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OTCH14 RHUMBLINE’S ALL OR NOTHING UDX8 OGM, a Labrador Retriever known as “Zeal,” handled by Petra Ford of Washington, NJ.

The country’s most obedient dogs convened in Orlando Dec. 12 and 13 for the 2020 AKC National Obedience Championship in conjunction with the AKC National Championship Presented by Royal Canin.

The championship is a two-day event and is by invitation only for the top- ranked dogs of each breed. “These dogs represent the very finest in their sport from across the country.” said Pamela Manaton, Director of Obedience, Rally and Tracking.

At the conclusion of day one, the top 50 scoring dogs move on to the final day of competition. On the final day, Dec. 13, scores were tallied and Petra Ford and her Labrador Retriever Zeal were announced the 2020 AKC National Obedience Champion.

“I haven’t stopped crying,” Ford said after her win. “I’m elated. Just so proud of him. He worked his little heart out for me all weekend. This moment when they pulled his number and announced that he won… I’m almost speechless to be honest.”

It turns out obedience skills run in the blood — Ford won the same competition with Zeal’s father years ago.

Zeal wasn’t the only one to walk away a winner. It is a tradition at the end of day one to give the 51st-ranked dog a special award. The third annual Patricia R. Krause “Soaring Eagle” Perpetual Memorial Trophy was presented to Cathy Fleury and her Rottweiler, kanosak-Valeo’s Ever En Garde VCD3 BN GN GO RAE MXP2 MXPB MJP2 MJPB, IL. Each year, the award recognizes the efforts of the 51st-ranked dog to remind them to never give up.

The 2020 AKC National Obedience Championship Winners

The 2020 AKC National Obedience Champion is: OTCH14 RHUMBLINE’S ALL OR NOTHING UDX8 OGM, a LABRADOR RETRIEVER known as “ZEAL,” handled by PETRA FORD of WASHINGTON, NJ.

1st Runner-Up: OTCH6 HIGH TIMES TOTALLY SAUCED UDX6 PCD OGM SH, a GOLDEN RETRIEVER known as “JUICY,” handled by SHARRI SIEBERT of SCHOOLCRAFT, MI.

2nd Runner-Up: OTCH3 SANDY CREEK WANNA’BE LIKE ME UDX5 OM8 BN GN RN, a MINIATURE AMERICAN SHEPHERD known as “TYSON,” handled by MARA WACKER of HUTCHINSON, MN.

3rd Runner-Up: OTCH4 MACH3 RACH NORWOOD COLOR ME ZAYNE UDX5 OM8 RM2 RAE2 HSAd HSBd MXG PAD MJG PJD MFB TQX T2B3, a BORDER COLLIE known as “ZAYNE,” handled by KIM BERKLEY of CASEYVILLE, IL.

Watch the 2020 AKC National Obedience Championship

Missed the event? Watch it all on AKC.tv.

Get Involved in Obedience Competition

Training for obedience trials will strengthen your dog’s manners. And having a well-behaved canine family member means you can enjoy your dog’s company almost anywhere. It will also prevent many problem behaviors, like barking or jumping, by teaching your dog alternative ways to behave. Not to mention all the mental stimulation training can provide. Plus, all that teamwork in the ring will build your bond and give you both a fun activity to share. To get started in obedience, contact a local training club.

Related article: Dog Obedience Competition 101: How Obedience Works
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