Saturday, March 04, 2006

Laev's Second AKC Trial

Well, she's still a puppy.

Actually, today wasn't bad. It was a MUCH busier trial than her first outing, which I knew in advance, and she was pretty distracted by all the activity. She also is displaying an alarming fixation on smaller dogs -- not aggressive, but playful in an intense, you're-little-and-fast-moving kind of way. It could become a real issue if not managed, I suspect, but I am trying to stay well on top of it. It's kind of tough, though, when other dogs are giving her intense eye contact while we're lining up for the group exercises...!

Laev did qualify in her first AKC Rally trial, which I expected -- AKC Rally is very simple, and I would have been worried if we didn't manage to qualify! (Incidentally, Shakespeare took home an award for High-Scoring Doberman in all Rally classes with a 97, redeeming himself somewhat after a mediocre run; there was a barking scuffle outside the ring and he wanted to deal with that more than look pretty heeling.) She did not, however, qualify in her standard Novice B class. She was just distracted and generally not "on." She did a spot-on Stand for Exam, which pleased me, and eventually she did remember what heeling was, but she was nosy toward the Figure 8 posts, gave me initially ugly heeling, etc.

We've also established a solid pattern over a data sample of two trials that she can hold a sit stay for exactly 57 seconds. Both times she broke just before the judge asked the handlers to return. /sigh/ We're still working on extending duration at home, but I guess the trial is just too busy....

I have no more entries planned for her in the next months. I wanted to do the February trial to support the specialty club and to give her a very controlled, quiet first trial, and I did this one to support a club I've worked with for years and also to experiment a little, but after tomorrow she gets some time to grow a brain. She was very obviously tired during today's performance, exhausted afterward, and it's just a lot for a young pupper brain to process. She's not doing badly for her age and (lack of) maturity, really, but I have no reason to push or hurry her.

Congratulations to Alena and Lucrezia, who earned their first Novice leg today and took High Scoring Doberman in the standard Obedience classes. :-)

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