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!