NEW YORK — It’s no simple “sit” and “stay.”

At the Westminster Kennel Club’s first-ever obedience competition Monday, dogs had to sniff out and fetch a dumbbell their handlers had touched from a pile of identical dumbbells. They also had to sit in a group while their handlers circled the ring without them.

And that was just the first round.

A Labrador retriever named Heart won with a crowd-pleasing, tail-wagging display.

Owner and handler Linda Brennan of Columbia, New Jersey, says the 3-year-old dog is “just amazing.”

And she says their final routine “had the cute factor”: It included fetching a few heart-print pillows.

Some 34 dogs competed. It was the first obedience event of any kind at the nation’s premier dog show since a noncompetitive demonstration in 1956.


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