Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Fun for me!

Sunday I got to attend a couple of training seminars. The first was a beginners Rally class. I have always wanted to show in Rally since it seems like so much more fun than regular obedience. I have shown our frenchie Missy a couple of times in regular obedience but we have yet to get a qualifying score. My fault each time. In Rally you get to use hand signals and talk to, praise and encourage your dog. Think more realistic real world obedience.

My birds eye view of Missy.
A little bit of one of the courses. As a trainer it is always fun to get to attend training for a change. No stress of running the class, just the fun of participating and watching others.

For other dogs in the Rally class we had this cutie who belongs to my apprentice Jen. (Please excuse my HORRIBLE camera. I had the flash off so as not to disturb others so it was using caveman slow shutter speed. There will be lots of unintentional blurriness in these pics.) Other dogs included a Briard, a Sheltie, a yellow Lab, a Norweigan Elkhound, and two Belgian Turverns. All gorgeous of course. I wish I had taken more pics. I hope I haven't forgotten anyone. Now that I did the class I need to dig out my signs, buy some sign holders and start practicing. No excuses now!
Then after Rally there was a handling seminar with a UKC judge. I am thinking about showing our frenchie in the Veterans class since she turns 8 in April. Since she is already spayed that is the only class she qualifies for in conformation. (plus they have to be 8 or older) This is a way to dip my toe in the show world and see if I like it without having an intact dog on my hands. Why oh why won't AKC have alter classes? They have them at cat shows and they are VERY competitive. I know they use the, "We use shows to prove breed quality blah blah blah" as their reasoning. However I think that alter classes would be a great way to show progeny of a breeding program AND help addict others into the show world. If it is all about money I think AKC would love to hear of ways to get new people into the show rings. (statisticly entries are down the past few years hence the addition of Rally) Of course I also wish there were more UKC shows around. I love the critiquing of the dogs they do and the fact it is much more laid back. No professional handlers!!! But I digress.

I have actually been going to handling classes in the past as a way to practice Missy's stand for the exam in regular obedience. It worked wonders for her getting used to people bending over her. She loves handling class now because it means lots of treats just for standing and looking pretty. She can do that very well. All I need to do is walk a straight line. Hey it's harder than it looks!

I have also taken my akita Jack in the past just as a way to get him out to do something around other dogs. Many handling classes are drop in so you don't need to set a certain amount of weeks aside to be somewhere specific. Perhaps when Jack hits 8 I will try him in veterans as well just for fun.

We had quite a variety of breeds in the handling class. Irish wolfhounds, labs, turverns, a beagle, a briard, a norweigan elkhound, a cardigan welsh corgi and even a chihuaha. It was fun being around so many other dog people all at once. No worries about to much dog conversation there!

The facility was wonderful. Fabulous skid free flooring. It is a new building owned by http://www.leapingdogs.com/ She was off at a seminar herself but had rented out the space for the classes by other instructors. I admit I had facility envy. I would love to have the space to practice my own stuff inside nice and warm and mud free.
My next doggy trip is March 29th. I am headed to Portland for an aggression seminar with Dr. Nicholas Dodman at HappyTails. http://www.happytailsportland.com/ I love behavior seminars so it should be alot of fun.


Smartphone said...
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Hannah said...

Oh my lord, I would've gone all starry-eyed over the Briard! There's a breed you don't see often!

Missy is a cutie... and I like your shoes. :]

Marie said...

Yeah he was beautiful but all I could think of when I looked at him was I bet his coat attracts LOTS of snowballs in deep snow. To much grooming for me. :-)

Katie said...

I love rally. I've yet to drum up the courage to actually trial, but I've been taking classes with Luce for years. We have another one starting on Saturday, actually. Just beginner yet again, but her problem has everything to do with attention, so it's as good a place to work on that as any.

Richard Laplante said...

Sounds like it will be a great seminar.