Following a small number of incidents at shows, the Kennel Club and Obedience Liaison Council would like to issue clarification to obedience competitors regarding the marking and judging of stays during competition.
Regulation G(C)4.h. states as follows:
Stays in ALL classes - The Judge or Steward will direct handlers to positions in the ring. The command "Last Command" will be given and handlers should then instantly give their final command to their dogs. Any further commands or signals to the dogs after this "Last Command" will be penalised. Handlers will then be instructed to leave their dogs and walk to positions indicated until ordered to return to them. These are group tests and all dogs must compete together, but where this is impracticable at an indoor show, the class may be equally divided but the judging for the groups must be consecutive.
(1) Sit Stay: Dogs should remain in the sit position throughout the test. Barking, whining or minor movement such as sniffing the ground, shuffling or turning, without moving from the place where the dog was originally left, should not be considered to be a broken stay but may only be marked a nominal amount for minor movement or noise.
(2) Down Stay: Dogs should remain in the down position throughout the test. Barking, whining or minor movement such as sniffing the ground, shuffling, hip rolling or turning, without moving from the place where the dog was originally left, should not be considered to be a broken stay but may only be marked a nominal amount for minor movement or noise.
(3) All Classes: When a handler has more than one dog present in the same set of stays, the dogs may be placed together on the left hand side of the handler, or on either side of the handler; at the choice of the handler. It should be noted that the dogs must be placed apart with a reasonable space between them. At the conclusion of the stays, the handler should return to the same position they were in at the commencement of the test before the end of the test is indicated.
(4) The timing of the stays shall commence when the handlers have been instructed to leave their dogs.
The G Regulations state that a minor movement, such as a dog moving a foot or sniffing the ground, does not constitute a broken stay and may only be marked a nominal amount. However, should the dog move out of the position required by the judge, i.e. the sit or down stay, it should be considered to have broken the stay and should be marked accordingly. Any further action such as the dog returning to its original position, leaving the ring or interfering with another dog should not result in any amendment to the number of marks deducted at the point at which the position changed and the stay broken.
For further information please contact the Working Dog Activities team on 01296 318 540 or firstname.lastname@example.org.