Endurance Test Rules

 The following information has been extracted from the rules currently on the ANKC website.  The complete rules document can be dowloaded here direct from the ANKC website.

Purpose of the Endurance Test
The Endurance Test is to ascertain the dog's ability to work after being subject to a certain degree of physical strain without showing signs of undue stress or lack of constitution.
Due to the dog's physical structure, such a test can only consist of a dog travelling at a suitable pace for a performance of some lengthy duration, which, it is known places an increasing load not only on its internal organs, such as the heart and lungs, but on many other aspects of the dog's physical structure and temperamental characteristics.
The effortless accomplishment of such a test shall be the evidence as to the physical fitness of the dog.
What dogs can enter
The Endurance Test shall be open to all dogs eligible for inclusion in the Register of the Control in which the event is conducted.
The test is open to dogs aged between two (2) and under eight (8) years but must not have reached the birth date of eight.
Equipment
The dog must wear a fixed collar or suitable harness. No neck chains, slip collars, spiked collars, muzzles or head control collars shall be permitted.
The leash must be long enough to be held in either hand so that the dog may adjust itself to the cyclist or runner. The dog shall travel at a suitable pace on the leash on the left hand side of the handler or bicycle.
The handler may jog the distance, ride a bicycle or use any other form of non motorised mechanical vehicle with the dog, provided the required speed is maintained. Motor cycles or cars will not be permitted. Should the handler ride a bicycle, a helmet must be worn. The Springer device for attachment to a bicycle is not permitted.
No protective clothing shall be worn by the dog.
Some guidance about things during the Test
There is a willingness test before and after the 20km and is to consist of heeling forward a short distance, followed by a right about turn and continued heeling for a short distance before coming to a halt. It is not necessary for the dog to sit. The dog must show a willingness to remain with and obey the handler. The heeling is to be followed by a short recall, on or off the lead. The judge shall keep in mind that this is a test of the dog's willingness to work and to obey the handler, not an obedience test. The standard of the work after the 20 kms must be similar to that before the start of the test. If the dog works on or off the lead for the
Willingness test prior to the 20 kms, it is to be the same for the second Willingness test.
The dog is permitted to pull slightly but continued lagging will incur disqualification
If the climatic temperature reaches 24°C. the test is to be cancelled, regardless of what stage the test has reached.
What surface is the Test conducted on
The test shall be carried out over three varying surfaces such as bitumen, unsealed roads, dirt tracks, grass etc, such that the total distance of the course shall be twenty (20 kms).

THE TEST
There shall be four (4) veterinary checks - before starting the Willingness test then after the completion of each leg. All exhibits shall be examined by the veterinary surgeon and/or veterinary team, covering such things as the general fitness, temperature, standing heart rate, condition of the pads. (Each bitch must be examined at the first check to ensure that she is not in season).
Prior to the commencement of the 20 km run, a short Willingness test will be conducted (to include a recall) on or off the lead. At the completion of the run and after the final 15 mins rest period, a short Willingness test will be conducted (to include a recall) on or off the lead.
The test shall be a 20 km run to be covered in three legs 8 kms, 6 kms, and 6 kms,
At completion of each leg there shall be a rest period of 15mins., 20 mins., 15 mins.
(Handlers shall wear a catalogue number and proceed in single file, in numerical order, following the pacemaker. The dog is permitted to pull slightly but continued lagging may incur disqualification. Handlers are only permitted to handle one dog at any one time.
The distance is to be completed in 2 hours and 35 minutes, including the two intermediate breaks, but excluding the final rest period ie. the test is to be conducted at an average of 10 kms. per hour.
Dogs reluctant to go with handlers are to be disqualified.
Dogs may stop to relieve themselves but handlers and dogs must make up the test time and regain their position in the line. Handlers must carry implements for cleaning up after dogs and must clean up before returning to the test.
After the first 8 kms. there shall be a rest period of 15 mins. during which time the veterinary team, veterinary surgeon and/or Judge shall examine all exhibits. Two or more officials are normally required to assist with the taking of temperatures, looking at pads and recording thereof.
Dogs showing any undue stress, badly worn pads or a high temperature or any bitch that has come into season prior to the continuation of the test, shall be eliminated by the judge and/or veterinary surgeon. The Judge to consult with the veterinary surgeon if the dog registers a high temperature only and is not showing any signs of distress, as to whether the dog continues the test.
After a further distance of 6 kms. a rest period of 20 mins. shall be taken during which time the same procedure as in (9) above shall be carried out.
After the final 6 kms. there shall be a further rest period of 15 mins. During this period dogs shall be allowed to move about freely or relax.
At the end of the final rest period the fourth veterinary check shall be undertaken. No extra time is to be given if the dog fails to meet the test criteria.
After this final veterinary check the Willingness test will be conducted.
A certificate will be issued for each qualifying dog.
A dog will have failed the test if it:

lacks Physical condition, or
shows signs of undue stress or tiredness, or
fails to complete the distance within the allotted time, or
requires artificial means to reduce its body temperature, or
fails to complete the Willingness exercises.
 
A dog which fails an endurance test may compete within the Rules at a later date.
Reprimands shall not under any circumstances be used during the period. A reprimand means either verbal or physical.
The Control, Affiliate, Handlers and Judges should comply with all relevant requirements governing the use of “public roads prior to or during the test."

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