As you further your (and your dog’s) training, the idea of competing may slowly creep into your mind. Whether you do well at your first trial or not, competing tends to drive you to train harder and increase the bond with your dog. So, what types of competition are there? What titles can be earned and what do those mysterious letters mean?
Since SDOC is an AKC member club, we will focus primarily on AKC competitions and titles that are available for any breed to earn*. Below are some of the titles (and those letters) that you can earn with your dog. For a complete listing of all titles and their associated requirements, please visit the AKC web site at https://www.akc.org/sports/titles-and-abbreviations/
|CD (Champion Dog)||NA (Novice Agility)
NAJ (Novice Agility Jumpers with Weaves)
NF (Novice Fast)
|RN (Rally Novice)||TD (Tracking Dog)|
|CDX (Champion Dog Excellent)||OA (Open Agility)
OAJ (Open Agility with Jumpers and Weaves)
OF (Open Fast)
|RI (Rally Intermediate)
RA (Rally Advance)
|TDX (Tracking Dog Excellent)|
|Excellent||UD (Utility Dog)||AX (Agility Excellent)
AXJ (Agility Excellent with Jumpers and Weaves)
XF (Excellent Fast)
RE (Rally Excellent)
|VST (Variable Surface Tracking)|
|Masters||UDX (Utility Dog Excellent)||MX (Masters Excellent)
MXJ (Masters Excellent with Jumpers and Weaves)
MXF (Masters Excellent Fast)
|RM (Ralley Masters)||CT (Champion Tracker)|
|Champion||OTCH (Obedience Trial Champion)||MACH / PACH* (Masters Agility Champion)||RACH (Rally Champion)|
*The PACH title (Preferred Agility Champion) has the same requirements as the MACH, but the dog jumps at 4-inches lower than their regular jump height. Basically, PACH = MACH – 4 inches of jump height.
**Tracking titles may not be available for non-AKC recognized breeds.
For Scent Work, the following titles are available
|Level||Scent Work Container||Scent Work Interior||Scent Work Exterior||Scent Work Buried|
So how do you get started? Ask any instructor or student that is competing (we love to talk about it). Every so often, SDOC will offer trial prep / competition prep courses. When these courses are offered, they will be listed on the Classes page.