Combined PDF posted


This posted PDF is a combination of the following documents :

  • Regulations for Agility Trials
  • AKC Agility Judges Guidelines
  • Judge Blog entries 2010 thru 2013
  • Rules Applying to Dog Shows
  • Match Regulations

As such, it allows you to search for a topic across multiple sources.

Dogs Leaving The Ring Off-Leash

We have received many requests to clarify the regulation regarding a dog exiting the ring off leash as found in Chapter 5, Section 6. Mandatory Excusals #14  of the Regulations for Agility Trials.  Please review the following:

If a dog has exited the ring with all 4 feet prior to being on leash they are considered to have left the ring without a leash and an “E” must be called.  Once all 4 feet are over the plane of the ring barrier the dog has left the ring.   Judges can set up teams for success by placing their last obstacle further back than 20 ‘ and managing where the leash holder is set.  Many judges will use a set-up as shown in Example A.   This design makes it harder for handlers to keep dogs inside of the ring.   Placing the leash holder next to the opening for the exit makes it hard for handlers and dogs to leave the ring safely.  By moving the leash holder as shown in circle it can help to mitigate the risk.  Example B makes it easier for handlers to leash up their dogs and keep them from exiting the ring without a leash.  Not all course designs make this setup possible, but when it can be done it increases the likelihood of success.

Ring Exits

Remember this regulation was added to increase the safety for both dogs exiting after a run and those walking by the rings.  Many trials are in very tight settings and create a stressful environment for dogs.  Having dogs on leash prior to leaving the ring was developed to help give the dogs and handlers a safer more comfortable environment.

Clubs may use gates for their entrance and exits.  These gates may be self-closing.  Gates may be opened or closed by ring crew at the clubs discretion.  It is still ultimately the exhibitor’s responsibility to maintain control of their dog and leave the ring with the dog on leash.

If you have any questions please contact your Agility Field Rep or the Director of Agility.

CRCD 4 Updates

CRCD4 is not required for course submission to your Field Rep. However, if you are using it there have been more updates made that will help you and your Rep in working with it.

From CRCD:
If you own CRCD 4, the update is free.
“We have added several new features to CRCD 4 –

The newest version can be downloaded from here —

• To help people that need to use both CRCD 3 and CRCD 4, there is now an indication in the title bar if a CRCD 3 format course file is opened.

• The visual distinguishability of AKC “option” indicators has been improved by using different colors.

• There is now an option to avoid perspective scaling of obstacle numbers, lengths, and coordinates in 3D mode.

Lastly, an error was fixed so that you are now able to print multiple courses from within Windows Explorer.”

Equipment Lists

From Carrie:
Thank you for sending your equipment lists in with your courses. After reviewing what we have received we have decided that we do not need to have the lists sent in. Part of course design is making sure that you are designing for what the club will be able to provide. If you need help getting a list from the club please do not hestite to ask your Rep or me to help you. It saves you and us a lot of time if the right obstacles, course dimensions, entrance/exits, etc. are used when courses are first designed. If you find you were not given good information by the club please make sure that you note it in your Agility Judge report to me and if we need to follow up with the club we will so that future judges for them will not run into the same issues. Thank you for all each of you do for the AKC Agility Program.

Agility Advisory Changes Approved – Effective Jan 1, 2014

The first round of Agility Advisory committee recommendations have been approved by AKC’s Board of Directors and slated to be implemented January 1, 2014.

The complete list of approved changes may be found posted here:

Regulations for Agility Trial Changes 01-01-14

Any questions regarding these changes should be sent to

Wheeling of a Course – timing

Chapter 4, Sec 5 of the AKC Agility Judges Guidelines state:

Section 5. Measuring the Course for Distance
Judges must measure each course twice to determine the path of a 12″ and 20″
jumping dog respectively.

As clarification, a course shall not be wheeled until such time that all obstacles for that class and level have been placed, at a time immediately preceding or during the exhibitor walk-thru of that class and level.

Courses are NOT to be wheeled “in advance”. For example, if the course is currently set for Excellent Standard and there are only minor changes between that course and Open Standard, a judge is not allowed to wheel the Open course taking into account expected changes from the now-set Excellent course. The judge must wait until the Open course is actually built, then wheel.

