Service Dogs of America
Ultimate Dog Sport

SDA

Working Dog Registry

Titling program for protection, obedience, tracking & search dogs

 

Protection Dog Alert Title (PA)

 

The Protection Dog Alert (PA) is a beginning protection title. The PA only requires a dog to display strong warning barking. This title has two phases:  an obedience phase and protection phase.  If a dog is entered for both the FO and PA at the same trial and passes the FO, the dog does not have to repeat the obedience routine for the PA exercise. The dog only needs to pass the protection phase of the PA in order to be awarded the PA title. However, if the FO was earned at a prior trial, the dog must successfully complete both the obedience phase and the protection phase at the same trial to earn the PA title.  Protection Alert routine is identical to the protection phase of the Protection-1 (P1) except that the dog does not bite or grip the helper for the PA. The dog will be strongly threatened in the attack on the handler phase but there will be no grip.

This title was created to provide a protection title for a wide variety of dogs. This title is perfect for both large and small dogs that are not ready for the requirements of a Protection Dog 1. In addition, this title allows people that may be opposed to a biting dog but are not opposed to having a warning dog. It teaches a handler leash control and provides one the opportunity to train and learn about protection work. Since the Protection Dog Alert teaches the basics and fundamentals of both obedience and protection, it is a perfect title for introducing new people to the pleasures and benefits of protection training. The Protection Dog Alert was created to meet the obedience and protection needs of American dog owners who want or need the services of a family protection dog.

 

Basic Obedience Exercises

Points

Practical Obedience Exercises

Points

Protection Exercises

Points

Reporting to the Judge

5

 

 

Friendly Greeting

10

Long Down

10

Walking through gate

10

Alert on Command

15

Sit out of motion

15

Loading in/out of vehicle

10

Jump Out 360 Threat

25

Down & recall

20

Food preparation exercise

10

Defense of Handler

35

Heeling on leash  

20

 

 

Re-Friendly Greeting

15

TOTAL POINTS

70

TOTAL POINTS

30

TOTAL POINTS

100

 

General Rules for Protection Alert (PA)

 

A.  Three Part Exercise:  The PA class is made up of three parts - basic obedience exercises, practical obedience exercises and protection exercises.

B.  Eligibility:   Must be at least 12 month of age.

C.  Collar: Only one collar is allowed on the dog for the OB phase. Single collars include the following: flat, choke chain, fur savor or similar types, all used on a dead ring. The protection phase allows for the use of two collars; one collar can be a flat collar, fur savor on dead ring, choke collar on dead ring, or a pinch collar on dead ring. A harness may be used in place of one collar. Pinch collars must be worn with an additional collar attached except when used with a harness.

D.  Leash and leash option: All of the exercises in the PA title are 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. During the protection exercises, the handler has the option of using two leashes, one attached to the control collar and one attached to the harness or flat collar. The leash attached to the control collar may be a tab.

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 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 Judge, 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 dog’s 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

k.   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

 

Protection Phase of the Protection Alert (PA)

General Rules

A.  If dog grips the helper firmly two times during any of the protection routine, no title will be achieved.  But dog and handler may finish routines for practice.

B.  All exercises will be performed with decoy wearing a suit jacket.

Protection Exercises

1.   Greeting the Helper. The primary purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate the handler/dog team’s ability to perform a non-threatening procedural introduction with the helper.

a)   Judge’s Instructions. The Judge will indicate to the handler when and where to report, when the exercise starts, when the helper will come out and leave and when the exercise is finished.

b)  Exercise Instructions. The Friendly Greeting exercise begins by the handler/dog team reporting to a designated starting position determined by the Judge. Once arriving, the handler will halt with the dog sitting in the basic position. The handler will then acknowledge the Judge to begin the exercise. The Judge will then instruct the helper to come out from behind the blind or hiding place. The helper will make a direct approach toward the handler to a point where a friendly greeting and handshake can be given; the handler will be responsible for providing a procedural greeting which includes: introducing themselves, giving the dog’s name and stating the name of the title they are reporting for. After the greeting, the helper will return to behind the blind. The handler will then acknowledge the Judge for conclusion of the exercise.

c)   Scoring the Friendly Greeting Exercise. The exercise will be evaluated on the handler’s ability to conduct a procedural greeting and the dog’s behavior during the greeting. The dog should be alert, but should display non-aggressive behavior during the entire exercise. The dog may be attentive to the handler but must clearly indicate non-threatening behavior.

