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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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New Obedience Rules

Hey all,

If you view the yellow insert at the following link, you will see several interesting rule changes for 2011.

http://www.akc.org/pdfs/rulebooks/RO2999.pdf

One of the changes includes not being able to show under a judge you have trained with in the last 30 days. I understand the intention behind this rule change (avoiding conflict of interest), but feel it creates more problems than it solves. For instance, judges will be unable to train with their clubs and offer advice if anyone might be traveling to a venue where they will be judging. Some of our most competent people will be in essence sequestered away and unable to share their knowledge and experience.

We have two outstanding retired obedience judges in our club. If this rule had passed before they retired, I wouldn't have been able to train with them at all for 30 days prior to a trial where they might be officiating. The wording "or other training" is so vague, perhaps I wouldn't even have been able to ask them a question about an exercise.

Personally, I feel like this rule change is no good. Your thoughts?

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 05:55 PM
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This is not a new rule. The underlined part is the new part and it's just including seminars and clinics in the 30 day rule.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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Here's the new section which doesn't exist in older versions of the regs:

"In no case may a dog be entered or shown under a judge at an obedience or rally trial if the dog and/or exhibitor have participated/attended/audited a presentation/seminar/clinic/specialized training session or other training within thirty (30) days prior to the date of the obedience or rally trial under the judge or any person residing in the same household as the judge." (per AKC)

So, here's a scenario, you go to a practice session and someone informs you that you're doing an exercise incorrectly and they give you a suggestion. With the new rule change, if that person was a judge or even the judge's spouse or child, the AKC can take away your Q's if that practice session was within 30 days of a trial. Theoretically, you "participated" in "other training".

That's why I have a problem with the wording. I feel the new rules are way too general and might lead to judges stepping away from mentoring in order to avoid ethical dilemmas.

I find that troubling . . .

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 07:24 PM
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I still don't have a problem with it as it will prevent biased judging. We have a couple of local judges here and they just don't judge in this area so it isn't really an issue.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, so here are two more hypothetical situations.

Scenario 1. Judge A has been friends with someone for over thirty years. They've shown together, trained dogs together, gone to dinner together, but eventually moved to separate states. Judge A and friend haven't trained together for seven months, but they remain steadfast friends.

Scenario 2. Judge B's husband spends a few minutes explaining a rally exercise to a newcomer at a club practice session. The practice is 4 weeks before a trial.

I'm sure you all see where I'm going with this. In scenario 1, there is an obvious conflict of interest, yet this type of situation is okay per the rules. With scenario 2, there is a negligible amount of conflict of interest, yet this situation is not okay.

Granted, with scenario 1, the friend would ideally decide not to show under Judge A. This has been my decision in the past. As I mentioned before, there are two retired judges in our training club. I have taken classes from them, asked them questions, trained with them, and consider them friends. I have never shown under either of them because I felt it would put them in an unethical situation.

I actually agree with the old wording that you shouldn't show under a judge you "regularly train" with. However, I think the new wording is just too vague . . .

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 11:50 PM
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I don't see where training with judges would apply. We do it all the time. It is not a seminar, clinic or special training session. We all help ezch other out with varios problems. We are all in the class together and the judges aren't teaching it.

Last edited by Samba; 12-30-2010 at 11:53 PM.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-30-2010, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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The wording of the rule change is very vague, if you "participated" in "other training" with a judge, their spouse, or anyone who lives with them, theoretically you couldn't show under that judge for 30 days.

PAM Guardyan's Gavin, VCD2, CDX, RE, AX, AXJ, AXP, AJP, TD
PACH Guardyan's Helki, CDX, PCDX, RA, MXP3, MXPB, MJP3, MJPB, CGCA
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-31-2010, 01:40 AM
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Most judges don't generally judge in their home territory to prevent any conflicts of interest so unless you are doing a lot of traveling to seminars or trials, the rule change just doesn't have much of an effect.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-31-2010, 07:37 AM
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Didn't it used to be 6 months? I had to look this up last year because I almost showed with one of my trainers as a judge. I found out I was looking at the wrong day, so I was good.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-31-2010, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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So for clarification purposes, here is the old version:

"No dog may be entered or shown under a judge at an obedience trial if the dog has been owned, sold, held under lease, handled in the ring or has been regularly trained or instructed within six months prior to the date of the obedience trial by the judge or by any person residing in the same household as the judge. “Trained or instructed” applies equally to judges who train professionally or as amateurs and to judges who train individual dogs or train or instruct dogs in classes with or through their handlers (see “Glossary of Terms”).

No dog may be entered or shown under a judge at an obedience trial if the dog is owned or handled by any person who has regularly served as a trainer or instructor of that judge within six months prior to the date of the obedience trial, either individually or through classes." (Per AKC)

Here is the new version:
"No dog may be entered or shown under a judge at an obedience trial if the dog has been owned, sold, held under lease, handled in the ring or has been regularly trained or instructed within six months prior to the date of the obedience trial by the judge or by any person residing in the same household as the judge. “Trained or instructed” applies equally to judges who train professionally or as amateurs and to judges who train individual dogs or train or instruct dogs in classes with or through their handlers (see “Glossary of Terms”).

In no case may a dog be entered or shown under a judge at an obedience or rally trial if the dog and/or exhibitor have participated/attended/audited a presentation/seminar/clinic/specialized training session or other training within thirty (30) days prior to the date of the obedience or rally trial under the judge or any person residing in the same household as the judge.

No dog may be entered or shown under a judge at an obedience trial if the dog is owned or handled by any person who has regularly served as a trainer or instructor of that judge within six months prior to the date of the obedience trial, either individually or through classes." (Per AKC)

The area in bold is the new section. Previously, you couldn't trial under a judge you "regularly trained" with. (I agree with this!) The glossary previously defined "regular training" as "monthly, or more often" and also stated "occasional training or seminar attendance is not considered a violation." (AKC) In the new rules, "occasional training" is removed from the definition and is presumably considered a violation.

So how "occasional" is occasional? Seminar attendance is understandable, but what is "other training"? I think the issue here is lack of clarity. I've served on a trial committee and it's very important to have clear definitions in the regs.

PAM Guardyan's Gavin, VCD2, CDX, RE, AX, AXJ, AXP, AJP, TD
PACH Guardyan's Helki, CDX, PCDX, RA, MXP3, MXPB, MJP3, MJPB, CGCA
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