Rules and Exercises for the Police Dog 2 (PD2) class. The PD2 class is divided into two parts: The Obedience phase and Protection phase. The obedience and protection routines consist of many advanced training exercises that are considered essential for testing and identifying dogs with the capability to perform police service work. In addition, the exercises required for this class are excellent for providing competition and for promoting dog training. Other benefits of a title from this class will be to improve training related to police service work and to provide a class/title that is a credible test for identifying dogs who possess the necessary skills that would make them good candidates for police service work or for breeding.
Reporting to the Judge
Long Down w/gun shots
Alert & Defense of the Handler
Heeling Off Leash w/gun shots
Jump Out Attack w/gun shots
Sit out of Motion
Defense of Handler
Down & Recall
Call Off or Detain
Courage Test w/gun shots
General Rules for PD2 and OB2
A. Eligibility: To perform the PD2 routine a dog must have earned a PD1 title. Must be at least 18 months old.
B. Collar: Only one collar is allowed on the dog. Single collars include the following: flat, choke chain, fur savor, or similar types of retracting collars, all used on a dead ring.
C. Leash and leash option: All Obedience phase exercises are performed off leash, with the exception of the Long Down exercise. During the Protection phase, the only on leash exercise is the Alert and Defense of Handler. All other exercise are performed off leash. The leash is to be held in the left hand when heeling. Whenever a leash is removed, the handler must put it away or hang the leash over their shoulder or around their waist with the clasp positioned on the right side of the handler’s body.
A dog must be leashed when:
1. First reporting to the Judge or Steward.
2. When doing the long down honoring exercise.
3. End of class as soon as all the exercises have been completed.
4. Whenever a Judge is critiquing the score.
5. Whenever the Judge instructs the handler to place a leash on the dog.
D. Praise: When reporting to all assigned areas, teams are required to maintain formal heeling with mild praise permissible once arriving at the start position for the next exercise.
E. Call name: A handler may use the dog’s name prior to any command.
F. When heeling is required: For the obedience routine, dog/handler teams are required to perform formal heeling when reporting to all designated areas.
G. 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.
H. Left about turns: Are to be performed as either the (German turn) where the dog circles around the handler or back up in place (FCI International/military) where the dog stays in heel position as the handler turns left. The handler and dog must execute the same turn throughout the obedience phase.
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. Judge’s instructions: Any place these rules state “Judge’s Instruction” the Judge or Steward can give the instruction.
K. Qualifying Score to earn or to re-earn title:
1. OB2 title. A qualifying score in the Obedience Phase of the PD2 class requires the passing of the Obedience phase with a score of 70 points or more. Passing the PD2 Obedience Phase qualifies the dog to earn the OB2 title. Note: The OB2 portion of the PD2 title requires a running down out of motion. See exercise instructions included in these rules.
2. PD2 title. A qualifying score for the PD2 Title requires the passing of the PD2 Obedience Phase with a score of 70 points or more, passing the PD2 Protection phase with a score of 70 points or more at the same trial.
L. 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 deal performance.
M. Acknowledging the Judge and critique: For the PD2 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.
N. Judges 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 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.
O. 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. Handlers are required to know all exercises and will lose points if performed incorrectly. The point loss will be proportionate to the error and circumstance. This loss can be .5 to 1.5 for minor to as much as 2 to 4 points for major. Because improper use of equipment can be a safety issue or even an advantage, 1/2 of that exercises points will be deducted for reporting with the wrong equipment. The equipment will be corrected prior to continuing. Point deduction will be taken at finish of hand shake in reporting to judge and after the handler acknowledges the Judge for all other exercises.
P. Pulling a dog from participating in the PD2 Protection phase: When a dog has passed the PD2 Obedience Phase, the handler has the option to continue to the protection phase of the class or pull the dog from competing in the protection phase. The handler should inform the Event Secretary of their decision to pull the dog before the dog is scheduled to run. The dog will be marked “Absent” by the Judge for the PD2 protection phase on the Trials Results Form/Judge’s Book.
Note: All other general rules on our “general rule page” also apply. See that page here. General Rules
Obedience Routine of the Police Dog 2 (PD2) class.
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 off leash heeling and where to report for conducting the long down.
b) Reporting Exercise. The PD2 obedience 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 automatically 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 and specifies the type of finish the dog will perform for any recall exercise. 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 exercise.
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 receives more than three commands to sit during the introductions and instructions;
c. Handler forcing the dog to sit; or
d. Rough treatment of a dog by a handler.
