answer: No, we have tried to make it as flexible as possible for societies. There is no requirement to offer lower height classes.

26. Question: Can clubs run the lower height classes without offering the full height as well?

Answer: No.

27. Question: Can clubs run a mixture of some lower height classes with full height classes? For example run full height large, medium and small classes, but only run the lower height class for medium and small, not large?

Answer: Yes, as long as they are running the full height class, this won't be a problem.

28. Question: Can the club charge a different entry fee for the lower height classes and the full height ones?

Answer: No, all the dogs will be entered in the same class and the entry fee must be the same.

29. Question: What benefits are there for clubs running the lower height classes?

Answer: It is anticipated that entries will increase as dogs that have not previously been able to jump Kennel Club heights will now be able to compete.  It is also expected that some dogs may be able to compete for longer in standard classes as they could be dropped to the Lower height instead of to veterans / any size classes.

30. Question: If lower height is offered for a class, do both winners of the full height and lower height count towards progression?

Answer: Only if the show organisers are offering separate awards for the two heights which must be detailed on the schedule.

Competitors

31. Question: I have a small border collie that competes in Large, does it have to jump the lower height?

Answer: No, every class must have jumps at full height, even if the society is offering the lower height option. Therefore you can continue to compete your dog at 65cm.

32. Question: If even taller dogs can jump at the lower height, what's to stop everyone from running at the lower height to increase their speed?

Answer: This will come down to personal choice. Some handlers won't choose to change their dogs to the lower height as it will change their timing, stride pattern etc. Additionally it is often the taller, heavier dogs that will benefit more from not having to jump so high, so it is more likely to be these dogs you will find at the lower height. Finally, all the Kennel Club qualifiers will be held at the full height so there is an advantage to competing at the full height.

33. Question: Will it be easy for the running orders to be printed off to reflect those who are running the lower height class and those who aren't?

Answer: Yes, this will be done by the show processor in a similar way to how they are done for Any Size type classes.

34. Question: Can you enter lower height classes at some shows and then full height classes at others?

Answer: Yes- you can compete at either full height or lower height for the duration of the show covered by a specific schedule. Therefore if a show is over two weekends and during the week with different schedules it would be possible to compete in lower height for one weekend and then full height for the rest of the show if it's under a different schedule.

35. Question: Is the lower height just for hurdles? What about the other obstacles?

Answer: It is just for the hurdles (which includes the wall). All the other obstacles will remain at full height as detailed in the Regulations.

36. Question: If a lower height class includes the tyre how will that work if it is higher than the hurdles?

Answer: The measurement for the tyre is taken at the centre of the tyre. Therefore the dog could still jump the same height through the tyre as it is jumping over the hurdles.

37. Question: What are Kennel Club Prestige Events?

Answer: Kennel Club Prestige Events are those held at Premier Shows; these are heats for Crufts, Olympia, Discover Dogs, such as Crufts Singles, Crufts ABC etc

38. Question: Why can't Prestige Events be at the lower height?

Answer: There is a high value of the awards at these events, they have extra importance than standard classes and therefore a lower height is not applicable. 

39. Question: I don't understand what I have to do to qualify for Championship classes? Has it changed?

Answer: If your wins from Grade 6 to Grade 7 were all at full height then you can automatically enter Championship classes. However if you have progressed to Grade 7 in the lower height then the qualification requirements have changed. If your wins to Grade 7 were at a lower height then you will need additional wins at full height. You will need a total of 4 wins at full height in either Grade 6 or 7, at least 2 of which must be agility.

40. Question: Would my dog have to be measured to enter the lower height classes?

Answer: The lower height classes are not separate classes so measuring is required as normal for dogs entered in to Small and Medium classes

41. Question: If I have entered the lower height for a class and have missed my run and the jumps have been lowered/raised can I still run in the class?

Answer: No, it is the competitors’ responsibility to be at the ring when required. It is recommended that Shows indicate on their ring plan whether a class is starting with the lower height or full height.

42. Question: If lower height is offered for a class, do both winners of the full height and lower height count towards progression?

Answer: Only if the show organisers are offering separate awards for the two heights which must be detailed on the schedule.

43. Question: Can I progress on jumping wins if the wins are at different heights?

Answer: Yes you can. For example, you can have three wins at three different shows with one of those wins being at Full Height, and the other two at the Lower Height (or vice versa) and still use those wins to progres

44. Question: If I have entered a show at the Lower Height but then progress up to the next grade before the 25 day cut off point, can I change from Lower Height to Full Height when I submit my grade change?

Answer: No- you will have to compete at the same height that you originally entered the show. This is a class change rather than a grade change which is not allowed once you have submitted your entry.

 

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