NCOTC Obedience Trials

Millie eared her first CD leg this weekend! 

I knew this weekend might be a challenge as Millie is still very green.  I've only ever titled one dog to their CD, so I am very new to this myself.  I entered the trial cautiously since it was being held in the same building where we train.  I figured I would play it by ear and see if we were ready.  So, the evening before the trial, I decided to show up for the Show n Go that was being held.  This is a great opportunity to practice in the ring and see if you are ready.   I brought my soft sided crate to the building, set it up, and went into the practice ring.  Millie did quite respectably!   My biggest complaint was some minor lagging during the about turns.  We decided to go ahead and give the trial a shot that weekend.

Saturday, Millie NQ'd.  Her overall performance was OK.  Not great, nothing even close to what I see when we practice, but she would have qualified.  Until she decided to sit out the Heel Free.  Heel free is when the dog heels off leash with the handler.  You set up at the starting line, and the judge says "forward!".  At that point, handler and dog begin heeling.  Well, I gave Millie her heel command, "Let's go!" and I began heeling.  I got halfway down the ring to the first halt and she was still sitting at the start line!  I called her to me, and she did NOT come!  I called again, which NQ'd us, but she did come join me.  It was really a very pathetic performance and it left me feeling pretty discouraged.  I left the trial unsure if I would pull her on Sunday.

I ended up deciding to work with Millie a bit Saturday evening and see if I might be able to get her more excited in the ring on Sunday.  I figured I could at least collect some data on her performance, if nothing else. 

Sunday, she got her first qualifying leg!  Heel on lead went well, figure 8 pretty decent, stand for exam perfect.  Heel free was still pretty pathetic with some terrible lagging, but she didn't sit at the start line! Woo hoo!  Recall was OK.  I would have liked her to come running with more enthusiasm, as I see in class.  She missed her sit at front position and did a crooked finish.  Sigh.  But we qualified, and with plenty of points to spare.

I am happy that we got our first leg, and I know exactly where our weak areas are. 

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