General FAQs

A GREAT question! It is the responsibility of each participant to review and know the rules related to Fast CAT. These can be found at: (Chapter IV of AKC's Fast CAT Rules starts on page 26...) Get your answers directly from the authority on the subject instead of asking on random Social Media pages and getting random and often very wrong responses. Read the rules and be your own expert!
Yes, you have to setup an account to become a Member of  Setting up an account is very simple and involves providing all the information you would have provided in filling out a paper AKC entry form, necessary to accept and process entries and results.  It's important that you provide ALL of the indicated information and that you do so carefully to ensure it's accurate.  This helps avoid errors and resulting delays in processing entries and results.  We strongly encourage you to sign up for an account at least a day or two prior to the first event you want to enter, so you don't have to be rushed in typing in the required information.  Once you've done this, you won't have to type in this information again to enter events in the future.  A great convenience!  

When you go to the webpage to sign up for an event, it's recommended that you sign in to your account just prior to the event opening.  This helps you avoid the "Login To Enter" step that may pop up if you haven't signed in to your acount in awhile.  Once signed in, the process to enter an event can take less than 30 seconds, depending on your ability to identify and click on just a few selections related to which Event, which Dogs to enter, which Tests and which Run Blocks.  After that, you'll have to read and click to agree to the AKC legalese listed on Premiums and then process payments via PayPal.  Since you've already created a TallyHoEvents account and logged in to it prior to the event opening, you won't have to type anything to enter the event, but will only have to select from a menu of options available.  {Clicks required to enter each event:  Learn More / REGISTER NOW! / Dog Information / Test Information / Run Times Information / Agree To Terms and Conditions / PayPal.  It's as few as seven clicks (no typing required!) once you've setup an account, to enter an event.  It will be one additional click per additional dog and up to three additional clicks depending on how many runs you're signing up for on a typical two day weekend event.  Seriously, we couldn't make it any simpler!!!

Please be aware that Fast CAT has become very popular and events can sell out very quickly, depending on a variety of circumstances.  This is just like trying to buy tickets to a popular sporting event or concert.  It's first-come, first-serve.  The website logs submissions and processes them in order.  If you don't get in, it simply means there were more people trying before you than there were slots available.  Also, keep in mind that your clock saying a certain time, doesn't necessarily equate to the system time of the webpage.  We've added a clock to the entry screen that will assist in timing your entry, if you're concerned with submitting your entry at opening time.  Still, if you don't get in, it means others were just quicker.  

Please remember to be kind and understanding and keep the AKC's Sportsmanship requirements in mind!  
TallyHoEvents accepts all payments through PayPal.  By doing this, we don't retain or even see any financial information from participants, other than acknowledgement that payment has been processed.  We prefer not to have access to or be responsible for storing any of this information for the protection of participants. 

If you don't want to setup a PayPal account, you can pay via credit card or debit card of your choice, but it will still be processed through PayPal and you'll be required to input your payment information for each transaction.

NOTE!:  Please DO NOT have someone else enter your dogs for you, or process payment for you.  We won't have any way to track or acknowledge the payment to match it against your account if there are any questions down the road, or a refund is necessary.  You can either setup a PayPal account, or use a credit, or debit card via the links provided when you sign up for each event.  Those are the only options.

IF you use a PayPal account with a different email address attached to it, then be sure to include that information in any correspondence with us regarding any changes to an entry already submitted.  Without the information linked to your PayPal account, we can't look into or process any changes for you.  It's frustrating to try to look into these and not be able to complete the task, having to then reach back out and ask for the PayPal account information.  Just be sure to let us know to avoid the extra work and delays in helping you.

PayPal charges a "convenience fee" for all transaction, which we pass through directly.  It's their fee, not ours and is non-refundable. 
When signing up for an event, each dog is allowed to run one time per test.  Most days, there will be two tests offered.  If you want your dog to run twice in one day, select both Test #1 and Test #2 for that day.  Do this for each day you want to run.  If you only want your dog to run once in a day, select only Test #1.  Be aware that you won't be able to add additional runs on the day of the event.  Enter both tests now if you anticipate you'll want to run twice.  This is mainly due to most our events selling out in advance and there not being slots available and other considerations.
If any Run Blocks don't show in the list of available Run Blocks, that means there are no available slots left in that Run Block and you'll need to select another one.
TallyHoEvents does offer a Waitlist option if Clubs choose to offer it.  If the event fills prior to the published closing date, there will be a limited number of Waitlist spots made avaiable.  Sign up for these will be exactly the same as any other Run Block, including payment for the slots.  If a slot opens up in a scheduled Run Block before the event, those on the Waitlist will be notified in the order in which their entry on the Waitlist was received and offered the option to move into the scheduled Run Block available.  Be aware that we don't waitlist individual runblocks.  If you can't accept any time assigned, don't waitlist the event.  Once the event closes, there will be no refund if you are assigned to any runblock.  Again, waitlisting means you are willing to accept any assigned runblock that becomes available.

