Sarah E. Price
As shows tentatively begin to take place again, the AKC (and most other trialing organizations) have issued guidance for safe participation and attendance. The AKC has a dedicated page on their website that includes best practices by sport, up to date cancellations, and other pertinent information.
They are also offering free breed webinars, which are open to judges and the general public, every day from 1:00-2:30 pm EST. If you are curious about conformation, a Conformation for Beginners class is also being offered free of charge.
The AKC is holding a Virtual Top Dog Challenge. You have to enter and submit a brief video through the associated portal on AKC’s website. Entries are open June 5th through 12th and winners will be announced June 17th-19th and cost $25. Videos must include a stack from the front, rear, and side, oral exam, gaiting, and free stack. A portion of the entry fee goes to Take the Lead.
As many of you already know, AKC also moved to allow Trick Dog and Rally Novice titles to be completed online. Competitors will need to set up one of five courses, video their run, and submit the video through YouTube (along with entry form and fees). The AKC will assign a Rally judge to score and qualifying scores are added to your dog’s record. As of now, this pilot program will end on December 31, 2020.
Just this week the Agility Course Test (ACT) program is also a virtual competition. It operates similarly to the Rally program with predesigned courses that must be completed within a time limit. These courses do require access to agility equipment but with two qualifying runs you can earn the ACT title.