Tag Archives: Canadian Kennel Club

CARO and CKC Comparison: Eligibility

Cornish coast path at Bessy's Cove - geograph.org.uk - 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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CARO and CKC: What’s the difference?

CKC and CARO: Apples and Oranges?

Many of us involved in the sport of rally obedience often have an opportunity to participate in the same sport under different organisations. in order to succeed in the same sport in multiple venues, a person really needs to have an idea of each organisations rules. We all do this for different reasons. maybe we like titles, maybe we like working with our dogs, maybe we need the pressure of a trial, any trial to get our dog training butts in gear.

When I travel out of town for seminars, I typically am doing an Introduction to CARO Rally Seminar with participants who already have an idea of what rally is about and who often have been participating in CKC rally for some time. At every seminar I have done to date, conversation drifts towards a comparison of CARO and CKC. Where are they the same? Where are they different? Which should a person do first? Which is more difficult? I know where these questions are coming from: For those who know one venue, comparison is often an easy way to understand something new. However, for those brand new to the sport, comparing two venues when they do not have a basic knowledge of either venue is confusing. What this means is that I try to steer clear of venue comparison because there simply isn’t time to cover the important similarities and differences.

At the last seminar I delivered, I promised to prepare something for participants to help them better understand the similarities and differences and I am finally getting around to it. From my extensive experience with CARO and my limited experience with CKC, these two venues differ in a few ways that I intend to explore every over the next few weeks.

  • Eligibility
  • Classes
  • Titles
  • Equipment and rewards
  • Course design
  • Ring procedure
  • Exercise performance criteria
  • Scoring

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Rally Course of the Week – June 21, 2013

CAROlogoNOVICETEAMCourse Details

Level: Novice Team (CARO)

Space Required: 30’x70′

Designer: Ayoka Bubar

Download this Course: CARO 30′x 70′ Course – Novice Team (T12-052)

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Herding Clinic with Roy Sage – April 20 & 21, 2013

I am a bit behind but two weekends ago, Bear and I headed to St. Norbert, MB for three days of herding. This was my first herding clinic so I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. I’m new enough to the sport to know I don’t really know anything.

There were a variety of dogs and handlers at the clinic including mixed breeds, Australian Shepherds, German Shepherds, Swedish Vallhunds, a Dandie Dinmont, a Poodle and our friend Astrid, a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. I only recall one border collie in attendance!Some dogs were new to herding some have been attending classes for the past year or so. Some of the dogs took to herding like dicks to water and others needed some encouraging to interact with the sheep. Regardless of what happened in the ring, Roy, the clinician, had something nice to say about each dog and their work.

Over the weekend, Bear and I made progress in a few areas and discovered a few new challenges. Below are the highlights:

  • We managed to get Bear to work a little further away from the sheep i.e. not plastered to their butts. When Bear works farther back, the sheep panic less and Bear barks less.
  • I discovered that Bear barks mostly when I turn him from moving in a  counter clockwise direction (away)  to circling clockwise (come by).This means he’s turning left, which was the same way he turned in flyball…at least he’s consistent.
  • We were able to move sheep in more of a straight line than we ever have.
  • Not once all weekend did he try to dive in and grab wool.
  • Bear worked in a ring with 2 border collies in attendance…staring at the sheep…as border collies do. He gave them a brief glance and then went back to his sheep..no hard stare, no lunge, no nothing.
  • We started working on walk-ups and getting Bear to move towards the sheep at a speed slightly slower than Mach 10. Sheep don’t like Mach 10. and moving slowly towards the sheep is a skill we need for driving at the intermediate level.
  • We started a few call offs – calling Bear away from the sheep. He was better than I thought he would be. Leaving perfectly good moving sheep is going to be one of the major challenges for us if we ever progress to the intermediate level.
  • Roy believes Bear is barking not at the sheep to get them to move but at me because I am preventing him from doing what he would like. I would agree that frustration and barking go hand in hand with Bear.

Roy said he thought we could ‘go far’…not sure what that means. I think our progress will mostly be limited by how often we can get out and train on sheep and right now, it’s around once a month. Roy did leave us with some ideas for ‘dry land training’ without sheep and I will write more about these as we give them a try.

Other highlights of the weekend included: Meeting some new people including another rottie owner and someone who lives not far from us, great food and company (as always) and and two incident-free nights in the hotel with our friends Stephanie and Astrid!

