Service Dogs of America
Ultimate Dog Sport

SDA

Working Dog Registry

Titling program for protection, obedience, tracking & search dogs

 

FAMILY OBEDIENCE TITLE (FO)

 

Introduction

The Family Obedience class is a training title that is designed around the training needs of a family companion dog. This title requires a handler with his/her dog to perform a series of basic and practical obedience exercises that have been chosen as essentials for having a well-behaved, family companion dog. In addition, the Family Obedience title has a difficulty level suitable for introducing new people to the benefits and pleasures of dog training and a title that teaches the basic fundamentals for obedience training.

Obedience Exercises

Points

Practical Obedience Exercises

Points

Reporting to the Judge

5

 

 

Long Down

10

Gate Exercise

10

Heeling On Leash

20

Vehicle Exercise

10

Sit out of Motion

15

Food Exercise

10

Down with Recall

20

 

 

TOTAL POINTS

70

TOTAL POINTS

30

 

General Rules

A.    Two-Part Exercise:  The family obedience class is made up of two parts - basic obedience exercises and practical obedience exercises.

B.    Eligibility:   Must be at least 9 month of age.

C.    Collar: Only one collar is allowed on the dog. Single collars include the following: flat, choke chain, fur saver or similar types of retracting collars on a dead ring.

D.    Leash: The entire FO routine is performed on leash, with the exception of the Down with Recall Exercise. The leash is to be held in the left hand when heeling. When the leash is removed for the Down the Recall, the handler must put it away, or hang it around their shoulder or waist with the clasp positioned on the right side of the handler’s body.

E.     Heeling & Hands: The dog should always heel close to the left knee of the handler and the shoulder blade of the dog should be aligned next to the handler’s knee. The dog must not forge ahead, move to the side or lag to the rear. A dog that demonstrates positive, energetic, attentive behavior toward the handler is very desirable. The handler should walk freely with both arms moving freely as if the dog wasn’t there.  All exercises begin and end in the basic position.

F.    About turns: Right about turns or left about turns are acceptable but the same type must be performed throughout the Basic Obedience routine. 

G.   Reporting: Handler/dog teams will report to the Steward station just prior to the start of the competition. The Steward will inspect the equipment, to assist the handler in compliance with these rules, and will indicate any necessary changes or additions. The Steward will indicate to the handler where to report to the Judge. Although the dogs are not being judged, dogs are expected to be under control and show good manners.

H.    Scoring note: The score sheet for each exercise has multiple listed features that the judge is required to assess to determine point deductions. However, the judge must also assess major or minor imperfection deductions that are not listed on the score sheet for any other deviations from the ideal performance.

I.       Neutrality test: During its entire performance, a dog is under the neutrality test. A dog that shows extreme aggression, fear, shyness or whose demeanor gives the Judge reason to believe that the dog may not safely be judged may be given a non-qualifying score and excused from the ring and further participation in that trial.

J.     Practical Obedience Exercises: The judge will determine where the Practical Obedience exercises are to be performed.

K.    Call name: A handler may use the dog’s name prior to any command.

L.    Halt:  Every "halt" requires the dog to sit in the basic position.

M.   Sitting and staying: In all instances where the dog is to “sit” the handler may give the dog one verbal command to sit and at the same time may apply a slight leash encouragement. In instances where the handler is required to leave the dog, the handler may give the dog a “stay” command.  The only exception to the above in the Family Obedience title is the sit out of motion; a stay command is not allowed!

N.    Judge’s instructions: The Judge or Steward may give these.

O.   Judge’s note for all evaluations: The Judge will be evaluating the handler and dog on the basis of an ideal performance. All of the listed reasons for imperfection deductions are given as a guide for handlers to have some idea of what is expected. The Judge must assess deductions for other behavior that is not covered or that takes away from the ideal performance. In addition, the Judge will be assessing the dog’s behavior concerning attitude, attention to the handler and the willingness to perform the required exercises. Dogs that display energetic attitude and are attentive and responsive toward their handler will receive the most points.

