The title of this post will attract readers who have something in common with us - obedience competition. If you want to read more about what we've been up to in competition, stick around. If you want to learn a little about competitive obedience, stick around. For those of you who really aren't into following our performance activities, come back for our next post :)
Last weekend Team Frenchie headed to a large local obedience and rally trial. Both Brutus and Carmen had multiple entries, & boy - did they do me proud!!
Brutus & I had recently started working on our CD (Companion Dog) title, the first level of obedience. It's much stricter than rally, as much higher level of teamwork between handler & dog is expected. Only single commands allowed, no luring or extra encouragement to the dog. You are alone in the ring with the judge, who calls out all the exercises of the 7-part test. Here's some still shots (taken from the video, so pardon the quality) from our Novice A test on Saturday:
Not pictured are the off-lead heeling ("heel free") and stand for exam exercises. There are also group sit/stay (1 minute) and group down/stay (3 minute) exercises, where dogs go back into the ring in groups of 5-7 to demonstrate their ability to stay put in close proximity to others while their handlers are across the room.
For those of you with high-speed connections, here is the video of our Novice A exercises for your amusement. During the "heel free" exercise, Brutus decides to see if the judge had any cookies - so it's pretty funny!
There are 200 points possible, and teams need a minimum of 170 to Qualify. It's been a challenge keeping Brutus motivated, do I would have considered it a success to just put in a decent run for us, whether we qualified or not. We competed two days, earning qualifying scores of 185 and 189! Not only did we place both days (3rd on Saturday, 1st on Sunday), but our performances earned us our CD title!!! It has been a goal of mine to get that title with Brutus, but never dreamed we'd qualify in 3/3 tries and have our CD within less than 2 months of starting it!
Brute & I also finished his RE (Rally Excellent) title, and won that class with a 98! Two titles and three placements in one weekend - woohoo!!
|Brutus, CD RE NA OAJ NF CGC|
Little miss Carmen also got to venture back into the rally ring. You might remember seeing a video of her in our debut at Nationals. Carmen bested her performance there, scoring a perfect 100 on our test and winning a tough Novice B class on Saturday. We got our 3rd qualifying score on Sunday, tying for 3rd with a 97 (lost 3 points for handler error, ugh) - that earned Carmen her first title, Rally Novice (RN)!! And she had yet to turn 8 months old! So proud of my little princess and how much poise she had in the ring at such a young age!
|Drama Queen d'Assisi, RN CGC|
So here is Team Frenchie with all of their loot. Five runs over two days, with 5 Q's, 5 placements, and 3 titles! What a weekend - especially for "non-sporting" dogs!!
So what is next for Team Frenchie?
Brutus has a few more entries next weekend (APDT Rally), but then will take a long hiatus from the obedience ring while we work on exercises from the next level (Open, the CDX title) - things like dumbbell retrieves, drop on recall, and directed jumping. In the mean time we'll focus on our agility training, as we're entered in a huge agility trial the weekend before Chirstmas, where we'll have 4 days to start working on our AXJ (Excellent JWW) and OA (Open Agility) titles. Our goal is now to qualify for the agility Invitational next year, which will happen in Orlando during December 2011.
Carmen will also be on a little hiatus from the performance ring. She's started agility lessons & is LOVING them - she is already bounding through tunnels! Carmen will be spayed once she goes through one heat cycle, which will be upon us any day now (a new experience for me). For growth reasons - especially since she'll likely compete in agility - it has been recommended to let her go through puberty naturally to help close growth plates at the proper time. Since I do not plan to breed Carmen, it is in her best interest to spay her about 2 months after her first cycle. In the mean time I've decided to dabble in the breed ring (conformation) - might as well show off my pretty girl while she's still eligible to compete! As you can see, Carmen will still have plenty to keep her busy this winter!
For those of you that made it through the post, thanks for your interest! It'll be a while before I do another performance update, I try not to do more than one a month as to not bore our readers. Couldn't help but brag this time, though - a perfect weekend (let alone with two dogs) is pretty hard to come by!