FAST Course Design clarifications

Chapter 9, Sections 5, 6 & 7 of the Regulations for Agility Trials, state:

Equipment allowed in the body of the course is equivalent to the equipment allowed in the Excellent/Master/Open/Novice Standard class …

As clarification, a maximum of two (2) open tunnels are allowed to be used in a FAST course. If an open tunnel is used as the finish obstacle, that counts as 1 of the 2 allowed.

A third finish obstacle tunnel is not allowed.

Additionally, Chapter 6, pg 66 of the Agility Judges Guidelines, state:

Approach angles and obstacle spacing for obstacles that are part of the Send Bonus must adhere to guidelines for the class level.  

As an example, the same angle and spacing restrictions used when designing a Novice Standard course must also be adhered to when designing your Send Bonus section of a Novice FAST course.

Course Design Review Submittals – equipment list addition

Chapter 2 of the AKC Agility Judges Guidelines states a judge must obtain from the club an equipment list prior to designing courses.

Effective immediately, all course design review submittals must include a copy of the club’s Equipment List which was obtained by the judge.

With the variety of courses being done we want to help the judge make sure that their courses will work when they get to the trial.  This will assist the Reps in helping judges finalize their courses.

Full Course Setups NOT Yet Approved!

None of the proposed Agility Advisory Committee recommendations have yet to be approved by AKC’s Board of Directors!  When approved, we shall announce an implementation time frame for each one.

UPDATED 11/4/2013 – these Advisory changes have now been announced with an effective date of 1/1/14.

As such, it is NOT currently allowable for judges to send clubs course builder copies that contain the full course setup w/out numbers.  That is a proposed change which has not yet been approved!!

Break-Away Tire – revised specs; additional 6-months evaluation

The AKC Agility Department is reviewing the breakaway tire regulation that requires that the tire stay open once it has been broken apart.

After discussion with AKC Field Staff and the Agility Advisory Committee, effective September 3nd the tire will not be required to stay open once it has been broken open during this additional 6 month review period ending on March 3, 2014. All other aspects of the breakaway tire design and the judging of the breakaway tire will remain the same.

Effective September 4, 2013, clubs holding AKC agility trials must use a break-away tire in place of the standard tire jump.  There will be a six month period (September 4, 2013- March 3, 2014) during which time the tire may stay apart upon being broken open or the tire may be allowed to automatically reset. The tire will be judged if it is broken open as an “F” which will result in a non-qualifying score “NQ”.

Judges and clubs please review the revised information on how to properly test the break point of the tire listed which is listed below.

Change to the Regulations are as follows for the next 6 months:

Chapter 3, Section 12.  Tire Jump. 

The Tire Jump consists of a tire (or a circular object that resembles a tire) suspended from a rectangular frame.  The tire is constructed of two 180 degree segments that are connected at the top to allow for independent movement of each segment.  The connection must be adjustable to allow for calibration/testing at the trial site by the Judge of record for the class.  The setting for the connection is 16-20 pounds of horizontal force with 18 pounds preferred.  The setting will be confirmed by using a calibrated scale (in foot pounds) attached to a tire side mounting point.  With one side secured to the frame, the opposite side is pulled using the scale until the segments pull apart.  When the tire is broken open it must stay open and not automatically reset. The inner diameter of the tire is 24 inches plus or minus an inch, and the wall is 3 to 8 inches thick.  The tire must be connected to the frame at 3 points.  There must be at least 7 inches between the outside of the tire and the sides of the frame, and the frame must be tall enough to accommodate the tire at the seven different jump heights, as specified for the Bar Jump.  The uprights of the frame shall be secured to the base and the base must be weighted or secured properly to the running surface.  The jump height is measured from the ground to the bottom of the tire opening.  The tire shall not be displaceable off the frame.  The tire shall have a minimum depth of 2 inches and must be made of flexible material, such as rubber or plastic to allow some give if hit by the dog.


Tire Calibration:

In order to properly calibrate the tire, one side of the tire has to be firmly secured to the frame. Replace the bungee or elastic strap with a non-elastic strap (a dog leash would do in a hurry). After one side of the tire has been secured, use the provided fish scale to gently pull the segments apart.

Once you are satisfied that the tire meets the required 16-20 lbs. requirement, secure the tire to the frame with the provided strap or elastic band. Leave them loose enough as to not apply any additional pressure on the tire.

Judging Position:

Judges will still be required to be in the proper position to see that the tire has been broken apart. You must physically see the tire come apart and not rely on any sound to justify a fault. Pleased refer to the JG diagram 3.3.3 (page 89) for the proper judging position of the tire.


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