Friday, September 16, 2005

Rally Correction and Update

I was wrong. It used to be that APDT offered varied titles based on score averages, then the varied titles were offered according to scoring within guidelines, and now they just offer one title for all qualifying legs, just like AKC and UKC. So Shakespeare has a RL2 as of last Sunday. It would not hindered her in the future if Laev had qualified after all with a low score, but I don't care; she doesn't need a leg that young.

Today was our first AKC Rally trial. I've seen only one course, obviously, but I found AKC to be *much* easier than APDT. Multiple commands, signals, etc. are allowed without penalty (it's -3 points for each in APDT) and the Novice course was only 11 stations long, as opposed to the 18 we did in Level 1 at the APDT trial. Also, there's no time limit in AKC like there is for APDT. Several others there who trial in both venues said that AKC is written to be easier, too; I checked the rules and AKC has fewer allowable exercises in Novice than ADPT, making for less variety and less challenge (in my opinion).

Even so, I was amazed that I actually felt nervous before this trial, unlike my APDT runs. I'm so conditioned to thinking AKC competition is strict, unyielding and difficult for us; what must my poor dog think? And yes, between stations 3 and 4 he glanced around and suddenly a little thought bubble popped into existence over his head: "Wait! This isn't Rally -- this is a trial!!!" He lagged a bit on the 270-degree Right Turn immediately following, and then he came back mentally a little. He didn't feel quite as good to me as he did last weekend, though.

And AKC Rally courses are tight! Stations are close together, or at least this one was. No room to really open up and trot out. Kind of like AKC agility courses versus USDAA or NADAC, I guess.

Anyway, Shakespeare left today with a 98/100, so I was pretty happy. :-) We didn't place; there were 5? dogs with a 99 score, and times were used to break those ties.

Rally is definitely popular! We had over forty dogs entered in just our class alone, not including Novice A. Someone said today that her last trial had over 100 dogs entered in Rally in one day. That's amazing! Obedience folks can only dream of such numbers right now.

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