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Ask The Judge - Dumbbell Exercises


In each new issue we ask GSSCC Head Judge Jim Chrisp how he judges a particular IGP exercise. This time, he will explain what a judge is looking for in the three Dumbbell exercises.


Dumbbell exercises can truly showcase you and your dog (or the opposite). Let’s start by noting that all dumbbells used in trials will be supplied by the hosting club. The dumbbells must meet the requirements set by the German Shepherd Schutzhund Club of Canada. These are weight, be made of wood, and the bar can be no less than 4 cm from the ground. They must all be in excellent condition.


Importantly, for all three retrieve exercises, if the dog fails to release the dumbbell after three attempts, the dog and handler will be disqualified for lack of obedience.


Dumbbell Exercise 1 The Retrieve on the Flat

This exercise is worth 15 points for IGP 1, and 10 points for IGP 2 and IGP 3.


From the basic position, at the judge’s signal, the handler throws the dumbbell approximately 10 meters away. The handler’s foot is allowed to move on the throw, as long as it is not determined to be handler help.


If it is deemed to be, the first part of the exercise can be dropped to a grade of SG, which means a deduction of 0.5 to 0.75 of a point. If the handler help is excessive, a further 1 to 1.5 points must be deducted taking the grade to a G. A three second pause must be shown, as well as the dumbbell has landed and stopped moving, before the command to retrieve is given. No re-throws are allowed in the flat retrieve, unless the judge decides the dumbbell hasn’t been thrown far enough.


On the bring/fetch command, the dog should run fast and directly to the dumbbell, pick it up immediately, and make a quick return to the handler at the same speed as going out. During the pick-up, return, and in-front portion, the dog should not mouth or roll the dumbbell. After a three second pause in front of the handler, the out command is given. The dog should immediately release the dumbbell and its focus should be on the handler. After another three second pause, the finish command should be given. The dog must move quickly and directly to a straight basic position.


If the dog does not present the dumbbell to the handler, then a “no retrieve” was executed, and no points can be awarded. If the dog at any point during the exercise shows stress, is slow, leaves early, is not direct in the pick-up, drops or mouths the dumbbell, or sits crookedly in front of its handler, points may be deducted. For example, if the dog rolls the dumbbell on the retrieve, 0.5 to 0.75 points will be deducted resulting in a drop of one category. If the dog rolls, then mouths in front of the handler, an additional category (1.25-1.5 points) will be dropped. Of course, all deductions reflect the severity of the rolling and mouthing in front of the handler. Other examples of faulty behavior are restlessness, not sitting straight in front, splayed legs by the handler, and a crooked basic position. If the dog drops the dumbbell or mouths heavily, the exercise will be judged as ‘low sufficient’ (-4). It should be noted that before the throw and after the out, the dumbbell is to be held in the right hand, with the arm extended fully.


For IGP 2 and IGP 3 there is a slight change in potential deductions as only 10 points can be awarded rather than 15. If the dog rolls or mouths the dumbbell, a deduction of -0.25 to 0.5 is equal to a drop of one category. A drop of 2 categories for rolling, then mouthing in front, would be a deduction of -0.75 to 1 points.


In both IGP 2 and IGP 3, the larger dumbbell (1000 or 2000 grams) used for the flat retrieve exercise must be placed back on the stand. The handler then takes the 650-gram dumbbell to be used for the wall and A-frame exercises. As change-over can either be in motion or the dog can be in basic position no more than one meter away from the stand.


Dumbbell Exercises 2: Retrieve over the Jump


For all three IGP levels, the maximum number of points for this exercise is 15.


The exercise starts at the marked line four meters away from jump. The handler and dog take the basic position at or behind the line. On the judge’s signal, the handler throws the dumbbell over the jump. The handler’s foot is allowed to move on the throw, as long it is not considered handler help, but should be returned to the basic position.


The judge can allow the handler to rethrow the dumbbell. The dog must stay in position if this happens. If the dog does leave the basic position but does not follow the handler around the jump or wall, a deduction of 1 category follows. If the dog follows the handler around the apparatus, no points are awarded for the ‘Retrieve over the One Meter Jump’ exercise.


After the handler’s leg has returned to its position and a three second pause, the handler commands the dog to jump. The dog should go over the jump with speed and power. The bring command must be given while the dog is in the air. Once landed, the dog must go directly to the dumbbell and return over the jump to a straight front position. After a three second pause, the out command is given. The dog should quickly release the dumbbell and remain in the front position whilst focused on the handler. The dumbbell is now in the handler’s right hand. Following another three second pause, the heel command is given, and the dog should quickly move into a straight basic position.


