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Leerburg Articles Element Descriptions

Element Descriptions

Element Descriptions

Copyright 1998
715-235-6502


Element 1 - Obedience

Aggression testing:

Handler ties dog and leaves unattended (handler remains out of sight).

After a minimum of one (1) minute, stranger/evaluator returns the dog to handler.

A dog shall be capable of completing a Figure 8 on loose lead, around two handlers with their dogs ("post team") on lead, sitting at their side and spaced eight feet apart. The testing teams shall complete the pattern, passing within two feet of each of the "post" teams.

Handler Information:

The team must perform the exercises off leash with no training aids.

The team must perform the following commands while heeling through a group of not less than five (5) milling people.

Right turn - Left turn
About turn - Halt
Change of pace - normal to slow, back to normal

Drop on recall

The dog shall be placed on stay 25 yards from the starting line. The handler shall drop the dog as directed by the evaluator. The handler will drop the dog within the designated area (15 foot length). When the evaluator requests it, the handler will call the dog to him/her.

Long down/wait for 5 minutes

The dog may be placed next to the handler pack and at least 5 feet away from any other dog. Upon direction from the evaluator, the handler shall give the dog the Wait command and the handler should proceed to the designated area out of the dog's sight. The dog must be under the supervision of a monitor. The dog may sit, stand or shift position, but shall not move more than the body length in any direction from where the dog was placed. Timing starts when the evaluator states "leave the dog." The evaluator will direct the handler when to return to the dog.

To pass the exercise, the dog must score a "3" or more on the each of the required skills. If only one of the three evaluators gives a failing score on the required skills, the three evaluators must reach a consensus.

Element 2 - Bark Alert

Handler Information:

The team will have 5 minutes to perform the exercise. The starting point will be 25 yards from the alert hole and will be clearly marked. The handler will remove the dog's leash before the exercise begins. The dog may be given a hand signal and voice command to send the dog to the alert hole.

If the dog does not go directly to the alert hole, the handler may use additional commands, as necessary, to direct the dog to the alert hole. The handler may not move from the starting position.

The handler may direct the dog toward the alert hole but once the dog has indicated the scent of the victim, the handler may not talk or signal the dog in any way. Once the scent is indicated, the dog must remain focused and demonstrate an "independent of handler" alert behavior.

There will be two official timers. One timer will start timing the exercise as soon as the handler sends the dog. The second timer will time the (30) second alert, starting with the first bark. The handler will be told when he/she may go to the dog. The dog will not be allowed access to the victim. When the exercise is over, the handler may praise the dog, put on the leash, and quickly leave the area.

The victim shall be in place at least 10 minutes before the dog is sent.

To pass the exercise, the dog must score a "3" or more on the each of the required skills. If only one of the three evaluators gives a failing score on the required skills, the three evaluators must reach a consensus.

Suggested Course Construction:

A single alert hole should be setup in an isolated area. It should be as isolated as the site permits. The hole should be made/constructed of a material that can be buried in a dirt bank, to give optimum control of scent (example: barrels, concrete sewer pipe, etc.). There should be a slightly recessed, snug fitting cover with holes at the bottom for scent to escape.

(Ideally, scent should only be detected from the front) This cover should have a handle/grab bar for the victim to hold the cover in place.

The starting point should be measured and clearly marked. This distance is to be 25 yards from the starting line to the alert hole.

Rationale:

Due to the varied and stressful demands of disaster search, an enthusiastic and obvious bark alert is imperative. In addition, when the dog is searching out of sight, the bark alert is the only alert method that can be recognized from outside a structure. With this information the team manager can request other resources as needed, to confirm the location.

Element 3 - Direction and Control

The handler will remove the dog's leash before the exercise begins.

Directability - on the first go out, the dog must go up onto a specified platform without getting onto any other platform. The handler may stop the dog and redirect, or recall the dog and restart as many times as time allows. If the dog goes on the incorrect platform first, the dog must be recalled and restarted. This applies to the first direction only.

The team will have three (3) minutes to accomplish the directed course. The evaluators will designate which elevation the dog should be sent to (right, left or center). The handler will direct the dog to a series of mounds/elevations that shall be 25 yards away from the center mound or elevation. The dog must go up onto these mounds/elevations and stay there for five seconds. The dog may sit, stand, or lie down. The handler may give multiple commands.

The elevations may consist of two or three different type targets.

The dog will be directed to four or five designated elevations and stay for five seconds on each elevation, ending the exercise with a recall to the handler. See the canine baseball diagram.

To pass the exercise, the dog must score a "3" or more on the each of the required skills. If only one of the three evaluators gives a failing score on the required skills, the three evaluators must reach a consensus.

Suggested Course Construction:

The course is laid out in a diamond shape. The area should be uncluttered, clear as possible (approximately 25 yards clear). The start shall be an 8' base line or starting line that is clearly marked.

The center elevation shall be 25 yards from the base or starting line.

All the other elevations shall be 25 yards from the center elevation.

The elevations should be clearly visible to the dog. Elevations should be approximately 36" X 24", 10" to 20" high, and stable.

Rationale:

In order to search areas that the handler may not access or to avoid hazardous areas, the dog must demonstrate the ability to be directed and controlled by the handler. The dog should respond to audio and/or visual signals.



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