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  • I thought it might be fun to take a look at how well Goldens have done in the obedience ring. It took months of research for me to compile the following information. I apologize if there is any missing information or mistakes.

    The first Obedience trials took place in 1936, with three classes offered: Novice, Open and Utility. These classes were associated with the following titles: Companion Dog (CD), Companion Dog Excellent (CDX) and Utility Dog (UD). A perfect score then was a 100 in Novice, 250 in Open and 200 in Utility.

    The Utility class has had some changes over the years. It appears that a perfect score was changed to a 200 for all three classes in 1947. Jumps also have been lowered over the years from one-and-a-half times the dog’s height, to one-and- a-quarter times the dog’s height, and finally to the current height which is equal to the height of the dog at the withers (the actual height of the jump shall be rounded to the nearest multiple of 2 inches). Note: some breeds only jump three- quarters their actual height at the withers. A dog that jumps 22 inches now would have jumped 32 inches in the early years of obedience. In 1977, the Obedience Trial Champion (OTCH) title was introduced and the first dog of any breed to earn that esteemed title was a Golden: Moreland’s Golden Tonka, owned by Russ Klipple. Goldens have earned approxi- mately 905 OTCH titles from 1977 to 2012. We now have the following collection of titles that can be earned: BN, CD, GN, CDX, GO, UD, VER, UDX, OM, OGM and OTCH.

    Note: For this article dogs are listed with AKC titles only.

    PERFECT 200 SCORES FOR GOLDENS

    A perfect score of 200 is the ultimate goal for dog/handler teams in Obedience and it is very hard to come by. The AKC has tightened up its judging standards since the first obedi- ence trials, with more attention to educating judges and more stringent qualification criteria to be a judge. The AKC judges are more knowledgeable and schooled than in any other reg- istry. But Goldens seem to be able to earn those perfect scores, despite the bar being set higher and higher for a per- fect performance. The AKC does not keep records of those dogs that have earned scores of 200, but by going through GRCA yearbooks and GRCA member Helen Smith’s statistics, you can find the Goldens that have earned perfect scores. Most of the Goldens in the list earned one perfect 200 score in their lifetime. There are many with more than two, but only seven with more than ten perfect 200 scores.

    A photo from the GRCA Archives of an early obedience trial circa 1940-50.

    A Look Back at Obedience The History of Golden Retrievers in Obedience

    by Dee Dee Anderson

    DD@DDsDogTraining.com

    The first AKC OTCH of any breed and four-time Classic winner OTCH Moreland’s Golden Tonka with owner Russ Klipple

  • GOLDENS EARNING 10 OR MORE PERFECT SCORES! (Note: Dates given are years the dogs competed in Obedience.)

    Number of Perfect Scores Dog and Handler (dates competed)

    36 CH Sun Dance’s Rusticana UD, Munneke (1958-1967) 25 NOC OTCH DD’s Dreams Do Come True VCD1 UDX18 OGM RE

    TDX JH NA NAJ, Anderson (2005- ) 14 Goldwood Michael UD, Brainard (1945-1949) 14 CH Ben’s Major of Sun Dance UD, Lake (1958-1964) 14 OTCH Breakwater Ice Skater UDX JH, Gannon (2001-2008) 12 CH Duckerbird Atomic UD, Frank (1947-1952) 11 NOC OTCH High Times Ris’n Above The Tide, UDX15 OGM RE,

    Rasinowich-Platt (2008- )

    AKC NATIONAL OBEDIENCE INVITATIONAL

    The first AKC National Obedience Invitational (NOI) held in 1995, and the first dog to win it was a Golden Retriever. Goldens have won the prestigious NOI competition, and earned the National Obedience Champion (NOC) title, 10 out of the 17 times it has been held. .

    NOI GOLDEN RETRIEVER WINNERS 1995 NOC OTCH Meadowpond’s High On Chemo UDX,

    Lynn Heidinger, IL. 1997 NOC OTCH Sparkle’s Keepin Nice Naughty UDX,

    Terri Arnold, MA. 1998 NOC OTCH Colabaugh’s Sugar Magnolia, Pierrette Pillone, NJ. 1999 NOC OTCH Sunfire’s Toast Of The Town UDX, Lynn Heidinger, IL. 2000 NOC OTCH Sunfire’s Toast Of The Town UDX, Lynn Heidinger, IL. 2002 NOC OTCH Wynwood New Direction UDX, John Brooks, AR. 2005 NOC OTCH First String’s Cubby Bear UDX22 AX NAJ,

    Kathleen Rasinowich-Platt, NE. 2007 NOC OTCH DD’s Dreams Do Come True VCD1 UDX18 OGM RE TDX JH

    NA NAJ, Dee Dee Anderson, CA. 2010 NOC OTCH High Times Ris’n Above The Tide UDX13 OGM RE,

    Kathleen Rasinowich-Platt, NE. 2011 NOC OTCH Spirit’s Zim Zam Zoom UDX6 OM4,

    Ward Falkner, BC Canada.

    A Look Back at Obedience, continued

    1995 NOC OTCH Meadowpond’s High On Chemo UDX, Lynn Heidinger, IL.

    1997 NOC OTCH Sparkle’s Keepin Nice Naughty UDX, Terri Arnold, MA.

    1999 & 2000 NOC OTCH Sunfire’s Toast Of The Town UDX, Lynn Heidinger, IL.

