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Not yet, though our SchH club is just getting started adding SDA training to our SchH training for a couple members interested in SDA. Attended the SDA trials at the UKC Premier a couple months back, but so far that's our only exposure to it. Going to be a bit of a learning experience for us but we're looking forward to it.
 

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I was thinking it was something my old dogs who have some protection training could do. I thought the lower titles looked fun and relatively easy to obtain. The more "realistic" work is interesting. I have only been to one training session and the club is just getting started. The old dogs had a good time and weren't too terribly rusty. I felt like an old dog too as we haven't done anything in awhile except that fairly sedate obedience occuring on the green mats.
 

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Originally Posted By: Chris WildOne of the members here, call name "Umzilla", is an SDA judge, and she's *very* helpful and willing to answer questions about SDA. I'm sure she'd be happy to give you more info if you PM her.
I am sorry it is late but this just struck me as hilarious..... never seen a webboard user name listed as a "call name". Only on a dog board.


Maybe if you ask "Umzilla" REALLY nicely she will post some of her pictures in this thread. They are really cool! I know she posted some in Braggs not too long ago.
 

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Have to laugh about having a "call name" - yes, only on a dog board....Incidentally, that's my female GSD's nickname. She is Umsa, and became Umzilla when she chewed her way out of a crate as a puppy.

I am very happy to answer questions! I took some time and loaded alot of photos to photobucket - sometimes having a visual to go along with a written explanation helps. Ask away.

The SDA site has been undergoing a major renovation. I will post here when it is live - should be any day, actually. In addition to revamping the material that is already there (and a very nice new design) there will be rules posted for new titles (Tracking, SAR, and Article Search). The existing site is still up of course - the new one will have the same web address, just a very different look. (www.servicedogsofamerica.com)

This is a new sport - it of course draws on the existing protection venues in some ways - but it is unique. There is something for eveyone, from absolute beginners, to K9 officers and their patrol dogs. The organization is friendly, and anyone wanting to get involved or form a club will have alot of support. We are committed to public education at events, a family atmosphere, and having a FUN event as well - hard hitting contests, spint contests, raffles, demos, etc. We publicize the events, get the TV crews out, and invite the public.

We have people competing who also do Schutzhund, ring, or personal protection - there is no reason a dog can't do SDA and any other venue as well. We also offer the obedience titles as stand alone titles - many traditional obedience people like the new routines. All the obstacles are adjustable so that the smaller breeds can enter as well.

The titles are well thought out, and address some interesting issues. For example, the Family Obedience title can be done with a dog as young as 9 months old, and includes 3 "practical" exercises that are part of everyday life. There are 2 protection routines that are on leash - the premise being that if you are training a dog in protection work, you MUST be able to manage a leash. Some routines include the attack out of the blind (which was removed from the SchH routine in 2004), and others have muzzle work. LOTS of variety. All protection routines are done with a bite jacket or full suit - with the exception of the Police Dog 2 routine, where the muzzle engagements are dopne with the helper in street clothes.

I'll break here and start posting some pictures.........not sure how much I can put into one post.


Christine
 

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In ALL SDA titles, if you pass obedience, you are awarded the obedience title, regardless of whether or not you pass protection. On the flip side, if you fail obedience, you cannot enter the field for protection. You must pass obedience each time you want to compete in protection. So, for example, in "Trial X" if you pass Protection 1 Obedience but fail protection, you are still awarded the title "Obedience 1" (despite the fact that you have failed protection). Next trial, however, you must still pass Protection 1 obedience again in order to compete for the full title...you are never allowed to compete in protection without passing obedience in the same trial. (Note: Tracking is it's own event)

The Family Obedience title serves the same basic function as the BH - meaning it is a prerequisite to moving on to the advanced obedience and all protection titles. It is all on leash, and varies some of the traditional exercises to accomodate the fact that this title is geared for family dogs, new handlers, or very young dogs (9 months is the minimum age).

The heeling pattern in all SDA obedience titles is the same as the SchH heeling pattern. You will, however, most likely be exposed to more people on the field and more distractions than a typical SchH trial. Shown here is a trial last year in TN - a K9 officer with a working SAR dog is heeling through the group of 4 people (which is surrounded by alot of other people)


All long "honor" downs are done on lead with the handler standing next to the dog.

Here are some pictures of the "practical exercises" - these are three 10 point exercises. These pix were taken at some seminars, but you can get the general idea of the exercises. The first one is heeling through a gate. The handler puts the dog in a sit, leaves the dog to open the gate, returns to the dog and heels through the gate, places the dog in another sit, closes the gate, and returns to the dog.