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Filed under Herding, Notes, Problem Solving, Training

Trial Season Insanity: Can I avoid it?


I have posted very little in the past few months.

My training with Bear has been neglected due to work related and personal things. we’ve been doing a bit of trick stuff here and there at work, but nothing even remotely structured. Now that spring is here and our first trial of the season in a few months, I have trying to plan carefully.

You see, I have this problem of entering a kajillion trials and tests in the spring and early summer and then hating myself by the end of September.

The scenario goes like this: I have a fabulous weekend out at a trial and then one week later things at home and fall behind: Laundry piles threaten to take over the bedroom, dish piles threaten to take over the kitchen, I eat out more than I should (which begs the question – how did those dish piles get there). In addition to the housework avalanche, getting up at 5:30am becomes more difficult than it already is and I spend many drives home from work in tears – because I am tired and over stretched – and I have only myself to blame!

Not. This. Year.

This means that I need to make sure I don’t do something stupid like book 8 weekends of events in a row. I also need to plan better for my precious weekday evenings. My goal is to plan to be home at least two weekends a month – every other weekend if I can – and so far, I have been plugging events into my google calendar keeping this in mind.

With Sean out of commission for 4 out of the past 6 months, most of the cooking/cleaning and laundry has fallen to me and I have learned that preparation goes a long way towards reducing my weekday stress. I spend a few hours on the weekend cooking lunches for the rest of the week and wash, dry and fold laundry all in one go pass the vacuum around the house and things don;t seem to get too far out of control. Miraculously, in the past few months this has become habit and I have free time on weekday evenings that I have not has since I opened Prairie Dog Daycare.

Am I the only one that drives myself insane doing something I love? Is there anyone in the world who can do it all…or do these people just exist in my head?

Hopefully all this planning will reduce the fall insanity a teeny tiny bit. if not, you knowhow they say, “admitting you have a problem is the first step”? I figure I can always try for the second step next year if things go horribly wrong in a few months…right? RIGHT!?!?!

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Filed under Goal Setting, Health & Safety, Musings, Problem Solving

Wheat City Kennel Club Rally Obedience Trial – November 16, 2012

I decided to enter Bear in one CKC rally obedience trial at the Excellent level last weekend. We had successfully been trialing in different venues (besides home) without food on the course and I thought we might be ready.

I was wrong.

There were 5 dogs in our class. I knew the dog ahead of us and the one behind us so the honor exercise wasn’t a big concern. We did our warm up – Bear seemed focused and ready to go.

We approached the ring as a friend came in to say “hi”, I quickly said “sorry we’re going in the ring” but it was too late, Bear had spotted her and as soon as we were in the ring, he was looking for her  – or something else (anything else!!) in that direction.

To say the run was a disaster would be kind. Suffice it to say after a ton of sniffing towards the honor dog (too close for my liking) I took Bear by the collar and asked to be excused.

In hind sight, I probably should have signed up for floor time Thursday night and I should have asked to be excused earlier on in our run.

Compared to other recent ‘failures’, when I left the building on Friday, I wasn’t overly upset, surprised or humiliated…I was…ambivalent…I wasn’t thinking up plans for training for future CKC trials, or going over the performance to see where I might have done things differently – I was just glad to be going home!

This ambivalence combined with the high cost of CKC trials has led me to the conclusion that maybe I need to forget about any more CKC trials with Bear. We have so many other fun things to do right now that I can’t be bothered to waste any more time , money and energy on something that leaves me feeling so…blah!

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Filed under Rally-O, Results & Awards, Trials and Tribulations

CKC and AHBA Herding Trials – September 28, 29 & 30, 2012

Two weekends ago, Bear and I attended our first herding trials ever.

We attended a few classes this spring and Bear is getting better and better with the sheep. I am also getting better at handling so I was hopeful we would be able to at least achieve either a Herding Tested title under CKC rules or a Junior Herding Dog under AHBA rules.


Our first run ever went much smoother than I had imagined, we made it around the course, Bear did his downs when asked and did not even try to grip sheep. It seemed like the run lasted forever but we were done in under 3 minutes. In hindsight it was the nicest run of the weekend and the judge even said it was one of the nicest Junior Herding Dog (JHD) runs he had seen in a long time – I was thrilled! There is no score in JHD runs, it’s a pass/fail evaluation, but we received “good” (highest evaluation category) for each element of the course!