1)   Non-qualifying scores: The following must be given a zero score for this exercise:

a.   The dog will not sit in the basic position to start the exercise;                                              

b.   The handler uses excessive force on the dog to get the dog into sit position;         

c.   The dog displays aggressive behavior toward the Judge, also if the Judge feels the dog is not under control or too aggressive, the Judge may dismiss the dog from further participation;

d.   The dog shows extreme shyness or timid behavior when the helper approaches; or                                                                                     

e.   The dog moves from the sit position and grips the helper firmly.

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

a.   The dog makes too much eye contact with the helper such as a constant stare throughout the routine;

b.   The dog moves or stands up when the helper approaches;

c.   The dog barks excessively; or                                                                                              

d.   The handler doesn’t perform required procedures during introductions.

e.   The dog whines or barks a few times;

f.     The dog doesn’t clearly indicate neutral behavior toward the helper;

g.   The dog becomes restless or moves slightly from the stationary position; or                                                        

h.   The dog is dull or not attentive to the handler.

2.   Alert on Command. The primary purpose of this exercise is for the handler with his/her dog to clearly demonstrate that the dog knows the handler’s command for turning on and off to defend from a helper’s threat.

a)   Judge’s Instructions. The Judge will indicate to the handler where and when to start the exercise, when to alert the dog and when to give the call off command; the Judge will also instruct the helper when to come out from the hidden position, when to cease threatening the dog and when the exercise is complete.

b)  Exercise Instructions. The Alert on Command exercise will be conducted from the same location as the “Greeting the Helper Exercise” and starting with the handler with his/her dog sitting in the basic position. The exercise will start by the handler acknowledging the Judge. The Judge will then instruct the helper to come out from behind the blind and approach the dog. The helper will walk in a direct approach to a point approximately 1-2 yards from the dog. The helper will then walk back and forth in a fairly brisk pace displaying a non-aggressive manner. After pacing back and forth one complete time, the Judge will instruct the handler to give the dog the command for defending against a threat. The dog will be allowed and expected to come to the end of the leash barking and wanting to engage the helper. When the helper hears the dog barking or sees the dog come out, the helper will turn and challenge the dog with threatening gestures. After the dog is challenged, the Judge will instruct the helper to cease the direct threats and return to behind the blind. The helper will be allowed and expected to be suspicious and threatening while returning to the hiding place. When the helper is out of sight, the handler will be instructed by the Judge to reclaim the dog. The handler must demonstrate a call off by giving a command to return to the basic position. When the dog has returned to the proper basic position, the handler acknowledges the Judge to conclude the exercise.

c)   Scoring the Alert on Command Exercise. The Alert on Command Exercise will be evaluated mainly on two criteria. The Judge will evaluate the handler’s ability to control and command the dog and the dog’s eagerness to bark and engage the helper. Dogs demonstrating proper control and high enthusiasm to engage the helper will receive the highest points. Dogs should continue barking and display a willingness to continue after the helper until being called off by the handler.

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

a.   The dog moves from the sit position prior to the helper making one pass in front of the dog and alerts on its own.

b.   The dog grips the helper due to poor handling or lack of control;

c.   The dog will not leave the handler’s side;

d.   The dog runs or shows much fear from the helper’s threats.

e.   The dog can’t be reclaimed when the helper is out of sight; or                                                                                             

f.     The handler uses excessive physical force on the dog to make it sit or to regain control.

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

a.   The dog is slow to respond to either the alert or call off command;

b.   The dog doesn’t display enthusiasm and courage to engage the helper;

c.   The dog never barks; or                                                                                             

d.   The handler allows the dog to pull them from their original starting position.

e.   The dog spins excessively;

f.     The dog should display more enthusiasm and willing to engage the helper;

g.   The dog could respond faster to commands;

h.   The dog moves slightly when helper is passing back and forth in front of the dog; or                                                                                              

i.     The dog slightly anticipates the command.

