So I was in my vehicle yesterday driving to a dog event and I realized that my time is split between work (at the vet hospital), the prison (doing dog stuff), the shelter (more dog stuff) and home. That is of course not counting client time. It's no wonder I don't get things accomplished with my own dogs! I set goals and then I have a hard time eeking out time to get it done. (I know, I know, practice during commercials right?) That home time is also spent driving kids to events and back. I guess I need to get better at scheduling time for myself with the dogs. Maybe if I set it as a routine it will get done. Of course the problem with that is I tend to give up my own time to fit clients in. I want to be as flexible as possible for them. So I will TRY the schedule thing and see how it goes. Mmmm yeah. I'll get back to you on that.
Yesterdays dog event was an APDT Rally trial at Wag It. I went as a spectator because I've only just gotten into the AKC Rally. (dipping my toe as it were, no trials under my belt just yet) I wanted to see the difference and since Wag It is close I made the time to go. I am SO glad I did. First it is always fun to watch dogs and their people having fun, second I learned ALOT while there. It is always great meeting fellow dog enthusiasts too. (and then come home and "friend" them on FB VBG)
Here are some of the things I learned: APDT Rally is not the same as AKC Rally. Many of the signs are different, the course is longer and contrary to popular belief it is more difficult than AKC. That was surprising to me. I would have thought it was the other way around. I was told that APDT trials are also much less stuffy than AKC events. You are allowed to get animated in the ring and not so much in the AKC version. APDT allows food rewards in the ring HOWEVER there are very specific rules and times. It is only allowed after the completion of a stationary exercise and only as a reward. (and out of a pocket, no bait bags allowed) Food cannot be used as a lure at all. The APDT version has many more rules and this is why some who show in both versions end up with more NQ's (non qualifying scores) in APDT than they expect.
Because I hate traveling (and lack the time) I want to compete in both versions so I will have more opportunities closer to home and can travel less. (I really hate traveling.) This means I will need to learn ALL the rules. Seeing the APDT version of course got me excited so I came right home and printed all the signs and rules and added them to my notebook. Because there is an AKC match coming up I will concentrate on that for now so I don't confuse myself, but I look forward to trying APDT. I am just really hoping competing in Rally is more fun than traditional obedience was. It seems like it would be but I guess it will all depend on if I get a case of nerves or not.
So in that spirit I pulled out the signs and did a small course in the yard today after all my clients. I learned I suck at that by the way. I figure it is about the practice tho so I didn't freak out about it to much. I would love feedback from others that do AKC Rally since I do not know the fine points. I think I am using to many hand signals and I know I repeated my command on some signs. I get unsure where I should have my hands. (I probably should tape a run, watch it on the camera and then adjust for the next run instead of taping them and then downloading them to the computer to watch. Duh.) Next time I will go to a bigger area and do a more proper course. I was just to darn tired to drive somewhere else to set up.
Because it cuts off the right side of the video when I post them here I am using the links instead.
I did change some of the signs between runs.
I took some liberties like I did a short serpentine (3 cones) and didn't do the three steps (forward) because I would have been past the next sign. I have no idea if I can take that step back for the finish to the right exercise. And is my sign for finish to the left to exaggerated? (I know I need to teach her to pivot.)
The match is in a couple of weeks and I WILL make time to go. If I'm ever going to jump in the pool I have to start somewhere. I figure a match will be the least painful way to do it. I hear there is an APDT trial coming up in July. With any luck that will be next for us after MUCH more practice!
(Today I realized that I look older on camera than I do in my own mind, and my rear is much wider than I imagined. It's tough to be in denial when you have video proof. Dang.)