Category Archives: Uncategorized

CARO and CKC Comparison: Eligibility

Cornish coast path at Bessy's Cove - - 522399

The same, yet different.

 One of the things that drew me to CARO originally was the fact that CARO rules allow for the participation of a wide range of individual dogs and people. CKC, on the other hand is a bit more restrictive although I am very pleased about the recent changes they have made to allow the participation of a wider variety of dogs.

CARO Canine Eligibility

  • Dogs of any breed, or mix of breeds.
  • Dogs 6 months of age or older.
  • Dogs registered individually with CARO.
  • Course adjustments may be made for physically challenged dogs at the judge’s discretion.
  • Dogs that appear to the judge to be in pain or discomfort may not compete.
  • Bitches in season may not compete.

CKC Canine Eligibility

  • Purebred dogs registered with the CKC (or dogs eligible for registration).
  • Purebred dogs of CKC recognized breeds that have an event Registration Number (ERN) or a Performance Event Number (PEN).
  • Purebred dogs of CKC listed breeds that have a Miscellaneous Class Certification Number (MCN) or a Performance Event Number (PEN).
  • Purebred dogs of breeds not recognized by the CKC that have a Canine Companion Number (CCN).
  • Mixed breed dogs that have a Canine Companion Number (CCN).
  • Dogs must be 6 months of age or older.
  •  Lame dogs (in the judges’ opinion) can not compete.
  • Dogs may not be entered under a judge (or an immediate family member of the judge) that owns, sold, held under lease, handled, boarded, trained or instructed a dog regularly in the 6 months prior to the trial.
  • Bitches in season may not compete.

The main differences, at the moment, between  the eligibility of individual dogs in CKC and CARO include a streamlined registration process for CARO and an allowance in CARO for course adjustments for dogs that are physically challenged. If a handler would like to request course changes for a dog with a physical limitation for a CARO trial, they may do so in writing and should include this request and with their trial entry. In my time as a judge I have approved a few course modifications including: Lower jump heights for mobility restricted dogs, extra time to complete the course for older, slower moving dogs and, obstacle substitution for visually impaired dogs.

CARO Handler Eligibility

  • Handlers must own the dog they handle, or be an immediate family member of the owner (Junior Handlers are an exception)
  • Course adjustments may be made for physically challenged handlers at the judge’s discretion.

CKC Handler Eligibility

  • Dogs may be handled by the owner, family member or another person
  • Trial Secretaries, Superintendents and Trial Chairs may not handle a dog at any trial in which they are acting as an official.
  • Exercises and routines may be adjusted for handlers, but only if the modifications do not provide and advantage to the dog and the dog is required to perform all exercises.
  • Individuals may not compete under a Judge who is an immediate family member.
  • Individuals may not compete under a Judge who as attended regular training classes held by the exhibitor in the 6 months prior to the trial.

The main differences for handler eligibility between CKC and CARO revolves around who can and cannot handle a dog under whom. I am not sure how the CKC rule about accommodations for handlers with physical disabilities plays out and what kind of modifications have been allowed. In CARO the process is the same as for dogs, it must be done in writing prior to the trial, preferably when you send in your entry. In the past I have seen a request from handlers for exercise substitution (someone who could not run), for extra time and even for leniency with the tightness of turns for handlers with balance issues.

That just about covers my understanding of the eligibility rules for which dogs can and cannot compete at CKC and CARO rally trials. If you are serious about competing in rally at either venue (to me, serious means you are have or are considering entering a trial) you owe it to yourself to read each organisations rule book.

Click the following link to go to the CARO Master Handbook – 2013

Click the following link to go to the CKC Rally Obedience Trial Rules and Regulations (January 1, 2012)

Next week, we’ll compare CARO and CKC classes and titles!


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Filed under Rally-O, Uncategorized

And then there were 2….

As many of you know by now, we have added a second rotten dog to our family. Her name is Epic and she may just be the cutest thing……EVER!


