Competition obedience tests your training skills in many ways. You strive for precise performance, quick and correct responses to signals, and confident teamwork. In competition, merely sitting, lying down, or walking on a leash are insufficient. The dog and handler must ultimately perform the activities off leash and in a highly stylized and carefully defined manner. For example, on a recall, the dog must come directly to the handler, without sniffing or veering to one side, and must sit straight in front of the handler, not at an angle or off to one side or the other. Training for obedience competition builds on basic obedience training. Entry level for Competition Obedience is Elementary 1 and 2 at ribbon trials or Special Beginners at Championship shows.

The Elementary 1 & 2 tests comprise the following:

  • Heelwork on lead with right, left and about turns.
  • Recall from a sit or down position to the handler, dog sitting in  front (off the lead).
  • Stays on lead – sit (1 minute) and down (2 minutes) with handler facing the dog.

Handler may talk to and encourage the dog except in stays.

Special Beginners includes an off-lead heelwork component and dogs are off leash for stays.

For more information about competition obedience in New Zealand see: