Service Dogs of America
Ultimate Dog Sport

SDA

Working Dog Registry

Titling program for protection, obedience, tracking & search dogs

 

OBEDIENCE LEVEL 1 (OB1)

  

Obedience Exercises

Points

Reporting to the judge

5

Long Down

10

Heeling on Leash

Heeling off leash

25

25

Sit out of Motion

15

Down with Recall

20

Agility Recall

25

TOTAL POINTS

100

General Rules for OB1

A.  Eligibility: To perform the OB1 routine a dog must have earned an FO title.  Must be at least 12 month of age.

B.  Collar: Only one collar is allowed on the dog. Single collars include the following: flat, choke chain, fur savor, or similar types of retracting collars all used on a dead ring.

C.  Leash and leash option: The OB1 allows handlers the option of performing any exercise in the class off leash except where a leash is required. However, exercising this option does not earn any additional points. Sit out of Motion, Down Out of Motion and Recall, exercises must be performed off leash. The leash is to be held in the left hand when heeling. Whenever the leash is removed, the handler must put it away, or hang it around their shoulder or waist with the clasp positioned on the right side of the handler’s body.

     A dog must be leashed when:

1.   First reporting to the judge or steward.

2.   When doing the long down honoring exercise.

3.   End of class as soon as all the exercises have been completed.

4.   Whenever a judge is critiquing the score.

5.   Whenever the judge instructs the handler to place a leash on the dog.

D.  Praise: When reporting to all assigned areas, teams are required to maintain formal heeling with mild praise permissible once arriving at the start position for the next exercise.

E.  Call name: A handler may use the dog’s name prior to any command.

F.   When heeling is required: For the Obedience Routine, dog/handler teams are required to perform formal heeling when reporting to all designated areas.

G.  Heeling & hands: The dog should always heel close to the left knee of the handler and the shoulder blade of the dog should be aligned next to the handler’s knee. The dog must not forge ahead, move to the side or lag to the rear. A dog that demonstrates positive, energetic, attentive behavior toward the handler is very desirable. The handler should walk freely with both arms moving freely as if the dog wasn’t there.  All exercises begin and end in the basic position.

H.  Left about turns: Are to be performed as either the (German turn) where the dog circles around the handler or back up in place (FCI International/military) where the dog stays in heel position as the handler turns left. The handler and dog must execute the same turn throughout the obedience phase.

I.     Neutrality test: During its entire performance, a dog is under the neutrality test. A dog that shows extreme aggression, fear, shyness or whose demeanor gives the Judge reason to believe that the dog may not safely be judged may be given a non-qualifying score and excused from the ring and further participation in that trial.

J.   Judge’s instructions: Any place these rules state “Judge’s Instruction”, the Judge or Steward can give the instruction.

K.  Qualifying score OB1 title: Requires passing with a score of 70 points or more.

L.   Scoring note: The score sheet for each exercise has multiple listed features that the Judge is required to assess to determine point deductions. However, the Judge must also assess major or minor imperfection deductions that are not listed on the score sheet for any other deviations from the ideal performance.

M. Acknowledging the Judge and critique: For the OB1 exercises all handlers are responsible for acknowledging the Judge for instructions on when to report and when concluding the routine. The Judge shall instruct all dog/handler teams where and when to report to receive a critique of the performance and the announcement of the score.

N.  Judge’s note for all evaluations: The Judge will be evaluating the handler and dog on the basis of an ideal performance. All of the listed reasons for imperfection deductions are given as a guide for handlers to have some idea of what is expected. The Judge must assess deductions for other behavior that is not covered or that takes away from the ideal performance. In addition, the Judge will be assessing the dog’s behavior concerning attitude, attention to the handler, and the willingness to perform the required exercises. Dogs that display energetic attitude and are attentive and responsive toward their handler will receive the most points.

O.  Knowledge of the routine is scored: The Judge/Steward will announce the exercise to be performed and will then indicate to the handler to start the exercise. Handlers are required to know all exercises and will lose points if performed incorrectly. The point loss will be proportionate to the error and circumstance. This loss can be .5 to 1.5 for minor to as much as 2 to 4 points for major. Because improper use of equipment can be a safety issue or even an advantage, 1/2 of that exercises points will be deducted for reporting with the wrong equipment. The equipment will be corrected prior to continuing. Point deduction will be taken at finish of hand shake in reporting to judge and after the handler acknowledges the Judge for all other exercises.

