Labrador Retrievers hailed nation’s most obedient breed after winning ‘Obreedience’ final at Cruft

A team of Labrador Retrievers have won the Obreedience competition at the world’s greatest dog event, Crufts on Thursday 8th March.

The Lively Labs team proved themselves more obedient than the nine other breed teams that made it to the final at Crufts in Birmingham. The other finalists were Toy Poodles, Australian Cattle Dogs, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Miniature Long Haired Dachshunds, Smooth Collies, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Lagotti Romagnoli, Jack Russell Terriers and Manchester Terriers.

Obreedience, an exciting team obedience competition, was introduced at Crufts 2014 as a special display event. Now in its third 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:

  • Miranda Humphreys (Team captain) and seven year-old, Jolie, from Harwich, Essex
  • Sally Partridge and seven year-old, Harvey, from Chesham, Buckinghamshire
  • Claire Bloomfield and five year-old, Meg, from Ongar, Essex
  • Stephanie Mayne and eight year-old, Betty, from Chesham, Buckinghamshire

The Lively Labs were born shortly after Miranda and Stephanie met at a dog show last year and subsequently attended Crufts 2017 together. The pair watched the Obreedience competition and decided to put together a team of Labrador Retrievers with the hope of one day getting to Crufts after lots of training.

Team Capitan Miranda Humphreys said: “The team have been working hard and were very committed to training during the last year, despite the ever changing weather conditions. We faced boiling hot days, strong winds, torrential rain and even the snow, but everyone showed a strong level of commitment and always turned up.

“When we walked into the main arena all our nerves disappeared and everything that our trainer, Michelle Newman, had taught us over the past year came together and to our own amazement all of us gave the best performance that we had ever given as a team. We were able to achieve this because of the dedication, commitment and hard work from every single team member and their dogs.

“None of us expected to win the competition but when we saw the results go up on the board we were exalted and over whelmed by our success.”

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “Huge congratulations to the Lively Labs on their great win. These dogs are fantastic examples of happy, well-trained dogs that have an incredibly strong bond with their owner.

“The obreedience competition is a brilliant way to show off the fact that any breed of dog, 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 2018.”

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.

For further details about obreedience, please visit the Kennel Club website

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