Saturday, January 26, 2013

Canine Learning Experience - Rally Advanced (Match).

Rally Advanced Course Map, Click to Enlarge.

Ein and I went to the "Canine Learning Experience" today.  This is a sort of "Pet Expo" type event.  There are loads of vendor stands, rescue stands, breed club and obedience club stands, fun demonstrations and socialization events and really anything else dog-related.  There were Rally-O and Obedience matches taking place all morning long, and of course I took the opportunity to put Ein into an Advanced course.  

Since this is an event for the general public, the environment was absolutely hectic and loud, and that is always difficult for Ein.  We got a score of 83/100.  I am not one to be excited about a score like that, but some very good things came out of our time at the match that I am grateful for.  (It is much easier for me to see the positive in a low(ish) score when it is a match!)

1) Ein worked for me.  The whole course.  He did not shut down and sit there shaking and staring.  I knew that Ein was really improving in this area, but I did wonder if that was only due to the quiet(er) atmosphere of APDT trials.  A friend who watched both Ein's third Rally Novice leg last fall and his Advanced leg at the match today said that Ein has improved immensely and that he looks confident and like he is having fun.  If Ein could walk a course and not "die on me" today, he can walk it anywhere.  

2) Ein refused to Stand on command.  And then he downed. *facepalm*  This has always been a weak area, and it was truly the only manifestation of how stressed he may have been feeling.  BUT! The judge reminded me that I am permitted to physically help Ein get into a stand.  I completely forgot about that and it will help me feel more secure at tomorrow's two rally trials.

3) Ein struggles with his left-pivots from a sitting position.  And sure enough, the "Halt-Pivot Left-Halt" was in today's course.   I always just do a flip finish to get him back into heel when I pivot.  We lost points but the judge told me that I need to start putting him into the finish FIRST and THEN pivot my body and that will keep us from losing the big points.  (The judge did remind me that I moved my feet properly for the pivot, I just need to get my dog moving before I move.  Good!)

4) There was a jump in the course.  Ein took it like a boss, no hesitation.  This was something I have been fretting about and now I have the answer: Ein will take jumps on a rally course.

5) Ein sat on a 360 degree Left turn.  This has been a problem before and it was a reminder to me to move FASTER through those, because that is what he needs.

6) Ein did the "Down and Stop" like a champ.  He does not like moving downs at all, so thumbs up!

We still ended up getting second place and I really enjoyed the show.  I watched a lot of the Obedience Matches and was dreaming of when Perri and I start Obedience trials.  

I took Ein for a walk afterwards at a local park (Cedar Creek Park) and we found 2/3 of the parks' geocaches.  The last geocache was up a tree and I just couldn't bring myself to climb up an icy and snow covered tree.  It did not stop me from putting Ein on some low branches and snapping a picture, though!
Corgi in a Tree.

I bought this at the show for the girls to play tug with.  Molly is de-stuffing and de-squeaking it first, of course.

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