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Tyson the Miniature American Shepherd, handled by Mara Wacker, won the Herding Group at the 2019 National Obedience Championship.

On Saturday, March 16, the top 50 of 118 dogs advanced to the next day of competition at the National Obedience Championship.

The winners and top four dogs in each of the eight groups were also announced.

Sporting Group

Beacon the Golden Retriever, handled by Kathy Rasinowich

This is Rasinowich’s 17th NOC. “Beacon is like Clem Cadiddle Hopper when you scratch his butt,” she says. “His rear legs hop up and down and it makes people laugh.”

Hound Group

Cello the Rhodesian Ridgeback, handled by Pat Brunstetter

This is Brunstetter’s ninth NOC. “Cello is the only Hound to be a Breed Champion, Field Champion, and Obedience Trial Champion,” she says. “And I am her breeder, owner, and trainer.”

Working Group

Dance the Doberman Pinscher, handled by Kathy McLemore

This is McLemore’s first NOC. “Dance is only five years old and he is already the first Doberman Champion Tracker, Conformation Champion, and Master Agility Champion,” she says. “And very soon he will be an Obedience Champion. He loves to carry his big stuffed animals around at shows. Unfortunately, he also likes to drop these into my shower each morning. Goofy boy!”

Terrier Group

Brynna the American Staffordshire Terrier, handled by Sylvie Nuzzolilo

This is Nuzzolilo’s first NOC. “As a former dressage rider, I appreciate the precision of obedience. Working well with your dog, as a team, is the greatest gift. I enjoy problem-solving and the intellectual nature of the discipline. I enjoy devising strategies to facilitate learning, improve focus, and keep the work engaging for the dog.”

Toy Group

Molly the Papillon, handled by Nancy Muller

Non-Sporting Group

Zorro the Schipperke, handled by Kathy Sweet

This is Sweet’s 15th NOC. “I LOVE Obedience,” she says. “Training, training, training then trialing to see if your dog can perform in the ring like they do in training. This is the challenge that I think most of us deal with. I love the challenge.”

Herding Group

Tyson the Miniature American Shepherd, handled by Mara Wacker 

This is Wacker’s second NOC. She is the only Junior Handler in the competition. “Tyson is the first Miniature American Shepherd with an OTCH,” she says. “He is such a special dog and I am so blessed to be competing with him this year.”


Lola the All-American Dog, handled by Kathryn Harvey

This is Harvey’s second NOC. “I love the quality time spent with my dogs as we work toward our goals and the many new friendships formed since I started in this sport 5 years ago. We are very excited to be here at our second NOC.”

Watch the 2019 National Obedience Championship on-demand on any device at