Obedience training has great practical value for everyday management and enjoyment of a companion dog and offers a great foundation for all other training, such as Agility or Rally Obedience.
Canadian Kennel Club Obedience competition is offered at three primary levels - Novice, Open, and Utility. At the Novice level, about half the exercises are performed on leash, and the other half off leash. At each higher level of competition, the dog is expected to perform more difficult exercises, all of them done off leash. In Open, these include jumping, retrieving and stay exercises with the handler out of sight. At the Utility level, many of the exercises are performed a great distance from the handler, such as the Signal exercise, which also means no verbal commands are allowed! This can take years of training. In addition, preparatory and transitional classes are offered, as well as some specialty classes such as a team class in which 4 team members perform simultaneously. All obedience competitions are scored out of a maximum possible 200 with points deducted from that score for any handler or dog errors. The Skaha Kennel Club offers Obedience Trials at our Show every year.
If you are interested in competing, find a reputable trainer that also competes at a high level, and whose dogs look like they are enjoying their work.
Courtesy of Cindy Cerne SKC member and Certified Trainer.