I spent years (NOT kidding) researching breeders and dogs and eventually decided to wait for a puppy from Perri Yinger of JungerSohn Rottweilers in Dundee, Oregon. Perri’s dogs are health tested and titled and she spends an incredible amount of time rearing her puppies. Perri has competed in various working venues with her dogs and has an idea of what a person would be looking for in a sport prospect. Most importantly, Perri sells her dogs on an excellent contract and supports her puppies and owners in whatever way she can.

Epic’s litter is a co breeding between JungerSohn Rottweilers and Esmond Rottweilers of Little Britain, Ontario. Her sire, Gable has many working titles and her dam, Clover has some basic working titles and is working towards more now that she has been a wonderful mom to two litters.

So far, I am incredibly pleased with baby Epic. She is incredibly well-coordinated for a puppy her age, she’s curious, she’s brave and she loves her food!

Epic has her own page now and I am going to try to post weekly “Pupdates” on the blog to track our adventures during these first few months together.


Filed under Uncategorized

Sniff It – Week Two

This week our assignment was to hide the food container out of sight and have the dog find it. Since we were at home when the assignment was given and there happens to be lots of nooks and crannies. I recorded our first session last Sunday.

We have played this game before, hiding Bear’s favorite toy but playing with food added a certain element of….excitement as you can see.

That being said, playing at home was interesting for a few reasons

  • He always checks out places he’s found the container before.
  • Sometimes he walks by the container, his nose within inches of the container, clearly looking with his eyes not his nose.
  • Other food distractions do not seem to be a big draw.

For our second session, I brought Bear to work with me. I was not sure if it would be easier because there are fewer places to hide containers or harder because there would be more competing smells. I think that the ceiling fans gave him a bit of trouble but otherwise he did equally well!


Filed under Scent Work, Training, Uncategorized, Videos

Our First TD Test – About as good as it could be…without passing

Before the Test

We met at a Denny’s for the draw. In tracking there is an advantage to an earlier track – early tracks are often aged less and are likely to have more dew remaining on the vegetation. Dew is good because moisture enhances scent.

Before the draw I got to meet a Facebook friend in person! Kristine travelled all the way from Calgary for the test.

I don’t know what I expected for the draw but the test organizers had four lovely mugs lined up, filled with dog cookies and wrapped in cellophane. We each chose a mug and on the bottom of the mug was the number corresponding to the track number we would be assigned. We drew 3rd track.


Our lovely tracking test memento!

The Test

I got Bear out of the car, let him pee and then we had a few minutes to wait until the track was old enough. we walked the short distance to the scent pad, and I put Bear’s harness on backwards. Once I got it on properly, I showed him the scent pad and told him to find it.

I brought him back to the track once before the 2nd set of flags and we were off. Before we hit the second leg, Bear squatted to poop. I looked back the judge and tracklayer were standing watching but no whistle so once Bear was finished – we continued.

After the car, we drove en masse to the test site at Beaudry Provincial Park. The terrain is almost exactly the same as what we have here in Shilo. Natural prairie grass about knee high. We got to watch the first track, which I was looking forward  to since I’ve never seen a test. Luckily enough the team was comprised of a novice dog but a an experienced handler. From far, it was really neat to watch. It was obvious to me when the dog was on and off the track. there was only one little “discussion” along the way where the dog was certain the track ran along a ditch and the handler was not so certain. Eventually the dog made her point clear and the handler followed. They found the article and finished the track in what seemed like less than 15. It was very educational – training alone means I never get to watch a team work from far.

After track #1, I had to return to our original meeting point in the park because they had to lay my track and I would be able to see the tracklayer at work from track #2. The good news is that meant we would have a relatively fresh track. The bad news is that we would not be able to watch Kristine and her Rottie Teah and I would be alone in my car with my nervousness and anxiety. During our wait, I took bear for a walk, a pee, made sure he did not have to poop, gave him a drink of water and then cocooned myself in the car, checked up on Facebook and blogs I subscribe to distract myself.

