Competitive Obedience... A Just Curious Question!

Discussion in 'Obedience Training' started by Gordykins, Jun 10, 2014.

  1. Gordykins Experienced Member

    I tried to google to get this answer, but I think I just must not know the right terminology to get the results that I'm looking for.

    Anyway... I'm wondering which breeds most commonly win obedience competitions. Kind of like how BC's are notorious for winning in agility. Just something I was curious about today!
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  2. 648117 Honored Member

    At the shows that I have been to it would Border Collies but I think the location does affect it a bit, there are a good number of mix breeds competing in my area.

    Border Collies and Border Collie crosses are very popular for obedience.
    Then it would be Golden Retrievers (I see a good number of them too), then probably German Shepherds. I see a few heading dog types and other medium sized mixed mutts.

    Border Collies (and their crosses) are also the most popular at agility, along with other herding breeds (heading dogs, beardies, huntaways and crosses of those breeds).
    If we just look at pure bred Border Collies then I would say there is a definite difference between obedience BC's and agility BC's in both temperament and conformation.
    The agility BC's are a lot more hyperactive. Obedience BC's tend to be a lot stockier/heavier framed and usually have a lot more coat whereas agility ones are more wiry and often have less coat. Obedience BC are calmer.
    Eg, Based on my limited area this is my observation: Waiting in line for an agility run the BC's are tugging, tugging, tugging while their eyes are darting around at the same time. Some are barking, some are being held back from running into the ring to start the agility before their turn.
    Waiting at obedience you will see BC's standing clamly with their owner, watching their owner, doing a little warm up heel work, some tugging, some practicing a short stay, food rewards. There is never barking in the obedience warm-up area in obedience.
    It is almost like obedience and agility BC's are completely different breeds (obedience BC's are more like show BC's while agility BC's are more like working BC's).

    As for Golden Retrievers. I see a good number of Goldens in obedience. I know of two Goldens that do agility. Again, you see temperamental and conformation differences. The agility Goldens I know look more like working dogs, they have a finer build, less coat, a more golden (darker) colour. The obedience ones are a lot stockier and for some reason tend to be lighter coloured, a lot are pretty much white rather than golden (I guess that is, again, more like show goldens).

    For German Shepherds. I've only ever seen one in agility (black, looked working line). They do well in obedience too, I don't think they are as popular in my area though.

    Because those are the most popular breeds it makes sence that they would win the most.

    If I have a look in the NZKC magazine that I get each month, I'll list the winning breed (this is NZ wide, for one month, all levels of competition including Special Beginner):

    Golden, German Shep, Golden, Golden, Golden, German Shep, Swiss White Shepherd, German Shep, Heading Dog, Australian Shep, German Shep, Golden, German Shep, German Shep, Golden, BC, BC, Shetland Sheepdog, Golden, Poodle (Standard), BC, Huntaway cross, HuskyXBC, Shetland Sheepdog, Golden, BC, German Shep, BC, Cocker Spaniel cross, BCX, Belgian Shepherd, BCX, Golden, BC, NZ working dog, BC, BC, Cocker Spaniel, Doberman, German Shep, GoldenXHuntaway, TerrierX, BC, Golden, Golden, Golden, BC, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Heading DogXBeardie, BC, Aussie Cattle dogXNZ Heading dog, BC, Rottweiler, BC, BC........ I think that's enough.

    Some of those will be the same dog winning multiple times at the same show or at different shows if they travel a lot, or multiple dogs owned by the same person.
    But it looks like it's mostly BC, Goldens, German Sheps and a sprinkling of other breeds.

    Hope that helps.
  3. kassidybc Experienced Member

    It's kind of funny, Chloe and I compete in both obedience and agility (well, we are working toward it, our first trial is coming up soon). When we are doing obedience, she acts like the border collies you described at obedience trials. When we are doing agility, she acts like the border collies you described at the agility trials. Her attitude changes so much depending on what we are doing.
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  4. Gordykins Experienced Member

    I have seen with friends' dogs who do both obedience and agility, and all of those dogs act calm, cool, and collected when they do obedience, and hyped up when they do agility. I think it's all in the way they are warmed up. Or maybe just sensing energy from their people?
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  5. kassidybc Experienced Member

    I think it's probably a bit of both. I know I am definitely more excited and hyped up for agility than obedience, so Chloe may be reflecting that. It probably has to do with how you warm them up too, because I usually warm up Chloe for obedience with some stays and some heeling, whereas I warm up for agility with an intense game of tug. So that probably changes their enthusiasm a bit.
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  6. 648117 Honored Member

    I agree that the dogs can tell the difference between warming up for agility vs obedience. But even without that warm up difference I think there is a difference between the temperament of a really good top level obedience Border Collie and a really good top level agility Border Collie. I would imagine they would behave slightly differently at home too.

