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Obedience Classes

There are several levels of competition available to you and your dog.

If you aren’t sure which class is best for you, please see our resources:

Click Here for information on transfers.

  • Regular Classes - Regular Tilting Path +

    NOVICE

    For the dog just getting started in obedience that can work on- and off-leash. Exercises include:

    • Heel on Leash and Figure Eight — this exercise is performed the same as in the Beginner Novice class.
    • Stand for Examination — for this off-leash exercise the dog must stay in a standing position as its handler walks about 6 feet away. The judge will then lightly touch the dog on the head, body and hindquarters. Like in the Sit for Exam, the dog must not display any resentment.
    • Heel Free — dogs will heel off-leash doing the same routine as they did on-leash, except they will not perform the Figure Eight.
    • Recall — demonstrates that the dog will come to the handler on command.
    • Sit Stay – Get Your Leash — this exercise is to demonstrate that the dog will remain in the sit position, while the handler goes to get the dog’s leash.
    • Group Exercise – Sit & Down Stay — this exercise will demonstrate the dog’s ability to remain in the sit and down position, with other dogs in the ring and is performed on-leash.

    OPEN

    This level includes more complicated exercises; the dog must be able to perform a variety of tasks and follow commands either by voice or signal. Exercises include:

    • Heel Free and Figure Eight — this exercise is performed the same as Novice, but the dog is off-leash.
    • Command Discrimination (Stand, Down, Sit) — this exercise is all about the dog responding correctly to the handler’s commands and/or signals. Handlers will be instructed by the judge to stand, down or sit their dog from varying distances. Handlers will be instructed by the judge to have their dog change positions three times. The second and third position change are with the handler 15 and 30 feet from the dog.
    • Drop on Recall — the dog must promptly come to the handler when called from across the ring and on the handler’s command or signal to drop and remain in a down position until on a command or signal from the handler to resume coming to the handler.
    • Retrieve on Flat — demonstrates a dog’s ability to retrieve an object from at least 20 feet promptly and return to the handler on command.
    • Retrieve Over High Jump — the dog must go out over a jump, in order to retrieve a dumbbell and then promptly return to the handler with the dumbbell going back over the jump.
    • Broad Jump — this exercise shows that the dog will stay in the position it is left until directed to jump. The dog must clear the jump on a single command or signal and return to the handler once the jump is complete.
    • Stand Stay – Get Your Leash — – the principal feature of this exercise is that the dog stand and stay in position until the handler has returned to heel position.

    UTILITY

    This is the next level of obedience competition. Exercises include:

    • Signal Exercise — shows the dog’s ability to understand and correctly respond to the handler’s signal to stand, stay, down, sit and come. No voice commands are given; only hand signals are allowed.
    • Scent Discrimination — this exercise is done twice. Showing the dog’s ability to find the handler’s scent among a pile of articles and promptly return the correct article to the handler.
    • Directed Retrieve — the features of this exercise prove the dog’s ability to follow a directional signal from the handler to retrieve a glove and promptly return it to the handler.
    • Moving Stand and Examination — for this exercise the dog must heel, stand and stay as the handler moves away. The dog must stay and accept an examination by the judge and return to the handler on command.
    • Directed Jumping — the dog must go away from the handler, turn and sit. Then, the dog must clear whichever jump its handler indicates and promptly return to the handler.

    If a club allows transfers, transfers may be approved between the Regular, Alternative and Optional Titling classes provided the class and judge are available, and the class has not reached its limit. Please refer to the current Obedience Regulations for more information on requirements and restrictions.

  • Preferred Classes - Alternative Titling Path +

    These classes may be offered at the clubs option.

    PREFERRED NOVICE

    This class for dogs that have not won the CDX or PCDX title.

    • Heel on Leash and Figure Eight — show whether the dog has learned to watch its handler and adjust its pace to stay with the handler.
    • Stand for Examination — is of great benefit when the dog needs hands-on care by a veterinarian.
    • Heel Free — done off leash.
    • Recall — provides the handler with the ability to call the dog and get an immediate response at all times.
    • Stay-Sit or Down – Handler Walk Around the Ring — allows the handler to have control of the dog when visitors come to the home
    • Sit Stay – Get Your Leash — this exercise is to demonstrate that the dog will remain in the sit position, while the handler goes to get the dog’s leash.

    PREFERRED OPEN

    This class shall be for all dogs that have won the CD or PCD or higher Regular or Preferred Title.

