Competition Obedience

Competition Obedience Curriculum

AOC’s competition obedience classes run on a continuous basis.

All the commands in Beginner and Novice Obedience Training will be taught with the dog off the leash and in high distractions.

The competition classes include the following classes, in order of progression:

  • Novice 1
  • Novice 2
  • Novice 3 (Trial Ready)
  • Open
  • Utility

Novice dog obedience classes will prepare you to compete in trials for your dog to earn the Companion Dog (CD) title. The classes strengthen the bond between you and your dog for a lifetime of companionship. The group obedience classes will add to the existing obedience commands that your dog has learned in the beginner group obedience classes. In the novice obedience classes, we will start adding in higher and higher distraction, adding in more distance away from your dog in obedience commands and add in more duration in the commands. Classes are small and individualized.

The following levels of Novice classes are taught. Your dog will advance from Novice 1 to Novice 2 to fine tune exercise performance.

Novice 1 Obedience Class

In Novice 1, students polish skills learned in earlier classes. The handler and dog acquire skills necessary to become a “team” and develop the foundation for the exercises in the Novice level of obedience competition.

  • Fronts & Finishes–First calling your dog to you, they will sit directly in front of you, and then they will go behind you to sit on your left side. This is all one command.
  • Precision Heel. Sit when you stop. Turn left and right staying in proper position.
  • 3–5 minute “sit” in distractions with toys being thrown past the dogs: food distractions, kids and dogs running by, while the dog maintains his long sit for 3–5 minutes.
  • 6–10 minute “down” in distractions same as above but with the dog in a down position.
  • Starting out of sight commands: This means dog must stay in positions even if you are out of their sight and a distance away from you.
  • Starting “off leash heeling” and “off leash basic commands”.
  • Sit in very high excitement. We will build the dogs drive up and then give them a command one time. They must be in command and IN control in less than 1 second.
  • Heeling with attention
  • Automatic sits and turns while heeling
  • Stand for examination
  • Off-leash recalls
  • Off-leash stays (1 minute sit, 3 minute down)

Novice 2 Class

Novice 2 instruction offers students an opportunity to work with instructors who will help prepare them for showing at the Novice level of obedience competition.

  • Attention
  • Heeling with attention, automatic sits and turns, and figure eights
  • Off-lead heeling
  • Off-lead recalls
  • Off-lead group stays (with distractions)
  • Ring etiquette and procedures

Novice 3 Class (Trial Ready)

This class is for individuals that are getting ready to show their dog in an AKC obedience trial at the Novice level. The class will concentrate on precision heeling and the fine points that will help you achieve higher scores in an obedience trial. The class offers methods that will help the dog focus on the handler and deal with distractions in the ring.

This class runs for 6 weeks and helps you work out all the kinks before a trial. This class is taught by experienced instructors who trial on a regular basis and are knowledgeable on all AKC obedience trial rules.

The Novice 3 is only for dogs that have completed Novice 2, no exceptions. It is designed to get you ready to compete in obedience trials, and to polish up what you learned in Level II.

  • Handler skills for success in the ring.
  • Brushing up on skills to make your dog trial ready, including stays with distractions, Stand for Exam, Finishes.


Open instruction offers students who have completed or who are completing a Companion Dog title the opportunity to learn the exercises required in the Open level of obedience competition.

  • Off-lead heeling and Figure Eight
  • Drop on Recall
  • Retrieve on Flat
  • Retrieve over High Jump
  • Broad Jump
  • Out of sight Sit Stay
  • Out of sight Down Stay


Utility instruction offers students who have completed or who are completing a Companion Dog Excellent title the opportunity to learn the exercises required in the Utility level of obedience competition.

    • Off-lead Heeling
    • Hand signals for Heel, Stand, Stay, Sit, Down, Recall, and Finish
    • Directed Retrieve
    • Scent Discrimination
    • Moving Stand and Examination
    • Directed Jumping

Be sure to dress appropriately!

NO AGGRESSIVE DOGS are allowed in group classes.

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