2) Major and Minor Imperfections. Imperfections may be major of 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. Incomplete sit (hovering/space between butt and ground);
e. Dog’s heeling could be better;
f. Dog is dull and needs more enthusiasm;
g. Dog moves slightly during the sit; or
h. Dog sits crooked.
2. Long Down or Honoring w/gun shots. The primary element of this exercise is to demonstrate the honoring 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) Exercise Instructions w/gun shots. The long down or honoring 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 routine. After the other dog/handler team completes the flat retrieve, 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 to the next station.
c) Scoring the Long Down or Honoring Exercise. The honoring 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 after two commands;
b. Handler pushes or touches the dog to make it down; or
c. Dog moves substantially or stands up before the other dog/handler team has completed half of their routine.
2) Major and Minor Imperfections. Imperfections may be major of 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. Dog refuses to re-sit;
f. Incomplete sit (hovering/space between butt and ground);
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 off Leash w/gun shots. The primary purposes of these exercises are 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 heel position.
a) Judge’s Instructions. The Judge indicates to the handler where to start, when to start, when to restart after each halt and when the exercise is complete.
b) Exercise Instructions w/gun shots. The handler and dog (on leash) report to the correct area as specified by the Judge and removes the leash. The heeling off leash exercise starts with the handler acknowledging the Judge with the dog in the basic position. The dog should willingly and freely follow the handler upon the voice command to heel, fuss, etc. At the beginning of the exercise, the handler must proceed in a straight line 40 to 50 normal paces without stopping. A left turn about is performed. After 10 to 15 paces of normal heeling, a running heel and a slow heel, each of 10 to 15 paces, are to be demonstrated and then back to a normal pace. The handler must go directly from the fast pace to the slow pace then back to normal pace. Each change of pace allows the handler to give a single heel command. After the slow pace, the handler resumes normal pace, continues another 10 to 15 paces then performs a right turn for 10 to 15 paces then another right turn continues forward for another 20 paces then performs a left turn about, continues another 10 to 15 paces and halts. At this time the handler acknowledges the Judge and waits for the Judge to signal the team when to continue. 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.
Additional instructions for this exercise concern the actions of the handler. The handler is only permitted to use voice commands when starting the exercise or when changing pace. When the handler comes to a stop, the dog sits in the basic position without being influenced by the handler. During the halt, the handler is not permitted to change the basic position and especially must not move to align with the dog so as to cause the dog to be in proper position.
Instructions for the gunfire test. While the dog and handler are performing the heeling exercise, at least two gunshots (6-9 mm) are to be fired (not while moving through the group) and the dog must remain indifferent to the gun noise. The shots must be fired from a distance of fifteen paces with two shots fired with a three second interval. Should the dog demonstrate gun insecurity, the dog must be assessed a non-qualifying score and be excused immediately from the trial. If the dog demonstrates a certain aggression toward the gunshots, this must be scored as conditionally faulty as long as the dog remains under the control of the handler. The full score can only be awarded to the dog that demonstrates gunshot indifference. Special emphasis must be placed upon gunshot indifference. Should the dog show strong avoidance of the gunshot, such as running away, the dog must be assessed a non-qualifying score and be excused immediately from the trial. If the dog shows potential gunshot insecurity, the Judge may elect to test the dog with additional gunshots to determine the dog’s response. The gunfire test must only be executed during the heeling exercise.
c) Scoring the Heeling Off Leash Exercise. The Judge is evaluating the correctness of the heeling position and the behavior of the dog. Dogs that display positive, energetic attitudes and attentiveness to the handler are most desirable.
1) Non-qualifying (Zero) scores. The following must be given a zero score on this exercise:
a. Handler giving the dog constant or repeated extra commands or signals;
b. Handler slapping the leg or snapping fingers excessively;
c. Handler continually adapting pace to dog;
d. Unqualified heeling;
e. Dog “breaks” or “leaves” the handler’s side and is unable to regain its composure and resume heeling; or
f. Dog clearly demonstrates gunshot insecurity.
a. Handler moving forward and then giving a “heel” command shall be penalized a major imperfection;
b. Handler gives a signal command to heel;
c. Handler giving extra commands;
d. Dog moves out of the basic heel position before a command from the handler;
e. Dog anticipating command;
f. Dog crowding the handler, forging, heeling wide, heeling in an improper position, lagging, poor sitting on the halts, sniffing and any other additional heeling imperfections;
g. Dog fails to stop and sit automatically in the proper basic position each time the handler is required to “Halt”;
h. Incomplete sit (hovering/space between butt and ground);
i. Failure to change pace by the dog or handler during the fast or slow portion of the heeling exercise;
j. Dog sniffs a Steward, Judge or group exercise marker;
k. Lacks natural smoothness; or
l. Dog demonstrates slight gunshot insecurity.
