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Postby mnp13 » November 8th, 2006, 5:00 pm

Does anyone have it? What were your experiences with it? the Judging? any common problems areas? things that you thought were going to be easy but had no trouble with?

Any training advice? I'm planning to go for it with Riggs in the next 2-3 months, so I'd love some tips!

the CDX will be a while for us, he doesn't like to give things back.

Inside me is a thin woman trying to get out. I usually shut the bitch up with a martini.
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Postby lluksa » November 8th, 2006, 6:02 pm

No advice to give specifically...Bubba and I have only done AKC Rally-O but are entered in our first AKC novice obedience trial next month. Although he has earned his CD-H through CDSP (there scoring is not as rigorous as AKC) we really enjoy it and it has gotten him ring ready for AKC. The best way to see if you're really ready for a trial is to do a match show I think...it simulates the real thing but you can relax and know if you or your dog completely screw up...it's okay :ROFL2: and the judge will let you know what you need to work on. Best of luck to you!

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Postby lluksa » November 8th, 2006, 6:49 pm

I couldn't remember where this info was but...I found it...it is good stuff!

Common Handler Errors
These suggestions are primarily for AKC's obedience exercises, although they are widely applicable. Exercises that are specifically different in other organizations are not covered.

Common handler errors:
Bowing when giving command
Improper hand position
Body english for the finish (dipping shoulder, moving feet, etc)
Head movement
Moving fingers on the finish
Moving arm position after voice command to finish is given
Overly loud command
Double commanding (signal and voice) for finish
Giving the "Stay" command out of heel position (as or after handler steps out)
Helpful hints:
Don't leave your dog on the crack of the mat or a high or low spot if showing outdoors.
After leaving the dog and going to the other side, don't look up at the judge until you have positioned yourself and are ready for the command.
Ensure that there is enough room behind you for the finish.
Position yourself across the ring so that the dog will not have to sit on the crack of the mat.
Use the same tone of voice that is normally given for the recall command (many handlers will change the tone of their voice when they are nervous and the dog doesn't understand)
Leave your dog by stepping out on your right foot (or which ever foot you normally leave on).
Make sure you have your dogs full attention before leaving him so he doesn't get up as you leave.
Make sure your command is loud enough, if there is lots of noise (i.e. PA system on and off, etc)
Long sit/down
Common handler errors:
Not knowing that if dog breaks the owner SHOULD NOT return to the line with other competitors
Late leaving dog
Not returning to heel position
Positioning the dog or touching the collar (you can't touch them)
Handler zeros in previous exercises and doesn't return for Sits and Downs (you must return or ask the judge to be excused).
Extra signals from across the ring.
Helpful hints:
Don't position your dog on the crack of the mat or (if outdoors) a high or low spot.
Look around before getting started and pick up any debris near your dog to avoid sniffing.
Clip your armband to your leash - and lay down so it won't get knocked or blown away.
Make sure that your dog will lay down straight (especially if you are showing a large dog) to avoid having to reposition your dog.
When the judge asks if everyone is ready before the exercise starts SPEAK UP, if you aren't ready - don't rush yourself and chance a zero.
Cross your arms to make the exercise look different than the recall.
If your dog doesn't go down on the first command, give another - the exercise doesn't start until the handlers leave (except for rough handling,etc).
Make sure you have your dogs full attention before leaving him so he doesn't get up as you leave.
Heel on lead
Common handler errors:
Tight lead (loose pts for lagging AND tight lead) This could also cause a zero for the exercise, if the judge feels that s/he was not given an opportunity to see the dog work on leash
Adapting speed to dog (Especially not walking briskly.)
Not changing speed
Lead corrections
Not heeling so DOG IS ON MAT
Stepping into dog on sit
Too many steps on the halt.
Anticipating judges commands (going back to normal after the fast before the judges command, turning early, etc)
Pausing or stopping on about turn (heels should never come together - the turn should be made in motion)
Rounding corners on the left turn to avoid crowding by the dog.
Checking each sit after the halts
Extra body movement on the "Heel Command"
Moving the leash position after starting to heel.
Helpful hints:
Don't stop too quickly on the halts - many handlers panic when the judge commands and they stop on a dime.
When the judge asks if you are ready, LOOK at your dog first before you reply.
If the dog lags (i.e. on the figure 8) don't let out the lead, let it tighten up - the judge will take a lag only (the dog caused the tight leash)
Don't look back at the dog - it will only cause the dog to lag more.
Many handlers forget to give the "Heel" command after each command to "Forward" by the judge.
If you have questions, before the exercise starts (about anything - since this is the first exercise) ask the judge.
Crossing the mat on the fast time. Crossing the mat is a problem that occurs when the handler doesn't walk or run in a straight line. Either the handler moves across the mat to the left (into the dog) which seems to be more common, or moves across the mat to the right (away from the dog).
Figure eight
Common handler errors:
See Heel on Leash
Slowing down when the dog is on the outside
Helpful hints:
Make sure to give the dog enough room when executing the inside post. Many handlers cut too close and the dog is forced to drop back into a lag.
Give yourself enough room at the start of the exercise (especially for those with large dogs) so you can take at least two steps before going into the turn.
