Rigby and I first entered the rally ring in September of 2014 and the obedience ring in February of 2015. The purpose of this post is to record our experiences in the ring, our successes, our failures, our scores and placements. Periodically I'll do updated posts in an effort to keep a history of Rigby's advancement in her obedience and rally career.
Our first time in the ring was a total disaster! We entered Rally Novice B at the rally trial put on by the local German Shepherd club on Sunday, September 14, 2014.
Rigby was all excited and hyped up and I had little to no attention. She pulled at the end of the leash and for most of our time in the ring was almost out of control. I was careful not to pull on her and it was obvious to the judge, Jeff Showman, that the tight lead was due to Rigby's antics and so we were not excused and did make it through all the excercies, but NQ'ed due to the deductions for tight lead, out of position, etc.
|This photo was taken at the GSD rally trial, our first time in the rally ring. That nice attention didn't last long and we NQ'ed this time, but learned some very important lessons!|
It was a bit of an embarassing performance, but I learned that Rigby needs to be crated for several hours at the show site before she is ready to go in the ring -- I had crated her in the car that day and only brought her into the building shortly before going in the ring.
September 19, 2014 Rigby was entered in Rally Novice B in two trials on the same day at Clarion Canine Obedience Club. Learning from our earlier experience, we arrived early at the show site and I set up the crate and sat with Rigby through the Excellent and Advanced classes, giving her time to settle in and get used to the environment.
Our first time in the ring that day was quite an improvement from the first time, but Rigby was happy to see the judge, Karen Schroeder, and did several leaps here and there resulting in too many tight leads and, once again, an NQ.
Back in the crate Rigby went to await her second time in the ring that day. Shortly before her class I took her outside and worked with her, trying to get her attention on me, reminding her of why we were there.
Then it was time to go back in the building and give it another try. Waiting to go in the ring I got a feeling that there was a change in Rigby, she seemed to be remembering that we were a team, she was actually listening to me and giving me attention. We scored an 80 and got our first Rally Novice leg! She would have had a 90, except that I messed up on the second sign and didn't have her sit!
Our final entry into the rally ring in 2014 was at the WCOTC trials in Delmont on Friday, September 26th. Once again that time in her crate at the show site seemed to work for Rigby and she got her second Rally Novice leg with a great score of 94!
February 1st of 2015 was Rigby's debut in the obedience ring. The local Sheltie specialty was being held at the Washington County Fairgrounds, just a few miles from our home. Although the rally trials were Sheltie only, the obedience trials allowed other breeds to enter and compete, so I entered Rigby in Beginner Novice B.
We attended the Obedience B match on Friday night at the show site to give Rigby a chance to see the building and acclimate to the venue. On Sunday I showed her in Beg. Novice and she did a very nice job, earning a score of 193.5 and getting 1st place. A nice start to her obedience career!
|Rigby's winnings from her first time in the obedience ring, a 1st place and $5.00!|
|Rigby and the toy she won in Beg. Novice.|
|Rigby earned her CGC title on April 28th, 2015.|
|Taken at the CGC testing, waiting for our turn.|
|Rigby anxiously waits for me to return from the out-of-sight portion of the CGC test.|
I decided that Rigby's next show would be at the Youngstown All-Breed Club Training Club trials, two rally trials in one day, two chances to get her Rally Novice title.
Three weeks before the trials there were run-thrus held at the YABTC training building and Rigby and I drove to Ohio and spent the day doing run thrus in Novice Obedience and Rally Novice. It was a long day, but well worth the trip, another good day of training for Rigby.
This video is from Rigby's Rally Novice titling leg at the YABTC rally trials!
On Good Friday, April 3, 2015, Rigby earned her Rally Novice title at the first trial of the day at Youngstown with a score of 97. Then in the second trial she did just a bit better and got a 98 and a 3rd place!
|Rigby earned her Rally Novice title at the YABTC trials on April 3, 2015.|
|Ribbons from YABTC on April 3, 2015, new title, two qualifying rosettes, a third place ribbon and toy!|
Because Rigby was not ready to compete off leash I decided I would continue to show her in Rally Novice B for a while longer as we also continued to work towards her Beg. Novice title.
Friday, April 24, 2015, Rigby and I traveled to Morgantown, West Virginia to show in Beginner Novice and Rally Novice. This was Rigby's first time to be shown at an all-breed conformation show run in conjuction with the companion sport events and there was a lot more activity in this building than Rigby had ever been exposed to before.
We were fourth in the ring for Beg. Novice and my nerves were pretty much shot, I allowed too many little circumstances to bother me and get me upset -- a good lesson to learn, concentrate on me and my dog and let the other things go, stay in the moment with my dog and our journey!
Rigby earned her second Beginner Novice leg with another nice score of 192, but she actually lost a point on the recall when she hesitated in coming to me when called -- quite a diference from her usual performance where she streaks across the room into a perfect front. I really think that my nerves affected her to the point that she just wasn't sure she wanted to come running to me!
Things went a bit better in Rally Novice and we got a 95 and 1st place in the class!
I have Rigby entered in a trial in May where I hope she will complete her Beginner Novice title. She will also be competing in a Sub Novice class which is like the old Pre Novice class, everything on a 6-foot lead, including a one-minute sit stay and a three-minute down stay.
Plans are for a possible debut in Novice
obedience in the fall, depending on how our training goes between now and then.