This weekend was spent at Shenandoah Valley Kennel Club’s Obedience Trial. Rugby earned his second and third Utility legs there last spring, so we were excited to go back again this year.
Rugby started the weekend off slow/distracted/bored/tired. Whatever you call it, it wasn’t good. He failed signals when decided to sit instead of down on the first command. He had less than stellar go-outs and some crooked fronts. I called this same performance tired in York, but I was not convinced this weekend. He was just being jerk. New strategy – be more demanding of Rugby.
Before going into Open we had a 10 minute heeling session, then a long warm up. That woke him up, and the second class was 100 times better. It was still only good enough for 3rd place though. After the show we found a big empty parking lot to work in and we did directed jumping several times. He needed more than a couple reminders about the proper go-out position.
Day 2 was improved from the day before with the very fact that he qualified. He gave me much straighter go-outs and fewer mistakes on his fronts. His new improved attitude carried over into Open and he walked away with blue ribbons in both classes.
Rugby left this weekend with his 7th UDX leg, 6 more OTCH points (for a new total of 71), his required Open B win, High Combined, and High in Trial.
I would like to avoid a repeat of Saturday, so we will be working hard the next few weeks to prepare for our next trial. That includes raising the bar for Rugby and lots more exercise to increase his stamina. It is game time now, only 29 more points and 3 UDX legs to go.