Iron Dog Competition
Saturday September 21, 2013

Signal Hill Park
9300 Signal View Drive, Manassas Park, VA 20111

Map to Signal Hill Park in Manassas Park  

K9 Ados & Deputy Shores      The Virginia Police Canine Association hosted the 13th Annual "IRON DOG" Competition on Saturday September 21, 2013, at 0900. Contestants needed to check-in at 0800. This event was made possible by the Manassas Park Police Department, Professional Canine Services, and the City of Manassas Park; along with generous donations from local businesses and sponsors.

See a list of our
2013 "IRON DOG" Sponsors!


Download the VPCA "IRON DOG" Registration Form.

Registration was due by COBD on August 31, 2013.

Download the Official VPCA "IRON DOG" Registration Form and Competition Rules.
Download the VPCA "IRON DOG" Spectator Info sheet.
Download the VPCA "IRON DOG" Sponsor Letter.

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     The VPCA 2013 "IRON DOG" Competition was set up to test the strength, stamina, and team work of the Handler and the K9. The Competition consisted of a number of stations that tested the team's abilities with obstacles, firearms, scent tracking, decoy apprehension, vehicle searches, and environmental distractions to determine the overall "IRON DOG" winner. Awards were given for First, Second, and Third place at each event station, as well as an Overall Winner.

2008 Award Winners      Contestants were timed when they began the 1½ mile course through the time that they finished the entire course. Along the way were multiple event stations for each K9 team to perform, which were each individually timed as well. Event stations included firearms, article search, decoy apprehension, vehicle searches (either narcotic or explosive), and environmental distractions. Of course, there would not have been much of a competition without the plethora of obstacles, fences, hedges, creeks, and horse jumps for the teams to navigate while running from event station to event station. Awards were given for first, second, and third place at each event station, as well as overall winners. Introduced in 2009, the "IRON DOG" Competition added a Team Award for the jurisdiction with the best combined overall score of three K9 teams for the entire event. Three Handlers and K9's formed teams and competed for combined overall scores for the Competition.


  • 2013 "IRON DOG" Winners
  • 2012 "IRON DOG" Winners
  • 2011 "IRON DOG" Winners
  • 2010 "IRON DOG" Winners
  • 2009 "IRON DOG" Winners
  • 2008 "IRON DOG" Winners

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    K9 Mako & Ofc McAndrews      The event was free of charge for all spectators, and the event opened to all at 0900! A buffet-style lunch was available for a donation of $5 to the "IRON DOG" event.

         There were "IRON DOG" and VPCA merchandise for purchase, and there was a large raffle for prizes, gift certificates, and other items. Spectators and family were encouraged to buy raffle tickets also! A pavilion area was set up near the course for eating and the awards presentation. It was strongly suggested that spectators bring lawn chairs or blankets to move around as they watched other areas of the course. First Aid Services were provided by the Manassas Park Fire & Rescue Department. We also suggested binoculars to see the stations furthest from the main spectator area.

         All spectators were required to remain behind the fences and barricades to prevent injury. Parents were cautioned to watch children carefully, and we asked that children were not allowed to run around the event area. All spectators needed to speak to the Handlers before the approaching the dogs, as these were Police/Military dogs in the competition and not pets. Some may have been friendly to people or children, but others may not have tolerated being petted or near people.

    Always ask before approaching any Handler or any dog!
    This is important for people encountering civilian dogs during walks or at parks also.

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         Contestant lodging accommodations for the VPCA "IRON DOG" Competition were graciously provided by the Hampton Inn - Manassas hotel. Please ensure that you make your reservations early, and ensure that all Handlers abide by their regulations regarding animals in the rooms.

         In order to help us maintain our great relationship with this hotel:

    • All canine partners MUST remain in the rooms at all times (except for bathroom breaks) while in the hotel.
    • Please clean up after your canine partners!
    • All canine partners MUST be secured within a crate when left within the room unsupervised.
         A map to the location and address can be found by clicking on the "Google Maps" logo below. Both the hotel link and the hotel logo below will direct you to the Hampton Inn - Manassas website.

    HAMPTON INN - Manassas
    Jennifer Decker, Manager
    7295 Williamson Boulevard
    Manassas, Virginia 20109
    (fax 703-369-4079)
    Hampton Inn Manassas website

      - Contestants should indicate that they are participating in the "VPCA IRON DOG Competition" for this rate.
      - Handlers are responsible for ALL actions of their canine partners while staying at the hotel.
      - All canine partners MUST remain in the room at all times, except for bathroom breaks.
      - County ordinances and hotel policy REQUIRE all Handlers to ensure that they clean up after their canine partners!
      - All canine partners MUST be crated while unattended in the room, for safety of the staff and other guests.

    More Info for the Hampton Inn Manassas...

    Map to Hampton Inn in Manassas

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    VPCA Iron Dog Competition


    Check in starts at 0800; Course opens at 0900.


