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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.

  • All applicants must have been active in the sport a minimum of six consecutive years.
  • You must have actively participated as an assistant trainer or as a trainer in a dog training club or similar organization.
  • You must have completed the online Obedience Judge’s Seminar https://www.caninecollege.akc.org/
  • To apply to judge Novice classes:
    • You must have personally trained and titled a dog to an AKC CDX or PCDX title, and a second dog to an AKC CD or PCD title.
    • You must have stewarded a minimum of seven times (at least once in each of the classes) in a variety of Beginner Novice, Novice, Preferred Novice, Graduate Novice, and Open classes.
      • Five of the seven required stewarding assignments must have been within the last five years.
  • To apply to judge Open and Utility classes:
    • You must have personally trained and titled a dog to an AKC UD or PUTD title, and a second dog to an AKC CD or PCD title.
    • You must have stewarded a minimum of seven times (at least once in each of the classes) in a variety of Open classes, Graduate Open, and Utility classes.
      • Three of the seven required stewarding assignments must have been within the last five years.
  • You must have practiced applying judging skills, in the classes for which you are applying. This experience can be attained by judging all types of AKC matches (sanctioned or non-sanctioned) or by judging the equivalent non-regular classes at AKC trials a minimum of three times. The AKC match and/or non-regular class judging must have been within the last five years.
    • Novice applicants: Beginner Novice, Novice, Preferred Novice, Graduate Novice, and Open classes.
    • Open & Utility applicants: Open, Graduate Open, and Utility classes.

Some of the above requirements may be modified for applicants in Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.

All applicants will be required to pass verbal and written testsPart I test 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 be answered in the correct manner and 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.

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

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