    But I don't know that many dogs that do both sports and the ones that do tend to be pets first and then sports dogs (like Holly and Chloe, when it comes down to it we do these sports for fun and the moment they stop being fun for the dog we would stop). It could be more about the attitude of the owner though. I also notice that some agility handlers can have six or more dogs entered into the same competition (especially if its a husband and wife that compete) but the absolute maximum number that I have seen an obedience handler compete with in one weekend is 3 (and that is rare).
    So it probably is a combination of different breeding, temperament, the values of the handler and the amount of time that the handler spends with each individual dog.
  7. MaryK Honored Member

    Kelpies are amazing dogs at Agility work. The 'working breed' ones though, not the bench - there are two distinct types of Kelpie and two separate organizations governing them. It's in their 'genes', watch a working Kelpie with sheep the way they jump on them, over them etc.

    Here's a link to Zico, she was a top Agility dog for many years and boy can this lassie fly!



    Plus my little girl Leaf, never seen a weave before or any other Agility obstacle and went through the weave first time as if she'd being doing it all her young life. Our trainer asked had I been training her to weave at home - nope I hadn't - she just 'got it' first time!
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  8. Ripleygirl Experienced Member

    I agree with the above, on a working note with border collies, I have had really, really hyped up BC's when they do agility that I have also done herding with and they have all the traits of a really good obedience dog when herding (once trained) with the drive of an agility dog all mixed in naturally - the control of either one of these aspects or both of them come from the training and the persona coming from the trainer at the time.
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  9. Evie Experienced Member

    Heaps of people locally here do both agility and obedience with their borders, and the borders behave differently for each event. The key for us is that we purposely psych our dogs up for agility. Most of them would happily sit there calmly waiting for their turn to go into the ring but that's counterproductive for us. We need to get them them into their 'crazy' mind set so that they're more excited and more focused on the job at hand... which is the exact opposite for obedience.

    But i know of many dogs who do really well at both agility and obedience and act completely differently before each type of competition. It's about getting the dog into the right mind set.

    Back on topic though, I've mostly seen successful borders in obedience, and yes, they do seem to be mostly from showing lines where as the successful agility borders are mostly from working lines. But the working border's who's owners want to do obedience seem to do it with flying colours.

    We also see a few german shepards, a few golden retrievers, tollers.... oh and Australian shepards are REALLY popular over here at the moment for both agility and obedience.. In fact I'd say there's as many Aussie's around as there are BC's in agility at the moment.
  10. 648117 Honored Member

    I find the Aussie Shep thing so interesting. They are not popular here at all.

    In agility, Border Collies would be the most common by far, then Kelpies, Heading Dogs, cross breeds, Brittany's (can't think of other breeds that I see more than two of at a show right now). At the last show we had (it was a fairly big show) there was only a hand full of Aussies (maybe two or three) and I don't think I have ever seen an Aussie at the dog park or just going for a walk. Although this could be different in other parts of the country.
    I have never seen an Aussie at obedience either.

    Although merle Border Collies are becoming very popular (and they are definitely BC not Aussies, there are a few at our club and I know their breeding - definitely pure BC), both blue and chocolate, usually just merle/merle and white not merle tri-coloured.

    Very interesting. I do wonder if Aussies will become more popular like they are in Australia and the USA.
  11. MaryK Honored Member

    Border Collies do seem to be the number one dog over here, very surprised the Kelpie doesn't feature more. I know they do have their own special even, in Queensland I think, but they are fantastic Agility dogs.
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  12. 648117 Honored Member

    There are Kelpies in agility here (I know someone with three). They seem to be a little more "hit and miss" than a BC. Although they can go fast some of them just don't want to at agility, they can be a bit temperamental and one person told me that their Kelpie gets bored of the easier courses, doesn't like too many jumps, likes doing other things like contacts and weaves so needs to have lots of those in the course. Really doesn't like doing Jumpers.
    Most BC seem to just like doing anything and everything. So maybe Kelpies are a little more high maintenance in some ways? maybe a little lazier in some ways (ie will take the easier option)? The BC do seem a bit more hyperactive anyway.