    • Heel Free and Figure Eight — Same as Novice, but off leash.
    • Command Discrimination (Stand, Down, Sit) — this exercise is all about the dog responding correctly to the handler’s commands and/or signals. Handlers will be instructed by the judge to stand, down or sit their dog from varying distances. Handlers will be instructed by the judge to have their dog change positions three times. The second and third position change are with the handler 15 and 30 feet from the dog
    • Drop on Recall — can be a lifesaving command for a dog, since it gives the handler control in potentially dangerous situations.
    • Retrieve on Flat
    • Retrieve Over High Jump
    • Broad Jump
    • Stand Stay – Get Your Leash — the principal feature of this exercise is that the dog stand and stay in position until the handler has returned to heel position.

    PREFERRED UTILITY

    This class shall be for all dogs that have won the CDX or PCDX or higher Regular or Preferred title.

    • Signal Exercise — shows the dog’s ability to understand and correctly respond to the handler’s signal to stand, stay, down, sit and come. No voice commands are given; only hand signals are allowed.
    • Scent Discrimination — shows the dog’s ability to find the handler’s scent among a pile of articles.
    • Directed Retrieve — proves the dog’s ability to follow a directional signal to retrieve a glove and promptly return it to the handler.
    • Moving Stand and Examination — the dog must heel, stand and stay as the handler moves away. The dog must stay and accept an examination by the judge and return to the handler on command.
    • Directed Jumping — the dog must go away from the handler, turn and sit. Then, the dog must clear whichever jump its handler indicates and promptly return to the handler.

  • Option Classes - Optional Titling Path +

    These classes may be offered at the clubs option.

    If a club allows transfers, transfers may be approved between the Regular and Optional Titling classes provided the class and judge are available, and the class has not reached its limit. Optional Titling classes have no restrictions on them, any dog can enter in any order; these classes are not prerequisites to get to “the next level class (i.e. Novice to Open).” Please refer to the current Obedience Regulations for more information on requirements and restrictions.

    BEGINNER NOVICE

    This class shall be for all dogs that have not earned any AKC obedience titles or who have earned a BN, CD and/or PCD title; but no other additional AKC obedience titles.

    • Heel on Leash — show whether the dog has learned to watch its handler and adjust its pace to stay with the handler.
    • Figure Eight. — same as Heel on Leash but done in a Figure Eight pattern.
    • Sit for Exam — is of great benefit when the dog needs hands-on care by a veterinarian.
    • Sit Stay — allows the handler to have control of the dog when visitors come to the home.
    • Recall — provides the handler with the ability to call the dog and get an immediate response at all times.

    Beginner Novice video

    GRADUATE NOVICE

    This class shall be for all dogs.

    • Heel on Leash and Figure Eight (off leash) — show whether the dog has learned to watch its handler and adjust its pace to stay with the handler.
    • Drop on Recall — can be a lifesaving command for a dog, since it gives the handler control in potentially dangerous situations.
    • Dumbbell Recall — this exercise is performed like Novice Recall but with the dog holding a dumbbell.
    • Dumbbell Recall over High Jump.
    • Recall Over Broad Jump.
    • Stand Stay – Get Your Leash — the principal feature of this exercise is that the dog stand and stay in position until the handler has returned to heel position.

    GRADUATE OPEN

    This class shall be for all dogs.

    • Signal Exercise — shows the dog’s ability to understand and correctly respond to the handler’s signal to stand, stay, down, sit and come. No voice commands are given; only hand signals are allowed.
    • Scent Discrimination — shows the dog’s ability to find the handler’s scent among a pile of articles.
    • Go Out — show the ability to send the dog away and stop as directed.
    • Directed Jumping — the dog must go away from the handler, turn and sit. Then, the dog must clear whichever jump its handler indicates and promptly return to the handler.
    • Moving Stand and Examination –the dog must heel, stand and stay as the handler moves away. The dog must stay and accept an examination by the judge and return to the handler on command.
    • Directed Retrieve — proves the dog’s ability to follow a directional signal to retrieve a glove and promptly return it to the handler.

    VERSATILITY

    This class shall be for all dogs.

    Six exercises will be performed: two from each the Novice, Open and Utility classes. There will be no group exercises.

    • Prior to the start of judging, the judge will decide the combination and order of exercises to be performed in this class and will post it at the ring approximately 45 minutes prior to the start of the class