Since its launch as a special display event at Crufts 2014, Obreedience has evolved into a full competition which is ever growing in popularity. This year thirteen clubs will be hosting Obreedience heats across the country in which teams can gain points to get the chance to compete at the prestigious Crufts 2017 final.
Aim of Obreedience
Mixing the best aspects of Obedience with the camaraderie found amongst breed clubs, the aim of Obreedience is to encourage more breeds to have a go at some of the tasks associated with Obedience in a less formal but none the less competitive environment. Obreedience is a team event and highlights the competencies of each breed in a fun and exciting manner.
Each team is comprised of four handlers and four dogs who take part in two rounds of competition. Dogs entered must be registered with the Kennel Club on the Breed Register or on the Activity Register, as a Kennel Club recognised pedigree breed (cross breeds are not eligible to compete in Obreedience).
The first section sees the dogs complete a round of heelwork together as a group. The dogs will be assessed on their ability to complete different moves whilst remaining synchronised with their team mates. Round 1 will be marked out of ten points.
Part two features four set exercises; each team member will need to successfully complete one of the exercises to secure as many points as possible for their team. The exercises will include a Retrieve (handler’s own article), Send to Bed, Stop the Dog and Scent Over Articles. Round 2 will be marked out of 40 points (10 per set exercise). Once the teams have completed the heats the scores will be added up and the winners and runners up will be announced.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “Obreedience is a team event and showcases the talents of each breed through a series of fun exercises and it is perfect for all ages and abilities, although of course a good foundation in obedience is likely to be of benefit.”
The Obreedience competition was held in the Obedience Ring at Crufts on Saturday 12 March 2016 and was held in addition to the many other Obedience events that take place during Crufts. Over twenty teams entered the four heats during the qualifying year and ten different breed teams gained enough points to showcase their abilities at the Crufts final.
The finalists included Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers, Samoyeds, Whippets, Golden Retrievers, English Springer Spaniels, Greyhounds, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, German Shepherd Dogs and Pyrenean Sheepdogs. The Border Collie team proved themselves as worthy winners, working in perfect synchronicity during their heelwork and with each of the team members executing their individual exercises with skill. Many of the other teams provided a wonderful spectacle, the Cavaliers showing just how keen they are to ‘go to bed’ and the greyhounds and whippets demonstrating that these elegant sight hounds are capable of retrieving and scent work. Once again Obreedience was a well-attended event with members of the public cheering on their favourite breeds.
The Kennel Club offered all registered societies the opportunity to hold qualifying heats for the highly popular ‘Obreedience’ competition, the final of which will be held at Crufts 2017.
The heats were available to any type of show, be it Breed, General Canine or Obedience, and will be held under the show’s existing licence as a special class. This year there are thirteen qualifying heats being held across the country and at as geographically diverse range of shows as possible.
Points will be accumulated by teams throughout the year and once the final heat has taken place, the top ten teams with the highest number of points within each breed will be invited to compete at Crufts 2017.
The Kennel Club would like to encourage as many teams as possible to enter the heats and demonstrate the brilliance of their breeds.
To find out more information on Obreedience qualifying heats, including the competition rules and FAQs for secretaries and competitors please visit the website at www.thekennelclub.org.uk/events/obreedience