In PSA Protection, the PDC and PSA 1 have a hidden sleeve bite during a car-jacking scenario, handler attacks, courage tests (the PSA 1 Courage test is our signature exercise), and in PSA 1 there are 5 possible surprise scenarios of which the judge picks one on trial day, randomly.
In PSA there can be hidden sleeve bites in all levels, mandatory in PDC and PSA 1. In PSA 3 there can be muzzle attacks as well. All other encounters are in full bite suits. In PSA 2, there are 4 protection scenarios, 3 of which are known ahead of time to the competitors. There is a 2 decoy courage test, a fended off attack behind a vehicle, a call-off, and one surprise scenario is drawn up by the judge for trial day. In PSA 3, guidelines are provided to the judges to make scenarios for a courage test, call-off, test of environmental stability, and a searching exercise or muzzle attack. Further guidelines within each scenario are also given, but these scenarios are not known to the handlers except in principle until the day of the trial.
Because of the surprise scenario nature of the trials, and high level of training, many law enforcement K9 teams are giving PSA a try, and PSA encourages cross-over from other protection sports, or from police K9 units to add to the excitement of the sport. Many of our top certified decoys are police K9 handlers and trainers. Because of the difficulty of the routines (you must pass OB and each of the protection routines to pass for the title), teams are competing mainly against the sport and not one another, so there is a sense of camaraderie found in PSA that is unique. To title, a dog/handler team is required to pass one trial in PDC and PSA 1, and teams must pass 2 trials completely to earn titles in PSA 2 and PSA 3.