Zumi's First AKC Trial

This last weekend Zumi was also entered at the AKC obedience/rally trial for her very first AKC experience.  It wasn't until after the trial that I realized I'm not sure how many AKC trials she's actually been at just to hang out.  Lance was injured shortly after Zumi arrived in our house and Vito certainly hasn't been trialing in AKC.  Somehow it slipped through the cracks that while she's been to some CDSP/WCRL trials a puppy she likely didn't make it to many AKC.  Which really shouldn't be a big deal at all, except AKC trials really are a different environment.  As I mentioned in Vito's summary, the stress in the air is just higher.  Dogs are even more in tune to that stuff than we are!

Zumi was entered in rally novice for 2 trials on Saturday and 1 on Sunday.  I didn't expect her to have any issues and I figured rally was a very good introduction before we started obedience trialing.
Overall she was incredibly eager, had great focus, and did a really nice job in all 3 runs to earn her first AKC title, RN.

But I was also surprised to see the environment effect Zumi much more than I've seen at her previous CDSP obedience and WCRL rally runs this past year.  Stressing UP just a tiny bit.  I learned that Zumi's verbal down was broken, even when starting from a sit.  She could lie down 3/4ths of the way but just couldn't do a full down without hand help.  Didn't seem nervous or stressed in the classic way, but was stressing up that little bit and eagerly anticipating moving forward.  And this was outside of the actual ring!  Zumi's left-about turn was also broken which I didn't discover until we got in the ring for the first trial and she tried to weave through my legs, and then just happily bounced out of my way on the reattempt.  Outside the ring it remained broken until we got home.
Little things.
I used quite a bit more praise during her 3 runs then I've used at her other trials.  I just felt like while her focus was there it was more breakable.

Here is her first run of the weekend with the failure to do a left about!


And here is her last run of the weekend with me helping out her downs:


At this point I want to get her in quite a few more AKC rally trials and more CDSP obedience trials before I put her in AKC obedience.  I want to have the option of giving her some quick praise if I feel she needs it and just more support.  But overall I'm happy with her performances and think we're on a good track for a long and happy obedience career.


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