Unless you have a forging dog, always start the exercise by going to the left. If you go immediately to the right (dog is expected to get up from a sit and go into a fast), it start the dog off into a lag.
Heel free
Common handler errors:
See Above.
Hand position - a) Both hands down and "swinging" or b) Right hand down and "swinging" and the left hand held up at your waist. The hand position can change for the fast, but must immediately return to the previous position on the normal.
Changing hand position after starting.
Helpful hints
Forgetting that it's permissible to issue a second command (point loss but no zero/NQ)
Ensure that you give the "Heel" command first before stepping out to avoid leaving the dog sitting behind.
Common handler errors:
Touching while giving "stay" command
Backing away
Going too far (must be about 6 feet away)
Not returning to heel position.
Giving the "Stay" command out of heel position
Returning directly into heel position (not going behind the dog first)
Rough handling of the dog to position him
Extra commands to stay - "Stay/Stay" or "Wait...Stay"
Waiting for the judge to tell the handler to leave
Helpful hints:
Pace out the 6 foot distance ahead of time (or go about to where the judge is - that's usually 6 feet)
After standing the dog, move to heel position and take one last look at the dog before giving the command to stay.
If the dog doesn't stand up on the first command, physically stand the dog (don't use your feet)
Make sure you leave your dog on the foot that your normally leave him on (usually the right)
If the dog sits or moves from position after the judge has examined him and before you return, the dog has still qualified (lost major points, though)
Generally Common Handler Errors
Positioning the dog (knee, foot, hands) before exercises - you can't touch them at all to position them - even if the exercise is over.
Collar too loose or too tight (or illegal)
Handler not familiar with the rules ( when handler fills out an entry form and signs it, s/he is stating that s/he has read the rules and is familiar with them.
Enter and Exit the ring on a loose leash (yes, you must clip the leash on your dog before exiting)
Telling the judge that they are ready for an exercise when the dog is not in position. Always check your dog before replying that you are ready.
Neither judges or stewards may reveal any part of your score until after the class is over. The judge must, however, tell you whether you have qualified after your sits and downs.
Generally Common Helpful Hints
Make sure you praise your dog between exercises so they don't get stressed This way you can also keep the dog's attention on you.
If you need to, you can gently guide your dog by the collar
Teach the dog pivots, so that you can position the dog without repeatingly turning around and around (and around,and around....)
Make sure your dog is clean (judges HATE to touch dirty dogs)
Tie your hair back (if it is long)
Make sure your clothes don't interfere with the dog's movement.
Have a pleasant expression on your face, otherwise the dog will react to the difference in your personality (who is this strange person I'm with?)
Give all command in the same tone of voice as when you train.
Think about your handling - try to forget about the dog. You should have confidence in him by now. If you worry about something (or dwell on something) it will probably come true. Try to keep a positive attitude.
Always check to see if there are missing dogs (or dogs with conflicts) ahead of you). Never go to the steward's table with your dog.
Keep your dog away from you until just before you show. Do a brief warmup, but not too much.
Make sure that your dog has been exercised and will not foul the ring.
Arrive AT LEAST one hour before you show. Walk the dog through the whole show area, then put him away.
After the last sit and down group is complete, (if you have qualified), get your dog and warm them up for a run-off - no matter how you feel about your performance.
Watch at least 2 or 3 dogs performance before you show (unless you are the first or second dog) and plan where you will position yourself. Watch carefully, where each exercise is done and what the judges commands are.
Don't take gum into the ring (some judges consider it food). Empty your pockets of extra change or keys.
Don't bring your dog up to the ring entrance until the judge is ready for you - especially don't bring him up while the other dog is exiting.
If you place, show good sportsmanship by congratulating the other placers.
After the class is over, approach the judge and ask her/him if s/he would be willing to go over your score. Most judges are more than willing to do this after all the paperwork is complete - but they are not required.
You might want to get a photograph done if you get a placement or a C.D. that day.
Always verify your score at the superintendent's table after the judge has turned in the book. Sometimes there are errors. If you placed, make sure that your number is in the correct place.
If you place first, you will need to wait around until another class finishes with a first place that is higher than your score (for the High in Trial award)
Check (in the catalog) to see if you are eligible for any special prizes. (i.e. High Scoring Hound, High Scoring Senior Citizen, etc). Check before the trial, as sometimes you need to sign up for a possible prize. Always check afterwards as well.
Always verify that your dog's name (and your address) is listed correctly in the catalog (or on the entries that you receive in the mail)
Hints on the Dog's Attire
Metal or nylon choke chains are OK. These should fit properly and not hang half way down the chest.
Leather buckle (flat or rolled) are OK.
Nylon or fabric buckle collars are OK. Some dissent on colors: solid and subdued colors are your best bet.
Quick snap, martingale, prong collars are not allowed. Bright colors dismissed by some judges. Prints, studded collars, decorated collars, not allowed.
No tags on collars.
A four to six foot fabric or leather leash is best. Again, avoid loud, decorated, or studded leashes.
Tips for dealing with Stress at the show
Margie English (1-9) & Anne Cotton (10)
Keep the dog crated in the quietest spot you can find. Park your crate in a corner or against a wall, and cover it so your pup feels safe enough to sleep.

