The Bully Breed Ambassador Program
- General Information About the Bully Breed Ambassador Program
- Welcome to the Remy Kennel Club Bully Breed Ambassador (BBA) program. The BBA Program is a two part program that is designed to 1) teach responsible dog ownership to owners and 2) certify dogs that have the training and behaviors needed to be reliable, well-behaved members of their families, communities and combat the bullying of our beloved bully breeds! An RKC approved evaluator, before deciding that a dog has passed the Bully Breed Ambassador Test, you should consider if the dog is under good control and appears safe around people and other dogs.
- The purpose of the BBA Program is to ensure that our favorite companion, the dog, can be a respected member of the community because it has been trained to be well-behaved in the home, in public places, and in the presence of other dogs. The BBA Program welcomes dogs with both full and limited registration rights and privileges. The BBA Test is noncompetitive and dogs are not required to perform with the same precision required in formal obedience.
- Dogs that pass all 10 items of the BBA test, are listed in the BBA records at the Remy Kennel Club. Owners of dogs that pass all 10 items of the BBA test will receive an official Bully Breed Ambassador Title Certificate from the Remy Kennel Club. The Title will also be reflected on your dog’s pedigree within the registry for dogs with full registration rights and privileges.
- A Bully Breed Ambassador Evaluator, must assume responsibility for conducting the test according to the RKC protocol. Evaluators should ensure that each participant has an experience that is positive, educational, and fun. Handlers may talk to their dogs throughout the test and the atmosphere should be relaxed. Praise should be given to dogs throughout the test, and you may need to remind handlers who are nervous to reassure their dogs with praise, smiles, hugs and pats. The BBA Evaluator is an RKC Representative, it’s important to note the way a BBA test is conducted, and the interaction with participants, may determine if a dog owner will become involved in dog training and activities in the future.
Thank you very much for helping us assure that Remy Kennel Club dogs will always be welcome and respected members of our communities.
Passing your Bully Breed Ambassador Exam and Earning your BBA Title
- Scoring Specific Test Items General instructions:
- The test protocol as set forth in this Evaluator Guide should be followed. Handlers may talk to their dogs throughout the test. Evaluators should encourage the test to be fun and, if necessary, handlers should be reminded to praise their dogs. Evaluators can remind handlers to communicate with their dogs (“Tell him what you want him to do”) during the test. Evaluators should not make the test easier by eliminating test items, nor should they require the participant to perform at a higher level than the test requires in order to pass. For example, an evaluator should not, in the name of “having high standards” require during testing that the dogs complete the exercise off-lead in order to pass the BBA test. However, instructors may choose to give the test at any point and may require that students have a higher level of training before the test is given.
The BBA TEST consists of 10 skills needed by all well-mannered dogs.
All of the exercises are done on a leash. For more details and expanded descriptions of the exercises above, and how the BBA Test is administered, see the following section below.
Equipment- You’ll need to bring your dog’s brush or comb to the CGC test. In the BBA test, dogs must wear a buckle collar or no slip collar.
Test 1: Accepting a friendly stranger
This test demonstrates a dog will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and allow the friendly stranger to engage in conversation with the handler in a very casual everyday encounter.
Test 2: Sit Well Mannered for petting
This test item demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it while it is out with its handler.
Test 3: Appearance and Grooming
This test item demonstrates a dog will welcome being groomed & examined such as a veterinarian, groomer, or friend of the owner. This test also demonstrates the owner’s care, concern and sense of responsibility.
Test 4: Walking on a Loose Lead
This test item demonstrates the control a handler has over a dog while walking on a leash.
Test 5: Walking Through a Crowd
This test item demonstrates that the dog’s ability to move through a crowd as you would find on any pedestrian sidewalk or event, comfortably and politely under complete control.
Test 6: Sit, Down and Stay on Command
This test item demonstrates a dog basic obedience skills. The dog should demonstrate that when the handlers instructs him/her to sit and down, & demonstrate a stay position, until released. The dog needs to show a complete understanding of: Sit, Down & Stay (in either a sit or a down position)
Test 7: Recall on Command
The dog will come when called by the handler. The handler will walk 20 feet from the dog, turn to face the dog, & call the dog.
Test 8: Reaction to Another Dog
This test item shows that a dog can behave politely around other dogs (this behavior is especially important in dog show settings). This test calls for two handlers & their dogs, the handlers are to walk up to each other from a distance of approx15 feet. The handlers are to then stop, shake hands and exchange greetings and then continue walking
Test 9: Reaction to Distractions
This test demonstrates a dog’s confidence when faced with common distracting situations.
