The Kennel Club Issues Guidance Following Recent Amendments to the Agility and Flyball Regulations

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 sensibly.

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 procedure.

In the marking procedure, Regulation H(1)(B)5.a.(13) (Marking) states:

"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 following: 

  •      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. Visit /activities/agility/agility-liaison-council/.

Copyright © The Kennel Club Limited 2020. The unauthorised reproduction of text and images is strictly prohibited.