Responsible dog ownership includes training your dog to be a well-mannered and happy companion. Obedience training is the foundation for all the fun activities and performance sports available to you and your dog. The American Kennel Club Virtual Obedience Test program provides an opportunity for exhibitors to train their dogs, evaluate their skill and teamwork, and stay engaged in the sport of Obedience when they are not able to attend events in person. Two levels of virtual titling obedience classes are offered, with expansion of the program to be released over time. The first two levels in the Virtual Obedience Test program are Virtual Beginner Novice and Virtual Novice classes. There are five different ring setups for each class from which to choose. You and your dog are judged the same as you would be at a regular trial; however, some of the exercises are different than what you will see at in-person trials. The main differences are that you are responsible for setting up the ring according to the map, and because there are no judge’s orders, you must demonstrate an obvious pause where stated in each exercise. Clubs may want to utilize a Virtual Obedience Test as their class graduation at the end of their training classes, where they can organize and film the performances for the participants.
The performance area, known as the ring, may be set up outside or inside and on any surface. Instructions are provided to assist you in properly setting up the ring and positioning the camera. You may use the same ring setup repeatedly, but you must submit different video links with each entry submitted. Once the online entry form and fee are received, you will receive a confirmation email and your video will be assigned to an approved AKC Obedience judge for review. Participants will receive their preliminary performance results, via email, after an event’s judging is complete. Results will include the overall score and scores for the individual exercises. All eligible qualifying scores will be recorded on your dog’s AKC record and applied towards the relevant virtual title. Once the official results are posted to the dog’s record, a title certificate will be mailed to the address on file. The Virtual Obedience Test program is a standalone program and there is no crossover to the regular AKC Obedience program titles.