Rules Change

gsscc_logo_vector_nov2017As of January 1st  2019, the WUSV and GSSCC will follow the new rules as approved by the FCI. The new rules will be available on the website and in rule book form soon. In the meantime, the GSSCC Judges’ Committee has created a guide outlining the rule changes at this time.



Overview of Rule Changes.

Titles offered

BH-VT – replaces the BH
IGP 1-2-3 – to replace the IPO1-2-3
APr 1-2-3  – Obedience and Protection phase (no tracking)
IFH 1-2 – basically the same as the current FH and FH2
IGP FH– basically the same as the current IPO FH.
Tracking 1-2-3, FPr 1-2-3 –  tracking only title
Obedience 1-2-3, UPR 1-2-3 – obedience only title
AD – Endurance Test

Additional Titles available

IFH –  an entry level FH. Basically an IGP3-length track laid by the handler.
FH-V – it is the same length a IPG 3 track (600 paces), ninety minutes old, no cross-track, 5 legs, but the last turn must be an acute angle. Laid by the handler and uses the
handler’s own articles.


The following titles will NOT be offered at GSSCC trials

Protection only titles (SPr)
IGP ZTP- breed suitability
IGP-V Entry level title same as IPO-VO
IBGH 1-2-3 – These are different levels of BH, adding exercises, and are very similar to the Obedience 1-2-3.


General Changes to the BH. 

1. BH is a prerequisite for all dogs for any title except the AD.
2. The Free Heeling exercise is now only straight out and back – 45 paces, about turn, normal-fast-normal, and ends with stop in the basic position. The slow pace, right turns, about turn, stop and left turn are eliminated.
3. The Motion exercises (sit from motion, down from motion) are executed by the handler stopping, pausing 3 seconds, giving the command, and then leaving the dog.
4. The BH must be repeated for any dog that is disqualified (DQ’d) for aggression – at any level or title – before the dog will be allowed to trial again.


General Changes to Tracking 

1. Tracking is still on a 10 meter line. The dog may be lead up to within 2 meters of the scent pad on a short leash. Any harness is ok, as long as it does not extend back past the rib cage or has a connection near the genitals.
2. All 1-2-3 level tracks have 3 articles each worth 7 points.
In the IGP 1 and IGP 2, an article is placed on the first and the second leg, location is the judges’ decision, but may not be within 20 paces of a corner or the start.   In the past the first article had to be at least one hundred paces from the start. This is changed. now the first  article for the IGP 1 and 2 track must be on the first leg, no closer than 20 paces from the corner or 20 paces from the scent pad, so the first article will be somewhere near the middle of the first leg.
For the IGP 3 track the article location remains the same, first article must be at least 100 paces from start, ideally on the first leg but can be on the second leg if required due to shape of track.
3. All articles are placed at the judge’s decision. Articles must be placed (set down by hand, not dropped) on the track and it is recommended that they be in the footstep, but this is not mandatory.
4. The tracking evaluation starts at the scent pad. There may not be strong compulsion used leading the dog to the track. All preparation for tracking, adjustment of leash, attaching to harness, etc., must be done at least 2 meters away from scent pad.
5. Must always start all exercises with a command.
6. Occasional praise is once again allowed in IGP 1 and 2 level tracks. However, if the praise is used to help the dog out of a problem, it is still “help” and is considered faulty.
7. Any more than mild influence from the handler on the dog can only be rated at the highest, a satisfactory (B). Examples are: a tight lead helping the dog stay on track, blocking with the leash on corners, excessive commands, or praise.
8. Article indication: the dog may indicate the article by down, sit or stand and/or
any combination of those methods without deduction on the same track. I.e., the dog may down for the first article, stand for the second and sit on the last article, or any combination. More important is the speed, confidence, intensity and correctness of the indication.
9. Corners are now “closed” corners and no longer should have the wide arc (5 step corners). A corner is considered to be the point where the legs of the track connect.

