Cocker spaniels hailed nation's most obedient breed after winning 'Obreedience' final at Crufts

A team of four Cocker Spaniels won the Obreedience competition at the world’s biggest dog event, Crufts, earlier this month.

The Cocker Spaniel team, named the Covert Cockups, proved themselves more obedient than the nine other breed teams that made it to the final at Crufts in Birmingham. The other finalists were German Shepherd Dogs, Manchester Terriers, Shetland Sheepdogs, Papillons, Jack Russell Terriers, Standard Poodles, Toy Poodles, Golden Retrievers and Lagotto Romagnolos.

Obreedience, an exciting team obedience competition, was introduced at Crufts 2014 as a special display event. Now in its fourth year as an official competition, Obreedience continues to grow and entertain the crowds that come along to support their favourite breeds.

The winning team members were:

  • Katie Bloor with Marshkeeper's Twister – Koda, from Ilkeston, Derbyshire
  • Lynn Brockie with Marshkeeper's Breeze - Fizz, from Derby, Derbyshire
  • Lesley Deegan with Especially Ellie - Ellie, from Derby, Derbyshire
  • Dawn Cox with Tuesday's Chance Encounter – Ruby, from Hall Green, Birmingham

Katie Bloor, team captain, said: “We are over the moon to have won. We’ve really enjoyed our first year of competing, but to have won at our first Crufts - the most prestigious dog show in the world - was the icing on the cake. So proud of our team and our fabulous dogs, who we always aim to have fun with!

“Positive training sessions and a team that gets along is the key to our success as we enjoy it so much, and so do our dogs.” 

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “Congratulations to the Cocker Spaniel team on their fantastic win. These dogs are great examples of happy, well-trained dogs that have a strong bond with their owner.

“The Obreedience competition is a brilliant way to show off the fact that any breed, given the right training and socialisation, and of course patience from their human counterparts, can do well in competitive obedience. We look forward to seeing which breeds excel in Obreedience at the heats being held throughout the rest of the year.”

Each Obreedience team comprised four handlers and dogs, who took part in two rounds.  The first was a heelwork round completed as a group, with the dogs being assessed on their ability to complete different moves whilst remaining synchronised with their team mates. The second round featured four set exercises and each member needed to successfully complete one of the four different exercises. Points were deducted for any faults and the team with the most points won. The exercises were a retrieve (handler’s own article), a send to bed, stop the dog, and scent over articles.

Read further details about Obreedience.   

For free downloadable images from Crufts 2019, please go to