Sunday, July 18, 2010

Obedience!

Teller and I have been focused on agility this spring and summer - which hasn't left a lot of time to work other things. More recently my schedule has been pretty busy with work and teaching four nights a week. Nevertheless, I couldn't resist entering the local obedience trial - Teller was sitting at one CDX leg from our last obedience weekend in July of 2009. So I double entered - an agility trial in NH and the local obedience trial. The NH agility trial was really over-priced (even factoring in nice footing) and while it was indoors it wasn't air conditioned - the last time we went to that trial (two years ago) it was hotter inside than out with virtually no ventilation. So I pulled my agility entry and decided to try for another CDX leg (or two).

Then we had this massive heatwave - high 80's and 90's with high humidity for the last two weeks. The net result is that we didn't have a chance to train anything at all - too hot to work the dogs outside - and even hotter inside at the training center. So as I drove down to Tunbridge on Friday (and it was already 80 degrees at 7:30) I was thinking (knowing) that I was crazy - poor Teller hadn't worked any obedience in 6 months at least! Friday was inside, in a arena building with a concrete floor. All the doors were open but there wasn't a lot of ventilation - not so comfy! I pull Teller out to warm him up and he's ON - really on. We go in the ring and his heeling was nice, his retrieves were nice, broad jump was fine, stays were stays...what wasn't so nice was the drop - normally his best thing he dropped about 2' from me. Too close - not a drop on recall! So an NQ, but what would have been a nice score excluding the drop.

Saturday we were in the air-conditioned (cold) expo center for day two. Teller continued to surprise me and put in a super effort earning a 185.5, losing the run-off for 3rd place (thus 4th) for his second CDX leg. Teller celebrated with a cheeseburger from Al's French Fries!

Today's run was as good as Saturdays. Heeling was better I think, Drop was pretty, Retrieve over high was nice - as was his broad jump. On the retrieve on the flat I threw the dumbbell, sent him and he apparently didn't hear me as he sat there waiting for a release. He went promptly on the second command but it was an NQ. Oh well!

My lesson from this weekend is that Teller knows what he knows. He's so bloody honest in his work - he gives me what I ask for every single time I ask it of him. Out of the ring he'll leap on people's heads and act silly, but when there's work to be done he absolutely does it. Teller is maturing a lot too - his work was more focused this year over last year. We lost points here and there for crooked fronts and finishes - but since we haven't trained for obedience I can't fault him for that. He stayed connected between exercises this year - he ignored the judges and the stewards carrying his dumbbell in and out of the ring - this is HUGE considering how much the Teller-Woo likes his dumbbell!

So we need another CDX leg. I'll have to look at where we are in agility and then look at weekends we might be able to go try for another leg....Good Woo, Atta Boy. Thank you.

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