Obedience Training & Trials

 Obedience training and Obedience trials.

Are you interested in getting more out of your Labrador and would  like to try obedience training but not sure where to start?

Puppy preschool:

This is a great way to socialise your puppy with others of similar age.  Puppy should not go out and about until they have had their final vaccination at around 12-14 weeks of age. However research has shown puppies introduced to other puppies and breeds before that time have greater social skills with other dogs in later life. For this reason many vet clinics now offer puppy pre-school classes especially for puppies as young as 8 weeks, in a controlled and 'clean' environment. 

Obedience Clubs:

After puppy preschool it is time to move on to a dog training club.
There are 23 affiliated dog obedience training clubs around South Australia that can be contacted through the yellow pages or Dogs SA  08 8349 4797. You need to become a member of that club for training your dog and when it is ready to participate in trials you have to become a member of Dogs SA otherwise your dogs titles will not be recognised. Take a visit to a club(s) for a look-see before joining and see which one appeals to you. Join in if offered. Remember these clubs train you to train your dogs. Clubs also offer other disiplines such as Agility, Flyball and dancing with dogs. For instance, The Southern Districts Kennel & Obedience Dog Club inc. Offers Obedience classes on Sunday morning and Wednesday nights, Agility, trail and show classes on a Tuesday evening. http://www.sdkodc.com/  phone (08) 8325 1119
Once you have joined a club you will be placed in a class relevant to you and your dog. Certain exercises will be given to you to teach your dog and a graduation takes place each month to six weeks. If you have trained your dog correctly and it is obeying your commands you will graduate; if not don’t get too disappointed and continue with your training. Clubs offer a Basic Obedience Certificate/ Trained Dog Certificates when you have graduated from Class 4/5 (depending on the club) and most councils give a registration discount upon presentation of a trained dog certificate when renewing your dog license.

Competing in Obedience Trials.

Once you have put in plenty of training and practice to reach Class 5 your Instructor will let you know if you are ready for competition. This is when you have to become a member of Dogs SA. Once you are a member you will receive a monthly journal which includes schedules for all upcoming shows and trials. To enter a trial you need to complete an entry form, which is available from the SA Dogs website (www.dogobediencesa.com). You can also print out a rule book. The form containing your dog’s details and ownership together with the fee is then forwarded to the secretary/convenor of the club holding the trial.

On the day arrive at the trial grounds early to give yourself plenty of time for vetting and for settling your dog to the unfamiliar surrounds. Vetting is for bitches, as they are not allowed in trials or on the grounds when in season. If you have proof that your bitch is desexed vetting isn’t required. You need to collect your catalogue and entry number before vetting is closed from the trial secretary and determine where your trial ring is situated. It is important to keep a close watch on your ring to make sure you don’t miss your call as if you fail to answer by the third call you will be eliminated from the competition.
When in the ring you must follow the orders given by the judge or steward at all times. You must not reprimand your dog in any way, as you will be penalised. Any misbehavior will also incur penalties. Between exercises you must not physically handle your dog, but praise is highly recommended.
After the heelwork part of the exercise is completed make sure to be available for the 'stay' exercises.

To gain titles you must have 3 qualification scores under at least 2 different judges.

To gain your Community Companion Dog title , CCD you need a passing score of 85 or more. For Companion Dog CD, Companion Dog Excellent CDX, Utility Dog UD, and Utility Dog Excellent UDX (which is a new title), you need a score of 170 or more points. Obedience Champion - 5 further qualifications in Utility of 185 points or more.
You must achieve your CD title before commencing your CDX and so on.

Remember to have fun with your dog and enjoy yourself. Achieving a Title is a great achievement for both you and your Labrador.

Page last updatec January 2012