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8.1 Judging Standard

8.1.1 - Standardized judging is of paramount importance. Judges are not permitted to introduce their own variations into the exercises, but must see that each handler and dog executes the various exercises exactly as described within these rules and regulations. A handler who is familiar with these rules and regulations should be able to enter the ring under any judge without having to inquire how the particular judge wishes to have any exercise performed.

8.1.2 - The judge will inform the first exhibitor in each class what the heeling pattern will be ten minutes before that exhibitor enters the ring. This may be done verbally, by posting the pattern ringside or by demonstration.

8.1.3 - Judges must adhere to the Obedience Trial Rules and Regulations, and must not qualify dogs that do not meet the minimum requirements.

8.1.4 - It is the responsibility of the judge to make the tests interesting to the gallery and worthwhile to the handler. The judge must not permit judging to exceed the time limitations as specified in these rules so that the handlers and those watching do not become bored, and the competing dogs do not become tired.

8.1.5 - The judge must remember that he is judging the dogs only on their ability to perform the tests set for them and not on their show points or conformation.

8.1.6 - The judge must test each exhibitor/handler separately (except for the Sit and Down where groups of dogs are in the ring together).

8.1.7 - A judge shall excuse from competition any dog or handler that interferes willfully with another competitor or competitor's dog and any dog which the judge considers unfit to compete.

8.2 Excusal, Disqualification & Reinstatement of a Dog

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8.2.1 - A dog that has been excused from the ring for any reason may not compete in any further exercises for that class.

8.2.2 - A dog that bites or attempts to bite a judge, another person or dog in the ring shall be disqualified by the judge.

8.2.3 - When a judge disqualifies or excuses a dog, the disqualification or excusal and the reason therefore must be recorded in the judge's book. The owner or handler of the dog must be advised of the reason before he leaves the ring.

8.2.4 - A dog that has been disqualified may be reinstated as follows:

    (a) The owner of a dog, which has been disqualified at a trial held under these rules may, after 30 days from the date of disqualification, apply in writing to the CKC for reinstatement of the dog. A deposit, as set by the Board, must accompany the request for reinstatement.

    (b) After the examination, the Examining Committee shall submit its report to the CKC who, in turn, will advise the owner of the results. If reinstated, half of the deposit will be returned to the owner. If not reinstated, the deposit is forfeited to the CKC.

    (c) Reinstatement of a dog following an examination as set forth in this section in no ways affects the right of a judge to again disqualify the dog for the same or other reasons.

8.2.5 - Any dog disqualified for biting or viciousness shall automatically be disqualified from entering in any other event in any other discipline until such time as the dog is officially reinstated.

8.3 Handler with Disabilities

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8.3.1 - Handlers with disabilities may compete, provided such handlers can move about the ring without physical assistance. The use of a wheelchair, crutches, or cane is acceptable.

8.3.2 - At the judge's discretion a modification to the exercise routine may be made to accommodate a handler with disabilities providing that such modification does not aid the dog's performance or inhibit other dogs and the dog is required to perform all exercises routine.

8.3.3 - The heeling exercises are expected to be performed at a brisk pace and there must be a definite change of pace during the slow and fast portion. Failure to do the above will result in a penalty, the same as for any other handler. Proper heel position must be determined prior to the commencement of the exercises and this position should be maintained throughout.

8.3.4 - A handler who is blind may be assisted, if necessary, by the judge to get from one exercise to another. The judge may permit the stewards to utter softly a verbal aid so that the handler may determine the position of the stewards as he performs the Figure Eight. After positioning a handler who is blind for a jumping exercise, the judge may permit the handler to leave the dog and walk up to the jump to feel it in order to determine its exact location.

8.3.5 - In the case of a handler with a hearing disability, a judge should take a position so that it will be conveniently possible for the handler to continuously observe the judge during the performance of the individual exercises. If the handler desires, the judge may use prearranged signals, in lieu of verbal commands to the handler, the handler may provide an interpreter who communicates the judge's commands or use an electronic aid to communicate.

8.3.6 - A handler who is prevented from throwing the dumbbell the required distance (in the Retrieve Exercises) by a physical disability may be permitted to line his dog up in the desired starting position, then on the judge's command of "Throw It", the handler may:

    (a) Give a "Stay" command, leave the dog, proceed away from the dog, throw the dumbbell and then return alongside the dog to continue the exercise

    (b) Throw the dumbbell with the aid of a device.

