In the Obedience dog sports, Competitive Obedience and Rally-Obedience, the goals include showing a level of dog-handler team work while the dog ‘obeys’ the commands that the handler gives to the dog.
Competitive Obedience is about team work, precision and focus. There are heeling exercises, recalls, sits/stands for exam, retrieves, drops, jumps, scent discrimination, seek backs, signal exercises and Group Exercises. The judge calls the heeling pattern and the exercises. The handler may talk to the dog between exercises. The handler may give signal and/or verbal commands.
In Rally-Obedience there is a pre-set course with a sign at each station. The dog team starts the course on the judges command and follows the course to complete the exercises required at each sign. The handler may talk to the dog throughout the Rally-O exercises, giving positive verbal motivation and guidance. Rally-O exercises include heeling, turns, pivots, serpentines, pace changes, jumps, stays, recalls, sideways and backwards heeling and heeling around distractions. Rally-O is timed to determine the high-in-class team, in the case of a tie in the score. The objective of Rally-O is to provide a motivational activity that demonstrates the competency of the team, in the performance of foundation exercises.
In both Competitive Obedience and Rally-Obedience the exercises increase in difficulty as the levels increase. Training in Obedience Dog Sports provides benefits that cross over into other performance dog sports.
On Vancouver Island as well as through the rest of Canada, there are wonderful Obedience Clubs that support the Obedience Dog Sports. These clubs providevarious levels of training from pet manners to competitive sports. Please see the link below for the Forbidden Plateau Obedience and Tracking Club located in the Comox Valley.