First dog show - not quite last...

Discussion in 'Obedience' started by Joy, Oct 15, 2016.

  1. Joy

    Joy Registered Users

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    Today Molly and I competed at a KC affiliated obedience show - first time for both of us. We didn't exactly cover ourselves with glory. We were in two classes and sadly were eliminated in the beginners, as Molly took off out of the ring to get to my OH. We were allowed to complete the round as training. A (very) little better in pre-beginners, in that we weren't eliminated! The rings were in a huge barn with a sand floor ( which I later found had held livestock till recently). Molly had her nose down for a fair proportion of our heelwork and when doing the recall she zig-zagged around sniffing, though did eventually come to me. ( It felt like ages but OH says it was really less than 10 seconds.)

    Must admit I wasn't prepared for the great gap between where we are and what competition level is! However the stewards, judges and everyone were very kind and encouraging and I wasn't made to feel useless.

    Other positives - Molly had to do four stays (sit and down for each class) and these were all fine, which pleased me as in training she often lies down in the middle of a sit-stay. The other good thing was her retrieve - she waited until told to move, collected the dumbbell and held it in a sit until told to give. I spent several weeks working on this during the summer, so glad it worked! As by then we were doing a training round, the judge commented that retrieving was obviously her strength. Ironic as I always thought heelwork was her strength! Also delighted with her out-of-ring behaviour - amid crowds of people and dogs she walked quietly on a loose lead.

    Strangely I don't feel too bad. A lot to work on, but we'll press on. Very few Labs there, mostly border collies/ working sheepdogs plus a fair number of golden retrievers and German shepherds.
     
  2. JulieT

    JulieT Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    I am extremely pleased you don't feel bad! Feel very proud of yourselves! The number of people that actually go and have a go - and yes, find out that the difference between what the average person trains a pet to do, and the standard required for competition/work is huge - is tiny. Good on you for doing stuff with your dog, and keep it up.

    You went and had a go - that's fabulous. Now you'll work hard and go and have another go next time, and do even better.

    Well done both of you!
     
  3. Joy

    Joy Registered Users

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    Thank you!
     
  4. Beanwood

    Beanwood Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Well done! :star::star:

    You have obviously worked really hard, I would be chuffed with a result like that! (in my dreams!)
     
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  5. bbrown

    bbrown Moderator

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    Well done!!!! You should be very pleased with yourselves :D

    The first competition I did with Riley we came dead last by miles!
    We did two more and were about half way up the field by the last one once we'd got used to all the excitement and what was required ;)
     
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  6. Oberon

    Oberon Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Good on you both!!! Actually sounds really good to me. Great job on the stays, retrieves and the general calmness walking round.

    One of the hardest things to do in a competition obedience environment is to stay relaxed yourself and give exactly the same cues in exactly the same way as you would in training. Usually we are very nervous and the dog knows that something's up. That can lead to the dog doing things like wandering a bit, going slow, sniffing the ground and looking away from us, especially in heel work (and recalls, though it sounds like you did great there :) ). Often these are called 'calming signals' but I think of them more as simply just signs that the dog is a bit stressed. So, for the human, chilling out, putting on a happy face and trying to keep your body language relaxed, confident and normal - those are the things to aim for.

    I hope you have another go. Really sounds like a great start :) As Julie said, this is not easy stuff, and you have already excelled beyond 99.99999999% of dog owners.
     
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  7. Snowshoe

    Snowshoe Registered Users

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    It's nerve wracking, isn't it? You did well to enter, lots of things went well and the experience will help you prepare for next time.

    Oban's first correction match they had an Open class in the next ring with only webbing for fencing in between. Just as we were heading/heeling toward that ring on our off leash portion of the course a ball was thrown directly past Oban's nose for the dog in the Open ring to retrieve. Yeah, guess who tried to retrieve it. :$ We were excused.
     
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  8. drjs@5

    drjs@5 Moderator Forum Supporter

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    Well done from me too.
    Its a pretty steep learning curve. I bet not knowing yourself exactly what was required rubbed off, but still sounds like you did good for a first attempt.
    One more than me for sure!
     
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  9. Cath

    Cath Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Well done to you both.
     
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  10. Emily

    Emily Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Well done! That's super impressive!

    I went to support a couple of friends at an obedience and rally obedience trial last week. (I also wanted to get an idea of what it's like in case Ella and I decide to give it a go). I must say that I was nervous and I was only watching!!

    Congratulations again :D
     
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  11. edzbird

    edzbird Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Well done from us too. You had great guts to have a go, and it paid off. Molly did some great exercises for you and the judge was very positive which is a real bonus. Congratulations :)
     
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  12. Joy

    Joy Registered Users

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    Thanks for all your kind comments. We were actually pretty bad (perhaps I over-emphasised the positive, trying to be upbeat last night!) But have found some good training videos to move on.

    I was amazed at how far people had travelled to the show. Not for my level of course, but for the higher classes people had come from over 200 miles to compete. We watched a bit of the championship classes and the dogs are truly amazing the way they keep in exact step with their handlers, such focus.
     
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  13. bbrown

    bbrown Moderator

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    It's good that you found the positive but are realistic about what comes next. A very good balance in my view :) which will stand you in good stead for your next adventure!
     
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  14. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator Forum Supporter

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    Well done, Joy! I'm sure the first one must be the hardest, because you don't really know what it's all about until you're standing there having to do it yourself. I don't think any amount of standing around watching, or training, can give you the insight that actually doing it does. You're so brave!!!
     
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  15. Rosie

    Rosie Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    I can only DREAM of achieving this with Pongo - ever! You should feel very proud of yourself and your pup. Well done!
     
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  16. Pilatelover

    Pilatelover Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Well done, a big pat on the back, I thought you did really well. :star:
     
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