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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
What in interesting day we had. Went to an obedience and rally trial yesterday. Did rally and obedience. I entered both, planning to only do obedience if we hadn't gotten the CDX last weekend and do rally if we had. Decided to do both since I paid the entry, might as well practice.

Rally Excellent was first. The judge had never judged rally before and the scheduled steward failed to show up. There was a bit of stress in the morning. The judge had trouble setting up the course. The judge seemed kind of "barky" to me but a few brave souls helped her get it set up properly. As the morning progressed, I figured out that she was really very nice, just the stress of not having a steward the first time judging rally probably rattled her a bit. Can't say I blame her. However, lots of volunteers helped and it all worked out, including Susan's Caleb. The first few dogs in the ring, in the A class, found it necessary to run to the end of the ring and bark at the utility dogs. They got excused so Susan's Caleb honored two RE dogs.

Our run wasn't bad. We can do better but we got a 96 and 3rd place. We were tied for 2nd, but beat by time by 3 seconds. Lagging, I am sure, was the culprit.

Advanced went much smoother. Once again, our run was good, not stellar, but good. We got another 96 and, once again, tied. Tied for third.

So we got our 6th RAE leg and I was happy about that. That was my main goal for the day. Miles also got to share the podium with Micah, which was fun. Now, do you think that a dog, who got his CDX and can sit stay, out of site and leave his neighbor alone could do so for 30 seconds while the judge is talking and his handler is right there? Nope! I told him to sit, stay and I am listening to the judge and I feel a tug and Miles is disturbing Micah and getting Micah in trouble. Bad boy Miles!

Open was, well, ghastly. Heeling? What is heeling? Who ever heard of heeling? Well, Miles was definitely done with that and not only lagged so far behind me, when I made the turn to finish the pattern, he decided to cut the corner and take the jump to get to me. The figure 8 was just as bad. Sit on my right! All I could do was laugh. The DOR was good. Then we had to cross the ring for the flat retrieve. He heeled beautifully, head up, all the way across the ring for the flat retrieve. The judge said "He's heeling beautifully NOW!". Goof ball! He did everything else beautifully. Including the out of sight stay without disturbing his neighbor!

I guess what I learned is, that when there is a class that is really important, that should be all we do. No extra classes. So I am glad I did not try to do rally at Cleveland last weekend. Also, heeling with attention has been our nemesis. So I need to 1) learn to love heeling myself 2) Spend some part of every training session focused on heeling. In the past, anything I have focused on, Miles has learned and learned well. He can learn to be consistent with this too. I just have to do it. I will break down the heeling into the little parts again. We are going to start focusing on the utility excersizes. Each session, I can pick a utility skill to work on, do heeling work, and finish with something he is already really good at. That might be a good plan for summer.

Well, let's see what today brings. If rally is lackluster, I may skip Open. I want to practice, but I also don't want to reinforce bad ring behavior.
 

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Ann - Nice job with RAE legs. Hope today was #7. Isn't that Miles too much!!! Must have been tired from all that heeling in Rally. Are you showing in either Rally or OB at YABTC? I'm going to show Shamrock on Friday for an RE leg I hope.B
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone!

Day 2 went better. We got our 7th RAE leg with scores of 98 in excellent and 97 in Advanced. We got a first place in excellent. No placement in advanced. Our excellent run, I was pretty happy with. I thought our Advanced run was terrible but we got a 97. We got the double Q-Three more to go. Yes Betsy, we plan to be at Youngstown for rally to hopefully get leg #8.

Open went much better today. I am still not happy with heeling. We lost 12 points there. Lag, lag, lag, but at least he stayed in pattern and didn't create his own fun. I still plan to really focus on that more. The truth is, I don't enjoy it, so I don't work on it enough. It shows in the ring. I sure did try to act like it was going to be the greates thing since sliced bread when we headed to starting point! LOL! He did well with all the other excersizes and Q'd with a 182 1/2. We got our insurance leg for the CDX. Whew!

Now, I am planning to finish him in AKC and APDT rally this spring. Then focus on agility and utility.
 

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Ann - Sounds like a much better day Sunday. I'll look forward to seeing you in Youngstown if not sooner. B
 

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Thanks everyone!

Open went much better today. I am still not happy with heeling. We lost 12 points there. Lag, lag, lag, but at least he stayed in pattern and didn't create his own fun. I still plan to really focus on that more. The truth is, I don't enjoy it, so I don't work on it enough. It shows in the ring. I sure did try to act like it was going to be the greates thing since sliced bread when we headed to starting point! LOL! He did well with all the other excersizes and Q'd with a 182 1/2. We got our insurance leg for the CDX. Whew!
I always say if you don't like to heel then your dog won't either. Heeling has to be a game with lots of things to keep the attention and keep them engaged. If not you'll both be bored. I do tons of doodling things when I heel. I decide what I want to be working on and work on that. I don't just heel for 5 minutes without having something I know I want to work on. I know I'll be working a lot on head position with both of them.
 

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Sounds like a good day for you regardless.

Honestly, I always found Ruger worked better if we did Rally first, then he was really less stressed for the Obedience classes. So I am not quite in agreement with your statement about only doing the class that is important to you ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Oh yes, Susan. Another lady I know that teaches also told me that I need to learn to like heeling. So guess what? I LOVE HEELING. We are breaking this down into small pieces again and putting it back together. When I taught weaves and worked the teeter, I gave those a high value so now he enthusiastically goes to those obstacles. My dog does the backwards three steps beautifully, why?, because I think it is cool. So, if we can get good at those things, we can get good at heeling. I watched a couple of Deb Jones' videos yesterday. Last night my grand daughter was over so didn't do much training, but while she was coloring I did some find heel work with the clicker in my kitchen. Working to make heel position the coolest place to be! :)

Linda, I think it depends on the dog and handler. I do get less stressed as the day goes on and that bodes well. Rally, we seem to warm up and pick up speed as we progress. In APDT, where we may have 6 runs in a day, sometimes our best scores are at the end of the day. My dog does tend to be more "on" first thing, though.
 
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