While on the Waitlist, you can decide to pull your entry at anytime and receive a full and prompt refund of all payment made for the Waitlisted slots, IF the request is sent in prior to being assigned a runblock and prior to the event entries closing.  You'll just need to notify us of your decision to pull from the Waitlist.  In the event an open slot never becomes available prior to the event taking place, you will receive a full refund of all payment made for the Waitlisted slots.  Given how busy we can be just before, during and after event-weekends, we ask for your patience and that you allow up to a week to see the refund processed.  Our goal is to process them that weekend, but event-weekends can be busy. 
Yes!  We currently accept entry for multiple dogs during each submission.  We do have a limit however given the popularity of events and demand for entries to help spread the entries out and allows more people to participate with their dogs.  

If you have more dogs you want to enter, you can process another entry after the first one completes.  If you will be attending the event without competent assistance with you, we ask that you sign them up in an adjacent Run Block to allow enough time between dogs for them to rest and for you to go back and forth between the crating area and the course.  The purpose of spanning Run Blocks is to avoid having downtime on the course while we wait for someone to run back and forth with their dogs.  We don't want you or anyone else involved to rush or feel stressed.  Our goal is to keep the course moving safely and for everyone to have a great time!
Each handler is responsible for arranging to have both a releaser AND a catcher available during each of their dogs’ runs.  The Club may provide volunteers to assist with releasing or catching well-mannered dogs but is not obligated to do so for every dog.  When this assistance is available, it is strictly a courtesy and the volunteers accept no responsibility for any actions or consequences.  
It's easy!  Sign in to your account and click on "PAYMENTS".  You can do so at this link: Keep in mind that this will only show events entered via Tally Ho Events, that you have already entered.  
We hope you'll make every effort to ensure you enter the events correctly and don't need to make any changes later as this adds work to our team.  However, we recognize that sometimes "life happens" and it's necessary to make changes.  Changes can be made prior to the event closing date and for very limited reasons after an event closes.
If changes are necessary, you can use the "Contact Us" button.  Be sure to include the event name and date and a clear explanation of what you'd like to change.  (We can't easily look up AKC Event Numbers and this will only cause delays in providing answers to your questions.  We will reply to you to ask for the event name and date instead.)  Be aware that we can't get you into any events or run blocks that have already closed or filled.
Please DO NOT ask to make changes onsite during the day of the event.  At that point, the paperwork has all been finalized and delivered (actually, this occurs 2-3 days prior to any events...) and everyone is too busy to attempt to make any changes.  Submit your request via the "Contact Us" button and be patient.  We will respond when able.
Remember, there is no such thing as a "Fast CAT EMERGENCY!" 
First, you'll want to be sure to bring water and two leashes with you.  You'll need one leash to remain with your dog when being released and another leash for use in the catch area after your dog is released without it's leash on. All dogs MUST be on a short leash of 6 ft in length or less or confined to a crate and under control while on the test grounds, except during their runs.  NO retractable leads are allowed onsite.  

You may also want to bring any comfort items you'll need for yourself and your dog, including water, shade, snacks, lunch, chairs, weather related gear and any other items you might want to have with you.  Many venues are not particularly close to restaurants or convenience stores, so it may be a good idea to have what you'll need with you when you arrive.  

