Changes to Heelwork to Music regulations in 2023

The Kennel Club has approved the following changes to the regulations for heelwork to music.

The following regulation has been added to provide clarity for event organisers around the permission needed to hold special events.

New Regulation L5

Societies are required to apply for permission to hold Special Events. Applications should be submitted to The Kennel Club by email at least six weeks before the start of any qualifying heats for the event.

Special Events are designated as any activity-related event which cannot be included on the schedule of a normally licensed show/trial/competition due to being invitational and therefore not open to all competitors, or which are not being held at a licensed show. Where competitors qualify for a final via heats held at that and other shows/trials/competitions, special event permission must be sought for the final whether it is held in conjunction with a licensed show/trial/competition or as a separate standalone event. This would not apply where all of the heats are held at the same show/trial/competition at which the final is held.

The regulations relating to the disqualification and forfeit of awards will apply to these events.

(Insertion in bold)

(Effective 1 January 2023)

The following regulation has been added in order to ensure competition managers have a sufficient level of knowledge in order to undertake the role effectively.

New Regulation L7. Competition Manager


The Competition Manager and/or Competition Organiser and/or appointed persons must fulfil the following criteria, prior to undertaking the role:

  1. To have attended a Kennel Club Heelwork to Music Regulations and Judging Procedure Seminar, and have passed the Regulations and Judging Procedure examination within the previous five years
  2. To have attended a Heelwork to Music Competition Management Seminar within the previous five years 

(Insertions in bold)

(Effective 1 January 2023)

The following regulation has been amended to provide clarity around the use of toys in the ring.

Amendment to Regulation L10.d


Food or toys shall not be carried in the ring or given to a dog whilst in the ring. being judged.

(insertion in bold. Deletions struck through)

(Effective 1 January 2023)

The following regulation has been amended to remove repetition of wording already used in regulation L17.b(2).

Amendment to Regulation L17.f.


  1. The dog should work in a willing and natural manner. Excessive noise or barking must be penalised and a maximum of 4 marks can be deducted from the overall score at the judge's discretion.

(Deletion struck through)

(Effective 1 January 2023)