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Working Event Information


Scroll Down to Find Rules/Scenerios for the following Working Events. These events are open to all pure breeds, mixed breeds & altered dogs unless otherwise indicated.
***Canine Good Citizen
***Iron Dog
***Guard Dog Temperament Testing
***Sprint Race
***Hardest Hitting
***Weight Pull
***Protection Tournament

Canine Good Citizen Test Procedures

The purpose of the Canine Good Citizen Program is to ensure that our favorite companion, the dog, can be a respected member of the community. To receive the CGC certificate, dogs take the 10 item Canine Good Citizen Test. Items on the test include:

Test Item 1: Accepting a friendly stranger
This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and speak to the handler in a natural, everyday situation. The evaluator walks up to the dog and handler and greets the handler in a friendly manner, ignoring the dog.

The evaluator and handler shake hands and exchange pleasantries. The dog must show no sign of resentment or shyness, and must not break position or try to go to the evaluator.
Test Item 2: Sitting politely for petting
This test demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it while it is out with its handler. With the dog sitting at the handler's side, to begin the exercise, the evaluator pets the dog on the head and body. The handler may talk to his or her dog throughout the exercise. The dog may stand in place as it is petted. The dog must not show shyness or resentment.
Test Item 3: Appearance and grooming
This practical test demonstrates that the dog will welcome being groomed and examined and will permit someone, such as a veterinarian, groomer or friend of the owner, to do so. It also demonstrates the owner's care, concern and sense of responsibility.

The evaluator inspects the dog to determine if it is clean and groomed. The dog must appear to be in healthy condition (i.e., proper weight, clean, healthy and alert). The handler should supply the comb or brush commonly used on the dog. The evaluator then softly combs or brushes the dog, and in a natural manner, lightly examines the ears and gently picks up each front foot.

It is not necessary for the dog to hold a specific position during the examination, and the handler may talk to the dog, praise it and give encouragement throughout.
Test Item 4: Out for a walk (walking on a loose lead)
This test demonstrates that the handler is in control of the dog. The dog may be on either side of the handler. The dog's position should leave no doubt that the dog is attentive to the handler and is responding to the handler's movements and changes of direction. The dog need not be perfectly aligned with the handler and need not sit when the handler stops.

The evaluator may use a pre-plotted course or may direct the handler/dog team by issuing instructions or commands. In either case, there should be a right turn, left turn, and an about turn with at least one stop in between and another at the end. The handler may talk to the dog along the way, praise the dog, or give commands in a normal tone of voice. The handler may sit the dog at the halts if desired.
Test Item 5: Walking through a crowd
This test demonstrates that the dog can move about politely in pedestrian traffic and is under control in public places. The dog and handler walk around and pass close to several people (at least three). The dog may show some interest in the strangers but should continue to walk with the handler, without evidence of over-exuberance, shyness or resentment. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise the dog throughout the test. The dog should not jump on people in the crowd or strain on the leash.
Test Item 6: Sit and down on command - staying in place
This test demonstrates that the dog has training, will respond to the handler's commands to sit and down and will remain in the place commanded by the handler (sit or down position, whichever the handler prefers).

Prior to this test, the dog's leash is replaced with a line 20 feet long. The handler may take a reasonable amount of time and use more than one command to get the dog to sit and then down. The evaluator must determine if the dog has responded to the handler's commands. The handler may not force the dog into position but may touch the dog to offer gentle guidance.

When instructed by the evaluator, the handler tells the dog to stay and walks forward the length of the line, turns and returns to the dog at a natural pace. The dog must remain in the place in which it was left (it may change position) until the evaluator instructs the handler to release the dog. The dog may be released from the front or the side.
Test Item 7: Coming when called
This test demonstrates that the dog will come when called by the handler. The handler will walk 10 feet from the dog, turn to face the dog, and call the dog. The handler may use encouragement to get the dog to come. Handlers may choose to tell dogs to "stay" or "wait" or they may simply walk away, giving no instructions to the dog.
Test Item 8: Reaction to another dog
This test demonstrates that the dog can behave politely around other dogs. Two handlers and their dogs approach each other from a distance of 20 to 30 feet, stop, shake hands and exchange pleasantries, and continue on for about 10 feet. The dogs should show no more than casual interest in each other. Neither dog should go to the other dog or its handler.
Test Item 9: Reaction to distraction
This test demonstrates that the dog is confident at all times when faced with common distracting situations. The evaluator will select and present two distractions. Examples of distractions include dropping a chair, rolling a crate dolly past the dog, having a jogger run in front of the dog, or dropping a crutch or cane.

