The Novice class is often one of the largest at a show, certainly here in Northern Ireland, and is where all experienced handlers begin with their new dogs. The following is a description of the Novice test, from the Kennel Club Year Book 2005/2006.
a For dogs which have not won 2 First Prizes in Obedience classes. (Pre-Beginners and Beginners excepted).
b Handlers will not be penalised for encouragement or extra commands except in the Sit and Down tests. In these tests, at the discretion of the Judge, handlers may face their dogs. Judges or Stewards must not use the words "last command" except in the Sit and Down tests.
c The detailed tests will be:
(1) Temperament Test. Dog to be on the lead, in the Stand position, handler to stand by dog. Judge to approach quietly from the front and to run his hand gently down the dog's back. Judge may talk quietly to the dog to reassure it. Any undue resentment, cringing, growling or snapping to be penalised. This is not a stand for examination or a stay test. 10 points
(2) Heel on lead 15 points
(3) Heel free 20 points
(4) Recall from Sit or Down position at handler's choice. Dog to be recalled by handler when stationary and facing the dog. Dog to return smartly to handler, sit in front, go to heel- all on command of Judge or Steward to handler. Distance at discretion of Judge. Test commences when handler leaves dog. 10 points
(5) Retrieve a dumb-bell, handlers may use their own dumb-bell 15 points
(6) Sit one minute, handler in sight 10 points
(7) Down 2 minutes, handler in sight 20 points
(8) TOTAL 100 points