P.    Acknowledging the Judge and critique: For the FO obedience exercises all handlers are responsible for acknowledging the judge for instructions on when to report and when concluding the routine. The Judge shall instruct all dog/handler teams where and when to report to receive a critique of the performance and the announcement of the score.

Q.   Knowledge of the routine is scored: The Judge/Steward will announce the exercise to be performed and will then indicate to the handler to start the exercise. The Judge/Steward may provide assistance and explanation of all required exercises for handlers who are first time participants at an SDA trial. The Family Obedience title will allow for the Judge/Steward to call out the motion exercises for the heeling pattern, if requested. All other exercises can be explained but, after instruction, the dog/handler team is to perform on their own. For the FO lack of knowledge of the routine is a minor point deduction.

Note: All other general rules on our “general rule page” also apply.  See that page here. General Rules

Basic Obedience Phase

1.   Reporting to the Judge. The primary purpose of this exercise is to show that the dog/handler team can demonstrate proper heeling and control of a dog while reporting to the Judge. In addition, this exercise will be used as a starting point for evaluating temperament and for determining whether the dog/handler team is suitable for continuing the performance. Dogs that display extreme shyness or extreme aggression must be excused from further participation.

a)    Judge’s Instructions. The Judge indicates to the handlers when and where to report, when to begin the exercise, where to report for on leash heeling and where to report for conducting the long down.

b)    Reporting Exercise. The Basic Obedience phase starts with two dog/handler teams reporting to the Judge. The handlers report with their dogs on leash, demonstrating proper heeling. Once reaching the Judge, each handler halts with the dog sitting in the basic position and maintaining the sit throughout the introduction. Handlers are responsible for a formal introduction that includes introducing themselves, giving the dog’s name, and stating the class for which they are reporting. After the introductions, the Judge indicates which team reports for the heeling exercise and which team reports for the long down or honoring exercise. When the handlers reach, the correct area specified by the Judge, the handlers acknowledge the Judge for instructions on when to down the dog and when to start the heeling on leash exercise. The reporting exercise ends for each dog/ handler team when they reach the designated area for starting the next exercise and acknowledge the Judge.

c)    Scoring the Reporting to the Judge Exercise. This exercise is evaluated primarily on the ability of the dog/handler team to perform a formal introduction to start the routine. The Judge evaluates heeling, introduction procedure, and the dog’s behavior during introductions. The dog should display neutral, well-mannered behavior toward the Judge and other dog/handler team.

Note: If a dog is ruled unruly or out of control, the Judge may excuse the dog and handler from performing any further exercises.

1)   Non-qualifying (Zero) Score. The following must be given a zero on this exercise:

a.    Dog is ruled out of control;

b.    Dog refuses to sit even with leash assistance;

c.    Handler uses excessive force to sit the dog;

d.    Handler allows his or her dog to strongly interfere with the other dog/handler team; or

e.    Rough treatment of a dog by a handler.

2)   Major and Minor Imperfections. Imperfections may be major or minor depending on the extent of the following:

a.    Dog is very slow to sit;

b.    Handler gives an extra command;

c.    Improper heeling approaching or leaving the Judge;

d.    Dog’s heeling could be better;

e.    Dog is dull and needs more enthusiasm;

f.     Dog moves slightly during the sit; or

g.    Dog sits crooked.

2.   Long Down (or Honoring). The primary element of this exercise is to demonstrate the downed dog’s ability to remain in the down position while distracted by the presence of another dog/handler team.

a)    Judge’s Instructions. The Judge indicates where to perform the long down, when the exercise begins, when to re-sit the dog from the down, when the exercise is finished and where to report.

b)    Long Down (or Honoring) Exercise. The exercise starts after the handler reaches the designated area. After acknowledging the Judge, the handler with a single voice or signal command (not both) commands the dog to down. The handler remains beside the dog holding the leash or may drop the leash by the dog and stand on the end; the leash must remain loose and not restrain the dog. The dog must remain in its assigned position while the other dog/ handler team performs their routines. After the other dog/handler team completes the Down with Recall Exercise, the handler acknowledges the Judge and, on the Judge’s orders, the handler verbally commands the dog to sit. The handler acknowledges the Judge and waits for Judge’s orders to report for the next exercise.

c)    Scoring the Long Down (or Honoring) Exercise. The exercise is primarily evaluated on the ability of the dog to demonstrate a long down while the other dog/handler team performs their required exercises. The exercise evaluation begins when the handler acknowledges the Judge to start the exercise. The dog should down quickly and remain calm and stationary.

