Not a good day for us in the Rally ring. Although we have practiced, we have never trialed in an outdoor ring before. Both dogs were completely distracted. All they wanted to do was sniff and explore. A very embarrassing and humbling experience. Between the morning and afternoon trial I spent some time walking each of them around and letting them sniff everything and meet people. They were a little more focused in the afternoon but still quite distracted. Spirit managed to squeak by with a 72 (a very generous judge) and get her first Q in advanced rally. I know that I have a lot of work to do so that both dogs find being with me more rewarding than all the distractions in a trial environment. I learned a big and very valuable lesson.
This weekend both Brodie and Spirit competed in Rally Obedience at the Northern Alberta Canine Association (NACA) trial. I’m so proud of both of them. On Friday Brodie got his third qualification for Rally Intermediate and earned his title. He is now known as Copppermoon Lighning Bug CGN, RI, SD-S (SP). We moved up to the Advanced level for Saturday and Sunday. That means he now competes off-leash and there are toys and food used as distractions on the course. Both kryptonite for my boy. The second day he spotted the food bowl and squeaky toy while we were still sitting and waiting to start our run. I knew I was in for trouble. A few seconds into our run he took off and ran and got the squeaky toy. Very proud of myself. I called him back to me and asked him to give me the toy and thank goodness he did. The audience was in stitches. I think I earned brownie points when I put him in a down stay and walked across the course to put the toy back where it belonged. He held the stay and then we resumed the course as if nothing had happened. Little brat! He completed both runs successfully and earned 2 qualifications towards his advanced title. Sunday was also the Golden Retriever Specialty. I was so surprised when the ring steward gave us an an extra ribbon (green) and a beautiful leather leash from the Golden Retriever Club of Alberta for high score in a rally trial. Here’s my handsome boy with all of his swag and a closeup of his new leash.
Not to be outdone by her younger brother, Spirit also had a great weekend. On Friday she got a perfect score of 100 for a high in trial in her first ever Intermediate run. On Saturday she was working towards another perfect score but was spooked when a dog in the adjacent ring doing obedience, ran towards us. We lost 2 points because she got scared and ran to the end of the leash. I was so thrilled with her. She has a history of being reactive and very uncomfortable around other dogs but she didn’t bark and she recovered so quickly and finished the course in style. So proud of how she handled herself. In her final run on Sunday she got a 97 and a 4th in trial. That means she earned her Intermediate title and is now known as Tailspin’s Winter’s Spirit RI SD-A.
A very big thank you to Judges Gail Carroll and Shawn Kelly.
We spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday driving back and forth to Camrose to participate in the Battle River Canine Association rally obedience trial. It was a very tough weekend for Brodie. As a 13 month old, teenage intact male, this was his first exposure to a smorgasbord of intact females and he lost his mind. I’ve lost my sweet, calm and focused boy. He has been replaced by this wild child who has zero interest in his Mom. I’m heart broken but I knew it was coming. Hopefully this phase won’t last too long.
Friday was a complete disaster with a NQ in advanced and then we got excused from the ring during his Intermediate run because he decided to have a poop in the ring…totally out of character for him. Saturday was a bit better. We squeaked by our Intermediate run with a 73 qualifying score and a 4th in trial ribbon. Sunday I saw a brief glimpse of my sweet boy and we walked away with an Intermediate score of 88, our second Q and a Second in Class ribbon.
Thank you to Judges Karen Brearley, Margaret Chandler, Marie-Johanne Cloutier.
I signed Spirit up for 3 days of rally novice just to give her some experience in the trial environment. She can get anxious and reactive around other dogs so I wanted her first trial to be somewhere relatively close to home giving us the opportunity to just take her home if she was overwhelmed. She amazed me. There were only minor signs of stress and I was able to quickly focus and redirect her. Not only did she successfully complete her trial each day with a qualifying score, she earned her Novice title with scores of 92, 96 and 95. On Friday she also got a ribbon for Second in Class. She is now officially known as Tailspin’s Winter’s Spirit RN . Not bad considering we just finished our introductory rally course a couple of weeks ago. Yahoooooooooo Thank you to Judges Karen Brearley, Margaret Chandler, Marie-Johanne Cloutier.