4. Sit Out of Motion. The principal purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate the dog’s ability to perform off leash heeling and upon a verbal command from the handler, perform a stationary sit while the handler proceeds in a straight line without stopping, turns to face the dog and returns to the dog at the end of the exercise.
a) Judge’s Instructions. The Judge indicates where and when to start, when to return to the dog after the sit and when the exercise is complete.
b) Exercise Instructions. The dog/handler team reports to the designated area as indicated by the Judge. The handler acknowledges the Judge and from the basic position, the handler and a free heeling dog proceed in a straight line for a minimum of 10 or maximum of 15 paces and upon voice command by the handler, the dog should move quickly to the sit position while the handler does not interrupt their pace nor turn about. After another minimum of 10 or maximum of 15 paces, the handler stops and turns around to face the dog. When instructed by the Judge, the handler returns to the dog and assumes the basic position on the right side of the dog. The handler then acknowledges the Judge for concluding the exercise. A period of approximately 3 seconds is observed prior to the Judge’s orders for returning to the dog and another approximate 3 seconds is observed when the handler returns to the dog’s side before acknowledging the Judge for concluding the exercise.
c) Scoring the Sit Out of Motion Exercise. Scoring of this exercise starts after the Judge acknowledges the handler to start. The Judge is evaluating the proper 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 two extra commands to sit;
b. Dog moves a substantial distance away from the place where it was sitting; or
c. Dog does not sit but continues with the handler.
a. Dog doesn’t sit but stands or lies down;
b. Dog doesn’t maintain proper heeling position;
c. Dog sits extremely slowly;
d. Incomplete sit (hovering/space between butt and ground);
e. Dog lies down or stands before the exercise is complete;
f. Handler gives any kind of body language when giving the sit command;
g. Handler turns and looks back at the dog when the sit command is given or while leaving the dog.
h. Dog moves prior to the heel command;
i. Dog sits slowly or moves slightly;
j. Dog whines or barks;
k. Handler doesn’t acknowledge the Judge when starting and finishing the exercise;
l. Dog shows pressure when the handler returns; or
m. Overall performance is not well executed.
5. Down with Recall. The primary purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate that a dog/handler team can perform formal heeling, an out of motion down exercise, a recall, front and finish or side finish exercise.
a) Judge’s Instructions. The Judge indicates to the handler where to start, when to start, when to recall the dog and when the exercise is finished.
b) Exercise Instructions. The Down with Recall exercise starts with the dog/handler team reporting to the original starting position as assigned by the Judge. The handler reports with their dog in the basic position and acknowledges the Judge. The Judge instructs the handler when to begin the heeling routine after the handler indicates he or she is ready. The dog/handler team then demonstrates normal pace off leash heeling in a straight line for minimum of 10 or maximum of 15, and then changing to fast pace heeling for a minimum of 10 or maximum 15 paces and without stopping and upon voice command the dog is commanded to down. The handler proceeds walking in a straight line a minimum of 40 paces, turns and faces the dog. Upon the Judge’s instructions, the handler recalls the dog. The dog should come to the handler and perform a front and finish or a straight to side finish; the type of finish must be the same as indicated to the Judge when the team reported. When the dog performs a front, the handler should wait approximately three seconds and then command the dog back into the basic position. The handler then acknowledges the Judge.
c) Scoring the Down and Recall Exercise. Scoring this exercise starts after the handler acknowledges the Judge. The Judge is evaluating formal heeling, performance of the down and the recall. The Judge is also evaluating the overall smoothness of 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. Dog refuses to come to the handler;
c. Dog follows the handler when leaving the dog in the down position; or
d. Handler moves from the stationary position on the recall.
a. Improper heeling throughout the routine;
b. Dog moves a substantial distance in the down by crawling or creeping;
c. Dog stands or sits prior to recall;
d. Dog anticipates the recall;
e. Dog is very slow coming to the handler;
f. Dog does the wrong finish;
g. Handler gives extra commands;
h. Handler gives the down command with body language.
i. Dog heels improperly for part of the routine;
j. Attitude of the dog is dull and not attentive to handler;
k. Slow down;
l. Creeping or moving slightly;
m. Dog could come faster;
n. Incomplete sit (hovering/space between butt and ground);
o. Overall routine could be smoother; or
p. Handler doesn’t acknowledge the Judge.
