If you’re vested in the sport of obedience, then you may already know that MAJOR changes are being proposed for AKC obedience.
I’m not thrilled with all of the proposed changes, but I would say that the vast majority are designed to make the sport friendlier, safer, and more attractive to a range of competitors with a variety of personal goals.
The proposed revisions were offered after soliciting input from the public, and apparently a sizable number of people did take the opportunity to offer their thoughts, so kudos to each of you who gave your opinions! Clearly the committee listened, and these suggested revisions go well beyond what I had expected. Once again the exhibitors are being asked to provide input – this time on the proposed changes.
This is your chance! Read through the PDF and then speak up and let them know how you feel.
Before you do so, you might wish to keep the following points in mind:
1) Thinking, feeling, human beings worked on this committee. I’d guess that these people gave hundreds of hours of their own time to try and improve the troubled sport that they love. Their suggestions came from public input and may or may not reflect their personal opinions. When you make your comments, remember that this was a labor of love. These people did their best; now treat them with respect. You can be honest in a manner that expresses yourself clearly without mistreating the recommending committee.
2) Before you resist any changes to what you know and love, take a good look at our sport. Look at the numbers, in particular Novice A. Look at the average age of the competitors. Are we really in a position to to freak out over the possibility of change, if those changes might bring new people in to our sport? If you’re saying that you’d rather quit than see the sport “dumbed down”, then you may well get your way – when the sport disappears from underneath you.
As I said earlier, I do not agree with all of the proposed changes, and I expressed that to the committee. But I’m also aware that it’s not all about me and my personal situation; it’s about the sport as a whole.
Let’s make sure the committee hears from us. And if change comes around, support the sport! Train your dog! Enter trials! Volunteer to help others who are just now learning the ropes!