Utility Obedience

Utility is the third and highest level of AKC obedience competition. At an AKC obedience trial (show) the dog and handler will perform various predefined obedience exercises, which will be evaluated and scored by a judge. The dog must demonstrate basic proficiency in order to receive a passing score (170 points out of a possible 200, and more than 50 percent of the points allocated to each exercise)  All dogs that receive a passing, or “qualifying” score earn a “leg” towards an obedience title.  When a dog has accumulated three legs of a Utility title, the AKC will issue a certificate to the owner in recognition of achieving the Utility obedience title.


Utility Exercises Include:

  • Signal Exercises – Dogs respond to signals – no voice commands allowed
  • Scent Discrimination – Dog finds handlers scent among a pile of similar articles (dumbells)
  • Directed Retrieve – Dog follows a hand signal, retrieves a specified glove, and delivers it to the handler
  • Moving Stand and Examination – The dog must heel, stand, and stay as the handler moves away and stay and be examined by the judge before returning to the handler
  • Directed Jumping – the dog must go away from the handler, turn and sit, and return over a specified jump


Utility Classes

Utility classes are on-going; meaning as soon as you are ready to begin training for a Utility title you may start attending classes.


CTA’s experienced Instructors will help you learn the various exercises needed to complete a Utility title and will assist you in teaching these challenging, but rewarding exercises to your dog.  Our Instructors will guide you in breaking down exercises into smaller easier parts which will make all the difference in how quickly your dog learns these complex new exercises.


Utility Run-throughs

This class is for students who have mastered all the Utility exercises and can perform them reliably. Run-throughs simulate the distractions found at a show site and allows you to practice working with a judge. Most students participating in run-throughs are currently entered in Utility trials.


In a run-through each student will perform the Utility exercises, one at a time, with the Instructor acting as judge. Students will assist each other by acting as stewards: changing jump heights, putting out scent articles and gloves, etc… These run through take 10-20 minutes each, be prepared to be patient.