The GSDL Helper Procedure as at 1 August 2012
1. It is the helper’s responsibility to wear the correct equipment when training and at competitions.
• Correct size Scratch Pants that are clean and tidy without any large holes or rips
• Correct size Scratch Jacket that are clean and tidy without any large holes or rips
• Trials Sleeve, left or right arm. The sleeve cover must be slightly worn in (for Trial use)
• Trials padded stick
• Football boots; must be with plastic studs only. Metal studs are banned.
• Plenty of fluids to hydrate
1.1 Helpers must remember that they are representing the GSDL; they must present and conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times.
1.2 Throughout the protection phase, the helper must apply pressure to test the dog while putting safety first. The helper’s job is to assist the judge. It is important the helper is consistent in their work and takes all dogs to the same point on the field.
1.3 The helper must not use excessive force when applying the stick pressure phase. The helper is required to perform the same test for all dogs during a Trial.
2 The Hide (IPO 1, 2 & 3)
2.1 The helper is to stand hidden in the hide in a neutral position. The helper must be balanced so that he/she cannot be knocked over or pulled out of the hide by the dog. The stick must be placed behind the helper’s leg so that it is out of view. The position of the sleeve is slightly angled so that it rests across the helpers hip bone area to the front of the helper.
2.2 The helper must remain still, any movement may influence the dog resulting in unfair advantage – this is not permitted.
2.3 The helper must not stare at the dog but slightly over the dogs head. The line the handler stands is usually the best place to stare at. You can see the handler, judge and dog from this position.
3 The Escape (IPO 1, 2 & 3)
3.1 The helper does not move out of the hide until instructed to by the handler. Upon instruction, the helper steps out of the hide, at a normal walking pace and takes up the position marked by the judge. It is important that the helper take up the same position for all dogs.
3.2 The helper must stand neutral, not to influence the dog. The judge would mark a ‘run-out’ point prior to the trial for the helper to run to. It is important that the helper takes all dogs to the same point. The helper must not move until instructed to by the judge. Upon the judges instruction the helper must make a fast escape. The helper must not wait or slow for the dog.
3.3 Just prior to engagement the helper must endeavour to present the dog a fair target, not moving the sleeve out of the dog’s way. The objective of the “escape” is to get to the marked ‘run-out’ point before the dog catches the helper. If this happens the helper is to slow down and stop. The judge will then end the test.
Once the helper passes the ‘run-out’ point, the helper will safely slow down; turn so that the dogs back is facing the handler and ‘Lock-up’. The helper must not move the sleeve and remain still, the sleeve is diagonally in front not to be moved and the stick is behind the helper’s leg. Should the dog be very strong, the use of the second hand to stabilise the sleeve is permitted.
3.4 The helper must be strong and balanced in the ‘Lock-up’ so that they can not be pulled or knocked over. The helper is now ready to re-attack the dog.
4 The Re-attack with 2 Stick Pressure Phases (IPO 1, 2 & 3)
4.1 Upon instruction by the judge, or after 5 seconds, the helper is required to initiate an “attack” upon the dog. The technically correct re-attack is performed by the helper not moving the sleeve; the helper raises and brings the stick down over the dog quickly whilst moving forward through the dog, taking up the drive (skip or running). It is incorrect if the helper moves the sleeve away from the dog, or initiates the attack with a “prey bite”.
4.2 During the drive the sleeve must not move. The helper drives the dog with 2 stick pressure phases. The correct drive should be 4 paces then stick pressure phase on the 5th, another 4 paces then stick pressure phase on the 5th then another 4 paces. In total the drive should last 14 paces.
4.3 The helper then ‘Locks-up’ with the dogs back facing the handler. The dog must not be driven back the same way as the escape or driven to the handler.
The helper is to take all dogs to the same place.
The helper must be strong and balanced in the ‘Lock-up’ so that they can not be pulled or knocked over. It is important that this phase is the same for all dogs.