Don't keep your dog on the show site any longer than necessary. If you're finished at noon, go back to the motel and watch the Young and the Restless together.

Don't share a motel room with someone else who has dogs. Your pup has enough to do over the weekend without figuring out a new pack order.

Spend the first evening in the motel watching TV with your pup. Don't just park him there and go out partying. You can party later after he settles in. Actually, dogs like it best if you snuggle up and watch TV with them every night, but, HEY, they're dogs and we're people. The first-night rule is especially important if lots of other exhibitors are staying at your motel. This means lots of coming and going and (sorry to say) lots of barking. You're pup will feel a lot better about the whole thing if you're there to tell him to shut up and watch TV with him.

Never invite people to your motel room to party. Your dog needs the peace and quiet. Encourage other people to play host, and take them a box of wine to reinforce their hospitality.

If your pup is prone to any kind of digestive upset, bring water from home, or put him on bottled spring water before you leave so you can buy more while traveling. Bring Immodium just in case.

Bring some familiar toys from home for the motel room. It makes your pup feel at home and keeps him from shredding your luggage.

Unless you have a seasoned campaigner, don't try to do much training over the weekend. Showing is about as much as your pup can take, so get him trained before you go and let him rest between his appearances.

If your pup sleeps in a crate at home, bring the crate for him to sleep in at the show and in your motel room. If he usually sleeps on your bed at home, get a room with a big enough bed for the two of you and don't introduce any distractions.

Give your pup plenty of time to sleep. IMO, the way dog shows take most of the stuffing out of dogs is by keeping the poor buggers awake all day. On top of that, the different evironment and disruption of your pup's regular routine will make him want to sleep even more than he does at home. So let him sleep as much as he wants to. And get enough sleep yourself!

If you have a sleep-on-the-bed dog, BEFORE you leave home, put a sheet on top of the covers and let the dog sleep on top of it for a night or two. Then take THAT sheet, unlaundered, with you; put it on top of the motel bed. First, the dog will have its familiar smell to lie on; and second, the motel people will adore you for not getting hair all over everything including the bedspread.

