OB310: Ob-ility

Posted in Obedience Games

Instructor: Denise Fenzi

Course Details

Ob-ility is a fast paced and exciting way to teach advanced obedience exercises to dogs that like to move!  In this class, we will introduce the basic ob-ility cues (fly and thru) and demonstrate how to use them to teach any dog several fundamental obedience exercises.  All dogs will be introduced to the ob-ility method of teaching the broad jump, high jump, recall, directed jumping, and gloves (no retrieves required!).  Dogs who enter the class with more obedience skills may also be introduced to the ob-ility method of drop on recall, retrieve on flat, and the signal exercise.  We'll work with the skills that you and your dog possess, and add a few new ones to keep you busy!  This class is appropriate for any dog or puppy with or without fundamental obedience skills. Only requirements are a basic off-leash recall and a safe environment for your off leash dog to practice!

But... what IS Ob-ility?  In the teaching phases, Ob-ility is simply a way of breaking the exercises down so that the movement parts of the exercises are separated from the other parts - this makes the work a lot more fun and "flowing" for the dog.  Here is a video showing Team Stella from the last Obility class.  After mastering the basic fly and reverse fly, they moved on to broad jump and directed jumping.  Look at how much fun this team is having!

While these exercises have not been formalized and they'll need plenty more practice, you can see that this young dog has all of the pieces she'll eventually need, and they have a great way to practice this exercise without all of the sits and stays that are a part of more traditional obedience.  Who's having more fun; the dog or the handler??!!

This is an excellent choice for obedience dogs that aren't having much fun with their training, and provides a nice introduction to the concept of using "flow" to train new concepts.


Lecture #1: First rule: Continuous Movement!

Lecture #2: Second Rule: Get Rid of Stays!

Lecture #3: Build on Those Fly's!

Lecture #4: Teach a Reverse Fly

Lecture #5: Challenge Assignment

Lecture #6: Adding a Stop after Fly

The Glove Exercise

The "Go-out" Exercise

Broad Jump Obility Exercise

Directed Jumping Exercise

Recall Exercise

Drop on Recall Exercise 


This is a retired class. You can still purchase the lectures from the last time this class was offered to keep in your library.

Prerequisites and Equipment

Space Required:

Approx. size of an AKC ring (40 by 50); creative use of smaller spaces is possible.

Supplies Needed:

Three or more identical objects that your dog can run around. Examples would be cones, garbage cans, poles, etc. Height is not relevant but pick an object that is sturdy. If your dog already has a strong nose touch behavior to a specific target, use a new set of objects to avoid confusion.

Two jumps of any type, size or style. (broad jump boards on their sides can be used in a pinch, as can whatever you choose to rig up for jumps).

Treats or toys that your dog will work for.

Prerequisites:  None.  If you have taken "Heeling Games" you'll be ahead in the first week.  If you have not taken heeling games, check out this video and start teaching fly before class starts: 

Course Testimonials

A Sampling of what prior students have to say about this course ....

My dog likes agility, but hates obedience because he thinks it's boring"....a common refrain from dog sport enthusiasts. I would tell that dog to check in with the recent graduates from Fenzi Academy's Obility class! The flies, the thrus, the broad jumps and the glove exercises had each dog running happily with their handlers, barking with joy, and learning the rudiments of advanced competition obedience with fun and play....some would argue it was just as much fun as agility! 

Denise makes every student feel special. She has a wonderful positive attitude and provides precise, detailed critiques that encourage success. The course is more than a series of classes....it is the basis of transformation of dog + handler into a team, and building upon the skills that create and nurture that relationship.  Thanks, Denise ! Ana C.

We have no plans for competitions but we do love working, playing and having the most fun we can have strengthening our relationship. This course (Ob-ility 1) supplied fun ideas for building on our strong foundation. Denise's enthusiasm is contagious, her videos and descriptions / lectures were easy to follow! Tracy R.

My first time of enrolment with Fenzi Academy with two rescue hounds, beagle and a harrier. As bronze participants and novice backyard training partners, I found that myself and both dogs achieved each outcome successfully. With great concise guidance from Denise Fenzi. This style of training suited both dogs as they continually worked with great focus. This has been such a rewarding experience. Thank you for sharing. We will continue on learning as silver or gold candidates. Julie E. 

 Taking a course with Denise has given me a different perspective on training.....she pushes you to take responsibility as a handler and this strengthens the bond between you and your dog. Priceless. Heather L

Both my dog and I dramatically improved our skills through the strategies learned in ob-ility. I found ob-ility to be a creative and productive way to teach and proof open and utility exercises. The personal feedback from Denise was brilliant as was the learning achieved by observing my fellow classmates. Sally M

 I love this Ob-ility class. My dog had become very flat and there was no engagement. He looked incredibly bored when I tried to use food in training. I had switched to toys only. I know have the food back as a tool and see where I was making my mistake. It was training and he knew it. Now it's fun and he doesn't know it's training. He's only 9 months old so still in the super playful mode. I loved this and it gave me a great tool to keep in his training toolbox.

All the Fenzi Academy courses I have taken have been a tremendous learning curve for me but the Ob-ility course has topped the list. Who could imagine that a simple ''fly'' could be used to teach a dog so many exercises and in such a fun way.