Novice Obedience

There are three levels of competition in Standard Obedience: Novice is the first level of AKC competitive Obedience. Novice is the first time dogs work off lead and perform Sit and downs stays from great distance and for long duration. These are invaluable skills for everyday life with your dog.


At an AKC obedience trial (show) the dog and handler will perform predefined obedience exercises, which will be evaluated and scored by a judge. The dog must demonstrate basic proficiency in order to receive a passing score (170 points out of a possible 200, and more than 50 percent of the points allocated to each exercise)  All dogs that receive a passing, or “qualifying” score earn a “leg” towards an obedience title.  When a dog has accumulated three legs of an Novice title, the AKC will issue a certificate to the owner in recognition of achieving the Novice obedience title.


Exercises include:

  • Heel on Leash and Figure Eight – dog watches handler and adjusts pace to stay with handler
  • Heel Free – done off leash
  • Stand for Examination – dog remains still for hands-on care by a veterinarian.
  • Recall – dog responds immediately to handler at all times
  • Long Sit (1 minute) – dog sits on command (useful when visitors come to the home)
  • Long Down (3 minutes) – dog must remain in a down position
  • Long Down (5 minutes) – dog must remain in a down position


Novice Obedience Class

This class is for students who have mastered the 6 basic obedience exercises and are ready to build on those by learning how to work off-lead, and teach their dogs to perform sit and down stays from 30’ and for greater duration. This class will emphasize dogs reliably performing the exercises with increasing distractions and less input from the owner. This class is geared for people preparing to enter obedience trials.


Novice Run-throughs

This class is for students who have mastered all the Novice exercises and can perform them reliably. Run-throughs simulate the distractions found at a show site and allows you to practice working with a judge. Most students participating in run-throughs are currently entered in Novice trials. In a run-through each student will perform the Novice exercises, one at a time, with the Instructor acting as judge. Students will assist each other by acting as stewards: changing jump heights, acting as posts for the figure 8 exercise, etc… These run through take 10-15 minutes each, be prepared to be patient.