Obedience is originally from Great Britain. It was created there around 1951 as an independent sport and essentially corresponds in its requirements to a thinking sport. In dog training, obedience is known as the “high school of subordination”. The dog learns from various tasks to cooperate with the handler, to follow his instructions and to act in a controlled manner.
The basic principle of obedience is based on playful learning without compulsion, whereby the dog has to be motivated again and again depending on its nature. An essential aspect of this sport is the teamwork between dog and owner. Obedience has been popular in Germany for around 20 years.
Training goals and requirements
As a sport, obedience mainly trains teamwork and the harmonious cooperation between dog and owner. The dog also learns to work in a coordinated and disciplined manner. The dog’s obedience is practiced in a playful manner. In addition, the owner learns to keep motivating his dog, as well as himself, again and again.
In addition to treats or toys as a reward, simple aids are required for the individual exercises in obedience. These include the leash, a clicker for acoustic signals and a target stick. Advanced teams also use a picking stick, pylons and a hurdle for more demanding exercises.
Performance classes in obedience
Obedience competitions are held in four classes (a beginner class and performance classes 1-3). These classes have to perform differently difficult tasks, but the basic structure contains the same elements. While in the beginner class, in addition to general social compatibility, only simple tasks are required, in the performance classes you have to work with greater precision and less time.
The deposit is a group exercise in which all dogs lie down at the same time on the command of their respective dog handler. They have to keep their position for a set time and depending on the performance class they are not always within sight of their guide.
Retrieving refers to calling the dog after the handler has moved away. In the beginner class, it is sufficient if the dog follows directly, in the performance classes the exercise is made more difficult by inserted intermediate commands.
When sending ahead, the dog is sent to a specified position. In the beginner class, the leash is used as an orientation point, in the performance levels this is distracted or replaced by a set square. In performance level 3, the dog must also pass a corner.
Leashes and free movement
The leash on the dog handler’s side is checked in the beginner class and in performance class 1. In performance class 1, a running step is required in addition to the normal step. The free sequence task corresponds to the line structure in the basic structure, but is checked without a line.
In the distance control, the dog receives changing commands from a specified distance. Depending on the performance class, he must make up to six position changes without leaving his starting position. The task of distance control is required from level 1.
When distinguishing smells, the dog must choose from a set number of sticks that bears the smell of its handler. He only has a limited time available for this. Odor differentiation is only carried out in performance classes 2 and 3.
Which dogs are suitable for obedience?
Every dog should try some basic requirements to try obedience together with its owner. It is crucial for every training success that the dog works willingly, happily and motivated. Since every dog can be motivated by different means and has a different understanding, it is up to the owner to find the best possible means to motivate his dog for this sport. In contrast to other dog sports, physical performance also plays a subordinate role in obedience.