Mr R Burbidge
Mrs M Ray
Mrs B Smith
Mrs A Benoist
Mrs D Lavender
Mrs A Height
Mr S Rutter
Mr M McCartney
Mr J McIntosh
Mrs C Patrick
Mr J Farr
Mrs J Jessop
Miss F Godfrey
South East and East Anglia
Mr R Harlow
South East and East Anglia
Mr P Lubbi
South East and East Anglia
Mrs L Turner
South and South West
Mrs V McAlpine
Executive - Young Kennel Club (Item 8 only -paragraphs 18-33
Miss D Deuchar
Manager - Canine Activities Team
Miss S Mamouzi
Specialist - Working Dog Activities Team
Mrs A Mitchell
Committee Secretary - Working Dog Activities Team
1. TO ELECT A
CHAIRMAN FOR THE TERM OF THE COUNCIL
1. Following a ballot, Mr R Harlow was elected as Chairman. Mr
Harlow wished to thank Mr Rutter, the previous Chairman, for his
services to the Council.
IN THE CHAIR: MR R HARLOW
2. TO ELECT A
VICE CHAIRMAN FOR THE TERM OF THE COUNCIL
2. In the absence of any other nominations, Mrs L Turner was
elected as Vice Chairman for the new term of Council.
3. TO ELECT A
REPRESENTATIVE ONTO THE ACTIVITIES SUB-COMMITTEE EFFECTIVE FROM
JUNE 2016 TO MAY 2019
3. In the absence of any other nominations, Mrs D Lavender was
elected as the representative onto the Activities Sub-Committee for
the above term.
4. TO ELECT A
REPRESENTATIVE ONTO THE ACTIVITIES HEALTH AND WELFARE
4. In the absence of any other nominations, Mrs C Patrick was
elected as the representative onto the Activities Health and
PRESENTATION TO THE COUNCIL ON KENNEL CLUB STRUCTURES AND
5. The Council noted a presentation which explained Kennel Club
and Liaison Council structures and procedures.
6. It was clarified that notifications of forthcoming Council
meetings were placed on the Kennel Club's website and that press
releases were also issued to the canine press, however it was up to
the canine press as to whether these were published.
7. A request was also made that a flowchart illustrating the
organisational structure of the Kennel Club should be made
available in order to assist grass-roots members of the Obedience
community in understanding the decision-making process. It
was agreed that a suitable item would be published within 'Take the
Lead' which was the Kennel Club's e-newsletter for Obedience
8. Any suggestions for future items to appear in the newsletter
would be welcome.
9. It was noted that the Kennel Club was in the process of
updating the directory of Canine Activities Team staff members.
This information would be available in due course on request by
10. The Council noted that any correspondence with the office
relating to Obedience should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
11. It was noted that the Kennel Club booklet containing the
2016 G Regulations had been issued, and that it now contained a
summary of any Regulations which had been amended within the
previous twelve months. This was considered to be a helpful
12. Mr Harlow requested anyone wishing to submit a proposal or a
discussion item for consideration by the Council to send him a copy
of the relevant documentation.
13. Apologies for absence had been received from Mrs J
OF THE MINUTES
14. The minutes of the meeting held on 30 June 2015 were signed
by the Chairman as an accurate record.
MATTERS ARISING/RESULTS OF RECOMMENDATIONS
Amendments to Regulations
15. The Council noted that the General Committee had approved a
number of amendments to the following Regulations which had been
recommended for approval by the Council at its meeting on 30 June
(i)Regulation G33.d Dogs recorded in part ownership with the
- Regulation G(A)5.f(1) Use of a silent toy in Introductory
- Regulation G35(g) Use of food and/or toys
(iv) Regulation G(C)4.h. Stays in all classes
- Regulation G(A)5.c Extra commands or encouragement in stays in
(vi) In addition, the General Committee had approved an
amendment to Regulation G35.d. with the proviso that the amended
wording should read as follows:
Nothing may be carried, worn or displayed by a handler or a dog
during judging which is capable of indicating the identity of the
dog or owner nor must anything be said or any action taken which
identifies the dog other than by exhibit number. If
requested by the judge or ring steward a handler may (at their
choice) disclose their first name and dog's pet name for
possible show report use.
(Insertion in bold)
Commentary for obedience competitions at Crufts
16. It was noted that the Crufts Sub-Committee had agreed that
commentary for the Obedience Championships would be introduced from
2016 onwards, and that this had been approved by the General
17. The Council welcomed the decision, but was keen to ensure
that as the Championships were a key event in Obedience, any
commentary must be of a very high standard. Suggestions were
invited as to suitable individuals who may be able to provide
commentary. Mrs D Cox was suggested but it was understood that she
may not be available. Mrs L Turner was also suggested.
