Virtual Online Titling Options
With COVID here, online titling has become a booming success. I'm here to talk you through some of the new virtual AKC programs as well as the cool, long time programs that have existed long before AKC joined the cool kids. There's a lot to cover so I'm sticking to listing titles available and a few quick facts about the program. Every program is linked with rules and regulations.
I knew there were a lot of options, but I had no idea how many options. There are smaller titling organizations, but for the most part I stuck with the larger titling bodies.
Remember, titles are only worth the enjoyment you and your dog get out of them. If you're not interested in titling it's not a problem, but they are wonderful memories and mementos of your time spent with your dogs and there are some really neat options, even if you aren't a big dog sport person.
North American Dog Agility Council (NADAC) Video Tape Program:
Regular: Intro IAC, O-IAC, S-IAC), Novice (NAC, O-NAC, S-NAC), Open (OAC, O-OAC, S-OAC), Elite (EAC, O-EAC, S-EAC)
Jumpers: Intro (IJC, O-IJC, S-IJC), Novice (NJC, O-NJC, S-NJC), Open (OJC, O-OJC, S-OJC), Elite (EJC, O-EJC, S-EJC)
Chances: Intro (ICC, O-ICC, S-ICC), Novice (NCC, O-NCC, S-NCC), Open (OCC, O-OCC, S-OCC), Elite (ECC, O-ECC, S-ECC)
Tunnelers: Intro (TN-I, O-TN-I, S-TN-I), Novice (TN-N, O-TN-N, S-TN-N), Open (TN-O, O-TN-O, S-TN-O), Elite (TN-E, O-TN-E, S-TN-E)
Weavers: Intro (WV-I, O-WV-I, S-WV-I), Novice (WV-N, O-WV-N, S-WV-N), Open (WV-O, O-WV-O, S-WV-O), Elite (WV-E, O-WV-E, S-WV-E)
Touch n Go: Intro (TG-I, O-TG-I, S-TG-I), Novice (TG-N, O-TG-N, S-TG-N), Open (TG-O, O-TG-O, S-TG-O), Elite (TG-E, O-TG-E, S-TG-E)
Hoopers: Intro (HP-I, O-HP-I, S-HP-I), Novice (HP-N, O-HP-N, S-HP-N), Open (HP-O, O-HP-O, S-HP-O), Elite (HP-E, O-HP-E, S-HP-E), Intro x (XHP-I, O-XHP-I, S-XHP-I), Novice X (XHP-N, O-XHP-N, S-XHP-N), Open X (XHP-O, O-HXP-O, S-XHP-O), Elite X (XHP-E, O-XHP-E, S-XHP-E)
Barrelers: Intro x (XBR-I, O-XBR-I, S-XBR-I), Novice X (XBR-N, O-XBR-N, S-XBR-N), Open X (XBR-O, O-HBR-O, S-XBR-O), Elite (XBR-E, O-XBR-E, S-XBR-E)
NADAC has actually been an awesome experience for me. Anyone who is new to the agility world or just wants a slightly less cut-throat environment, I highly recommend them. Registration is cheap. Entries are cheap. They've offered virtual options forever and have further opened up their virtual options with COVID. There's a billion different titles you can earn. They have some really fun options as far as courses. They post online courses that you can use monthly.
NADAC is very big on safety first (which is not to say other venues aren't). They don't use teeters on their courses and jump heights are usually lower for most dogs and no collars allowed.
Not everyone (most people actually) has their own agility equipment, but sometimes you can rent a facility that already has a course set up.
AKC Agility Course Test Virtual:
Titles: Agility Course Test 1 (ACT1), Agility Course Test 2 (ACT 2)
AKC's Agility Course Tests are intro level agility courses. As usual, people grumbled about them being too easy when AKC first added them, but they are a fantastic way to make agility accessible to the average person. The virtual options are almost identical to the in person options, just pay attention to the filming requirements, because they are rather extensive in order for the judges to see everything they need to see.
