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Utility is the collage level of AKC obedience.

The exercises are:


Signal exercise: The handler follows the judge’s orders for a heeling pattern in which the handler can only use hand signals to the dog. At the end of the heeling pattern the judge will order the handler to “stand your dog” at which point the handler gives a signal only to stop the dog in the stand position. The handler will then leave the dog in a stand and walk approximately 40 feet away. On orders from the judge the handler will signal the dog to down, sit come and finish (go to heel position). Any verbal communication during this part of the exercise will cause the team to non-qualify.


Scent Discrimination: (This is a two part exercise) It is the handler’s choice which article to use first (leather or metal). The dog must find the article that has the handlers scent on it among 8 articles that contain another person’s scent (usually the steward’s). There will be one handler scented article at a time placed in the article pile. The handler sends the dog to the pile with one command. The dog must work the pile (sniffing articles) until she locates the correct article and brings it back to the handler. The exercise is repeated with the other article.


Directed Retrieve: The handler directs the dog to retrieve one of three gloves placed approximately 20 feet away.


Moving Stand and Exam: While the handler and dog are heeling forward the judge will order the handler to “stand your dog” at which point the handler commands the dog to stay or wait. The dog must stop in a stand position while the handler continues forward about 10 feet. The judge will then approach the dog and run his/her hands down the dogs body and legs (the exam). The judge will then order the handler to “call your dog to heel” at which time the handler gives a verbal and/or signal to the dog to come to the sit at heel position.


Directed Jumping: (This is a two part exercise) There will be two jumps placed midway in the ring at right angles to the longest sides of the ring. The jumps will be about 20 feet apart. The handler will be standing 20 feet away from and centered between the jumps. The handler “marks” the dog (gives visual direction using a hand signal) to a point across the ring. On order from the judge the handler sends his dog to the far side of the ring (about 40 feet) then commands the dog to sit. The dog should go in a straight line to the far side of the ring not stopping until the handler commands sit. Once the dog is sitting the judge will order the handler to send her dog over one of the two jumps (high or bar). The handler signals and/or commands the dog to jump. The dog must take the correct jump and return to the handler in the sit front position. The handler finishes the dog (send to sit at heel position) and the exercise is repeated for the 2nd jump.


The full discription of this class can be found on the AKC site in the obedience regulations.
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