"When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on" Franklin D. Roosevelt
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Postby mnp13 » November 8th, 2006, 7:03 pm

Dear Lord, I am nervous just reading that...

Inside me is a thin woman trying to get out. I usually shut the bitch up with a martini.
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Postby pocketpit » November 8th, 2006, 11:17 pm

Practice, Practice, Practice. Do several fun matches before you actually enter if possible. That way you can correct if you have to and the judge can give you input on your footwork, body language or anything else you might need help on.
My other advise is to just try and relax and have fun with your dog. Novice A (the class you will be in) is for beginners who have never titled a dog so there will be plenty of other folks there just as nervous as you!
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Postby mnp13 » November 10th, 2006, 11:09 pm

I found the website with that list:

However, that page says:
4. Quick snap, martingale, prong collars are not allowed. Bright
colors dismissed by some judges. Prints, studded collars,
decorated collars, not allowed.

I can not find anything to back that up in the AKC rule book. Riggs wears one of two collars all the time - his celtic print collar and his red and black studded collar.

Does anyone know if this is a "real" rule? I can't find it anywhere.

Inside me is a thin woman trying to get out. I usually shut the bitch up with a martini.
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Postby pocketpit » November 11th, 2006, 1:02 am

I'm afraid it's true. They would have a cow over his studded collar and would probably have a big debate over his celtic collar and you'd have to accept someone show big wig's decision on whether or not it would be allowed.

UKC is similar. I forgot Brooks' trial collar one day and asked about her regular buckle collar. But it had tiny metal stars on it and was deemed "studded". Thank god some nice Sheltie person was willing to loan me a collar.
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Postby mnp13 » November 11th, 2006, 1:17 am

So... I'm guessing the stainless steel chain maille collar is out too? :|

How annoying. I could understand if the studded collars had some sort of "prong" on the inside to make the dog think it had a e-collar on or something like that. However, there is an easy way to take care of that... CHECK.

and please tell me how a 1.5 inch wide piece of ribbon with Celtic dogs on it affects his obedience?


And while we're on the subject of weird AKC stuff, should I wear a business suit or a formal evening gown?

Inside me is a thin woman trying to get out. I usually shut the bitch up with a martini.
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Postby Pitcrew » November 11th, 2006, 11:13 am

How to dress? Neat/casual is fine. I wouldn't wear a skirt if you don't wear one often and haven't trained in one.

Collars? Pretty much limited to a choke collar (nylon, leather or chain) or a buckle collar with no tags, and no name printed on it. Recommended training with it on if your dog is one that is used to being cued for behavior by the equipment that you use.
Not a bad idea to bring several collars if you aren't sure if what you plan on using is okay, and get it okay-ed by the judge. It is NOT impossible for someone to be disqualified for a qualifying run just because of the collar (tags, etc.). Although that would be surprising with our dogs since they have no hair to hide it, and the judge would probably mention it before you start. Finding out when you walk in for your turn would not be a good idea. Ask the judge before judging starts, if your not sure.
I forget now, if a choke has to be on the "dead ring" while competing. Worth checking. Toggle and snap chokes aren't allowed. Stupid, and of no advantage IMO, but maybe because they fit tighter. Although it may be obvious prongs are not allowed in the ring... you aren't even allowed to use them on the grounds of an AKC event (even if you aren't showing).

There is no sense or logic to the AKC. Go figure.
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Postby SisMorphine » November 14th, 2006, 12:23 pm

I don't like that martingales aren't allowed because with certain breeds (Greyhounds, Collies, any breed who's neck is bigger than their head) a martingale is the only safe collar to have on them.
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Postby mnp13 » November 16th, 2006, 8:04 pm

Day 1: I stood around for about 3 hours before we went in the ring. I worked Riggs a few times during the wait. When we finally went in the ring I was mostly calm, and he was a trooper. He paid attention to me through the heel on leash (a lot of forging, but he still payed attention to whare I was), the figure 8 (kept bumping me on the inside and going wide on the outside), no problems with the stand for exam, some forging on the heel off leash... then came the long sit and long down. He was fine in the sit, until we were told to return to our dogs, and then he broke and started walking towards me. The judge was standing next to me and said "No, no, that's too bad." Then he broke about a minute into the long down. I wanted to strangle him, but it's a training issue, so it's my own fault (though he just did a 15 minute down...)

