Pairs is a game with two
courses to be performed by two different dog/handler teams. The handler of
the dog/handler team actively running the course carries a baton. The first
dog/handler team runs the first half of the course, then hands the baton to
the handler of the second dog/handler team, following this baton exchange,
the second dog/handler team runs the second half of the course. Pairs is scored on a time plus faults basis. Any course
faults (knocked bars, missed contacts, wrong courses, etc.) the team
accumulates during their run are added to their time to generate a score.
To qualify, the score must be at or below the predetermined qualifying
Let’s look at a
recent Starters/P1 Pairs course.
The first thing you
need to do is make sure you have a teammate !!!
You can either enter the class with a specifically requested teammate or
you can enter the class and have a teammate drawn for you. Either way, you
should check to make sure your teammate is in attendance. If your teammate
is absent, the judge and/or scorekeeper will help you find a replacement
teammate. Often two teams with absences will be merged together to make a
new team. Other times, if there are an odd number of absences, an
individual will be volunteer to be an
accommodating partner. They will run with their original teammate and then
run with you. (An accommodating partner must run one half of the course
with their original teammate and then the other half for their
not always) the judge will give teams the choice of which halves they want to
run. You and your teammate should decide who will run which half. If your
dogs are different height, let the gate steward know which dog will run
which half, so the gate steward can arrange the running order as
efficiently as possible.
As you enter the
ring together to compete, make sure the first handler running the first
half of the course has a baton in their hand. It is typically a good idea
for the first handler to connect with the second handler and make sure the
entire team is ready before beginning to run.
While the first
dog/handler team runs, the second dog/handler team must be inside the ring.
There will be an exchange area where the end of the first half of the
course returns and meets the beginning of the second half of the course.
you are running the second half, you can hold or even have your dog’s leash
on while the first dog/handler team is running. However, if you want to
hold your dog in your arms, with your hand, or using a leash, you will need
to listen to the judge’s briefing to find out what you will be allowed to
do during the act of exchanging the baton. Often, you might need to have
the dog on the ground and/or the leash removed before the actual baton
If you are
running the first half, you need to listen to the judge’s briefing to find
out what you will be allowed to do during the act of exchanging the baton.
Often, you may need to exchange the baton before holding the dog, in your
arms or with your hand or a leash. While the second dog/handler team runs,
the first dog/handler team must remain inside the ring. Typically, once the
baton exchange is complete, the dog not running may be held, in your arms,
with your hand, or using a leash.
exchange must typically occur within a predetermined area. All parties to
the exchange, both handlers and both dogs, must typically be inside the
exchange area during the baton exchange. Penalties are assessed for faulty
exchanges. Penalties are also assessed if the baton is dropped or tossed
during the exchange.