For most of us, Obedience refers to training your dog to be a great household companion. Obedience training ranges from very basic training, to high level competition where additional commands, accuracy and performance are scored and judged.
Obedience implies that the dog will respond to the direction or command given by the handler. Many dogs go through Obedience training and are not considered obedient. Training your dog in obedience can be an ongoing and lengthy procedure. The level of obedience the handler wishes to achieve with the dog is also a major factor in the time involved, as is the commitment to training by the handler.
Obedience trials demonstrate the usefulness of the dog as a companion to man. Developed in the 1930’s it is one of the dog training world's oldest competitive event. These competitions showcase the dog’s behavior though training-in the home, in public places, and in the presence of other dogs.
Obedience trials allow owners and their dogs to enjoy companionship and competition as they proudly earn titles. A qualifying performance indicates that the dog has performed all the required exercises according to the regulations for that venue Almost all venues have classes divided by Novice (beginner), Open (more complex requirements), Utility (includes ability to find specific item touched by owner)
Almost all local dog training clubs have classes that will take you beyond the "puppy/manners" classes to begin competing in Obedience shows.
Some venues that offer Obedience Competitions (Trials):
Australian Shepherd Club of America - all breed obedience program