Mary Ray, the well-known dog trainer whose heelwork to music routines at Crufts are regularly seen on television, has won a fiftieth obedience certificate with her Working Sheepdog, Levi – officially known on his Kennel Club papers as Ob Ch Colliewood Blue Jeans.
Levi has appeared in a number of Mary’s spectacular heelwork to music routines over the years and was retired from the Crufts big ring after his stunning performance in a Latin routine at this year’s show – his tenth appearance there. However, he has continued to take part in obedience where he has performed well at the highest level.
His fiftieth obedience certificate came at Elm Park Dog Training Club where the judge was Barry Fitter. Levi is now 11 years old and won his first certificate at Birmingham and District German Shepherd Dog Association under judge Sandy Turner in 2011, just before his sixth birthday.
Levi is the seventh obedience champion that Mary has owned, and she has also owned an agility champion. In all, she has won more than 140 certificates with dogs she has competed with.
Mary said: “Levi was a slow starter as far as obedience was concerned, mainly due to a campylobacter infection which was not diagnosed for a number of years. This clearly affected his performance, but once he received the right treatment he didn’t look back. He has such a wonderful, biddable temperament and has been very easy to train.”
Mary will be at Eukanuba Discover Dogs at ExCeL London on October 22 and 23, where visitors will be able to watch her give displays in both obedience and heelwork to music training. For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.discoverdogs.org.uk.