Titles: Virtual Home Manners Puppy (VHMP), Virtual Home Manners (VHM)
This is AKC's answer to requests for a virtual version of their Canine Good Citizen program. It's a fun, engaging time with your dog and covers a lot of basic house manners that you can be practicing during COVID. They offer both an adult and a puppy version.
Titles (two tracks "Traditional" and "Performance" (closer to freestlye)):
Beginning levels: Level 1 (CRO1), Level 2 (P-CRO-II or T-CRO-II), Level 3 (P-CRO-III or T-CRO-III), Level IV (P-CRO-IV or T-CRO-IV), Level V (P-CRO-V and P-CRO-CH or T-CRO-V and T-CRO-CH).
Championship levels: Leve I (CRO-CH-LI), Level II (P-CRO-CH-LII or T-CRO-CH-LII), Level III (P-CRO-CH-LIII or T-CRO-CH-LIII), Level IV (P-CRO-CH-LIV or T-CRO-CH-LIV), Level V (P-CRO-CH-LV or T-CRO-CH-LV)
At the beginning levels titles are earned after 3 Qualifying scores. At the championship level titles are earned after 10 Qualifying scores).
Cyber Rally-O is cool because it offers a lot of options other venues do not. Firstly, leashes may be used at all levels. They can be removed or dropped or changed out for exercises like jumps. They also allow you to carry food in your pocket. You may reward with food or physical petting after any stationary exercise. Finally, you can work your dog on the left or the right, for those people who have trained a right side heel. The performance track has your dog heel on both the left and the right.
Cynosport (USDAA) Online Rally:
Titles: Intro (RLI), Level 1 (RL1), Level 2 (RL2), Level 3 (RL3), Veteran (RLV), Level 1 B class (RL1X), Level 2 B class (RL2X), Level 3 B class (RL3X), Veteran B class (RLVX)
World Cynosport Rally Limited (WCRL) is also offered through USDAA which is primarily an agility organization. They have been offering online rally titling options for years. They have different, but similar exercises to other organizations.
For a beginning dog you can earn at title at each level with three qualifying scores of 170 or better in the Level "A" class. An Award of Excellence can be appended to each title when their top three scores are 190 and higher. Once a dog has worked through the A level titles, they can begin B level titles, which earn the upper tier of titles. To earn these for levels 1-3 they must have 10 Qs of 170 or better. And for Veteran they must have 5 Qs of 170 or better.
Present Titles: Novice (RN), Intermediate (RI), reason to believe this will be expanded in the future
After virtual Trick Dog, this was AKC's first virtual pilot program after COVID hit. Aside from not being at a trial, the requirements are very similar to a trial environment, you still need 3 Qualifying scores in order to earn your title. It was very heavily criticized when it was rolled out as being too easy. Having done a number of virtual rally titles, let me say it has it's own challenges. Many people don't have a backyard that is big enough for a course, so alternate (often distracting) locations must be found. Learning to set up your own course is useful in understanding the sport, but is also a challenge in and of itself.
Titles: TEAM1, TEAM1+, TEAM2, TEAM 2+, TEAM3, TEAM 3+, TEAM 4, TEAM 4+, TEAM 5, TEAM5+, TEAM6, TEAM6+
These titles are designed to create strong foundations in many different dog sports, primarily competition obedience. They consist of ten exercises at each level and they are performed all in one take. They include various exercises like positions, position changes, heelwork, scent introduction, jump work, and more. I've trained Anubi in this, though I haven't submitted a video yet, and honestly I find the exercises to me more demanding in some ways than competition obedience.
Titles: Beginner Novice Virtual (BN-V), Companion Dog Virtual (CD-V)
This will start being available in roughly March/April of 2021. If you are familiar at all with typical competition Obedience, then this will look remarkably similar to the beginning levels. They have made some modifications in some exercises such as the stand for exam (since no stranger is present). As usual, this includes limited cues/signals from the handler and is very formalized and precise. Exercises include: heelwork, free heel, figure 6, sit/stand for "exam", sit/down with duration, recall, and vary slightly by level. Having read through the rule book and started training for this, I think it's a very good adaptation.
