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Archive for November, 2012

So now I can officially say I compete in Obedience, Rally and Agility. Today was our first Obedience Trial. The Labrador rocked it! She earned a 193 out of 200 for second place and our first Q in Beginner Novice.

I had a conversation about nerves in the ring. I get nervous, but I was told that eventually your brain does start to work in the ring, it just takes time. I was also warned that as you move up in levels you can regress, but it usually doesn’t take as long to get it back. I had a moment today in the ring where the brain engaged. In Rally you can talk to your dog. The Labrador has her RN, so I’m used to talking to her in the ring. In Beginner Novice you are allowed the command, and then one praise without penalty. You can actually NQ for constantly talking to the dog.

We go into the ring, she sits and the judge gives the command “forward.” I tell the Labrador to heel and we move out and I start to praise her! She’s heeling, I’m excited and then something in my brain clicks and very loudly in my head the thought comes, “You need to shut up!” Brain worked! Even if it was only for a moment.

The judge was very nice and kind to the newbies. The walk through was good and helpful. At one point while in the ring he asked if I was ready. I think it was the sit for exam. At that moment the Labrador stood up. “No, you’re not ready. Don’t worry we can wait till you are.” I think I managed a “Thank you,” as I got her back into the sit. Luckily that exercise doesn’t start being judged until you leave your dog!

He was kind enough to tell me we qualified as we left the ring, so I knew we’d be going back in for our green ribbon! What I didn’t expect was the red! Apparently the brain can also freeze during the handing out of the ribbons as I heard my number, got my ribbon, but never heard my score! I had to go look that up after class, and I’m still amazed by it! We definitely need to work on heeling as that’s where we lost most of our points. I honestly believe it’s her picking up on my nerves that does it. My points loss, her good job for the ribbon!

I loved the fact they gave out copies of the AKC Obedience Regulations to everyone who Qualified in my class, along with a nice goodie bag. The granola bar in the goodie bag was greatly appreciated once I could finally eat!

So much excitement and nerves for three minutes of performance! And I get to do it all over again tomorrow. I should be able to sleep better tonight, but I know I’ll be just as nervous tomorrow!

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