1)   Non-Qualifying (Zero) score. The following must be given a zero on this exercise:

a.    Dog refuses to down even with leash assistance;

b.    Handler uses excessive force to make the dog down;

c.    Dog moves substantially or stands up before the other dog/handler team has completed half their routine.

2)   Major and Minor Imperfections. Imperfections may be major or minor depending on the extent of the following:

a.    Dog needs a double command to down;

b.    Handler uses too much body language when giving the down command;

c.    Dog is very slow to down;

d.    Dog moves a substantial distance by creeping or crawling;                                                                

e.    The handler uses leash assistance in downing the dog;

f.     Dog refuses to re-sit and the handler pulls the dog back up to the sit position;

g.    Dog is slow to down;

h.    Dog moves slightly;

i.      Dog whines or barks excessively;

j.      Dog’s re-sit is slow; or

k.    Dog’s performance is dull or sluggish.

3.   Heeling on Leash. The primary purposes of this exercise is to demonstrate the ability of the dog and handler to work smoothly as a team and the ability of the dog to stay in the proper heeling position. With the leash in the left hand, the handler should walk with both arms moving freely as if the dog wasn’t there.

a)    Judge’s instructions. The Judge will indicate to the handler where to start, when to start, when to restart after each halt and when the exercise is complete.

b)   Heeling on Leash Exercise. It is the handler’s responsibility to perform the routine as instructed below without direction from the Judges, with the exception of the restart after each halt and if the handler is new to the sport and it is or his/her first SDA trial. The handler will start the Heeling on Leash exercise from the location indicated by the Judge. The handler will acknowledge the Judge and start the exercise from the basic position. The dog on leash should perform willingly, and it is preferred that the dog freely heel with the handler upon the voice command to heel. At the beginning of the exercise, the handler must proceed in a straight line 40 to 50 normal paces without stopping. At this point, a turnabout (right about turn or left about turn are allowed, but must be done the same every time) is performed and after 10 to 15 additional paces of normal heeling, a running exercise and a slow exercise, each of at least 10 to 15 paces are to be demonstrated. The handler must go directly from the fast pace to the slow pace. Each change of pace allows for the handler to give a single heel command. After demonstrating the slow pace, the handler must continue at normal pace another 10 to 15 paces, then perform a right turn for 10 to 15 paces, followed with another right turn, continue forward for another 20 paces, then perform a left or right turn about and continue another 10 to 15 paces and halt. Once the Judge indicates the team to continue, the team will heel another 10 to 15 paces then perform a left turn and continue heeling into a group of markers. The markers shall be rubber cones or similar objects placed on the corners of a rectangle approximately eight to ten square feet. When entering the markers, a right and left turn must be demonstrated, after the turns, the handler halts and the dog sits (in the basic position) within the group of markers. The handler acknowledges the Judge, continues heeling back to the original starting position, and halts. The handler then acknowledges the Judge for concluding the exercise.

c)    Scoring the Heeling on Leash Exercise. The dog should always heel close to the handler without contacting. The dog's shoulder should be aligned with the handler’s knee and the dogs body must remain in alignment with the direction of travel. The dog must remain as close as possible without contacting the handler during all turns. Dogs that are in correct position, are attentive and energetic are very desirable for awarding receive full points.

1)   Non-qualifying (Zero) scores. The following must be given zero score on this exercise:

a.   Handler giving dog constant or repeated extra commands or signals;

b.   Handler constantly guiding or tight leash;

c.   Handler slapping the leg or snapping fingers excessively;

d.   Handler continually adapting pace to dog; or

e.   The dog must be given a zero score for “unqualified heeling” if it breaks or leaves the handler’s side and cannot regain its composure and resume heeling.