Test 10: Supervised Separation
This test demonstrates that a dog can be left in the presence of a trusted person and will maintain its training and good manners while the owner goes out of sight for 3 minutes
Testing Requirements and Expanded Descriptions
for Earning the Bully Breed Ambassador Title (BBA)
- Test 1: Accepting a Friendly Stranger
- This test demonstrates that the dogs will allow a friendly stranger to approach it and the dog will allow the friendly stranger to engage in conversation with the handler in a very casual everyday encounter.
- The test begins with the dog seated at the handler’s side. Ignoring the dog, The evaluator walks up to the dog and handler, greets the handler in a friendly manner.
- The evaluator and handler shake hands and exchange a polite conversation (e.g., “Hello, how are you? What bring you here today? It’s good to see you again,” as they shake hands).
- In this test, the evaluator does not interact with the dog.
- The dog must show no sign of resentment, aggression or shyness.
- The dog may not jump on or rush to the evaluator to initiate contact.
- The dog may not lunge forward to greet the Evaluator.
- The dog should be under control throughout the exercise. If the handler must use excessive corrections (e.g., trying to hold the dog to prevent jumping) to control the dog, the dog should not pass the exercise.
- Test 2: Sit Well Mannered for Petting
- This test item demonstrates that the dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it while it is out with its handler.
- With the dog sitting at the handler’s side, (either side is allowable) to begin the test, the evaluator approaches and asks, “May I pet your dog?” The evaluator then pets the dog on the head and body. The handler may talk to his or her dog throughout the exercise.
- After petting the dog, the evaluator may circle the dog, or simply back away to begin the next test.
- Signs of shyness or resentment may not be shown.
- The dog may stand to receive petting, as the evaluator begins to pet the dog.
- To avoid petting the dog may not struggle or pull away.
- The dog may move slightly forward to receive petting,
- The dog may not lunge at the evaluator, rush the evaluator or jump forward.
- The dog may appear to be happy about the petting with the evaluator and may have some body movements.
- The dog should appear to be under control throughout the exercise, the handler should not have to use excessive corrections in order to keep the dog under control.
- Test 3: Appearance and Grooming
- This test item demonstrates that the dog will welcome being groomed and examined and will permit a stranger to do so. This behavior impacts may social situations such as a veterinarian, groomer, or friend of the owner. This test also demonstrates the owner’s care, concern and sense of responsibility.
- The evaluator examines the dog determining if it is clean and groomed. The dog must appear to be in overall health. (i.e., proper weight, clean, healthy and alert). The Evaluator will approach the dog from the front and lift one of the dog’s front feet. While holding the foot, the Evaluator will manipulate the dog’s toes and pads softly to ensure that the dog will tolerate its foot being handled. The evaluator softly combs or brushes the dog and, in a natural manner, lightly examines the ears and gently picks up each front foot. After completing the foot exam, the Evaluator will then lift the dog’s lip to check the dog’s teeth, and touch and glance inside the dog’s ears.
- A brush or comb should be supplied by the handler, one the dog is familiar to being used. It is not necessary for the dog to hold a specific position during the examination, and the handler may talk to the dog, praise it and give encouragement throughout the exercise.
- The evaluator may give the handler specific instructions for handling the dog in a manner that ensures safety. Example, the evaluator may request that the handler lift each leg as well as request that the handler steady the dog’s head for checking the dog’s lip to check the dog’s teeth, and touch and glance inside the dog’s ears.
- No dog should require restraining to complete any portion of this test. The chief assumption to this test is, “Could a veterinarian or groomer examine the dog safely?”
- Dogs may move, wiggle or become excited, while some movement is acceptable it should not be excessive where the test points cannot be accomplished. Nor should the dog struggle to pull away to avoid any part of this test.
- Test 4: Walking on a Loose Leash
- This test item demonstrates the control a handler has over a dog while walking on a leash. The dog should be able to walk politely and remain under control, the dog should not be excessively straining/pulling, the least should not be pulled taunt. During this exercise the dog may walk on either the left or right side on the handler, may start in any position as long as the dog is at your side, and there is obvious slack in the leash. (The left side position is required in all obedience competitions).
- The test evaluator, may use a planned out or may direct the course by calling out instructions as the handler and dog are walking. (example: left turn). No matter what format the evaluator uses, the team must complete a minimum of 1 right turn, 1 left turn, 1 u-turn, 1 stop in between, and 1 final stop upon completion.