The dog may express natural interest and curiosity and/or may appear slightly startled but should not panic, try to run away, show aggressiveness, or bark. The handler may talk to the dog and encourage or praise it throughout the exercise.
Test Item 10: Supervised separation
This test demonstrates that a dog can be left with a trusted person, if necessary, and will maintain training and good manners. Evaluators are encouraged to say something like, "Would you like me to watch your dog?" and then take hold of the dog's leash. The owner will go out of sight for three minutes. The dog does not have to stay in position but should not continually bark, whine, or pace unnecessarily, or show anything stronger than mild agitation or nervousness.

All tests must be performed on leash. Dogs should wear well-fitting buckle or slip collars made of leather, fabric, or chain. Special training collars such as pinch collars, head halters, etc. are not permitted in the CGC test. We recognize that special training collars may be very useful tools for beginning dog trainers, however, we feel that dogs are ready to take the CGC test at the point at which they are transitioned to regular collars.

The evaluator supplies a 20-foot lead for the test. The owner/handler should bring written proof of rabies vaccines and the dog's brush or comb to the test.


Owners/handlers may use praise and encouragement throughout the test. The owner may pet the dog between exercises. Food and treats are not permitted during testing, nor is the use of toys, squeaky toys, etc. to get the dog to do something. We recognize that food and toys may provide valuable reinforcement or encouragement during the training process but these items should not be used during the test.

Failures - Dismissals

Any dog that eliminates during testing must be marked failed. The only exception to this rule is that elimination is allowable in test Item 10, but only when test Item 10 is held outdoors.

Any dog that growls, snaps, bites, attacks, or attempts to attack a person or another dog is not a good citizen and must be dismissed from the test.

IRON DOG 2004 Rule Changes:

As of February 1, 2004

1) Altered Dogs may now compete in Irondog.

2) Irondog competitions are now open to all breeds.

3) There is a $20.00 charge to compete in an Irondog or to trial for a GDT.

4) All Irondog events must be sanctioned.

5) An Irondog Judge has the authority to dismiss any competitor for unsportsmanlike conduct or for arguing with the Judge. The Judge also has the right to dismiss any dog he or she feels is sick or injured.

6) The Hardest Hitting Event was previously adding 1/2 point for an out. The amount has been raised to 1 point. The dog must out on one command and not re-bite the sleeve. The distance will be approximately 45 feet. Follow the Judge's instructions.

Your dog must have a recognized protection sport title or K9 certification to participate in an Irondog Triathlon or Pentathlon. If it does not have a recognized sport title you may qualify for the Triathlon/Pentathlon by passing a test administered by Irondog called the Guard Dog Temperament Test (GDT).

Irondog Titles

GDT – Guard Dog Temperament. This title allows your dog to participate in the Triathlon or Pentathlon if you do not already have a recognized sport protection title.
IDT3 – Irondog Triathlon completion. This title means your dog has completed an Irondog Triathlon.
IDT5 – Irondog Pentathlon completion. This title means your dog has completed an Irondog Pentathlon.

Irondog ranking system
Your dog is considered a ranked Irondog if it finishes first, second or third in a trial consisting of six or more dogs. The ranking system is designed to help make breed selections. Ranked IDT3 and ranked IDT5 are different titles than non-ranked IDT3 or non-ranked IDT5.