2)   Major and Minor Imperfections. Imperfections may be major or minor depending on the extent of the following:

a.   A handler who moves forward and then gives a “heel” command shall be penalized a major imperfection;

b.   The dog moving out of proper heel position before it is given a command or signal from the handler;

c.   The dog anticipating command or signal;

d.   The dog crowding the handler, forging, heeling wide, heeling in improper position, lagging, poor sit, sniffing, and any additional heeling imperfections;

e.   Occasional tight leash;

f.     Failure to change pace by the dog or handler during the heel on leash;

g.   Handler giving extra commands or signals;

h.   The dog sniffing a Steward or a cone during the figure eight exercise; or

i.     Lacks natural smoothness.

4.   Sit Out of Motion. The principal purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate the dog’s ability to perform heeling and, upon a verbal command or a verbal command with a small leash encouragement, perform a stationary sit while the handler proceeds in straight line a minimum of 10 or maximum of 15 paces without stopping. Once reaching the required distance, the handler will turn and face the dog. The dog must remain sitting in stationary position until the Judge orders the handler to return to proper heel position and dismisses the exercise

a)   Judge’s Instructions. The Judge will indicate the position to start the exercise, when to start, when the handler may return to the dog after the sit and when the exercise is complete.

b)  Sit Out of Motion Exercise. The handler and dog on leash will report to the designated area for performing the exercise. The handler will acknowledge the Judge and, from the basic position, the handler will command the dog to heel and will proceed in a straight line for a minimum of 10 or maximum of 15 paces. The handler will give a voice command and option of adding a small leash encouragement that commands the dog to sit. The dog should come quickly into a sit position while the handler does not interrupt his or her pace nor turnabout. After another minimum of 10 or maximum of 15 paces the handler stops and turns around to face the dog. Approximately 3 seconds is observed before the Judge instructs the handler to return to the dog and assume the basic heeling position on the right side of the dog. The handler will then acknowledge the Judge for concluding the exercise. A period of approximately 3 seconds must pass before the handler acknowledges the Judge.

c)   Scoring the Sit Out of Motion Exercise. Scoring of this exercise starts after the Judge acknowledges the handler to start. The Judge will be evaluating the entire exercise, heeling, response to the sit command, handler’s actions and the behavior and performance of the dog. Dogs that demonstrate positive, energetic, attentive behavior toward the handler and perform with quick responses will receive the most points.

1)   Non-qualifying (Zero) score. The following must be given a zero score on this exercise:

a.   Handler gives more than two commands to sit;

b.   The dog moves a substantial distance away from the place where it was sitting; or

c.   The dog does not sit but continues with the handler.  

2)   Major or Minor Imperfections. Imperfections may be major or minor depending or the extent of the following:

a.   The dog does not sit, but stands or lies down;

b.   Handler gives too hard of a leash encouragement;

c.   The dog does not maintain proper heeling position;

d.   The dog sits extremely slowly;

e.   The dog lies down before the exercise is complete.

f.     Handler turns and looks back at the dog when the sit command is given or while leaving the dog.

g.   Handler gives an additional command;

h.   The handler interrupts their pace giving the sit command or turns back sitting the dog with leash;

i.     The dog moves prior to the heel command;

j.     The dog sits slow or moves slightly;

k.   The dog whines or barks;

l.     Handler does not acknowledge the Judge for starting and finishing the exercise;

m. The dog shows pressure when the handler returns; or

n.   Overall performance is not well executed.

5.   Down with Recall. The primary purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate that a handler with his/her dog can perform formal heeling, leave the dog in a down position and recall the dog to his or her position to reattach a leash without moving from a stationary position.

a)   Judge’s Instructions. The Judge will indicate to the handler where to start, when to start, when to recall the dog and when the exercise is finished.