3.   Jump Out 360 Threat on the Handler. The primary purpose of this exercise is for the handler with his/her dog to demonstrate proper heeling during a protection routine and the handler/dog’s ability to demonstrate a 360-degree perimeter guard from a jump attack by the helper.

a)   Judge’s Instructions. The Judge will indicate to the handler where and when to start the exercise, when to halt when approaching the blind not containing the helper, when the handler will heel toward the blind containing the helper, when the helper is to come out for the attack, when the helper is to cease the attack, when the handler will call the dog off and when the exercise is complete.

b)  Exercise Instructions. The Jump Out Attack exercise starts by the handler reporting to the starting position location as determined by the Judge. The handler will start with the dog in the basic position and by acknowledging the Judge. The Judge will indicate to the handler to start the exercise. The handler/dog will perform heeling in a straight line to an assigned area containing a blind, upon reaching this area the Judge will instruct the handler where to halt. The Judge will then indicate to the handler to turn and heel the dog in a straight line to a blind where a hidden helper is waiting for a jump out attack. On the signal from the Judge, the helper will attack out of the blind and go directly at the handler and dog. When the handler sees the attack, the handler will give an alert command. The dog must come to the end of the leash to engage the helper. The handler will stand still and hold the dog by the leash. The helper will make threatening gestures toward the handler and dog. The dog should demonstrate warning barking and stay at the end of the leash trying to engage the helper. The helper will threaten the dog until a 360- degree turn has been completed. The Judge will then instruct the helper to cease the assault and go back into hiding. Again, the helper will maintain a suspicious and threatening posture while leaving to return to the hiding place. Once the helper is out of sight, the Judge will instruct the handler to reclaim the dog. The handler must demonstrate a call off by giving a command back to the basic position. Once the dog is under control, the handler will acknowledge the Judge to conclude the exercise.

Note: Dogs should continue performing the exercise until called off by the handler.

c)   Scoring the Jump Out Attack Exercise. The Judge will be evaluating the handler’s control and the willingness of the dog to protect from hidden attack. The degree of courage by the dog and the control displayed by the handler will be the main focus for full points. Heeling must be very correct to receive full points.

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

a.   The dog grips the helper due to handler error;

b.   The handler cannot perform proper heeling for most of the routine;

c.   The dog runs behind the handler when the helper attacks;

d.   The handler cannot bring the dog back under control during the routine; or                                                                                              

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

a.   The dog’s heeling is not correct;

b.   The dog lacks enthusiasm and courage during defending the attack by the helper;

c.   The dog stays back near the handler and doesn’t keep pulling into the leash to engage the helper;

d.   The dog is very slow to respond to commands by the handler;

e.   The handler gives double commands; or                                                                                              

f.     The handler applies a leash correction during the routine.

g.   The dog could respond quicker to the commands;

h.   Minor heeling errors during the heeling exercises;

i.     The dog spins excessively;

j.     The dog lacks attention to the handler;

k.   The dog anticipates the commands;

l.     The dog should display more barking; or                                                                                                                                                                                   

m. The dog needs more intensity toward the helper.

4.   Defense of the Handler. The primary purpose of this exercise is for the handler with his/her dog to demonstrate proper responses to the alert and call off command, the ability and willingness of the dog to defend the handler by barking and confronting a threatening helper, the amount of intensity and courage displayed, and the ability of the dog to respond to handler’s commands.

a)   Judge’s Instructions. The Judge will indicate to the handler on where and when to start, when for the helper to cease the attack and when the exercise is finished or complete.

