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Deep throat digs up dirt

As everyone knows, the current classifications of levels are under discussion at the Kennel Club, and news has reached Agilitynet that radical changes have already been agreed. This is not merely tinkering with an old system. And it is to take effect today!

After extensive investigation over the last few months, several well placed agility people who wish to remain anonymous report that there has been a complete rethink of the system. The changes will address the issues of inclusivity and fairness.

We feel it is time for you to share our information. So here goes.

In future these will be the following classifications for dogs. Please note that there will be agility and jumping, as well as special classes available in these classifications.

  1. Dogs (Entire)

  2. Dogs (Stud)

  3. Dogs (Neutered)

  4. Bitches (Entire)

  5. Bitches (Had at least one litter)

  6. Bitches (Neutered)

The rationale behind the changes
The reasoning behind these classifications is simple. Most of the top dogs are, in fact, bitches. It isn’t fair on the male dogs to make them compete against those that are naturally more talented. It definitely isn’t fair to make the macho stud dogs compete against the entire dogs, as the stud dogs will have other things on their minds, including being top dog in the queue, while the entire dogs have got frustration as a driving force – and all that untapped testosterone.

It was contemplated to put the neutered dogs in with the bitches, as that is where the other male dogs seem to think they should be, but it seemed a little unkind. Also, as there were likely to be large numbers in this class, they warranted a class of their own.

Similarly, it didn’t seem fair to put mothers – think of what having a litter has done to their stress levels, let alone their figures! – in with maiden bitches who are focused on impressing the stud and entire dogs in the next ring with their agility prowess, and hence suitability as a mate. Again, the neutered bitches, with their incontinence problems, needed a classification of their own, just to be fair.

Wins by previously entire dogs and bitches would be forfeited if they subsequently are neutered, and the dogs and bitches would all begin again – on a level playing field.

Bitches would need a vets certificate and registration number to be eligible for the neutered or ‘mother’ categories. This registration could be carried out by trained agility handlers at shows (at a small cost to the dog’s owners) These people could also verify that the male dogs were either entire or neutered; they could be called ‘measurers’ for this purpose. An endorsed photograph of the dog’s hind quarters would be displayed in a record book.

Within these categories, there would be sub-sections for dogs with or without tails which would replace the current sub-sections for Border Collies and ABCs. Obviously, dogs with tails have a steering and balancing advantage over dogs without tails, as we all know.

Reclassification of dogs that are neutered or docked during the year would take place annually on 1 April each year, and all dogs new to agility would have to have been ‘measured’ by this date each year.

As these decisions have been ratified by the appropriate committee, there will be no consultation period and all changes will be effective from today.’

1 April 2005

Agility Record Book


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