AKC Tracking Regulation Revisions

Tracking Tests – Recording Devices, and Protective Eye Goggles

At the July 2023 Board Meeting, the Board VOTED to modify the AKC Tracking Regulations, Chapter 2, Section 19 to state that:

1) That recording devices are not allowed on the tracking field and 2) That dogs may wear eye goggles, effective August 1, 2023.

Section 19. Praise, Play, and Items on the Track and Dog. Praise and petting of the dog are allowed after the dog finds the article(s). However, exhibitors will not excessively play with articles as toys, toss them to the dog, or throw them on the ground, which may be construed as a restart. Once the track is complete, playing with any of the articles is allowed.

   The only items permitted on the tracking field are those items considered by the judges to be essential to conducting the test and permitted by these Regulations. Judges will not allow any motivational items such as food, balls, or toys to be used or carried within 30 yards of a track. Judges will not allow any type of recording devices that film video, capture pictures and/or locations, to be carried by the handler or attached to the dog. The carrying or use of motivational items or recording devices will require the dog to be failed and excused from the field.                                                    

Dogs may wear a protective coat, eye goggles, and/or footwear. If worn, the coat, tracking harness, goggles and/or footwear must be put on in the presence of both judges.

As soon as a regulation insert is availalbe, it will be published.


The Companion Events Team

Allowing Bitches in Season to Participate

The AKC Tracking Regulations allow test-giving clubs an option of allowing bitches in season to participate in tracking tests. If a club decides to allow them, the club must state in their premium list that “bitches in season may participate.”

It is up to the entrant to notify the test secretary that their bitch is in season. The test secretary will notify the judges before the draw for running order. If there are more than one bitch in season, a draw will be held to determine their running order. The last track(s) will be reserved for the bitch in season.

Ok, but what if the judges were not at their daily limit and they have plotted and laid an alternate track that might be available for titling? When does the bitch in season run then?

The answer is that she runs the last regular track… before the alternate track is run.

The alternate track is to be used, first and foremost, to replace a track that has become invalidated. The alternate track does not become available as an “extra” titling track until all of the dogs that were “in” the test have been judged. It is altogether possible that the alternate track may have to be utilized to replace an unusable track for the bitch in season. So, the bitch in season runs the last regular track and if that last track is not invalidated, the first alternate exhibitor may run the alternate track for titling afterward.

It is also important to give the exhibitor with the bitch in season specific instructions as to where to park, where to exercise the dog and to ensure that the bitch in season is not on the tracking field until the judges indicate that she should be brought to the start.

Happy Tracking!