Ready to Trial?

I'm getting excited for a CDSP trial coming up this weekend!  Zumi will be doing open for the first time and I'm extra thrilled to be done with novice.  I'm not one to sit around in novice forever trying for a 200, although at least CDSP's version is more fun than AKC's!

Is she ready?  Well that depends on what you mean by ready.
Focus in different places- check.
Happy attitude- check.
Confident with the exercises, in different locations- check.
Confident without a high rate of rewards and with the reward set away- check.
Used to formality- check.

The rest is a bit muddy still.  There's about a 30% chance she will *think* about doing a victory lap on the first dumbbell throw, and a 10% chance she will actually do it.  But it would be a happy, oh I thought it was a toy, victory lap at least ;)

There's also about the same chance she will go wheeee and stride very, very long with the running broad jump before turning back to do her front.  The CDSP version is x1000 more fun Zumi says.

Oh and maybe the mini go out will be veered off the right, and the drop on recall will be a bit slow, or since I sent in the entry she of course is beginning her experimentation now with the occasional anticipation of the drop.

Fronts and finishes are of course a lifetime work in progress.

There's a ton of things that may not meet that perfect picture.  But I am still confident in my decision to enter her.  Zumi really does know the exercises well.  I know what errors may crop up, and if they rear their head they will be errors of enthusiasm.  And most importantly, I'm not worried about any mistakes ruining her confidence or making the problem worse.  Her focus and happy attitude are going to be there.  And if need be, I'll give her the extra support that CDSP allows.

All that being said, I'm still not entering Zumi in AKC obedience at this point.  Based on Zumi's reaction to the more stressful atmosphere that hangs in the air at local AKC trials, I'm holding off.  I need more practice with Zumi being confident in more pressure filled environments.  I am entering an AKC rally trial in a few weeks to test the waters as I think she's getting closer to that goal.  Rally is shorter, I can support her more, and she doesn't seem to mind the start/stop design of rally.

In the meantime, I've been trying to continue my goal of training in different locations.  This week I visited a park to see if Zumi could happily choose to work near kids playing.  Zumi's not so sure about screaming children!

This basketball court near the playground, and a tennis court, was a great place for Zumi to work. I think there was a day camp as there seemed to be a billion children, but she wasn't worried about the kids at all with the distance.  I chose to keep the work very simple to reward her.  Actually I went all the way back to simple ring entrance setups! After a few minutes of ring confidence fun I did do a tiny bit of more "work" with her.


I also took Vito out for a turn and was thrilled that he was able to work with me there too.  They even started playing tennis immediately to the side of the basketball area and Vito was able to watch the players and then turn back to me.  That would have been major Toller Screaming a few years ago!  Or even on a different day?!  I stuck purely with very basic ring entrances here so as not to push too hard.

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