b)  Down With Recall Exercise. The exercise starts with the handler reporting to the starting position assigned by the Judge. The exercise starts by acknowledging the Judge with dog in the basic position. The handler and his/her dog will demonstrate formal heeling in a straight line for a minimum of 10 or maximum of 15 paces and then halt/sit. The handler will remove the leash and give the dog a verbal command to down. The handler will then leave the dog and proceed walking in a straight line a minimum of 30 paces and then turn and face the dog. Upon the Judge’s instructions, the handler will recall the dog to his or her position. Small verbal or physical encouragements are allowed. The dog must come to a position close enough to allow the handler to attach the leash without the handler moving from their stationary position. Scoring of this exercise ends when leash is attached. The handler acknowledges the Judge and waits for the Judge’s indication to report with their dog to the long down exercise, or to the Judge for completion of the Basic Obedience phase. The handler may praise the dog while waiting on the Judge’s instructions or between each exercise. The Judge’s evaluation of the Down and Recall exercise ends once the handler acknowledges the Judge for completing the exercise. However, the handler and dog team should demonstrate heeling and control when reporting for the long down (honor) or reporting to designated area for the Practical Obedience Phase.

c)   Scoring the Down and Recall Exercise. Scoring of this exercise starts after the handler acknowledges the Judge. The Judge will be evaluating all of the formal heeling, performance of the down and the recall exercise. The Judge will also be evaluating the overall smoothness for performing the entire exercise.

1)   Non-qualifying (Zero) score. The following must be given a zero score on this         exercise:

a.   Handler gives an extra command or signal to “stay” after leaving the dog;

b.   The dog will not come to the handler;

c.   The dog follows the handler when leaving the dog in the down position; or

d.   The handler moves from the stationary position on the recall significantly.

2)   Major and Minor Imperfections. Imperfection may be major or minor depending on the extent of the following:

a.   Improper heeling throughout the routine;

b.   Giving extra commands;

c.   The dog anticipates the recall;

d.   The dog moves a substantial distance in the down by crawling or creeping;

e.   The dog stands prior to recall;

f.     Handler gives the down command prior to removing the leash;

g.   The dog is very slow coming to the handler;

h.   The handler moves any distance from the original recall position;

i.     Slow down;

j.     Creeping or moving slightly;

k.   The dog heels improper for part of the routine;

l.     Attitude of the dog is dull and not attentive to handler;

m. Overall routine could be smoother; or

n.   Handler doesn’t acknowledge the Judge.

 

Concluding the Basic Obedience Routine for both dog handler teams. The Basic Obedience Routine ends when both dog handler teams have completed all required exercises. The handlers will then report to the Judge for instructions for performing the practical obedience routines.

Practical Obedience Phase

The Practical Obedience routines are a series of exercises that are considered essentials for a family companion dog. These exercises include a handler unlatching a gate, formally heeling a dog through a gate and latching the gate again all the while the dog being under control and command; then, loading a dog into and out of a vehicle exercise with the dog under control and command. Finally, a food exercise where the dog must perform a down stay until food is prepared. Each exercise has practical applications to everyday life with a family companion dog.

1.   Gate. The primary purpose of this exercise is for the handler and dog to demonstrate a designed procedure for approaching a closed gate, passing through it to the other side, and re-closing the gate.

a)   Judge’s Instructions. The Judge will indicate where to start, when to start, and when the exercise is finished.

b)  Gate Exercise. The exercise begins by the handler reporting on leash with their dog to a designated area determined by the Judge. The handler will acknowledge the Judge. Then, with the dog in basic position, heel the dog toward a closed gate. The handler will stop and sit the dog a minimum distance far enough back to open a gate in either direction. After the sit, the handler may verbally or with a small leash encouragement reinforce the sit command; the handler will then drop the leash and leave the dog in a sit while he/she opens the gate. The handler will then return to the dog’s right side, pick up the leash and heel the dog through the gate to a point where the gate can be closed without touching the dog. When the handler reaches this point, the handler will sit the dog, again the handler may apply a verbal or small leash encouragement to sit, drop the leash and return to the gate and close/latch the gate. After closing the gate, the handler returns back to dog’s right side, picks up the leash, and then acknowledges the Judge for proceeding to the next exercise. While closing/latching the gate the handler may have placed the dog facing away from the gate or facing the gate, but the dog must stay in the position it was left in until the handler returns to the dog.

c)   Scoring the Gate Exercise. The dog and handler team should work smoothly as a team demonstrating a series of obedience exercises that include two sit/stays and formal heeling. The dog should automatically sit at each halt or when verbally commanded, demonstrate proper heeling, and should remain stationary in each sit/stay exercise while the handler leaves and returns each time to the dog.

