Australian Shepherds in Competitive Obedience:

Competitive Obedience is all about working as a team. Dogs and handlers must perform various exercises including Heelwork, Recall, Retrieve, Send Away, Distance Control, Scent, Positions on the Move and 2 stay exercises, one in a sit and one in a down. Different exercises are performed in the lower classes to the higher ones.

Classes and eligibility according to KC Rules are:

  1. Introductory - This class is to introduce newcomers into the sport. In this class incentives in the form of a toy or reward are permitted to be carried by the handler in the competition ring and may be given to the dog at the end of an exercise or between exercises. Handler and dog must not have won three Introductory Classes and be eligible to compete in Pre-Beginners.

  2. Pre-Beginner - Handler or dog must not have won a first place in either Pre-Beginners or Beginners nor gained a third place or above in any other Obedience Class (introductory Class excepted).

  3. Beginners - Handler or dog must not have won a total of two or more First places in Beginners or one First place in any other Obedience class (Introductory Class and Pre-Beginners excepted).

  4. Novice - The dog must not have won two First places in Obedience classes (Introductory Class, Pre-Beginners and Beginners excepted).

  5. Class A - For dogs which have not won three First places in Classes A,B and Open C in total.

  6. Class B - For dogs which have not won three First places in Class B and Open C in total.

  7. Class C -

  • Class C at Open shows and Open C Classes held at Championship shows- Open to all dogs.

  • Championship Class C at Championship Shows - dogs must have won out of Novice, Class A, Class B and have won Open C on one occasion and have been placed no lower than third on three further occasions; all Open C places and wins must have been won under different Judges at KC licensed shows

  • Limited Shows - Open to all dogs except Obedience Certificate winners and dogs which have obtained any award that counts towards the title of Obedience champion or the equivalent thereof under the rules of any governing body recognised by the KC.

The dog must always be entered into the lowest class it is eligible for and then can enter any other higher class.

If you would like to know more about Competitive Obedience visit the links below:

Photo Credit: Brian McGovern

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