The obedience trial had several rings with different classes going on at the same time. Some people were hurrying from one ring to another with someone standing by to hold one dog while they performed with another dog. We were in Rally-Obedience in which the handler can talk to their dog and give signals and encouragement. In standard obedience either commands can be given once with no other talk or in some classes all hand signals are used. Rally is aimed at beginners.
This is a Rally course. Each sign has a command and as you come to a sign you and your dog must perform that command. The team starts with 100 points and deductions are made for mistakes. You must have a score above 70 to qualify.
Before each class the human members of the team may walk the course for ten or fifteen minutes to familiarize themselves with the moves they will have to make with their dog.
It's comical to watch as the people act out each move as if their dog was there with them.
Then the fun begins. The more advanced classes go first and are off leash. This is Splash. He's going for his advanced excellent title. He needs ten legs and this weekend he earned his fifth, sixth and seventh.
After completing the course dogs in excellent class do honor to the next dog by remaining in a sit-stay or down-stay while the next dog runs the course. The dog doing honor may not move while the other dog is on the course. Here Splash performs honor. You always hope that the dog following you is a fast one.
Here's Toby getting ready to start his run. Toby earned two legs toward his advanced excellent title this weekend.
Nicki and Zodiac are ready to start their run.
There are one or two jumps in the advanced classes.
Here Zodiac is doing honor to the dog following him. Zodiac earned one leg toward his advanced excellent title. Nicki's other dog Legend earned her CD title and one of those pretty purple rainbow ribbons.
While waiting for your class to be called you stand around a lot. You watch the other dogs to see how they are doing and to help yourself memorize the course.
Here are Linda and Chesney watching the ring. They're doing Novice A, the same class as Fudge and I. Chesney also earned her first title this weekend.
I was watching how each sign was being done and memorizing the course. Fudge was watching the girl dogs.
Then you practice each move.....
And practice some more.
You take time to say hello to old friends. Trish brought her daughters to see Fudge perform. They met Fudge in May at Artfest and her older girl fell in love with Fudgie. So on Friday he had his own personal cheering section.
Fudge hasn't been around young children very much, but he was very gentle with the girls and they helped by holding him and petting him while I walked the course.
There is one more important thing to do before they call your class. You must remember to take your canine team member outside to relieve himself. Here Chesney is getting ready for a trip outside.
Fudge has his trip outside.
Everybody gathers for the start of a class.
Oh oh, this woman forgot about the trip outside. The first dog in our class pooped in the ring. Not only is this an automatic disqualification, but you have to clean it up and walk out of the ring with your little bag of poop to dispose of it. Embarrassing! It also causes trouble for the rest of us. To avoid having the rest of the dogs walking thru the area and trying to mark it, the judge moved all the signs closer together. An already tight course became extremely tight.
Then it was our turn. Fudge did well. There was one move that we had practiced one way and this course had it reversed so he started in the wrong direction, but corrected himself. Then we got to the move where we blew it last year. He must go into a down-stay while I walk around him. I was nervous and dropped the leash. When I bent to pick it up he started to roll over, but he stopped and held his stay. No roll overs, spins or jumps in the air.
After each class there is an award ceremony. All qualifiers enter the ring.
The judge hands out ribbons and the top four dogs each get a toy.
This is an interesting group of winners. I don't remember what class this was, but to see all men in the winners circle is unusual.
Then it was our award ceremony. Fudge came in fourth.
Four year old Josie really wanted Fudge to get a ribbon and she was excited to see it.
Fudge was more interested in his new toy.
Fudge seems to think that having a title means he's been knighted and he wants to be called 'Sir Fudge'. We've called him that all weekend and he responds nicely.