1)   Non-qualifying (Zero) Scores. The following must be giving a (zero) score on this exercise:

a.   The dog moves or leaves the sit/stay position and cannot be reclaimed by the handler calling the dog with no more than three commands to come;

b.   The dog moves substantially or leaves on both sit/stay exercises;

c.   The dog has to be forced through or pulled through the gate;

d.   The dog interferes or strongly bothers another dog;

e.   The dog is aggressive toward the Judge or other people on the field; or

f.     The dog and handler may be scored zero or dismissed from the trial if any abnormal behavior is determined by the Judge.

2)   Major or Minor Imperfections. Imperfections may be major or minor depending on the extent of the following:

a.   The dog downs or stands up as the handler returns to the dog;

b.   The dog moves a significant amount from where it was placed;

c.   The handler and dog cannot demonstrate proper heeling through the gate;

d.   Handler sits the dog too far back or close to the gate;

e.   The dog whines or barks excessively;

f.     Handler’s reinforced sit/stay command is too harsh;

g.   The dog shows pressure or shyness when the handler returns;

h.   Handler’s pace performing the exercises is too slow or fast;

i.     The dog relieves him/herself during the exercise;  

j.     Handler doesn’t acknowledge the Judge;

k.   The dog is slow to sit at each halt;

l.     The dog is slightly restless or moves a little during the sit/stays;

m. Heeling is slightly incorrect; or

n.   The dog is un-attentive to the handler.

2.   Loading Into and Out of a Vehicle. The primary element of this exercise is to demonstrate the dog’s ability to perform a designed procedure for loading into and out of a vehicle without jumping on the vehicle but being under obedience control the entire time. The handler and dog should work as a team demonstrating a procedure that protects both the vehicle from damaged and the dog from being injured entering or exiting a vehicle.

a)   Judge’s Instructions. The Judge will indicate when and where to start, when to command the dog back out of the vehicle and when to proceed to the next and last exercise.

b)  Loading Into and Out of a Vehicle Exercise. The Loading Into and Out of a Vehicle exercise starts from Judge's designated starting location after the Gate exercise ended. After completing the Gate Exercise and acknowledging the Judge, the handler and dog performs heeling to a location where a vehicle is waiting. Once reaching the vehicle, the handler will halt and sit the dog at a distance far enough back from the vehicle to open the door without touching the dog. The handler may give a verbal sit command and a small leash encouragement to reinforce the sit/stay position and then drops the leash, leaves the dog and opens the vehicle. Next, the handler returns to the dog right side, picks up the leash and commands the dog to enter the vehicle, once the dog has entered the vehicle, the handler will command the dog to perform a down or sit; the handler will then look to the Judge for the indication to recall the dog back out of the vehicle. After receiving acknowledgment from the Judge, the handler commands the dog back out of the vehicle and with another command back into the basic heel position or the handler may use one command to have the dog exit the vehicle and return to the basic heel position. The handler then may give the dog a verbal and small leash encouragement to sit/stay. The handler then drops the leash and re-closes the vehicle doors. The handler then returns to the dog’s right side, picks up the leash, acknowledges the Judge and waits for an indication from the Judge to proceed to the next and final exercise; “Food Preparation”.

Note: The loading into a vehicle exercise is not a jumping exercise, it is a loading exercise. Special consideration will be given to small or old dogs. Owner may provide a step or ramp if needed for dog. Dog must show it is willing to load & unload without being picked up and put into vehicle.

c)   Scoring the Loading Into and out of Vehicle Exercise. The dog and handler will be evaluated on their ability to perform the required exercises.

