Crufts delight for Zyco and Dot
A DOG called Ziggdan Zyco and his owner Dot Watts, from Wellingborough, took home the one of the top prizes at Crufts last month, after winning the Obedience Championships (Dogs) final.
And, what’s more, the win means Dot is a record-breaking six-times champion!
Dot, who has been entering her canine companions into the world-famous competition since 1980, claimed the obedience title on five other occasions, so this one tops her own record. She explained: “I became joint record-holder with my fourth win in 2008, then in 2015 my fifth win meant breaking the record – and by winning for the sixth time this year I broke my own record, so I am now a living legend!”
Her dog Zyco has been by her side for nearly five years – he actually celebrates his fifth birthday on April 15 – but her other dogs winning in the Obedience Championships have been: Bisquet Dan (Jazz), who won in 1992, Takawalk Zak (Zak) in 1996 & 1997, Zygdan Zyma (Zyma) in 2008 and Zygdann Rockin Frenzi (Frenzi) who won last year.
This latest win means that Zyco automatically qualifies for Crufts 2017.
The final, held on the third day at the 125th anniversary of Crufts, saw Britain’s best dogs compete for the coveted title at Birmingham’s NEC. All competitors at the championships had made it through from one of the 46 Championship shows that hosted qualifying classes for the Crufts Obedience Championships. Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club secretary, said: “Obedience is a fascinating competition, and you can clearly see how much the dogs enjoy taking part in the activity which, ultimately, is helping them to behave at their best. Competitive obedience is exactly what you would imagine – obedient and well-trained dogs being tested to their maximum ability.
“Top obedience competitors from all over the world come to showcase their abilities at the world’s biggest and best dog show. Congratulations to Zyco and Dot on their fantastic success.”
Dot explained how her life with dogs had taken shape: “My husband Ian and I started to compete in obedience competitions in 1974 and it became a way of life and a much-loved hobby. Over the years we have ‘made up’ 11 Obedience Champions.
“As we became more successful, we started teaching our methods to other handlers and their dogs and we also instructed at courses.
“Now we are now retired, so just train our own dogs – we currently have three, Trauma, Frenzi and Zyco – but we still travel all over the country to compete at shows.”
And her top tips for an obedient dog? She said: “Training dogs for competition is fascinating. It requires lots of hard work and dedication in all weather conditions, as nearly all shows are outdoors. The training methods must be fun and enjoyable for dog and handler, but the secret to success is building a bond with the dog, having lots of patience plus plenty of rewards, treats and toys as well as praise.
“You need to be able to ‘read’ the dog and adjust the method of training to suit it. Then, even if you don’t wish to enter competitions, you still have a very well behaved companion.”
Pictured above – TOP DOG: Zyco – who turns five in a fortnight – and his owner Dot Watts claim their championship place. They are pictured at Crufts with judge Stella Henstridge.