    But that's just my (limited) experience.

    The only Kelpie I've seen at obedience is the one in Lewis' class. It is not hyper at all, tends to lie down on the sit-stays. Lewis and Holly are a lot more animated during heelwork than the Kelpie.
  13. MaryK Honored Member

    I think with all breeds, some dogs love and will do well at certain aspects of dog training, whilst others will not do so well. Zeus and his sister Tiger Lily for example, Zeus HATED agility work and Tiger Lily excelled at it, being top dog a number of times. Whereas Zeus ADORED and did really well at heelwork and Tiger Lily HATED it and barely managed to get even a pass! While Zeus took out top dog honors.

    With Kelpies, yes they can get bored with repetition, Leaf does if you do a trick too many times. But I wouldn't call them lazy, more 'smart' (albeit not always the way you want them to be) and will find the best solution, in their minds, to achieve the end result. They really are 'thinking' dogs, you can virtually see the wheels turning, nothing automated about a Kelpie. Which could make them a little difficult in Agility work I guess.

    Plus there is a myth that all Kelpies need wide open huge properties, not suburban back gardens, which means you don't see a lot in the suburbs. Actually they just need a huge amount of mental and physical work with YOU with them. Show them a big field, go inside and you'll find your Kelpie sitting outside the door waiting for you to come and play with them. They LOVE human company. But, because of age old beliefs, here they're more kept down on the farm than in ordinary homes, which maybe why you don't see as many in Agility work. Farmers don't bother with that type of thing or so I've found.

    I agree they are high maintenance dogs and need a LOT of mental and physical stimulation to keep them happy and healthy.
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  14. 648117 Honored Member

    I'm not sure that the suburban environment is the cause in this case. I do live in a city but you only have to drive 30minutes (or less, depending on which way you go) to start finding lifestyle blocks and then farms (dairy, sheep, chicken and few deer farms mainly). People do keep "working breeds" as pets a lot. Excluding Border Collies (I see a lot of them), I would guess that less than half the dogs I see on an average walk are pedigree (maybe even less than 25%). Although I suppose all the people owning Pugs and Chowchows or whatever might not walk their dogs so I don't see them.

    Just looking at pet dogs (not ones I've seen at competition/classes) I would say the most common types of dog are BC, Huntaways, Staffies (especially "SPCA specials"), Jack Russels, crosses of these and small fluffy dogs (pet shop/byb mutts and Shih tzu's, Bichons etc). Also a few Schnauzers.
    So similar to at agility (except there are fewer terriers and small fluffy's at agility, also fewer Staffies, still some SPCA specials though).

    I think, in my case, you would be surprised with how many agility people have a farm or lifestyle block. Also, the person I know who has three Kelpies also has three BC and lives in town.

    The Kelpie at obedience is 100% pet first, it is the owners second Kelpie and the first time that they have tried any sport.

    I know Kelpies arn't really lazy, some of them just come across that way. They do seem to take a little longer to mature into a good agility dog though. But once they get going they are really good. I seriously thought about a Kelpie for my next dog (I really like the black ones), I'm still thinking about it though.
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  15. charmedwolf Moderator

    For obedience it's usually Goldens that dominate most shows I've been to. In Agility, border collies or Aussies are the norm here. Agility doesn't have an all breed ranking like obedience does so I can't give you the breeds that are really shinning there.

    For 2015, the top dogs in obedience are Golden Retriever (12),Border Collie (8), Sheltie (3), English Springers (1), Belgian Tervuren (1) and German Short Haired Pointer (1).

    I'd say Goldens are the most common in obedience shows.
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  16. MaryK Honored Member

    It's a bit longer here to reach 'farm' type areas, well from what I've gathered since living here anyway. That probably does account for why you have more Kelpies around. Plus here there's a limit to two dogs - unless you're in a very small place then it's just one (I had to be very quiet about this place being very small when I had Zeus).

