TEAM CCC Rules

Official Rules & Exercise Descriptions for each Level

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TEAM Level 3 – General overview

General overview

Huge congratulations for arriving at Level 3! Level 3 mastery requires your dog to demonstrate solid skills in the 10 essential elements of cooperative care. A dog who has earned a Level 3 certificate has demonstrated a solid understanding of the exercises as well as a clear comfort level with the procedures. Earning the Level 3 certificate is a great achievement that demonstrates your dedication to your dog’s physical and mental well-being.  

Location: Any familiar location, such as the house, yard or regular training area.  All exercises off leash.

Equipment: Any muzzle that allows the dog to open his mouth in order to comfortably take a treat and pant is acceptable for these exercises. Baskerville brand is a good reasonably priced option.

Empty syringe.

A child’s doctor or veterinarian kit will have lots of options for substitute tools. 

Empty gelatin capsules, size 4 recommended.

Clippers, grinder, or file for nails.

Cotton balls or ear wipes.

Chair or stool of appropriate height for chin rest.

Appropriately sized toothbrush.

Cues: Any cues may be used in this level.

Reinforcement: There is no limit on the use of external reinforcers (food or toy) for each exercise. However, in exercises with a defined duration requirement, you should not reinforce during the duration interval.

Maximum video length: 6 minutes

Sample Video:

Exercise 3-1: Chin Rest

In lap or on other object while lightly touching head and neck for 5 seconds.

Dog holds a voluntary chin rest in the handler’s lap (towel or pillow may be used) or to another object of comfortable appropriate height.  The handler lightly touches and strokes the dog’s head, neck, and shoulders for 5 seconds.  

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Exercise 3-1: Chin Rest

In lap or on other object while lightly touching head and neck for 5 seconds.

Dog holds a voluntary chin rest in the handler’s lap (towel or pillow may be used) or to another object of comfortable appropriate height.  The handler lightly touches and strokes the dog’s head, neck, and shoulders for 5 seconds.  

Click to see video examples, details and judging criteria

Exercise 3-2: Lie flat on side

With hip, shoulder, and head down on one side, lured, cued, or manipulated, hold for 5 seconds.

Begin this exercise by luring, cueing, or gently placing the dog on one side.  The time starts when the dog puts his head down.  If the dog raises his head, the count stops until the head is lowered again.  

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Exercise 3-2: Lie flat on side

With hip, shoulder, and head down, on one side, lured, cued, or manipulated, hold for 5 seconds.

Begin this exercise by luring, cueing, or gently placing the dog on one side.  The time starts when the dog puts his head down.  If the dogs raises his head the count stops until the head is lowered again.  

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Exercise 3-3: Restraint

Standing restraint for 5 seconds with a slight lift.

With dog standing handler approaches from one side and wraps her arms around the dog. One arm goes around the front of the chest and the other around the hips. The handler gently restrains in this manner for 5 seconds.  Then the handler gently lifts the dog until all 4 feet off the ground/surface. The dog is immediately placed back down and released.

For larger dogs adjustments may be made. Arm placement may be changed to lift the front feet, then the back feet. 

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Exercise 3-3: Restraint

Standing restraint for 5 seconds with a slight lift.

With dog standing handler approaches from one side and wraps her arms around the dog. One arm goes around the front of the chest and the other around the hips. The handler gently restrains in this manner for 5 seconds.  Then the handler gently lifts the dog until all 4 feet off the ground/surface. The dog is immediately placed back down and released.

For larger dogs adjustments may be made. Arm placement may be changed to lift the front feet, then the back feet. 

Click to see video examples, details and judging criteria

Exercise 3-4: Muzzle

Muzzle on while dog is lightly examined on the body.

Muzzle is placed on the dog. Once the muzzle is buckled in place the handler lightly examines the dog by running hands along the top of the spine, down the shoulders, along the sides, and over the hips.  

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Exercise 3-4: Muzzle

Muzzle on while dog is lightly examined on the body.

