Q. I’d like to try the games at CPE (Canine Performance Events) trials, but I don’t know anything about them. Can you help?
A. Three games are unique to CPE: Colors, Wildcard, and Fullhouse. Colors is very straightforward. The object, according to the rulebook, is to “successfully run your choice of one of the two overlapping mini-agility courses on the same field.” Each course is 8 to 10 obstacles long and the courses cross paths or overlap several times.
The courses are differentiated by different colors used to number the obstacles and should be equivalent in length and in difficulty level. When handlers step up to the start line, they must declare to the judge which color course they will run. Once the color is declared, it cannot be changed.
One off-course is allowed in levels 1 and 2 only, one other fault is allowed for all levels, and the run must be 5 seconds or less over the time. No level is allowed a knocked bar. All obstacles must be performed successfully for a team to earn a qualifying score, unless the error is within the allowed faults total. In levels 1-4 the team may not exceed 10 total faults; at level 5 they may not exceed 5 total faults; and for level C they must run completely clean.
Wildcard is a little more unusual. The rule book states that the object of this game is to “successfully complete the course including enough ‘wildcards’ to qualify.” A modified course of 10 to 12 numbered obstacles is used along with three “choice” obstacles, where the handler must decide which option to take. Two obstacles will be placed parallel and 5′ apart. One obstacle is worth 1 point and the other is worth 2 points. The handler (or the dog) will choose which obstacle to perform. Once the dog commits to or touches the Wildcard obstacle, he must complete that one. After each Wildcard obstacle, the dog must continue on the regularly marked course.
Wildcard follows the Standard class measuring, yardage figures, and standard course times. Levels 1 and 2 can have one off-course fault, but levels 3-5 can’t have any. All levels may have one bar down, may be up to 5 seconds over time, and may have one other type of fault. Just like in Colors, for Levels 1-4 the team may not exceed 10 total faults; for level 5 they may not exceed 5 total faults; and for Level C no faults are allowed. Also, for Levels 1 and 2 the dogs must complete two 1-point Wildcards and one worth 2 points. For Levels 3-5 and C, the dog must do two 2-point Wildcards and one 1-point option. A 15-point fault is assessed for Wildcards that are faulted and not corrected (if the Wildcard is correctable) which will result in an NQ.
FullHouse is a strategy game in which the handler gets to design her own course while trying to accumulate the required points needed at a particular level. The 4″ and 8″ and 12″ jumping dogs have 35 seconds to accumulate points and the larger jump heights have 30 seconds. After the whistle sounds to indicate that the time is up, the dog must reach and touch the pause table with at least one paw within 5 seconds. After 5 seconds, 1 point is deducted for every additional full second that the dog takes to touch the table.
The course that the handler designs must include at least three single bar jumps, two ‘circle’ obstacles, (tires, tunnels, and chutes), and one from this list: contacts, weaves, broad jump, double, or triple. The minimum number of points required for Regular and Veterans classes are: Level 1 19 points; Level 2, 21 points; Level 3, 23 points, and Levels 4, 5, and C, 25 points. For the Enthusiast and Specialist categories, Level 1 needs 17 points; Level 2, 19; Level 3, 21; and Levels 4, 5, and C, 23. Single-bar jumps are 1 point, circles 3 points, and the contacts, weaves, broad, double and triple are worth 5 points. Back-to-Back obstacle performances are okay if performed safely, and all obstacles will b e scored for only two performances.
When the handler and dog perform the required obstacles within the time allowed and have accumulated the required points, they have earned a qualifying score. Placements are based on qualifiers, then points, then time, and those non-qualifiers who received a time are placed after.
The other games played at CPE are Snooker, Jumpers, and Jackpot (CPE’s version of Gamblers). These are the games played in several other organizations, but you should read the complete rules, available at www.k9cpe.com/forms/cpe2008rulebook.pdf before playing any of them.
© Clean Run, January 2009