Our very first Junior Herding Dog (JHD) run on September 28, 2012


Our first run on Saturday morning was a CKC Herding Tested run. Bear was quite rested and wound up so I decided to use my ‘down’ cue a bit more to keep Bear off the sheep. He was quite vocal and I was worried that between the barking and trying to come around to the front of the sheep, the sheep might just decide to make a run for it! Of course, if you ask Bear, getting the sheep to change direction is a wonderful game – but it makes for a less than smooth run.  That being said, we made it around the course in under 2 minutes and qualified in our first CKC run.

Our very first Herding Tested (HT) run on September 29, 2012

Our second run on Saturday was well after lunch, the sun was blazing and it was around 25 degrees. The heat did not dampen Bear’s enthusiasm and we made it through the run quickly and efficiently, earning our second Herding Tested Leg and our Canadian Kennel Club Herding Tested Title! My videographer was in the city shopping so we didn’t get a recording of the run – just imagine it was nice!

Our third and final run of the day was just around supper time – it was around 30 degrees Bear was fresh as a daisy and held it together (no gripping!!!) and once more, we made it around the course successfully, earning our American Herding Breed Association Junior Herding Title.

Our second Junior Herding Dog (JHD) on September 29, 2012


After earning our Herding Tested title on Saturday, I decided to move Bear up into the next class – Herding Started. I already knew we could make it around the course obstacles – even if I was no longer allowed to lead the sheep through. What I was not certain of was whether we would be able to get the sheep out of the sheep pen successfully and safely or if I would be able to call Bear off the sheep. The pen anxiety was a result of a not so successful experience in a round pen and the call off concern was a result of never having done an off-leash call off.

The first run of the day was a bit nerve wracking. We actually successfully took the sheep out of the pen – I went in with Bear and gave him the easy cue as the sheep were nearing the gate and a down cue as they left. I then called him out of the pen into a stay while I closed the gate. By this time the sheep were on the other side of the pen – Great. Another less than successful experience came to mind. The one with sheep running all over the arena with a large black blur behind them. The one where I was running all over the pen and left out of breath and hoarse. This went on for about 5 minutes. I was able to collect the sheep and make it through an obstacle but the sheep were quite wild and running like crazy for the exhaust pen gate. Finally the judge said “thank you, that’s enough” and I managed to collect Bear and leave. I was thrilled with maintaining control in the take pen so considered the experience an education. Next time, I get sheep that wild, I will call it much, much earlier and leave the pen before Bear has the opportunity to be silly.

A few minutes after the run, I was told that one of the sheep in the group I had was actually removed from the trial flock the day before. She was young, too flighty and (I assume) likely to injure herself. I assumed that the luck of the sheep draw was part of the game but we were going to be given the opportunity to re-run the course again, once all the other classes were complete.

The second try of the first run was at least a million times better. The take pen was under control (Yay!), we made it around the course without the run looking like a game of sheep-bowling (WooHoo!)….and Bear actually walked away from perfectly chase-able sheep…YEEEHAAAW! We re-penned the sheep and I left the ring feeling so much better about things. I had no idea how herding is scored so I was not sure if it was a qualifying run but I was sure that it was a huge improvement from the first try.

Guess what? We QUALIFIED! I know we placed 5th, I can’t remember the score.

The second run of the day and our last run of the trial was even better then the one before. Sheep made it out of the pen safely, around the course reasonably and Bear heeled away from the sheep with me again! we qualified for a 6th time that weekend and came in second place, earning a pretty red rosette!



Bear showing off his weekend loot!

All things considered, I was (still am) beyond thrilled we earned two titles and I learned a lot about herding in general (saving that for another post). After watching some more advanced runs with some really nice scores (98-99) I can see we have a lot more to learn and I can’t wait.

Having been to lots of dog events, I am never sure what to expect when I go to trial in a new venue. Bear was the only Rottie there and actually only one of two dogs in the trial not in the CKC herding group (the other was a terrier).  I really enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and how encouraging people were. A few people mentioned how nice it was to see a Rottweiler working and both judges mentioned the Rottweilers they had worked with/judged/evaluated and I have a few more kennel names to add to the list of people to check out whenever we’re ready for another dog.

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