- The handler may use any amount of verbal cues, hand signals, and praise that they would like throughout the “walk”. If desired by the handler, they may give the dog a “sit” command at each stop but it is not required to pass this portion of the test. You can use any amount of verbal cues, hand signals, and praise that you would like throughout this exam, additionally handlers will not be penalized if the dog “sits” at the stop, If desired by the handler.
- The completion of this exam should leave no doubt in the evaluator’s mind that the dog is attentive to the handler and that the dog is responding to the handler’s movements and any changes of direction. It is no required that dog be perfectly aligned with the handler in a “heel”
- This exam is to be performed under “loose leash”. The leash should be loose enough to where you can see the shape of a J in the leash. Occasionally a tight leash may be permitted, as lightly, at no time should the leash be taunt.
- The dog shall not be passed if it is not fully attentive to the handler. Example: if the handler is changing directions and the dog isn’t moving or if handler is walking and the dog will not walk with handler. If the dog is excessively sniffing the floor or the ground to the point where the dog is distracted from the handler, then the dog should not pass the test.
- Test 5: Walking Through A Crowd
- This test item demonstrates that the dog’s ability to move through a crowd as you would find on any pedestrian sidewalk or event, comfortably and politely under complete control. The dog should not be excessively straining/pulling at the leash.
- This testing item mocks settings such as you would find on any pedestrian sidewalk or event or a crowd at a dog show or some other type of public event. The team shall walk around, near several people in a crowd. (min requirement is 3. If there aren’t many people in the crowd, then handler can count as one of the three minimum people.)
- During the walk through the crowd there may be one dog in the crowd and that dog is to be leashed at all time, the dog needs to also be well mannered and the dog should not attempt to come in contact with any of the dogs that are being tested for their BBA title.
- Without demonstrating over excitement, extreme shyness or resentment to the strangers in the crowd. The dog that is being tested is allowed to show some interest in the people that are in the crowd, BUT the dog is to still remain attentive to the handler and continue to walk with the handler. Example of mild interest: Example: while walking through the crowd the dog is allowed to acknowledge a stranger briefly, but if the handler prompts the dog to move, then it must move promptly.
- The dog is should not allowed to greet, sniff, or jump on people in the crowd nor are they allowed to attempt to pull the owner towards the people in the crowd.
- Test 6: Sit and Down Stay on Command
- This test item demonstrates that the dog obeys basic obedience skills. The dog should demonstrate that when the handlers instructs him/her to sit and down he/she will respond to that command in a correct and timely manner. Also the dog should demonstrate that when put in a stay position, he/she will stay until instructed by the owner to move. The dog needs to show a complete understanding of:
- Stay (in either a sit or a down position)
- When instructed by the evaluator, the handler will then instruct the dog to stay (whether in the sit or down position) and then the handler will walk to the end of the 20-ft line. Once at the end of the line the handler will then turn and start walking back towards the dog at a normal walking pace. Once handler returns to the dog, the evaluator will then instruct the handler to release the dog from the “stay” position. (Note: During the “stay” portion of the test, the handler has the choice of leaving the dog in the sit or the down position. You can use your voice or any body movement to get your dog to sit or down. *The dog is required to stay in whatever position it was left in until the handler is instructed to release the dog from “stay” position).
- The attached line is used for safety reasons, To prevent the handler from tugging on the line, the evaluator may lay the line stretched out on the floor. The handler is to make sure the 20-ft line is attached to the dog’s collar at all times.
- The dog is to not pass this portion of the test if the dog refuses to go into the down position. The may not force them into the down position.
- The dog will not pass this portion of the test if it requires a lengthy amount of time before the dog is to sit or down. The dog needs to show a willingness to complete these basic obedience commands.
- Test 7: Recall on Command
- This test item demonstrates that the dog knows basic obedience skills when called by the handler. The dog is to be left in a stay position (sit or down is acceptable), during this test the dog may change its position as long as the dog stays where it was originally left by the handler. The handler is to walk 20-ft away (20-ft leash from testing item 6), once at the end of the line then handler is to turn to face the dog and give the dog the command to “come”, the handler is permitted to use and type of body language as well as praise/encouragement to get the dog to come. While walking away from the dog the handler is permitted to encourage the dog to wait or stay until you give them the command to come.
- This testing item is considered complete when the dog successfully come to the handler after being called and then at that time the handler is to attach its own leash to the dog.
- The handler is permitted to kneel down and use any encouraging sounds or pat his or her leg to get the dog to come when called.
- The dog shall not pass if the handler has to repeat the come command more than three times and the dog does not come.
- Dogs need to demonstrate a willingness to complete this basic obedience term. The dog will not pass if the handler must use the 20-ft leash to pull the dog towards them during the come command.
