Encore DogSports Rally Trial–September 22 & 23, 2012

Last weekend, Bear and I, along with our friends Bella and Renee went to Regina to judge the first ever rally trial held by Encore DogSports. Since I was judging two half days, I had the opportunity to enter Bear in 6 c-stream runs.

The trial was in a venue we had never been to. I was unsure how things would go for us, but I hoped we get the last two legs we needed for our CARO Silver award.

The planets aligned and we managed to qualify 3 times, earning the silver award and a pretty purple New Title rosette. We are also now one leg ahead for the Gold award.

New Title? What’s a title mom? Do I get a cookie after this?

Needs Improvement

  • Bear did have some sniffing issues around corners of the ring. Especially those corners with doors that led out of the arena and into the boarding kennel. I can only imagine all the interesting smells wafting in.
  • Bear’s stand for exam seems to have deteriorated. He does stand but moves towards the judge a bit. When I give him the second cue to stay, he holds the stay but the movement and the extra cues lose me 4 points. we only have 10 points to play with in C stream so this is something we need to fix.
  • The value of salmon brownies seemed to fade on day 2 when Beef liver and a game of tug was the reward of choice.

Working Well

  • We had food bowls in 2 runs on Saturday and Bear did not even acknowledge they existed. the bowls contained dried rollover chips that many dogs found tempting.
  • I remembered to use our ‘rally routine’ of settle plus a bit of work prior to our run.
  • Bear was either with me 100% of the way, or able to recover from wandering off. Anytime this happens, I consider the run a success – especially when it happens in a new venue!
  • The building was rather echo-y and one of the dogs in our class likes to bark – a lot – this did not bother Bear at all.
  • I managed to stay cool and not get too frustrated during the one run where bear was particularly distracted.

Work Ahead

This was a great way to finish the year with Bear. I’ll be judging at the next trial in the area, so I’ll likely leave Bear home with Sean. We have a CARO trial planned for January 2013 when we’ll be offering the Versatility Excellent class for the first time . The main things we need to work on for January are:

  • Stand for exam
  • Figure 8 with distractions (maybe add toys since food has apparently been conquered)
  • Advanced and Excellent exercises on the right hand side!

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