The Kennel Club announces changes to obedience during Covid-19 pandemic

Following discussion by the activities committee it has been agreed that the requirement to include any stay exercise in obedience competitions will be suspended until 31 December 2021, in the same manner as other Covid-19 related regulation suspensions.

This comes following a recommendation made by the obedience liaison council at its January meeting to permanently remove the stay exercise from obedience, and from discussion by the activities committee on further suspensions needed to help shows run safely again.

The activities committee was generally supportive of the proposal to permanently remove the requirement for all stays in obedience competitions but agreed that it would be preferable for them to be replaced with another type of control exercise, details of which are to be formulated and agreed by the obedience liaison council, and submitted for discussion and recommendation by the committee and subsequent final approval by The Kennel Club board.

This would not affect the timeline of implementation of removing stays, which if approved, would come into effect on 1 January 2022.

In the meantime, stays are suspended until 31 December 2021. During the suspension period, dogs competing in Championship Class C may be assumed to have not lost any of the marks available for stay exercises, so the total number of available marks for the test would remain at 300. Therefore obedience certificates may be awarded to the winners of these classes provided they have not lost more than 15 points. Reserve obedience certificates may also be awarded on the same basis.

It has also been agreed to allow Obedience Awards of Merit certificates to still be awarded if a dog loses less than 10 marks, regardless of the fact that the test is temporarily out of less marks due to the suspension of stays.

Further, Regulation G32.i has been temporarily amended to allow equal placings to be awarded in all cases where there is an equality of marks, except in Championship Class C for 1st, 2nd or 3rd place where a run-off must be held as detailed in the regulations.