The agility equipment requirements are listed on equipment page. Equipment
6. Agility Recall. The primary purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate the dog’s ability to perform a recall exercise while performing agility. The dog will be required to perform climbing and jumping over obstacles that lie in the dog’s path to the handler.
a) Judge’s Instructions. The Judge indicates where and when to start, when to recall the dog and when the exercise is complete.
b) Exercise Instructions. The dog/handler team starts the exercise from the same location where the down and recall exercise ended. The exercise starts by the handler acknowledging the Judge with the dog in the basic position and off leash. The handler and a free heeling dog will proceed to an area containing the agility obstacles. The handler heels the dog to a designated area five paces back from directly facing an incline wall. When reaching this point, the handler halts with the dog sitting in the basic position, a verbal command to sit is permitted or the handler may down the dog accepting a ½ point deduction for less difficulty. The handler leaves the dog and walks briskly or jogs to the designated area. The designated area is approximately 15 paces directly behind the last obstacle in the series. The handler acknowledges the Judge for permission to recall; the handler with a single voice command recalls the dog. The dog immediately starts toward the handler first climbing the incline wall and then continuing without hesitation jumping over a series of jumps, which include (in any order) a window jump, rail jump and a solid jump; then immediately after jumping over the last jump the dog is given a single verbal command to down; the dog should down immediately and maintain at least 10 paces of distance from the handler. The handler, acknowledges the Judge to recall the dog; the dog without hesitation continues another 10 paces where the dog arrives at the handler and performs a front and finish or straight side finish. The handler waits three seconds and acknowledges the Judge for concluding the exercise.
Note: The handler may give a single jump command each time the dog has to cross an obstacle. The dog is required to follow a direct path that requires the dog to successfully negotiate (cross) each obstacle. The obstacles are each placed 8 to 10 paces apart in a straight line. The Judge is responsible for approving the set-up of the obstacles and location. The height and obstacle requirements can be found under equipment requirements. Each obstacle is worth two points.
c) Scoring the Agility Recall. Scoring of this exercise begins when the Judge acknowledges the handler to start. The Judge is evaluating the entire exercise to determine the rating the performance deserves. Dogs that demonstrate positive, energetic, attentive behavior toward the handler and strong willingness to perform the exercise are most desirable.
1) Non-qualifying (Zero) scores. The following must be given a zero on this exercise.
a. Dog climbs or passes incline wall before Judge instructs handler to recall;
b. Dog breaks and comes to the handler without performing any agility;
c. Dog leaves the field; or
d. Dog refuses the recall after three commands.
a. Dog lags, forges, crowds or is wide during heeling phase;
b. Dog is slow to respond to the command;
c. Dog moves or takes extra steps after becoming stationary in the sit;
d. Dog hesitates to perform the agility obstacle;
e. Dog doesn’t successfully negotiate each agility obstacle;
f. Dog’s feet touch or tick the window jump, rail jump, solid jump;
g. Dog leaves early or breaks prior to being called;
h. Recall is slow, crooked front or improper finish; or
i. Handler gives extra commands or handler help with body signals.
3) Required Deduction. One-half point deduction when the handler elects to down the dog for the recall.
Protection Phase of the Police Dog 2 (PD2)
The Police Dog 2 (PD2) requires reality-based training exercises directly related to police dog training. This portion of the PD2 class is performed at the club field or stadium that is conducting the trial. Most of the exercises required for this routine are performed off leash. Each exercise in the PD2 class is an excellent venue for testing a dog’s nerves, tenacity, athletic ability and overall temperament for performing any type of advanced protection or apprehension service.
Furthermore, the PD2 is a major tool in the SDA Ultimate Dog Sport program by offering competition, improving service dog breeding standards and for promoting service protection training. Dogs that excel at performing in this class should be excellent candidates for protection or apprehension service work.
