Saturday, June 19, 2010

Match Today!!

Today was the annual AKC Education Match at the Washington County Fairgrounds. They've been having this match annually for a little while now and we've had a great time each time that we've gone. It's a combination of multiple matches along with various meet the breed booths. It's also usually held in conjunction with a hound specialty. It's a great way for people who are curious to come out and learn a lot as well as get their feet wet in some dog sports. I've used this match previously for working on conformation, but today it was all about obedience and rally! The really neat thing was that I had a few friends who were there as well!!

There was Vandy with her lovely Dalmatian Chaska.

Nicole with her handsome dane Gus. They were trying rally out for the first time!
Shana with her tibetan mastiff Waldorf.
There was also Andrea with her bullmastiff Brody. Sandi with her dane Seger. And Denise with her Leonberger girls. It made for a really enjoyable day!

I had Bess entered in two runs of novice obedience and two runs of advanced rally and we were raring to go. Obedience was up first. I do have to admit that I kind of got a little lazy with the warm up. I knew that we had two runs that we were doing and the first one would work out just as well as a warm up. I do know that we need to work a fair amount more on obedience outside in different settings. Our morning sessions during the week are outside on school grounds, but we alternate between the same school grounds, so there's not much variety. Anyhow, Andrea was nice enough to video our second run in obedience for us!

Since we only recently realized what a crutch it is for me to have both of my hands at stomach level, I didn't want to just throw her into this situation and try to phase it out. I stuck with what I knew would work, because I was more interested in seeing what should would do in this setting with the many distractions. I also learned that it's really not a great idea for me to let Bess lean into every single person who stops to pet her before we go into the ring. Her stand for exam is his strongest exercise usually. However, she had been getting a ton of loves from a lot of random people and she really enjoys just leaning into them. As you can see in the video, she thought it was a good idea to do that to our judge as well! Oh the things you learn!

Once we were done with obedience, we popped over to the rally ring for our runs there. They had a course set up with all three levels nested within. This was our first time in the advanced ring. I wasn't too terribly nervous about being off leash because we already were working that for obedience. The only bobble that we had along the way was one station where I was pretty sure that the backing up in heel position was an advanced level station, but not entirely sure. Thankfully it was because we aren't there yet! Otherwise, I was quite happy with her run! We haven't practiced heeling over a jump very much and I thought she did really well not charging ahead of me. And thank you to Nicole for videoing us!

I am just really pleased with how Bess is coming along. Our training sessions lately have been fairly sparse and lax for various reasons, but we're going to be getting back onto our regular training schedule and I know that we'll continue to see improvement! It makes me really excited to enter her in rally next month! I really feel that we're ready! I'm also hoping to enter her in obedience at the end of August. It just really depends on where we are at the end of July.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend!!


houndstooth said...

I'm glad to see her feeling so much better that she could compete!

Netty said...

Hi, my name is Netty.

By any chance, is Bess from Daynakin? Georgia and Jack take care of my Dobes when I'm out of town, and one time they played with a floppy eared 6-mo named "Bess". The youngster could have fooled me with her size - she TOWERED over my male! She was so spunky! Her floppy ears matched her personality.

Anyway, good job on all the work you've been doing with your danes. I train in obedience, but I'm too chicken to take the plunge into the competition ring. I don't take to criticism very well. Me aculpa!

And I'm glad Bess is recovering well from her injury.