Elementary beginner class

Discussion in 'Obedience' started by Harley Quinn, Feb 2, 2018.

  1. Harley Quinn

    Harley Quinn Registered Users

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    On short notice I have found out that our dog club is having an event on the weekend and our class trainer has said that I should enter Harley for the elementary beginner class. I have some what of an idea but I think it is too short notice for me and I am working Saturday morning so I would only be able to enter Sunday's class.

    Has anyone done this? And could maybe give me more of an idea? Are you usually allowed to use treats? My trainer is in charge of organising the show so she is very busy and I feel terrible asking her all these questions.
     
  2. Xena Dog Princess

    Xena Dog Princess Registered Users

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    Sorry, I've got no idea. These things must vary greatly from club to club etc. You'd imagine that anything with "beginner" would allow treats, though. I wouldn't feel embarrassed about shooting her a short text to check.
     
  3. Karen

    Karen Registered Users

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    I would just say - go for it!
     
  4. Harley Quinn

    Harley Quinn Registered Users

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    So a little update. She actually sent me some info last night, she is such a lovely trainer. The elementary pre-beginners is the really entry level stuff, which is great.

    The test consists of short heel work corse with 1 left turn, 1 about turn and 1 right turn and a halt. 1 min stay on lead and 1 min down on lead. Recall on or off lead.
    Unfortunately no treats or clicker allowed.

    So I went to watch the first class this morning. There was only one entry for the pre-beginners so no one in our category, the tests are very similar expect they do a retrieve and the down stay is 2 min.

    I am going to take Harley to the show ground a little later just to have a walk around and then I may very likely enter her in tomorrows event. Apparently perfection is not expected.

    After seeing all the posts with collar collections I feel it is only proper that Harley gets a new collar for her first show. Something pretty I think...

    All the work has to be on a flat collar and to be honest I should be transitioning her and myself to the flat collar in classes now too. She has a black one but it does nothing for her eyes.
     
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  5. selina27

    selina27 Registered Users

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    There you are then!
    Yes, only proper she gets a new collar :nod: definitely needs to be pretty for your lovely girl.

    Hope you enjoy the day, whatever you decide to do.
     
  6. Karen

    Karen Registered Users

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    Good luck, looking forward to hearing about it!
     
  7. Emily

    Emily Registered Users

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    Sounds like a fantastic introduction, definitely give it a go! Only with a new collar of course :D
     
  8. kateincornwall

    kateincornwall Registered Users

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    I`m sure she will love it , sporting her latest fashion accessory of course x
     
  9. edzbird

    edzbird Registered Users

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    Good luck and have fun - that's the main thing.
     
  10. Naya

    Naya Registered Users

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    Good luck and most of all, have fun :)
     
  11. SwampDonkey

    SwampDonkey Registered Users

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    Good luck to you both:)
     
  12. Harley Quinn

    Harley Quinn Registered Users

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    This morning at 08h00 Harley and I took part in our first competition.
    Hehehe, it wasn't really a competition because we were the only entry but that was an incredible advantage because I could handle my nerves so much more.
    Harley was her normally fantastic self, she was excited and interested in everything but was able to focus when needed. I was really asking a lot of her, she has never had to work without food before and yesterday was the first time I walked her on her flat collar only and it just goes to show how much we have both developed because she took it in her stride, literally. DH videoed the entire thing, from a distance so that he wasnt a distraction and her tail wagged throughout all the heel work, she was a bit distracted with smells on the ground but she did all the turns very well and both the halts. It was very simple with one turn each way and 2 about turns. Her recall was great but I forgot to ask her to finish in a heel position - I was so pleased that I just rewarded her for the recall - :$
    The stays were 30 secs and that was very manageable and she was very good. Only hiccup was that she lay down in the sit stay and then, true to Harley style she did a HUGE sigh in the down stay and put her head on the ground. It was very funny. There was so much happening during her stays - people were arriving for the show, dogs were barking and Harley looked around but did not break.
    The elementary pre-beginner level is very kind, 1/4 of a mark is subtracted for each error and the test is out of 50 so all in all we (mostly me) had 5 1/4 errors. I kept the lead too tight in the heelwork, and I held the lead in both my left and my right hand. Also I turned the wrong way in one of the about turns. To move to the pre-beginners you should get 90% + for two classes so we got just below that and that means we get to keep trying ourselves out in the easiest class and I am very happy about that.
    The judge was incredibly kind. He has been a trainer and judge for decades. Both him and the steward were constantly supportive during the test and before and after both said that it is most important to have fun and that Harley enjoys herself.

