Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Obedience Disappointments

I went from a real high leftover from agility last weekend to a disappointing day less than a week later at an AKC Rally and obedience trial in Tunbridge, VT. Patriot was entered in Rally Excellent B. He has one leg. Wyatt was entered in Open A obedience and Rally Advanced B and Rally Excellent B. Wyatt was in Open A first. I did not have very high hopes since he showed consistent problems a few weeks before. The problems I have been seeing are: lack of automatic sits heeling, not coming on the recall, and going down on the long sit. I did ask the judge to give him time to sit and I also told the judge that I would be giving extra commands on the sits. True to form lately, I did not get one sit for the heel free or figure 8, at least without an extra command. I believe this is due to his nerves. With cheese (or not) outside the ring, he was sitting fine. He did come on the recall and drop, which was great. I gave a loud, but cheerful command and put my whole body into it. He sat too far away and did not sit on the last part to qualify for this part though. He did not come in far enough on the retrieve on flat and needed an extra command for retrieve over jump. He also went down on the long sit. We are definitely not ready, especially at a new site. I am thinking about trying Open B because the initial heeling seems to be so demotivating or dropping back to Novice B.

What was really tough was that rally, where Wyatt usually scores in the high 90s, was also a struggle to get sits, stands, etc. Wyatt did manage to get a double Q, but it was a real struggle. I attribute it all to nerves (mostly his) but it was a frustrating day. We need to get back to the high 90s before we try obedience, I think. I also made a couple of 10 point handler errors, unusual for me.

Patriot, on the other hand, did great and had a 100 going until I blew by a sign, another first for me. I am working hard on getting Patriot ready for Open A. Even though it takes him much longer to learn new things and is not as motivated to work and retrieve, he is a much more confident dog and I think he'll actually do really well if I can get everything trained.


Leila Anichini said...

I decided to sign up for the CDSP venue for the obedience it is more friendly and then I will do AKC
Jewel is working very nice in APDT rally what is much harder than AKC she is ready for ADV A
I learn with my griff first and then go to the whippet!!
good luck

John Heffernan said...

Good luck and good for you for finding some good venues for you...