In dog sport known as agility, the handler directs the dog through an obstacle course in a race for both speed and accuracy. Dogs run off-leash, and the handler is not allowed to touch the dogs or the obstacles. The handler's controls are limited to voice, movement, and various body signals. The course consists of obstacles that the dog climbs (called contacts), jumps, tunnels, as well as poles that the dog must weave in and out of. In the competition, the handler must assess the course, chose strategies and direct the dog with precision and speed. Since, 2010, mixed breeds have competed in Intermountain Kennel Club's obedience and agility trials.
In obedience trials, the dog must perfectly execute a predefined set of tasks when directed to do so by its handler. They perform various exercises, which are evaluated and scored by a judge.
Rally obedience is a dog sport based on the obedience practice of "doodling"-doing a variety of interesting warm up and freestyle exercises. Unlike regular obedience, where the competitors wait for directions from the judge, in rally obedience, they proceed around a course of designated stations with the dog in heel position. The course consists of 10 to 20 signs instructing the team. Both forms of obedience competition provide the opportunity for dogs and their owners to work as a highly tuned team. Obedience training provides mental stimulation and physical activity for bored house pets and can be a fun and challenging hobby for the dog owner.