Obedience: How to get Titles on Your Boxer's Rear!

Boxers and their owners can participate in other events offered by the American Kennel Club. One such event is Obedience, which involves the dog working on and off lead, depending upon the level of training. Obedience is a challenging and exciting way in which to show off the boxer's intelligence. It is also challenging for the owner/trainer as well as fun and rewarding.

Obedience trials offer three (3) different classes: Novice, Open and Utility. The exercises are geared toward the level of training the dog/handler team is currently and the team must score a minimum of 170 in three (3) different trials to earn their titles.

The Novice Class is basically is the entry level and the first class teams enter on their way to advanced titles. The exercies in the Novice class include: Heel On Lead, Figure 8 (on lead), Heel Off Lead, Stand for Exam,Recall and two group exercises: 1 minute Sit/Stay and 3 minutes Down/Stay. The group exercises are conducted with the handler standing across the ring from the dog.

The next level the team can participate is in Open. Open exercises are all done off-lead. The team will perform Off-Lead Healing and the Figure 8, Drop On Recall, Retrieving a Dumbbell over a high jump, directed jumping over a broad jump and the group exercises: Sit/Stay and Down/Stay. The difference is that the handler is now out of sight of the dog for both exercises and the dog must sit for three (3) minutes and keep in the down position for five (5) minutes.

Teams can participate in either Open A or Open B classes. Open A is for those teams working on their CDX (Companion Dog Excellent) title and Open B is for those working on advanced titles, beyond the Utility Dog (UD) title. Open A & Open B exercises are exactly the same.

The final level is Utility. Utility is the most challenging but the sense of accomplishment the team feels after earning the title is terrific. Utlity exercises include (all exercises are done off-lead) Signal Exercises, Scent Discrimination (with two different articles), Directed Retrieve, Moving Stand for Exam and Directed Jumping. The Signal Exercises are similar to the novice heel on-lead pattern, except the handler must do signals for the stand, stay, sit and come.

There are several obedience training clubs and training centers in North Texas. A search of dog obedience in North Texas by your favorite search engine should give you contact information to get you and your boxer started in dog obedience. If nothing else, please contact the webmaster for further information. A word of caution: like anything else, there are good and bad trainers who will take your money. Use common sense and instinct regarding the training facility you choose to attend. You want to make sure that you and your boxer enjoy working in obedience or any other performance sport or else, you will be left with an unhappy boxer!