The Performance Events Department works closely with the Retriever Hunting Test Advisory Committee (RHTAC) regarding suggestions brought forward from the retriever hunting test community.
Recently, the Performance Events Department received an item from the RHTAC that would change the regulation so the handler of the honor dog would not be allowed to talk even at a soft volume to the honor dog, once the working dog handler has called for the test to begin. In further examination of this proposed regulation, at this time the Performance Events Department, in agreement with the RHTAC, does not believe this change is necessary.
However, AKC approved retriever hunting test judges are to be cognizant of the following fault as written in the Regulations & Guidelines for AKC® Hunting Tests for Retrievers which states on p. 66 under Serious Faults:
Talking to the honoring dog — loud enough to interfere with other handlers, the working dog or the Judges.
Judges must be vigilant of this fault and be mindful of this regulation. When handlers are observed to be talking loud enough to potentially cause interference, particularly in situations of a controlled break, dogs should be faulted accordingly. AKC representatives will be monitoring this aspect of the test when in attendance.
For any questions regarding the honor or these regulations, please contact Russ.Reavis@akc.org or 303-550-2758.