Manchester Terriers hailed the most Obedient breed!!


A team of Manchester Terriers won the Obreedience competition at the world’s biggest dog event, Crufts, on Thursday 10 March.
The Manchester Terriers team, named Manchester Reunited, proved themselves more obedient than the seven other breed teams that made it to the final at Crufts in Birmingham. The other finalists were as follows:

Cool Cockers – Cocker Spaniels
The Wagtails – Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
Golden Acorns – Golden Retrievers
The Labrapaws – Labradors
Paw Patrol – German Shepherd Dogs
The Russellers – Jack Russell Terriers
Pot Noodles – Standard Poodles

Obreedience, an exciting team obedience competition, was introduced at Crufts 2014 as a special display event. Now in its seventh 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:
Ann Harrison with Sophie (Sophyla’s Sophie) from Congleton
Brenda Harrison with Sadie (Larkswing Belle Star at Rosadyva) from Northampton
Chris Harrison with Teal (Magpiebank Teal) from Congleton
Lavinia Paxton with Donald (Lake Sunset) from Hinckley
And the reserve team members were:
Jean Walker with Briar (Ch Talanors Treat Me Good at Sizlin) from Hinckley
Lesley Olbinson with Grace (Rattustrap Citra At Carapast) from Manchester

Team captain Jean Walker commented on the win: “The heats, which are held throughout the year, are great fun to take part in, and very competitive.
“I would like to thank the team for their continued enthusiasm both in the heats and the final, including my very able and uncomplaining co-reserve. I also wish to thank the judge and stewards, and everyone else who contributed to such a wonderful day.”

Vanessa McAlpine, Crufts Show Manager, said: “Congratulations to all the Manchester Reunited team on a highly deserving win. The team were a fantastic example of highly trained, obedient dogs and the bond between each dog and their owner, as well as within the team, was incredibly heart-warming to see.
“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 2022.”

Each obreedience team comprised of 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 teammates. 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.Further details about obreedience is available at

A few words from the team members:
Our Captain Jean wrote:
The dream team at Crufts were:
Ann Harrison with Sophie ( Sophyla’s Sophie) from Congleton, Brenda Harrison with Sadie (Larkswing Belle Star at Rosadyva) from Northampton, Chris Harrison with Teal (Magpiebank Teal) from Congleton, Lavinia Paxton with Donald (Lake Sunset) from Hinckley and reserves, Lesley Olbinson with Grace (Rattustrap Citra at Carapast) from Manchester, Jean Walker with Briar (Ch Talanors Treat Me Good At Sizlin) from Hinckley
At the end of a nail-biting final against very stiff opposition, Manchester Reunited team of Manchester terriers came out on top to win.
Obreedience isn’t just about Crufts; the heats which are held throughout the year are great fun to take part in, and very competitive. I would like to thank the team for their continued enthusiasm both in the heats and the final, including my very able and uncomplaining co-reserve.
I also wish to thank the judge and stewards, and everyone else who contributed to such a wonderful day.
I am sure, with the Kennel Club’s cooperation, the exciting sport of Obreedience can continue to show to the world that pure bred dogs can have brains as well as beauty!
Brenda adds: It was the most nerve wracking, yet most exhilarating experience. Very proud of all the dogs, they rose to the occasion magnificently.
I think I can safely say Ann enjoyed the occasion: Chris and I felt very privileged that for the third year in a row team Captain Jean Walker had asked Chris with Magpiebank Teal and me with Sophyla Sophie to represent the breed as part of the Manchester Re-United line up. We arrived at our bench in good time, complete with a bagful of cards which we were wondering how we would fit in the available space – to be given more by our fellow teams – clearly we needed a bigger bench!! We were drawn 6th of the 8 teams, so had ample opportunity to watch other teams and see how it was all laid out and stewarded before we went in. Chris had as normal gone AWOL but thankfully when our turn came he turned up, thankfully with the correct dog in tow! In we went and all was going swimmingly with me relaying the stewards’ instructions to the rest of the team in fine military fashion until the final turn when I just didn’t hear the stewards command. A hissed ‘about turn’ from Brenda and Chris saved the day and we sailed in stately fashion to the finish line for a very acceptable performance and 3rd place at the half way stage. A short break, and we were back in for the individual exercises. Brenda with Sadie and Lavinia with Donald did perfect 10’s for the Send to Bed and Stop on Recall respectively, then it was Sophie’s turn to do her exercise – the Retrieve. Bless her, she did her very best for me and the Team, but her sits are no longer as sharp as a young dog and we lost .5 of a mark, still the 2nd highest mark given for the Retrieve. Teal then did an excellent scent exercise for Chris, gaining 9.75, the highest mark given for this test. We had gone into first place, but one team could still go ahead of us…… When the final team’s scores went up leaving them .75 of a mark behind us, confirming that we had won, it is fair to say that a small but very vocal posse of Manchester Terrier supporters did their level best to raise the roof of the NEC’s Hall 5! The prize giving and lap of honour made us all feel very proud of the little dogs on the end of our leads, it is lovely that in this event all six team members go in and are recognised for their contribution to the day, not just the four that worked, it was wonderful to have Captain Jean with Briar and Lesley with Grace joining us. Special mention to Sophyla Sophie, who will be 12 years old in May, she is from Ella and Peter Eva’s last ever litter. I have decided she has earned her retirement from competitive Obreedience, she has had an accident-prone life over the past few years and finds some of the work quite physically demanding now. She led the lap of honour around the Crufts Obedience Ring trotting out with a true Manchester swagger with her daughter and other team mates behind her, I swear she was grinning from ear to ear. Truly a red-letter day, and one that we will never forget.
Finally Lavinia writes: For me the Crufts Obreedience final was unreal and I still cannot believe it now! It has always been a lifelong dream of mine to compete at Crufts, this was our first time and it’s safe to say I was terrified! Donald was an absolute superstar, I really didn’t know how he would handle the atmosphere as it is not something he is used to but he loved it! I couldn’t have asked more from him, receiving top marks in his individual exercise and he was so attentive in the heel work, all of our hard work really paid off. Being quite an inexperienced handler, I couldn’t have done it without the support and advice from my teammates. I’m excited to see what this year brings for us.
As for me it was an amazing, nerve racking experience to see my team mates preform to perfection. We have an amazing supportive team who put their all into training our little raptors. I am proud of all I have done as part of MRU and hope to compete in more heats this year.

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