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Allll-righty...

So, we are down to both boys with one leg to go on their CDs. Our club is having a trial at the end of March in our building. I HOPE that we will get both final legs there. I mean surely they can Q in their own building!! If not, they'll have another chance in April. So, I think we are coming close to getting their titles.

The question now is...what's next?

I don't really have the inclination to start either of them in Open training. I think, honestly, I could spend the rest of their lives chasing after that. I have seen the percentage of Q's in Open, and there are lots of people and dogs much better than us who get disqualified. I am afraid if we went after this, it would just make us all crazy!

I have always liked the idea of trying them in as many different things as possible. I don't mind if we only title at the beginner level - I just think it's fun to do different things. So now I'm trying to decide what will become the new Rally and Obedience for them. :D I want to keep training them in something, I'm just not sure what for each of them. I can't do it all, as I only have so much time and money, so I've broken it down into choices I think I could manage. Here are a few options:

1) Hunt tests. I stewarded with a girl this past weekend who does hunt tests with her Lab. She says that all they have to do for a JH is retrieve a duck twice on land and twice from water. They don't even have to sit when they bring it back, you can take it from them. Now Angus and Simon are VERY seasoned retrievers...with bumpers. It seems like we might have an advantage with something like this, because I wouldn't likely have any problems with getting distracted and wanting to do something else. If there is retrieving involved, I have never known either of them to lose focus, no matter what else is going on. OTOH, we have never dealt with a real duck. Mom said I should ask my friend if it was OK if the duck comes back to me in several pieces. :laugh: Anyway, this friend has offered to teach me how to train for this.

2) Agility. Simon has had three agility classes. Angus has had none. When we were at the trial this weekend, Kevin mostly watched agility while I was up running around. When I got back to the crate after our run, he said that agility looks like so much fun, and he would really like to try it. :D So, I was thinking maybe we could enroll in another agility class, together this time. Think that would be bad, to have them in the same class? It might be good to teach them about waiting their turn. I like the idea of agility because it would involve Kevin more. OTOH, I would have to pay for these classes (I get classes at my club for free), and it would be a couple hundred dollars for both of us to go, every two months. They offer agility at my club, but it's inside, the classes look kind of big, and I just don't know...if we were going to compete, I think we might be better off with the agility school.

3) Continue Freestyle with Angus, Agility with Simon. Angus sure does love Freestyle. ;) I do like competing and getting titles, and there are not many opportunities around here to compete. But man, it's so fun to do this with Angus. Simon feels about Agility the way Angus feels about Freestyle.

4) Go for Angus RAE, Start training Simon for Open. I always said I was never going to do the RAE thing. Once they got through Excellent, that was going to be it. But I was thinking after this show, I really don't seem to have figured out what makes Angus "work" at a show. I just haven't found the exact right way to warm him up or something. He is such a great performer until we get to a show...then he just comes apart. I wondered if maybe experimenting with different approaches while getting an RAE would help me get better at handling him. Simon: If I take either of them further in obedience, it's going to be Simon. He is more reliable. He can already Drop on Recall, and he and Angus can both do out of sights (I think). The retrieve may be hard, only because he will mouth it all the way back to me, and he doesn't sit with it in his mouth. If he sits, he spits it out first. But...if I could work on those little issues, MAYBE Simon could get a CDX.

Well, what do you all think? Anyone have any input or thoughts?
 

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to test agility you could certainly do a set at your club ...
while second dogs often get started very differently than first dogs many dogs "play" agility for quite awhile before competing is ANYWHERE in the future...

I like the idea of the whole family playing something together - if my hubs offered to do agility I'd pick up an extra job to pay for it!
 

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I am going to say...play to your dogs strengths, do field work. You will quickly learn that a CDX is very easy after you start doing field work. This is especially easy to decide because you already have a person willing to help you. after you do this for a while Agility will be easier to teach and more fun for you.

Kelly and Amber
 
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