Hints for AKC Rally Changes

Some tips to share about the new AKC rally changes.

Read Carefully & Ask Early

New rally changes impact every level of the AKC program for this sport. There are new signs at each level. There are TWO new levels. There is a Rally Championship program that requires points and multiple triple qualifying scores.

You need to read the premium and ask questions BEFORE trials close so you follow a strategy that best suits your goals and enjoyment. I know this is the spot where I should say, “If only one of you is having fun, it needs to be the dog.”  But be realistic because if momma ain’t happy, nobody happy and a little forethought makes everyone happier on trial day.

The Signs  They are a-Changin’

The new signs offer fun alternatives in course design. In some cases, they help with “drift”— when you need to get from one sign to another but they aren’t in a linear relationship so you kinda cheat over to be where you need to be.

Moves found elsewhere in dog sports, like freestyle, are spicing up the signs at the more advanced levels.

The trend to have stations that mimic small parts of utility exercises continues.

Here is a link to ALL  signs on the AKC website and here is a link to the AKC YouTube channel to see these signs in action. I recommend downloading those sites to phone or tablet for reference on the fly.

Shiny New Titles

Rally Intermediate is a new, non-required bridge class between Rally Novice and Rally Advanced. Dogs are kept on-leash to compete on an  Advanced course without jumps. It is, however, a titling class after three qualifying scores.  You do not NEED to title in this course to do Rally Advanced.

Rally Masters is now the highest single class title offered. Once you have finished your Rally Excellent title you move on to Rally Masters and qualify there TEN times to get the title.

One of the biggest rally changes is the addition of the prefix title: Rally Champion (ROCh). From the new AKC regulations: Rally Championship points will be recorded for dogs earning a score of 91 or better in the Rally Excellent B and Rally Master classes. A dog must earn a total of 300 points. Additionally, the dog must receive qualifying scores in Advanced B, Excellent B and the Master classes (referred to as RQT for our purposes), on the same day at the same trial at 20 separate licensed or member rally trials.

Let me be clear, a RQT leg is only earned AFTER you have your Rally Masters.

Strategies for Master & RAE legs

Yes, the RAE is still a title & you are welcome to keep working on it independent of the new championship. However, it is also accomplished as you work towards your championship. One of the strategies recommended by Debbie Addicoat, instructor &judge, is that once you start signing up to attempt leg 10 of Rally Masters, you sign up for the Rally Excellent B and Rally Advanced B classes too.

Depending on the mental stamina of your dog, you might want to start the three classes earlier—say around leg seven or eight–of  Rally Masters. For some dogs, three trips into the ring will be nothing. For others, going in and out of the ring along with the stress of the environment may require building up mental muscles. In this example, you are entering RAE and Rally Masters but are NOT eligible for a RQT ribbon/leg until you have your Rally Masters title done.


Nationals with a Capital N or how to build you Dog Sport Karma

In dog sports, the term “Nationals” means an annual event for that sport (conformation, agility, rally, obedience), breed (Pugs, Poodles, Pumis) &/or organization (AKC, UKC, CPE, NADAC, ASCA). For example: American Kennel Club (AKC) as an organization hosts Agility Nationals. Dogs that are registered and compete in AKC agility events at the Master level and meet the annual criteria will be invited to attend this event and compete against other dog/handler teams from all over the US (and Canada too!). The next AKC Agility Nationals will be in Perry GA March @4-26 2017.

Breed groups in AKC, for example, also have annual meet ups where only that breed competes in various performance sports depending on the breed of dog (Herding for shelties, Hunting for Gordon Setters, Lure Coursing for Greyhounds) as well as the companion sports (agility, obedience, rally, tracking) that the club thinks people would like to compete in for the week. If they expect that there aren’t enough folks to have an event of just that one breed they may hold small All Breed trials but only give prizes to the host breed. Of course, the historical foundation of these events is confirmation so you can see the depth of the stock that makes up your breed.

An example of this type of event in our own backyard is the Australian Cattle Dog Club of America (http://www.acdca.org/ ) Nationals to be held here in the Pacific Northwest. Events will be held in and around Lacey WA from September 18th to 23rd. As you can see by the schedule of events the club will hold agility for just Cattle Dogs on Sunday and herd trials on the last two days at a local facility.

