Sunday, August 22, 2010

First obedience trial

As I'm sure I've said before, I'm new to the whole "doggie scene"having ridden and shown horses all my life. I'm really keen to get involved and have a go with obedience, so we decided to go out to the NZKC centre in Ardmore on the weekend to watch a trial and see what it was all about. Although I was working night shifts so coping on only 1 and a half hours of sleep made for a dopey me. We ended up entering the elementary test (which is for beginners and you can just enter on the day without having to be registered with the kennel club) and we had great fun. The other people in the class, as well as the judge and steward were so supportive and encouraging and happy to answer any questions. Pepper thought the whole scene was rather overwhelming at first but quickly settled and was happy to lie quietly at my feet.

She was a great wee dog, lots of attention in the heelwork (we got 5 off for stupid me having too short a lead - we do these days to learn so I will never have a tight lead again as we would have had a perfect score if not for me!) and her recall was great (it's what we've been working on the past 2 weeks - getting a quick, enthusiastic recall, she used to just amble in slowly) She nailed her stays too. We got 5th but I was just so pleased with her attitude.

We did go back the next day (no video) but had a bit of a different time with the heelwork. Loud (torrential) rain was pounding on the roof and she's a bit noise sensitive and was cowering a little, as well as Ben accidentally showing her the ball (which is more important than anything to her) 2 minutes before we went in. So focus was about 5% on me, 80% on looking for ball and 15% on being scared of rain. Oh well haha. Recall was still great, and it wasn't a wasted effort because we had some interesting distractions in the stays - the GS beside her in the sit was whining and then got up and walked past right in front of her her - she didn't move, such a good girl. And then in the downs a dumb bell went bouncing past and was enthusiastically retrieved right near to her in the next ring and again she stayed, so all very promising.

The worst part was that I couldn't stay to watch Cinnamon and Mint dance because I had to start work early that night :(
Pepper was just happy to come home and chew her favourite ball in the sun, which we haven't seen for what feels like weeks.


  1. Awesome job you guys! Pepper did great in her obedience debut! Sounds like she will go far!

  2. The video is great, you guys look like old pros!

  3. Looks really really great! Such amazing attention! I can't wait to hear more about her entry into the comp obedience world!

  4. Wow, that was great! You got a ribbon in your first go!! I enjoyed watching your video. Pepper kept wagging her tail throughout the heelwork, and she never divert her attention from you. Well done, Emily and Pepper!

    About our dance event, it started well after all the obedience competitions finished, so not many people stayed there to watch it. You should try dancing too. It is so much fun!

    I wish my Mum had taken me to the obedience trial on Sunday so that I could meet you! She was originally planned to do so, but she couldn't because of something called a job... Stupid humans!


  5. congratulations Pepper! Mom is signing me up for a novice obedience trial in first one! We may even try novice Rally-O too, just for the heck of it.

    wags, wiggles & slobbers

  6. Wow Pepper a ribbon on your first go thats fantastic. We did lots of shows before we got a ribbon. Had to laugh at the judge running to catch up.

  7. Haha yeah, we were a bit too speedy. Pepper needs to go at my speed, not me going at her speed

  8. Sounds like you guys did awesome. CONGRATS and keep up the great work! :)

  9. OOh - CONGRATULATIONS!!!! That looked so amazing - what fantastic heeling for a beginner! Look at that attention! Well done!

    How exciting - I am so, so envious now that all my friends are starting to do Obedience and I really wish we were back in Auckland as I sort of would like to try it with Honey but they take things so seriously here and are so competitive - it's nothing like the atmosphere back in NZ - besides, it's always nicer to be with friends. It would have been so cool going out to Ardmore with you all - it;s what's putting me off trying it here. Also, there don't seem to be any trials held in the inner city - they're all MILES away on the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast or something...not really keen to drive that far for a day out on my own without any company in a strange stressful place with strange dogs! (sigh), whereas we practically lived at Ardmore so feel really at home there...! :-(

    Anyway, congrats again - way to go!