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OT – The Pre-Novice Obedience Championship Obedience Trial

Heeling Off Lead

What are the Obedience Trials? Obedience Trials are Dog Obedience Competition, where all the competitors go through a standard routine exercise such as Walking on Lead, Recall, Stand-Stay, Sit-Stay, and Down-stay exercises. The Winning Team is the team with the best-combined scores of all these exercises, judge by Qualified Obedience Judges, sanctioned by the Organizing Entity.

In Singapore, the organizing entities are Singapore Kennel Club, German Shepherd Dog Club, PETAS, and Just For Fun by PUPS Dog Training.

Let’s have a good look at the routine exercises, and it’s principle exercise and the scoring.


  1. The heel on Lead,

  2. Stand Stay,

  3. The Recall,

  4. Sit-Stay and

  5. Down-Stay.

The Pre-Novice Class is the entry-level Dog Obedience Competition Event. I, as an avid Dog Sport Competitor, A Judge, and A Dog Owner, here given my opinion of the Pre-Novice Class, it’s principle exercises, the objective, and the scoring.

The purpose of this article is to give NEW OBEDIENCE COMPETITORS some insides into the Competitions and how to play well in the Competitions. All the Participating Teams will start at 100 points. The Official Judges will deduct some minor, major, or immediate failure, as the team performs their best at the Competition Arena.

The Official Obedience Judges will prepare a HEELING PATTERN where all participants of the Competition will subject to the same HEELING ROUTINE. The standard commands are Forward, Halt. Left Turn and Down your dog. Forward and Slow Pace, and Halt. Slow Pace Forward, About Turn and Halt. Normal Pace Forward, Halt. Fast Pace Forward, Left Turn and Halt. Normal Pace Forward, Enter the Figure of Eight, Halt. Forward into the Figure of Eight, Lead-out and Down your dog. It might be a possible HEELING ROUTINE.

Possible Deduction in Points

Right from the Start, the Setting Up at heel potion is critical. If the Setup is good, the routine will usually turn up beautiful. But for those who have poor Setup, the routine usually takes a beating. However, for those to hold their nerve, they might ride this over.

One to Three (1-3) points deduction is considered Minor, Three to Five (3-5) points deduction are consider Substantial, whereas Seven to Ten (7-10) points are considered Major.

Minor deductions are usually poor Sit or Down, slight lagging, forging, and heel wide or crowding. Substantial deductions are missing a position; the recall did not get response spontaneously, exhibit fear, aggression and tuck the lead constantly. Major deductions are show aggression to the Judge, bitten the Judge or Calling Steward, Run Away, and one that refuses to work.

If you investigate the Exercises, the Individual Segment is Heel on Lead, Stand-Stay, and Recall. And the Group Segments are both the Sit-Stay and Down-Stay Exercises.

Heel-on-Lead Exercise

Principle Exercise – The Team must perform a heel on lead exercise following the Judges Heeling Routine. They must heel on lead without much tucking by the handler, showing a Sit, Down, Stand Positions, Fast, Normal, and Slow Pace in the heeling exercise.

Minor Deduction – Poor Sit, lagging, forging, Team not in sync, non-attention, etc

Substantial Deduction – Missed a position, double commands, use of the leash to tug, manhandling, etc

Major of Failure – Aggression, run away, constant tucking of the leash, etc

Stand-Stay Exercise

Principle Exercise – The Team must heel forward from the Setup position and stand his dog for stand examination.

Minor Deduction – Poor stand position. Minor movement during stand examination

Substantial Deduction – Move one paw constitute a 25% deduction, breaks the stand position during the examination

Major of Failure – Unable to stand in position, aggression, etc

Recall Exercise

Principle Exercise – The Team to maintain a stay position and recall your dog to the other end of the ring.

Minor Deduction – Poor Sits, poor front, and poor finishes

Substantial Deduction – Slow in coming,

Major of Failure – Refuse to come when calling

Group Sit-Stay Exercise

Principle Exercise – The Team position their dog in a Sit-Stay position and leave their dog to about 8-12 feet. The time for the Sit-Stay is for 30 seconds.

Minor Deduction – Poor or crook sits

Substantial Deduction – fidgeting, change of Sit position

Major of Failure – Breaks the Sit position, failure to sit-stay for 30 seconds

Group Down-Stay Exercise

Principle Exercise - The Team position their dog in a Down-Stay position and leave their dog to about 8-12 feet. The time for the Sit-Stay is for 45 seconds.

Minor Deduction - Poor or crook down

Substantial Deduction - fidgeting, change of Sit position

Major of Failure - Breaks the Down position, failure to down-stay for 45 seconds

The Passing Score of the Class is usually 75 points and above. If the Team does not meet the requirements will be marked as FAILED. And the TOP THREE SCORERS will take the Podium, Qualification Legs, and the Trophies.

I hope you have a good look into Pre-Novice Class Exercises and how can you train to earn more points and eventual First Placing in the Class.

Dexter Sim, PUPS Dog Training School

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