Jackson has been invited to the 2010 AKC National Obedience Invitational to be held December 4th & 5th in Long Beach, California !!!!
Now, you're probably wondering, "How is it possible for a dog struggling to get an average score of 180 to be invited to this prestigious event?" And, it is a highly prestigious event - especially for those dog/handler teams that work all year to qualify for an invitation so they can compete for the NOC - National Obedience Champion title.
Well, as it turns out - and I'm not sure why AKC does this - in addition to the highest scoring dogs (according to their OTCH points) being invited, the top three performance dogs in each breed (also according to their OTCH points - Jackson has 2 : ) are also invited. In the case of Great Danes, as well as many other nontraditional obedience breeds, there are just not that many competing at the utility level, so Jackson more or less received the invitation by 'default.' But, I'm not saying that it's not a great accomplishment for nontraditional obedience breeds to be invited, because I am thrilled to have received the invitation. I think it recognizes the really hard work that trainers of nontraditional obedience dogs put into training their dogs to get them to the utility level, even though they may not always be competitive with those dogs scoring consistently in the high 190s and getting placements.
I'm also not saying that Great Danes are not capable of getting those high scores, because there is an OTCH Great Dane, and a couple others who do consistently score in the 190s.
And, in case you are wondering - we do not plan to attend. However, I think I will frame the invitation and look at it periodically for inspiration : )