About the Author

Bud Kramer and “Fancee”, Ch. Canamer Fancee CDX (to the right) and “Swinger”, Canamer Swingtime CDX, ATCh.

 (Reprinted from the First Edition)

                 Charles L. Kramer is better known to his family and friends as Bud.  In 1998, Bud retired as professor emeritus of biology/mycology after 40 years at Kansas State University in the Department of Biology.  However, he continues to work part-time on his research on the wheat rust fungi in the Great Plains.

                Bud has been involved in dog training for over 35 years and is a member of the Manhattan Kansas Kennel Club where he has served as training director and taught training classes.  His interest in obedience began when his wife, Vel, enrolled him and their daughter’s 6-month old Maltese puppy in a local obedience class.  He has trained and shown five different breeds including Maltese, Schipperkes, English Springer Spaniels, Portuguese Water dogs and a Miniature Poodle in both obedience and breed. 

                 At first Bud’s interest was in helping his daughters train and show their Maltese in obedience, conformation and junior showmanship.  But, in an attempt to learn more about obedience, he attended a weekend Jack Godsil-Bob Self seminar in Kansas City.  Their approach seemed to make so much sense and was so straight forward, that he and Vel began attending the Godsil/Self (and later, Bob Self’s) Summer Schools on an annual basis.  With the exception of one year when Bud was in the hospital, 2003 will mark the 26th annual trip to Galesburg, Illinois to renew many old friendships, make new ones and refresh their interests in obedience. 

                 In August of 1984, Bud wrote the first of a series of articles on dog agility that was published in Front and Finish.  This was followed by a book describing his concept of the sport, which included features that formed the basis of competitive agility today.  His book won the Dog Writer’s Association of America award for Best Care and Training Book for 1987.  This was soon followed by he and his wife, Vel, establishing the first organized dog agility program in the United States, the National Club for Dog Agility (NCDA).  For a period of some five years, they kept records, certified judges, awarded titles and approved 100 to 125 trials each year.  A small newsletter grew into a magazine, The Contact Line, which was finally discontinued after 8 years of publication.  In 1995, the program was transferred to the United Kennel Club in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  Since that time, UKC has continued to sponsor Agility as a part of their performance program under the original regulations developed and used by the NCDA. 

                 Concerned with an apparent waning interest in traditional Obedience, resulting in large part, from the meteoric rise in the popularity of Agility, Bud conceived the basic concept of Rally Obedience and published the first article outlining the basis of the Rally concept in the February 2000 issue of Front and Finish.  It was hoped that Rally would be attractive to those new to the sport of dogs and encourage an interest in obedience training by providing an alternative venue in the field of competitive obedience.  In August 2000, Bob Self presented the format of Rally Style Obedience to the American Kennel Club Obedience Advisory Committee.  This was met with great interest and AKC soon adopted Rally as a non-regular event with the intention of establishing it as a title event in 2003.  It already has been adopted as a title event by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and the World Wide Kennel Club, and the United Kennel Club is in the process of establishing their Rally program which they hope to have installed as a title event in 2004.  The First Edition of this book formed the basis for the above mentioned Rally Obedience programs.  This Second Edition is greatly enlarged and should be especially useful to those new to the sport.