b)  Exercise Instructions. The Defense of the Handler exercise will start by the Judge instructing the handler to report to a designated spot with their dog. The handler will start the exercise with the dog sitting in the basic position. The handler will acknowledge the Judge. The helper will be waiting at the side of the hiding place visible to the dog and handler. On the Judge's instructions, the handler will give the dog its alert command. The helper will stand still for at least three seconds to determine if the dog can demonstrate the alert command, after three seconds has past, the helper will first threaten the dog by yelling and making quick threatening gestures at the same time toward the dog, after the initial threat, the helper will make a direct approach at the dog in a threatening manner. The helper may yell and threaten with a stick during the approach. The helper will then turn away as to leave and then without warning re-attack the dog/handler team again in the same manner as the first attack, once the Judge is satisfied that dog has been properly tested, the Judge will indicate to the helper to cease the attack. The helper will then turn and leave in a suspicious manner back to behind the blind. The dog should remain on alert and barking until called off by the handler. The Judge will indicate to the handler when to command the dog back into the basic position. The handler then acknowledges the Judge to conclude the exercise.

c)   Scoring the Defense of the Handler Exercise. The Defense of the Handler exercise will be evaluated on the dog's willingness to engage a threatening helper. The dog's barking and courage displayed toward the threatening helper are the main areas of the performance the Judge will be evaluating. The call off and the ability of the handler to reclaim the dog are also important.

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

a.   The dog is allowed to grip the helper by handler error;

b.   The dog will not confront the helper;

c.   The dog will not return to the basic position after alerting;

d.   The handler drops the leash during the exercise; or                                                                                             

e.   The handler touches or forces the dog into the basic position.

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

a.   The dog receives extra commands;

b.   The dog is very slow responding to the handler’s commands;

c.   The dog will not leave the handler’s side during the alert command;

d.   The dog lacks intensity in the grip and fight drive while engaging the helper;

e.   The dog retreats as the helper threats;

f.     The dog doesn’t bark;

g.   The handler forgets the procedures in the routine;                                                                                              

h.   The dog is slow to respond to commands;

i.     The dog is slow to sit in the basic position;

j.     The dog could respond faster concerning all commands;

k.   The overall performance needs improvement; or                                                                                             

l.     The dog needs to bark more.

5.   Re-Friendly Greeting. The primary purpose of this exercise is for the handler with his/her dog to be able to demonstrate a re-friendly greeting by the helper, after the dog has performed a series of protection exercises. The handler must perform a procedural re-greeting routine.

a)   Exercise Instructions. The Re-Friendly Greeting Exercise will be conducted from the same location as the Defense of the Handler Exercise. The Exercise will start with handler having his/her dog in the basic position; the handler will acknowledge the Judge to start the exercise. The Judge will then instruct the helper to come out from behind the blind and approach the handler. The helper will make a direct approach toward the handler to a point where another friendly greeting and handshake can be given. The handler should report his or her name and the dog’s name and announce the completion of the Protection 1 routine. On the Judges instruction, the helper will return to behind the blind. The handler will then acknowledge the Judge for the conclusion of the exercise.

b)  Scoring the Re-Friendly Greeting. This exercise will be evaluated on the handler’s control and the dog’s behavior toward re-greeting the helper. The dog should remain alert but non-aggressive to the re-friendly greeting helper. The handler will also be evaluated on the procedural requirements for this exercise.

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

a.   The dog firmly grips the helper;

b.   The dog moves from the sit position and tries strongly to engage the helper;

c.   The dog will not sit in the basic position to start the exercise;

d.   The handler uses excessive forces on the dog to get back into a sit position;

e.   The dog growls or threatens the helper with a closed mouth and staring; or                                                                                             

f.     The dog is ruled unruly by its overall performance.

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

a.   The dog makes too much eye contact with the helper such as a constant stare throughout the routine;

b.   The dog moves or stands up when the helper approaches;

c.   The dog barks excessively; or                                                                                             

d.   The handler doesn’t perform required procedures during introductions.

e.   The dog whines or barks a few times;

f.     The dog doesn’t clearly indicate neutral behavior toward the helper;

g.   The dog becomes restless or moves slightly from the stationary position; or                                                                                            

h.   The dog is dull or not attentive to the handler.

Concluding: The Judge will inform the handler where to report for critiques and announcement of the score. The handler reports with dog on leash and halt with dog maintaining a “sit” in the basic position, handler should then command their dog into a “down” position while waiting for their score and critique. Dog should display proper control during the critique and when exiting from the field. As much as a two point deduction can be assessed for dogs that display lack of control during the critique or when entering or leaving the field. 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