Search Menu

Obedience: Judging Resources

AKC® Obedience Judging Requirements

To assist applicants and to prevent you from applying prematurely, we request that you review the following minimum requirements. Failure to meet any requirement will result in the application being returned.

  • You have personally owned, trained, and titled a dog to an AKC Utility Dog (UD), or an AKC Preferred Utility Dog (PUTD) title and a second dog to an AKC Companion Dog (CD) or Preferred Companion Dog (PCD) title. At least one of the two dogs must have earned an AKC Companion Dog (CD) title.
  • You have been active in the sport a minimum of six (6) consecutive years.
  • You have stewarded in Novice/Open/Utility class (depending upon class applying for) at AKC member or licensed trials a minimum of ten (10) times.
  • Novice applicants – five (5) of the ten stewarding assignments must have been within the last five (5) years
  • Open applicants – three (3) of the ten stewarding assignments must have been within the last five (5) years
  • Utility applicants – three (3) of the ten stewarding assignments must have been within the last five (5) years
  • You have practiced applying judging skills, in the relevant classes, at matches or you have judged the equivalent non-regular classes at AKC trials a minimum of three (3) times. The match and/or non-regular class judging must have been within the last five (5) years. Relevant classes:
    • Novice: Novice classes and/or a non-regular Novice classes.
    • Open: Open classes and/or non-regular Open classes, and the Graduate Novice class.
    • Utility: Utility classes and/or non-regular Utility classes, the Graduate Open and Versatility classes.
  • You have actively participated as an assistant trainer or as a trainer in a dog training club or similar organization.
  • You have attended an AKC Obedience Judge’s Education seminar within the last three (3) years.

All applicants will be required to pass verbal and written tests. Part I is included with the application form. Once you have completed the form, answered all questions, and uploaded all the required documentation, sign the form, and click the “Submit” button. You will be notified via email that the application was received and again after it is reviewed and approved. The answers in Part I must meet the minimum requirements to proceed.

Part II – Test and Interview will be scheduled by the Companion Events Department. The written test is a multiple-choice question test covering the Obedience Regulations and Obedience Judges’ Guidelines.

After passing the tests and interview, applications are referred to the next available meeting of the Companion Events Approval Committee for a final determination. Following review, applicants will receive written notification of the Committee’s action and may begin accepting judging assignments.

In compliance with the Obedience Regulations, as an obedience judge, you must attend an AKC Obedience Judge’s Education seminar every three years. If this requirement is not met, you may become ineligible to accept assignments.

Exemptions from some requirements may be made for applicants in Alaska, Hawaii, or Puerto Rico.

If you have questions, email or call the Companion Events Department at (919) 816-3575.

To advance from provisional to regular status, judges must judge a minimum of ten (10) relevant regular class assignments with a minimum of one-hundred and fifty (150) dogs judged overall. In addition, two (2) satisfactory judging observations must be obtained, with one of the observations being completed within one year prior to the request for regular status. Each event is considered an assignment. To request observations, send an email to and provide the date, city and state of the event, the name of the club, and the provisional classes you are scheduled to judge.