About a half hour after they left me, someone came back to take me to our track.

The Track

I took bear out of the car and, since we had some time to wait before the track was sufficiently aged, I took Bear out for another pee and organised my tracking line and harness. It was fairly windy (I would guess 25-30km/h) and our first leg was into the wind. I got Bear inbto his harness backwards, then readjusted it, showed him the scent pad and told him to “find it”.

On the first leg we had some difficulty and I brought him back to the track once before we hit our 30m marker flags.  About 60 feet into the track, Bear crouched down for a poop. I stood, and looked back embarrassingly at the judge – expecting a whistle. Nothing came, so we continued. Before the test, I decided to go wherever Bear lead me. and about 80 feet in he circled a bit and then turned right…we continued on without a whistle so I assumed we made the first corner.

On the second leg, we progressed through some vehicle tracks and what looked like a place where deer had lain for a time as we moved forward, I saw the start flags for the final flag ahead and figured our corner was coming. Turning to the right would take us back to the road so I assumed at some point, we were going right.

Bear did turn right onto what I assumed was the third leg and then we had some more difficulty working into the wind and through some sort of animal droppings (goose, I think). Bear did a lot of stopping, starting, crossing back and forth, chewing (on lord knows what!?). We went ahead for quite sometime like this – it felt like an eternity. I tried using our find it key, I tried holding my ground and waiting for him to commit but he kept circling and coming back to look at me as if to say “what the heck is going on here?”. he also stopped to listen to train whistles and watch folks pass by on the road. It had been at least 10 minutes and he was starting to huff and puff so I just decided to let him go and see what happened. he found some sort of trail, urine marking a few spots along the way and about 60 feet later, we heard the whistle – It was over. I was relieved and disappointed.

Our very kind track layer Val, helped us find the article, even tough I wanted to race back to the car and cry. She also commiserated – her dog did not pass the TDX test on Saturday – she knew how it felt. I think if she had not been there, I would have packed things up and headed home.

The last and final track was right after ours and, after blowing my nose and wiping my eyes, I stayed to watch. The team was whistled off about as far into their track as we were.

At this point everyone headed back to ‘base camp’ for ribbons the judges comments and lunch. Of the four teams in the TD test, two were successful – the first team and Kristine with Teah!

To help myself not be overly disappointed, I have decided to summarize the day:

The Bad

  • We did not pass.
  • One person said she saw bear indicate the 4th leg and that I interfered with his work.
  • Once we lost the third leg, bikers passing by, trains and just about everything became a distraction. in the past, only prairie dogs have been a distraction for Bear.

The good

  • I got to meet a Facebook friend , her husband and her very sweet dog in person.
  • We got through 2 corners when I was aiming for one.
  • The first 3 legs were through some vehicle tracks and what looked like deer beds – these have been difficult for us.
  • This is the first time Bear has followed a track laid by someone else since the seminar we went to in 2010.
  • This was our first blind track ever.
  • The judge said I had very good line handling skills – moving when Bear was on track, planting when he was off track.
  • As expected, lunch was delicious and folks were very kind.
  • One of the host club members took some beautiful photos. I like the one below a lot. Originals are viewable here.

Photo by Jill Dicken

What I learned

  • A dog is not whistled off for eliminating on track.
  • I should give some thought to giving Bear more space when we work.
  • I was the only person training on my own.
  • It’s easier to spot a working vs. non working dog from far especially when that dog has a tail!

Next Steps

I am going to need to think about what to do next. There is another tracking test in Regina in about 4 weeks and then that’s about it until next year.

Right now I am feeling more discouraged than disappointed. Training on my own has it’s advantages but the biggest disadvantage is that there is no one to reassure me that I am on the right path, and that in time things will be fine, that my dog has talent but just needs more training…


Filed under Tracking, Trials and Tribulations, Uncategorized