 Requirements for the Guard Dog Temperment Test (GDT):

A) Obedience/Temperament Test. The test begins with the dog in a controlled stay command at the handler’s side. On the judge’s signal, the dog will then heel ten paces at the handler’s side and come to a halt. The leash must be loose at all times. The dog will have to stay in one spot on command while the handler drops the leash and walks ten paces away. The dog must then do a recall on command. Next, the dog will have to meet the first of two friendly strangers and not show aggression or shyness. Ideally the first stranger will be an Irondog judge, assuming the dog does not know the judge. The handler will shake hands with the stranger and exchange brief words. After asking permission, the stranger will stare into the dog’s eyes for less than two seconds and pet the dog on the shoulder or flank. We are looking for good-natured dogs that are not shy or sharp. The dog must enjoy being petted by the stranger. It must display tail wagging pleasure or exhibit other body language to show that he is at ease and happy to meet this new person. The Irondog judge will then pick a second friendly stranger from the crowd that is physically dissimilar to the judge. The entire "Meeting a Friendly Stranger" test will be repeated a second time with this other person. The dog must meet the same criteria for both friendly strangers.

B) Protection test. On a separate field (or a different place on the original field), in the open, the dog will do a few appraisal bites using either a sleeve or suit. The purpose of the appraisal bite is to avoid chasing dogs off the field during the attack on handler bite that follows. The dog must take at least two moderate stick hits in the appraisal bite. The stick will be a standard padded baton. The dog must also face a noisy stick threat in the appraisal bite. If the judge feels the dog’s appraisal bite was satisfactory, then it is eligible to do the next bite, which is an attack on handler out of a blind that fully conceals the decoy. The blind should ideally be an unexpected object like a tree, car or outhouse. The dog must not see the decoy enter the blind. The dog and handler will move (at the judge’s signal) toward the blind. On judge’s signal, the decoy will spring from behind the barrier, attack the approaching handler and drive the dog for roughly 3 seconds after the bite. The decoy will administer two or more stick threats with an unexpected object like a small tree branch covered in dry leaves, a bamboo clatter stick, a plastic jug partially filled with rocks or a starter’s pistol. The dog must engage the attacking decoy courageously and withstand the drive/stick threat. If the dog comes off the bite for a reason other than lack of courage the judge will instruct the decoy to continue driving and administering stick threats until it is obvious the dog can withstand the pressure courageously. After the drive the decoy will lock up. The handler will then give an out command without touching the dog but he may stand anywhere he wants. The handler has three tries to out his dog. As soon as the dog disengages the handler may pick the dog up and drag or heel him away. If the dog does not fully re-engage between the time when he lets go of the decoy and is picked up, then he has outed successfully and passes the test.

Your dog will be scored on three events for a  50 yard Sprint Race, Hardest Hitting, Weight Pull,

Your dog will be scored on these three events for the Triathlon, but there is a menu of four events to chose from: 50 yard Sprint Race, Hardest Hitting, Weight Pull, and 12-mile Endurance Test. The 12-mile Endurance Test is optional for the Pentathlon and the Triathlon. If you enter and finish all six events in the Pentathlon and all four events in the Triathlon we will throw out your lowest score among the mandatory events and replace it with the ten points you earned by completing the optional 12-mileEndurance Test, with this exception: we will not throw out your score in Hardest Hitting. Each event is worth ten points if you take first place, nine points if you take second place and so forth. All the scores are added together and the highest score wins. Endurance Test is worth ten points if your dog runs it in the allotted time and zero points if he does not. If there is a tie score the Hardest Hitting event will be a tiebreaker. The order that dogs will run the events in will be determined by drawing names from a hat during the handler’s meeting or some other random selection process. Dogs must be crated near the field when not competing. Dogs must not be given corrections. Events are run back to back in rapid succession. If a handler and dog are not ready when their turn is up they will be ejected from the trial. An assistant judge will make sure there is a dog on deck at all times to expedite the trial. Contestants must provide their own tug toy with snaps and their own weight pull harness. Each dog must have two handlers.