I went up after everything was done and the judge went over my score with me. He told me what my score would have been if Riggs hadn't gotten up and NQ'd. I said "That stinks, we would have gotten a ribbon." He replied "You would have gotten first." I kinds laughed and told him not to tell me that, and then I headed out.

We have three more shows to go.

Does anyone know how to cement a dog to the floor without the judge noticing?

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Postby Marinepits » November 16th, 2006, 10:22 pm

psssst: Crazy Glue. :wink:
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Postby cheekymunkee » November 17th, 2006, 11:13 am

Ritalyn is your friend!!! I am proud of him for doing so well despite having the wiggles!
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » November 17th, 2006, 1:54 pm

I also think you should be quite proud of him and yourself! You'll get it!
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Postby mnp13 » November 17th, 2006, 11:17 pm

We didn't today... we were dismissed from the ring because he wouldn't heel during the off leash exercise and blew me off when I gave him his second command. He trotted happily in the other direction at the about turn and was "air sniffing". Funny because he has the world's worst nose (he has trouble finding hotdogs on the ground.)

I take responsibility for yesterday, however today was alllll him. He knows heel, he has a beautiful heel. Even though he has a constent forge, he stops when I stop and actually takes a step backwards so he is exactly in the right place.

Yesterday his heel was great, today he didn't give a crap where I was - off leash or on.

Funny thing - we worked in the parking lot a couple times and he was spectacular.

She told us we were dismissed and immediately let me know that it had nothing to do with his breed. There were 2 dogs right on the other side of the fence, maybe three feet away max. I think she wanted to assure me that she didn't think he was being aggressive or anything.

I spoke to her afterwards about why I was dismissed (you can't come back into the ring for the long sit and down after you've been removed by the judge) She told me that when he blew me off after the second command she was concerned that he would not stay in his sit or down and might interfere with the other dogs. That didn't make a whole lot of sense to me, they are different exercises and different unrelated tasks. Oh well...

There is always tomorrow. (I just keep repeating that)

Inside me is a thin woman trying to get out. I usually shut the bitch up with a martini.
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Postby Pitcrew » November 18th, 2006, 12:01 am

Just remember that this judge has never seen this dog work before. You admit he was not engaged with you. She has no way of knowing this is not normal for him.
You are in a novice class. Novice A means you have never titled this dog (or any other) in this class. Many people enter who have not enough experience (dog or handler) and she needs to err on the side of caution. Not just for safety, but for the remaining dogs to have the best chance to be successful.
You will be in (or see) a stay group one day... with a dog that breaks, and causes others to break their stays. If ANY of the other dogs stay (if the distraction causes ALL of the dogs to break you MAY get to do it over, but I haven't ever seen this happen unless the dog DIRECTLY causes the break of only 1 dog, and is not considered just a distraction), regardless of the fact that another dog caused the "break" you will fail the class. Usually (not always) you will have guessed that dog might break because of his behavior in the other exercises. Everyone eventually wishes a dog was eliminated some day. Its a sucky way to loose. I lost a potential 198 1/2 that way... a very long time ago... but it didn't change how proud I was of Willie that day... I dint need the ribbon, or a judge to tell me, to know how well he did that day.
You have to remember... this is a TEST. Not a place to train, or "see how they would have done". You have already failed an exercise and cannot title and if you aren't pretty sure the dog will stay, it is the responsible thing (I would call it "etiquette") to remove a dog from the stays (ask to be excused) so that you wont affect another dogs performance.

Anyhow... don't sweat it. There's always tomorrow. You know he knows what to do... don't drill him too much this weekend. It isn't likely to improve him at this late point... only stress him and cause him to make mistakes because of stress or think he is doing something wrong because you aren't able to give him the aids you normally do. This can cause him to become "ringwise". It is a training error where the dog learns where you can "fix it" or reward him, and where you cant (in the ring) and can be a hard thing to fix. That's what matches are for.
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Postby mnp13 » November 18th, 2006, 11:49 pm

and another one bites the dust...