    The judge was very complimentary about Harley saying that she could definitely compete at a high level and then he laughed kindly and said just like him I need to correct some things. He then told the steward what a nice enthusiastic dog Harley is and she is also a trainer and came to speak to me afterwards to encourage me. To be honest, I thought it was fun and I was super impressed with both Harley and myself for not falling over each other. Considering how little clue we had about what was happening and last minute decision I am very very pleased and will not hesitate to try another low level class.

    Long story short - Harley is a star and I had fun. :)

    Thank you for all the support!
     
  13. edzbird

    edzbird Registered Users

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    Fantastic! You both did really well..& I sense you are filled with enthusiasm :D
     
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  14. Beanwood

    Beanwood Registered Users

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    Sounds like you had a really good morning, and you were both stars! I do like hearing how kind and supportive the judges were, very encouraging!

    So where is the video then? You know the rules! ;) :D
     
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  15. SwampDonkey

    SwampDonkey Registered Users

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    Well done yes Harley is a star. :) you make a good team. Glad it went so well xxx
     
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  16. selina27

    selina27 Registered Users

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    Fabulous, so excited to read your post. Sounds like a super day out for you all and great to have all that positivity from the judges. Well done.
    If nothing else these things are a yardstick to measure how far we have come.
     
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  17. Joy

    Joy Registered Users

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    Well done to both of you - it sounded like a really good experience.
     
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  18. Harley Quinn

    Harley Quinn Registered Users

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    I am very proud of us and I am keen to try some more but I am not sure if I have the discipline to do it much more seriously. I am very keen on rally obedience perhaps.
    Both the judge yesterday and today were really nice and kind. A competitor stopped by on her way passed before we went in and noticed that we are new. She stood and chatted about how hard anxiety is and she also has a yellow lab (not that it is a reason to be anxious but she was just sharing experiences of being a lab owner:)). It was a small local show so I am very pleased to see that a friendly attitude seemed to be the order of the day.

    Luckily the video is shot from very far because I have gained what I am referring to as the private practice pounds. You can see future videos:)
    Thank you @SwampDonkey. It was interesting to see how dark Harley's coat has become (and she is clean) compared to the other yellow labs at the show. She used to be much lighter in coat colour.

    That is exactly what I took out of this @selina27. I keep thinking of Harley and myself as the pair that couldn't finish basic home obedience tasks in our earlier classes and where she would be steady for 5 minutes and restless and full on for 40. I know realise that it is actually the other way around. In her weekly classes she does get fatigued but it takes much more and she is so excited to be involved. While DH and I were sitting watching the class after our Harley accidentally slipped her collar and immediately I think "Oh no, here we go" but we called to her and she came straight to us and had her collar refitted. I need to trust her a bit more, and trust our bond a bit more. She is such a great dog but I am a worrier. I need to work on that.
    The dog club I have joined is the one where I went for the last focus course that Harley went on last year and it is the biggest club in our city (small city) with great facilities but also a solid, positive reinforcement/reward attitude to training
    and the club is situated not even 5 minutes away from where we live. I was intimidated by going there before because I wasn't sure if a club that did competitions was where we belonged but I have really enjoyed the structure of our classes.
    So I was also especially fortunate that this first experience was in our "home" base so that took away an extra layer of anxiety. It was actually in the main field where we often have classes. I couldn't have put together a better experience if I tried. And DH was there to support us all the way.
     
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  19. Harley Quinn

    Harley Quinn Registered Users

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    At the end of the last part which was the down stay I managed to stand in heel position and then the steward said that the test was finished and I praised Harley, cuddling and loving. The judge had suggested I do the stays with her leash on and when I was done giving her a love she picked her leash up (the trick I had worked on with her months ago) and waited for me to take it. Of course both steward and judged loved that. Extra points for being super cute never harmed anyone or any lab:)
     
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  20. Karen

    Karen Registered Users

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    WELL DONE!!! That is such a wonderful post to read, I am thrilled for you!!! You must be so proud of Harley - and you should be really proud of yourself too, and of your husband for being so supportive. I wish you could see the big smile on my face, I am so happy for you!
     
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