AKC Open

I'm a bit late with our AKC obedience trial report from last week.
Spoiler alert- things we have been working on were good!  1 Q.  But some stress.

We had 2 runs on Saturday in Open B.  Still experimenting with the B class with seeing how she does with not having heeling first and possibly having the retrieves separated.

I was very surprised when I arrived to see that Zumi was a lot more stressed than usual.  And by a lot I don't mean she was having a panic attack or was visibly worried to people who really didn't know her.
She sniffed a lot on our acclimation walks without encouragement from me. Usually I have to repeat my "go sniff" cue often and really encourage her to check out the grounds as I know she needs it but she thinks about wanting to work instead.  This was not the case at this trial!

Calmer in general.

The exact same location as the CDSP trial a few weeks ago, but the atmosphere is always different at AKC!  Or there's a possibility too of the weather effecting her.  It was cold, rainy, and I've been wondering if Zumi is developing some storm phobia with some weird issues she had last summer.

It wasn't enough that it effected her ability to do her ready to work protocol when I told her I was available.  And I hoped she would h

Trial #1
The first trial run had the cue discrimination exercise first.  Down-Stand-Sit.
Our first time doing stand at a distance in a trial!!  And since Zumi didn't want to lie down at her first AKC trials in open 6 months ago (for the "old" down get the leash), I used her "sad" (head down) cue that we have been working with lots of rewards.  I was super happy to see that she snapped down right away!  And no problem doing her stand!  Or sit.

Broad: Good.

Figure 8 and Heel:  Here is where she struggled.  Not horrible, but not great.  Mainly some lagging, especially with the figure 8.  The figure 8 needs to be a priority for our training going forward as apparently it's now a common area she gets a bit worried.  Especially after the child steward experience a few months ago.

Drop on recall, happy.


Retrieves: She stayed for both!  No dancing.  Squeal only over the jump, not on the flat.  And much better fronts!!!  And holds!

Stand stay/leash: Stood on cue!  Stayed! I think she may have taken a tiny step when I left??

So we passed for our 2nd Q in open.  Score not the greatest.  The judge was lovely and had quite a sharp pencil for everyone!

Trial #2
Different ring, different judge.
I was hoping she would be more comfortable but it was worse.  Heeling was laggier. Figure 8 especially was effected again.

On the positive side, she stood nicely on the cue discrimination (started in a stand) and on the stay get the leash.  We've been working on those stands with distractions!!  She did move a little bit though before I turned to face her before the cue discriminaton, no movement at all on the leash exercise.

Stayed on both retrieves, small squeal on the send again for the ROH only.  Nice holds.  Another win for training! AND I even had to do a rethrow for the ROH as I threw it too short and she called off!!!!  Came to me nicely and played while I waited!!!  Win for training again!


Nice transitions between exercises and setups!  Both trials!

What we failed on was exactly what she did at the CDSP trial- not staying in her sit for the drop on recall.  Just like the issue she was doing with the stands, now it just happened for the sit.
I turned around, saw her standing quite a way from where she was left, and threw up my hands to invite her to run to me.

Going Forward
I need to make it a priority to work Zumi in different environments, environments with pressure like AKC is for her.  Run throughs likely not going to happen as it's now almost an hour drive without traffic, and run throughs are of course during rush hour.

But what I can do is go to parks. Parking lots.  Home Depot.  Take Vito and the toddler too of course as they can't be left.

For the exercises themselves, I  know they aren't the main issue but training can still help both build value and replicate mild pressure to work though in a happy way!

- Figure 8's
- Stand stays
- Stays in general
- Retrieve calmness

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