Keep in mind that you'll most likely be onsite for 30 minutes to a couple of hours.  You probably won't need much that can't wait a little while, other than dogs, water and leashes...  
If you've never run Fastcat before, it can feel a little daunting going to your first event.  Please feel free to approach any of the volunteers, who will be happy to answer any of your questions at the event.  We all want everyone to be safe, have fun and have great runs. A few tips:
  • You have signed up for a time block to complete your runs.  All dogs scheduled to run in "Test 1" will be run first (both runs), followed by those dogs scheduled to run in "Test 2" within each run block.  You should plan to be onsite for anywhere from at least a half hour to as much as two hours total, depending on how many dogs you have and the conditions when you are onsite.
  • The first thing you need to do when you arrive is to check-in and have your dog inspected. You will receive a sticker with your dog's name and run number on it.  This will need to be with the person releasing the dog. You will receive a sticker each time you get inspected.  As soon as you complete your first run, you should get your dog inspected for their second run so you are ready when you are called.  Dogs must be inspected before each run.
  • Please bring someone with you to help release or catch your dog, or arrange to have someone available to help you.  If you don't have someone with you, we may have people who can help.  Please let us know when you are placed in the cones to run if you need someone to release your dog.  It is not the club's responsibility to have releasers available to release your dog, it is a courtesy.  You might also ask around to see if someone else waiting can release your dog.  You might offer to release their dog in exchange.  This is a great way to meet and make a new friend at events!
  • Catchers, please walk outside of the flagged area along the course - this is to ensure there will be no unfair distractions to dogs that are running.
  • Handlers MAY NOT walk down the track BEFORE the dog is released, per AKC rules effective Nov 1, 2022.
  • Dogs MAY NOT be recalled back to the startline after they complete their run, per AKC rules effective Nov 1, 2022.
  • Dogs will be put in a queue with one dog on deck and 4 others ready to move up.  There will be cones with numbers on them where you will stand by, and move up as necessary.  Once you are in this line, your catcher must be at the other end to ensure they are ready when your turn comes up.  If your catcher is not ready, we will move onto the next dog that is ready and put you back in line when your catcher is ready.  This isn't meant as a punishment of any sort, but is to ensure we keep the course moving efficiently and without unecessary delay.  As soon as your catcher is at the other end, you will be called back into line, but we won't delay another dog that's already in line.
  • You will need to have 2 leashes - one at the start, and the other for the end of the run.  Dogs should not run with tags on their collars.  If they must, the tags should be taped or secured so they won't interfere with the dog's run.  It is recommended that dogs run in flat collars (or naked - wheee!). Dogs MAY NOT run the course in a harness OR any type of collar that has a "choke" component (including martingales) - you CAN bring them to the line in these. Per AKC rules, choke collars, e-collars and prong collars are not allowed. This includes hidden prong collars.
  • You cannot use anything to entice your dog to run other than yourself - treats, toys or artificial noise makers are not allowed.  You can scream, clap, call your dog and whistle, only if you can do it without any artificial aids or devices.  You can use a treat or toy AFTER your dog has crossed the finish line to help catch them, if necessary. 
  • Once your dog has crossed the finish line, please leash them up and leave the course as soon as possible.  The lure cannot be moved back to the front of the course until the field is cleared.  Please don't be that person holding up the course unnecessarily!  
  • Your qualifying ribbons should be ready at the ribbon table as you leave the run area, complete with time, MPH and points.  Title ribbons will be there as well.  
  • It disappoints me to have to say this, but DO NOT ALLOW YOUR DOG TO PEE ON ANY EQUIPMENT, FENCES, GATES OR TENTS! The crew has to handle all these items and they are often transported / stored in people vehicles or homes.  This is just common sense, but we all know how rare that seems to be for many.
Our goal is to follow the run order as well as can be accomplished in order to keep the course running, while putting on a safe event.  We want everyone to have a great time!  If you have any questions or comments, please be sure to talk to us, and we will do our very best to help you.

The Lure Operators role is to ensure dogs are run in a safe manner above all else and to try to get the best time possible for each run. Practice and experience leads to an understanding of various breeds and their tendencies, but also that not all dogs in each specific breed will run like all others in that same breed, or dog type category. Each dog is an individual and each individual may run differently under different conditions, or even during different runs on the same day. That’s what keeps this exciting for the Lure Operator! Having to observe and adjust on-the-fly, all while tuning out the multiple distractions occurring all around while a dog is running...

I prefer running the Lure from atop a ladder, which provides an entirely different perspective from the Releaser and the Catcher, who are watching from ground level and in-line with the Lure and Dog’s travel. Being atop the ladder and solely focused on the dog as it follows the Lure provides a unique observation point that provides a better vantage point. These different perspectives occasionally lead to different interpretations of what’s happening on the field and how a dog responds to the Lure. While it may look like a dog is close or far from the Lure from ground level and in-line with the dog and Lure, being on a ladder, aside the course, may provide a completely different observation.

