Competitive Dog Obedience
Competitive obedience showcases the best of dogs that have been trained to behave well at home, in public places and around other dogs. There are different organizations that provide for and host competitive dog obedience shows and trials but before you start to show your dog at obedience trials ensure your dog’s skills are up to the required standard with one of DogSmith’s Competition Obedience curriculum.
Competition Obedience - Novice Level
The DogSmith introduction to competition obedience class introduces you to the world of showcasing your dog’s skills at organized trials. Competition obedience builds on the basic pet dog obedience skills covered in other DogSmith group class curriculums by introducing you to more formal sequencing and external distractions, such as the dog show environment.
This 6-week course prepares both you and your dog for your first competition. You will cover the things you need to prepare for and expect and the skills your dog will need to compete at a qualifying level.
Novice Level trials hosted by the American Kennel Club judge the following skills for dogs just getting started in set exercises:
- Heel on Leash and Figure Eight.
- Heel Free.
- Stand for Examination.
- Long Sit (1 minute),
- Long Down (3 minutes).
Competition Obedience - Open Level
This six-week course is designed for those students who have completed or are working on their Novice obedience title and want to focus on the second level skills, the Open Level of competition obedience. The second level includes more complicated exercises, where you will be teaching your dog to do a variety of tasks and to follow cues either by voice or signal.
Open Level trials hosted by the American Kennel Club judge the following skills for dogs in set exercises:
- Heel Free and Figure Eight-- Same as Novice level but off leash.
- Drop on Recall.
- Retrieve on Flat.
- Retrieve Over High Jump.
- Broad Jump.
- Long Sit (3 minutes)-- similar to the long sit in Novice, but the position must be held for. a longer period of time with the handler out of the dog's sight.
- Long Down (5 minutes).
Competition Obedience - Utility Level
This is the third and highest level of regular obedience competition. This six-week course is designed for those students who have completed or are working on their Open Level obedience title and want to focus on the third and highest level of regular obedience competition, the Utility Level.
Utility Level trials hosted by the American Kennel Club judge the following skills for dogs in set exercises:
- 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 cues 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 cue.
- 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.