The Latest Stay!-ing power Lab takes 5th obedience title
NEW YORK — The Latest on the Westminster Kennel Club dog show (all times local):
What makes a championship obedience dog? The Westminster Kennel Club knows it by Heart.
A Labrador retriever named Heart won Westminster’s obedience contest Sunday, extending her sweep of the five-year-old competition.
With that, handler Linda Brennan says they don’t plan to enter the contest next year.
“I think it’s only fair” to step aside, said Brennan, an obedience trainer from Columbia, New Jersey.
The competition requires dogs to sit, stay, retrieve a toy on command and stick by their handlers’ sides while walking around other people, among other skills. Finalists used to do complex six-minute routines of their own devising, but Westminster changed things up this year to align more closely with other obedience trials.
Heart, age 7, executed the maneuvers with her tail wagging.
“She loves this environment — she really does. She finds it very exciting and very stimulating,” Brennan said.
Don’t lose heart, owners of everyday dogs: Even Heart misbehaves from time to time outside the ring.
“She has her little naughty habits,” Brennan said with a smile.