St. Peter's Trial

Day 1:
This weekend I took Lance down for an obedience trial in St. Peters. Day 1 was Rally-O and Lance's first attempt at the Advanced class. Since it was all going to be off leash I was more than a little worried how Lance would do. He has quite a history of taking off, smiling at the crowd, and leaving me to heel by myself when no treats are involved. Unfortunately, I entered Lance in the 12" jump height to play in safe not really knowing what height he should be at and hearing that most corgis jump 10 or 12 in obedience. But apparently in Rally, Lance should be at 8in and the judge wouldn't let me switch down.

Lance did amazing!!! He started out a little wobbly and I was grateful there was a 270 degree left turn right at the start where I practically herded Lance around and into heel :) However, the high jump was next and Lance had no clue what I wanted him to do. First he looked at the jump and continued heeling with me. When looking back at the footage, I can see that I cued him way too close to the jump, giving him almost no time to process the cue. I did a redo and this time Lance read my hand motion but went on the opposite side of the jump and came back to me instead of going over. I blame the jump height, we haven't even done 12" in practice and the simple fact that I have never practiced this exercise with him. I assumed that from doing agility Lance knew how to go over jumps and read my body language, but I have never done it in the context of a heeling pattern with him. For the rest of the course though Lance did really well. His eyes were pretty much glue to me and he had no problem with any of the exercises. Shortly after the jump he was a little distracted and far away on his "sit" for the halt-stay-one step to the right-call dog to heel exercise but he was looking at me after he sat and since I had already NQed on the jump I decided to just keep going since he was starting to pay attention. Really, Lance was amazing. He hasn't been this attentive in an actual trial in a long time.

I'm a little sad we didn't get a Q today, but I really only have myself to blame. I am just so excited that he was actually paying attention. When Lance is on he really shines.

Day 2:
Day 2 Lance was entered in Graduate Novice. In this "fake" class, the dogs do a heel on leash, figure 8 off leash, drop on recall, recall with a dumbbell (give dog dumbbell, tell dog to stay, walk away, turn and call), recall over high jump, recall over broad jump, and 3min down stay out of sight.

I was very pleased on how Lance did today. His heel work was very attentive, and while he wasn't in perfect position he sat everytime on the halt and kept his eyes on me most of the time. Lance's off leash figure 8 was the best figure 8 he has ever done in a trial. Usually Lance tends to wander on the outside turn as he observes everything around him, but today Lance only lagged a little bit and then rejoined me! His drop on recall was great, although I was nervous and told him to "down" in a harsher voice than I wanted to. On the dumbbell recall Lance failed. He took it and I walked away, but shortly after he spit it out of his mouth. Apparently he didn't want my gift to him. His recall was nice though :) We also had no problem on the recall over the high jump and he didn't step on even one platform on the broad jump recall.

So we NQed on the dumbbell, but I calculated a score of 193 if he would have done the dumbbell with one point off for the crooked sit and finish.

Overall I am so happy on how Lance did this weekend. There were definently things that her could have improved on but really my only goal for this weekend was Lance being attentive in the ring and we met it! He didn't leave me to heel by myself :) Since I was the very last dog to go on Sunday I was also fortunate enough to be allowed to go back in the ring and work with him. I just did a couple of short heeling patterns with Lance and ran out of the ring each time with him to get his canned kitty food. I want to teach Lance that even though I can't treat him in the ring, he can get the most amazing food ever as we come out if he is attentive for me.

Esther  – ( May 25, 2009 at 5:53 PM )  

Canned cat food? I should try that with Winnie!

Lance looked great at the trial despite the jump and dumbbell :) I wish Winnie would be half as attentive as Lance in a trial setting!

Laura  – ( May 25, 2009 at 6:05 PM )  

Lance LOVES cat food. This is the first trial I've tried it at, but I treat him with hot dogs and cheese during our warm ups, and then kitty food each time we exit!

Usually Lance is not so attentive. He has actually gotten worse and worse each trial I entered him in until this weekend. I'm hoping that his improvement is due to him learning that he DOES get rewarded for his performance, it's just not in the ring, and that it's really good stuff!

Jenna Z  – ( May 28, 2009 at 12:26 PM )  

Hi! I'm a new reader to your blog! Graduate Novice isn't a fake class anymore, as of January 2009 it is a titling class! Three legs and you get your GN title! Sully and I will be going for it starting in August. :)

Laura  – ( May 30, 2009 at 6:53 PM )  

Huh, thanks for letting me know! I don't think that many trials around here have GN offered though. Either way, the next trials aren't till August for us...

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