In March each year, The Dog Owners’ Training Club of Maryland holds a Dog Obedience Trial under American Kennel Club (AKC) rules and regulations. When AKC Obedience competition began in 1933, the concept behind obedience training was to develop a close working relationship with dogs, demonstrate dogs’ willingness, capabilities, and enjoyment of working, and especially, working in partnership with humans. This concept remains as important today as it was when the program was developed. Our annual trial is a testament to how we still value that concept today, while having fun and enhancing our relationship with our dogs.
There are several levels of obedience, such as the long-standing titling classes of Novice, Open, and Utility. A higher level of competition was added in recent years, which includes Utility Excellent and Obedience Trial Champion. The newest title is to be awarded to the winning dog at the AKC National Obedience Invitational. The dog that wins this National Obedience Invitational becomes the National Obedience Champion for the year. This is the only dog that can carry that distinction. In 2005, a whole new set of introductory and fun obedience titling classes called “Rally Obedience” was developed by AKC. DOTC offered the new Rally titling classes that year and each year thereafter.
Our Obedience Trial offers the A and B classes of Novice, Open, and Utility, as well as some of the Preferred and/or Optional classes, as time and space allow. Our Rally Trial offers the A and B classes of Novice, Advanced, and Excellent, as well as the Intermediate and Master levels. Again, if time and space allow, some optional classes may be included. Team and Pairs Rally are great fun, if there is time and space!
It is largely through the efforts of its members’ volunteering their services that DOTC’s annual trials are always such a huge success. Our Trial Chair, is grateful for the dedication, commitment and hard work of the committees and the volunteers who work throughout the year preparing for the trials. Thanks also go to our seasoned, as well as our new, trial ring stewards and all others who graciously pitch in to help with the many activities. Plan to bring the family to our trials in March and join the many spectators enjoying the sport of dog obedience competition and see where training could lead you and your dog. Space is limited, but admission is free.
(Please note that the only dogs allowed on the trial grounds are those pre-entered in the trial. So leave the family pet home, sign up for training with DOTC, and enter your dog next year.)