In this exercise it is critical that the dog presents the dumbbell to the handler. If the dog does not retrieve and present the dumbbell to its handler, no points can be awarded. At least one of two other components in this exercise (jump out and jump return) must be shown to achieve any points.


Points can be deducted for touching the jump on the way out and/or back. Point loss is dependent on the severity of touch. A slight touch drops that portion of the exercise down up to 1 point per jump. A heavy touch can be up to 2 points per jump. If the jump is knocked over on the going out, the dog will not be able to show a return jump. Points are deducted for missing the jump out (-5). In this situation, the judge will allow a second attempt. Although the whole exercise must be repeated, points can only be awarded for showing the return jump, the front and completion elements of the exercise. Again, the dog should be sitting straight in the basic position before and after, straight in the front, be fast and powerful over the jumps, and must maintain a calm grip on the dumbbell at all times. Handler help is not allowed.


For IGP 1, the dumbbell is placed on the stand at the end of this exercise. This can be done while in motion, or if stopped, the dog needs to sit in basic position no more than 1 meter from the stand. For IGP 2 and IGP 3, the handler and dog go directly to the mark for the scaling wall.


Dumbbell Exercise 3: Jump over the Scaling Wall (IGP 1) and Retrieve over the Scaling Wall (IGP 2 & 3)


For all IGP levels, the maximum number of points for this exercise is 15.


In IGP 1, this exercise is performed without a dumbbell. The handler and dog take a basic position at or behind the line situated 4 meters from scaling wall. On the judge’s signal, the handler gives a sit command and walks around the wall. When the handler is on the other side of the wall, he/she should be out of the dog’s view. If the dog breaks the sit but doesn’t follow the handler around the wall, a deduction of 1 category is given. If the dog follows the handler around the wall, or goes around on command, no points can be awarded. On command, the dog should powerfully climb over the wall and come to a straight front position, focused on its handler. After a three second pause, the dog is commanded into the basic position. Crooked in the front, too far from the handler, slow, powerless climbing, slow and or crooked basic position are all reasons for point deductions. The level of deduction depends on the severity.


For IGP 2 and IGP 3, the handler and dog take a basic position at, or behind, the four-meter line. On the judge’s signal, the handler throws the dumbbell (650 grams) over the scaling wall. Again, the handler is allowed to move a foot on the throw. The judge can allow the handler to re-throw the dumbbell.


After a pause, the jump/climb command is given. The dog should climb powerfully over the scaling wall. The bring command is given while the dog is on the apparatus. Once over, the dog should go directly to the dumbbell, pick up the dumbbell, make a quick turn, and come back over the wall with the same speed. The dog should show a straight front, with a calm grip on the dumbbell. After a three second pause, the out command is given. The dog should quickly release the dumbbell and show focus to the handler. The dumbbell is put in the handler’s right hand. After another three second pause, the heel command is given, and the dog should quickly go into a straight, focused basic position.


In this exercise it is critical that the dog presents the dumbbell to the handler. If the dog does not retrieve and present the dumbbell to its handler, no points can be awarded. If the dog follows the handler around the wall, no points can be awarded for this dumbbell exercise. At least one of two other components in this exercise (scaling out and scaling return) must be shown to achieve any points.


If the dog leaves the sit but does not follow the handler around the wall, there will be a downgrade of 1 category. Deductions may be given when the dog leaves early, if the dog is slow or the climbing lacks power. Further areas for deductions could be a weak grip on the pick-up, or mouthing the dumbbell on the return or in front. Judges may also deduct points when the front is too far or crooked, when the handler has splayed legs, when the finish is slow and/or crooked. Handler help to go over, or to go to basic position, automatically leads to a loss of points.


After the judge’s signal, the handler heels to the stand to replace the dumbbell. This can be in motion, or with the dog sitting. If sitting, the dog should not be more than 1 meter away from the stand.


 

K9Force (2024, February). Ask The Judge - Dumbbell Exercises. https://publuu.com/flip-book/199364/895853/page/4


© K9Force WDC 2024. For permission to reproduce any article in this blog, contact info@k9force.ca


Images courtesy of Titled Perspective Photography & Blond Photography



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