8.3.7 - In the Group Exercises extra assistance or space may be allowed depending upon the disability. However, the dogs must be in catalogue order.

8.4 Qualifying Performance

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8.4.1 - The orders for the exercises and the standards for judging are set forth in the following sections. The lists of faults are not intended to be complete but minimum penalties are specified for most of the more common and serious faults. A dog that makes none of the errors listed may still fail to qualify or may be scored zero for other reasons.

8.4.2 - The judge shall carry a mental picture of the theoretically perfect performance in each exercise and shall score each dog against this visualized standard of perfection, which shall combine the utmost in willingness, enjoyment, and precision. Each fault or deviation from this standard must be penalized. There shall be no penalty of less than 1/2 point.

8.4.3 - The judge must look for the following in testing each dog and score accordingly:

    (a) Enjoyment and willingness should be taken into consideration over a better worker that shows fear and a dislike of working.

    (b) Talking to the dog by the handler, snapping of fingers, slapping of sides, and stamping of feet during the exercises will be penalized, even to the point of non-qualifying

    (c) During the dog's heelwork, the handler should always walk briskly with the dog on the left side on a loose leash (guiding the dog by the leash is to be penalized)

    (d) Naturalness, gentleness and smoothness of handling are to be greatly desired

    (e) The dog should never anticipate the handler's orders, but should wait for the commands or signals

    (f) In all exercises where the dog must return to the handler, a dog that fails to come close enough so that the handler can touch it or recover the article without moving either foot must receive a non-qualifying score.

8.4.4 - A judge shall not require any dog or handler to do anything, or penalize a dog or handler for failing to do anything, which is not required by these rules, such as requiring a dog to sit at the conclusion of Stand for Examination and Long Down.

8.4.5 - A dog that fails to execute a principal designated feature of any exercise shall not be given a qualifying score in the exercise. A dog that anticipates the principal features of any exercise shall receive a score of zero in that exercise.

8.4.6 - A dog which, in the judge's opinion, would have failed to do a principal designated feature of an exercise had the handler not given additional commands or signals not permitted by the standard, shall be scored as though it had failed to do that particular exercise.

8.4.7 - A qualifying score must never be awarded to a dog whose performance has not met the minimum requirements, that shows fear, resentment or aggression, relieves itself at any time in the obedience ring, leaves the ring during an exercise (except to complete a retrieve), or to a dog whose handler disciplines or abuses it in the ring. (See Unsportsmanlike Conduct).

8.5 Judge's Orders & Signals

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8.5.1 - Before each or part of every exercise, a judge must ask the handler "Are You Ready?," and the exercise shall not start until acknowledged by the handler.

8.5.2 - All order or signals given to handlers shall be sufficiently clear and distinguishable for everyone to follow the judging and, at the end of each test, the judge shall say, "Exercise Finished".

8.5.3 - When giving orders (especially for heelwork), the judge must not stand at one end of the ring, but shall follow the handler at a discreet distance so that he may observe signals or undertones given by the handler to the dog.

8.6 Catalogue Order

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8.6.1 - Dogs must be judged in catalogue order to the extent that it is practical to do so without holding up the judging in any ring for a dog that is entered in more than one class at the show and/or trial.

8.6.2 - Judges are not required to wait for dogs. It is the responsibility of each handler to be ready with his dog at ringside when required, without waiting to be called.

8.6.3 - It is the handler's responsibility to notify the ring steward who notifies the judge if there is likely to be a conflict with the same dog being in the conformation or rally obedience ring. In the case of a conflict between an official obedience class and a rally obedience or unofficial obedience class, the official obedience class takes precedence.

8.7 Judge's Book

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8.7.1 - The judge shall not judge any dog until he has entered the scores of all dogs judged previously in the official judge's book, and until he has subtotalled such scores. Scores for the Long Sit and Long Down must be entered in the official judge's book immediately after each group of dogs has been judged. No scores may be changed except to correct a mathematical error. All totals must be entered in the judge's book before prizes are awarded. No person other than the judge may make an entry in the judge's book.