These names would be passed to the Crufts Sub-Committee for
consideration. It was confirmed that Mr G Paisley would be
asked to undertake his normal role at Crufts.
Participation of YKC Members in Obedience
18. The Council considered the issues involved in attracting its
members to participate in Obedience. The meeting was attended
by Mrs V McAlpine, representing the YKC, for discussion of this
19. It was noted that YKC members could qualify to take part in
the GCDS Special Pre-Beginner Obedience Stakes class, the final of
which took place at Crufts each year, by way of a separate award
for the highest placed YKC member at each heat which would qualify
him or her for a place in the final.
20. However, the Council noted the difficulty of finding clubs
willing to hold qualifying classes for YKC members as often there
were only very few entries for such classes and the cost involved
in appointing a special judge was not justified. It was
unclear as to whether young handlers wished to take part in YKC
classes or whether they preferred to compete in classes alongside
21. It was noted that questionnaires had already been sent to
YKC members to canvas their views on competitive obedience, but
responses had been minimal. Questionnaires had also been sent to
training clubs to request their input but it was accepted that
response rates to such approaches tended to be low. It was
confirmed that questionnaires had only been sent to Registered
Clubs, and it was suggested that as a great deal of Obedience
training took place via Good Citizen Dog Scheme Listed Status
Clubs, questionnaires should also be sent to them. It was
agreed that this would be a positive step and Mrs McAlpine agreed
to ensure that contact was made with Listed Status clubs, with the
objective of encouraging young handlers to take part in the YKC
Pre-Beginner Stakes competition.
22. It was confirmed that the Rebecca Pointer Trophy had been
reallocated to the winner of the YKC Pre-Beginner Stakes final held
23. Mrs McAlpine also suggested that the Regulations relating to
YKC handlers may be reviewed with the aim of simplifying them, and
that input from the Council would be welcome as a part of this
24. There was some concern regarding younger handlers competing
on equal terms against much older handlers. It was agreed
that splitting classes by age group would address this issue so
that handlers would be competing with others of a similar age
25. YKC handlers were already incorporated into standard classes
at many shows.
26. It was agreed that it was important to ensure that training
clubs were 'family friendly' in order to encourage participation by
young handlers. Many clubs did offer excellent training for young
handlers but it was not possible to formally identify them by way
of a 'family friendly' directory or listing as sufficient
information from clubs was not available. The Council was
requested to consider ways in which clubs could be encouraged to
respond to requests for information.
27. A suggestion was made that instead of special qualifying
classes for YKC members, a points system be introduced similar to
that used in Heelwork to Music where YKC members could gain
qualifying points at any show rather than just those that held
specific classes for YKC handlers. It was agreed that this
was a possibility but that if such a system were to be introduced
it would have to cover all shows so as not to be unfair on those
scheduling YKC classes.
28. Mrs McAlpine confirmed that the YKC would be willing to
publicise those shows which scheduled specific YKC classes via its
e-newsletter which could be targeted to those members with an
interest in Obedience.
29. The issue of child safety was raised, and it was clarified
that instructors were only required to undergo a DBS check
(Disclosure and Barring Service - formerly known as CRB checking)
if at any time unaccompanied children were alone with that
30. A suggestion was made that judges appointed to judge YKC
classes at Crufts should ideally be ex-members of the YKC as this
would demonstrate to young people that there was a progression
route available to them within the discipline, and would encourage
them to remain within it. It was acknowledged that YKC
handlers were generally appreciative of being judged by ex-members
who had relevant experience and expertise. The office
confirmed that it would be happy to accept nominations for YKC
appointments at Crufts from the Council.
31. It was noted that there were a lot of young handlers
involved in breed showing and it was suggested that breed shows may
offer a valuable opportunity to encourage participation in
Obedience. Mrs McAlpine confirmed that if there was enough
interest, consideration would be given to running Obedience
training sessions or demonstrations at breed shows with the
objective of attracting young handlers into the discipline.
32. The issue of good communication was raised. It was
considered essential that there were good links between departments
within the Kennel Club and the Obedience community which would
ensure a productive flow of information, and the maximising of
opportunities to promote Obedience via a range of routes.