A. Evaluating Grips and Courage- Drive. The Judge evaluates grips and courage drive on the following criteria: the dog should demonstrate a strong desire to want to engage the helper; the grip should be full as possible and should be maintained in the same location. Dogs that grip full initially but lose part of the grip due to shaking and pulling are not faulty; dogs that display this type of behavior may actually earn points and be rewarded for demonstrating courage drive and strong willingness to engage the helper. However, if a dog loses part of the grip due to shaking or pulling, the dog should re-grip as soon as the opportunity presents itself. Dogs that take full grips but don’t display courage drive or strong desire to challenge the helper must not receive full points. In addition, dogs that hackle up, growl excessively, show any form of avoidance, loosen their grip while being challenged by the helper or take shallow canine grips are faulty. Judges award full points to dogs that clearly demonstrate firm gripping, courage drive, overwhelming enthusiasm and commitment to engage the helper. In addition, Judges award more points to dogs that demonstrate positive, energetic working attitudes while performing. However, control and willingness to respond to commands of the handler are critical. In summary, Judges reward dog/handler teams who can demonstrate a great attitude and a precision performance.
B. Outs. If the dog, during the gripping stages of the exercise refuses to release the grip a maximum of 3 commands are allowed for each gripping exercise. If the dog does not release the grip on the third command, the Judge shall instruct the handler to quickly go to and control the dog. The dog is excused from further participation. A 3-point deduction shall be given for any extra commands to “let go” used during the exercise.
C. Bite suit. For all Police Dog titles, the decoy must wear a full bite suit.
D. Lower body or inner arm grips. The handler must indicate on the entry form that the dog is trained in lower body and inner arm gripping. Helpers who are qualified to work lower and inner arm body-gripping dogs and will make the necessary adjustments for conducting the helper work. All gripping exercises allow lower and upper body gripping.
E. Disengagement Exercise. A disengagement exercise is defined as the behavioral response the dog demonstrates after releasing the grip from the helper. The dog may perform any of the following: a release hold and bark, a release sit or down guard or a release and return to the handler’s heel position.
1. Alert & Defense of handler. 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 to defend from a helper’s attack.
a) Judge’s Instructions. The Judge will indicate to the handler where and when to start the exercise. The Judge will also instruct the helper when to come out from the hidden position, when the helper is to perform the attack, when the helper is to cease the attack, and when the exercise is complete.
b) Exercise Instructions. The Alert & Defense of handler exercise begins with the handler/dog team reporting on leash to a starting position determined by the Judge. Once arriving, the handler will halt with the dog sitting in the basic position. The exercise starts with the handler acknowledging the Judge. The Judge instructs the helper to come out from behind the blind and directly approach the dog. The helper will walk to a point approximately 1-2 yards from the dog becoming verbally, but not physically, defiant. The helper will then walk briskly back and forth continuing his verbal defiance with the handler. After pacing back and forth one complete time, the handler will order the helper to stop and turn to face his dog. The helper will continue to walk away and the handler orders him a second time, "to stop or my dog will be sent." The handler then alerts his dog which is expected to come to the end of the leash barking and demonstrating a strong desire to engage the helper. The handler must remain at the starting location. When ordered by the Judge, the helper will turn, yell and threaten the dog with a stick making an aggressive direct approach at the dog and handler. The handler will then release the leash and send the dog to engage the helper. The helper will present an arm for the dog to grip, however, the dog may grip in other locations. Once the dog engages the helper, the helper will challenge the dog with two stick hits and resistance while driving the dog. The Judge will instruct the helper to cease the attack. Once the attack by the helper ceases, the dog should release the grip and perform its disengagement response. A command to release the grip is permitted. The handler will acknowledge the Judge, approach the dog and give a single verbal command to bring the dog back into the basic position. The handler will then instruct the helper to step three to four paces back from the dog. The exercise ends by the handler acknowledging the Judge. The handler will then heel the dog to the designated area to start the next exercise.
c) Scoring the Alert & Defense of Handler. This exercise will be evaluated on the dog’s willingness to alert and then engage a threatening helper. 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. The dogs grip and fight drive during engagement and his call off and the ability of the handler to reclaim the dog are also important. Dogs demonstrating proper control and high enthusiasm to engage the helper will receive the highest points.
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 before helper attacks;
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 after release of the helper; 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, out 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.