4.4 IPO 1 only At this point the handler will take the dog down the field and the helper will go to hide 6 ready for the long attack
5 The Back Transport (IPO 2 & 3)
5.1 The helper will take instructions from the handler. The helper must not move until instructed by the handler. Upon instruction the helper steps backwards 4 paces about turns, takes one pace forward then waits. Upon instruction the helper walks forward at a normal walking pace. It is up to the handler to maintain the 5 pace distance between handler and helper. The Sleeve and Stick must remain still and in front of the helper.
5.2 Prior to the attack from the back transport the helper takes a slight glance to see the position of the handler and dog (the dog may have forged forward and be close).
5.3 Upon instruction by the judge or a pre-arranged mark/line, the helper quickly turns sleeve side to the handler. With power and threat, using the stick, the helper attacks safely. (the objective of this exercise would be to reach the handler before being engaged by the dog).
5.4 On engagement the helper must safely take the dog through, turning the dog using the dog’s momentum in the turn, place the dog safely on the ground then drive the dog for approximately 10 paces or until the judge indicates to stop. There is no stick pressure phase.
5.5 The helper must be strong and balanced in the ‘Lock-up’ so that they can not be pulled or knocked over.
6 Escort Back to the Judge (IPO 2 & 3)
6.1 The Helper will take instruction from the handler. The helper does not move until instructed to do so by the handler. When instructed to step back, the helper takes 2 large paces backwards keeping a good strong balance in case the dog reengages. The helper raises the stick ready for the handler to take, the handler will move with the dog to the side of the helper, once instructed the helper walks towards the judge at normal walking pace.
7 The Long Attack Test of Courage (IPO 1 only)
7.1 The helper will be ready waiting by hide 6. Once indicated by the judge the helper walks out from the hide in a straight line to the centre so the helper is lined up straight with the handler and dog. For safety during this exercise the helper always keeps an eye on the dog.
7.2 The helper turns towards the handler and safely jogs down the field. In IPO1 the helper is not so strong with the dog but still apply a little pressure to test the dog’s performance. On engaging the helper takes the dog safely in whichever direction the dog is going, the helper uses the dog’s momentum to turn and safely place the dog on the ground.
7.3 It does not matter in the long attack which direction the dog goes (left or right). It is important that the dog is still driven to the same point as the other dogs, enabling the judge to assess all dogs fairly.
7.4 Once on the ground the helper immediately drives the dog for approximately 5 paces then ‘Locks-up’. The helper is then escorted back to the judge.
8 The Long Attack Test of Courage (IPO 2 & 3)
8.1 The helper will be ready waiting by hide 6. Once indicated by the judge the helper jogs out from the hide in a straight line to the centre so the helper is lined up straight with the handler and dog. For safety during this exercise the helper always keeps an eye on the dog.
8.2 The helper turns towards the handler and safely runs down the field. In IPO 2 the helper is not so strong with the dog but in IPO 3 the dog is tested harder than in IPO I & 2. The test is not about the speed or how quickly the helper can run, but to safely apply pressure by using the upper body and stick in a threatening manner while safely catching the dog. Safety of the helper and dog is paramount, so adjustments can be made for environment and weather conditions in order the test remains safe.
8.3 On engaging, the helper takes the dog safely in whichever direction the dog is going, the helper uses the dog’s momentum to turn and safely place the dog on the ground.
8.4 It does not matter in the long attack which direction the dog goes (left or right). It is important that the dog is still driven to the same point as the other dogs, enabling the judge to assess all dogs fairly.
8.5 Once on the ground the helper immediately drives the dog for approximately 5 paces then ‘Locks-up’. In IPO2 the helper is then escorted back to the judge.
9 The Re-attack with 2 Stick Pressure Phases (IPO 3 only)
9.1 see Paragraph 4.1 to 4.3
10 Escort Back to the Judge after the Long Attack (IPO 1, 2 & 3)
10.1 See Paragraph 6.1
11 What does a helper do if a dog comes off at any stage during the test?
11.1 If a dog comes off the sleeve at any stage during the test, apart from the handler commanding the dog in the out phase, the helper must immediately pressure the dog. (as in the re-attack) The stick is to be used as threat but the Stick Pressure Phase Must NOT be used. The helper must be ready for the judge to stop the exercise. Once the judge stops the exercise the helper must immediately stop the attack and take instruction from the judge.