Obedience & Rally Trials

In March each year, The Dog Owners’ Training Club of Maryland holds a Dog Obedience Trial under American Kennel Club (AKC) rules and regulations. When AKC Obedience competition began in 1933, the concept behind obedience training was to develop a close working relationship with dogs, demonstrate dogs’ willingness, capabilities, and enjoyment of working, and especially, working in partnership with humans. This concept remains as important today as it was when the program was developed. Our annual trial is a testament to how we still value that concept today, while having fun and enhancing our relationship with our dogs. Our Trials are open to ALL breeds.

There are several levels of obedience, such as the long-standing titling classes of Novice, Open, and Utility. A higher level of competition was added in recent years, which includes Utility Excellent and Obedience Trial Champion. The newest title is to be awarded to the winning dog at the AKC National Obedience Invitational. The dog that wins this National Obedience Invitational becomes the National Obedience Champion for the year. This is the only dog that can carry that distinction. In 2005, a whole new set of introductory and fun obedience titling classes called “Rally Obedience” was developed by AKC. DOTC offered the new Rally titling classes that year and each year thereafter.

Our Obedience Trial offers the A and B classes of Novice, Open, and Utility, as well as some of the Preferred and/or Optional classes, as time and space allow. Our Rally Trial offers the A and B classes of Novice, Advanced, and Excellent, as well as the Intermediate and Master levels. Again, if time and space allow, some optional classes may be included.  Team and Pairs Rally are great fun, if there is time and space!

It is largely through the efforts of its members’ volunteering their services that DOTC’s annual trials are always such a huge success. Our Trial Chair,  is grateful for the dedication, commitment and hard work of the committees and the volunteers who work throughout the year preparing for the trials. Thanks also go to our seasoned, as well as our new, trial ring stewards and all others who graciously pitch in to help with the many activities. Plan to bring the family to our trials in March and join the many spectators enjoying the sport of dog obedience competition and see where training could lead you and your dog. Space is limited, but admission is free.

(Please note that the only dogs allowed on the trial grounds are those pre-entered in the trial. So leave the family pet home, sign up for training with DOTC, and enter your dog next year.)

For everything Rally:

AKC Rally®

For everything Obedience:


DOTC Members’ Year End Awards

DOTC Perpetual TrophiesEvery year, at the DOTC End-of-Year Picnic and Awards Program, Perpetual Trophies are awarded. This year was no exception.The winners’ names are engraved on plates attached to each trophy. The winner keeps the trophy, for one year. It then moves on, the next year, to the next winner. In some cases, this has been going on since 1941! This year’s winners are:

The Whitehouse Walker Trophy (first awarded in 1941; it is given to the team that scores the highest in the highest class at the End-of Year Obedience Fun Match). In 2019, it went to Barbara Awtrey and RACH Maxwell Ferguson Mullen Awtrey CD BN RM4 RAE3 CGCA CGCU TKN FDC.

“The Monster” (first awarded in 1942; origin unknown; it is voted on by previous winners; given to the member voted as the member whose contributions, all around good sportsmanship, and accomplishments have been outstanding). In 2019, it went to Robin Graham and Eleanor Are CGCA TKN RN FDC.

The Gretchen Memorial (was given to DOTC in 1950 by Mr. and Mrs. Frank Chubb, in honor of their Doberman Pinscher, Gretchen. It is awarded to the first time trainer team who started in our Basic class. The winner is chosen by the DOTC Instructors). In 2019, this went to Junior Handler Samantha Hackley and CH Payley n Hackley’s Cargo.

The Jessie Memorial (donated in 1984 by Pat Conway, in honor of her dog, Jessie. It is awarded to the mixed breed dog and handler who have the highest score at the End-of-Year Obedience Fun Match). In 2019, this went to Barbara Awtrey and Fenwick CD BN RA CGCA CGCU TKN.

The Doyle Memorial trophy (given in 1997 by Bob Doyle, in memory of his wife, Marilyn; is awarded to the highest scoring team in the End-of-Year Obedience “Veterans” class. This is the Novice exercises for dogs 7 y/o or older.). In 2019, it was awarded to Barbara Awtrey and Fenwick CD BN RA CGCA CGCU TKN.

The Golden’s Rally trophy (donated by Joy White; goes to the team with the highest score at the highest level at the End-of-Year Rally Fun Match). In 2019, it was won by Barbara Awtrey and RACH Maxwell Ferguson Mullen Awtrey CD BN RM4 RAE3 CGCA CGCU TKN FDC.

In addition to the Perpetual Trophies, each year, a “Sportsmanship Award” is given. This is voted on by previous winners. The 2019 winner was Robin Graham.