2. Jump Out Attack w/gun shots and Defense of the Handler Exercise. The primary purpose of this exercise is for the dog to perform a protection routine that requires the dog to demonstrate proper heeling while anticipating a jump out attack from the helper, engage an attacking helper, withstand helper discharging a firearm (with blanks) during the attack, perform a disengagement exercise, defend the handler during a disarm exercise, perform another disengagement exercise and last perform a dismissal of the helper.
a) Judge’s Instructions. The Judge indicates to the handler where and when to start the exercise, when to halt, when approaching a blind that doesn’t contain the helper, when the handler will heel toward the blind containing the helper, when the helper is to perform the attack, when the helper is to cease the attack, when the handler is to approach the helper for performing a disarm exercise, when the helper will attack the handler during the disarm exercise, when the helper will cease resisting or challenging the dog, when the handler is to perform an exercise to dismiss the helper, when the exercise is complete and where to report for the next exercise.
b) Exercise Instructions. The exercise begins with the handler and dog reporting on leash to the location determined by the Judge and removing the leash. The handler starts with the dog in the basic position and acknowledges the Judge. The Judge then indicates to the handler when to start the exercise. The team shall perform off leash heeling in a straight line to an assigned area containing a blind or hiding spot. Upon reaching this area the Judge is to instruct the handler where to halt or the handler is to halt themselves approximately one pace prior to the blind and wait for the Judge’s instructions. The Judge instructs the handler to turn and heel the dog two more legs of heeling that lead to a blind where a hidden helper is waiting to perform a jump out attack. On the signal from the Judge, the helper must attack out of the blind and go directly at the dog/handler team. When the handler sees the attack by the helper, the handler must give the dog an engagement command. The dog immediately leaves the handler’s side to intercept the attack by the helper; once reaching the helper, the dog engages the helper with gripping. The helper makes a direct attack at the dog/handler team using verbal (no foul language) and physical threats. The helper is responsible for challenging the dog in a very aggressive manner that includes: physical driving, yelling, discharging a firearm 3 to 6 shots (with blanks) during the attack and drive. The dog should engage the helper until the helper ceases the attack or until called off by the handler. After releasing the grip, the dog may perform any of the following disengagement exercises: perform a hold and bark, a down/sit guard or a recall to the handler’s heel position.
The handler stands still after commanding the dog to engage the helper. After the Judge orders the helper to cease threatening or resisting the dog the handler is responsible for commanding the dog to release the helper and to perform its trained response after a call off. The dog should perform one of the three methods allowed. After the call off, the handler acknowledges the Judge for approaching the helper to perform a disarm exercise. If the dog is performing a hold and bark or a sit, down guard, the handler approaches the basic side position of the dog and commands the dog to sit. However, if the dog is in a down guard position, the handler may approach the dog and give a re-enforced down command. The handler then performs a disarm exercise. If the handler calls the dog to the heel position after the release command, the handler is also responsible for performing a disarm exercise.
For the disarm exercise, the handler place their dog into a down and guard position three to four paces from the helper. This may be done by either telling the helper to step back to the correct position or by heeling the dog to the correct position. Once the helper is at the proper distance and the dog is in the down guard position, the handler instructs the helper to (put the gun down/drop the gun) and place his or her arms up for the disarm exercise. The handler begins the disarm exercise searching the helper from the back area for about four to five seconds and then moving to the side of the helper opposite of the dog for additional searching. Once the handler is in position to conduct the second part of the search, the Judge signals the helper to attack the handler. The helper then turns and physically grabs hold of the handler. At this time the dog should recognize the helper’s attack and immediately grip the helper. The helper remains holding on to the handler until the dog has firmly gripped but once the dog grips, the helper releases the handler and starts challenging the dog with driving, yelling and other forms of resisting.
Once the Judge is satisfied with the helper’s resisting, the Judge instructs the helper to stop resisting and stand still. When the helper stops resisting, the dog should release the grip and perform its disengagement response. The handler has remained in a stationary position where the helper attack occurred and waits until the helper has stopped resisting. If the dog has not released the grip, the handler is permitted a release command. Once the dog releases its grip on the helper and performs its disengagement response, the handler shall acknowledge the Judge for performing a dismissal of the helper exercise.
For the dismissal exercise the handler approaches the helper and commands the dog into the basic position. The handler instructs the helper to move to a distance of three to four paces from the dog or if the dog was called to the heel position the handler should heel the dog to a position three to four paces from the helper. Either way, after reaching this distance, the handler looks to the Judge for concluding the exercise and receiving instructions on where to report for the next exercise. The Judge will not dismiss the helper until the handler is heeling away to report for the next exercise.
c) Scoring the Jump-Out and Attack Exercise. The Judge is evaluating the handler’s control and the willingness of the dog to engage a helper from a hidden attack. The degree of courage displayed by the dog and the control displayed by the handler is 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 for this exercise:
a. Dog doesn’t engage the helper;
b. Dog runs behind the handler when the helper attacks;
c. Handler can’t bring the dog back under control during the routine; or
d. Dog comes off the grip and refuses to re-engage the helper.
