Competitive Obedience Association Frequently Asked Questions
Q - Question
about the Level 1 Down-Sit-Down. Must you hold the leash in your hand,
or can you drop it and stand on the end? Can you pass the leash from
one hand to the other? I'm finding it awkward to give a signal with the
leash in the signalling hand or looped over the wrist.
- On leash. Typically leash in left hand, signals with right as is
traditional at trials. But We have no preference how people do the
exercise honestly- signals with left, right hand as ong as it is on
leash, leash attached to handler
the NCO-1 on-leash heeling, does the leash have to be in your hand or
can it be draped around your neck as long as it's long enough to allow
for a relaxed leash?
A - The leash should be in your hand
- Reading the guidelines I'm not entirely sure what the rules are
concerning recall. As I read it hands have to be by your side on recall
- can you give an additional hand cue for the finish ?
Can the finish by
in either direction ?
Also on the heel on
lead section it says a 'Halt' needs to be incorporated - can this
simply be at the end of the section or does there need to be an
additional halt elsewhere in the heelwork section ?
A - The finish is a separate command so yes signals/commands (and
either left or right is allowed).
The halt is somewhere during the heeling.
Q - My question is: does
a dog that creeps forward on the NCO-1 "down, sit, down" fail?
A - “creeping” over the course of the exercise in levels NCO-1 and
NCO-2 should not exceed 1 body length. Creeping in NCO-3 and above
should not exceed ½ a body length"
Q - Do we all start at
the beginner level and move up?
A - Yes start at the beginning and move up like all (or almost all)
Q - Please define
A - Definition of "In public"
"In public" defined for NCO purposes is a place, not your home or low
distraction place (indoor or out). A public place by definition is a
location where there are real world distractions: traffic, strangers,
maybe strange animals, etc.. Some examples are (but not limited to) a
public training center where there are other people and dogs working,
Lowes, Home Depot, Petco, Tractor Supply, public park, Recreation
center, parking lot at a shopping center, fenced public accessible
areas, and more
A training center that you are renting private time at will qualify for
NCO-1 and NCO-2 but not for NCO-3,4,5
The spirit of "public areas" is to demonstrate obedience with
distractions. Remember all use and filming needs to follow the laws and
rules of the location in question.
NOTE: since Covid 19 the rules have been updated a bit as to what is public, please give that a read
Q - Question about
serpentine - can we use cones? Or do we have to pretend they're just
A - We suggest that you put a start/finish marker out for the
serpentine. That will keep it straight and you can use them as "cones"
1 and 5. small markers are allowed for the in between "cones" but we
like to see them not used if possible
- I'm having trouble picturing how certain exercises (especially
retrieve over obstacle and directed send) will work if the dog is on a
A - The retrieve over obstacle line goes from dog, over obstacle to
handler but we do have the allowance for the dog to drag a leash OR be
off leash IF the place you are working allows it. Like if I went to
town here my dog would have to stay on a line in the common. Long line
can be a flexi too
The Directed send if the dog is going through cones (we would allow
jump standards with no bar or board) the cones or uprights should be
anchored to keep from being knocked over or dragged. Long line can be a
very light cord and again if in a place dog is allowed legally to be
off leash and safe (for both dog and public) it can be
Q - Question for NCO-1
and NCO-2: MUST a leash be used? If it is safe and legal, may the dog
work off leash?
A - NCO 1 and 2 yes a leash. Working ON a leash is an important skill
NCo-3, 4, 5 the rules say long line, but the exception is given that IF
laws and rules of the place you are using allow it you can have the dog
off leash, dragging a short line or whatever. the actual quote is "*For
all exercises that say "on a long line" the Dog may be off leash or
dragging a leash as local law, dog safety and public safety allow"
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