Obedience competitions take place throughout the four days of Crufts, and are held in the ring dedicated to Obedience located in Hall 5 of the NEC, holding over 1,000 spectators and often filled to capacity. There are three different competitions that take place over the course of the event:
Thursday 5 March
Inter-Regional Rally competition followed by the Obreedience competition.
Friday 6 March
Inter-Regional Obedience competition.
Saturday / Sunday 7/8 March
Obedience Championships for Dogs and Obedience Championships for Bitches.
The Inter-Regional Team Event
Seven teams compete, representing the UK regions: Scotland, Northern, Midlands, Western, Southern, Wales and Northern Ireland. Five levels of obedience competition are on show, and the aim of the day is to demonstrate a range of breeds and competition levels in obedience. Each team will have seven handlers and dogs:
two Class A
one Class B
one Class C
The team managers are responsible for selecting their team members, but they must include a variety of breeds including cross breed dogs, even though the border collie/working sheepdog is the most numerical breed competing. The Inter-Regional day is a showcase to demonstrate that almost any dog can compete and be successful in Obedience. This competition has run for many years and the teams work hard to do their best. It is always a closely fought event.
Crufts Obedience Championships
Saturday and Sunday are the highlight of the UK Obedience year, when the best of UK Obedience dogs and their handlers compete for the title of Crufts Obedience Champion. One day is for bitches, the other for dogs. Throughout the year there are a number of Championship shows around the UK that host qualifying classes for the Crufts Obedience Championships. All dogs have won through the class levels to qualify for Championship Class C, and those who win a Championship class during the preceding year will qualify to compete in the Obedience Championships the following March. The title of Obedience Champion can be claimed by any dog that has won Championship Class C on three occasions under three different judges, or which wins a Crufts Championship Obedience class.
Each day in the Crufts Obedience ring begins with a parade of all those entered on that day, introducing them in working order. Each of the teams has chosen a piece of music for their parade around the ring which gives a stamp of individuality to their parade. On Saturday and Sunday each handler and dog is introduced and the details of their qualifying shows at which they qualified for Crufts is announced.
Crufts 2020 - Judges
Inter-Regional Rally Competition
Heelwork To Music – 1st Judge
Heelwork To Music – 2nd Judge
Heelwork To Music – 3rd Judge