2) Major or Minor Imperfections. Imperfections may be major or minor depending on the extent of the following:
a. Dog’s heeling is not correct;
b. Dog lacks enthusiasm and courage during defending against the attack by the helper;
c. Dog is very slow to respond to commands by the handler;
d. Handler gives double commands;
e. Handler applies a leash correction during the routine;
f. Minor heeling errors during the heeling exercises;
g. Dog should respond quicker to the commands;
h. Dog lacks attention to the handler;
i. Dog anticipates the commands; or
j. Dog needs more intensity toward the helper.
3. Call Off or Detain Exercise. The primary purpose of this exercise is for the handler to demonstrate that he or she can perform a call off exercise or a detain exercise after sending their dog to engage a helper that has run and then gives up and stands still surrendering
a) Judge’s Instructions. The Judge will indicate where and when to start, when the helper will appear, when the exercise is complete and where to report for the next exercise.
b) Exercise Instructions: The handler will report off leash to the Handler Start cone, and will look for the Judge’s indication to start the exercise. The exercise starts when the handler makes their announcement with the dog in basic position or by holding the dog by the collar. The decoy then begins walking from the Decoy Start cone toward the Run cone. The handler tells the decoy to stop walking or the dog will be sent but the decoy continues walking and verbally exchanging with the handler. When the decoy has walked 15 paces from the Decoy Start cone he turns and starts running (not jogging) away from the handler and dog toward the Halt cone. The handler sends their dog as soon as the decoy starts running away. Once the decoy reaches the Halt cone, he will stop, turn and face the handler with arms up and remain standing still. After the dog passes the call off cone the handler must perform a call off or a detain exercise.
Field Setup: There are five cones placed on the field; a Handler Start cone, a Call Off cone, a Run cone, a Halt cone and a Decoy Start cone. The Handler Start cone will be placed at one end of the field. The Call Off cone is set 20 paces from the Handler Start cone. The Run cone is placed 5 paces from the Call Off cone and the Halt cone is 10 paces from the Run cone. The Decoy Start cone is placed 15 paces perpendicular to the dog’s line of travel and across from the Run cone. Note: Cones can be any item that is visible from a distance like flags, blind, chair etc. but must be approved by the Judge.
If the handler is performing a call-off exercise, the dog will be sent and after the dog reaches a distance of 20 or more paces from the handler, the handler will perform a call off exercise. The dog/handler team may perform any of the following methods: a command to down and then a pick up exercise, calling the dog’s name and a command to return to the basic position or a down command followed by a command to return to the basic position. Any two commands are allowed and any of the above methods.
Next, concerns dog/handler teams that perform a detain exercise; The handler will send their dog as soon as the decoy starts running away and then follow the dog down the field. The dog should pursue the helper; however, once reaching the helper’s location, the dog should pull up and perform a hold and bark or guard exercise. The main thing is that the dog does not make contact with the helper. The handler is allowed to walk up to the side of the dog and command the dog back into the basic position, then, the handler acknowledges the Judge for concluding the exercise and receives instructions on where to report for the next exercise.
c) Scoring the Call-Off or Detain Exercise: The primary element of this exercise is the ability of the handler to send the dog and then perform an exercise where the dog does not engage the helper. Dogs that pursue enthusiastic and respond promptly to commands are very desirable for earning full points or dogs that pursue the same but perform an excellent detain exercise. Both methods can earn full points if done very correct.
1) Non-Qualifying (Zero Scores), the following imperfections must be given a zero score:
a. The dog engages the helper;
b. The dog leaves the field;
c. The dog doesn’t reach the required distance prior to being recalled; or
d. Handler wait for the decoy to reach halt cone before sending dog.
2) Major or Minor Imperfections, the following imperfections may be major or minor based on the deviation from the ideal performance.
a. The dog lacks speed and is anticipating the call off;
b. The dog is slow to respond to any commands;
c. The hold and bark is lacking in intensity;
d. Any double commands by the handler; or
e. Any deviation from an ideal performance will be considered a major or minor imperfection based on the deviation from the ideal.
