Obedience training may just be the best gift you can give yourself, your family, and your pet. It teaches your dog appropriate social behavior with both people and animals; helps correct annoying behaviors like jumping, digging, barking, and chewing; and keeps your dog entertained and happy.

Basic Obedience training is a stepping stone to many AKC titles: Canine Good Citizen, Obedience, Rally, Trick Dog, and other competitions which require your dog to listen to your commands.

Taking a class at your local AKC club is the best way to train your dog in obedience but you can’t rely on classes alone: you have to practice at home as well, and your instructor will tell you how often and how long practices should be. While it’s important to practice regularly and frequently, sessions should be short and interspersed with playtime and rewards.

An obedience trial is an event at which dogs and handlers perform exercises as set forth in the American Kennel Club’s Obedience Regulations. Dogs are scored on the performance by AKC approved judges.

There are three levels of training. Through the Novice Class, dogs earn the Companion Dog (CD) title, through the Open Class, the Companion Dog Excellent (CDX) title; and through the Utility Class, the Utility Dog (UD) title. The team (handler and dog) compete against a top score of 200 to win A.K.C. Obedience titles. To earn a title, a team must qualify in three trials under three different judges by receiving at least 170 points out of a possible 200, and, in each exercise must receive more than half of the available points allotted. In order to qualify, a dog must, on one command or signal, perform the principal feature of each exercise in an acceptable manner. A table, available on the website linked below, includes the order of exercises in each class, and the principal feature of that exercise. Also, the available points for each exercise are given.

Obedience is a fun way to meet other students training their dogs and learn to be a team with your dog. Lhasas learn very quickly and if you keep it fun and positive, they love their training sessions. Always choose a Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT) Trainer to help you learn the rules and train your dog.

Get Started in AKC Obedience