10. Minimal checking on the corners is allowed as long as the dog does not leave the track – i.e. the dog keeps at least one foot on the track.
11. The dog should not show signs of stress in its work (just as in the past). It is more important now that stress vs intensity in the dog’s work is being evaluated.
12. Lost Articles. If a dog misses a single article and the tracklayer cannot find it, the dog receives the points for the article. If a dog does not indicate more than one article and the tracklayer cannot find the articles, then a re-track should be offered. If the handler  refuses the re-track, all points for the articles are deducted.
13 All IGP levels may use 3 commands to start the track: the first command and two  additional (with subsequent point deduction). Only in the FH, the handler can recall the dog once to restart it, and only before the handler steps onto the track.
14. The final sit (basic position) after the last article should be evaluated in the performance of the last leg.
15. The evaluation of the track begins at the scent pad and ends at the final sit after last article.
16. The handler may swing out from the track to keep line clear after the dog has committed to the corner.
17. Tracking is terminated if the dog refuses to track, stops and does not start after 3 commands, or if there are many commands to keep the dog working.
18. A dog may pass the track if it has earned enough points before it loses the track, but it may not pass if it stops working on the track, even if it has gotten to a point of having enough points to pass.
19. The dog is disqualified (DQ’d) in tracking if the dog eats an article or refuses to release the article to handler.

General Changes to Obedience

1. All exercises must start with a command. The command must be same for same behavior through the trial. I.e. if ‘sit’ is used, it must always be ‘sit.’
2. About turns must be same style. It is faulty to have a flip (military) turn and then a left about turn (around behind the handler). The dog must do the same type turn for both about turns.
3. Failure to get the dog to basic position to start an exercise after 3 commands is
termination of OB phase (i.e the dog will not move with the handler to a basic position to start an exercise).
4. When the handler is returning to dog, (i.e. the sit in motion), if the dog  breaks position and comes to handler, it gets only 50% of points for the exercise.
5. The dumbbell  must be thrown 10 meters. Excessive long throws may be considered faulty if judge feels it was to influence the dog. The handler may not be closer than 4 meters from jump or the A frame – but may be further away. The field should be marked with a line to show the distance.  The throw of the dumbbell must be far enough to allow dog to show a clean jump back – but there is no specific distance specified. If the dog drops the dumbbell at the handler’s feet and does not pick it up again, and the handler picks up the dumbbell from ground without moving position then partial points will now be awarded, but the highest it can be rated is mid to low-insufficient, plus any other deduction for additional mistakes.

Specific Changes in Obedience for the IGP 1

1. Report in on leash, take the leash off after reporting in.
2. No retrieve over the A-frame. The exercise is a now a recall over the A-frame (scaling wall). The handler takes the basic position at least 4 meters away from the A-frame (distance to be marked on the field) and gives the sit command. The handler then leaves the dog and goes to the other side of the wall, again at least 4 meters away from the wall (field to be marked), and with a single command, recalls the dog using a jump command and recall command. For example: hupp-hier. (This is similar to the call-out from the blind.) The dog must scale the wall and come to the front position (as in a recall). The dog is then is commanded to basic position with the heel command. If the dog leaves the sit position before the command, -1 point deduction. If the dog does not stay and follows the handler to the other side, all points are deducted.

Specific Changes in Obedience for the IGP 2 and 3

The exercises have not changed, only the point allocation.


General Changes to Protection

1. The blind search is now allowed to continue with additional commands as long as dog is moving. Excessive commands will be rated ‘insufficient.’ If the dog comes to back to the handler and into the basic position, the blind search may continue if the handler can restart the search with no more than three commands, but all points for the search are lost. If the dog comes to basic position, a second time during the search, protection is terminated.
2. The handler is allowed a total 3 commands to get dog into hot (bark) blind, the first plus two additional. If dog does not go into the blind, protection is terminated. If the dog finds the helper and then leaves, the handler is only allowed one additional command, and if the dog does not find and stay with the helper, then protection is terminated.
3. When the handler is called into pick up the dog by the judge, if the handler has not gotten to the hot blind and the dog leaves, the handler may resend dog one time – if they have not already used the one command to send the dog back into the blind. If the dog does not go back to the hot blind on that one command, then protection is terminated. If the handler is past the blind or on the call-out line, and the dog comes out early,  the exercise is rated low-insufficient. All bark and hold exercises are now worth 15 points.
4. If the dog is gripping the sleeve as the handler is called in, the handler, when they get to the call-out line, on the signal from the judge may use “out-hier-fuss” (as one command), to a maximum of 3 times. If the dog comes out, or is able to be picked up, the hold and bark is rated as insufficient (-14 points) but protection can proceed. Bumping / bothering the helper / gripping will result in a  low-insufficient rating.
5. Three-command rule for all obedience in protection. If there are more than three commands, then the team is disqualified (DQd) for lack of control.
6. If no “go” command is given by the handler for the escape, the exercise is rated one category lower in addition to any other deductions. I.e. an excellent exercise would be rated as very good, a very good would be rated as good, etc.
7. If dog breaks early for the escape, the back transport or the side transport, but does not grip the helper, the handler has three attempts to get the dog back to the basic position using the heel command only, or protection is terminated . The helper should stop moving, and the handler may not move from their position to recall the dog.
8. If handler is next to the dog (i.e. picking up before the side transport) and the dog grips the sleeve and holds, the handler is only allowed to use the heel command to regain control (maximum three attempts). If the handler uses the their ‘out’ command, they are terminated.
9. If the dog leaves the helper in any exercise while guarding after the escape, the protection is terminated.
10. Any dog DQ’d gets no TSB rating.
11. All side transports are approximately 20 paces to the judge’s position


