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Tonight, the toughest and most beautiful dogs will duke it out (or really, model it out) for the Best in Show title at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. However, it's not just about looks. Many people don't know this, but the Westminster Kennel Club hosts multiple events over a few days before the big event. One of those events? The Masters Obedience Championship.
This event, in its third year, is just what it sounds like - a competition for the ultimate "good dog" title. The dog-handler teams are judged in their ability to complete classic commands like sit, stay, heel, and fetch. Of course, that's only the start. Dogs must also listen to more complicated commands as well as complete jumping courses, fetch dumbbells, and more. The unique aspect of Westminster's obedience competition? A six-minute freestyle session where dog and handler must combine skill and creativity with skits, dances, and costumes.
This unique obedience competition took place on Monday afternoon with 23 good-boy and good-girl contenders. There were a variety of competitors, big and small. Ultimately after lots of sitting, staying, fetching, and freestyling, Heart the black lab took home the ultimate "good girl" title. Her owner, Linda Brennan, was proud but not shocked. After all, Heart has been sitting and staying for Brennan since she was a pup - and also took home both previous Masters Obedience Championship titles.
Obedience isn't just for these pup competitors. Establishing known commands with your dog not only helps improve their behavior, but also helps foster a dog-owner bond.
So, what do you say? Is your furry best friend the next Master Obedience champ?