 Note: All other general rules on our “general rule page” also apply.  See that page here. General Rules

Obedience Routine (OB1)

1.   Reporting to the Judge Exercise. The primary purpose of this exercise is to show that the dog/handler team can demonstrate proper heeling and control of a dog while reporting to the Judge. In addition, this exercise is used as a starting point for evaluating temperament and for determining whether the team is suitable for performing the evaluation. Dogs that display extreme shyness or extreme aggression will be excused from further participation.

a)   Judge’s Instructions. The Judge’s instructions for this exercise include the following: indicates to the handlers when and where to report, when to begin the exercise, where to report for the heeling exercise and where to report for conducting the long down.

b)  Exercise Instructions. The Obedience phase starts with two dog/handler teams reporting to the Judge. The handlers report with their dogs on leash, demonstrating proper heeling. Once reaching the Judge, each handler halts with the dog automatically sitting and maintaining a sit throughout the introduction. Handlers are responsible for a formal introduction that includes introducing themselves, giving the dog’s name, and stating the type of class for which they are reporting and whether the dog’s heeling exercises will be performed on or off leash and what type of finish the dog performs. On the dog’s score sheet, the Judge notes the handler’s heeling choice and type of finish, after which time the handler shall be committed to the heeling choice as accepted by the Judge. After the introductions, the Judge indicates which team reports for the heeling exercise and which team reports for the long down or honoring exercise.

c)   Scoring the Reporting to the Judge Exercise. This exercise is evaluated primarily on the ability of the dog/handler team to perform a formal introduction to start the routine. The Judge evaluates heeling, introduction procedure and the dog’s behavior during introductions. The dog should display neutral, well-mannered behavior toward the Judge and the other dog/handler team.

Note: If a dog is ruled extremely shy or aggressive, unruly or out of control, the Judge may excuse the dog and handler from performing any additional exercises.

1)   Non-qualifying (Zero) Score. The following must be given a zero on this exercise.

a.   Dog is ruled out of control;

b.   Dog receives more than three commands to sit during the introductions and instructions;

c.   Handler forcing the dog to sit; or

d.   Rough treatment of a dog by a handler.

2)   Major and Minor Imperfections. Imperfections may be major of minor depending on the extent of the following:

a.   Dog is very slow to sit;

b.   Incomplete sit (hovering/space between butt and ground);

c.   Handler gives an extra command;

d.   Improper heeling approaching or leaving the Judge;

e.   Dog’s heeling could be better;

f.     Dog is dull and needs more enthusiasm;

g.   Dog moves slightly during the sit; or

h.   Dog sits crooked.

 

2.   Long Down or Honoring Exercise. The primary element of this exercise is to demonstrate the honoring dog’s ability to remain in the down position while distracted by the presence of the other dog/handler team.

a)   Judge’s Instruction. The Judge indicates where to perform the long down, when the exercise begins, when to re-sit the dog from the down, when the exercise is finished and where to report.     

b)  Exercise Instructions. The long down or honoring exercise starts after the handler reaches the designated area. After acknowledging the Judge, the handler with a single voice or signal command (not both) commands the dog to down. The handler remains beside the dog holding the leash or may drop the leash by the dog and stand on the end; the leash must remain loose and not restrain the dog. The dog must remain in its assigned position while the other dog handler/team performs their routines. After the other dog/handler team completes the agility recall, the handler acknowledges the Judge and on the Judge’s order, the handler verbally commands the dog to sit. Once again, the handler acknowledges the Judge and waits for Judge’s order to report.

c)   Scoring the Long Down or Honoring Exercise. The honoring exercise is primarily evaluated on the ability of the dog to demonstrate a long down while the other dog/handler team performs their required exercises. The exercise evaluation begins when the handler acknowledges the Judge to start the exercise. The dog should down quickly and remain calm and stationary.

1)   Non-Qualifying (Zero) score. The following must be given a zero on this exercise.

a.   Dog refuses to down after three commands;

b.   Handler pushes or touches the dog to make it down; or

c.   Dog moves substantially or stands up before the other dog/handler team has completed half of their routine.

