Border Terriers are naturally energetic and like nothing more than working closely with their handlers. It is for these reasons that Border Terriers often find success in the Obedience Trial event. If you are interested in participating in a sporting event that provide both you and your Border Terrier with exercise and the opportunity to meet other Border Terriers and their families, perhaps Obedience will be a good fit for you.
Obedience trials are a sport in which a dog must perform a series of tasks under the direction of his handler, without the use of a leash. The handler and the dog work together as a team to do these highly stylized tasks. Despite the fact that the event is called "obedience," these tasks and the way they are carried out have become so formalized that they rarely have anything to do with obedience in the home.
There are a number of different tasks that dogs must successfully complete during the course of an Obedience trial, and trials are usually offered on three different levels; for example, in the American Kennel Club, dogs can earn titles as Novice, Open (intermediate) and Utility (advanced), and must earn a title at each level before moving on to the next one.
The main tasks included in an Obedience trial include Recall, in which a dog must stay in place while his handler walks across a field and calls him, and then the dog must come directly to the handler without delay, Drop on Recall, which is the same as Recall, except the dog must immediately fall to a lying position on a signal from the handler, and Heel, in which the handler walks in a predetermined pattern with the dog always following in the heel position. There are also a series of Retrieve tasks, in which an object is thrown by the handler and the dog must fetch it. Advanced tasks include Scent Discrimination and a Directed Retrieve, in which the dog must fetch an item that is pointed out by the handler.
Obedience Trials are organized through several different kennel cubs, including the American Kennel Club, the Border Terriers Club of America, or the United Kennel Club. The Border Terriers Club of America also offers a supplementary award for dogs participating in Obedience trials, the Eddie Award.
In addition to their energy and strong work ethic, Border Terriers are also intelligent, creative and are natural comedians. Sometimes, Border Terriers work some very interesting, if not downright humorous, variations during Obedience trials, and the only way to react is to laugh. Named after Eddie, a champion in his own right (official title Ch Luvemur's First Edition UD CG CGC TDI), who always managed to find creative ways to complete his Obedience trials, the Eddie Award goes to the most creative and humorous arrangement of AKC, CKC or UKC obedience regulations during the year.