Rules for an Irondog Pentathlon/Triathlon?

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Rules for an Irondog Pentathlon/Triathlon Your dog must have a recognized protection sport title to qualify for an Irondog trial. If he does not have one you may qualify by passing a test administered by Irondog called the Guard Dog temperament Test (GDT). To pass your dog will have to walk ten paces and come to a halt on a loose leash. He will have to stay in one spot on command while his handler drops the leash and walks ten paces away. He must then do a recall on command. Next, he will have to meet a friendly stranger and not show aggression. The handler will shake hands with the stranger and exchange brief words. After asking permission, the stranger will glance in the dog's eyes for less than two seconds and will pet the dog on the shoulder or flank. Then, on a separate field, in the open, the dog will do an appraisal bite using either a sleeve or suit. If the judge feels the dog's appraisal bite was satisfactory he must do an attack on handler bite out of a blind or from behind any barrier that fully conceals the decoy. There are no stick hits and no mandatory out. The dog must not see the decoy enter the blind. On judge's signal, the decoy will spring from behind the barrier, attack the approaching handler and drive the dog for 3 seconds after the bite. The dog must engage the attacking decoy courageously and maintain his grip during the 3 second driving.

Your dog will be scored on five events for a Pentathlon but there is a menu of six events to choose from: 50 yard Sprint Race, Hardest Hitting, Weight Pull, Tug of War, Hangtime and 12-mile Endurance Test.

The first three events constitute the only events in a Triathlon. The first five events are mandatory for a Pentathlon, but if you enter and finish all six events we will throw out your lowest score among the mandatory events and replace it with the ten points you earned by completing the optional Endurance Test, with this exception: we will not throw out your score on 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 dogs 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. 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. Contestants must provide their own tug toy with snaps and their own weight pull harness. Each dog must have two handlers. Dogs must be intact to compete.

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 to the finish line. Stopwatch starts when start line handler throws hands up in air. Bait may be protection equipment or non-living food.

Hardest Hitting - Decoy may where 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. Handler will decide how far he sends his dog. Dogs will be judged on how hard they hit the decoy. The decoy will give his input to the judge but the judge will make the final decision. The decoy will run in place and raise a stick, but not charge the dog or administer stick hits. With judge's prior approval handlers may attempt a single demonstration out. If an out command is not given or it is not immediately obeyed, the sleeve will be slipped or the handler will tear his dog off the suit.

Weight Pull - May be done with a sled, or a cart, or a rail system. Each dog is given 4 turns in a row with the cart or sled. There is 60-second time limit. One foul is allowed per pull. Handler may bait with non-living 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. Weight classes are: under 60 lbs. 60-80 lbs. 81-100 lbs. 101 lbs. and over.

Tug of War - Dogs will tug from behind a plywood barrier with a hole drilled in it for the rope to pass through. Handlers must have a leash on the dog at all times but may not issue corrections. The rope is 30 feet long and is marked in the center and at four feet from either end, a dog wins when he has pulled his opponent past the outer mark. Each pair of tugging dogs will go against each other only one time. If there are more than two dogs in a weight class a round robin elimination system will be used. A coin flip will determine which side of the barrier a dog will pull from. Weight classes are: under 60 lbs. 60-80 lbs. 81-100 lbs. 101 lbs. and over.

Hangtime - This event must come after the above events. The dog has a 3-minute time limit on the springpole to complete this event. The clock starts when all four feet are off the ground. If the dog gets a single bite upon presentation of the tug toy and hangs on without rebiting for the full 3-minutes, he gets a perfect score of ten points. For every time he loses his grip and is forced to rebite he losses one point. The clock stops when (if) the dog losses his grip and starts again when all four feet are off the ground. If the dog loses his grip he must immediately be presented with the tug and hoisted upward.

12-mile Endurance Test -This event must be done at least 24-hours before the five core events and in cool weather. The dog must run 12-miles at a pace between 6.5 mph and 10 mph. Handler may be on a bike or on foot. The dog will rest after 5 miles and the judge will inspect the dog's feet and general condition, if either is questionable the dog is disqualified and receives zero points. At 10 miles there is another rest and inspection. If the dog passes the final inspection he may continue the last two miles and complete the Endurance test. This event is optional for the Pentathlon.

Rules for an Ultimate Irondog Triathlon/Pentathlon

In this version of Irondog the rules are identical to those above except that there are no weight classes and in the Hardest Hitting event the decoy will start from behind a blind or barrier, he will then run across the field, perpendicular to the dog and suddenly charge into the dog, completing an "L" shaped pattern. The dog is released at any time during the charge. The dog is still judged on impact, not the cosmetic appearance of the bite. As in regular Irondog, the warm up bite in Ultimate Irondog is done in the open and in any manner that the handler instructs, i.e. defensive threats or prey attraction. The titles are the same in Irondog and Ultimate Irondog.

Irondog Titles

GDT - Guard Dog Temperament Test. This title allows your dog to participate in an Irondog trial if you do not already have a recognized sport protection title. It is also a tool for breeders to evaluate dogs even if they don't achieve any other titles.

IDT3 - Irondog Triathlon Trial completion. This title means your dog has completed an Irondog Triathlon.

IDT5 - Irondog Pentathlon Trial completion. This title means your dog has completed an Irondog Pentathlon.

©2001, Dave Putnam
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