Obedience World Championship 2018: Valentina Balli takes Italy to the top of the world for the second year in a row!

As many of you know, this year I was at the Obedience World Championship as a spectator. On the one hand I would have preferred to take part into the competition with Nina, on the other hand I had had the chance to live it from another perspective.

First of all, I would like to thank everyone because we started as a team, concluded the selections, and so we remained in a serene atmosphere and together helped until the end. We had laughed a lot, we had had fun while working hard, each one covering their own role. This is the Obedience I love!

Taking part in a world championship even just as a spectator makes you more aware of the level -now very high- that has been reached and lets you meet the spectacular pairs participating. It is an experience that I recommend to all the supporters of this discipline.

You cannot compete at your best if you do not really involve yourself or if you do not believe in your dog or again if you do not try to compare yourself with stronger opponents.

I would like to congratulate Valentina and Lycan for having repeated their super success and congratulations to every member of the team too!!

I am very happy to have helped to bring in Rita Tofani, a physiatrist vet, expert in athletic training and sports for dogs, in this trip. I think it is important that those who practice this discipline are aware of the physical effort that is required to our dogs and that keeping them healthy and muscularly prepared is a prerequisite!

Now it’s time to talk about the race: the location was wonderful, it has got plenty of space for training and walking!
Many strong pairs took to the field this year: there were fast and technically well-trained dogs that held us in suspense until the end – we all know that this is a discipline in which even a perfect race can be invalidated by a single unexpected mistake, and we also know that the owner’s mind plays a fundamental role!


In my album of memories, I will insert: 11:23 p.m., that is the unavoidable time of arrival according to Valentina for which we will have taken eight hundred fines for excess of speeding… yeah, sometimes the superstition is everything!

I will put Lycan with no doubts, which has been a spectacle for the eyes inside and outside the field!

I will remember the tranquility of Beppe (Giuseppe De Rinaldi). Nothing has decomposed him even during the ending of the race, when he had greeted the public super proudly, in the style of a Hollywood actor.

I will not forget Doris, who is the perfect example of love and respect for a dog.

I’ll certainly include Laura in my album. She is a small woman but a great concentrate of energy! She does not leave anything to chance: not even the organization of the car! She is a friend and mate of many dog-like adventures, I am happy to have participated together in this too!

Then there is Christian who has ruined the hotel with his breakfasts made of 24 sausages, 10 eggs, 15 pancakes. Unfortunately, this year he could not prove his value and the one of his dog, but I think that no one doubts it.

I will always remember Silvana, who is very kind and is always smiling, even though her nickname is “Anxiety”. She did a wonderful race and she is a fundamental part of this adventure.

In my memories, there will be Lara, who brings home an impressive performance.

And there will be also the team leader, Stefano Bertocchi, who owes us a dip in the pool due to a bet. He has followed and pampered the athletes impeccably!

I want to mention Michela, Emiliana, Miriam and Mario, who accompanied us from Italy and who have done their utmost to help the team and all the other people, led by Daniela Scanelli, arrived in the Netherlands to support the participants of the competition.

In conclusion, I would like to give an advice to all the readers. If by chance you hear someone shouting to come in, get away as fast as you can, because surely in the blink of an eye, Lycan will go 200 km per hour to jump on his bowl, sweeping away whatever or whoever is on his way!

Now, we would like to add a note to this fantastic reporting of the Obedience World Championship 2018, written by Anna. She does not know anything about this note, it is a surprise for her. We want to say something about this great sportswoman.
“Super Anna” -we like to call her this -has gave up participating in such an important competition, to avoid worsening her dog’s injury. Even though the championship could be a worthy conclusion of a year of hard work with her dog, Anna has preferred not to put the welfare of the dog at risk and at the same time she has not renounced to accompany and support her friends in this important adventure.

We have always seen her ready and available in training, she always helped every member of the team who needed it by giving some advices on details or on the heelwork or on the dumbell (MESSO GIÙ) and above all she gave us lots of smiles and lots of laughs! She has also been a good friend not just at training but at blow-outs on food too -well, our attempt to not eat too much outside Italy has failed.

If we have to think about the flags brought high in the Netherlands, she is definitely the one of the team spirit.
Thank you for being there,

the A-team (Rita, Laura, Michela, Beppe)


Italian Dog’s blog.



Translation: Francesca Liparoti 
Cover Photo: Carlo Pierbattista
Article: Anna Scelsa and Italian team

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