Freestyle/Heelwork to Music
Fixed Pattern Dance: Prelim (D-CRO-Preliminary), Pre-Bronze (D-CRO-PreBr), Bronze (D-CRO-Br), Pre-Silver (D-CRO-PreSi), Silver (D-CRO-Si), Pre-Gold (D-CRO-PreGo), Gold (D-CRO-Go), Champion (D-CRO-CH)
Free Dance: Prelim (FD-CRO-Preliminary), Pre-Bronze (FD-CRO-PreBr), Bronze (FD-CRO-Br), Pre-Silver (FD-CRO-PreSi), Silver (FD-CRO-Si), Pre-Gold (FD-CRO-PreGo), Gold (FD-CRO-Go), Champion (FD-CRO-CH)
For a fixed pattern dance (designated course) three Qs are needed. For free dance (a routine composed of exercises from the designated level) two Qs are needed.
Musical Dog Sport Association:
Titles: Novice (NFD), Novice with props (N-PROP), Intermediate (IFD), Standard (SFD), Premier (PFD), Veterans (VFD), Brace (N-Brace), Pair (N-Pair), Team (N-Team, I-Team, S-Team), Spirit of Sharing (SOS)
This organization is 100% music based, unlike some of the others. It has some really fun options like brace (two dogs), pairs (two dogs, two people), and teams (3 plus dogs and people). To title you need two Qs at each level.
Skills Tests (for people just getting started): Novice (R-FE-NS), Novice Encore (R-FE-NSE), Intermediate/Advanced (R-FE/XMS), Intermediate/Advanced Encore (R-FE/XMSE)
Regular Classes: Pre-Novice (RF-E/Pre-N), Post-Novice (RF-E/Post-N), Novice (R-FE/N), Novice Encore (R-FE/NE), Intermediate (R-FE/X), Intermediate Encore (R-FE/XE), Advanced (R-FE/M), Advanced Encore (R-FE/ME), Championship (R-FE/CH), Championship Encore (R-FE/CHE), Grand Champion (R-FE/GrCH), Grand Champion Encore (R-FE/GrCHE)
This organization is closer to rally than other forms of freestyle. It is big on precision, expects your dog to work on both sides (as is typical), has specific props, emphasizes subtle signals, and loves the "take a bow" behavior.
World Canine Freestyle Organization:
Titles: Novice (W-FDX/HTM, W-FDX/MF, W-FDX/SK), Intermediate (W-FDM/HTM, W-FDM/MF, W-FDM/SK), Advanced (W-CH.FD/HTM, W-CH.FD/MF, W-CH.FD/SK)
Proficiency Tests: WFCO Bronze Bar Heelwork-to-Music, WFCO Bronze Bar Musical Freestyle, WFCO Bronze Medal Heelwork-to-Music, WFCO Bronze Medal Musical Freestyle
The ones who formalized and popularized freestyle and the organization from which all the others take inspiration. They have a great history of freestyle on their site. They have freestyle which is freeform and includes both heelwork and distance work, heelwork-to-music which includes on proximity work, and skits which tell a story.
Do More with your Dog Trick Titles:
Titles: Novice (NTD), Intermediate (ITD), Advanced (ATD), Elite, Champion (TDCH), Grand Champion (TDGCH)
This was the first popular venue to offer trick dog testing. Teaching your dog tricks is an excellent way to build engagement and confidence and DMWYD very much encourages that idea. They have a list of tricks for each level, which is rather flexible, and DMWYD titles can be registered with AKC for a fee.
Titles: Novice (TKN), Intermediate (TKI), Advanced (TKA), Performer (TKP), Elite Performer (TKE)
This is AKC's take on trick dog. It is very similar to DMWYD in regard to type and difficulty of tricks for each level. Unlike DMWYD, you must demonstrate each trick twice up through the Advanced level.
