Obedience and Obedience Trials - By Chris & Michelle Coulson -
Owners of Ch Greydove Lord Oth Rings CDX featured in this article.
“The idea of obedience trails is to demonstrate the usefulness of the dog as the companion and guardian of man and not the ability of the dog to acquire facility in the performance of mere tricks. The classification which has been adopted is progressive with the thought in mind that a dog which has been granted the title of OBEDIENCE CHAMPION has demonstrated its fitness for a place in our modern scheme of living.” – ANKC Introduction – Obedience Trials. Obedience training also aims to train people to be responsible dog owners.
Obedience training is conducted by over forty clubs in NSW. These clubs accept members from beginners to experienced handlers with their dogs, and offer them obedience or backyard training.
These clubs also run obedience trials under the ANKC rules and this committee's supervision.
Trialling with your Weimaraner can be fun, frustrating, funny, fruitful, frustrating, fuming, frustrating and very very rewarding. The emphasis on frustrating is because the Weimaraner is very, very intelligent, and very, very alert – very aware of what is happening around them – and can be easily distracted from their work in the obedience ring.
All obedience handlers have read the book “100 ways to pass a trial” – Weimaraner’s have all read the book “101 and more ways to bomb a trial”. My personal favourite Weimaraner bombing a trial is number 72 – “Jump over the solid jump to retrieve the dumbbell and smell a BBQ in the middle of the jump, hold your head and nose in the air, confirm the smell, confirm the origin and location of the BBQ, and perform a great recall to the chief cooking the BBQ, sit and wait for a sausage!” – beautiful.
Seriously, Weimaraner’s are very hard working dogs and are very capable of working in the field, or working in an obedience ring and pleasing their owners. It is great to watch a Wei doing a seek back – smelling his way back to the retrieve article – his eyes just light up and the expression on his face (I’ve found it) is just great!
Competition obedience involves five levels of attainment, each marked by a title that your dog can earn. These levels are:
C.C.D – “Community Companion Dog”
Obedience trialling at the Community Companion Dog level consists of the performance of a number of exercises in a formal ring situation.
These exercises are:
. Heel on lead
. Stand for examination on Lead
. 1 minute Sit Stay
. 2 minute Down Stay
Your Wei is eligible to use the title CCD after it’s name after gaining 3 qualifying scores of 75 or more out of 100 in the CCD class under at least two different judges.
C.D – “Companion Dog” (Novice)
Obedience trialling at the Novice level consists of the performance of a number of exercises in a formal ring situation.
These exercises are :
· Heel Free
· Stand free for Examination
· Retrieve on the flat
· Change of Position
· 1 minute Sit Stay
· 3 minute Down Stay
Your Wei is eligible to use the title C.D after it’s name after gaining three passes of a minimum of 170 points out of a possible 200 under at least two different judges.
C.D.X. – “Companion Dog Excellent” (Open)
Obedience trialling at the Open level is of a higher standard than Novice, and introduces jumping and stays in which the handler is out of sight.
The formal exercises are:
· Heel Free
· Stand Free for Examination
· Drop on Recall
· Retrieve Dumbbell on Flat
· Retrieve Dumbbell over Solid Jump
· Broad Jump
. Distance Control (Without Heel Work)
· 3 minute Sit Stay - Handler Out of Sight
· 5 minute Down Stay - Handler Out of Sight
Your Wei is eligible to use the title C.D.X. after it’s name after gaining three passes of a minimum of 170 points out of a possible 200 under at least two different judges.
U.D - “Utility Dog”
Obedience trialling at the Utility level is of a higher standard than Open. It introduces scent work, and demands a high level of training and understanding between dog and handler.
The formal exercises are:
. Seek Back
. Directed Jumping
. Scent Discrimination
. Signal Exercise
. Choice of one of
1. . Speak on Command
2. . Food Refusal
3. . Directed Retrieve
. Group Examination
. 7 minute Down Stay - Handler out of Sight
Your Wei is eligible to use the title U.D. after it’s name after gaining three passes of a minimum of 170 points out of a possible 200 under at least two different judges.
U.D.X. – “Utility Dog Excellent”
Obedience trialling at the Utility Dog Excellent level is of the highest standard in Obedience Trialling.
The formal exercises are:
. Seek Back with Decoy Article
. Positions in Motion
. Scent Discrimination - Judges scent.
. Directed Send Away and Recall.
. Distance Control.
. Multiple Retrieve
. Temperament Test.
Your Wei is eligible to use the title U.D.X after it’s name after gaining three passes of a minimum of 170 points out of a possible 200 under at least two different judges.
Note only the highest Obedience Title awarded to the dog will be used after the name of the dog.
To gain the title O CH “Obedience Champion” to appear before the name of the dog, the dog must have gained the U.D. title – once having achieved that must gain a further five scores of 185 or more under at least three different judges in the U.D. ring for the title.
The aim of each trial is to qualify whilst keeping as many points as possible. Losing points is very easy one crooked sit; missed commands can all loose points. All trials above C.C.D are off lead. U.D and U.D.X. you are sending the dog away from you – this is when all those training hours come into play!
Wei’s can be a challenge to train as they are very intelligent – don’t be too hard on them as they break very easily. Positive reinforcement seems to get the best out of Wei’s rather than the heavy handed approach. Food is a fantastic motivator and used correctly as a lure can really help in the training.
Its very important to start with the basics in obedience work – work up slowly and consistently. When you hit a wall – step back to the basics and start again. You need persistence and patience. Joining a training club is a great way to train – plus it’s great with group exercises to have your dog in close proximity to other dogs.
Train every day – if only for 5-10 minutes. Wei’s learn very fast – but you need to be consistent.
There are a number of Wei club members who have trained Wei’s and passed in the obedience rings – if you are interested just ask. Why not join a training club? Or get some one on one training with a training expert – the choice is yours!
We need to see our breed out at Obedience Trials – showing others what a Weimaraner can do – how intelligent they are, how hard working they are, and what a great companion they can be – come on – give Obedience a go!