Working Dog Competition Training Club
Established 1979

Dog Sports Open RULES

This tournament will be directed at all dog trainers and handlers, regardless of what sport or activity you might normally participate in with your dog.  Entrants will not have to be members of any organization. Entries are open to all breeds, including mixes. 

Judging will be based on how well the dog gets the job done.  The obedience portion will be judged by the normal standards for obedience. Penalties will be given for extra commands, tight leash, forging, lagging, and wide heeling plus breaking commands.

The protection portion will be judged similarly.  Points will be given or lost based on accuracy of the performance, control, willingness to engage, and of course, to out on command.  All decoys will be wearing a full body suit.  There will be no penalty for dogs that bite arms, or legs, but the decoy will be instructed to work as if he/she does not have a suit on.  No bites will be "fed" to the dog, and the decoy will not "freeze" on the outs.  When gun fire is utilized, it will be 38 blanks, "Hollywood" loads. These are somewhat louder than the .22s commonly used by some clubs. 

There will be three levels of competition: Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced.  All work in the beginners level is ON LEASH, including the obedience.  Each dog will have to perform the same obedience, the exception will be that at the intermediate and advanced level, the dog will be off leash.  The intermediate and advanced obedience will contain different and/or more difficult distractions than the beginners level. 
Please enter the CORRECT category of entry.  The Beginners level is for dogs and handlers that are still training ON LEASH developing their working skills. If your dog is trained in OFF LEASH OBEDIENCE, it is NOT a beginner.   If your dog is TITLED in ANY biting sport such as Schutzhund/IPO, Ring Sport (French, Mondio, Belgian), PSA, K9 Pro Sports, UKC Dog Sport or anything similar, it is NOT a beginner.  If you are a professional dog trainer and advertise yourself as “competing with your dog at a regional & national level”, you are NOT a beginner.


Please be FAIR and CONSIDERATE and enter the proper level so that ALL may enjoy their trialing experience.  DO NOT take away someone else’s pleasure by entering an advanced dog at the beginning level … let the beginners have a level playing field while competing against those of similar skills! 

I know these are harsh words, but this is fun-for-all competition.  Entering a SchH/IPO or Ring Sport titled dog as a beginner to gain unfair advantage in the competition will not be allowed.  If the judges determine (based on their opinion only) you have entered the wrong category (i.e. entered “a ringer”), your score may be nullified WITHOUT entry fee refund.  The judges will determine at their discretion whether you may continue to compete at the proper level of entry. 

Past year’s competitors (handler with SAME dog) in Beginning and Intermediate level that placed FIRST, SECOND or THIRD in their class entered MUST move up to the next higher level.
So, let’s play fair and enjoy the competition!!

Dog Sports Open Rules


The following is a listing of rules utilized for the first 15 years of our protection dog trial.  Some changes took place in the most recent years of our competition, but similar biting components were utilized.  This year's 21st Anniversary competition might be revisiting some of the scenarios detailed below, so please read through them to know what type of preparation should be done.


The competition will be conducted both on and off leash for every level to ensure safety for the dogs and handlers.  The beginners level will have the least number of bites, and each successive level will add additional biting exercises. 


This IS a personal protection tournament; and yes, it IS all about the bite!!!

Beginners Obedience Phase


Obedience is a mandatory requirement for any pet dog. The team must be able to perform sit, stay, down, come and heel under various distractions. All obedience tasks will be tested with some sort of distraction. The distractions can include "joggers", cats, livestock, children, motorcycles, balls, toys, other dogs on leash.  There will be an approachability test. This means that someone will be within reach of the dog and that the dog chooses not to bite. Beginners will be on leash at all times. Entrants should present their dog on a regular choke chain, and a flat leather or nylon collar. If the contestant wants to present the dog on a "prong" collar and flat collar, he or she may, taking an automatic 5 point deduction. The dogs collar will not be allowed to be changed between the obedience and protection portions of the trial. Each entrant must present their dogs on a stout 6 foot lead, made out of any material other than chain. Retractable or "flexi" leads are not permitted, neither are clip style collars.



Beginners Protection Phase

Car Agitation (with no bite)

Handler and dog are in a vehicle. A decoy without a protective suit, but wearing a hidden sleeve for safety, will approach, first friendly, then aggressive. Dog should show determination to protect both handler and vehicle, and be able to move with the vehicle to protect from both sides and rear. Exercise will be terminated when decoy flees. Handler and dog will exit the car, and the dog must show good heeling skills after the exit.


