Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Vancouver Kennel Club Rally Trial

Leo was entered in his first performance event on Halloween. Initially I didn't enter him because I haven't really worked anything with him for rally, but with a little good natured "egging on" from a friend, I went for it. In the end I wasn't sorry for having entered him. He wasn't ready but it was a good environment to get him ready. And in the end, he actually surprised me as I felt he did better than Vegas. My guess though is that he was not walking close enough to me to count as a heel. Nonetheless, we got through it and I know next time we will do better.

That was the positive, "glass half full" side of the story. The hard part about this day was that ring time was set for 11:30 am beginning with Excellent B and progressing toward Novice A. The steward even said, when we checked in, they were running on schedule and "at last it won't be 4 o'clock" when it's your turn. Well, it was 4:15. We had arrived shortly before 10 am so we could get checked in, watch the Danes and maybe a couple other breeds in conformation, and then have a chance at our rally run. Instead we ended up trying to kill time, we were hungry, we were bored, we were tired of practicing our rally exercises, and Leo was probably over stimulated as this was an environment he was not accustomed (much different than an agility trial). I probably made the mistake, too, of not setting up the crates or putting the dogs in the truck when we knew how slowly the event was progressing. But, as with many things, hindsight is 20/20. So by the time we "ran," I had two very mentally done dogs. Plus, rally was held in the horse arena at Clark County Fairgrounds. This arena is used for a ton of events and the dirt floor is oh so fragrant. Vegas wanted to sniff cones a lot and poor Leo was even closer to the ground for sniffing plus a dog had urinated in the ring. All in all, that made for a lot of stress and frustration because I know my dogs can work better.

Our biggest issues were just going into the ring he saw something he wasn't certain of so pulled away. The down and walk around was an issue even though I got him to where he was doing it consistently outside the ring. I think the rest was just not being close enough to me. I would have loved to have video but with my son holding Vegas and her pitching a fit that Mama wasn't working with her, it didn't happen.

So Leo walked away without a qualifying leg toward his RN but I hope it served to show him he can work in a ring with me and that we'll do better next time.

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