Once the judge has set up the course and deter- mined the sequence of obstacles, handlers are allowed a “walk through,” which is done as a group, without the dogs. Handlers follow the numbers set at each obstacle to become familiar with the course. Most handlers walk the course as many times as they can in the time allotted, to plan their handling strategy. Exhibitors may even gather in a small groups to discuss potential challenges on the course and how best to handle them.
The handler – and dog – team runs the course individually, off-leash. The “timer” tells the handler when he or she may begin, starting a stopwatch as soon as any part of the dog crosses the start line and stops the clock when any part of the dog crosses the finish line. As each dog runs, the judge indicates the faults, if any, that the dog commits. These faults
are recorded by a scribe on a score sheet for that individual dog. The dog’s time is also placed on
the scribe sheet. This information is then given to a scorekeeper, who calculates the qualifying perform- ances and top placements of each team.
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