TEAM Rules

Official Rules & Exercise Descriptions for each Level

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TEAM Level 1 – General overview

General overview

Location: Any familiar location, such as the house, yard or regular training area.  All exercises off leash.

Equipment:  Foot target, cone, three scent articles, jump, vertical target.
Optional: platform, nosework oil, distraction bowl or plate.

Cues:  All cues may be verbal and/or hand signals in this level.

Reinforcement: One external reinforcer (food or toy) for each exercise. At the end of each exercise, the handler may reinforce the dog’s behavior. The reinforcer must be kept in a pocket (no bait bags) and out of sight while the dog is performing an exercise. The reinforcer MUST be the same food or toy that is used in any distraction work.  Food tosses do NOT count, and are allowed during the exercise when specified as an option.  One reinforcer = one treat OR ball toss/toy play up to 10 seconds.

Maximum video length: 7 minutes

Sample Video:

Additional samples of Level 1 passing videos

Sample Videos:


Note: Dog not required to pivot 360 degrees on foot target or to stop after reaching 180 degrees on send around cone.

Note: The send around cone was judged as questionable in this level due to early mark (“yes”) by handler.

Exercise 1-1: Engagement & Pivot

Engage the dog for 10 seconds without formal cues, proceed to pivot platform, pause in heel position, and then execute 180-degree pivot.  
Handler engages the dog for 10 seconds of playful interaction and then moves with dog to pivot platform.  Handler and dog pause in heel position and then perform an 180-degree counterclockwise pivot in heel position using the pivot platform.
Click to see video examples, details and judging criteria

Exercise 1-1: Engagement & Pivot

Engage the dog for 10 seconds without formal cues, proceed to pivot platform, pause in heel position, and then execute 180-degree pivot.    
Handler engages the dog for 10 seconds of playful interaction and then moves with dog to pivot platform.  Handler and dog pause in heel position and then perform an 180-degree counterclockwise pivot in heel position using the pivot platform.
Click to see video examples, details and judging criteria

Exercise 1-2: Find Heel Position

Find heel position from 6 ft. (2 m) away (straight plus one angle).
Following a cookie toss or circling a cone, the dog is expected to find heel position from straight ahead and coming in from one angle using a platform/foot target/box.
Click to see video examples, details and judging criteria

Exercise 1-2: Find Heel Position

Find heel position from 6 ft. (2 m) away (straight plus one angle).
Following a cookie toss or circling a cone, the dog is expected to find heel position from straight ahead and coming in from one angle using a platform/foot target/box.
Click to see video examples, details and judging criteria

Exercise 1-3: Find Front Position

Find front position from 6 ft. (2 m) away (straight plus one angle) with foot target/platform.
Following a cookie toss or circling a cone, the dog is expected to find front position from straight ahead and from one angle with the assistance of a platform/foot target/box.
Click to see video examples, details and judging criteria

Exercise 1-3: Find Front Position

Find front position from 6 ft. (2 m) away (straight plus one angle) with foot target/platform.
Following a cookie toss or circling a cone, the dog is expected to find front position from straight ahead and from one angle with the assistance of a platform/foot target/box.
Click to see video examples, details and judging criteria

Exercise 1-4: Position Changes

Position changes from 5 ft. (1.5 m) away with a foot target/platform.
Demonstrate sit and down positions from a distance of 5 ft. (1.5 m) using a foot target or platform.
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Exercise 1-4: Position Changes

Position changes from 5 ft. (1.5 m) away with a foot target/platform.
Demonstrate sit and down positions from a distance of 5 ft. (1.5 m) using a foot target or platform.
Click to see video examples, details and judging criteria

Exercise 1-5: Back up

Back up minimum distance of 2 ft.
Handler cues the dog to back away 2 ft. (0.6 m).  Back-up target is optional.
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Exercise 1-5: Back up

Back up minimum distance of 2 ft.
Handler cues the dog to back away 2 ft. (0.6 m).  Back-up target is optional.
Click to see video examples, details and judging criteria

Exercise 1-6: Send to vertical target

Send dog to vertical target placed 5 ft. (1.5 m) away.
Handler cues the dog to go to any vertical target placed 5 ft. (1.5 m) away.  Target touch is optional but dog must approach within a half-body length of target.
Click to see video examples, details and judging criteria

Exercise 1-6: Send to vertical target

Send dog to vertical target placed 5 ft. (1.5 m) away.
Handler cues the dog to go to any vertical target placed 5 ft. (1.5 m) away.  Target touch is optional but dog must approach within a half-body length of target.
Click to see video examples, details and judging criteria

Exercise 1-7: jump

High jump or bar jump (height or width must be minimum of ⅓ dog’s height).
Dog is cued to walk or run over a low bar or solid jump.
Click to see video examples, details and judging criteria

Exercise 1-7: jump

High jump or bar jump (height or width must be minimum of ⅓ dog’s height).
Dog is cued to walk or run over a low bar or solid jump.
Click to see video examples, details and judging criteria

Exercise 1-8: Go Around an Object

Go around an object. 
Handler sends the dog around an object (such as a cone or pole) placed minimum 5 ft. (1.5 m) away.
Click to see video examples, details and judging criteria

Exercise 1-8: Go Around an Object

Go around an object. 
Handler sends the dog around an object (such as a cone or pole) placed minimum 5 ft. (1.5 m) away.
Click to see video examples, details and judging criteria

Exercise 1-9: Scent articles

Identify correct article (out of 3) by scent.
Dog correctly indicates the handler’s scent (or nosework scent) from among three objects.
Click to see video examples, details and judging criteria

Exercise 1-9: Scent articles

Identify correct article (out of 3) by scent.
Dog correctly indicates the handler’s scent (or nosework scent) from among three objects.
Click to see video examples, details and judging criteria

Exercise 1-10: Stay with Release

Stay under distraction with handler close by.
Dog demonstrates the ability to hold a stay while handler places a food or toy distraction approximately 5-10 ft. (1.5 – 3 m) in front of dog, returns to dog for two seconds and then dog moves when given a release cue.
Click to see video examples, details and judging criteria

Exercise 1-10: Stay with Release

Stay under distraction with handler close by.
Dog demonstrates the ability to hold a stay while handler places a food or toy distraction approximately 5-10 ft. (1.5 – 3 m) in front of dog, returns to dog for two seconds and then dog moves when given a release cue.
Click to see video examples, details and judging criteria

Additional Resources

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(For convenience only.  Please rely on the website exercise pages for details, updates, examples and judging criteria.)

About Team

TEAM is a virtual titling program that focuses on excellent training progression. 

Each level adds complexity for the dog-handler team, presenting them with a wide range of interesting skills to master right from the start.

There’s no reason to hold back on distance work or jumping exercises while teaching your dog to heel!