Hi, I have an 8 month old yellow lab, Shane and I am currently in beginner's obedience class with him. We will be working towards his Canine Good Citizen certificate. When do you go to your first obedience show? Do you do it when you feel ready?
I've been to dog shows, but it was as a spectator only. I never dreamed I would find obedience so interesting and fun. When I purchased Shane it was as a family pet and my contract required me to do puppy obedience, so we did. Class was a lot of fun, so we signed up for the next class and now I'm waiting for my third class to start the end of January.
Sorry for the rambling, and thanks for the help.
Summerlin's Inspired by Armani CD (Shane)
Well, the good news is that you are in the right direction! Where are you taking beginners obedience classes? It would be good to find an obedience club or a trainer (or group of people) that compete in obedience. It is my opinion that there is a BIG step from CGC to CD competition. However, Rally (look at signs and on the AKC site) is much less formal and is a fun way to get your feet wet. I started taking my dog in the ring when he could do routines without food in the presence of distractions. I personally will train my next dog to the open level before entering the novice ring, but that's just me.
A lot of people on board will be able to help you. Take a look at AKC's website guidelines for the Novice Obedience exercises. That will at least tell you what you and Shane have to do. Good luck!
It really depends on the dog, the dogs age and the trainer and how much you practice. I didn't start working much with Emilu until she was 2, so she was over a lot of the real "puppy energy". We started doing Rally after 1 year (maybe could have started sooner, but I was real green too and didn't know anything about showing) and then didn't do "real obedience" for another year (just got our CD this month - yeah!). If Skippy does OK in his basic obedience this winter, I will probably show him in Rally much sooner than I did Emilu, but I don't expect as much of him either - no way can he sit and lay correctly because of his leg surgeries, so I know we proably won't be in the ribbons - I just want to let him do something with mom too
That's probably a good way to judge. And when you can consistently do all the required exercises with a ton of distractions and your trainer thinks you're ready or close to ready.Originally Posted by Shane23
A lot of people wait until dogs are older to start showing because Labs in general are a very silly breed & shows are pretty stressful environments- it brings out the silly in them, especially when they are young. I didn't wait, but I was also very prepared for any humiliations and hijinks in and out of the ring. Gabby got her first two rally novice legs at six months & then I swear, her brain went out the window. At one show at age 9 months, Gabby decided (in true Henrey and Angus fashion) that she was a crocodile and should roll and creep through the grass. It was godawful- which is why many, many people wait until dogs are older. However, Gabby is now 16 months and will likely finish her CD, and her RA next month- she would have finished them in October but I'm a law student and can only do certain number of shows.
<br />U-CD Of Love and Other Demons, CD, RE, CGC (Gabby)<br />Maverick<br />Saint Louis
It will probably be hard to wait with you Novice A dog to start competing. I started training with Scotty (my Novice A dog) for competitive obedience when he was 6 months old. We started showing in Novice A two months before he turned 2 y.o. It was hard to be patient since we could have gotten qualifying scores much earlier, but I am very competitive and wanted placements, not just qualifying scores.
So, it depends on you and your dog. Many people here do not care that much about placements and start competing when they feel that they can pass. Others really care about scores and wait until the dog is older and has a good chance of placing. Decide for yourself what your standard should be and go with it. And make sure that it's fun no matter which philosophy you choose as your own.
Thank you all for the responses.
I take Shane to Oak Lawn Park District obedience classes. I just love the teacher. But the class that begins the end of Jan. for us will be the last class I can take there because they don't offer anything further. So I looked on the internet to see if there was a club close to me. I found the web site for the Stone City Kennel Club in New Lenox, IL. They do offer classes to further our education. There is also an obedience seminar they will be having Feb. 2nd. It's called a "Two Phase" Obedience & Rally Seminar (from the judge's perspective). I figured I would attend the first half, it sounds interesting. I'll also attend shows where I can to observe the whole process.
When I do get into something I like to be as prepared as possible. Shane will be 9 mos. old Sunday, I know we have a long way to go.
Thank you again.
Summerlin's Inspired by Armani CD (Shane)