Toller Utility Debut!

The day did not start out well.  Vito was having a panic attack staring at 12:30am and lasting until we got out of bed Saturday morning.  No apparent trigger.  Just lots of panting and pacing.  While he occasionally gets a bit frantic sometimes in the evenings, he has always calmed down immediately the moment we get in bed for the night.  So needless to say the morning car ride was not great and it broke the fabulous streak he has been having.  It took Vito quite a while to calm down at the CDSP Obedience trial but he eventually did and by the time I brought him out to warm up he looked downright sleepy.  I was too.

Vito warmed up well though and while he wasn't intensely driven in our little doodling and squishes he still had a great attitude and was eager to work.
Staring Toller in CDSP Utility A:


Great ring entrance and leash removal, but he did steal a tiny glance.  Signals were first and he started nicely with me for the tiny steps of heeling required in CDSP.  Did the stand without walking and he even did his down!!!!  It was the awful butt first and slow plop into it that he does whenever he's not super excited, but I'll take it!  I thought for sure he would just move into a sit at his first trial. What then surprised me was Vito's failure to move  into the sit and then the recall on the first signals.  I repeated my signals for both the sit and come and Vito did respond on each 2nd cue.  For some odd reason, CDSP just takes points of for a repeated signal and you can still qualify as long as you don't talk.  Then Vito skips the front and flys by around me into heel.  He does play with me at the end though and happily comes with me to articles.

Articles for some reason are an exercise Vito has never had a problem with.  He may not love them, but he never stresses over his choice!  He confidently went out on the direct send (a portion I am sad to say I very rarely practice over just informally revving him and releasing), did a fast search, and even did a nice front!

Then we had a little mixup as the gloves appeared and both the judge and I setup for them.  The judge quickly recognized the mistake in that go outs are 3rd in CDSP!  I was able to take the opportunity to play with Vito and reward his nice setup as we waited for the gloves to be removed :)  He kinda did some jumps over my leg and did one chest vault!

Go outs I was shocked!  Vito confidently went out, was straight, and actually had one of his best turn and sits ever!  No loopy wide turn to sit!  Considering I didn't start full distance go outs until a few months ago, let alone having the jumps in the picture, I couldn't be happier with his performance.  After signals I thought this would be a weak exercise for him.

Gloves were finally next! It's done twice in CDSP and we had gloves #2 and then #1.  The first pivot wasn't the greatest but he did fix himself.  The last few weeks Vito has been having some confidence issues with gloves as he goes out correctly and then stops right as he lowers his head to pick it up.  Thankfully he did not do that at the trial and as soon as he grabbed the glove I praised him!

Moving stand was last.  Vito has never enjoyed this exercise but he handled it well.  A little bit of flinched ears on the approach and first touch but not too afflicted looking.  The send around to heel from a distance is not one I practice often but he had no issue.

So we managed to qualify under CDSP rules!  9 points lost in signals and only 1/2 point lost elsewhere!

The Corgi
He's a good dog.  The end.
I was presuaded to enter him in Cynosports Rally in the morning, level 3.  I looked it up as it's been a good 2 years since he's done it.  But man is he such a great rally dog!  Lance really loves all the doodling, especially any of the moves that require hind end awareness.  Vito on the other hand is more of a straight line and curves type of dog.  Vito knows all the doodling moves but doesn't really turn on.  Give him flow.

So Lance got a perfect 210. But actually I wasn't thrilled with the run.  Lance started out a bit distracted and while he was in decent position he certainly wasn't giving me his full focus.  By the first pivot sign though (#7?) he was ON.  Very animated and focused.  Doing quite a bit of forging at the end!  And of course had had to bark on his backup away from me sign for the bonus :)

Later in the day he did Utility C (championship class for utility).  Much more focused and overall it was a fantastic run!  Only screw up was needing a second command to sit on go out #2, the first exercise done.  All other errors were 3 fronts and 1 really bad finish after the first go out.  Ended up with a 194.5.

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Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.- Roger Caras

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