Civil Agitation

Dog is restrained by a stout line and flat collar. Line will be provided by hosting club. These lines will be inspected after each dog to ensure their continued safety value. Dog will also be restrained by the handler holding his own leash. Decoy will approach with no visible signs of protective equipment, but will be wearing a hidden sleeve in case of equipment breakage, or other accident. The decoy will yell, threaten, attempt to scare away the dog. The dog must vigorously defend the handler with barking, lunging and attempts to bite. The dog will be judged on the ability to control the strength of the dog, losing points if the dog makes the handler lose their footing, or fall. In the case of a handler fall, the exercise is terminated immediately. In the case of a dog that fails to protect, a judges' horn will sound, and the decoy will go into a "training" mode, to bring the dog back into a good frame of mind. During the exercise, the decoy will be asked to avoid all indications of 'protection" agitation, instead focusing on "normal" aggressive behavior.


Handler Protection

The dog will be placed in a down or sit by the handler. The handler will walk away from his dog to the end of his 6 foot leash, keeping the end of it securely in his/her hand. A fully suited decoy will appear, walking calmly towards the handler. The dog must remain in place while the decoy approaches. The handler may give extra commands, but these will be penalized. After a short conversation, the decoy will violently attack the handler. The dog must immediately go to bite. The dog will be judged on his ability to stay calm and focused during the approach of the decoy, and his ability to quickly defend the handler when necessary. The handler must remain in control of the situation, with points being lost if the leash is dropped, if the handler falls after the dog has bitten, or if the handler cannot hold his position during the bite. After the judges horn, the handler will yell to the decoy to stand still, or similar command. The decoy will "give up" but will not stand still. He or she will try to get away from the handler and dog, acting as if they are really hurt. The dog must be made to out. The handler may utilize the leash, but will lose points if the dog does not out on voice command only.




Intermediate Obedience Phase


Intermediate level will do the same obedience with the same distraction as the beginners. However, the obedience will be performed off leash.


Intermediate Protection Phase

Handler Defense

Same as in beginners, only the dog will be placed off leash and at a distance of at least twenty feet. Outs must be performed without the handler taking physical control of the dog for full points. IF the handler cannot out his dog by voice, he/she will lose 50% of all available points for all protection exercises immediately.


Surprise, Surprise

All intermediate dogs will be asked to perform the above exercises, as well as one of the advanced scenarios listed below. The surprise scenario will not be known to any contestants, especially those of the hosting club, until the day of the trial.




Advanced Obedience Phase


All obedience will be performed off leash. The distractions will be much more difficult than in intermediate or advanced. Points will be lost by both dog and handler, based on how they attempt to do some exercises. IMPORTANT.... Advanced dogs must be able to perform down on recall. Advanced dogs must show willing behavior for all exercises. Major points will be lost for dogs failing to do any part of any exercise. Advanced dogs must pass obedience to go onto protection phase. Advanced dogs will always have decoys as part of the distraction, and also will be exposed to gun fire both as an obedience exercise, and as a protection exercise. It is imperative, in this case, that all dogs in advanced be very well trained in obedience. If an entrant loses control of their dog during the obedience, he or she may declare their dog as intermediate, and continue to trial as an intermediate.


Advanced Protection Phase


Advanced Protection will always include a call off. The scenario built around the call off will vary, and may include, but is not limited to, the scenarios described below. Advanced Protection will consist of 5 exercises, one of which will be a call off. It will not be decided until the day of the trial where the call off will occur. The advanced protection will not necessarily stay on the training field, but may be conducted in a style known as "Campagne", where the contestants, judges and spectators move along with the layout of the trial.


All "outs" will be performed on the judges signal. At no time will a decoy absolutely freeze, but will instead behave as if he is really bitten, perhaps crying out in pain or even falling. In some cases, the decoy will continue to move after the out, if it suits the scenario.


Scenarios will be announced by their name. Descriptions are available below. Not all of these scenarios will be utilized on any given trial day. The scenarios will be chosen by the judges, and will be set up according to ease of transition based on the field.


"Help, I've been shot!"

You and your dog are walking outdoors. Suddenly, a decoy, dressed in a full body suit, appears, yells, and shoots a hand gun. You are to behave as if you have been shot, dropping to the ground, or going for cover. The dog should attack the decoy immediately. A person, perhaps a policeman, comes to your aid, standing nearby, wearing a bite suit. You must recall your dog from the decoy, who will be giving up. You must stay in your place of concealment, in a prone position. The dog must return to you quickly, and remain under control, not biting the person standing nearby. You will then get control of your dog, putting his leash on. You will then instruct the bystander in how to take control of your dog, by taking the leash, or by some other way. You are injured, and may not assist in the removal of your dog in a physical way. The exercise is finished when the policeman can take the leash, and walk a short distance.


The wrong place, wrong time.

You are walking your dog in a nice grassy area. A belligerent home owner comes out, and yells at you to get off the grass. As they are ordering you off the property, their sprinkler system comes on, watering the lawn that you are now occupying. Your slowness to remove yourself and your dog from the lawn has angered the bad guy/homeowner, and he attacks you, through the sprinklers. Your dog must be quick to defend you, despite the occasional wetness.


Glasses, glasses, who's got my glasses?

