What is an OBEDIENCE TRIAL?
Demonstrating the usefulness of a dog as a companion to humankind, Obedience is a sport with rules, regulations, judges, conditioning, training, placements and prizes. Dog and handler teams are judged on how closely they match the judge’s mental picture of a theoretically perfect performance as they execute a series of specified exercises. Accuracy and precision are essential, but the natural movement of the handler and the willingness and enjoyment of the dog are very important. Each level of obedience competition – novice, open, and utility – requires mastering a specific skill set, which increase in difficulty, before advancing to the next level. The Novice Class demonstrates good canine companion skills such as heeling, both with and without a leash, coming when called, standing for a simple physical examination, and staying in both a sit and a down position with a group of dogs. The Open Class is more challenging as more exercises are done off leash and retrieving and jumping challenges are added. The Utility Class, includes scent discrimination, directed retrieves, jumping and silent signal exercises, and is the most challenging class. For further information go to the Flat-Coated Retriever Resource Page.
In Rally Obedience the canine team moves at their own pace, very similar to rally-style auto racing, on a course which includes 10 to 20 stations, depending on the level. Scoring is not as rigorous as traditional obedience. Communication between handler and dog is encouraged and perfect heel position is not required, but there should be a sense of teamwork between the dog and handler. There are different levels of competition (Novice, Advanced and Excellent) and multiple venues to compete. Go to the Flat-Coated Retriever Resource Page for links for more information.
Kingsbridge Flat-Coated Retrievers – Obedience and Rally
Tralee earned her American Kennel Club Companion Dog and Graduate Novice obedience titles. Caris has earned her Companion Dog Excellent obedience title. Caris is learning the Utility exercises and hopes to compete at this advanced level in the future. Handfull has her Companion Dog title and is learning the Open exercises. Tralee, Caris and Handfull have earned their AKC Rally Excellent titles.