    LOL people with Chows don't bother walking them very much that's for sure!

    I see a lot of mixed breeds, same kind of mix as you see, especially terrier x's (Leaf's latest love interest) and the white fluffies (hopefully NOT pet shop dogs), with a few Shepherds who seem to be, sadly, mainly kept in the garden and rarely walked. I walk all different times of the day depending on my own schedule so get to see a lot of different dogs being walked.

    BC's definitely seem to be the preferred do for Agility here and I love BC's!

    LOL Kelpies do love to remain 'puppies' for quite a while, but going on my own personal experience only, they are very smart puppies and learn the basics, along with tricks, very easily but do get bored fast! Like Leaf, who did brilliantly at Agility at school BUT if she decided she was going to 'take off' on a mad chase with her BFF Buddy (a Golden) there was absolutely NO stopping the pair until they were either 'captured' or run out of steam themselves - usually Buddy ran out well before Leaf! Made for some fun times but um in a trial yea Gods hate to think what would have been said! And yes, once they 'get' something, they don't forget that's for sure.

    If you're thinking of getting a Kelpie keep in mind there are two distinct 'breeds/types' of Kelpie. The Bench, usually solid color, heavier and larger all round and the working Kelpie, bi colored, smaller, lighter and cannot be shown as a Bench dog. Both types are however allowed to compete in Agility and other related dog sports. Here there are two different organizations for the two different types of Kelpie. A solid black Kelpie is more than likely going to be a Bench Kelpie.

    LOL and to prove my point about Kelpies staying young, Leaf is right now having a mad zoomies through the house!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But hey, I just LOVE puppy time!
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  17. 648117 Honored Member


    I don't think I would get a "Bench Kelpie" I generally prefer lighter framed versions of most breeds (even in Border Collies, I tend to prefer the smaller ones with a little less coat over the massive ones).
    I would agree that it seems working Kelpies tend not to be solid colours, I mainly see the ones that are two shades of brown (not sure what they are called, but not tri as there isn't always any white) like this:
    [IMG]

    That seems to be the main colour and type of Kelpie that I see around here (especially in agility - that picture is actually from a breeder in NZ, I think it's the one that was advertising that they currently have puppies through our club actually).

    Any dog, of any breed, is allowed to compete in all sports here (except conformation). There is no breed/cross breed seperation in any of the sports (eg, agility, obedience, rally-o, working trials etc).

    But I'm really far from settled on what breed I should get next, I guess you can tell from the "guess the breed" thread that there are a lot of very different breeds that I like, haha.
    I've been thinking about gundogs a lot lately......... it's a good thing I still have a long time to think about it :LOL:
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  18. MaryK Honored Member

    LOL you're as bad as I am, fall in love with many breeds, especially the working breed of dog.:D

    From all you've said, you'd be a perfect Mom to a working Kelpie as you're prepared to train, mentally and physically, walk for miles, do all manner of sports and/or interesting fun things and can 'work around' problems that may arise in a very creative manner. Absolutely the 'Perfect Mama" for a Kelpie, especially the working ones.(y)

    The picture of the Kelpie is a brown one (sometimes called red) and is quite common. In fact, Kelpies, especially the working ones, come in a positive rainbow of colors, their coloring is a varied as their personalities:D Here's a url showing and explaining about the colors etc. of the working Kelpie. http://www.hnrworkingkelpies.com/Coat_Colors.html

    And whilst they don't particular like living in cramped conditions, i.e. apartments, the biggest things in a Kelpie's life is YOU they absolutely LOVE humans, especially their very own personal companions (though some are also very sociable with their vets and anyone who's prepared to show them attention, no names but I own one;)). Leave a Kelpie alone and you'll have one very miserable dog, even if you have massive of land. I live in a small place, too small for me, but my girls as happy as any dog could be because she gets loads of work, mental and physical and masses of attention, all day every day and night too! Plus they're good health wise, not many problems with the working Kelpie (not quite so sure about the Bench ones, show dogs seems to develop more problems than working dogs - just generalizing here of course).

    I know you've a long time before you can choose your own dog, but don't give up on the Kelpie - o.k. I'm biased!:LOL:
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