The biggest frusteration about this expericence is that I truly feel that this is the most basic obedience. Heel, sit, stay, stand, down. That's really all there is to it. But is is FAR more than that.

The distraction around the ring is incredible. People walking around, standing watching, dogs barking, dogs trialing in the next ring, dogs walking by, people talking, etc etc etc.

Less than 10% have passed in the three trials I have been in... FAR less than 10%.

I did NOT think it would be easy, not by a LONG shot, but I never expected it to be so hard.

Today he took a step during his stand for exam. He moved three of his feet, which is an NQ. Small "error", but enough to deny us yet another qualifying score.

He was not dismissed from the ring, however I pulled him from the long sit and down. We had to wait outside of the ring while the last dog was doing his exercises. The Golden owner standing behind us couldn't seem to understand that I really didn't want her dog wandering near Riggs. He tried to back out of his collar, and then started growling. That was enough for me. I couldn't be confident that he would hold his position especially since all 12 dogs would be in the ring, putting less than three feet between each dog. A different Golden would have been next to him, but there was no way I was going to risk that.

I went up to the judge and told her I was pulling Riggs because he was wound up and most likely wouldn't pass and I didn't want him to be the cause of other dogs breaking if/when he got up. Three different handlers thanked me for pulling him. On my way out, another handler asked me if I had been dismissed and I said no, that I had pulled him. That is a very different thing.

Only one person qualified, it happened that it was the last Golden in the class (not the one who was bugging Riggs.) However, that was the dog that would have been under 3 feet from him. He thanked me... evidently his dog has had trouble with her stays, and had he broke next to her she most likely would have broken as well. I'm happy I pulled him, it was more fair to the other handlers. Of course, "down means down" but I'd rather not be the cause of someone else failing.

On to tomorrow's trial....

Inside me is a thin woman trying to get out. I usually shut the bitch up with a martini.
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Postby Pitcrew » November 19th, 2006, 5:22 pm

Very good choice Michelle!

Now you are starting to see what I mean.

Those are very low percentages. I never seemed that low when I was competing (12, 6 and 3 years ago) but its been awhile since I was in Novice A. The local clubs were also more active about putting on matches. That makes a big difference. Half a dozen training matches can make all of the difference. For the trainer and the dog. So does watching a few shows so that you know how different trials have different difficulties (indoor and outdoor).

Hope you have better luck today.
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Postby mnp13 » November 20th, 2006, 12:18 am

nope, no better luck today. He had excellent heeling on and off leash. Unfortunately, whatever made him love the stewards table yesterday was also irresistable today. He only glanced at it during the off lead heel, but made a run for it during the recall. I turned and called him again and he came right to me, but that was an NQ of course.

I was the last in my group before the sits and downs, so I turned around and went right back into the ring. I was VERY tense and of course, that made him break. The steward caught him half way down the ring and sat on the floor and pet him until the minute was up. He wasn't over joyed but didn't make much of a fuss either. I asked to be excused from the down, and the judge told me we was going to ask me to go anyway - but thanked me for asking to be excused.

I spoke to him afterwards, and we had very few points off before the recall.

4 out of 12 qualified today.

On another note, I'm sure there are some questions as to why I feel the "need" to tell everyone about failing at show after show... well, I hope that other people who may be on the fence about trying it will give it a go. It's pretty hard to swallow the first few NQ's but you'd be amazed at how the other exhibitors pull for you. You are all competing, but most of it is to get that little "Qulaify" ribbon, not to place.

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Postby ellie@ny » November 20th, 2006, 7:23 pm

Oh well,next time!
At least you know now what to practice with him till the next trial!
I entered Nico many times for his CD,something always came in,so we coudn't go...
There was only one time in August or July,it was a close show,and was almost the hottest day of the summer....
He did everything perfectly in 100+degrees+100% humidity on the sun,only at the last sit stay excercise in the last ten seconds he layd down.
But I learned from it that never ever enter in bad weather conditions...
Also if he feels that you are stressed,he's gonna make mistakes,because he doesn't know what's the problem with mommy?
Always take mints with you to shows,trials,any competition,because the dog won't sense your stress level.
"Winners aren't born...they're made.And they're made just like anything else...through hard work.That's the price we'll have to pay to achive that goal."
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