German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
165 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Okay, so in March there will be some AKC obedience trials coming pretty locally to us. I'm interested in starting to trial some with AKC, but I am COMPLETELY new to the whole showing thing. Anything a newbie might need to know about AKC obedience trialing would be great. Any tips, etc that you can offer would be great.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
710 Posts
What class are you entering? Novice Obedience? Pre-novice? Have you taken any classes geared towards a trial?

Definitely find a fun match or Show 'n Go to get a critique before you go to the real trial. I learned about "Handler Error" at a special training class for AKC obedience. There is so much to the details. Definitely read and understand every word in the AKC Obedience regulations about the class you are entering. It explains what judges are looking for and scoring.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
165 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I'll be entering the Beginner Novice A, since neither me or my dog has earned a title in any AKC sport before. Any other special tips like for on show day and at the show? Or special tips in preparation?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
260 Posts
I'm always happy to see someone interested in competing! Obedience numbers have declined over the years and getting people to participate in the sport is what keeps it going. I'm excited for you!

Others have already given you some good info.

Anyway, please read AKC's "Getting Started in Obedience" and the rules and regulations.
I also found some helpful advice here:
How to prepare your dog for obedience trials | Fanny's Clicker Dog Blog

I hope you can find someone to show you the ropes. You will need to fill out the entry form correctly and make sure it's in by the closing date.

Find a good training group that's geared to AKC obedience. If you're able to go watch a show, go for it!

You'll need a crate to put your dog in at the show and bring a chair. You want to get there early to get your dog acclimated to the environment.

Train in all kinds of locations with distractions.

As a newbie, I started with the AKC Canine Good Citizen test. I then took a rally obedience class and a friend suggested I go to a trial. Took 1st place first time in the ring and was hooked.

I'm glad I started in rally because it was a lot less pressure on me and fun for my dog. I got to get a feel for the show environment and saw how things worked.

Then there's ring nerves. That's the stressful, anxious feeling that happens to people at trials. Dogs pick up on this nervous energy and it effects their performance. I'm on my 4th RAE leg and finished the CDX title this summer and have done well, but I still have trouble keeping myself calm and relaxed for my dogs sake.

Best of luck to you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,237 Posts
Okay, so in March there will be some AKC obedience trials coming pretty locally to us. I'm interested in starting to trial some with AKC, but I am COMPLETELY new to the whole showing thing. Anything a newbie might need to know about AKC obedience trialing would be great. Any tips, etc that you can offer would be great.

I really thought you would get a lot of feedback on this topic. But since only a few of us have commented here you go!
I don't think you have a lot of competition training experience?

As the other poster mentioned, starting with a CGC is often a good way.
AKC's Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Program - Searchable Calendar

Attending a show to watch is very helpful. At least view some videos on Youtube of the level you are going for. CGC, Rally, Obedience BN or CD.

AKC.org has a ton of good information. I wasn't kidding about reading the rule book. Used to be, one could be ordered for around $8. Highly recommend.

What other specific issues are you looking for? How is training going so far?
I found that working in Petco or Petsmart was a super way to prepare for the AKC trial ring.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
165 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thank you guys for all of the advice. Since my adopting out Grace (the rescued breeding female) I've been able to get a really nice black AKC registered female named Nyx. She will be turning a year old on the 20th of November (this month) and the people that had her before us were only hobby breeders and didn't really do any training with her. She'll be the one that I go after any obedience titles with. So far in the two weeks that I've had her she's learned sit really well and now we are working on the "down" command. She was pretty shy when she first got here and I'm thinking it's probably just a fear period that she may have been going through because now she's coming out of her shell and is really getting confident. The only problem I have with finding a training club that's geared toward AKC obedience are the ones that are putting on the trials in March. They are within driving distance for a trial, but for training every week and gas the way it is here, I don't think I could make it worth the drive just going maybe once a month. Although, if it's something that may benefit Nyx and I, it is something I would consider. Do most training clubs have specific membership fees? I've also put in my membership application and paid the membership fee for joining the GSDCA, but have yet to hear anything back from them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
987 Posts
What area are you in?
I go to a place to train in a group, we all support each other and watch each other in the ring.
There are people in our group that have OTCH's on their dogs and their helpful hints are worth their weight in gold.
So if you can get into a good group to train with it would be really helpful
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,237 Posts
Thank you guys for all of the advice. Since my adopting out Grace (the rescued breeding female) I've been able to get a really nice black AKC registered female named Nyx. She will be turning a year old on the 20th of November (this month) and the people that had her before us were only hobby breeders and didn't really do any training with her. She'll be the one that I go after any obedience titles with. So far in the two weeks that I've had her she's learned sit really well and now we are working on the "down" command. She was pretty shy when she first got here and I'm thinking it's probably just a fear period that she may have been going through because now she's coming out of her shell and is really getting confident. The only problem I have with finding a training club that's geared toward AKC obedience are the ones that are putting on the trials in March. They are within driving distance for a trial, but for training every week and gas the way it is here, I don't think I could make it worth the drive just going maybe once a month. Although, if it's something that may benefit Nyx and I, it is something I would consider. Do most training clubs have specific membership fees? I've also put in my membership application and paid the membership fee for joining the GSDCA, but have yet to hear anything back from them.
Congrats on your new addition.
She may just be settling in, or she may not have a very bold temperament. It is good that she is becoming more comfortable.