- Test 8: Reaction to Another Dog
- This test item shows that the dog can behave politely around other dogs (this behavior is especially important in dog show settings). This test calls for two handlers and their dogs, the handlers are to walk up to each other from a distance of approximately 15 feet. The handlers are to then stop, shake hands and exchange greetings and then continue on walking.
- When both handlers stop to greet each other and shake hands, the dog being tested is not required to sit. The dog is permitted to remain standing beside the handler. If the handler decides to allow the dog to stand, it is not permitted to go in front of the handler in order to get to the other dog. If this is to happen, then the dog shall not pass. The dog being tested is permitted to move slightly towards the other handler/dog and then stop, the dog should still stay back away from the handler/dog. The dog being tested is allowed to stretch and sniff the other handler/dog as long as it is not moving forward.
- The dog being tested should not show any sort of aggression, shyness or resentment towards the other dog. Casual interest in the distraction dog is accepted.
- Any type of aggression or attempts to jump on the other dog will result in the dog being tested to not pass.
- The dog being tested is permitted to move slightly towards the other handler/dog and then stop, the dog should still stay back away from the handler/dog. The dog being tested is allowed to stretch and sniff the other handler/dog as long as it is not moving forward.
- During this testing item, the conversation that ensues between the handlers shall be short. As the handler is leaving the greeting with the other handler, if the dog being tested begins to pull on the leash in order to follow the other dog/handler, then the dog shall not pass this testing item.
- The dog that is being used as the distraction should be evaluated before this testing item is done to ensure that the dog is reliable. If the distraction dog does end up causing a distraction, then the dog that is being tested is to be tested again with a more reliable distraction dog.
- Test 9: Reaction to Distractions
- This test demonstrates a dog’s confidence when faced with common distracting situations.
- The Evaluator will select two distractors from among the following: (Since some dogs are sensitive to sound and others to visual distractions, it is preferable to choose one sound and one visual distraction.)
- A person using crutches, a wheelchair, or a walker (5 ft. away).
- A sudden opening or closing of a door.
- Dropping a pan, folded chair, etc. no closer than 5 ft. from the dog.
- A jogger running in front of the dog.
- A person pushing a cart or crate dolly passing no closer than 5 ft. away.
- A person on a bike no closer than 10 ft. away.
- The BBA Test should not be confused with temperament testing. In the BBA test, distractions should be items that are common occurrences in the community
- The dog may show casual interest and may appear slightly startled. The dog may jump slightly but should not panic and pull at the leash to get away.
- The dog may attempt to walk forward slightly to investigate the distracter.
- Dogs who become so frightened that they urinate (or defecate) should not pass.
- Dogs who growl or lunge at the distracter should not pass.
- An isolated (one) bark is acceptable. Dogs who continue to bark at the distracter should not pass.
- Handlers may talk to dogs and give encouragement and praise throughout the test. Dogs may be given instructions by the handler (“Sit…good boy..watch me…”)
- The distraction cannot simply be noise in the background (dogs barking, cars). Distraction stimuli should be consistent for each dog.
- Item 10: Supervised Separation
- This test demonstrates that a dog can be left in the presence of a trusted person and will maintain its training and good manners.
- An Evaluator will hold the leash of the dog while the owner goes out of sight for 3 minutes. Evaluators may talk to and pet the dog but should refrain from giving the dog excessive attention, playing with the dog, etc.
- The dog does not have to “stay” in position.
- A dog that simply walks back and forth and looks for the handler is passed. There should be no signs of extreme stress, including panting, breathing hard, etc. The dog should not pace unnecessarily, should not show signs of agitation.
- If the dog continually barks, whines, or howls, it should not be passed. If a dog begins to look very upset or distressed (barking, whining, panting, pacing, pulling), the test should be terminated. The BBA test is an activity that should be fun. We do not want dogs or handlers to have a bad experience with the BBA. If a dog is extremely distressed, training is needed. (This training should not be done during testing.) This one incident of giving in to the dog’s insecure behavior is not enough to cause any lasting effect.
- If the Evaluator for Item 10 is sitting in a chair and a small dog tries to climb into the Evaluator’s lap, the Evaluator should stand up.
- If a dog excessively pulls on its leash (trying to get away) it should not be passed.
- Any dog that urinates or defecates during testing should not be passed. The exception to this is in Test 10 when the test is outdoors, or between exercises (e.g., the dog urinates on a bush while being walked to the next test station). Dogs should not stop to relieve themselves while they are working with the handler in the exercises.
© 2016 Remy Kennel Club