Regular Titles: Level 1 (ADP-L1), Level 2 (ADP-L2), Level 3 (ADP-L3), Level 4 (ADP-L4), Level 5 (ADP-L5 and ADP-CH)
Grand Champion Titles (eligible after regular): Level 1 (ADP-L1 (GC)), Level 2 (ADP-L2 (GC)), Level 3 (ADP-L3 (GC)), Level 4 (ADP-L4 (GC)), Level 5 (ADP-L5 (GC) and ADP-GrCH)
Premier Titles (additional Qs at regular track): Level 1 (ADP-L1 (Pr)), Level 2 (ADP-L2 (Pr)), Level 3 (ADP-L3 (Pr)), Level 4 (ADP-L4 (Pr)), Level 5 (ADP-L5 (Pr))
Sequence Titles (a set sequence of exercises): Level 1 (ADP-L1 (Se)), Level 2 (ADP-L2 (Se)), Level 3 (ADP-L3 (Se)), Level 4 (ADP-L4 (Se)), Level 5 (ADP-L5 (Se))
The titling requirements for most of the tracks is similar, one Q needed at the first two levels, then 3+ Qs needed at higher levels. All Dogs Parkour is associated with Cyber Rally-O and has a similar organizational formation. It is required that you spot dogs when they are working above their elbow height, and accordingly they must wear a harness. There are many different exercises including all four paws on, two paws on, around, under, through, in, and more.
International Dog Parkour Association:
Titles: Training Level (PKD-T), Novice (PKD-N), Intermediate (PKD-I), Expert (PKD-E), Championship (CH-PKD)
Only one submission needed to earn a title, which is both nice and uncommon. Like ADP it includes behaviors such as 4 feet on, 2 feet on, moving obstacle, under, over, around, and more. It has a very similar set of safety rules as ADP including a harness and leash specifications.
Trekker Titles: Natural (PTN), Urban (PTU), Home/Yard (PTH), Mixed Enviornment (PTME), Champion (PT-CH)
Explorer Titles: Natural (PEN), Urban (PEU), Home/Yard (PEH), Mixed Enviornment (PEME), Champion (PE-CH)
Adventurer Titles: Natural (PAN), Urban (PAU), Home/Yard (PAH), Mixed Enviornment (PAME), Champion (PA-CH)
A very new parkour venue. Only one submission needed for level. Titles are location based and encourage you to work in multiple different types of areas such as your yard, nature, and and urban environment. They have some less common behaviors like spin on obstacle, gap jumps and behaviors vary by level.
GeoPup Sports - Dog Geocaching:
Titles: Beginner (GPS-B), Novice (GPS-N), Experienced (GPS-E), Skilled (GPS-S), Proficient (GPS-P)
If you've never heard of geocaching, it's a fun activity where you explore and follow GPS coordinates to locate a hidden cache. This cache has a small trove of items. You can exchange items, drop items off, and more. It's a hidden gem of a hobby if you're already active outdoors. This fun little program lets you bring your dog along and even lets them earn titles.
Dog Scouts of America - Trail Dog, Pack Dog and Geocache Dog, Letterbox Dog:
Trail Dog Titles: TD, TDX, UT, UT500, UT750, UT1000, UTx000
Pack Dog Titles: PD, PD, UP, UP200, UP500, UP750, UP1000, UPx000
Geocache Dog Titles: GEOD, GEOA, GEOX, GEO100
Letterbox Dog Titles: LBD, LBA, LBX, LB1000
The geocaching title options with DSA are similar to the GeoPup options, but the trail dog, pack dog, and letterbox titles offer more variety as well. The pack dog titles are modeled on a number of working breed club's programs such as Siberian Huskies, Samoyeds, and Alaskan Malamutes. They require you to log a certain number of hiked miles while your dog wears a backpack with a list of safety items. The trail dog titles require you to hike with your dog and log the miles. The Letterbox dog is similar to geocaching, but it is a specifically DSA program and it has letters rather than other objects.
Titles: NW TEAM1, NW TEAM1+, NW TEAM 2, NW TEAM 2+, NW TEAM 3, NW TEAM 3+
This is brand new (Dec 2020), so new that Google had trouble even finding it. Like Fenzi's obedience titles, this is structured as a series of six exercises (called elements in other venues). It works on your dog finding various interior, exterior, container, vehicle, distance, and inaccessible hides. Each level builds on the foundations you establish in the previous level.