1)   Non-qualifying (Zero) scores. The following must be given a zero score on this exercise:

a.   The dog leaves the sit/stay position and cannot be recalled by the handler, the handler will be allowed three commands to reclaim the dog;

b.   The dog jumps onto the vehicle with their feet prior to the vehicle being opened;

c.   The dog will not enter the vehicle or stay in the vehicle after two commands;

d.   The dog leaves the handler and bothers another dog, handler, or Judge;

e.   Any serious out of control aggression will result in the Judge dismissing the dog from the trial;

f.     Handler uses excessive force to get the dog to enter or leave the vehicle; or

g.   Handlers and dogs may be scored zero for any abnormal behavior determined by the Judge.

2)   Major or Minor Imperfections. Imperfections may be major or minor depending on the extent of the following:

a.   Dog stands up as the handler returns to the dog;

b.   Dog moves or turns around while waiting in the sit position;

c.   Dog and handler doesn’t demonstrate proper heeling going to the vehicle;

d.   Handler’s reinforced sit/stay command is too harsh;

e.   Dogs that show pressure or shyness from their handler;

f.     Handler’s pace performing the exercises is too slow or fast;

g.   Dog that relieves itself during the exercise;

h.   Dog enters or exits the vehicle prior to command;

i.     Handler doesn’t acknowledge the Judge;

j.     Dog is slow to sit on each halt;

k.   Heeling is slightly incorrect;

l.     Dog is un-attentive to the handler;

m. Dog is dull in attitude and temperament toward performing the exercises; or

n.   The Judge may assess deductions for any undescribed deviation from the ideal performance.

 

3.   Food Preparation. The primary purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate that a handler and dog can perform a series of obedience exercises that enable a handler to place a dog in a down/stay near a food container, while the handler takes food out of the container, places it on the ground near the container, and the dog remains in a stationary position not interfering with the handler.

a)   Judge’s Instructions. The Judge will indicate where and when to start, when the exercise is complete and where to report for receiving a critique or announcing the score.

b)  Food Preparation Exercise. The Food Preparation Exercise starts from the Judge's designated starting location after Loading Into and Out of Vehicle ended. The handler will acknowledge the Judge and heel the dog to a location assigned by the Judge that is approximately five yards away from a container of dog food. Once the handler reaches this position, the handler will halt/sit, then command the dog into a down position, drop the leash, go to the container and scoops out a bowl of dog food. The handler will place the bowl of food on the ground near the base of the container. The handler will then return to the right side of the dog, pick up the leash, and command the dog verbally to sit. The handler will then acknowledge the Judge for concluding the exercise. After the exercise is complete, the handler will receive instructions from the Judge on where to report.

c)   Scoring the Food Preparation Exercise. The handler and dog team will be mainly evaluated on the ability of the handler to demonstrate that his/her dog will perform a stationary down while food is being prepared without interfering with the process.

1)   Non-qualifying (Zero) scores. The following must be given zero score on this exercise.

a.   The dog leaves the down position while the handler is approaching the container;

b.   The dog will not down after two-commands and leash assistance;

c.   The dog leaves extremely early the down position and goes for the food before the handler returns to the dog;

d.   The handler uses a harsh leash correction to down the dog; or

e.   The Judge may assess a zero score for any major abnormal behavior not described.

2)   Major or Minor Imperfections. Imperfections may be major or minor depending on the extent of the following:

a.   The dog takes a double command to down;

b.   The dog leaves the handler during heeling;

c.   The dog breaks the down position as the handler returns;

d.   The handler uses too much body language in downing and sitting the dog;

e.   The handler looks back at the dog when leaving the dog going to the container;

f.     Dog relieves itself during the exercise;

g.   Handler doesn’t acknowledge the Judge;

h.   The dog is slow to perform any portion of the required exercises;

i.     The dog anticipates commands;

j.     Attitude is dull and un-attentive to the handler; or

a.   The Judge will assess a point deduction for any deviation from an ideal performance not listed.

 

Concluding:

The Judge will inform the handlers where to report for critiques and announcement of the score. The Judge will have the option of providing a detailed critique, a short summary, or simply announcing the score of the performance of each handler and dog team. Handlers may request an individual critique or review of the performance with the Judge if a critique is not provided. The Judge will determine the time and place for any individual reviews.

Note: The Judge’s score is final. Respect and good sportsmanship must be displayed by all parties at all times