2)   Major and Minor Imperfections. Imperfections may be major or minor depending on the extent of the following:

a.   Dog needs a double command to down;

b.   Handler uses too much body language when giving the down command;

c.   Dog is very slow to down;

d.   Dog moves a substantial distance by creeping or crawling;

e.   Dog refuses to re-sit;

f.     Dog is slow to down;

g.   Dog moves slightly;

h.   Dog whines or barks excessively;

i.     Dog’s re-sit is slow;

j.     Incomplete sit (hovering/space between butt and ground); or

k.   Dog’s performance is dull or sluggish.

 

3.   Heeling on or off Leash Exercise. The primary purposes of these exercises are to demonstrate the ability of the dog and handler to work smoothly as a team and the ability of the dog to stay in the heel position.

a)   Judge’s Instructions. The Judge indicates where to start, when the handler is to remove the leash (if the handler is exercising this option) when to start, when to restart after each halt, when to leave the markers and when the exercise is complete.

 

b)  Exercise Instructions. The handler and dog (on leash) report to the correct area as specified by the Judge. Handler removes the leash and puts it away if the exercise is going to be performed off leash. The heeling exercise starts with the handler acknowledging the Judge and the dog in the basic position. The dog should willingly and freely follow the handler upon the voice command to heel. At the beginning of the exercise, the handler must proceed in a straight line 40 to 50 normal paces without stopping. A left turn about is performed and after 10 to 15 paces of normal heeling, a running exercise and a slow exercise, each of at least 10 to 15 paces are to be demonstrated. The handler must go directly from the fast pace to the slow pace and then back to normal pace. Each change of pace allows the handler to give a single heel command. After the slow pace, the handler resumes normal pace and continues another 10 to 15 paces and then performs a right turn for 10 to 15 paces and then another right turn and continues forward for another 20 paces and then performs a left turn about and continues another 10 to 15 paces and halt. At this time, the handler acknowledges the Judge and continues another 10 to 15 paces and performs a left turn and then continues heeling toward a set of markers (obstacles) where the handler must perform a heeling pattern around the markers. The markers shall be rubber cones or similar objects placed on the corners of a rectangle approximately eight to ten square feet. When entering the markers, a right and left turn must be demonstrated, after the turns, the handler halts and the dog sits (in the basic position) within the group of markers. The handler acknowledges the Judge, continues heeling back to the original starting position, and performs a halt. The handler then acknowledges the Judge for concluding the exercise.

Additional instructions for this exercise concern the actions of the handler. The handler is only permitted to use voice commands when starting the exercise and when changing pace. When the handler comes to a stop, the dog should sit in the basic position without being influenced by the handler. During the halt, the handler is not permitted to change the basic position and must not step sideways toward the dog.

c)   Scoring the Heeling on or off Leash Exercise: The Judge is evaluating the correctness of the heeling position and the behavior of the dog. Dogs that display positive, energetic attitudes and attentiveness to the handler are most desirable.

     Note:  Points earned are the same for performing the heeling routine on or off leash!

1)   Non-qualifying (Zero) scores. The following must be given a zero score on this exercise:

a.   Handler giving the dog constant or repeated extra commands or signals;

b.   Handler slapping the leg or snapping fingers repeatedly;

c.   Handler continually adapting pace to dog;

d.   Unqualified heeling; or

e.   Dog breaks or leaves the handler’s side and cannot regain its composure and resume heeling;

2)   Major and Minor Imperfections. Imperfections may be major or minor depending on the extent of the following:

a.   Handler moving forward and then giving a “heel” command shall be penalized a major imperfection;

b.   Handler gives a signal command to heel;

c.   Handler giving extra commands or signals;

d.   Dog moves out of the basic heel position before a command from the handler;

e.   Dog anticipating command;

f.     Dog crowding the handler, forging, heeling wide, heeling in an improper position, lagging, poor sitting on the halts, sniffing and any other additional heeling imperfections;

g.   Dog fails to stop and sit automatically in the proper basic position each time the handler is required to “Halt”;

h.   Incomplete sit (hovering/space between butt and ground);

i.     Failure to change pace by the dog or handler during the fast or slow portion of the heeling exercise;

j.     Dog sniffs a steward or marker; or

k.   Lacks natural smoothness.

 

4.   Sit Out of Motion Exercise. The principal purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate the dog’s ability to perform heeling and upon a verbal command from the handler, perform a stationary sit while the handler proceeds in straight line without stopping, turns to face the dog and returns to the dog at the end of the exercise.

