Suggested Best Practices from AKC
May 14, 2020

Article by Lynette Coil

The American Kennel Club (AKC) sent the following to the BAC; and we know many are getting anxious about having a field trial so we are forwarding their suggestions to you.

Subject: Hounds - Suggested Best Practices for the Well-Being of Dog Sport Participants

Attention Beagle Advisory Committee:

Please find attached the Suggested Best Practices for the Well-Being of Dog Sport Participants.

Thank you,

Dawn Salpeck

Suggested Best Practices for the Well-Being of Dog Sport Participants The AKC supports each club’s informed decision to reschedule, postpone or cancel their respective events, as well as supporting clubs ready to hold events in locations that are open and permit gatherings. As events resume across the country, people need to feel safe while enjoying their dog activities. The AKC urges clubs to take appropriate precautions for the benefit of their participants. Events need to be held in a manner that emphasizes the safety of participants and event officials over efficiency. The following is a list of suggested best practices that may be helpful when planning or attending an event. Event locations, facilities and dates will differ. With a situation that is continually evolving, it is up to the clubs to determine the guidelines that best fit their event. In order to inform participants, specific guidelines established by the club should be published in the premium, club website and posted on signage/flyers at their event. General Practices 

1. Clubs, officials, and participants are required to follow state and local guidelines that apply to the area where the event is held. 

2. Practice social distancing consistent with local guidelines. Avoid congregating to the extent possible. 

3. Consider wearing masks when in close proximity to others. 

4. Consider wearing disposable or washable gloves. 

5. Have plenty of hand sanitizers placed for people to use. 

6. Have disinfecting spray at bathroom facilities for people to spray door handles (or anything else they touch). 

7. Wash hands as frequently as possible. In club house bathrooms, have pump bottles of soap for hand washing. 

8. If you utilize portable toilets, please ask for a hand washing station to be delivered as well. 

9. Avoid shaking hands or hugging. 

10. Avoid touching dogs that are not your responsibility. 

11. Avoid common use pens/pencils – bring your own. Field Events for – Beagles Dachshunds Basset Hounds May 12, 2020

12. Disinfect surfaces in common use areas as often as possible (tables, chairs, doorknobs, etc.) 

13. Meals 

 If meals are provided, clubs should stagger group lunches/dinners to avoid congregating. 

 Avoid self-serve food lines. Have one person dishing out servings if possible. This avoids everyone touching the same serving utensil. 

 Clubs should consider providing boxed lunches for the judges, club members and volunteers. 

 Hospitality areas should avoid community items such as salt and pepper shakers, condiments, creamers, etc. 

 Participants should consider bringing their own lunch/drinks. 

14. Parking areas – Park with sufficient distance between vehicles if possible. Event Practices 

1. Safe handling of paperwork and payment 

 When filling out entry forms, participants should bring their own pens/pencils. 

 When paying entry fees in cash, bring the correct change. 

 Trial Secretary or individuals handling paperwork and entry fees should wear gloves. 

2. Judges should bring their own pens for scoring, notes. 

3. Collars – If club collars are used, they should be wiped down between packs. Participants should consider bringing their own collars. 

4. Gallery should maintain social distancing while in the field. 

5. Measuring stand 

 Judges should wear gloves while handling the dogs and the measuring stand. 

 Measuring stands should be wiped down between dogs. 

 Participants should not congregate around the measuring area. 

6. Ribbons & trophies – Hold awards ceremony outside if possible. Place ribbons/trophies on table or tailgate and invite handlers to pick up theirs, no handshaking. 

Policies that Have Been Temporarily Suspended 

1. Event Application Late Fees – Event application late fees are waived through the end of October. This provide clubs more flexibility in planning or rescheduling their events. 

2. For events cancelled in 2020, AKC will apply Event Application fees to the club’s next event of the same type. Participants are expected to follow state, local government and event guidelines. Clubs should be prepared to enforce the guidelines that apply to their event. CDC - How to Protect Yourself and Others: These Suggested Best Practices may be periodically updated. Please check the AKC Field Events for Hounds website ( for the most up-to-date version. For questions or additional suggestions, please contact the Performance Events Department at Stay Safe – Enjoy Your Dogs


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