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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    • I am also not great at left turns. It's so funny to realize that you have no idea how to walk until you're trying to do it on purpose.

  • Wow you guys did great! And Boca looks like she is having fun!!

    • Thanks BG :-)

  • Thanks so much for sharing this here, Adina!  I'm thinking it hasn't been all that long that you and Boca have been "practicing", and you both are doing great!  She is focusing on you, which I think is the key.  Also, it looks like these exercises did not include any treats...unless I'm missing something.  I know if the actual competitions treats aren't allowed, but at this stage I think it's awesome that Boca is doing so well with no treat/reward.  She seems to be enjoying it...at one point as she was sitting it looked like I saw a little tail wag.  I hope you'll keep sharing as you go down this road of compeititve obedience....I love watching dogs and owners working together like this.   I think many of us think of this as something you do with young dogs....but clearly that's not the case. 

    • Well we were hard at work since she was about 5 months or so until she was a year or two.  Then I had my second child and that was the end of that.  I mean we still would do some practice here and there and a lot of heeling on walks and using commands when needed.  But not much work on polishing.

      I don't use treats in training the basics so that is why you saw no treats.  

      Yes there was a tail wag.  It was so cute.

      And yeah...it's never too late unless a dog physically can't do what you're asking of it.

    • Jack was almost 7 years old when he got his CGC. It's never too late! 

    • Funny enough I'm not sure Boca can get her CGC because she whines so much with novel dogs.  At least in an obedience competition she has some time to hang around until she's quit whining.  But I suppose I can go early to the CGC until she's settled.  I think, at least with my skill level, she will never not start whining but she might quit faster the more she goes places with dogs.  But I just think that initial reaction is sooo built in it's unbreakable (by me).  

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