Dog Leashing Rule

dog29Christine, one of our frequent commenters (and the winner of a previous contest) wrote,

Hi, this is Christine, and I just won the agility record book!
This will make up for my competition of Saturday, I had a clean run and the best time, soo happy that I forgot about the new rule of the AKC that you have to have your dog on leash before you exit the ring! Bummer! I didn’t have her on leash and I got disqualified! It will not happen to me again but it would be a good idea to have the new rules or the change that the AKC or any other organization makes.
Christine, and my dog Sideway
First of all, congratulations to both of you for your great run!  About the non-qualification complication, it’s always hard to learn a lesson the hard way, but we sure learn it best this way.  (I speak from experience!  One of my favorite sayings is, “I never make the same mistake twice.  I just keep inventing new ones!”.)  The AKC rule you mentioned is not actually a new, but it’s always been a requirement, as far as I know.   It’s mentioned in the current AKC rule book, which was last updated in 2006. 
But even still, leashing rules are not something we all know, going into a trial.  So thank you for sharing!  I’m sure it has helped others.  And thank you also for your suggestion for the blog too, about announcing changes that the agility organizations make.  I plan to do just that!  I’m an “Outlook task fan” (if you are one, you know what I’m talking about!), and its a regularly occuring task of mine now to check all the event organization’s news pages.  I’m also subscribed to many of their email groups for up-to-the-day alerts.   So yes, along with your help too, as soon as I hear about something, I hope to pass it on to all of you. 
A couple of the more recent newsworthy changes (in case anyone missed them) is about the AKC’s plans to allow mixed breeds, and rules about t-shirt advertising.   I’ve also posted AKC’s rules for leash usage at agility trials here.

10 Comments on “Dog Leashing Rule

  1. I use the “Sensible” which is very light weight and does not restrict movement. Since it fastens in the front to his collar and leash, it just makes it difficult for him to lunge forward. He wears it at the warm up jump with no issues.

    Removing would not super charge,thank goodness,he already is a manic. LOL. Now that you mention it, I think my boys notice when their collars are off. USDAA and NADAC style.

  2. After a knee injury,I use a harness which is attached to his leash in front to prevent being pulled off my feet by my high drive lab. One snap and its off with leash attached. A slip lead, which I use with my other lab, could injure him.

    • Oh, it’s been so long since I’ve used harnesses, I didn’t know they’ve got that simple to put on and off! It makes sense why you use it. Thanks for enlightening me. Hmmm…Just a wild thought. I wonder if taking a harness off a dog right before a run can be a positive thing, toward a higher start-up drive? Most harnesses are perfectly comfortable of course, but they are ‘felt’ on a dog’s body more than a collar. Suddenly taking away the restriction they feel around their stomach MAY actually psychologically jump start a dog. I think it would me. Suddenly I’d feel “naked and free as a bird”, and want to run like the wind. Just a wild thought! (trying to think like a dog isn’t easy, but it’s fun).

  3. i’ve been in 2 trials in the last month and the judges are really emphasizing the leash rules in their briefings. seems it’s always been a rule, but they just started enforcing it as of may 1st. the judges i’ve dealt with say that if your dog runs out of the ring at the end of a course, but comes back in and you attach the leash before exiting, it’s all good.

  4. Thanks for the compliment! yes she is my first and only agility dog. I have trained her all by myself and actually very proud of what I have accomplished with her. she was a very shy springer and was afraid of everything, doing agility with her has completely changed her. My husband tells me that I take better care of her than him! ah ah! it is kind of true… she is the queen of the house.

  5. Actually, I may have to clarify. It appears that harnesses have to be removed too, not left on the dog. Which seems like a pain. Better to just use a collar, or a slip lead, in my opinion.

  6. Sideway,
    Is that your dog? Nice pic!
    Thank YOU for sharing your story with us. I hope to get some opinions on some judges or trainers here that are AgilityFusion members, as to why it isn’t always enforced at trials. I know that some things are up to their discretion. It’s possible that some course exits are judged to be more ‘tempting’ to a dog than others, so they give leeway. But definitely don’t quote me on that. Best course of action is just to always leash, of course.

  7. Thanks for posting my email. I did learn my lesson and from now on I will check for new changes like the AKC added 3″ on the contact zone of the dog walk, that might help me. I tought that the leash was a new rule because I’ve been doing competitions for the last 2 years and more than once got out of the ring without having her on the leash and nothing happened, but I can understand why they would enforce it now and It doesn’t matter I had a great run with my dog! and that was my goal.