Monday, March 24, 2008

An Obedient Easter

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend! It just so happened that our club's obedience trial fell on this weekend, which was really strange. This is probably the first Easter that I can remember that I was not at church. It was a good weekend, anyway.

We started the weekend off with Teddy getting groomed on Friday morning. We went to our usual place, but a new groomer worked on him. She actually did a really nice job shaping his bracelets and his head, but she shaved way too much off of his tail base that I had been trying to grow out over the past couple of months. Argh! Here we go again with the tail, oh well. The funniest part about the grooming was that they put 2 big blue bows on Teddy's ears. It was hilarious! I just shook my head when I picked him up, and told him that his doggie friends were going to tease him at the C match that we were headed to that afternoon. Let's just say that we were the talk of the match!

Teddy and I showed in Rally Advanced and Excellent, and Wildcard Open, just for the heck of it, which gave us 7 ribbons and 2 RAE legs (numbers 3 and 4 towards his RAE title).

Heeling has always been an issue with us. I'm sure that I did not teach it properly from the beginning, but we have been working very hard on this lately. I will say that our heeling had gotten better in our last 2 trials, but we had a backslide this weekend. So, we will take a few steps back in our training. In our utility class on Monday night, I worked on having him off leash for most of the class, and reminding him that his place was right at my side, not checking out spots on the mats or visiting with another person or dog.

On Saturday, the Rally courses were deceptively easy. The signs were easier signs, but the course layout was what increased the difficulty level. The courses were not flowy, but had strange angles with a lot of diagonal lines. We kind of struggled through the Excellent course because of our bad heeling with a score of 87, but did much better in Advanced with a score of 94. On Sunday, however, the signs were more difficult, but the layout was more flowy. This was the first time that I have had the off-set figure 8 on the course, which was the first sign. I have to admit that I have been dreading the day when we would get this sign, but Teddy did surprisingly well with the 2 toys that were used as the distractions. I think he thought I was setting him up. :) We received a 96 in Excellent, and a 98 and 4th place in the Excellent class. Below is a picture of Teddy with his rally and wildcard ribbons.

Since it was Easter, my mom had to bring Teddy an Easter bunny. It was a big hit. There was much shaking and killing of the bunny. In case you are wondering what is on his ears, it's bows that came on some packages of Easter candy. We thought it would be cute for a picture.


Poodlebugs said...

So, you mentioned that you did Wildcard open, and that you had 7 ribbons, but you never exactly said HOW he did in Wildcard Open!

Theodorable said...

Well, it went alright. He did all of the exercises, and his BJ has gotten better with a tighter turn. However, our heeling was not good, and he went down on his sits, which he hasn't done in a while. I would do wildcard again, though because you qualify no matter what you do in the ring, so I can give extra commands and even praise if needed.

Kim said...

Congrats on the rally passes. I really had a hard time with Chauncey and heeling. I basically trained her worng in the beginning and allowed things to slide that made it worse instead of correcting immediately. Since I have been training with Maggie we went back to the beginning and re-taught her where heel position was and that it was her job to maintain or receive a correction. She is an awesome heeler now and we get compliments wherever we work on how nice a working dog she is. The change is amazing.

Sometimes stepping back a reworking really helps.