The Australian Shepherd Club of America (www.ASCA.org ) will be hosting its 2016 National in Albany OR September 9-17. While this organization allows mixed breeds and other pure breeds to participate in its various programs The National and its pre-event warm up competitions are only for Australian Shepherds who have met the requirements to compete.

Now that being said you should know that these various types of Nationals are held a different locations around the US depending on a number of factors such as regional clubs willing to do the support work and the necessary facilities being fairly close to each other. Because the population is spread out over greater distances, Nationals held west of the Mississippi tend to be smaller and need more help from the dog sport community at large.

With the is in mind, if you would like to lend a hand bar setting or stewarding or course building or anything that you already have a skill at with either of the above events you can contact the trial chairs directly. Let them know what you can help with—sometimes they need folks who are not entered to drive judges around or to help pack equipment up at the end of the whole production—and the times you are available.

Budgets are tight so don’t have any expectations of more than a few refreshments but these are wonderful opportunities to watch a great many dogs compete in a unique environment and perhaps get you interested in upping your own dog sport bucket list.

Here is Althea with the ribbons she won for herding, rally, and agility at the Cardigan Welsh Corgi National in Ca in 2007.
Here is Althea with the ribbons she won for herding, rally, and agility at the Cardigan Welsh Corgi National in CA in 2007. And yes she was the SMALLEST Cardigan Corgi at the Nationals that year.


AKC-Agility-Boston Terrier Club of W Wa

See you in August in Lakebay
See you in August in Lakebay


BTCWW LAKEBAY 2016 Run Order

BTCWW Lakebay 2016 Statistics


$5 for each 90 second run on STD or JWW as many runs as you wish. Start 30 min after last run (around 3pm we think) 

Sign up at the trial.

Dog must be eligible to run in AKC-

On course toys  okay but NO FOOD

Join us for the Judges BBQ held in conjunction with match. Bring a side if you can manage it.     

BTCWW august 2016 premium CORRECTION

One judge/alternating rings

Friday Excellent Only (STD JWW PREMIER)

Saturday All Levels (FAST STD JWW)

Sunday All Levels (T2B STD JWW)

Don’t miss the summer fun in LAKEBAY WA!

 The Boston Terrier Club of W Wa still has room in the Summer Agility Trial.

You know how I like all things vintage. Well this trial celebrates the long history of AKC all breed agility on the Key Peninsula. Just like it was “back in the day” this is a one judge (Paula Ratoza) trial held outside on grass at Volunteer Park in Lakebay WA August 5, 6 & 7.

Friday starts around noon and is Excellent/Masters only—STD then JWW then Premier STD and finally Premier JWW. The park has a family movie showing on Friday night should you be among the dry-campers staying over at the venue.

Saturday we start with FAST (Excellent-Masters/Open/Novice) then Excellent STD, Excellent JWW, Open STD, Open JWW, Novice STD, Novice JWW. After the trial is done for the day we will have an agility B Match (need not be entered in trial but since we have have only deer fencing around the rings your dog does need a good recall) and the judge’s dinner which is a potluck barbeque

Sunday we start with Time 2 Beat to get the folks going then Excellent STD, Excellent JWW, Open STD, Open JWW, Novice STD, Novice JWW.

When we publicize the event, we let the public know we have vendors so feel free to bring whatever you sell even if it is not dog related. You can also organize a swap and shop with your friends if you are clearing out cupboards!

You can enter on line at www.akc.org using the “my AKC” function or download a premium here and mail it in with check before the trial closes on July 22 at 6pm.

There is dry camping at the site for $15 a day paid to the club—there are a few places in the trees for tent campers and a large field above the baseball field for RV’s and overflow parking. Camping next to the field is reserved for trial staff.

Safe Travels Theresa and the cardigans

AKC-Agility-Boston Terrier Club of Western Wa

See you in March at Argus Ranch
See you in March at Argus Ranch

BTCWW 2016 Run Order

BTCWW 2016 stats


March 26TH   

$5 for 3 minutes   STD and JWW as many runs as you wish. 