8.7.2 - Following completion of the judging of each obedience class, the yellow copy of the judge's book which sets forth the scores assigned by the officiating judge, must be posted in a prominent place, within the precincts of the trial.

8.7.3 - Upon completion of the judging assignment, the judge must ensure that the cover of the judge's book is completed with start and finish times, signed and HIT recorded and awarded in the ring by the last judge completing the assignment for the trial.

8.8 Re-Judging

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8.8.1 - If a dog has failed in a particular part of an exercise, it shall not ordinarily be re-judged or given a second chance. If however, in the judge's opinion the dog's performance was prejudiced by peculiar or unusual conditions, the judge may, on a discretionary basis, re-judge the dog on the entire exercise.

8.9 Ties

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8.9.1 - In case of a tie, the dogs shall be re-tested again by having them perform individually, all or the same part of one or more of the regular exercises. In the case of a tie in Utility, the dogs shall be tested again by performing individually all or the same part of the signal exercise. The original scores shall not be changed.

8.9.2 - In the case of a tie the judge shall inform the exhibitors involved and allow a reasonable warm up period.

8.9.3 - In case of a tie for High In Trial, the dogs shall be tested by performing the Heel Free exercise individually.

8.9.4 - The officiating judge of a trial must judge any run-off for High in Trial. In the event of two or more judges officiating at a single trial, the club shall designate in the premium list which judge will judge any run-off for HIT. Each Judge is responsible for breaking ties in the classes that they judge.

8.10 Scoresheets

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8.10.1 - At the conclusion of the judging of each class, judges are required to provide meaningfully marked individual scoresheets to each exhibitor.

8.11 Announcement of Scores

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8.11.1 - The judge shall not disclose any score or partial score to handlers or spectators until he has completed the judging of the entire class.

8.11.2 - Immediately following the Pre-Novice, Novice and Open group exercises, the broad jump exercise in Novice Intermediate and the directed jump exercise in Utility, before the handlers leave the ring, the judge shall inform all handlers whether or not they have qualified.

8.11.3 - After all the scores for the class are recorded, the judge shall call for all available dogs that have earned qualifying scores to be brought into the ring.

8.11.4 - Before awarding the prizes, the judge shall inform the spectators as to the maximum number of points for a perfect score, and shall then announce the score of each prize winner, and announce to the handler the score of each dog that has earned a qualifying score.

8.12 Explanations & Errors

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8.12.1 - The judge is not required to explain scoring, and should not enter into any discussion with any handler who appears to be dissatisfied. Any interested person who thinks that there may have been a mathematical error, or an error in identifying a dog, may report the facts to one of the ring stewards, or to the superintendent, or show or trial secretary so that the matter may be checked.

8.13 Ring Procedure

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8.13.1 - The judge shall not permit any handler to train any dog or practice any exercise in the ring either before, during or after being judged.

8.13.2 - Between exercises, imperfections in heeling will not be judged, but any disciplining by the handler in the ring, or any uncontrolled behaviour of the dog, such as snapping, unjustified barking, or running out of the ring, will be severely penalized by deducting points from the total score, and the judge may excuse the dog from further competition at that trial.

8.13.3 - The judge shall attempt to standardize the heeling routine for all dogs in each class.

8.13.4 In all classes, dogs will enter the ring on a leash and proceed to the starting position of the first exercise.

8.13.5 - In the Novice Class, the dog may be guided gently by the collar between exercises and may be guided by the collar into proper position for the next exercise.

8.13.6 - In the Novice Intermediate, Open and Utility Classes, the dumbbell and articles shall be taken from the handler at the entrance to the ring, placed on the judges table until required, then returned before the handler leaves the ring.

8.13.7 - In Utility, the handler shall carry the glove to the start of the seek back exercise.

8.13.8 - In Novice Intermediate, Open and Utility, the dog shall not be put on leash or guided or controlled by the collar at any time from the beginning of the first exercise to the completion of the last exercise.

8.13.9 - All dogs will be brought into and leave the ring on leash for all exercises.

8.13.10 - Dogs shall not be picked up and carried in any obedience ring. The penalty imposed shall be a substantial deduction.

