Obedience and rally trials are sports in which a dog and handler team execute a defined set of tasks. The basic premise of obedience trials is to recognize dogs that have been trained to behave in the home, in public places and in the presence of other dogs, in a manner that is acceptable to the general public.
Training a dog to participate in AKC obedience trials increases a dog’s understanding and reliability in responding to a variety of commands. At a trial, the dog and handler perform various predefined obedience exercises, which are evaluated and scored by a judge. The dog must demonstrate basic proficiency in order to receive a passing score.
All dogs that receive a passing, or “qualifying” score earn a “leg” towards an obedience title. When a dog has accumulated the requisite number of legs for a given title, the AKC will issue a certificate to the dog’s owner recognizing that accomplishment.
Obedience competition provides an opportunity for an owner and dog to work as a highly tuned team. Training for obedience trials can provide much needed mental stimulation and physical activity for dogs, and provide a fun and challenging hobby for the dog’s owner.