Well. Ein had his first Rally Excellent leg today. He was in one of his "moods" this morning, not wanting to leave the house. Hm. We all loaded up into the car and arrived super early, like I wanted to. The venue was very nice, it was at a kid's day camp. Plenty of shade, lots of grass. I left the crates in the car and worked from there, the rings were that close. Ein was still in a "mood" when I got him out of the car to warm him up. Wouldn't stand for me. Wouldn't back up for me. I put him back in the car and worked Perri until Ein's ring time.
I did the walk-thru and got Ein back out of the car. He was much snappier! Smiley, interested in food rewards, I had my happy Ein back. The course was very do-able for Ein. There were two left pivot-type signs, the moving back up was there, and we had to do the jump twice. But, really. All do-able. We heeled up to the stop sign, him grinning up at me, and set off.
Next was Perri. My girl's first time in the Obedience ring. All morning her heeling, in practice, was terrible. She wanted to sniff sniff sniff sniff. I think that the show environment was stressing her out. Part of entering this trial was to see how she handled a show environment. And I got my answer!
I had sinking heart for any kind of "Obedient" heeling, but I thought I would try my best. It is hard for me to not be able to talk to my dog at all during our time in the ring. The heeling pattern was simple enough. Some turns, some pace changes. Perri sniffed the Entire. Time. She failed to sit at the halt.
The figure 8 was just about the same, although there were a few times that she paid some attention to me. Again, she did not sit.
Next was the Sit-Stay. Perri held her stay while I walked all around the ring. She did not budge.
Then was the Sit for Exam. Again, Perri sad perfectly still, did not even sniff the judge when her head was patted.
And then...Sit-Leave Dog-Recall. I sat Perri. I told her to Stay and turned and walked away from her. The absolute second I turned around, Perri bolted to me and sat at perfect front.
There were some very bad moments, and some moments I was very proud of! Perri got some ring experience, and I can see the areas that we need to work on. It was not a total disaster! Our score would have been 180 if Perri had not broken that stay. Not pretty, but it's something.
Now. Let's see if I can improve that heeling by our May trials. And here's hoping that the rally rings aren't laid on top of a soccer field ever again!