8.13.11 - Any violation of the Obedience Trial Rules & Regulations committed by the handler will result in substantial or minor deductions or a non-qualifying score.

8.13.12 - Physical guidance such as placing the dog in position with the hands or straightening the dog with the knees or feet is not permitted and shall be substantially penalized even if occurring before or between the exercises.

8.13.13 - All exercises must be started with the dog sitting in the heel position.

8.13.14 - In the Novice Intermediate, Open and Utility classes judges may, at their discretion verify the height of the dog at the withers as it is brought into the ring. The measurement is made using an ordinary folding ruler or steel tape that may be calibrated to show the correct jump height or an official measuring wicket if available. No other measuring device is required or acceptable in the ring. Measurements made by the judge are final and are not subject to verification.

8.13.15 - No badges or clothing with club identification there-on, shall be worn or displayed by exhibitors/handlers when exhibiting in the ring.

8.14 Commands & Signals

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8.14.1 - In all parts of all exercises performed in the ring, only one single command or signal may be given by the handler. Any extra commands or signals, or the giving of a command and a signal must be penalized. Wherever the rules and regulations specify command and/or signal, the handler may give either one or the other, or both command and signal simultaneously. Where a signal is permitted and given, it must be a single gesture with either arm and hand only and the arm must be returned immediately to its original position.

8.14.2 - When the dog is in heel position, the handler is permitted to bend body and knees so that the hand is brought to the dog's eye level when giving a signal.

8.14.3 - Signals must be inaudible and the handler shall not touch the dog. Signalling correction to the dog from a distance is forbidden. Any unusual noises or motions may be considered to be signals.

8.14.4 - The dog's name may be used once immediately before any verbal command, but may not be used when a signal is employed even though the standard specified a command and/or signal. Whistling or the use of a whistle is prohibited. Any of these infractions must be penalized.

8.14.5 - The dog's name alone may not be used as a command.

8.14.6 - In all exercises where the dog is to return to the handler, while the dog is coming in and until the dog has sat in front, the handler must stand facing the dog with hands and arms hanging naturally at the sides. A substantial deduction shall be given for infractions of this rule.

8.14.7 - In all exercises where the dog is required to heel free, one of the following options must be followed:

    (a) the handlers arms and hands must move naturally at the sides and must hang naturally at the sides when stopped.

    (b) the right hand and arm must move naturally at the side, while the left hand must be held against the front of the body, centered in the area of the waist, with the left forearm held against the body.

    (c) In either of the above situations, the hands and arms may be adjusted for balance during the fast pace.

8.15 Praise, Food & Petting

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8.15.1 - Moderate praise and petting is allowed between exercises, and parts of exercises, providing the dog is under control.

8.15.2 - A dog whose handler takes food or other training aids into the ring at any time must be excused from that class.

8.15.3 - No food, treats or training aids shall be allowed with in 3.05m (10 feet) of the ring entrance.

8.16 Leash & Collar & Jacket

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8.16.1 - The leash used in the Pre-Novice Classes shall be approximately 1.83m (6 feet) long and must be fabric or leather.

8.16.2 - As each handler enters the ring, the judge shall see that the dog has on either a well-fitting plain buckle (metal or plastic) collar, martingale, slip or quick release collar. Slip collars of an appropriate single length of leather, fabric or chain with 2 rings, one on each end are acceptable. Martingale collars may be of chain, fabric, or leather; or of the half-check type, with fabric or leather around the neck, and chain in the joining loop. Fancy collars, special training col- lars, or collars that are either too tight or so large that they hang down unreasonably in front of the dog, are not permitted.

8.16.3 - There shall not be anything hanging from the collar.

8.16.4 - Collars other than those specified in these rules are not allowed within the venue. Violation of this may result in the removal of the dog from further competition at that obedience trial.

8.16.5 - When conditions warrant and at the handler’s discretion, a dog may wear a close fitting, plain sweater or jacket while competing in individual or group exercises.

8.17 Heel Position

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8.17.1 - Heel position, whether the dog is sitting, standing, lying down, or moving at heel, means that the dog's body shall be in a straight line facing the same direction as the handler. The dog's head to shoulder area should be in line with the handler's left hip and the dog should heel close to the handler but not to the point of touching.