A cranky old decoy, carrying a cane, is obviously blind without his glasses. He approaches you, waving his cane, walking as if he is very old, and very angry that you can't help him. He passes you, and starts to flail at the surrounding trees and bushes with his cane, looking for his lost glasses, and saying unpleasant things about you. A lurking decoy, taking advantage of your distraction, quietly steps out from behind a barrier, points a gun at you, and says softly, "I will kill you if you don't give me your wallet". The old decoy is oblivious to this interaction, he is still searching loudly for his glasses. You must send your dog on the gun toting decoy.


Object Guard

You are traveling with your dog. As you wait for the airport shuttle, you sit down, with your bag nearby. You may have your own bag for this exercise, or one will be provided by the hosting club. The bag must be a reasonable carry-on size, such as a brief case, duffle bag, or large purse. You are not allowed to fasten the bag to your dog, or to yourself. You are not allowed to sit on the bag, or to instruct your dog to sit or down on the bag. The bag must be placed in a normal position for such a situation. Many people are passing you, some in bite suits, some not. You are to ignore all of the passersby. It is impossible to tell which one is about to steal your bag. The thief will quietly try to take your bag, and make off with it. Perfect points would be obtained if the dog notices the decoy stealing the bag, and warns with barking, defending the item without biting. A small deduction will be made if the dog bites without warning first. Large deductions will be taken if the dog fails to notice the theft, and is instructed to bite. A zero will be given if the dog bites the wrong person.


Serial Killer!

You and your dog are sitting in a vehicle. A decoy approaches, shows you a badge, and orders you out of the vehicle. You comply, thinking that he is a real policeman. He will "pat you down", as you are standing against the car in the typical position of a suspect. The dog must not attack or leave the car as you are being "patted" down. The Policeman instructs you that you are under arrest. As he is taking you away from the car, he is attempting to handcuff you, even though you are not resisting. You realize that he is really a serial killer, and wants to make you his next victim. As he is taking you away, you call for your dog to attack. The dog will only see the back of the decoy, and must immediately bite to defend on command.


Oh No! He's got my...

You and your best friend, wife, husband, etc. (who will be played by a large stuffed dummy are enjoying a nice day in the park. Your friend/stuffed dummy, is sitting on a chair, or park bench, while you play with your dog. A decoy comes from behind your friend, and snatches them, yelling at you to stay away. The dog must go to bite the decoy, being careful to not bite your best friend. The decoy may deliberately place your best friend between him and the dog.


Outdoor Cafe

You and your dog come to a pleasant area, with a table and chairs.  You place your dog on a down, or sit, and you also sit at one of the tables. Other people are sitting and moving about the area. Unfortunately, one of your old enemies is also here. He or she walks up to the table, tells you what he/she thinks of you and angrily stomps off. The dog must not bite, even though the person is obviously quite angry. You know that they are not going to harm you even if they throw a glass of water in your face. However, their new friend approaches from the rear, taps you on the shoulder and when you turn, will appear to attempt to strike you. No physical strike will be landed. The dog should quickly come to your aid even though are still seated.



You have obviously taken a wrong turn somewhere. A group of very obnoxious young people start to follow you, shouting insults, and becoming more threatening. You decide that you have to make a stand, but first must warn them the the dog bites. One or two or possibly three of the gang will attempt to attack you, trying to avoid being bitten by your dog. The other gang members will still yell and torment you during this. When one of the gang is bitten, all will flee. The dog must stay with you when the gang flees.


Friend or Foe

A decoy approaches you as you are walking your dog. He asks questions, you must engage in a conversation with him. You both walk along, with your dog obviously in no command or escort position. For full points, the dog should appear to be relaxed, sniffing the ground, exploring the environment. After a brief time, the decoy pleasantly informs you that he has a gun inside his pants pocket and he will shoot you if you don't do as he says. He will not change his demeanor, nor will he raise his voice. You must immediately command your dog to attack, and must take defensive or evasive motions yourself. You may touch the decoy, or you may flee, but at all times you must behave as if you believe that he is armed and will shoot you at the first opportunity. Points will be lost by handles who stand passively by, or who do not take cover, or attempt to control the decoy. Which behavior you do will not be penalized, only failure to behave in a natural manner will. Based on your background, your physical ability and your mental state, you will decide which behavior you would adopt in this situation.


Air Conditioning

You and your dog are in a vehicle. Your bag is on the passenger seat with the passenger window rolled down. You are stuck in traffic and your windows are down because your air conditioning is broken. Other people are moving about on the side of the road. One decoy comes from behind, spots your bag on the seat, reaches through the window to snatch the bag. Full points will be given if the dog warns the decoy, and/or bites when the arm is INSIDE the vehicle. A deduction will be made if the bite occurs outside the vehicle. A further deduction will be made if the handler must open the door to allow his/her dog to bite the now fleeing decoy.