My first "Fun" Match!

The family and I spent a whole 4 hrs at a Fun Match at a training club an hour away.  It was really great that I did this because I would have bombed horribly at a real obedience trial.  So many little things you don't realize until you've practiced outside your bubble.  And I'm not talking distractions, but what you can and can't do with your hands, best way to approach a figure 8, that you should bring a crate, etc.  

Boca and I participated in Novice Obedience and Beginner's Novice.  Novice came first and at the first exercise where you remove the leash she said "Whooopee I'm free!" and left the ring.  Soo, since this was just a fun match, they let me leash her for all the rest of the heeling.  But she did great at the leash free recall later. We have a lot of heel work to fix mostly because I can't walk a straight line and forget I'm the one leading other times.  But her stay were good and apparently the group sits and stays are on leash, so they've lowered the difficulty. It used to be you left your dog in a line of dogs for 1 minute sit stay and a 3 minute down stay.


Anyway it was fun, here are the videos of our successes and foibles:


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  • Excellent! 

    • Thanks. I think I have to do some walking on command myself.  The only thing we haven't practiced in YEARS, that I'm reteaching now, is stand-for-exam.  They let me do a sit for exam instead of a stand exam in the match. also doesn't have the strongest sit stay--in the house she'll end up laying down if she thinks I'm not paying attention to her.  So I've got to backtrack a bit.  

    • It's funny how different they all are. Jasper's worst command is "down". It's difficult to get him into a full down to begin with, and once you do, he pops up into a sit at the first opportunity. If we hadn't had the option of having them in a sit or a down for the "put your dog in a stay and walk away" part of the CGC exam, he would have failed it. 

    • I think her not holding a sit is more about senior dog comfort.  Jasper probably wants to be ready to go! 

    • That's a good point. The last 5 years of his life, Jack was very uncomfortable sitting due to his herniated lumbar disc. 

  • You and Boca look good! I'm with you. The human part is harder than the dog part for me. I got a lot of feedback with the figure 8 to practice it without the dog because I'm messing them up. I get too close to the post when the dog is on the inside. And just walking the figure 8 is hard. I just finished a class of beg. nov with Willow and I spent 6 weeks working on about turns. I'm not a dancer! Now Maggie is taking it with a different instructor and she wants the footwork on the about turn to be different than the last instructor. Come on people! The last instructor, who I'm in love with, says it's all about patterning. Doing the same thing consistently every time. And I believe that. So switching it up every time I have a new teacher really messes me up. 

    But it's fun, isn't it! I really enjoy the time I spend training and really being present with them. It's not just having dogs who hang out on the couch. It's having dogs and spending quality time with them. I think some people get so uptight about being perfect and having great scores. But I watched this funny dog at my first Rally trial who kept laying down and rolling around instead of doing what he was supposed to. And he was still having fun. That's what I think dog sports should be about. At the end of the day, no matter how it goes you get to go home with the best dog ever.

    • Love your perspective to balance mine. I want to get it RIGHT, but it is fun when it's done. 

    • I don't have a competitive bone in my body. I just don't. The reason I started down this road is becausd I always wanted to be "in" dogs. And because when it's time to go to a breeder who I respect to get a puppy I want them to find me worthy. I want to be able to say I'm not just a pet person. I have all these titles on my dogs. I don't want them to turn me away because they're only looking for performance homes. And sometimes I think the people at the kennel club think it's weird if you don't. Why are we taking all these classes if we're not going to do anything with them?

    • My whole purpose for training is so my dogs are easy to live with. I want to be able to tell a dog to sit, leave it, stay, whatever and have them actually do it.  And then recall is nice for safety.  That's why I have NO interest in cats.  They just do whatever they want without regard to us, the humans.  

      I mean when you look at the CGC and Companion Dog titles, the stuff required isn't truly THAT hard.  Precise heeling takes a lot of work, but having a dog walk politely by your side, stay nearby as you walk, listen to simple commands for short periods...should be normal.  I mean a 1 min sit stay at the end of a leash...c'mon that should be what ANY owner expects in life.  Yes it is HARD to do it in a performance way, but these are not such hard tasks that only amazing trainers can accomplish them.  They should be a given.  So that's why I train.  And then the bond and trust and relationship that comes from it is what I discovered is really awesome too.

      Aaaaand...I DO have a competitive side.  It comes out in little areas.  I'm not all around competitive.  I'm selectively competitive.  

      But I love reading your thoughts on things.  You are definitely mellower and more relaxed about dogs and it's nice to read your thoughts to balance my more rigid/structured way of thinking about what to expect from dogs.  Probably once I hit the 20 year mark with dogs a random visitor MIGHT find dogs on my couches...not today, but maybe someday.  

    • Also I don't know how to turn left.  I can about-turn but turning left I've got to practice alone.  Which foot does what and in what order and direction??  LOL

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