Tuesday, November 2, 2010

More APDT Rally fun

So Sunday Jenny and I went to another APDT Rally trial at Wag It in Lincolnville. I think we did pretty good. I entered 3 level 1 trials on the road to our rally level 1 excellent title. I figured this would give me extra practice at not getting nervous while I wait to go into the ring before we start trying for our level 2 title. It is only the 4th time we have done a Rally event if you count the AKC match. (I only enter one day of most two day events due to my work schedule and the prison training schedule.)
In trial 1 Jenny was distracted and we scored a 197. Trial 2 wasn't much different and we scored a 198. Trial 3 was the last one of the day and I was pretty tired by then. I was to tired at that point for any nerves so maybe that is why we did better and scored a 206 to get a 3rd place ribbon. So that makes 3 qualifying scores towards the 10 we need. Yay for Jenny!
I have identified a couple of problems however:
One is that I think my hand signals must be slightly different in the ring than out of it. I say that because when I warm her up or practice she does the exercises with no hesitation. Yet those same exercises in the ring has her looking at me like she didn't understand the cue. Then we end up retrying the station. I guess I need to get more video both in and out of the ring to see if I can figure out exactly what it is I am doing differently.
The other is that I am becoming to competitive! Not with any of the other teams but with myself. When I get a score I think could have been better I find that I am thinking to much about it. "We can do better than that!" This is supposed to just be fun for us. Something Jenny and I get to do together to show our skills and a chance to socialize with other dog lovers. It is weird because I don't really consider myself a competitive person. I guess the good thing is that it isn't directed at anyone else. I love watching others so I can cheer them on and learn stuff from their runs. And it is just plain entertaining to watch dogs have fun with their people. I also really love that in Rally everyone else is the same way. The camaraderie in the sport is fabulous! And to be honest it is probably part of what keeps me going back for more. It's not like I need to compete in shows after all.
I need to stop focusing on high scores and be happy when we get a qualifying score. Period. I think maybe it is because I am a dog trainer. Maybe I'm holding myself to a high standard because I worry how it will look to others. "She's a dog trainer, her dog should get great scores." Which is silly because many of the exhibitors are also dog trainers and I don't think that about their scores at all. (so in theory they probably don't care about my scores either) I guess I need to work on that. But then again maybe it's a good thing. I mean striving to do better isn't all bad is it? (OK I just re-read what I wrote and think I am a greedy idiot. Those are pretty good scores!)
Here she is in between classes relaxing. She doesn't like being alone in the car so I try to give her many breaks and spend time with her frequently. For me part of showing is about spending time with your dog after all. I tried putting her into the soft crate thinking she would be warmer in the smaller space. I draped a blanket over the back of it to keep body heat in as well. When I came out to check her I found her stuck between the window I put it in front of (so she could see where I went) and the crate. Hmmm what's wrong with that picture? Luckily it looks fixable as she only pulled the door out of the zipper. Even if I have to sew that door shut it has a top loading door as well. Lesson learned: use metal fold up crates when leaving her unattended in the future.
I think we will start practicing for level 2 more so we can enter level 1 and 2 at trials. This will keep us busier and also works towards our ARCH title. (I think.) FMI on APDT Rally go to www.apdt.com and click on the Rally link. I'm still learning as I go.
And how cute is this? You can find your own at www.magneticpedigrees.com
The photo: Honestly, she either looks irritated, grumpy, or scared in most of the photos I take of her. She is so serious all the time. At this point I'm not sure she has a happy face!


Gina said...

It was a lot of fun talking with you at the Rally trial. This is a great write up about your experience. Jenny looked great out there and you both should be proud! (as I know you are!) See ya around the ring....;-)

Marie said...

Thanks Gina! It was great to chat with you too. And I love watching your dogs work. Their focus is amazing!