This year's DSO theme was Roaring Twenties. The task for the obedience portion of intermediate (just like beginner) was to get to a speak easy. Now, as a good citizen, you are a card carrying member of prohibition - quite literally. However, in comparison with beginner, the decoys are more animated, yell a little louder, do a little more and are generally a little more "in your face."
You enter the field with your dog on leash, proudly displaying your prohibition "membership card" on a lovely string of beads. But, you have decided that you want to visit a speak easy and have a few drinks, so you meet up with a friendly decoy who offers to take you there. You are scored on your dog's behavior during the initial meeting with the decoy.
The decoy also collects your beads, because no prohibition member should have their membership card with them at a speak easy!
But, the way is secret so the decoy hands you a black hood to wear and you start heeling to your first obstacle.
All of your communication with your dog was verbal, and though we were not marked off for "checking in" with our dog through touch. Multiple commands were penalized as was the dog forging, lagging or other "bad" behaviors. You could also converse with the decoy and have them help you keep track of the dog's whereabouts.
So as you are heeling to your first obstical, you hear a voice over the speakers warning you of bad weather coming in. You are then told to stop and sit your dog. Then you hear loud crashes of thunder over the speakers and rain comes pouring down on both of you. You feel for your dog to see if they are still where you put them... and if they aren't, you try to get them back where they belong by touch, and shield them from the rain as necessary.
Not all of the dogs hated the water!
As you are going along, your guide stops you because "cops" are known to be in the area; one jogs by but doesn't see you.
You heel along the path, and encounter a "creek" that you need to cross with your dog.
After the creek, thunder rolls in again, but this time your dog needs to be in a down through the storm.
Just as the rain lets up, someone steps out and starts arguing loudly with your guide. Your guide assures the other person that yes you are supposed to be there, and they go away.
You can now remove your hood; you're almost there!!
You heel towards a rowdy table of decoys enjoying the "speak easy." You stand at the table and converse with them, but this time, you have a small defined space to stand in.
It's up to you to make sure your dog makes it through the exercise successfully.
and suddenly sirens wail over the speakers and more decoys come out of the tent yelling! It's a raid!!!
OH NO! You don't want to get arrested!! Where is your Prohibition Membership Card? Your friendly decoy guide dropped it! You have to hustle and find it!
Once you have it, the obedience portion is over.
For the Obedience Only dogs, there is a Meet and Greet with the judges and they exit the field.
The Protection dogs then continue to the protection scenarios.
The first protection scenario is the bailout. Your car gets a flat tire, so you leave your dog in the cab and go to the back to change it.
A friendly stranger approaches to converse with you.
Your dog watches from the cab.
Then the stranger becomes aggressive, and your dog comes to your rescue.
Next is handler defense.
You leave your dog in a position of control, a sit or a down, and go down field.
A decoy approaches and talks to you. Your dog stays downfield until you are attacked by the decoy.
The final scenario is "Serial Killer"
You are in your car with your dog and are approached by a police officer who talks to you.
You are then asked to step out of the vehicle, are frisked, hand cuffed (you hold them behind your back) and then are led away. Your dog must stay in the car.
...your dog must stay in the car...
As you are walking away from the car, you see a wanted posted with a picture of the "police officer" on it! It's not a police officer, it's really a serial killer! You call your dog to come and save you.
Woo Hoo! All done!