When we all start off with our new dog at a local training club, our aim is to have a well trained and socialised dog that we can take anywhere. Then what often happens is that people get interested in building a stronger relationship with their dog and training more than the basic requirements to have a happy family dog. They spend more time in the company of like minded people and the road to obedience competitions (called trials) has started.
Obedience trials are a sport and all those who participate do so with great sportsmanship and camaraderie.
Obedience trials demonstrate the ability of handler and dog to work together as a team. Classes are designed to be progressive, allowing both dog and handler to grow in experience and skill as titles are gained. It is essential that the dog shows a willingness and enjoyment while it is working and the handler demonstrates smooth and gentle handling.
All classes have titles to be gained and a pass on three occasions in each class is required to gain each title.
The first is CCD a class where the ring work is designed to show the basic work of the dog with heelwork on lead, a stand for examination performed on lead and an off lead recall.
Then a slight elevation in the next class the Novice class with a CD title in this the dog repeats the CCD work but off the lead and the added exercise of either a retrieve of a dumbbell or a change of position with the dog being left in a stand and the handler moving away 3 metres then will command the dog to drop.
The Open class CDX has more elements added such as a drop on recall, a retrieve over a jump or a directed retrieve plus either a broad jump or distance control.
Then we get to the classes where an Obedience Champion title can be gained from the Utility and the UDX classes. A very exciting pair of classes with seek back, send away and scent added to the mix.
All the classes have group stays as well, showing that the dog can be left for a short while in a group.
Obedience trials are very addictive and many lifelong friendships occur.
There is an official rule book that has a full explanation of all the classes. The link to this can be found on our links page.