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International Puppy and Trainer Scoring Guidelines

IPTC International Puppy and Trainer Contest

The scoring is based on a 1000 point system. Each contestant is judged individually and not as a pair. For all contestants competing as puppies, the best score out of 1000 will be declared the winner of International Puppy. For all contestants competing as Trainer, the best score out of 1000 will be declared the winner of International Trainer. In the event that no contestant scores 80% of points or more there will not be a winner for that title. An Olympic style scoring system in which the high and low scores for each category are thrown out is used.  In the case of a tie, the removed scores are added back in to determine the winner. 


The categories are as follows:

Interview:  (300 points available) Each contestant will participate in an interview. The head judge will establish the order and room set for questions and will also moderate the session.  Each judge should be allowed to ask whatever type of questions they deem necessary to learn what they need to know about each contestant. Based on the number of contestants to interview and the time allowed, the head judge will set limits on how many questions the judging panel will ask.

The interview is set up as a means for the judges to get to know the contestant. The questions that they ask will be completely up to them. It is important for the contestant to be prepared to answer a wide range of questions. While not limited to, it should be expected to hear questions regarding their application, leather/puppy history questions, social media presence, lifestyle questions, and personal belief questions.

Speech:  (250 points available) The contestants will prepare beforehand and deliver a speech during the opening ceremonies of the event. This speech can be on any topic the contestant wishes but must be recited from memory and not read.  The judges will award points on both speech content as well as speech delivery. The speech should be between ninety (90) seconds and two (2) minutes in length. Each speech will be timed and the judges will be informed of the recorded length after each speech.  Starting at 2:05, one (1) point will be deducted and one (1) point for each additional 5 seconds will be deducted. The points deducted will be standard across the contestants but may be amended for situations out of the contestants' control. Examples of issues outside of the contestants' control would be but are not limited to, microphone malfunction or audience disruption.

The speech is designed to see the contestant the way the public will see them as a titleholder.  It is important for the contestant to choose a topic that they are both familiar with and passionate about. Some contestants choose to use the speech portion to allow the audience the opportunity to get to know something about them such as their past or their vision. Others choose to use the time to share their passion for a topic.

-Lifestyle Image:  (125 points available) Judges will observe all contestants during the course of the event weekend. Judging officially begins Friday after the contestant meeting. Any contestant arriving late should expect a reflection of this in their total points. Contestants should make an effort to meet each judge before the speech portion of the contest. From their observations, judges will award Lifestyle Image points based on their opinions of how each contestant behaves and interacts as a puppy or Handler/Trainer. During the mosh, puppies will be observed for mosh interactions, behavior, and handling of consent. Handler/Trainers will be observed for interacting, creating safe space, and well-being of all mosh pit participants. Lifestyle image observations will include, but will not be limited to, public, and mosh pit interactions. All contestant's social media accounts will continue to be observed for any behavior that does not align with IPTC values, rules, or ethics.

The lifestyle portion is to see the contestant interact with the public as a whole. A large part of being a titleholder is spending time at events with both friends and strangers. It is important for the contestant to recognize that they are being watched at all times, as they balance their interactions.

-Pop Question:  (75 points available)  The judges will observe the contestants as they answer one or two unknown questions. The questions may be randomized, or they may be specifically chosen for the contestant by the judges.  Typically, one question is related to community service and one question is meant to be more light-hearted.  The purpose of the pop questions is to see if the titleholder is prepared for the unknown questions that always arise in their travels.

-Scenes: 2 Sections, Contestants will be required to do both sections)  The judges will observe the contestants in both a Show Presentation in the show ring and they will observe a Fantasy/Play Presentation performed by the contestant. 

The scenes in both the Show Presentation and the Fantasy/Play Presentation are meant to be fun for the audience and maybe very puppy-fun-centric or they may be overtly sexual in nature.  Due to state law, no nudity is allowed on stage, and any sexual acts must be acted-out, not performed.  Scenes are expected to be respectful to the community at large.  Scenes with extremely inappropriate behavior/topics may be disqualified by the producer/head judge's decision.  Examples of this would be (but are not limited to) scenes promoting rape culture, racism, misogyny, transphobia, intolerance, or promoting hate symbols.

-Show Presentation (125 Points Available)  This portion will present to the judges how well the contestant works with a pup or trainer in a one-on-one situation. Points will be awarded on how well the contestant gives/receives instruction, comfort level in front of a crowd, and overall attentiveness to the other participant. This category will also allow the contestants to showcase their headspace in their respective roles as pup or trainer. Judges will also look for believability in each contestant’s approach to the lifestyle. During this portion of the contest, the room will be set as a show ring with the audience and judges set around the performance area.  Each contestant will enter the ring with a partner of their choosing.  This can be another contestant or it can be someone with whom they have a personal relationship.   The pairs will enter the show ring and perform a preset routine.  This routine will be established by the head judge and contest producer and will be given to each contestant prior to the Show Presentation segment beginning.  This will include (but is not limited to), the walk onto the ring, a walk around the ring as the puppy is displayed to the audience, and a set of commands chosen by the contest producer and head judge.

The set of commands that will be performed during that section is not released to the contestants until the day of the contest. The Head Judge will instruct that the pair may perform 1 additional trick to showcase their personality. The participants will be wise to take advantage of the supplied practice time to learn the commands together. Puppies will be expected to return to a “stacked” position between each section-this is a symmetrical show pose. Some common commands given would be things like sit, stay, speak, shake hands, rollover. This does not imply that these are the only commands that may be chosen.

-Fantasy/Play Presentation: (125 points available)  These scenes should be 3 minutes in length and typically contain music/background tracks. Due to time constraints, points are deducted after 3 minutes. There are no microphones furnished, so spoken words are expected to be on the background tracks. The contestants may have up to two additional people on stage to help with the scene. The scene can be with another contestant, where both are scored, but this must be disclosed to the contest producer prior to the beginning of the judged portion of the weekend. Practice time on the stage will be given, and it is critical that this time be used so that the stage manager and production crew are prepared. All music/background tracks must be given to the production crew no less than two (2) weeks prior to the first day of the contest. All music/background tracks must be digital in MP3 format. There is no contingency for tardiness on this, as the production crew must be familiar with the content.

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