East Texas Golden Retriever earns AKC Top Obedience Dog in the nation | Local News

It took endless hours of exercise, starting with 15 minutes a day before each meal.

The 15 minutes of training only stop when 12 obstacles have been mastered perfectly.

Through training efforts, Trap, a 6-year-old golden retriever who lives in Mineola, recently received the American Kennel Club All Breed Top Obedience Dog of the Country Award of 2020, a trophy he and his owner David Gannon worked hard to achieve .

At Gannon’s age and Trap’s age, it’s hard to win the award.

The duo are used to going to dog shows, usually twice a month. Each competition tests basic exercises in two classes, each of which requires 200 points to win the class. To pass each class, Gannon Trap trains in several courses, including an agility course.

After learning that he and Trap had won the competition, Gannon said he was excited and proud that the hard work had paid off.

The evening wear was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, Gannon received the trophy they deserved.

This was not an easy task. It was all accomplished through two things Gannon learned in life – precision and discipline that equated to obedience.

A Navy veteran, Gannon served 10 years as an airplane pilot and completed two tours of Vietnam. They were supposed to last six months each, but became a year for each tour.

While in the Navy, Gannon said he learned discipline, something he now teaches Trap.

“The aviation business teaches precision. It taught me what precision is, you get results when you use precision, ”said Gannon.

Trap is named after an aircraft carrier’s landing site, usually referred to as a trap.

Gannon also has his own studio, the Top Dog Training Academy, where he holds classes every week to teach dog obedience and win championships.

Gannon opened the studio about 40 years ago when he joined the Tyler Obedience Club. There he found that there weren’t many people who were obedience training for advanced work competitions.

“In Tyler, they teach dogs not to jump on you, wait to walk through the doors, and just basic pet manners. Here I am teaching them how to do the exercises and how to win, ”said Gannon.

Two of Gannon’s students recently completed the Obedience Trial Championship, which Gannon is very proud of, he said. The students visit his class every Wednesday.

Gannon’s students are from Shreveport, Louisiana, Dallas, Lindale and Tyler.

The Navy veteran does not charge any fees for his classes. It’s something he does out of charity.

Gannon’s passion for exercise was discovered 50 years ago in Pensacola, Florida. His first two dogs were poodles.

When someone volunteered to teach their dogs puppy lessons, they were inspired by their willingness to invest time and effort. So he wanted to do the same.

“I have no customers. I don’t make any money doing it. I do not charge anything from this. I help the people who need help to become obedience competitors, ”said Gannon. “I don’t take pet people. If I did, I would incriminate them, but that’s for competitive obedience, precise things that really don’t apply to everyday things.”

Since having his two Golden Retrievers, Trap and Bailey, he has taught them obstacle training, retrieving, tracking, and field and swimming.

There are endless awards hanging on the walls of Gannon’s training studio.

Last year, Trap and Gannon even attended 40 shows during the COVID-19 pandemic. From these shows, Trap won about 30 awards, each of which is hung in the studio.

In two weeks, the duo will be returning to compete in Wilmington, Ohio for the American Kennel Club National Obedience Championship.

If Trap wins the competition, there will be $ 2,500 in prize money. The top 10 are recognized and the winner takes home the title.

“Only one person in the country gets this every year, and I’ve never had it,” said Gannon.

Gannon said he was confident that Trap will bring the championship to Mineola.

“There’s just nothing like a trained dog,” he said.

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