8.18 Group Exercises

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8.18.1 - In the group exercises, a dog that leaves the place where it was left during the first portion of the group exercise must be excused prior to the second portion of the exercise.

8.19 Rings & Equipment

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8.19.1 - The superintendent and the officials of the club holding the obedience trial are responsible for providing rings and equipment which meet the requirements of these rules. However, the judge also must check the ring and equipment provided, and must report to the CKC after the trial any deficiencies that are not promptly corrected upon request.

8.19.2 - If the exercises take place indoors, the ring should have a working area of at least 9.14m (30') wide and 12.19m (40') long. The ring must be thoroughly cleaned one hour before the judging starts if it has previously been used for breed judging. The floor shall have a surface or covering adequate to provide firm footing for the largest dogs, and rubber or similar non-slip material for the take-off and landing at all jumps.

8.19.3 - At outdoor trials held in conjunction with a conformation show, a separate ring or rings (to be used for obedience only) shall be provided for the obedience classes. The ring size shall have a working area of at least 12.19m (40') wide and 15.24m (50') long. The ground shall be level and the grass, if any, shall be cut short.

8.19.4 - Indoor and outdoor rings shall be enclosed with fencing or gates or rope or drapery approximately 60.9 cm (2') high.

8.20 The High Jump

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8.20.1 - The side posts of the High Jump shall be 1.11m (4 feet) high and the jump shall be 1.52m (5 feet) wide between the posts, and shall be so constructed as to provide adjustment for each 2.54cm (1") increment, from 10.16cm (4") to 91.44cm (36"). The bottom board shall be 10.16cm (4") wide to give the minimum height required from the ground or mat surface, together with additional boards as follows:

    (a) One 2.54cm (1”) board

    (b) One 5.08cm (2”) board

    (c) One 10.16cm (4”) board

    (d) One 15.25cm (6”) board

    (e) Three 20.25cm (8”) boards

8.20.2 - The jump shall be painted a flat white. The width in metric and inches shall be marked clearly on each side of each board in black, in 5.08cm (2") figures with the exception of the 2.54cm (1") board.

8.20.3 - The judge and handler are responsible for making sure the dog jumps the correct height

8.20.4 - Judges may, at their discretion, verify the height of any dog at the withers.

8.21 The Broad Jump

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8.21.1 - The Broad Jump shall consist of 5 separate hurdles, built to telescope for convenience; 3 hurdles 20.3cm (8") wide; 2 hurdles 10.2cm (4") wide, the largest measuring about 1.5m (5') in length and 15.2cm (6") in height at the highest point, all painted a flat white. The two 10.2cm (4") hurdles pushed together (to accommodate the small dogs) will represent the first 20.2 (8") hurdle in all distances jumped over 40.6cm (16").

8.21.2 - The hurdles shall be used for the various jumps as follows:

    (a) four 20.3cm (8”) hurdles for jumps, 122cm - 183cm (48-72”)

    (b) three 20.3cm (8”) hurdles for jumps, 71.1cm - 177cm (28-46”)

    (c) two 20.3cm (8”) hurdles for jumps, 40.6cm - 71cm (18-26”)

    (d) two 10.2cm (4”) hurdles for jumps, 20.3cm - 35.6cm (8-14”)

    (e) The highest hurdle shall be removed first when less than 4 hurdles are required.

8.21.3 - The judge and handler are responsible for making sure the dog jumps the correct distance.

The judge and handler are responsible for making sure the dog jumps the correct distance as required by these rules.

8.22 The Bar Jump

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8.22.1 - The Bar Jump shall consist of a bar between 5.08cm and 6.35cm (2 - 2 1/2") in diameter. It may be round or square with the 4 edges rounded sufficiently to remove any sharpness.The bar shall be marked in alternate sections of black and white of about 7.62cm (3") each. The bar shall be supported by 2, unconnected, 1.22m (4') upright posts 1.52m (5') apart. The bar shall be adjustable in 2.54cm (1") increments in height, from 10.16cm (4") to 91.44cm (36"), and the jump shall be so constructed and positioned that the bar can be knocked off without disturbing the uprights.

8.22.2 - The judge and handler are responsible for making sure the dog jumps the correct height.

8.22.3 - Judges may, at their discretion, verify the height of any dog at the withers.

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