Saturday, March 01, 2008

Three runs, three legs, three titles, one day.

We had an AKC trial today. We average 1 AKC trial per year, roughly; it's just not high on my priority list as entry fees keep going up, AKC dumbed down the Rally I enjoyed, and the culture can feel clique-ish and less supportive. (Of course there are exceptionally nice people participating in AKC, too!) But I wanted to finish the titles we'd started.

So three entries, today. Shakespeare finished his RA with a very distracted 95 points (of 100). Silly dog; Rally is his favorite and I'm not sure why he was spacing today. He got a fourth place.

Laev finished her RN despite her stupid handler. Laev apparently read the sign correctly and lay down ("it says down, Mom, trust me!") but I gave her the eyeball and she changed to a sit. Unfortunately, the Doberman is always right, and we finished her title with an unimpressive 86 points. Still counts, though!

And then we waited for Novice obedience, where Laev could finish her CD. A client couple appeared at the trial to learn more about sports and to watch us. (No pressure.) I was a bit worried about Laev, as she still has the mystery ailment that saps energy and focus; I was afraid she'd distract or lie down on the sit-stay, as she had done a few times in practice. But she came through beautifully, giving me enthusiastic and energetic heeling, a picture-perfect stand for exam, and a happy recall that got ticked for one point, but I have no idea why.

Her heeling was a bit too enthusiastic, actually. :-) While we didn't have any "vertical heeling," she wrapped herself about my left leg and lost points for crabbing and crooked sits. I can't blame her at all; I never really focused on straight sits originally, preferring the enthusiasm of her forward movement, and it's less of a problem when we're moving briskly. I was slower today, though, in an indoor ring and just tired myself, and so she compensated by bending herself into a pretzel. As that is where we lost all our other points, I might have to go back and actually make myself train a straight heel.

Still, clicker training produced a very reliable dog, reliably and consistently making the same mistake I'd originally trained. /laugh/

I will compliment Laev on this, though; I was going through a collection of photos to order some professional shots of our run, and every single picture shows rapt attention. The only time she's not looking intently up at me is when I'm leaving her in the sit for the recall. Even other observers commented on it; she's darn focused. Good girl.

She twitched once during the group stays but held her position. And that was her third leg and her AKC CD. Time to move on to new things!

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