May 19, 2017

Annette Sizemore, a trainer who teaches advanced obedience classes with Dog Trainers Workshop, a full-service dog training and boarding facility based in Fountain Inn, SC, placed third with her Golden Retriever, Circus, in the second Westminster Kennel Club Masters Obedience Championship held in New York City. The Westminster Kennel Club sent invitations to the top ranked 150 dogs who earned Obedience Trial Champion points between January 1, 2016 and October 31, 2016; the invitation-only competition allowed thirty-five entries. The second obedience championship was a part of the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

The first round of competition consisted of Regular Class Open/Utility obedience exercises, including a signal exercise, drop on recall, directed jumping, retrieve over high jump, a group sit stay exercise, and scent discrimination. The top ten scoring dogs moved on to the second round, which was a six-minute freestyle routine designed by the handler "to showcase the broad spectrum of obedience at its ultimate finest." The routine's required elements included heeling, jumping, retrieving, and a "go out" (a dog's ability to work away from the handler), along with other elective elements. Dog and handler were scored on four elements: teamwork or the appearance of "oneness when they are together or separate," the dog's willingness & enjoyment (responsiveness, joy, harmony, honor, and trust), technical execution, and performance creativity.

"I felt privileged to be invited to compete at Westminster," said Annette Sizemore, owner and handler of Circus. "Just getting into the top 150 in the nation in obedience competition is a wonderful success -- and to compete at the Westminster Kennel Club with other great handlers and dogs and achieve third place is a dream come true. I work and train hard, and I enjoy winning. But what I love most about the sport of dog obedience is that you can put in as much as you want to. It's a sport where you can be rich or poor, have a thousand dollar dog or a free one from the shelter. I see people who are using canes or wheelchairs that are able to still engage in the sport and spend the day with some great friends. I have a son who is learning disabled, but when he and his dog step into the ring that does not matter. Anyone can participate with some hard work."

Annette has taught obedience classes for eight years at Dog Trainers Workshop and her experience includes a long line of competitive obedience dogs including Utility titles on a Dachshund and Welsh Corgi and an Open title on a Rottweiler.

The Westminster Kennel Club, founded in 1877, is the oldest American club focusing on the purebred dog, predating the founding of the American Kennel Club (AKC). Westminster's dog show is held every year at Madison Square Garden and other locations. Sizemore and Circus's second round freestyle performance may be found at https://youtu.be/Gtfoae4dyps. Their preliminary rounds may be found at https://youtu.be/2mXjztoEsqE and https://youtu.be/lLDiWdf0Jdk.

Dog owners may learn more about training for obedience competition at dogtrainersworkshop.com/training/competition or call 864.862.8626. Dog Trainers Workshop exists to improve the relationship between owners and their dogs, demonstrate how trained dogs can enrich lives, and help save dogs' lives through training and behavior modification.

Dog Trainers Workshop was founded in 1991 by internationally-recognized dog trainer Connie Cleveland. Over the past 20 years, Dog Trainers Workshop has grown into a spacious center for dog lovers, and features an indoor training facility and boarding kennel with indoor/outdoor runs, set on 14 acres with a pond and walking trail. Dog Trainers Workshop helps new puppy owners, those just starting out in obedience training, obedience competitors, and owners with problem dogs through an array of services including classes, day and boarding schools, and private lessons. For more information on Dog Trainers Workshop visit http://www.dogtrainersworkshop.com, like https://www.facebook.com/DogTrainersWorkshop, or contact them at 864.862.8626.

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