The Canadian Kennel Club Process

Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) Process

By Lynn Leach
Downriver Farm
Australian Cattle Dog Club of Canada – Vice President
CKC Herding Representative
Herding Judge – CKC, AKC & AHBA

The Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) program is still in its infancy, as is the council; so it’s been a learning process for everybody and changes may still occur.   

What I’ve learned through this process is that the people running the CKC really want their programs to work for the people using them. The experts in each discipline are the people using them and count on us to make the programs great. I thought it might help for you to understand the time consuming process of making additions and/or changes to any CKC programs. 

Should you come up with an idea to make your program better, the first step to making it a reality is to put the idea in writing, and get it to the performance event representative in your area. There should be a performance rep appointed in each CKC Zone. These reps make up the Performance Council – in my case, the CKC Herding Council. For the purposes of this article, I will refer to herding from this point on, but these same principals will apply to any discipline. 

The Council Representatives are appointed by the elected regional CKC Representatives. Often this doesn’t occur until there is a need for a rep in each area. In other words – there will not be a Herding Rep appointed unless herding trials are held in that zone. The CKC appoints a Chair for each council. The Chairperson usually is not active in the discipline that she is chairing. This helps to keep meetings professional and unemotional. The Council Chair is uninvolved, therefore seeing conflicts from a fresh prospective.

Once the suggestion is received, your CKC Herding Rep will add the issue to the agenda of the Herding Council meeting as a topic for discussion or as a motion to change the rules. These meetings are held annually if possible. Once the Herding Council has approved the change to our rulebook, it must be added to a CKC Board meeting (usually held quarterly) agenda for approval. The CKC Board is composed of the elected CKC Representatives in each CKC Zone area. 

If approved at this level, the final step is to print the changes in Dogs in Canada. This provides an opportunity to receive feedback from the CKC membership, and fanciers of the sport. If there are no objections received from the public, then the changes will be considered as “passed”, and new rulebooks will be issued. It is important to note that CKC has a policy that states rule changes may only be made once every three years.  There are many reasons for this – one being the cost of printing and distributing new material, score sheets and rulebooks.  
And, as you can imagine, this entire process is very time consuming. From the first time that the Herding Council Rep receives the idea in writing, it may be 9 months until the next Herding Council meeting. Once approved, the CKC staff needs time to prepare the motions that must be added to the next CKC Board meeting that has room in their agenda. This may be six months away. Once this step is complete and approved, there is a three month lead time required to get anything published in Dogs in Canada, followed by several months to allow for feedback from the public. Finally, publishing and distribution of rulebooks and score sheets completes the process. 

Understanding this process will help you to understand our current position with the CKC Herding Program. Input from people using each program is vitally important to program’s success. It is extremely hard to consider every scenario when drafting rules. And often, rules are interpreted quite differently than original meanings. Hopefully, people who enjoy working their dogs in all of these wonderful dog sports will remember some of this next time they compete, and find holes in their sport’s regulation booklet. 

It was a group of volunteer enthusiasts who originally submitted a draft set of rules. Another group of volunteers are working hard to make your program run smoothly, and grow with the sport. The people at the Canadian Kennel Club have agreed to administer each program for us, track legs earned and provide certificates for the titles, and work hard with the volunteers to make the programs work. Thank you Canadian Kennel Club!

Happy Herding!

For more information on Lynn Leach’s training philosophy, training events or training videos please contact Downriver Farms, today!