33. Mrs McAlpine was thanked for attending the meeting.
The discussion had been a positive and productive one, and it was
agreed that in future there should be a stronger link between the
Council and the YKC. Further discussions would take place
between Mr Harlow, Mr Burbidge, and Mrs McAlpine at a later
Clashes of shows
34. At its previous meeting, the Council had discussed the issue
of competing shows being held on the same weekend but a short
distance apart, and a suggestion had been made that it should be
permissible to hold two shows on the same day and at the same venue
if a partnership was agreed between two clubs. Each show
would be separately licensed by the Kennel Club.
35. The Council noted an update on the issue following
consideration by the Activities Sub-Committee. The
Sub-Committee had acknowledged the potential benefits of
competitors being able to attend two shows scheduled together, and
had noted that this would result in a reduction of travel
36. However, it had raised a concern regarding the welfare of
competing dogs, in that there was a possibility that a dog may
potentially be entered into up to six classes on a single day,
which was considered to be undesirable.
37. There was some concern regarding logistical issues and
possible delays to judging where handlers, possibly with more than
one dog, were entered into a number of classes. Careful
planning would also be required in respect of management issues
such as which society would be responsible in the case of an
incident, or a breach of Regulations. It would also be
necessary for the two organising societies to agree a cancellation
policy, risk assessments, and emergency planning.
38. The Council noted the Sub-Committee's decision that, should
two clubs wish to hold shows on the same day and at the same venue,
an application should be made to the Kennel Club for consideration
on its own merits. Clubs would be expected to provide
evidence that the shows could be run without undue difficulties and
that the issues outlined above had been given careful consideration
and that suitable plans were in place.
9. FIVE YEAR
39. The Council discussed the Five Year Strategic Plan.
40. As discussed earlier in the meeting, it was suggested that
more use should be made of all channels of communication in order
to maximise opportunities to promote Obedience. For example,
it was suggested that all handlers obtaining a Gold Good Citizens
award should be targeted to encourage them to take part in
competitive Obedience. However, it was accepted that some
handlers who gained Good Citizens awards merely wished to have a
well-behaved pet and may have no interest in competing.
41. An issue was highlighted where, due to entries closing well
in advance of shows, handlers having qualified out of a class were
obliged to continue to compete in that class for some time, and as
a result in some cases were 'blocking' wins by other handlers. It
was noted that in Agility, in the event of a dog becoming eligible
for the next grade at a show more than 25 days before that show,
but after the entry had been made, it was the competitor's
responsibility to notify the show secretary at least 14 days before
the date of the show. The dog would then be moved into the
appropriate class(es) for the next grade.
42. The Council was of the view that in principle, the
introduction of a similar system for Obedience would be desirable,
but that it would be necessary to consider the effects on show
organisers who would be required to manage the effects of such a
change, such as making relevant amendments to running orders.
Amendments to G Regulations would also be required to implement the
43. It was noted that at its meeting on 1 July 2014, Mrs Turner,
Mr Harlow and Mr Lubbi had volunteered their services for a Working
Party, the remit of which was to consider the five-year strategy
for Obedience. It was agreed that this Working Party, with
the additions of Miss Godfrey and Mr McCartney would give further
consideration to the suggestion, including obtaining feedback from
show organisers. A formal proposal would in due course be
submitted to the Council.
44. The Working Party would also consider other ideas for the
ongoing promotion of Obedience, including the issue of improved
communications between all parties with a potential interest in
45. It was suggested that Agility shows and Obedience shows
could be run together, although it was accepted that there may be
logistical issues such as a lack of space at some venues, and the
difficulty of co-ordinating suitable dates in a crowded show
46. It was acknowledged that competitive Obedience should be an
enjoyable activity for all concerned and it was important to
encourage handlers, especially those new to the discipline.
Judges in particular played an important role in providing such
Proposed amendment to Regulation G35.c Competing and consequent
amendment to the wording of 6.6.1 in The Guide for Obedience
47. Mrs Turner proposed the amendment, which had been submitted
by Mr R Becque.
48. Mr Becque's view was that being allowed to use a dog in the
planning of the test round was of benefit to the judge, the
steward, and competitors, especially in the higher classes as it
enabled the position of the judge in relation to the dog to be
worked out and to identify any potential blind spots. It
would also allow the steward to place him/her self in the best
position so as to avoid impeding either the Judge or
49. No seconder was available and the matter was not discussed
Proposed amendment to Regulation G19.a. Facilities
50. Miss Godfrey, representing Mrs L Bennett, presented the
proposal, which was seconded by Mr Lubbi.
51. Mrs Bennett requested that the Council consider the proposed
amendment on the grounds that existing Regulations only stated that
stay ring sizes should be 'adequate'. Mrs Bennett's view was that
if dogs were allowed more space between them, some of the stresses
involved with the stay exercise could be alleviated.