    • Area Search: Consisted of decoy hiding in a field with blinds and must have been found by K9 with a physical apprehension of the decoy in a full bite suit.
    • Article Search: K9 must have alerted to the proper location of the hidden item.
    • Gun Battle with Cover/Concealment: Handler must have gotten a simunition pistol from the Official. Handler must have shot & hit the target designated by the Official, while maintaining complete control of the K9.
    • Agility: Consisted of several small jumps and a tunnel.
    • Distracter Area: K9 must have remained attentive while passing various agression & training equipment.
    • Apprehension: When instructed by the Official, the Handler had the K9 apprehend a decoy wearing a full bite suit.
    • Vehicle Narcotic/Explosive Find: K9 must have alerted to proper location of the hidden item.
    • Finish: Once the Handler and K9 had completed all stations they had to run into a specified area for completion of the course.

         There was a Field Official at each of the above stations. Contestants may not have proceeded to the next station until the Official directed them to continue. All disputes during the course were resolved by the head "IRON DOG" Judge, if resolutions could not be made by the Field Officials.
         There was a complete walk-through of the entire course with explanations of each station prior to the beginning of the course. It was highly encouraged for ALL participants to join the walk-through to gain a familiarity with the course, regardless of past course attendances. The "IRON DOG" Judge explained each station along with the requirements for each.


         The Registration Fee was $25 for VPCA Members and $50 for non-members. This included: participation in the course, an "IRON DOG Competition" T-shirt, and a buffet-style lunch. Awards were given in various areas and for the "IRON DOG" once all teams completed the course.

    2013 VPCA "IRON DOG" Registration Form
  • Deadline for registration was August 31, 2013.
  • Registration was limited to the first 50 teams.
  • Checks were made payable to: V.P.C.A.

         All checks and registration forms were mailed to:

    2013 VPCA IRON DOG
    ATTN: Captain Mario Lugo
    329 Manassas Drive, Manassas Park, VA 20111

    If people had questions regarding competition information or registration, they were asked to contact Mario Lugo at (703) 335-0665.

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    K9 Smoke & Ofc Gubesch
    "IRON DOG"

         In order to participate in the VPCA "IRON DOG" Competition, all contestants must be currently certified as a K9 Team AND must be one of the following:

    • sworn or retired law enforcement officers,
    • active-duty or reserve military,
    • other individuals approved by the "IRON DOG" Committee.
         It is not necessary to be a VPCA Member or to be certified through VPCA to compete. Each contestant will be assigned a number, which they will be identified by throughout the course. Contestants should wear their number after checking in, to help identify them as a contestant and to help ensure they begin the course at their appointed time.


    • E-Collars and Pinch Collars are permitted
    • Must wear duty boots
    • Duty belt is not required
    • Must have a Patrol muzzle (Groomer's muzzles NOT allowed)
    • Must have a lead


    • Wearing of tennis shoes or running shoes
    • Lack of proper control over K9
    • Throwing K9 over lift stations
    • K9 biting of anyone but the decoys
    • No firearms or weapons allowed on the course at ANY time. The "IRON DOG" Staff will provide a non-lethal firearm for the firearm station. This shall be the only exception!


         For each station, the following list of penalties will be in effect:

    • Area Search: 3-minute penalty assessed for not locating the hide.
    • Narcotic or Explosive Find: 3-minute penalty for calling the wrong hide location.
    • K9 Lift: There will be obstacles throughout the course, some the dog must be lifted over in a controlled manner. 3-minute penalty for using the gate, going under or around the lift, or not lifting the dog at all. Throwing or dropping the dog in an uncontrolled manner will constitute a disqualification for the station.
    • Gun Battle with Cover/Concealment: 2 shots each at 2 targets from 10 yards, with both strong and weak hand. Must hit each target once or take 30-second penalty on each target. 3-minute penalty for not attempting the station.
    • Muzzle Work: 1-minute to put muzzle on the dog before entering the station. If cannot complete in specified time, move to next station and get 3-minute penalty. If you get the muzzle on the dog and cannot get the dog through the tunnel within 1-minute, take a 2-minute penalty and move to next station.
    • Agility: If you miss any jump or fail to complete any obstacle you will be penalized 1-minute per obstacle.
    • Apprehension: 3-minute penalty for not engaging the decoy.
    • Vehicle Narcotic/Explosive Find: 3-minute penalty for calling the inappropriate hide location.
    • Finish Line: Dog must be in a neutral position, either a "sit" or a "down", for the watch to stop.
    • All Stations: 3-minute penalty for failing to attempt any station.

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         We are pleased to accept business Sponsors for the "IRON DOG" Competition. Please contact Mario Lugo of the Manassas Park Police Department at (703) 335-0665 if you or your company would like to become an "IRON DOG" Sponsor, or if you would like to donate items for our "IRON DOG" Raffle.

    See a list of our
    2013 "IRON DOG" Sponsors!

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