Muzzle is placed on the dog. Once the muzzle is buckled in place the handler lightly examines the dog by running hands along the top of the spine, down the shoulders, along the sides, and over the hips.  

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Exercise 3-5: Feet / Nails

Hold foot, isolate nail, shorten one nail on at least one front foot and one back foot.

The foot is held. One nail on the foot is isolated. With clippers, grinder, or a file, the handler will shorten that nail. This must be completed for one front foot and one back foot.

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Exercise 3-5: Feet / Nails

Hold foot, isolate nail, shorten one nail on at least one front foot and one back foot.

The foot is held. One nail on the foot is isolated. With clippers, grinder, or a file, the handler will shorten that nail. This must be completed for one front foot and one back foot.

Click to see video examples, details and judging criteria

Exercise 3-6: Mouth / Teeth

Open mouth and touch toothbrush to teeth on both sides.

Handler lifts dog’s lips gently and touches a toothbrush to the outside of the teeth with the bristles, first on one side, then on the other.  

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Exercise 3-6: Mouth / Teeth

Open mouth and touch toothbrush to teeth on both sides.

Handler lifts dog’s lips gently and touches a toothbrush to the outside of the teeth with the bristles, first on one side, then on the other.  

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Exercise 3-7: Medication

Will swallow a pill without being hidden in food; food may be given after.

A plain capsule or pill is offered and the dog swallows it. No food may be on the capsule or pill; however pill may be coated lightly in oil. Food may be given immediately following the swallow. 

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Exercise 3-7: Medication

Will swallow a pill without being hidden in food; food may be given after.

A plain capsule or pill is offered and the dog swallows it. No food may be on the capsule or pill; however pill may be coated lightly in oil. Food may be given immediately following the swallow. 

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Exercise 3-8: Injection / Blood Draw

Tolerates simulated blood draw AND injection including tenting/pinching of skin with 5 second hold.

Handler performs simulated injection to central shoulder blades or hip, AND blood draw to the front of a front leg or the back of a back leg. For the injection use one hand to gently grasp and pull the skin slightly away from the body (tenting). For the blood draw use one hand to restrain the leg.  With an empty syringe or syringe substitute the handler applies moderate pressure to the area for 5 seconds. Can be done in either order.  

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Exercise 3-8: Injection / Blood Draw

Tolerates simulated blood draw AND injection including tenting/pinching of skin with 5 second hold.

Handler performs simulated injection to central shoulder blades or hip, AND blood draw to the front of a front leg or the back of a back leg. For the injection use one hand to gently grasp and pull the skin slightly away from the body (tenting). For the blood draw use one hand to restrain the leg.  With an empty syringe or syringe substitute the handler applies moderate pressure to the area for 5 seconds. Can be done in either order.  

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Exercise 3-9: Eyes

Introduce drops.

Handler will lightly restrain the dog’s head or ask for a chin rest. Handler will use a dropper or syringe to drip water onto the dog’s head and muzzle.

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Exercise 3-9: Eyes

Introduce drops.

Handler will lightly restrain the dog’s head or ask for a chin rest. Handler will use a dropper or syringe to drip water onto the dog’s head and muzzle.

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Exercise 3-10: Ears

Hold chin rest and tolerate one swipe with a wet cotton ball or wipe in each ear.

Dog will hold a chin rest to the handler’s lap (can use a towel or pillow) while each ear is lightly manipulated and held open (if necessary). A wet cotton ball or ear wipe will be applied for one light swipe on the inside of each ear.  

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Exercise 3-10: Ears

Hold chin rest and tolerate one swipe with a wet cotton ball or wipe in each ear.

Dog will hold a chin rest to the handler’s lap (can use a towel or pillow) while each ear is lightly manipulated and held open (if necessary). A wet cotton ball or ear wipe will be applied for one light swipe on the inside of each ear.  

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Additional Resources

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(For convenience only.  Please rely on the website exercise pages for details, updates, examples and judging criteria.)