52. Mrs Bennett proposed that stay rings must be of an adequate
size to allow for a 2m (6ft) gap between dogs and to accommodate
the largest expected entry. The Council was of the view that
although G Regulations specified that there must be adequate space,
a 2m gap was excessive and would also be impractical as it would
necessitate very large stay rings which could not be accommodated
at some venues. It considered that a gap of 3 feet, or 1 metre,
would be more practical. There was also a view that stays were a
group exercise and that too large a gap between dogs would not
53. It was highlighted that it was the responsibility of the
Chief Steward to check that the stay ring was of adequate size, and
that should circumstances dictate, he or she had the authority to
alter tests, or to split stays if necessary. It was agreed
that the responsibilities of the Chief Steward in this regard would
be highlighted by the Council Chairman in an article to be
published in the Kennel Club's Obedience newsletter, 'Take the
54. It was agreed that it was not desirable to be too
prescriptive on this issue but that show organisers must give
careful consideration to the size of stay rings to ensure that they
were of adequate size.
55. Accordingly, although the Council was understanding of the
rationale behind the proposed amendment, it did not recommend it
ITEM 11. DISCUSSION
56. Mrs Turner wished to raise the issue of harsh handling and
how concerns on this matter may be addressed. It was accepted
that there were differing views on what constituted harsh handling,
and that the issue was highly subjective.
57. It was acknowledged that in the ring a Judge's decision was
paramount and that any behaviour considered to be unacceptable
should be reported to the Kennel Club, and the handler dismissed
from the ring. However, it was not possible to make any clear
definition of what constituted unacceptable behaviour. It was
therefore up to the judge to exercise his or her own discretion.
Should a judge have strong views on a particular method of handling
he or she may place a note on the judging table pointing out any
handling methods that they did not consider to be acceptable.
58. It was clarified that where a handler had been dismissed
from the ring, the judge must go immediately to the show
secretary's office to report the incident.
59. The office confirmed that all incidents occurring at shows
were logged, including those noted as having been resolved at the
60. The Council was of the view that common sense should
prevail, and that judges training should include suitable guidance
on the issue of harsh handling. The matter would also be
addressed via the Chairman's report in the Kennel Club's
Length of heelwork in Novice and other classes
61. Mrs Turner spoke on behalf of Mrs Delia Steadman and Mrs
Chris Moss, who requested the Council to discuss their observation
that some judges were setting Novice rounds which appeared to be
quite long, and in some cases were longer than subsequent higher
62. It was acknowledged that judges had discretion as to the
length of a heelwork round, subject to the guide timetable
contained within the G Regulations regarding the number of dogs to
be judged per hour. It was agreed that the timetable had not been
updated for some time and that a review was necessary.
63. It was not considered desirable to set prescriptive
limits on the length of a round, or the number of turns or halts,
but it was agreed that judges training should include guidance as
to what constituted an appropriate round for each class.
64. Should a competitor consider that a round was unsuitable, a
report could be made in the show's Incident Book.
65. The Council agreed that the issue should be addressed by
means of judges training and that no further action was
Dogs being entered under their breeder
66. Mrs Jessop presented the discussion item on behalf of Ms P
Hirsch who wished the Council to discuss a suggestion that a new
Regulation be introduced, similar to that which applied to breed
showing, which would prevent a dog being entered under its breeder,
or its breeder's spouse.
67. The Council expressed a view that it was important that the
integrity of judges should not be called into question. There was
no support for the item and it was not discussed further.
ACTIVITIES HEALTH & WELFARE SUB-GROUP
68. The Council noted the written report from the office on the
recent work of the Activities Health and Welfare Sub-Group.
69. The Sub-Group noted that it was unclear whether there
was an issue relating to head carriage within Obedience. The
Council's view was that very few dogs were worked with their heads
in an exaggerated position.
70.It was noted that the Sub-Group had reviewed equine
research for the purposes of comparison, but the Council was of the
view that the conformation of dogs was very different to that of
horses and that equine research was not helpful when considering
issues relating to dogs. There was a possibility that further
research on the matter may be undertaken in the future by a student
at Nottingham Trent University.
71. The Council noted that the next meeting of the
Sub-Group would take place on 27 January 2016. Mrs Patrick
would attend on behalf of the Council, subject to work
ITEM 13. ACTIVITIES
JUDGES WORKING PARTY
72. The Council noted a report submitted by Mrs Garner on the
Judges Working Party following its meeting on 10 November
2015. It was noted that the report had been provided by Mrs
Garner as neither Mr Rutter nor Mr Page had been able to attend the
Working Party's meeting.
