Following the recent insertion of Agility Regulation H(1)10.g.
(Competing), the Kennel Club would like to issue some guidance
concerning its interpretation. Judges are reminded to act in a
professional and fair manner ensuring that Regulations are applied
Regulation H(1)10.g. states:
The dog and handler are deemed to be under test when instructed
by the Judge or the Judge's steward, by signal or voice. The test
has concluded when the dog has negotiated the last obstacle, or the
handler and dog have voluntarily left the ring.
The Regulation helps define the start of the test. However there
is no set time limit for when the dog and handler should actually
start. The Regulation does not make any reference to marking
In the marking procedure, Regulation H(1)(B)5.a.(13)
"Start - Starting prior to instruction may result in
elimination. If the dog runs by the first obstacle it should be
faulted with a refusal."
This means that a judge may eliminate a dog and handler in the
event that they begin their round prior to receiving some form of
confirmation from the scribe or judge that they can start. The only
time elimination may be considered is if the dog and handler start
prior to instruction.
Judges may penalise competitors in scenarios such as the
- When the judge is not in position to see
the dog and handler start
- When the judge has not confirmed that
he/she is ready
- Before the start signal has been given by
either the judge or the scribe
The agility community should note that it helped introduce
Regulation H(1)10.g. and therefore it should ensure that the
Regulation is applied correctly without finding unnecessary means
to penalise the competitor. In the Agility Liaison Council's
June 2013 minutes it discussed scenarios that would not apply such
as, adjusting the dog's starting position after receiving the
signal. Judges who are deemed to be applying this Regulation
unfairly should be reported in the incident book.
Agendas and minutes from Agility Liaison Council meetings, held
within the last year, can be found on the Kennel Club website.