The Next Step
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Thread: The Next Step

  1. #1
    Swamplily's Avatar
    Swamplily is offline Senior Member
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    QuestionThe Next Step (updated)

    Ernie recently got his CGC so I am considering getting into Rally or Obedience. Unfortunately I'm clueless and can't find anyone to work with us. The local kennel club hasn't returned my e-mails. The next nearest club is an hour away but they have responded to my questions about the upcoming trials.

    I'm headed out Friday to watch trials, takes notes, and video. Perhaps I'll make a new friend or two for Ernie and I.

    As a spectator, is there anything I shouldn't do? I know not to pet the dogs without asking.

    So I went to the obedience and rally trails yesterday and had a great time. The dogs were so amazing. It was an all breed event and wow was it neat seeing the variety. I met up with a lady that I had spoke to a couple of weeks ago. She is a basic obedience trainer but hasn't done the AKC obedience in 10 years. She has German Sheps. and is really into Schutzhund training for her dogs. She has decided she wants to get back into AKC obed. so we are going to work together. Her doing obed. and me doing rally. The poor lady is 66 years old and has had two knee replacements but still pushes ahead. Quite the inspiration.

    Thanks for all your comments. I hope to post about our successes in the future.
    Lily
    Last edited by Swamplily; 10-16-2010 at 09:39 AM. Reason: updated
    Abby, Blk Lab, born 12-15-05
    Taco, Beagle, gotcha 1-15-09
    Ernie - Y-Farms Honest Ernesto, CGC, Blk Lab, born 10-4-09

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  3. #2
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    windycanyon is offline Senior Member
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    Please don't get discouraged about the lack of communications. This is pretty typical in clubs where everyone is a volunteer, computers crash, vacations happen, work stinks, and so many just lead busy lives.

    Are the trials you plan to attend, hosted by the local club? If so, they may have an education booth there and that person would probably love to talk to you there. They may even have a new exhibitor briefing or liason that you could get in touch with. I have volunteered to chat w/ new or visiting folks for my clubs over the years.

    I'd bring a chair (leave your dog at home since he's not entered), and watch a bit of both obedience and Rally. I suspect you'd want to start in Rally, but you will get a good idea of the structure you'll need to prepare for if you do obedience down the road too (though they do have some new "beginner novice" classes that may be of interest too). If you know who the superintendent is, you can go online to find out what the schedule is too. I bet you can check w/ the AKC website (events search) and find that out too. Many times the exhibitors sitting there will be happy to chat though don't take it personally if they have to excuse themselves to warm up their dog... and some people are more nervous than others!

  4. #3
    Milesmom's Avatar
    Milesmom is offline Senior Member
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    Good suggestions! Sometimes they will have a raffle set up, you'll see a table with raffle prizes on it. That may be staffed by a member volunteering. If so, that person is probably bored and would be happy to answer questions.

    I know this is probably obvious, but I've seen people do it. Please don't eat or squeak toys right outside the ring.

    Ann & Miles
    MACH ARCHEX "Miles" (DOB 3/10/2006) UD RAE MXS MJS OF CW-OB3 CW-ARF CW-AR CW-ZR2 CL-1 (DOB 3/10/2006)
    "Hartley" (DOB 7/21/2012) RN CGC CW-OB1

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    Belles mom is offline Senior Member
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    Most of the exhibitors I know are more than chatty, especially if they know you are a complete novice. As Windycanyon said, if the exhibitor is going into the ring soon, they may or may not talk to you...(they have their reasons, do not take it personally if they do not). I'd go and watch all the classes that you can, and for as long as you can, as you will probably see at least some of the "shi.t...things" that happen in the ring.


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    Swamplily's Avatar
    Swamplily is offline Senior Member
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    Great suggestions everyone, thanks. I'm getting really excited. The trials are being hosted by the local club and the club in Lake Charles, an hour away. I'll let you know how it goes.
    Abby, Blk Lab, born 12-15-05
    Taco, Beagle, gotcha 1-15-09
    Ernie - Y-Farms Honest Ernesto, CGC, Blk Lab, born 10-4-09

  8. #6
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    Make sure you take time to watch Rally Novice and Obedience Novice; those are the classes you'd start in. Go to the AKC website and get a copy of the obedience and rally rules and read through them. Also, the judging sheet for obedience novice is good to look over, then you know what you'll get points taken off for and what is an automatic NQ. I'd suggest reading the rules and looking at the judging sheet before you go, then you'll understand better what's going on out there.

    Make sure you take time to watch the really good dogs and trainers in Utility - there's nothing quite as neat as getting to see a real team working out there.

    For the most part - these are just my thoughts - the majority of training you can do on your own. Once you know what it is supposed to look like, what the rules are, and what you're working towards, you don't have to have an instructor. Back when I had Boaz, I used this forum for advice; I didn't always know how to train what I needed him to do, but some good advice from the folks here, a few books on training in general, and we had our CD in 3 shows without ever taking a lesson. We may have gone faster with lessons, but...
    ~your decisions are only as good as the information you base them on~

    Claire DVM
    Lijah UD GO VER RE CGC TDI ASCA-CD (7/10 UDX, 186/200 OM1 pts, 9/100 OTCH pts + UB/OB wins)
    Zen UD VER GO JH
    Boaz JH CD CGC
    Brie CD CGC
    Tara (future amazingness!)
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