Message From DOJ Nathaniel Roque
“The FCI General Committee has approved the use of the soft stick for both threatening and contact (hits) at the FCI World Championship as long as the host country does not have laws prohibiting the use of it. If the host country does have laws prohibiting stick contact (hits) then the stick will only be used to threaten the dog in the protection phase defense work.
This decision was previously addressed for club level trials and remains the same as explained above. In all countries where the stick is allowed by their animal rights or protection laws the stick contact (hits) will remain in all club level trials.
Proper use of the soft stick is extremely important to ensure the integrity of the exercise, the stick must be used in an aggressive manner to properly threaten the dog during the pressure phase (helpers drive) of the exercise. All stick contact (hits) during the pressure phase (helpers drive) must be only in the approved areas on the dog (shoulders / withers) to properly test the temperament and ability to handle stress of the dog not to injure the dog. All USCA Trials require a USCA Classified Helper; the USCA Helper Program teaches the proper techniques to safely and correctly perform the helper responsibilities in the Protection Phase.”