Start 30 min after last run (around 3pm we think) 

Sign up at the trial

Dog must be eligible to run in AKC-

On course toys  okay but no food     


BTCWW MARCH 2016 agility premium

Indoors on dirt two rings-

Friday Ex/Mas/Premier STD & JWW

Saturday & Sunday All Levels of FAST &T2B the STD JWW

AKC AGILITY MATCH Saturday March 26th at Argus Ranch

th0WWPHBBYWith such a small all breed AKC agility trial for the Boston Terrier Club of Western Wa March 25 to 27 at Argus Ranch in Auburn WA we have added a Match for Saturday Match 26th. We will have a Measuring Judge available too. Come by and help set a few bars-watch a few runs -then work your dog in the Match. See you there!


March 26TH   

$5 for 3 minutes   STD and JWW as many runs as you wish. 

Start 30 min after last run (around 3pm we think) 

Sign up at the trial

Dog must be eligible to run in AKC all breed agility trials

On course toys  okay but no food     

 Want the run order for this trial? Visit the events page.

AKC- Agility – March at Argus Ranch in Auburn.

See you in March at Argus Ranch
See you in March at Argus Ranch

The BTCWW all breed AKC agility trial that will be held March 26, 27 & 28 2016 at Argus Ranch for Dogs in Auburn WA CLOSES this FRIDAY MARCH 11th @ 6pm.

The Premium and location information is located on my event page

Friday is Excellent/Masters STD, JWW, Premier STD and Premier JWW. Franna Pitt is the judge.

Saturday & Sunday are all levels of FAST, Time 2 Beat, JWW and STD. Judge is Art Brest and we will do the games then Excellent/Master STD then JWW, Open STD then JWW, Novice STD then JWW.

Lori Sage is our overflow judge(and equipment provider) for the weekend. The trial is Unlimited which means it is a one judge trial but if we go over the one judge limit of 330 runs per day, we have an overflow judge who steps in and judges those few runs that are over the limit (usually works out to be one of the games or Novice). We are inside on dirt using both rings but only one at a time.

  • You may sign-up online using your MY AKC account at AKC.org.
  • You may hand deliver your entry to 4705 SW Hinds St Seattle WA 98116 (my house in West Seattle and there is a bin under the mail box where you can leave envelops.)
  • You may hand deliver your entry to 1515 Central Ave S Kent WA 98032 (I work at Family Dog Training Center M-F and there is a slot in the front door where you can leave envelops DO NOT interrupt classes)

I am swamped with the Seattle Kennel Club show this week but feel free to send me an email to confirm I have gotten your entry. I will reply as soon as I can.

I had a big issue with Office 365 and my web server earlier so I am very gun shy. In a great example of God’s sense of humor– my non-tech equipment is missing too. My cat, Ninja Phil, has hidden my trusty plastic AKC letter opener that I use to open every paper entry. Eventually, whatever he steals shows back up but SERIOUSLY!!

Don't be slow or you'll miss the Boston's All Breed Agility trial at Argus this EASTER Weekend
Don’t be slow or you’ll miss the Boston’s All Breed Agility trial at Argus this EASTER Weekend


March BTWW at Argus update

always working on the computer

My continued struggle with technology reaches a new low as some exhibitors—who have never had a problem in the past—were not receiving their confirmation emails nor my direct reply to their emails. Turns out that when we renewed my Office 365 it hijacked my email settings at my web host. Hopefully it is fixed now—I had to wait 48 hours to be sure the (hold on for tech jargon) DNS was completely repopulated.

Because I don’t know how long this has been going on I am sending this message to everyone in my agility and obedience trial databases AND Facebook AND my newsletter folks. Apologies for the repeats but I could not think of any other way to reach folks.

If I have processed you for the March BTCWW all breed AKC agility trial you will be getting another (or maybe the first to actually reach you) email with confirmation attached.

Maybe you would like to join us for the March trial at Argus Ranch in Auburn WA?? Here is a direct link to the Premium

Thank you for your patience Theresa