73. The Council was pleased to note the Kennel Club's plans to
introduce e-learning for judges which it viewed as a positive step
forward. This method of learning may be particularly
attractive to younger handlers.
ITEM 14. ANY
74. Council members were requested to note that the
Chairman should be advised of any items for discussion under Any
Other Business, in advance of the meeting.
75. In response to a query from Mrs Turner regarding the way in
which seating around the Obedience ring at Crufts was sold, it was
clarified that only one block of seats was made available for
ticket sale beforehand. Other areas were open to the general
public on the day.
Obedience Stand at Crufts
76. Mrs Benoist and Mrs Lavender confirmed that they would once
again be organising the stand at Crufts, and that any assistance
from Council members would be welcome.
77. A query was raised regarding some newly-qualified judges who
were undertaking judging appointments for C classes having only
previously undertaken judging at Novice level. It
was agreed that this issue should be addressed as part of judges
Obedience World Cup
78. The Council wished to record its disappointment at the
decision to discontinue the World Cup competition at Crufts with
effect from 2016. It was highlighted that many overseas teams
were keen to compete and would no longer have the opportunity to do
ITEM 15. DATE
OF NEXT MEETING
79. The Council noted that the date of the next meeting of the
Council would take place on 6 July 2016 and any items for the
agenda must be submitted by 7 April 2016.
80. Those present were thanked for attending. There being
no further business, the meeting closed at 16.35 p.m.
THE KENNEL CLUB'S STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES
"To raise the relevance of the Kennel Club in the eyes
of the public at large, dog owners and those who take part in
canine events, so as to be better able 'to promote
in every way the general improvement of dogs.'
This objective to be achieved through:-
- Ensuring that the Kennel Club is the first port of call
on all canine matters.
- Improving canine health and welfare.
- Popularising canine events focusing on the retention of
existing participants and the attracting of new.
- Achieving a widening of the Kennel Club membership
- Encouraging the development of all those concerned with
dogs through education and training.
- Encouraging more people to provide input in the Kennel
Club's decision making process.
Kennel Club Obedience Liaison Council
1 January 2016 to 31 December 2018
Midlands, Ms B Smith, 99 Highfields Road,
Chasetown, Staffs, WS7 4QS, Tel: 01543 674238 Email: email@example.com
Midlands, Mr R Burbidge
(Contact details to be confirmed)
Midlands, Mrs M Ray, 13 Helmdon Close, Rugby,
Warks, CV21 1RS, Tel: 01788 561253
South & South West, Mrs J Holness,
Penny Ridge, Church Street, Collingbourne Ducis, Marlborough,
Wiltshire, SN8 3EL
Tel: 01264 850365
South & South West, Mrs L Turner, The
Bungalow, 25 Sandys Close, Basingstoke, RG22 6AR Tel: 01256
South East & East Anglia, Mr R Harlow,
Starhaven, Sundridge Road, Chevening, Sevenoaks, Kent TN14 6HB,
Tel: 01732 462216 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
South East & East Anglia, Mr P Lubbi,
Layash, 2 Celia Crescent, Ashford, Middlesex, TW15 3NW, Tel:
Wales, Mr J Farr, Cilfynydd, Llanddowror, St
Clears, Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire, SA33 4HH, Tel: 07858
Scotland, Mrs C Patrick, 10 Glencaple Avenue,
Dumfries, Scotland, DG1 4SJ, Tel: 01387 259783
Scotland, Mr J McIntosh, 45 Shawstonfoot Road,
Bellside, Cleland, N Lanarkshire ML1 5NY, Tel: 01698 860358
North East, Miss A Benoist, 43 Canterbury Way,
Wideopen, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE13 6JH, Tel: 07702 469743
North East, Mrs D Lavender, 63 Weetshaw Close,
Shafton, Nr Barnsley, S72 8PZ, Tel: 01226 715980 or 07719
North West, Mr S Rutter, 59 Chorley Road,
Blackrod, Bolton, Lancashire BL6 5JU Tel: 07812 654240 Email: email@example.com
North West, Mrs A Height, 40 Church Road, Platt
Bridge, Wigan WN2 3TB Tel: 01942 867010 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
South East & East Anglia, Ms F Godfrey, 25
Kevington Drive, Orpington, Kent BR5 2NT Tel: 01689 876112
Northern Ireland, Mr M McCartney,
Glen-Craig, 28 Moneybroom Road, Lisburn, Co. Antrim, BT28 2QP, Tel:
028 9262 2992
Notes to Editors
For more information see attached PDF for appendix or visit