Specific Changes in Protection for the IGP1

All secondary obedience may be done on-leash or off-leash at the handler’s choice. I.e. The handler may choose to leash the dog to move to the escape position. However, if the use of the leash is the only thing keeping the dog with the handler, the dog may still be DQ’d for lack of control.
1. The handler enters the field with the dog on leash and reports to judge. They proceed on leash to the middle of field between blind 5 and 6. The handler should be facing down field. The handler will signal to the judge, then take off the leash, and then command the dog to heel and turn to blind 6. The dog is sent directly into blind six (hot blind). There is no search of blind 5.
2. The Hold and Bark is now a 15 point exercise (10 points for the hold, 5 for the barking). There is to be a minimum of 20 seconds of barking before the handler is called into pick up the dog. Handler goes to the call-out line behind the dog (5 paces from blind – to be marked on the field.)
3. The handler may pick-up or call-out the dog. If the dog is picked up, the handler must step to the basic position and command dog to sit, and then at the handler’s choice, may use the leash or free heel out of blind back to the call-out line.
4. To move to the escape position, the handler may use the leash or may heel off-leash. If using the leash, when the handler gets to the escape line, the handler must sit the dog, and then remove the leash, and then down the dog.
5. After defense (attack from guarding, after the escape) and the handler is called in to pick up the dog, the handler may leash the dog free-heel away from the helper. The helper remains where defense ended, and the handler heels about 30 meters away and on the judge’s signal stops, and turns to face the helper. (Note if the helper has stopped in a dangerous position on the field, then the judge may move the helper to midfield after the handler and dog have heeled away from helper.) The dog must sit in the basic position calmly until signaled by the judge to attack, at which time the helper attacks,  catches and drives the dog without stick hits, but with pressure and threat. The handler must stay in position and not approach.
6. The side transport may be on or off-leash at the handler’s choice. After reporting out, the handler heels 5 paces away from the helper, and if not already on leash, must then leash the dog.

Specific Changes in Protection for the IGP2

Same as IPO2 until the back transport. Then:
1. The handler is called to pick up the dog for back transport. The back transport is now approximately 30 paces, there does not have to have a corner and the distance from the handler and dog team to the helper is now 8 paces (used to be 5). At end of 30 paces, on the judges signal, the helper stops, and the handler and dog continues heeling without stopping to the side transport position and stops next to the helper. The stick is taken and then there is a side-transport of approximately 20 paces to the judge. There is no attack in the back transport now in IGP2.
2. Attack on dog out of motion (long attack), has not changed.
3. After the out, after the Attack on Dog out of motion, the helper re-attacks the dog, (same as IPO3) and an additional grip and drive are performed by the helper with  pressure and stick threat only (no stick hits). After the dog outs, on the judge’s signal, the handler picks up the dog, and does a final side-transport to the judge. After reporting out the handler must heel the dog off leash at least 5 paces away from the helper and then leash the dog.

Specific Changes in Protection for the IGP 3

Exercises are exactly the same as the IPO 3. The changes are in the point allocation for the exercises: Hold and Bark is now 15 points (up from 10), Attack from Guarding (after the escape) is 15 points (down from 20), the Attack from Motion (Long Attack) is now 15 points (up from 10), and the Attack from Guarding (after the Long Attack) is now 15 points (down from 20).


These rule changes are subject to modification. Please check the GSSCC site for updates, and review the FCI IGP rule book, especially before trialing. Remember to ask your judge any questions you may have in the pre-trial handler meeting.

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