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Obedience (an overview)

By Laura Flaman

Competitive obedience includes everything from basic commands like "sit" and "stay" to scent discrimination. Dogs and handlers compete as a team in the individual exercises and then participate with the other teams in the class for the group exercises. Below you will find a summary of the official classes and titles, advanced titles, transitional classes and the unofficial classes.

Obedience titles and class requirements

Several of the classes are divided between the "A" class and the "B" class. The "A" classes are restricted as follows:

To receive a qualifying score the team must receive at least 50% of the available points in each exercise and a total score of 170 points or more out of a possible 200 points. 3 qualifying scores must be received from at least 2 different judges. The exercises and the total points available for each exercise area noted below:

Each class is outlined in the CKC rule book, available for purchase from the CKC or if you are a CKC member available in a free downloadable version. CKC

Novice Class - Companion Dog (CD) title

Heel on Leash and figure eight 40 points
Stand for examination 30 points
Heel Free (off leash heeling) 40 points
Recall 30 points
Long Sit 1 minute (group exercise) 30 points
Long Down 3 minutes (group exercise) 30 points
Maximum total score 200 points

Open - Companion Dog Excellent (CDX) title

Heel Free and figure eight 40 points
Drop on Recall 30 points
Retrieve on Flat 25 points
Retrieve over High jump 35 points
Broad Jump 20 points
Long Sit 3 minutes (group exercise) 25 points
Long Down 3 minutes (group exercise) 25 points
Maximum total score 200 points

Utility - Utility Dog (UD) title

Seek Back 30 points
Scent Discrimination article #1 30 points
Scent Discrimination article #2 30 points
Signal Exercise 40 points
Moving Stand 30 points
Directed Jumping 40 points
Maximum total score 200 points

Seek back is the "glove" exercise. Handler and dog complete a heeling pattern and on command from the judge the handler drops the leather glove and continues the heeling pattern. At the end of the heeling pattern the judge advises the handler to "send the dog"; the dog then runs out and retrieves the glove.

Signal exercise is a heeling pattern with only hand signals to the dog (no verbal commands) it includes a standard heeling pattern, a stand, leave your dog (stay) sit, down, recall and finish.

Moving stand is handler heeling with dog and on command from judge while moving the handler commands the dog to stand and stay and leaves the dog, the judge then examines the dog and then on command the handler commands the dog for a recall and finish.

ADVANCED OBEDIENCE TITLES

Obedience Trial Champion (OTCh)

Obedience Trial Champion (OTCh) - any dog having attained 3 obedience trial titles of CD, CDX and UD shall be recognized as an Obedience Trial Champion and shall be entitled to use the prefix OtCh before its name.

Obedience Trial Champion Excellent (OTChX)

Obedience Trial Champion Excellent (OTChX) - this title may only be earned after the completion of the OTCh title. Dog and Handler team must qualify in both the Open and Utility class in the same trial on 5 different occasions after the completion of the Utility title.

Master Obedience Trial Champion (MOTCh)

Master Obedience Trial Champion (MOTCh) - points for this title may only be accumulated after the completion of an OTCh. Points may be accumulated simultaneously with credits towards the OTChX and MOTCh titles. However the Masters title will not be awarded until completion of the OTChX title. A minimum score of 190 in Open or 185 in Utility is needed to obtain points. One High in Class placement is required in either Open or Utility but no minimum score is required. A total of 40 points is required to earn a Masters title with a minimum of 15 points to be acquired in each Open and Utility classes, the remaining 10 points can be attained from either class.

Points Scale for Open and Utility

Open Utility
190-191.5 1 point  185-187.5 1 point 
192-193.5 2 points 188-190.5 2 points
194-195.5 3 points 191-193.5 3 points
196-197.5 4 points 194-195.5 4 points
198-199.5 5 points 196-198.5 5 points
200 6 points 200 6 points

Grand Master Obedience Trial Champion (GMOTCh)

Grand Master Obedience Trial Champion (GMOTCh) - this title and points for this title may only be earned after the completion of the Masters title. Dog and handler must achieve a minimum score of 195 points in both Open and Utility classes at the same trial at 10 separate trials under 10 different judges. A High in Trial must be achieved in at least one Open class and one Utility class.

TRANSITIONAL CLASSES

Transitional classes are elective classes that are not a requirement to advance to the official obedience classes.

Below is a brief outline of the exercises for each of the transitional classes.

Pre-novice/Pre-Companion Dog (PCD)

Pre-novice/Pre-Companion Dog (PCD) - this class is a pass/fail evaluation only; the exercises are not scored.

Novice Intermediate Class/Companion Dog Intermediate (CDI)

Novice Intermediate Class/Companion Dog Intermediate (CDI) - To receive a qualifying score the team must receive at least 50% of the available points in each of the 6 exercises and a total score of 170 points or more out of a possible 200 points. To achieve the CDI title, 3 qualifying scores must be received from at least 2 different judges. The exercises and the total points available for each exercise area noted below:

Honour 30 points
Heel Free and Figure 8 40 points
Stand for examination 30 points
Recall holding dumbbell 40 points
Drop from heel 30 points
Broad jump 30 points

Novice "C"

Novice "C" - The Novice "C" class is open to any dog that has gained the title of Companion Dog, Companion Dog Excellent, Utility Dog or any other advanced obedience title in Canada. The Novice "C" exercises will be performed and judged as described in the official Novice Class except that exhibitors may compete in the Novice "C" class indefinitely.

Unofficial Classes

Obedience exercise "retrieve over high jump"

Graduate Novice Class
Graduate Open Class Versatility Class
Brace Class
Team Class
Veterans Class

Pictured - Vader (Ch. Vader Klaar Fauve Charbonne CDX DD ") Owned by: Laura Flaman, Calgary

Above is a brief outline of "Competitive Obedience".

Laura Flaman is a member of the Southern Alberta Section of the BSDCC and competes regularly in "Competition Obedience"