Stay! Westminster dog show to add obedience event next year

NEW YORK (AP) Next year's Westminster Kennel Club show will feature dogs on their very best behavior: It's adding an obedience competition.

The club announced the new event Tuesday. It will feature 35 competitors vying for top dog at sitting, staying, jumping, retrieving and performing other exercises on cue.

Both purebred and mixed-breed dogs are eligible. Westminster spokesman David Frei says the show had some obedience exhibitions in the 1930s and `40s, but they weren't competitive.

The Feb. 15 obedience contest marks the latest expansion of the nation's premier dog show, which dates to 1877. An agility competition was added in 2014 and will be back next year on Feb. 13.

The traditional breed judging will span two days, with the best-in-show judging at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 16.

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