Training for Obedience Events

There are three titles available from Obedience events: CD, CDX, UD. Each title requires additional skills to be mastered. Dogs compete in six classes: Novice A & B, Open A & B, Excellent A & B. Dogs are entered into the correct class automatically when the show is run.

Dogs are entered in A classes if the owner has not previously earned the respective title on a dog. Otherwise dogs are entered in B classes. You can see which class (A vs B) your dogs would be entered in for each level on your kennel page.

Different breeds have different aptitudes for Obedience based upon their personality. Individual dogs also vary in intelligence which impacts how quickly they learn.

Companion Dog (CD) - Novice

CD is the lowest title in obedience. It is earned by successfully qualifying three times in the Novice A/B class. It requires the first row of obedience skills: Heel on Leash (HoL), Figure Eight, Heel Free, Recall, Long Sit, Long Down.

HoL, Figure Eight and Heel Free are all heeling exercises. Recall is the "Come" command. Long Sit and Long Down are "Sit-Stay" and "Down-Stay" exercises respectively.

Companion Dog Excellent (CDX) - Open

CDX is the middle title in obedience. It is earned by successfully qualifying three times in the Open A/B class. It requires the first and some second row of obedience skills: Drop on Recall, Retrieval on Flat (Ret on Flat), Retrieval over High Jump (Ret over High Jump), Broad Jump.

Drop on Recall involves the dog stopping and laying down while moving toward the handler on a command. Ret on Flat and Ret over High Jump are "fetch" exercises where the dog must return a thrown dumbbell to the handler.  Broad Jump is a low wide jump the dog must clear in a single jump.

Utility Dog (UD) - Excellent

UD is the top title in obedience. It is earned by successfully qualifying three times in the Excellent A/B class. It requires all obedience skills: Signal Exercise, Scent Discrimination, Directed Retrieve, Moving Stand for Exam, Directed Jumping.

Signal Exercise involves the dog changing position at a distance from the handler based on hand signals. Scent discrimination is a "fetch" exercise where the correct item to retrieve must be identified by scent. Directed Retrieve is a "fetch" exercise where the correct item must be indicated by the handler. Moving Stand for Exam requires a dog to stop during motion and stay still while the judge physically examines the dog. Directed Jumping requires a dog to move beyond a jump and then take a jump on command.

Note: more advanced exercises will be easier to train after more basic exercises have been mastered.

Frequently Asked Questions

My dog is fully trained why isn't he qualifying?

Dogs require experience in the obedience ring before they are able to perform at their best in obedience events.  Often fully trained dogs will not qualify in their first few shows while they gain experience and get used to the format/style of obedience shows.

Last Updated: 11/8/2011 2:18:45 AM

Did you know?
The third obedience title is a UD, or "Utility Dog", which is earned through competition in the Utility obedience class