LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- A the flat-coated retriever named Thor, from Meers won best of breed at the 142nd Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City. Three-year-old Thor has been training for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show since November.
His owner Cindy Zelbst said at six months old he started competing in shows, even winning a championship from The American Kennel Club. And then most recently the best of breed for Westminster!
"You know as breeders and having shown dogs you know we always go 'oh it would be really cool to be able to win breed at Westminster and he did it," said Zelbst. "And it was quite a moment!"
Tiffany Knox stepped in to be Thor's Handler after his previous handler retired.
She's evaluated him since he was seven weeks old and said she always knew he'd be a dog judges would look for.
"Thor is what I call a natural show dog," said Knox. "He enjoys doing it."
For months Knox has mentally and physically trained Thor to behave in a big show ring. Sometimes even having to put him on a treadmill to practice his walk. In the competition, Thor was judged by his structure and movement. As well as presenting himself in a calm and respectable manner around other dogs.
Being well rounded is what Knox believes caught the attention from the panel of judges.
"I'm just very proud of him," said Knox. "He's come a long way and he's still a young dog and he's pretty special."
As for Zelbst, she said the big stage at Madison Square Garden was no threat to her Thor!
"He handled it like he had been doing it all along and for a young dog I was really proud and pretty impressed with how he handled himself," said Zelbst. "He was a rockstar that day!"
Thor heads back to Tulsa on Wednesday and will continue doing shows for the rest of the year.