Lance's first Q in Open Obedience!

Finally! On our fourth attempt at Open, Lance hold his stays (mostly) and we qualify!!! I was a bit worried going into the show since Lance has shown at this particular facility 3 other times (doing novice) and those were his very worst scores. So today I did lots of happy tricks and fast heelwork in the warm up ring and Lance was looking a little distracted but pretty good.

His off leash heel work was decent. I can't say it's the best he's ever done as his attention wandered, but Lance didn't leave me to heel by myself at least! A bit of forging, wide turns, and a crooked sits lost us points. I also forgot to put my hand to my stomach before the judge said "forward" so I cost Lance a point too.

On the drop on recall I was very pleased how fast Lance came running, but I don't think he was expecting the drop what so ever. His stop was a bit slower then normal, although faster then most dogs, and he remained in a stand ever so slightly before going down. I don't think we lost any points for it since it was so slight, but we did lose 1pt for what I think was the front and finish.

The retrieve on the flat was nice and fast. I was a bit worried though since again Lance wasn't looking at me (or the dumbbell) when the judge said "send your dog." Luckily he still went nicely although this inattentiveness on the retrieve seems to be a recurring theme. I was pleased to see that Lance didn't hesitate as much this time when he got close to me on the return. On the previous trials he has slowed down and acted unsure if he was doing it right. This time I tried to keep a big smile on my face so maybe that helped Lance? We lost .5pt for something.

The retrieve over the high jump was also nice. The judge knocked a point off for me though as she says I moved my head forward as though to gesture towards the jump. I really don't remember doing anything like that, but I'm sure I did something. Actually the judge was really really picky about handler movements for everybody as several competitors lost points for little movments. Anyways, we got 1.5pts off on the high.

Broad jump was good and we lost 1pt for something.

And the stays..... I tried to remain very very happy going into the ring, setting him up, and use a very happy voice to tell Lance to stay. Usually I do a lower stay voice to not encourage Lance to follow me, but since he's been stressing majorly on the stays I thought the happy voice might help. I came back after the 3min and Lance was still in a sit although he was not quite where I left him, not forward at all, but shifted left. I didn't know if he had NQed or not until later, and then found out that the judge took off 3pts but passed it. She said he moved sideways and *kind've* stood, but it was such a real quick repositioning that she wasn't even sure and since he's a long and low kinda guy she gave him the benefit of the doubt. So I'm assuming that she could have NQed him for it, but I have no idea since i didn't see it! And the down stay was perfect! No standing up, no sitting, just lying down :)

Total score was a 189.5/200 with technically a 191.5 for Lance if you take out my errors. I am very happy! While it wasn't his best performance, he kept things together during the "individual" portion. And I know that I'm not out of the water yet with our stays, but at least I'm finding some things to do that do allieviate some of the stress he's feeling being left.

This past week I've found a way to create lots of stress for Lance at home to practice our stays. Apparently if I dish out Lance's food but then don't do any training or anything, Lance starts to quiver and shake uncontrollably! I can even pet him and tell him what a good dog he is, but unless I start some training with him (or even Vito), Lance will just tremble. So I can then put him in a stay when he is stressed. I've been rewarding him heavily for it, and only doing short stays (no more then 3 minutes, with lots of treats during it), but Lance hasn't broken a stay once even though he's shaking like crazy. I feel really bad doing it, but I do want some way of replicating the stress of a trial. I'm not sure if it helped him today or not, but he did it!

Kathie R  – ( November 28, 2009 at 10:33 PM )  

Hey, Congratulations Laura and Lance on your first CDX leg !!! That was awesome. Thanks for posting the video.

Mango  – ( November 29, 2009 at 5:20 AM )  

Lance! That obedience stuff is really hard. You did great.

Hey! I met a Vito dog yesterday. She was just a little puppy and there for puppy school which runs at the same time as my agilities. Well, I thought she was super adorable, but then, when they had playtime, she started making the most awful sounds!

I ran up on to the A-frame for a better look (momma will tell you I ran onto the A-frame because she has poor handling skills and I am A-frame obsessed, but don't believe her).

Those were apparently FUN sounds because she was all wrestling and running, but she was screaming at the same time! We remembered you mentioning the Toller scream, but wowsa! That was something else!

Hope your mouth is OK.


achieve1dream  – ( November 29, 2009 at 4:27 PM )  

Congrats!! How exciting! I'm happy for you!

Sierra Rose  – ( November 29, 2009 at 11:01 PM )  

Hey there Laura, Lance, Vito and all.... Thanks for stopping by my site! Mom and I have been enjoying your videos and hearing about what you have been working on. Loved your tricks Vito!!!! Mom and I are working on basic obedience as much as possible. Just learned 'touch' and were told you can do lots of tricks with it, but so far, I just like to jump around, not following mom's hand.....we'll keep working on it!!!

Come visit again soon!

Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
Sierra Rose

Kristi W.  – ( November 30, 2009 at 6:45 PM )  

Yay, Lance!
Also in case you don't see my reply on my blog, Murphy did indeed come to Thanksgiving with us. I just didn't get any pictures because he was too hyper and wouldn't hold still. Haha.

Muttsandaklutz  – ( December 5, 2009 at 9:00 PM )  

I don't know much about obedience other than a bit of basic rally-o, but that looked beautiful to me. I was admiring Lance's focus and was actually surprised to read afterward that he was actually not as focused as usual. My rally-o dog Lucy and I definitely have our issues with focus sometimes.

Also I love how you tied in those fast and fun tricks for the transitions between exercises.

Very nice! Congrats on his first Open Q.

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