If I get particularly good results on a run, I’ll often try to get the handlers attention to let them know what I did with the Lure for their future reference. It doesn’t necessarily mean running the Lure the same way the next time will result in another great run, but it’s more likely to help than not.

The Paddock Masters role is to ensure dogs are staged / lined up to wait to run in a safe manner above all else and within the assigned runblocks to the best of their ability. The Paddock Master does have the authority to alter the lineup for safety reasons, or in the overall best interests of everyone in the area, or for any reason they deem appropriate. Some things that may affect this are weather, overly exuberant dogs or other issues that may cause en event to run behind in spite of everyones desires or best efforts. 

Always keep in mind that the Paddock Master is a volunteer and they need everyone's support to do their job to their best abilities.  Please don't hover over or hang around the Paddock Master. They will call out dogs when they are ready to place them in the queue. They need to be able to focus on their role and standing too near them and carrying on conversations nearby won't help you or anyone else in any way. We try to run everyone as close to the published schedule as possible. We welcome you to ask for a deviation if necessary, such as for a ring conflict or other similar issue but please accept the decision of the Paddock Master. They are fully aware of the overall schedule for the day, whereas you may only know of your own situation. The Paddock Master will do their best to accomodate special requests, but any sort of bullying or badgering will not help your case.

Note:  When ring conflicts do present an issue with being available for an assigned runblock, it's not necessary to notify the Paddock Master if you want to run later.  You can just show up when ready and let them know you are present and available to run and they'll work you in at the next available spot that doesn't create an inconvenience to those running in their assigned runblock.  If you want to try to run earlier, you may ask the Paddock Master, but don't argue if they say they can't fit you in earlier.  Be prepared to wait if necessary. They know more about the overall schedule than you do.

Remember, this is all supposed to be fun for everyone, including the volunteers!  Be positive and supportive to the best of your ability!
Per AKC Rule, the Hunt Master is in overall control of the course.  They ensure the course and conditions are safe for running before and during the event.  In the event an issue arises, the Hunt Master may stop the course at any time until the issue is resolved to their satisfaction.  In reality, some Hunt Masters in Fast CAT are not always the most experienced people and they will rely on the support of others, both on and off the course.  This involves the Lure Operator, Gate Stewards, Paddock Master and any number of other people involved in the event.  Remember, most people involved in putting on a Fast CAT event are volunteers and are due the respect and patience we all would desire.

The Hunt Master will ensure the person bringing the next dog to the line understand proper release timing.  The sequence is to bring the dog to the start box, with the toes over or touching the back line and not too close to the timer units that they may possibly set them off early if the dog lunges.  Once the Hunt Master believes the person is set, they will ask for a verbal confirmation from the releaser "Are you ready?" to which the releaser must issue a clear response indicating they are ready.  After this response, the Hunt Master will look to the Lure Operator to ensure they are ready for the next dog.  Typically, this is signalled by the Lure Operator with a hand in the air.  Once this is confirmed, the Hunt Master will raise their hand to signal the Lure Operator they are about to release the dog, then they will circle their hand in a manner so the Lure Operator can see it, but not so demonstrative as to frighten or distract the dog.  At that time, the Lure Operator should move the lure.  As soon as the lure moves, the Hunt Master will annouce so the releaser can hear them "Tally HO!".  At this time and not before, the release should release their dog. Do NOT release the dog prior to the Tally Ho...  

* - Do not make the mistake of holding your dog after the lure moves!  You are possibly causing a poor release when doing so.  It's the Lure Operator's responsibility to keep the lure properaly ahead of the dog.  When the releaser holds a dog after the Tally Ho, it doesn't allow the Lure Operator the proper opportunity to set the dog up for it's best run...  Remember, Tally HO means LET GO!
A good question!  There are three types of registrations you can use, depending on your dogs pedigree.
For registering a purebred dog for which you have all the necessary documentation, you'll want to visit AKC's registration page for purebred dogs and enter the required information.
For registering a dog that's a purebred, but you don't have the necessary documentation, you'll want to visit AKC's registration page for Purebred Alternative Listings and enter the required information.
For registering a dog that's not a purebred, or one that you just don't know what it's breed is, you'll want to visit AKC's registration page for their Canine Partners Program and enter the required information.
* - Remember to do any of these prior to attempting to register for any actual Fast CAT events.  A valid and unique registration number is required to enter events and AKC needs time to process the registration requests.  The length of time will depend on which registration type is chosen and how many requests AKC already has in their system.