AKC Competition Obedience Classes

Competition Obedience Basics

Competition Obedience Classes are for owners interested in competing in AKC sanctioned obedience trials. Courses are 7 weeks long and meet once a week for an hour on Wednesday evenings. The class fee is $85 for a 7-week course. Classes are continuous throughout the year, and new students may join at any time.

Class Descriptions

Foundation Training for the Puppy or Beginner Adult Dog

This class is the starting place for beginner puppies and dogs. Precision training of foundation behaviors, such as sit, down, heeling with attention, etc., is emphasized. Introductory training for advanced behaviors, such as the go-out, retrieving, marking, and jumping (depending on the age of the dog) is also an important part of the course material. Building attitude through play and tricks is an underlying theme.

Intermediate and Advanced Training

These classes are for dogs that are competent with the Novice exercises and are ready for more advanced Open and Utility work. Polishing the dog/handler team, proofing to increase reliability and consistency, and enhancing enthusiasm and work ethic are emphasized.

Private Lessons

Private lessons are also offered for more individualized training or problem solving, or for those whose schedules are incompatible with regular classes. The fee for private lessons is $60 per hour. To schedule a private lesson, please contact Julie.

Chamber and Ribbons
Chamber and Ribbons


Jonah
Jonah


Paolo, High-in-Trial
Paolo, High-in-Trial


Roller
Roller


Maple and Roz Guillet, High-in-Trial
Maple and Roz Guillet, High-in-Trial
from Novice A at GSP National Specialty


Smartie and Friend
Smartie and Friend


Speaks
Speaks


Harry
Harry

 

Information for the Obedience Beginner *

Obedience Trials

“Obedience Trials test a dog’s ability to perform a prescribed set of exercises on which it is scored. In each exercise, you must score more than 50 percent of the possible points (ranging from 20 to 40) and get a total score of at least 170 out of a possible 200. Each time your dog gets that magic 170 qualifying score, he’s gotten a “leg” toward his title. Three legs and your dog has become an Obedience-titled dog! There are 3 levels at which your dog can earn a title and each is more difficult than the one before it. You may see levels divided into “A” and “B” at a trial; “A” classes are for beginners whose dogs have never received a title while “B” classes are for more experienced handlers.”

Levels of Competition

Novice: The first level, Novice, results in your dog earning a Companion Dog (CD) title. The title actually describes what is expected of your dog: demonstrating the skills required of a good canine companion. The dog will have to heel both on and off leash at different speeds, come when called, stay (still and quietly!) with a group of other dogs when told, and stand for a simple physical exam.

Open: The second level, Open, results in your dog earning a Companion Dog Excellent (CDX) title. He must do many of the same exercises as in Novice, but off-leash and for longer periods. Additionally, there are jumping and retrieving tasks.

Utility: The final level results in a Utility Dog (UD) title. These are the cream of the crop. In addition to more difficult exercises, the dog also must perform scent discrimination tasks.

“OTCH and UDX: The best of the best can go on for more titles. Utility Dogs that place in Open B or Utility B classes earn points toward an Obedience Trial Champion (OTCH) title. Utility Dogs that continue to compete and earn legs in both Open B and Utility B at 10 shows receive the title Utility Dog Excellent (UDX).”

Experience Obedience Trials

“Attend some trials to observe and mingle. You’ll have the opportunity to see skilled dogs and handlers, as well as some who may need to hit the books some more! You can also meet people who have the same interests as you and can give you some tips or direct you to other classes and events in your area.

“But the best part of watching a trial is to see the close bond that has developed between the dog and handler. Their total concentration on the task at hand gives way to the sheer delight of accomplishment that can be seen on the faces of both - and in the wag of a tail.

“Experience the ultimate in companionship and teamwork. Taste the thrill of competition. Join an Obedience training class and participate in Obedience trials. You and your dog will have fun!”

* All material taken directly from the AKC’s “Getting Started in Obedience” Web page.

** Photo by Michael Loftis Photography