4. Courage Test w/gun shots, Voice Commands, “Warning Announcement” and Send Command Exercises. The primary element of this exercise is to demonstrate a dog’s willingness and ability to engage a helper from a long distance away from the handler. This exercise is designed to test the courage of the dog as it approaches a helper making direct threatening gestures and discharging a firearm (with blanks.) The dog should display a strong desire to engage the helper and a willingness to respond to commands by the handler from a distance. The exercise is concluded by the handler approaching the dog and performing a disarm and transport exercise back to the Judge.
a) Judge’s Instructions. The Judge indicates where and when to start the exercise, when the helper is to come and attack, when the handler sends the dog, when the helper ceases challenging the dog, where the transport is to be performed, dismissal of the helper when the exercise is complete and where to report for the score or critique of the performance.
b) Exercise Instructions. The handler heels the dog off leash to a designated area; the handler acknowledges the Judge and the Judge then signals for the helper to come out. When the handler sees the helper come out, the handler gives a verbal warning to the helper to stop the attack or the dog shall be sent. Once the helper turns up the field and starts making a direct approach toward the handler, the handler watches for the Judge’s signal to send the dog, which has been waiting in the basic position or held by the collar and encouraged by the handler to engage the helper. The handler follows the dog down the field until reaching a distance approximately five to ten paces from the helper. The helper continues forward in a threatening manner using both physical and verbal threats and discharging a firearm (using blanks) twice.
Note: Blanks will be loaded into the gun prior to the starting of the exercise. When the dog reaches a distance of approximately seven paces from the helper, the helper ceases threatening the dog, turns quickly and moves in the opposite direction from the dog, presenting either a left or right triceps arm presentation for the dog to target. The dog must immediately grip firmly. When the dog has gripped the helper then drives or resists the dog discharging the firearm two more times while the dog is on the grip; upon the Judge’s signal the helper shall cease resisting. The dog then releases the grip and performs its disengagement exercise; the handler’s command to “let go” is permitted. The handler remains in the required position until signaled by the Judge to approach the dog for performing a disarm exercise.
The disarm & transport exercise consists of the handler positioning the dog into a down position approximately three to four paces from the helper; the required distance can be obtained by heeling the dog to the proper distance or instructing the helper to move to the necessary location. After the helper is in the correct location for performing a disarm exercise, the handler commands the helper to (put the gun down/drop the gun) and put his/her arms up. The handler then leaves the dog, goes to the helper to do a search for any other weapons. The handler puts the helper’s hands down to simulate hand cuffing. The handler returns to the dog, commands it to sit, attaches the leash or tab, then instructs the helper to move out to the Judge. The gun must be retrieved by handler on return to dog or during the transport to judge. Any type of transport is acceptable (SDA, IPO, KNVP, etc.), but must be performed correctly. Same style transport must be use throughout all exercises. A transport of about fifteen paces to the Judge should be performed. Also after conducting the search, the handler may call the dog to the heel position three paces directly behind the helper, and start the transport. In the SDA style transport, the handler performs a close back transport of about fifteen paces to the Judge; the handler and dog should follow the helper at a distance around three to five paces. Once the helper reaches the Judge, the handler commands the helper to halt and turn and face the dog. The handler then commands the dog into a down position; leaves the dog and presents the weapon to the Judge. The handler then returns to his or her dog, commands the dog to sit and attaches the leash. The handler remains with the dog in the basic position while the Judge dismisses the helper. The handler acknowledges the Judge and waits for instructions on where to report for hearing the score or critique of the performance. The dog is expected to exit the field under control.
Note. Dogs are allowed lower body grips. Helpers must be prepared to take lower body grips. The helper’s movements and bite presentations may be altered on the courage test to accommodate lower body gripping; however, the threats prior to the grip must be the same.
c) Scoring the Courage Test Exercise. The Judge is primarily evaluating the courage instinct of the entire routine. Dogs that display superior courage drives, firm grips and spirited enthusiasm should receive the most points. In addition, the dog’s responses to the handler’s command are very important for receiving maximum points.
Note: Only dogs that display an energetic attitude, eagerness to engage the helper and strong will to grip shall receive the maximum points
1) Non-qualifying (Zero) scores. The following must be given a zero score for this exercise:
a. Dog doesn’t engage the helper;
b. Dog comes off the grip and does not re-engage the helper; or
c. Rough treatment by the handler to make the dog follow commands.
2) Major or Minor Imperfections. Imperfection deductions may be major or minor depending on the extent of the deviation from the ideal performance.
a. Extra commands (verbal or physical);
b. Dog lacks intensity to make contact with helper;
c. Dog lacks intensity during the gripping phases of the routine;
d. Dog’s speed and power displayed during the long attack strike;
e. The response of dog to obedience commands by the handler;
f. The attitude or demeanor the dog displayed throughout the routine; or
g. Overall smoothness of the routine.
Concluding the Routine: 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.