A friend of mine who competes in the upper echelons of obedience, OTCH level, told me her dog got points off last weekend because she barked at the end of her run.  She missed a placement because of that.  I don’t think the stuffiness is going to come out of that dog sport ever.  I think about agility and all the freedom a dog has to be a dog.  Running, jumping, climbing, tunneling, teetering, barking – it fits who a dog is.  On the obedience side, there’s heeling, lying still, standing still, sitting still, and being called to the owner to sit still in front of her until told to get into heel position, and that’s just the first level of fun.  I can see why agility has taken off while obedience simmers and even evaporates a little.

Meanwhile, I’m training Leissl for the upcoming Miami Cluster Dog Trials in December.  She has two legs of three needed for her Rally Advanced title, and I want to get her used to the Excellent exercises, so we can move up should preparation and good fortune invite us to do so.  I’ve been teaching her the 3-step backward move.  She can walk backward fine.   Now we’re working on the walk backward AND stay straight.  Picky picky picky.   Well, when I taught Luigi, I did it in a week, and we weren’t concerned about the straight part.  Now, I’m challenging myself.  On our last run, Leissl missed out on first place because I took for granted that I could start off from a cold start into a slow and move into normal, but that didn’t happen.  We got a big fat zero for that exercise.  That’s another thing I will work on – pace changes.  Rally’s a little more relaxed than obedience competition.

I’ve been thinking about polishing Luigi to compete for his CD, though.   The worst part about the obedience ring is you can’t talk to your dog without points being deducted or being booted from the ring if you overdo it.  Luigi’s used to feedback.  All my dogs are.  So I have to learn to give him the silent treatment and he has to learn to take it and perform if we want to get this thing done. It will be a year at this upcoming trial where he finished his RE degree.  We will see.

One Response to “Getting Ready for Another Trial”

  1. Kristine says:

    Yikes, obedience sounds a little intimidating. You can’t even talk to your dog? We would definitely be out as without my voice, it’s hard to get Shiva to stay in one place for very long.

    I’ve been interested a bit in rally but was concerned about the patience factor. Shiva likes to run run run and rally seems to require a lot of self control. While she has learned that, it still takes a lot of work to keep her still. It may be a good challenge, however, and help in the agility ring.

    Hope you had a great time at the trial!