    2002 NOC OTCH Wynwood New Direc- tion UDX, John Brooks, AR.

    2005 NOC OTCH First String’s Cubby Bear UDX22 AX NAJ, Kathleen Rasinowich- Platt, NE.

  • THE CLASSICS

    Before the AKC National Obedience Invitational there was the “Illini Classic” later called the “Gaines Classic,” then “Cycle Classic“ then the “Pup-Peroni Clas- sic.” This was the only competition event that brought the top Obedience dogs in the country together. There were also regional events and all events had Novice, Open and Super Dog (Open and Utility) classes. The Classics were not spon- sored by the AKC. To win the silver dumbbell and be crowned Super dog for the year was the win to shoot for! It was the Super Bowl of dog obedience and if you won, you were called the best behaved K9 in the country.

    The first Gaines competition was held in 1975. It was Jack Godsil who said, “Any dog can get hot and win once in awhile, but it’s that consistent dog that’s in the ribbons time after time, who is really the best dog!” Sounds like a Golden Retriever’s kind of competition. The first winner of the Classic would be a Golden Retriever, and Goldens would go on to win 20 out of 26 times!

    Golden Retriever Classic Winners 1975 Moreland’s Golden Tonka, Russ Klipple 1977 Moreland’s Golden Tonka, Russ Klipple 1978 OTCH Meadow Pond Happy Valentine, Ron Roberts 1979 OTCH Moreland’s Golden Tonka, Russ Klipple 1980 OTCH Moreland’s Golden Tonka, Russ Klipple 1981 OTCH Meadowpond Fem De Fortune, Diane Bauman 1983 OTCH Meadowpond Fem De Fortune, Diane Bauman 1985 OTCH Splashdown Tess Of Culynwood, Dee Dee Anderson 1986 OTCH Meadowpond Stardust Reggie, Alfred Einhorn 1987 OTCH Meadowpond Stardust Reggie, Alfred Einhorn 1988 OTCH Stardust Ruby Slippers, Laurie Rubenfeld 1989 OTCH Stardust Ruby Slippers, Laurie Rubenfeld 1990 OTCH Meadowpond Stardust Reggie, Alfred Einhorn 1991 OTCH Meadowpond Keepin In Stride, Terri Arnold 1992 OTCH Stardust Rainier Rocky, Andrea Vaughn 1996 OTCH Sparklin’s Instant Recall UDX, Marilyn Donlon-Higgins 1997 OTCH Shoreland Rainier Rambo UDX, Andrea Vaughan 1998 OTCH Sparklin’s Instant Recall UDX, Marilyn Donlon-Higgins 1999 OTCH Shoreland Rainier Rambo UDX, Andrea Vaughan 2000 OTCH Shoreland Rainier Rambo UDX, Andrea Vaughan

    A Look Back at Obedience, continued

    2007 NOC OTCH DD’s Dreams Do Come True VCD1 UDX18 OGM RE TDX JH NA NAJ, Dee Dee Anderson, CA.

    2010 NOC OTCH High Times Ris’n Above The Tide UDX13 OGM RE, Kathleen Rasinowich- Platt, NE.

    1985 Classic Winner – OTCH Splashdown Tess of Culynwood, Dee Dee Anderson

    1991 Classic Winner – OTCH Meadow- pond Keepin In Stride, Terri Arnold

    1992 Classic Winner – OTCH Stardust Rainier Rocky, Andrea Vaughn

  • AKC OBEDIENCE DOG OF THE YEAR

    The AKC gives out a top Obedience Dog of the Year award (once called the Ken-L Ration Dog of the Year award in Obedience). This award goes to the top dog earning the most OTCH points within a calendar year. You can only earn OTCH points in the Open B and Utility B classes. Goldens have won this award 17 out of 30 times.

    Golden Retriever AKC Obedience Dog of the Year Winners 1977 OTCH Moreland’s Golden Tonka, Klipple 1978 CH OTCH Sunstreak of Culynwood TD, Bluford 1979, 1980, 1981 CH OTCH Meadowpond Dust Commander, Brown 1982, 1983 OTCH Topbrass Ric O Shay Barty, Long 1986,1987, 1988 OTCH Glorybee Amber Arthur’s Honor, D. Platt 1989 OTCH Shoreland’s Big Harry Deal**, Mayborne 1990 OTCH Tanbarks Bristol Creme UDX, Brown 1991 OTCH Locknor B Fifty-Two Bomber, Patton 2001 NOC OTCH Sunfire’s Toast Of The Town UDX45, Heidinger 2004 OTCH High Times Belvedere’s Duck Soup UDX14 MH*** MX MXJ,

    Carlsen 2005 OTCH Breakwater Ice Skater UDX JH, Gannon 2006 OTCH First String’s Liv’n On The Edge UDX20 OM6 NA NAJ,

    Rasinowich-Platt 2007 OTCH Tanbark’s Something’s Burnin UDX12, Piefer

    How well do Goldens do in Obedience trials overall? No other breed has attained the results that Goldens have. They are almost in a league of their own. Below is a chart with results from 1994 to 2010. In 2010, there were 2,490 Obe- dience trials where Goldens won 712 High In Trials and 630 High Combined awards. *Note: A High In Trial comes out of Novice, Open or Utility. It is the highest score earned for that trial. A High Combined award is limited to Open B and Utility B classes. It is the highest combined score for the trial.

    A Look Back at Obedience, continued

    1997, 1999, 2000 Classic Winner – OTCH Shore- land Rainier Rambo UDX, Andrea Vaughan

    1978 AKC Obedience Dog of the Year – CH OTCH Sunstreak of Culynwood TD, Bluford

    1982, 1983 AKC Obedience Dog of the Year – OTCH Topbrass Ric O Shay Barty, Long

    2004 AKC Obedience Dog of the Year – OTCH High Times B