 

a)   Judge’s Instruction. The Judge indicates where and when to start, when to return to the dog after the sit, and when the exercise is complete.

b)  Exercise Instructions. The dog/handler team reports to the designated area as indicated by the Judge. The handler will acknowledge the Judge, remove the leash (if attached) and, from the basic position, the handler and a free heeling dog will proceed in a straight line for a minimum of 10 or maximum of 15 paces, and upon voice command by the handler, the dog should move quickly into the sit position while the handler does not interrupt their pace nor turn about. After another minimum of 10 or maximum of 15 paces, the handler stops and turns around to face the dog. When instructed by the Judge, the handler will return to the dog and assume the basic position on the right side of the dog. The handler will then acknowledge the Judge for concluding the exercise. A period of approximately 3 seconds is observed prior to the Judge’s orders for returning to the dog and another approximate 3 seconds is observed when the handler returns to the dog’s side before acknowledging the Judge for concluding the exercise.

c)   Scoring the Sit Out of Motion Exercise. Scoring of this exercise starts after the Judge acknowledges the handler to start. The Judge is evaluating proper heeling, response to the sit command, handler’s actions and the behavior and performance of the dog. Dogs that demonstrate positive, energetic, attentive behavior toward the handler and perform with quick responses will receive the most points.

1)   Non-qualifying (Zero) score. The following must be given a zero score on this exercise:

a.   Handler gives more than two extra commands to sit;

b.   Dog moves a substantial distance away from the place where it was sitting;

c.   Dog does not sit but continues with the handler; or

d.   The handler totally interrupts their pace or comes back to sit the dog directly after giving the command to sit.

2)   Major or Minor Imperfections. Imperfections may be major or minor depending on the extent of the following:

a.   Dog doesn’t sit but stands or lies down;

b.   Dog doesn’t maintain proper heeling position;

c.   Dog sits extremely slowly;

d.   Dog lies down before the exercise is complete;

e.   Handler gives any kind of body language when giving the sit command;

f.     Handler turns and looks back at the dog when the sit command is given or while leaving the dog;

g.   Dog moves prior to the heel command;

h.   Dog sits slowly or moves slightly;

i.     Incomplete sit (hovering/space between butt and ground);

j.     Dog whines or barks;

k.   Handler doesn’t acknowledge the Judge when starting and finishing the exercise;

l.     Dog shows pressure when the handler returns; or

m. The overall performance is not well executed.

 

5.   Down with Recall Exercise. The primary purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate that a dog/handler team can perform formal heeling, a down out of motion, a recall, front and finish or a straight to finish exercise.

a)   Judge’s Instructions. The Judge indicates to the handler where to start, when to start, when to recall the dog and when the exercise is finished.

b)  Exercise Instructions. The Down with Recall exercise starts with the dog/handler team reporting to the original starting position assigned by the Judge. The handler reports with their dog in the basic position and acknowledges the Judge. The dog/handler team then demonstrates normal pace off leash heeling in a straight line for minimum of 10 or maximum of 15 paces without stopping, and upon voice command, the dog is commanded to down. The handler proceeds walking in a straight line a minimum of 40 paces turns and faces the dog. Upon the judge’s instructions, the handler will recall the dog. The dog should come to the handler and perform a front and finish or a straight to side finish; the type of finish must be the same as indicated to the Judge when the team reported. When the dog performs a front, the handler should wait approximately three seconds and then command the dog back into the basic position. The handler then acknowledges the Judge. The Judge’s evaluation of the down and recall exercise ends once the handler acknowledges the Judge.

c)   Scoring the Down and Recall Exercise. Scoring this exercise starts after the handler acknowledges the Judge. The Judge is evaluating formal heeling, performance of the down and the recall exercise. The Judge is also evaluating the overall smoothness of the entire exercise.

1)   Non-qualifying (Zero) score. The following must be given a zero score on this exercise:

a.   Handler gives two extra commands or signal to “stay” after leaving the dog;

b.   Dog refuses to come to the handler;

c.   Dog follows the handler when leaving the dog in the down position; or

d.   Handler moves from the stationary position on the recall.

2)   Major or Minor Imperfections. Imperfections may be major or minor depending on the extent of the following:

a.   Improper heeling throughout the routine;

b.   Dog moves a substantial distance in the down by crawling or creeping;

c.   Dog stands prior to recall;

d.   Dog anticipates the recall;

e.   Dog is very slow coming to the handler;

f.     Dog does the wrong finish;

g.   Handler gives extra commands;

h.   Handler gives the down command with body language;

i.     Dog heels improperly for part of the routine;

j.     Attitude of the dog is dull and not attentive to handler;

k.   Slow down;

l.     Creeping or moving slightly;

m. Dog could come faster;

n.   Incomplete sit (hovering/space between butt and ground);

o.   Overall routine could be smoother; or

p.   Handler doesn’t acknowledge the Judge.

