From my initial observations I applaud the finished product, which will provide us with a more user-friendly set of Regulations from those in the past. The new book reads with enhanced clarity, which provides consistency in understanding the requirements for the exhibitors and judges alike. In addition, there are more detailed descriptions for all of the exercises and performances in all the classes, chapters and sections. Good job AKC!
Since the first year of the Obedience Regulations (1936), our ever-changing sport will always be in need of tweaking, plus adding improvements to keep up with the times and projecting trends for the future. As with all changes in life, we adjust; but as a whole, I feel the changes made are excellent when considering they need to be applied to a nation as a whole and not one region or an individual’s likes or dislikes. There will most likely be more tweaks and improvements in the future as change is always inevitable, but for now, here is where we are at.
Ten (10) Positive Improvements that put a smile on my face:
1) A few sections have been moved into a more appropriate chapter.
2) The Preferred titling classes are now referred to as “Alternative Titling Classes,” They are still optional classes but this sets them apart from the Optional titling classes (BN, GN, GO, VER) for clarity. The eligibility requirements in the new Alternative Titling Classes changed when the Pre-classes became the Preferred classes, bringing them more in line with the Regular classes (the foundation classes of obedience).
3) Many parts of the previously published Judge’s Guidelines have been moved forward into the appropriate chapters and sections where they best apply. This now makes it easier for the exhibitor and judge to review what is required and what is expected in regards to the performance. I have always felt the Judge’s Guidelines were overlooked by the reader (and sometimes judges) in the past and there is a lot of pertinent information which was then overlooked, too!
4) Chapter 2, Section 20 had the words rearranged for a better flow and understanding. It now addresses commands first, signals second, followed by commands and/or signals--in that order. Reading this section in the past (which was a mumble/jumble) had an effect on me like melatonin! ☺
5) Each exercise now has “Judging Procedures” spelled out for a better understanding.
6) The Alternative and Optional Titling Classes now have descriptions for all the exercises, or a referral back the appropriate Regular class. The Regular classes have judging procedures referred back to the Judge’s Guidelines if a more complete description and understanding is needed.
7) The Glossary of Terms has six (6) new words added and one (1) taken out. “Crooked” was defined in the Glossary of Terms in the past but the word itself was nowhere to be found in the Regulations.
8) Filling out the Judge’s Book is now better covered than in the past with new points for a Judge to be aware of when entering data in the book, plus two (2) new abbreviations have been introduced for writing in cramped space.
a. “Released” write “NQ-R” (“Non-Qualifying Released”)
b. “Handler Left Ring” write “HLR”
9) The Steward in Obedience chapter has been updated to reflect the appropriate changes.
10) New additions are underlined to bring to the reader’s attention a change from the past Regulations. It is my belief, the changes which were adopted from the Obedience Advisory Committee’s many suggestions will provide a “little something” for everyone. Not an easy task when considering all the variables involved. Hopefully, we can now move forward with a more positive attitude. We need to work on that objective along with the few training adjustments (see prior Random Little Tidbits). That ball is now in your court. Keep it in perspective; the Obedience Regulations are written for a DOG SHOW event. Obedience is a performance SPORT for those up for a
challenge and long-term fun. A political election or world peace does not hang in the balance with this new book; enjoy the challenges this sport provides us, and above all enjoy your dog and yourself in meeting those challenges. “Exercise finished!” Good Sportsmanship RULES!
Good luck to you in achieving your future goals. And please don’t forget to help celebrate another’s goals. Be there at the correct time and place for when comfort may be needed if there is a hiccup. That is true Sportsmanship!
I would also like to suggest making time to hang out around the Beginner Novice and Novice A rings in particular and offer encouragement to those individuals. They are the future of our sport! Remember back to the times when you were walking in their shoes and what an encouraging word meant to you at that time, and probably still does.
And that, my friends, is the Standard of Perfection which will reflect the best on the sport we love in order to help make it grow.
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