The following are the official rules of the contest. These rules may be amended by the producer of the contest if need arises. Any contestant found to not be following the rules will be subject to discipline, which may take form of point reduction or disqualification.
1. All contestants will participate in all categories of the contest, as given under the scoring guidelines.
2. Contestants shall not attempt to sway the judges through gifts, meals, favors, or any other kind of items or acts that could be seen as bribery.
3. Illegal drug use is prohibited.
4. Nudity is not permitted at any time. All contestants must have front genitals covered with opaque material at all times, and the buttocks must be covered by a minimum of a 1” strap. For female contestants, nipples and aureoles must also be covered. The only exception to this rule is in the play party areas where permitted by the Beyond Vanilla event.
5. All rules and regulations imposed by the Beyond Vanilla event must be followed. Removal from the Beyond Vanilla event will result in immediate disqualification.
6. The producer reserves to amend these rules as necessary. If this occurs, all parties involved will be notified.
7. The producer and the staff of the contest do not have any authority to override any judges decision. The head judge is in charge of the judging team. In relation to the scoring, the decision of the head judge is final.
8. In case of a tie, the head judge will make the final decision.
9. Have fun, and remember this wonderful experience!
The scoring is based on a 500 point system. Each contestant is judged individually and not as a pair. For all contestants competing as puppies, the best score out of 500 will be declared the winner of International Puppy. For all contestants competing as trainers, the best score out of 500 will be declared the winner of International Puppy Trainer. In the event that no contestant scores 70% of points or more there will not be a winner for that title. In case of a tie, it will be the decision of the head judge to determine the winner. An Olympic style scoring system in which the high and low scores for each category are thrown out may or may not be used. The producers and head judge will make that determination just prior to the first category. The categories are as follows:
Interview: (200 points available) Each contestant will participate in an approximately 20 minute interview. The head judge will establish the order and room setting 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, basic leather/puppy history questions, lifestyle questions, and personal belief questions.
Speech: (150 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 90 seconds and two minutes in length. Each speech will be timed and the judges will be informed of the recorded length after each speech. Points will be deducted for speeches going under as well as over time.
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: (75 points available) Judges will observe all contestants during the course of the event weekend. Judging officially begins Friday at 5pm. 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 trainer. These observations will include but will not be limited to public and mosh pit interactions.
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.
Show Presentation: (75 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 respective headspace in their respective role as pup or trainer. As is the same with the Image category, 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 audience and judges set around the performance area. Each contestant puppy will be paired with a trainer or trainer contestant of their choosing. Each trainer contestant will be paired with a puppy or a puppy contestant of their choosing. 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. The winners will be revealed at the end of this segment.
The show presentation is the fun portion of the contest. It allows the audience to see the pup as a puppy and the Trainer as a Trainer. The contestants will be expected to present themselves as a biological dog would at a dog show. 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, a set of commands, and an allotment of time to show the audience the relationship between the pup and Trainer. This can be play time on the mats, a routine, or a training session. This is totally up to the contestants.
The commands that will be performed during that section are not released to the contestants until the day of the contest. 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, roll over. This does not imply that these are the only commands that may be chosen. Some couples choose spoken commands, some choose to use hand signals, and others choose to use a different language. Practice what is comfortable to you.