The agility equipment requirements are listed on equipment page.   Equipment

6.   Agility Recall Exercise. The primary purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate the dog’s ability to perform a down and recall exercise after performing agility (climbing and jumping over obstacles that lie in dog’s path.)

a)   Judge’s Instructions. The Judge indicates where and when to start, and when the exercise is complete.

b)  Exercise Instructions. The dog/handler team starts the exercise from the same location as the down and recall exercise ended. The exercise starts by the handler acknowledging the Judge with the dog in the basic position and off leash. The handler and a free heeling dog proceed to an area containing the agility obstacles. The handler heels the dog to a designated area five paces back from directly facing an incline wall. When reaching this point, the handler halts with the dog sitting in the basic position, a verbal command to sit is permitted. The handler pauses for three seconds, then gives the dog a heel command to approach a series of obstacles lying in the dog’s path; as the handler and dog approach each obstacle, the handler gives a verbal command to the dog to climb or jump over each obstacle. After crossing each obstacle, the dog should return to the heel position as the handler continues walking at a brisk pace. In addition, the handler may speed up as the dog crosses each obstacle to catch up with the dog and then returns to a brisk pace, furthermore, a single verbal heel command is allowed after the dog crosses each obstacle. When the dog crosses the last obstacle the handler immediately commands the dog into a down position as the handler continues forward approximately ten paces after reaching this point, the handler then turns and faces the dog. The handler then acknowledges the Judge for permission to recall the dog; the dog should report performing the same recall exercise as performed earlier in the down and recall exercise.

The dog is required to negotiate (cross) a series of obstacles that include the following: an incline wall, a window jump, a rail jump and a solid jump; each obstacle will be spaced 8 to10 paces apart and in a straight line. Jumps may be placed in any order. The handler will walk a path that allows the dog to negotiate (cross) each obstacle and return to the handlers left side in heel position. The handler should walk close to each obstacle without interrupting their pace. Once the dog has completed the agility and recall and is back in the basic position the handler waits three seconds and acknowledges the Judge for concluding the exercise.

Note, the dog is required to follow a path that would require the dog to successfully negotiate (cross) each obstacle. The judge will be responsible for approving the obstacles and the location. For dog’s jump height requirements refer to the table:

c)   Scoring the Agility Recall. Scoring of this exercise begins when the Judge acknowledges the handler to start. The Judge is evaluating the entire exercise to determine the rating the performance deserves. Dogs that demonstrate positive, energetic, attentive behavior toward the handler and a strong willingness to perform the exercise are most desirable. Each obstacle is worth two points.

 

1)   Non-qualifying (Zero) scores. The following must be given a zero on this exercise:

a.   Dog follows the handler and doesn’t perform any obstacles;

b.   Dog breaks and will not return to the handler; or

c.   Dog refuses to recall after three commands.

2)   Major and Minor Imperfections. Major or minor imperfection deductions may be assessed for any deviation from the ideal performance.

a.    Dog lags, forges, crowds or is wide during heeling phase;

b.    Dog is slow to respond to the command;

c.    Dog moves or takes extra steps after becoming stationary in the sit;

d.    Incomplete sit (hovering/space between butt and ground);

e.    Dog hesitates to perform the agility obstacle;

f.     Dog’s feet touch or tick the window jump, rail jump, solid jump;

g.    Dog doesn’t successfully negotiate each agility obstacle;

h.    Dog leaves early or breaks prior to being called;

i.      Recall is slow, crooked front or improper finish; or

j.      The handler gives extra commands or handler help with body signals.

Conclusion and critique Obedience Routine. The Obedience routine is complete when both dog/handler teams have completed all required exercises. The Judge indicates a location for both dog/handler teams to report for their score and critique. The handlers report with their dogs on leash and halt with their dogs maintaining a “sit” in the basic position, handlers should then command their dogs into a “down” position while waiting for their score and critique. Dogs should display proper control during the critique and when exiting from the field. As much as a two point deduction can be assessed for dogs that display lack of control during the critique or when entering or leaving the field.