Consider taking obedience training with your dog to a whole new level. Enter the world of AKC obedience and help your dog realize its full potential by competing in obedience trials and earning obedience competition titles. AKC obedience trials demonstrate the usefulness of the dog as a companion to man. Obedience trials showcase dogs that have been trained and conditioned to behave well in the home, in public places, and in the presence of other dogs. AKC trials and tests allow exhibitors and their dogs to enjoy companionship and competition as they proudly earn AKC titles.
To be eligible to compete in AKC Obedience trials, a dog must be (1) Registered with the AKC; (2) Enrolled in the PAL (Purebred Alternative Listing)/ ILP program (a program for purebred dogs that cannot be fully registered with the AKC to participate in AKC events); (3) Be a member of a Foundation Stock Service® (FSS) recorded breed that meets the eligibility requirements for competition; or (4) Enrolled in the AKC Canine Partners program (A program for mixed-breed dogs to participate in Obedience).
What is competitive Obedience? Demonstrating the usefulness of a dog as a companion to humankind, AKC Obedience is a sport with rules, regulations, judges, conditioning, training, placements and prizes. Dog and handler teams are judged on how closely they match the judge’s mental picture of a theoretically perfect performance as they execute a series of specified exercises. Accuracy and precision are essential, but the natural movement of the handler and the willingness and enjoyment of the dog are very important. Each level of obedience competition – novice, open, and utility – requires mastering a specific skill set, which increase in difficulty, before advancing to the next level.
The Novice Class demonstrates good canine companion skills such as heeling, both with and without a leash, coming when called, standing for a simple physical examination, and staying in both a sit and a down position with a group of dogs. In the Novice Class, dogs earn an AKC Companion Dog (CD) title after receiving a qualifying score under three different judges.
The Open Class is more challenging as more exercises are done off leash and retrieving and jumping challenges are added. In the Open Class, dogs earn an AKC Companion Dog Excellent (CDX) title after receiving a qualifying score under three different judges.
The Utility Class, includes scent discrimination, directed retrieves, jumping and silent signal exercises, is the most challenging class. In the Utility Class, dogs earn an AKC Utility Dog (UD) title after receiving qualifying scores from three different judges.
Interested in training for competitive Obedience? Whether you and your dog have had no training or are advanced, we have an Obedience class to get you started. This term, which starts the second week in April, Carol Hein-Creger and Erinn Hadley of the Canine Training Center are offering Puppy Class, Beginning Obedience, Intermediate Obedience, and Novice Obedience. Sign up now and get started on the competitive track!
UPDATE: As of April 1, 2010, the AKC, through its Canine Partners program, now allows mixed breed dogs to compete in Agility, Rally, and Obedience events.
*Note: The UKC (United Kennel Club) allows mixed breed dogs for either agility or rally, and some other performance based events: http://www.ukcdogs.com/res/pdf/2010AgilityRulebook.pdf; http://www.ukcdogs.com/res/pdf/2009RallyRulebook.pdf.