Friday, February 22, 2013

Our First Competition of 2013

This past weekend, Jax and I ventured out into the Michigan winter weather to compete in our first trial of the year. This was a C-WAGS Rally and Obedience trail hosted by Wolverine Dog Training Club, and held at Northfield Dog Training Club. I mention all these venues because they are all incredibly wonderful people who truly love the dog sports and work to improve them. I love competing with all of these groups.

First, C-WAGS is a rather laid-back venue. They are a group of people who love to train and compete with their dogs, but their trials are not as competitive as UKC or AKC. There is one huge difference in this organization, and that is you can reward your dog during a Rally or Obedience test. For this reason, I recommend the venue to my students as a place to get your feet wet; it's also great for new dogs just getting into competition.

This was my first time competing with Jax in this venue, so we entered Starter (level 1) Rally and Level 1 Obedience. On Saturday, we had 2 Rally tests and 2 Obedience tests. Both of our Rally tests were phenomenal, and I was incredibly proud of the way my boy performed - first place in both classes! Our obedience tests left something to be desired, but we did pretty well, considering.

Their level 1 obedience test is a basic obedience test with a few simple tasks. On Saturday, I missed the walk-through for the test due to being in the rally ring, and bombed our first test. Completely my fault. But, our second test was much better, since I already bombed a test and being able to attend the walk-through. First place in the second test. Success!

Our winnings from Saturday!

Sunday was a bit different. We showed up, and we competed in Rally, Obedience, and a fun class called Rally Zoom - it's rally with not stops, sits, or pausing signs.

In our rally test, we had a PHENOMENAL run. I mean, it was perfect. I left the ring beaming because we had done so well. I ran Jax back to his crate, gave him a big kiss and few cookies....and turned around just in time to see the ring steward right a big "NQ" on the board. WHAT? Our run was perfect! The gentleman I was crating next to must have seen the shock on my face because he came over to me and said, "You looked beautiful out there, but I think you missed that sign..." He pointed to the Down-Walk Around sign I had clearly missed. I sighed, admitted to my mistake, and we moved on.

I was still elated with our performance, and chose to focus on that rather than the fact I was the reason we NQ'd. The woman who did win the class was also elated to have won, because it was her first time showing in rally. If I had to lose, it was great to see her be so happy to win!

We placed third in our obedience test, because when I changed into a slow pace, apparently Jax did not change his pace. Still, it was a good test, he did really well!

Rally Zoom was fun! And it was also a great test! We placed 2nd, missing first by only half a point.

Our debut weekend and a tough contender with Team No F.E.A.R. was a success!

In other news, I had two judges tell me that Jax was ready to learn OPEN exercises. My little man proved that was was ready to move up to bigger and better things. Watch out, he's going to be a tough contender!

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