DOJ Message 8/4/22

Clarifications through SV/WUSV

DOJ Message 8/4/2022

Dear USCA Members,

The 2022 USCA Judges College was held last month due to COVID restrictions this was the first in the last 3 years. Our USCA Judges Program has continuing education requirements that meet and in most cases exceed those of most organizations worldwide. USCA is the only organization in the United States that holds an annual Judges College. Only 3 USCA Judges were unable to attend  and we had 2 GSSCC Judges also in attendance.

Prior to the Judges Meeting with translation help from our SV Liaison and USCA RH Judge Stephanie Dunion I had the opportunity to spend a few hours during a couple one on one conference calls with the Chief Judge for the WUSV, Herr Egon Gutknecht to discuss any clarifications in evaluation criteria and what is most important in our evaluations as WUSV Member Organization Judges not only for the sport performance but also as it relates to breed temperament evaluations for the GSD in general.

There have been a few more clarifications through the SV/WUSV on proper execution of IGP exercises and their evaluation.

All USCA Judges are up to date on this information and I will be publishing edited pages for the Rulebook that will be available to download. Also all newer copies of the Rulebook will be “version 3.1”. I will also have all updates posted on the USCA Website for members’ access.


  1. If a dog is gripping the sleeve in the bark and hold when the handler is called in from the midline of the field to execute the call out of the blind. Once the handler is at the call out line and instructed by the judge to call out the dog, he/she is only allowed 1 command to make the dog out and call out to basic position with the handler. The command is “Out-Hier or Out-Hier-Fuss”. Either is correct but it must be put together as 1 continuous word (command). 
  2. If in any protection exercise other than the hold and bark if the dog regrips “after” the judge has signaled the handler to pick up his/her dog the handler must stop at wherever place that they are on the field and then the handler has only 1 command “out” to make the dog release. If the dog outs the handler will be allowed to continue to pick up the dog.

BUT if the handler has already used 3 out commands on the exercise to make the dog out before the judge signals the handler to come and pick up the dog they are not allowed (given) the additional 1 command to  “out”.  In this case the work would be DQ out of Control/No Out. There cannot be more than 3 out commands in a single protection exercise.

  1. On the “Attack on Dog Out of Motion”( longbite) if the dog breaks /leaves the handler to go to the helper at any time before the judge signals, the exercise is rated insufficient “M”. It no longer matters if it is when the helper comes out of the blind or before or after the helper turns downfield to the dog.
  2.  In any level IGP 1-2-3 if the dog misses or comes off the sleeve on the “Attack On Dog Out Of Motion” the mandatory point deduction is -5 points. Additional deductions may occur if the dog doesn’t immediately attack the helper or has faults in the gripping behavior.
  3. The basic guidelines in protection (“C”) to help handlers remember if they are allowed to use only 1 out command or 3 out commands if a dog grips are: anytime a dog grips in an exercise or a part of an exercise where there is not supposed to be a grip the handler is only allowed 1 out command (and only if they have not already used 3 out commands for the same exercise).

Examples of this are:

The dog gripping in the blind during hold and bark only 1 out command is allowed and it must be combined with the heir – fuss (used as 1 word command, out-hier-fuss or out-come-heel, etc)

During the guarding phase in any exercise after the dog has shown the initial out and after  the handler has been signaled by the judge to pick up the dog if the dog regrips the handler is only allowed 1 out command (the 1 out command is also only allowed as long as the handler has not already used the maximum 3 out commands for the exercise to get the dog to out before the judge signals the handler to pick up the dog)

During the side transport. If the dog grips the helper only 1 out command is allowed (this is not a gripping exercise).

When only 1 out command is allowed is that it is not an exercise where the dog is supposed to grip (side transport) or it is after the initial out in a gripping exercise (escape or defense) and it is after the handler has been signaled / called in by the judge to pick up the dog

The exception to the 1 or 3 out commands allowed is if in the escape and back transport  the dog breaks before the helper moves (to escape ot attack) and grips it is a DQ Out of Control, if the dog breaks early in the escape or back transport and does not grip or touch the helper then the handler  has 1 command hier-fuss (come heel, used as a single word command) to get the dog back to the position to continue the exercise ( either the  down line for the escape or basic position to complete the  back transport).


A complete list of all clarifications or additional information will be available for download soon on the website.


I look forward to seeing you at the national championship and best of luck with your training and trials for the remainder of the year!

Nathaniel Roque


Message from DOJ Nathaniel Roque
Message from DOJ Nathaniel Roque