Obedience is another performance sport in which cockers can excel. The merry disposition dictated in the standard makes them happy workers, although it does also lend itself to creativity. Their desire to be with people makes them natural heelers, and their hunting instinct aids in their retrieving skills and scent discrimination work. Their joy of life that they show while workers can draw a crowd whenever a cocker is in the obedience ring.

Obedience competition consists of three levels, with the skills required increasing in difficulty with each level. The levels and titles are:

  • Novice – Companion Dog (CD)
  • Open – Companion Dog Excellent (CDX)
  • Utility – Utility Dog (UD)

Once a dog has earned the UD, it may continue to show to earn the following titles:

  • Utility Dog Excellent (UDX) – requires 10 shows where the dog has qualified in both the Open B and Utility B classes.
  • Obedience Trial Champion (OTCH) – requires 3 first places, 1 from Utility B, 1 from Open B, and the third from either class, and 100 points. Points are based on the number of dogs competing in the classes and are awarded for 1st through 4th place wins.

A National Obedience Champion title will be awarded annually to the dog that wins the National Obedience Championship. To be invited to participate at the National Obedience championship trial, each dog must be ranked in the top 25 dogs by number of OTCH points or ranked in the top three of its breed by OTCH points.

In 2013, AKC expanded the obedience classes to include many more levels of competition. The new classes are optional title classes, which means a dog does not need to complete these titles to move to the next level. Many people use these classes for training a dog to go to the next level or just to have fun with their dog. The new titles are:

  • Beginner Novice (BN)
  • Graduate Novice (GN)
  • Graduate Open (GO)
  • Versatility (VER)
  • Pre-Novice (PCD)
  • Pre-Open (PCDX)
  • Pre-Utility (PUTD)
In addition to these new titles, AKC also allows the UDX title to be numbered based on how many times the dog earns 10 UDX legs.

If a dog continues to compete after earning a UD title, it can also earn points toward an Obedience Master (OM) or Obedience Grand Master title (OGM). The master title program was developed to recognize dogs with consistently high scores in obedience.

Preferred Obedience Classes. The preferred obedience classes were added in 2013. These classes offer an alternative route to obtaining the standard obedience titles. Preferred classes include Novice, Open and Utility levels with many similarities to the regular classes except that where jumps are required, dogs need only jump ½ their height at the withers instead of once their height as in the regular classes. Therefore, the preferred classes offer an option for handlers concerned about frequent jumping causing potential injury to their dogs. The preferred classes also have no group exercises for stays.

  • The Preferred Utility Dog Excellence (PUDX) title is obtained by qualifying in the preferred Open and preferred utility classes 10 times and may be numbered each time a dog achieves 10 qualifying scores in both classes.
  • The Preferred Obedience Champion (POC) title is based on points awarded based on scores rather than placement and number of dogs competing as in the regular classes. In order to acquire the POC title, a dog must achieve a minimum of 750 points and qualifying scores obtained in both the Preferred Open class and the Preferred Utility class at 20 separate licensed or member obedience trials.
  • The American Kennel Club (AKC) created the Versatile Companion Dog Title to recognize dogs who have achieved titles in several performance sports at the same time.
  • AKC will issue a Versatile Companion Champion certificate and will permit the use of the letters VCCH preceding the name of each dog that completes the titles as follows: OTCH, MACH and CT or OTCH, PACH and CT.

The American Spaniel Club recognizes achievements in obedience each year at the annual banquet during the summer show.  Awards include Hall of Distinction awards for new UDX and OTCH titles. Awards are also presented to the top 5 Cocker spaniels in obedience based on OTCH points from the previous year.

More information about obedience can be found on the AKC website.

TOP 5 OBEDIENCE COCKERS IN 2017

1. (tie) Log Cabin Skip’N Black Stones UDX2 OM2 VER RAE MHA NA NF TKN WD Jan & Danny Epting
2. (tie) Rowlett’s Sakura Hime UDX RE Stella & Jonathan Rowlett

OTCH Cocker Spaniels
Researched by Jeanne Grim,
ASC Website Obedience Consultant

  • CH OTCH Mar Lee’s Folly O’Blarney UD,
    SB461925, Dog, Wh: 10/21/1973, Color: Red, Breeder/Owner: Mary Lee Whiting
  • OTCH Lady Mara, Can CDX, SC,
    SC149045, Bitch, Wh: 11/21/1976 Color: Red/White, Title Earned March 6, 1983, Owner: Cindy Strong or Cindy Brick
  • CH OTCH Mar Lee’s Jopa O’Blarney UD,
    SC565557, Dog, Wh:8/28/1978, Color: Red (OTCH Mar Lee’s Folly O’Blarney UD ex Sham-O-Jet’s Key To Blarney CDX) Breeder/Owner: Mary Lee Whiting
  • OTCH Em’s Bakers Bartered Goods UD,
    SC418959, Bitch, Wh: 2/22/1978, Color: Red/White, Owner: Bonnie Baker
  • OTCH Daisy Girl X TD,
    SD754524, Bitch, Wh: 1/6/1983, Color: Buff, Owner: Gail Workman
  • OTCH Flip-Of-The-Coin’s Black Magic UDX,
    SE145797, Bitch, Wh: 3/31/1984, Color: Black, (CH Meri-Knol’s Satan of Sarchell ex CH Meri-Knol’s Moon Maiden) Title Earned: Jan 1993, Breeder: Patricia Frisone, Owner: Mary L Michon
  • OTCH Ambers Good Golly Miss Molly UDX,
    SF554546, Bitch, Wh: 3/3/1989, Color: Ascob (Gale’s Go For Broke ex Emma Goldman Westmatt) Breeder: Karen E. West, Owner: Susan & Jerry Westover
  • OTCH Heartstone Black Skimmer UDX MX MXJ
    SF878840, Bitch, Wh: 2/4/1990, Color: Black (CH Bobwin’s Sir Black Ash ex Heartstone Abbra Kadabbra CD) Title Earned: February 1995, Breeder: Becky Willis & Linda Gallant, Owner: Barbara Dressel
  • CH OTCH Mar Lee’s Tainer O’Blarney UDX,
    SM80601301, Dog, Wh: 8/1/1990, Color: Buff (CH Arow’s Homesteader ex Mar Lee’s Tali-An O’Blarney UD) Breeder/ Owner: Mary Lee Whiting
  • OTCH Knight’s Little Kelly Girl VCD1, UDX, TDX, JH, OA,
    SN26063301, Bitch, Wh: 6/3/1995, Color: Ascob, Title Earned: March 20, 1999, Owner: Gail Workman
  • OTCH Kay’s Sassy Sheba, UDX,
    I.L.P.85232. Bitch, Wh: 1/15/1997. Color: Black, Owner: Kay Carr, Title Earned January 7, 2005
  • OTCH Reesha’s Tedbear Magic VCD2, UDX3, OM5, RE, MX, MXJ
    I.L.P. 157275. Bitch, Wh: 3/23/2006. Color: Red, Owner: Debra Lewis, Title Earned September 5, 2016