Praetor rottweiler club

An overview written

by Renee Strange

Classic Working Trials used to be called Utility Dog Trials. In essence, it is a test of the dog's all round ability. Is the dog a companion, can he track, is he agile, can he protect his handler? The test is much more informal than IPO/Schutzhund. The trials are held in the veld, although CD (because there is no track) can be held at a regular venue. Working trials are rather like orienteering - handler and dog have to work together as a team to overcome the challenges presented to them.

Classic Working Trials are made up of six trials: Companion Dog (CD), Tracker Dog 1 (TD1), Tracker Dog 2 (TD2), Tracker Dog 3 (TD3), Police Dog (PD) and Veteran (V). Qualification is required in CD before the competitor can enter TD1; likewise TD1 is required for TD2. However, once a qualification has been obtained for TD2, there are two options available; either to compete in PD or in TD3. Most competitors choose to enter PD first, as PD is onerous on the dog in terms of the agility and the protection work. PD is the only trial that has a protection work section. There is no agility in TD3 and therefore it does not really matter about the age of the dog, the track, however, is older and more complex. The Veteran trial is for dogs who have qualified TD2 and are 7 years old or more; again no agility is involved.

If three qualifications are obtained under three different judges for PD, the dog carries the title of Police Dog Champion (Ch PD), similarly three qualifications in TD3 carries the title of Tracker Dog Champion (Ch TD). If the dog has qualified as a champion tracker and police dog, then the title is Working Dog Champion (Ch WD).

CD is the entry level, the dog must be a minimum of 14 months old and is required to have a "green" card. Once a dog has qualified three times in either CD, TD1 or TD2, it must move on to the next level of competition.

Each level of Classic Working Trials contains groups of exercises. A qualifying mark is required in each group and the total qualifying mark must be at least 80% in order to qualify the trial as a whole. An "excellent" qualification is obtained if a mark of 90% or more is achieved, i.e. CDX as an appendage to the dog's name.

Each trial will be explained under separate heading.

Agility Group

The agility exercises pertain to CD, TD1, TD2 and PD. The length and height specifications for the A-frame, clear jump and long jump are shown in the table below and are governed by the trial entered as well as the size of the dog.


Clear Jump

Long Jump


Dogs under 25cm




Dogs between 25 & 40cm




Dogs over 40cm








TD1, TD2 & PD






Clear Jump

Long Jump

Companion Dog (CD)

Maximum marks


Minimum qualifying marks



Control Group - 65 marks
Minimum qualifying mark 45 marks





Heel on lead

The dog is expected to complete the heel course, which is performed in "base camp" around other competitors, cars, trees, etc.

The heel course consists of left, right & about turns, changes of pace and halts. The dog must demonstrate his ability to remain naturally at his handler's side despite unusual circumstances, noises, people, etc.


Heel free

The same applies except off lead.



On orders from the judge, the handler leaves his dog in the sit position for a distance of approximately 20m, where he will halt and about turn to face his dog. The judge instructs the handler to recall his dog to the front and then to finish to the heel position.



With the dog in the sit position, the judge instructs the handler to throw the dumb-bell in a particular direction and a required distance. On command the dog must retrieve the dumb-bell, present it to his handler, leave it and then finish to heel.


Send away

The send away distance is at least 20m. There are no standard markers as in obedience. The judge will indicate the starting position, the required distance and the direction. The direction is usually towards a tree or a rock or a bush, etc.

Sequence: send away 20m, wait or down, recall, finish.


Down Stay

The dog is required to remain in the down position for 10 minutes whilst his handler has gone to a position indicated by the judge which out of the dog's sight. If the dog breaks before 5 minutes have elapsed, all marks are lost.

Agility Group - 20 marks
Minimum qualifying mark 14



Requirements - all exercises are off lead



The handler approaches the jump with his dog in the heel position and off lead. The handler indicates to the judge which position (stand, sit or down) the dog will take after going over the A-Frame. On the judge's command, the handler sends the dog over the A-frame, where the dog takes up the prescribed position on the far side. The handler is then instructed to turn left or right and call the dog to heel.


Clear Jump

Usually the judge tells the handler to commence this exercise 'in your own time". The handler approaches the jump with his dog in the heel position, off lead and at a pace of his choice. The dog is instructed to clear the jump. At no time must the handler be ahead of the dog.

Once the dog has completed the jump and is in a control position (sit, wait, down), the judge tells the handler to rejoin his dog beyond the jump. If the bar is knocked off, all points are lost.


Long Jump

This jump is completed in exactly the same manner as the clear jump. If the dog touches any part of the long jump all points are lost.

Nosework Group - 15 marks - Controlled Search
Minimum qualifying mark 11

The dog is required to locate and retrieve one article out of a 15m x 15m area in two minutes. The article is supplied by the judge and is given to the handler to "scent". The judge places the article anywhere in the area unseen by the handler and dog.

The dog does not have to "present" the article. He must simply bring it out of the area. The handler may not enter the area.

The article size is in the region of 3cm x 2cm x 1cm (e.g. a piece of hose pipe / carpet / leather / wood).

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