Sprint Race

Dogs will run against a stopwatch, one at a time, on a straight 50-yard course. One handler will hold the dog at the start line and the second handler will bait the dog past the finish line. The stopwatch starts when an assistant judge near the start line fires a starter’s pistol after yelling, "On your mark, get set," BANG! If no starter’s pistol is available the assistant judge will yell, "On your mark, get set, GO!" and throw his raised arm down after saying the word, "GO." The stopwatch will start on the word, "GO" and the assistant judge’s arm signal. The assistant judge will watch the handler on the start line and disqualify him if he releases the dog before the gun or before the word, "GO." The handler on the starting line must throw his hands fully overhead as he releases the dog. Bait may be protection equipment or nonliving food.

Hardest Hitting

Decoy may wear either a suit or a sleeve depending on the dog’s training. Each dog will be given a warm up bite from a short distance and then the competition bite will be done from a longer distance of at least 15 yards. Each dog will start from the same spot, which must be marked. The decoy will hide behind a blind (ideally an unexpected barrier as in the GDT). The dog must be blocked so it does not see the decoy hiding. On the judge’s signal the decoy will run out of the blind, across the field, perpendicular to the dog and suddenly charge toward him at a designated spot, making an "L" pattern. The dog is released as the decoy starts his charge into the dog. The decoy will continue charging with a raised stick (either a clatter stick or padded baton) until impact. The decoy may shout, scream or use any traditional method to pressure the dog. The judge has the option of including gunfire in the Hardest Hitting bite. In this case the decoy would not carry a stick, but a starter’s pistol and would fire one time immediately before impact. After impact the decoy will drive the dog very briefly, then lockup. The drive must include at least one stick threat with the padded baton or clatter stick if the decoy did not use gunfire. The dog must stick to his bite during the brief drive to complete this event. Dogs will be judged on impact, how hard they hit the decoy, i.e. how much pain they were able to inflict through the equipment. After each bite the decoy will give the judge a number from one to ten, ten being the greatest impact, to rank the dogs. Contestants may attempt to out their dog after the decoy locks up. A successful out adds 1 point to the HH score. A successful out is defined as the dog not fully re-engaging and not leaving the protection field before the handler picks him up, i.e., the dog must be under control until it is picked up. Only one out command is allowed; it must come from the dog’s handler. The handler must be standing at the marked start point when he gives the out command. The dog has three seconds to obey the out command. After the dog outs the handler may run to the dog to pick it up.

Weight Pull

May be done with a sled, a cart or a rail system. Each dog is given 5 turns in a row with the cart or sled. There is a 60-second time limit for each of the 5 pulls. One foul or tangle is allowed per pull. Baiting is allowed with nonliving food or protection equipment. Handler may stand anywhere on the pull track but may not touch the dog. Leashes are not allowed. In the event of a tie, the fastest pull wins. There is a minimum permissible increment of 25 pounds for a sled and 250 pounds for a cart. The judge may increase the minimum increment within reason, but he may not decrease it. Handlers will tell the judge and his assistants how much weight to put on the sled or cart for each pull, but must abide by the minimum increment standard. The weight added to the sled or cart must go from lighter to heavier. Each turn the dog takes with the sled or cart must be heavier than the previous turn. Increases in weight must either be in 25-pound increments or multiples of 25 for a sled. For a cart the increments must be 250-pound or multiples of 250. There are no weight classes.







Dog is to be heeled across field


At approximately 50 feet from blind helper leaves blind.


At appoximately 20 feet from dog and handler the decoy will charge


Helper drives dog approximately 10 feet


Then helper will remain still and the dog must out.


The dog gets 3 chances to out or exercise is terminated.




Dog is heeled on field


Decoy approaches from behind on the right side


Decoy snatches article and runs forward


When decoy is 10 feet away .....the handler sends dog


Once the dog is in motion the decoy will throw the article


The dog must continue on decoy and not be distracted by the article




Handler posts up 10 feet from obstacle


Decoy stimulates dog from other side of obstacle


Handler sends dog over obstacle at decoy


handler gets 3 chances to out dog




Handler posts up


Decoy agitates the dog and backs up


Handler sends the dogs at the decoy


Handler verbally downs the dog within 10 feet of decoy


The handler must recall the dog and heel the dog off field


Any bite in this portion will result in zero points



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