4th Annual Masters Obedience Championship

Judge:              Mrs. Diane Schultz

Invite:             The following teams will receive an invitation to the 4th Westminster Masters Obedience Championship:​​​​​​

  • Top 250 dogs based on AKC OTCH points earned from January 1, 2018 through October 31, 2018  
  • Winners from the previous five years Westminster Masters Obedience Championships, AKC Classic Master Class and AKC National Obedience Championships

Entry:               Limited to the first 30 entries received

Note:                A donation of $5,000 will be made in the Masters Obedience Champion’s name to their AKC recognized obedience Club, or if not a member of a club, to the AKC Humane Fund.

The rules, regulations and policies in accordance with the American Kennel Club, the Westminster Kennel Club and the City of New York will be followed unless stated otherwise.

The Westminster Masters Obedience Championship competition will consist of two rounds.  Entered dogs will compete in both rounds unless otherwise stated.


First Round competition will consist of the following regular class Open/Utility exercises:

  • Signal Exercise (Utility exercise 40 pts.)
  • Drop on Recall (Open exercise 30 pts.)
  • Directed Jumping (Utility exercise 30 pts. The go out portion of this exercise will be performed at a distance of approximately 50 feet. One jump will be used, judge’s choice, same jump for all dogs.)
  • Retrieve over High Jump (Open exercise 30 pts.)
  • Scent Discrimination (Utility exercise 30 pts. One article will be retrieved, handler’s choice as to type of article to retrieve i.e. leather, metal, or wood.)
  • Group Exercise – Sit Stay Walk Around the Ring (See description below 40 pts.)

The total available points for the First Round are 200. First Round Scoring will be as it is in the Regular Open and Utility Classes, except that a non-qualifying exercise will be assessed the total points off for that exercise rather than given an “NQ.” 

The order of the exercises will be determined by the judge and posted no later than 45 minutes prior to the start of the event.  All dogs will complete the exercises in the order posted.  The dogs will be judged in jump height order, low to high.  The ring will be 40 x 60 for both rounds of competition.  Any dog that is excused or released for any reason shall be prohibited from further competition in both first and second rounds.

Group Exercise – Sit Stay– Walk Around Ring will be performed after the First-Round judging of all the dogs. 

  • If a handler chooses not to return for the Group Exercise, they will also be released from performing in the Second Round. 
  • The Group Exercise will be performed with two rows of dogs positioned back-to-back in the center of the ring. There will be approximately 6-feet between the two rows, and approximately 4 feet between dogs on both sides.
  • Depending on the number of dogs entered, there may be more than one group for this exercise.
  • The Judge will order the handlers “Sit your dogs”, then “Leave your dogs”.   The handlers will walk forward to the edge of the ring, proceed in the direction designated by the judge, and walk around the ring twice before stopping in front of their dog. The judge will order “Back to your dogs.”  Once the handlers have returned to heel position the judge will order, “Exercise Finished.”

A break will be taken, at the judge’s discretion, between the First and Second.  Following the break, all dogs that complete the performance in the First Round will also perform in the Second Round.

The emphasis of the Second-Round competition performance will showcase the broad spectrum of obedience training at its finest!




  • **Exhibitors must be cognizant that this is a family event.  All equipment and performances must be appropriate for family viewing. 
  • The use of any logos, trademarks, or other intellectual property owned by or associated with The Westminster Kennel Club or The American Kennel Club or any facsimile of same are strictly prohibited.
  • Each handler is allowed a maximum of 6 minutes ring time. This includes set up and performance. Once the handler and/or assistants enter the ring the clock will be started.
  • The standard high, bar, and broad jump will be available.  The handler may ask the Ring Stewards to set the jumps prior to entering the ring.  If other equipment is to be used it must be provided and set up by the handler and/or their assistants.
  • Any non-standard obedience equipment or any costuming utilized by the team must not make noise, require cleanup, or distract from the intended “emphasis of the Second Round.”  Costumes, props, or other equipment usage that do not enhance this emphasis are allowed, but not encouraged.
    •       * No live animal props;
    •       * No food; and
    •       * No specialized collars.
  • **The dog, handler, and equipment must remain inside the ring throughout the performance.
  • Handlers may talk to their dogs throughout the performance.
  • The judge will be inside the ring to evaluate the performance. 
  • When the handler is ready to start the performance, they will make a clear indication to the judge.  The judge’s acknowledgment to begin will follow.
  • The dog and handler will perform a routine designed by the handler. The performance routine will include the required elements listed below and should include a mix of various other skills, behaviors, maneuvers and/or tricks.  Each routine should be designed to keep the audience’s interest and attention throughout the entire performance.  The time limit stated above is the maximum allotted.  Excessive repetition of the same behaviors, for the sake of adding time to the performance, should be avoided.  The equipment supplied and used by the handler should complement rather than distract from the performance.
  • After the performance, the handler must give a clear indication to the judge that the performance is complete.  The timing of the performance will stop, and the team will leave the ring with the judge’s acknowledgment.


  • The dog must demonstrate the ability to perform the following minimum required elements:
    • Heel Work: Minimal heeling requirements: normal, fast, slow, right turn, left turn, about turn, halt. It is the handler’s option as to the additional heeling intricacies and skills demonstrated.
    • Jump:  The dog must demonstrate the ability to jump its required regular class jump height twice, using one or two of the standard obedience jumps.  Additional jumping, at any height or distance, using obedience jumps or other equipment may be included in the performance.  
    • Retrieve:  The retrieve item used is handler’s choice.  It may be an obedience item, toy, newspaper, slippers etc. Squeakers/noise makers must be removed.
    • Go Out: This must be performed on the long dimension of the ring, (i.e. center, side, or diagonal)The dog must go away from its handler at least half the distance of the length of the ring and demonstrate a controlled/stationary stop. The handler may then return to the dog or have the dog perform other required elements or various skills.
    • Distance Work:  This must be demonstrated on the long dimension of the ring, center, side, or diagonal. The dog must remain at least half the distance of the length away from the handler (30 feet). Once away from the handler, the dog must perform a Sit, a Stand, and a Down, in any order.  Additional position changes may be used.
    • Any of the required elements listed above may be combined.


  • Performances will be judged on the following criteria:
    • ROUTINE DESIGN & PERFORMANCE: The routine showcases the usefulness of an obedient dog in an interesting and captivating manner. The overall performance should captivate the audience.
    • TECHNICAL EXECUTION: The overall presentation of the routine is such that the performance flows seamlessly, with a sense of continuity and smoothness.
    • TEAMWORK:  Throughout the entire performance, the dog and handler give the appearance of working together as one, be they side by side or working away from each other. There is a clear demonstration of teamwork.
    • DOG’S WILLINGNESS & ENJOYMENT: Obvious joy and the dogs’ general responsiveness to its handler should be apparent in the performance.


                        TOTAL MAXIMUM POINTS AVAILABLE – 100


    • REQUIRED ELEMENTS: The minimum requirements are not met.
      • 10-point penalty will be assessed for failure to perform/complete a required element
      • 10-point penalty will be assessed if the total allotted 6-minute ring time exceeds a 10-second grace period (Additional penalties for excessive overtime may be assessed at the judge’s discretion)
      • 5-point penalty for excessive barking (More than 5 barks)
      • 1-10-point penalties may be assessed for the requirements marked with a double asterisk **                                   

            In the event a run-off for a placement is required, the judge will decide the runoff pattern and exercise(s) to be performed.  Such pattern and/or excitement shall be announced and/or demonstrated prior to the run-off.

Results will be based on cumulative totals from both rounds of competition.  Scores from both rounds will be posted after the event.