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Old 02-21-2013, 09:47 AM
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Obedience Rule Questions

Hi!

Full Disclaimer: Hi, My name is Emily and I'm a total newbie regarding anything related to showing/competing dogs.

There, I feel better now that that's out in the open

I've been researching Obedience rules & I have a couple questions.

  1. Are the Novice, Open, & Utility levels based on the dog's level solely? Are there levels for novice handlers?
  2. How are Obedience classes scored? Is it a point system? Do you get scored compared against other competitors or are you scored individually based on a standard?
  3. I don't understand the AKC rules for titles. For example, it says you can qualify for XXX title "after receiving three qualifying scores under two different judges." What is a 'qualifying score'?
Thanks in advance!
Emily
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:06 AM
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Emily
1) Novice , Open and Utility levels have two sets of classes . The "A" classes are considered Novice handler classes. "B" classes are considered the pro's..lol.
2) Every exercise is scored against the set of rules for that exercise. I would go to AKC and download the rules and then read the judges section. Gives you a better idea of what they are looking for.
3) You are required to have three qualifying scores under two different judges for a title. You need three novice "legs-scores" to obtain the CD title.
I would suggest if you are really interested to attend a show locally and be prepared to sit for awhile. You will want to watch the Novice A and Novice B classes so you can see the differences. You could ask for some help and explain that you are new to the sport and it seems someone is always happy to explain.. Just don't ask a team right before they are going in the ring.. some of us like to get mentally prepared and get our dogs warmed up and watching us....
Have fun .. it is very addicting..
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:15 AM
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By the time I finish typing this out someone will probably beat me to a reply but oh well LOL

1. All dogs must start at the novice level. Novice is divided into A and B classes. Novice A is only for first time handlers. So with a very few rare exceptions, everyone only has one Novice A dog. For handlers that have titled dogs before, they must show in Novice B. Once a dog earns a title from novice A, they may stay in that class up to 30 days, then if the handler still wants to show in novice they must show in Novice B.
Open is the next level. Dogs that have not already earned an Open title (CDX) may show in Open A. Again dogs may stay in Open A 60 days after earning the title, and then they must show in Open B. The exception is if a handler has ever put an OTCH on a dog (OTCH is the top level title), then they MUST show any future dogs in the B classes.
Utility comes next (UD). The same rules apply for the A and B classes - dogs start in the A class unless the handler has previously put an OTCH on a dog.
A handler may always choose to show in the B classes even if they qualify to show in the A classes.
After the dog has earned the UD, there are additional titles that can be earned from Open B and Utility B - UDX, OM, and OTCH

2. A perfect score is 200. Points are deducted from there. Placements are based on score, 1st through 4th place in each class. A and B classes have separate placements.

3. A qualifying score means you earn at least 170 of the possible 200 points, and more than half of the available points for each exercise. If you do not pass an exercise it is called an NQ (non qualifying).
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:21 AM
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http://images.akc.org/pdf/rulebooks/RO2999.pdf

here's a link to the rules and regulations, most things are pretty clearly explained in there.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:24 AM
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Hi Emily! Don't worry about being a newbie. We were all there at one point or another.

Let me see if i can answer some of your questions.

1. There are different divisions of Novice, Open, and Utility. Each major class is divided into A and B sections. The A sections are for "beginner" handlers who have not titled a dog in that class. For example, Novice A is for handlers who have never titled a dog in obedience before, basically complete beginners.

2. Mostly, you are competing for a "perfect"score, against a standard. The rule book lists major and minor point deductions. You start with 200 points and then lose points as you go along. There are placements, so you are competing against other dogs, but only because the scores are ranked. I hope that makes sense.

3. To get a qualifying score, you have to get at least 170 points, scoring at least 50% of possible points in each exercise. For example, if you have a perfect score going, but you completely fail one exercise, you can't qualify, even if you would still have over 170 points.

I highly recommend you read the rule book thoroughly. Also, when I started, I read "Successful Obedience Handling" by Barbara Handler (yes, her real name). You can find it on amazon.com. The book breaks down the rules and each exercise.

Good luck. Don't be afraid to ask questions! We love to help new people get into our wonderful sport of obedience.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:32 AM
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I have learned some rules the hard way- by being a blockhead. For example, I once forgot bc running late, and did a CD leg with Tally wearing his Orvis collar with his name and number stitched on it. Usually, I change it to a plain flat leather one. We Q'd, but then the elderly ring steward caught the collar on the way out and we lost our leg bc the judge had not written in his book yet.

Another time, I was running late and wore my flipflips in the rally ring. Tally came front, and just caught the tips, so when I stepped back to do the 1,2,3steps, I left my shoes!
The judge was like, hey Cinderalla, get your shoes. I was flustered and excused myself.

Finally for our last CD leg at in outdoor show, it was downpouring rain like I cannot explain in words- torrential. I had a rain coat on that had a small loge reading "Yale University Crew". Since this is not dog related, I did not think twice about it.

Lol, the judge made me take it off and I ended up in my t shirt out there soaked to the skin( poor Tally did his downstay in an ever-deepening puddle) but he got a great score and finsihed his title bc he is such a good boy.

Most people are not as dumb as me, but I learn some things the hard way!
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:33 AM
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[QUOTE=Loisiana;2213618]By the time I finish typing this out someone will probably beat me to a reply but oh well LOL

The exception is if a handler has ever put an OTCH on a dog (OTCH is the top level title), then they MUST show any future dogs in the B classes.
Utility comes next (UD). The same rules apply for the A and B classes - dogs start in the A class unless the handler has previously put an OTCH on a dog.

Poor Mighty.. He is gonna have to be in the "B" classes.. UGH!
OKay so he really will be 5 before he goes into the ring..
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:48 AM
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Thank you so much everyone. This makes MUCH more sense!

And I'm super glad to hear about the A/B classes. I was scared to death of having to compete against a seasoned handler
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:50 AM
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BTW, Ljilly, the second photo in your sig file cracks me up. What a perfectly timed capture!
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ljilly28 View Post
I have learned some rules the hard way- by being a blockhead. For example, I once forgot bc running late, and did a CD leg with Tally wearing his Orvis collar with his name and number stitched on it. Usually, I change it to a plain flat leather one. We Q'd, but then the elderly ring steward caught the collar on the way out and we lost our leg bc the judge had not written in his book yet.

. . . I had a rain coat on that had a small loge reading "Yale University Crew". Since this is not dog related, I did not think twice about it.

Lol, the judge made me take it off and I ended up in my t shirt out there soaked to the skin( poor Tally did his downstay in an ever-deepening puddle) but he got a great score and finsihed his title bc he is such a good boy.
Hard to believe these stories but they underscore the importance of reading the rules completely.

Another question . . . even though Zoe has her BN (I haven't titled any other dog) . . . we're still Novice A when we enter a trial??
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