The next exercise is the vehicle exercise. Try it.
Heel to a vehicle, place your dog in a sit. Leave your dog and open the vehicle. Return to your dog (still sitting quietly) and then give a verbal command to get in the vehicle. The dog must stay in the vehicle until recalled to a finish position...



The final practical exercise is food refusal - a down stay while the handler prepares a bowl of food.



These practical exercises can be practiced every day at home, and make for a better family dog.
 

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Next pictures are from the Protection Alert (PA) and Protection 1 (P1) titles. Same routine, but there is no grip in the Protection Alert title, while there IS a grip in the Protection 1 routine.

This is practicing for the Friendly Greeting. The decoy walks out in full gear from behind the blind and shakes hands with the handler and has a short friendly conversation. In the advanced routines the helper gets unruly - lots of fun to watch - but in the PA and P1 it's all friendly, and the helper returns to the blind. Here my son is playing decoy, as we were practicing with a young dog.




After this, the helper comes out again and walks straight toward the handler, and then turns right in front of the dog. Walks about 10 paces, and turns around and passes in front of the dog again - close enough to sneak in a grip, actually. There is no threat here.



As the helper starts to head back to the blind, the handler must give an alert command to turn the dog "on". The helper turns and charges the dog - when done properly there is ALOT of threat.



Some heeling follows, the helper changes blinds (when the dog is facing the other way), more heeling.....and then a suprise attack while heeling. There is a 360 degree defense (the helper will charge the dog a total of 5 times with lots of verbal and physical threat), and then a recall to heel position.

Following this, there is an alert on a passive helper (shown here, waiting to give the command to alert)



And then either more standing up to threats (PA) or a grip and out (P1). Shown here is a JRT doing the P1 routine.


 

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The Protection 2 and 3 and Police dog 1 and 2 obedience routines include variations on a series of obstacles - beautiful to watch, and challenging to train for! An A frame is followed by 3 one meter jumps (which may be lowered for smaller breeds). The jumps can appear in any order, but must include a window jump, a rail jump, and a solid jump.

In one routine the dog stays behind the A frame, and then recalls over all obstacles to a sit in front of the handler. Another routine the dog stays behind the A frame, recalls, and does a drop on recall after the final jump. In yet another routine, the dog does all obstacles at heel, downs out of motion, and then recalls.

In addition to these variations, the club can paint their obstacles how they'd like....as you'll see in the photos. (Photos from MI trial courtesy Carole Field.)

Umsa in TN



Fritz in MI



Fritz in TN - window jump



Fritz in MI window jump



Rail jump (youth handler)



Fritz solid jump

 

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Here are some pix of patrol dogs competing. The first 2 are from the Police Dog 1 routine - the handler is a K9 officer with his patrol dog. The photos with the muzzle engagements are from the second protection routine in the Police Dog 2 title (the PD2 requires a full obedience routine, a "field" protection routine, and a "practical" protection routine, including muzzle work and a live building search)

waiting to alert his dog on a passive helper



Attack out of the blind



Searching the helper for weapons



This next photo shows the control of an unruly helper... remember the friendly greeting I mentioned above? In the Protection 2 routine, the helper becomes hostile and the dog must hold a sit while the handler "controls" the situation. In subsequent routines this is done off lead, and then later with the helper starting to walk away from the scene, and then making a sudden attack. Here is an impressive photo - the helper must kick several props (barrels, chairs, etc) during his "hostile tirade" - but the dog only grips when the helper attacks.



Muzzle engagements in the PD2 routine



 

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Police Dog 1 protection........a mix of pictures of Fritz at several trials (photos from MI trial courtesy Carole Field)

Starts with a friendly greeting, then control of a hostile helper. Then Alert on Command with helper charging the dog



Here is heeling to the attack out of the blind



Drive after the attack out of the blind



Guarding



Search for weapons



Helper attacks handler - dog must grip without a command (usually a tricep grip) - handler must remember to get out of the way




another tricep bite



Bothering the helper on the out



Courage test under gunfire



Setting down a big dog




After the out, the handler disarms the helper. After taking the gun, a rear transport to the judge



The handler gives the gun to the judge at the conclusion of the routine. (in the PA and P1 routines, there is a friendly handshake with the helper at the end of the routines!)



Hope these photos help give a better picture of what SDA routines and trials are like. Thanks for the interest, and ask questions if you have any.........

Christine
 

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That looks awesome. Nice pics and captions Christine!!
 
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