I have found that walks at the park are a wonderful way to build your relationship and start to develop training skills. I keep my clicker and treats with me. Every-time she looks at you, click, then give a reward. If she is uncomfortable with strangers, cars, dogs, whatever.... move off of the path a bit and give treats. She will start to look to you when someone approaches, then you can click/reward for her attention to you.
You can also practice recalls. As she walks out, call her name, when she responds, click/reward.
This teaches her to be comfortable when out, to always look to you, and that good things happen when her focus is you.

Training clubs vary greatly in cost and quality, and the two are not always correlated:).
I trained my first dog up to RA, and his BH without being a member of an official club. However I did have dog-friends that trained and we met and helped each other.

And if you are in south Kentucky, Nashville has a good club.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
165 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I'm about an hour and a half (give or take a minute or ten for traffic lol) south of Louisville, KY. I'm considering going to a training club maybe once a month to learn a few things. I've also been following a lot of Leerburg's obedience training stuff and it's really helping and coming in handy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
987 Posts
I'm 45 min. north of Louisville, I wondered when you mentioned March if you were talking about the big cluster show in Louisville.
If those are your plans and your first show, you might want to think about showing on Thurs and Friday during that show it always seems less crowded on those days then on the weekend.
I train at a place off the Gene Snyder but it's east of Louisville so might add even more time to your drive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
165 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I'm 45 min. north of Louisville, I wondered when you mentioned March if you were talking about the big cluster show in Louisville.
If those are your plans and your first show, you might want to think about showing on Thurs and Friday during that show it always seems less crowded on those days then on the weekend.
I train at a place off the Gene Snyder but it's east of Louisville so might add even more time to your drive.
Yes, that would be the show that I am talking about. And thanks. I have requested the necessary information and registration packet from the show secretary already. I will definitely keep those days in mind when I put in the information on the registration form. And yes, Gene Snyder would only add more to the driving time. I'm still on the search for good training clubs that would be somewhat close to me, so if anyone knows of any that may be closer to Hodgenville, KY please let me know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,602 Posts
Our AKC obedience training club puts on pretty large obedience, rally and agility trials and practice show 'n go days in the weeks previous to a trial. See if the club that's putting on the trial has some of them so you can give it a try beforehand. I've been a ring steward at many trials and the most common mistakes I see with first timers is that they take the lead off the dog before they enter or just as they enter the ring, rather than waiting for the judge to tell them to. Sounds like a little thing but it can mean a DQ if the judge is that picky. It's not inappropriate to let the judge know it's your first trial and they're usually very helpful. Try not to be nervous and remember that everyone wants to see you and your dog do well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,602 Posts
Sorry for the typo- I meant NQ. Although it would be nice if they gave everyone a DQ cone as you exited the ring
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
165 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Our AKC obedience training club puts on pretty large obedience, rally and agility trials and practice show 'n go days in the weeks previous to a trial. See if the club that's putting on the trial has some of them so you can give it a try beforehand. I've been a ring steward at many trials and the most common mistakes I see with first timers is that they take the lead off the dog before they enter or just as they enter the ring, rather than waiting for the judge to tell them to. Sounds like a little thing but it can mean a DQ if the judge is that picky. It's not inappropriate to let the judge know it's your first trial and they're usually very helpful. Try not to be nervous and remember that everyone wants to see you and your dog do well.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't Beginner Novice exercises done while on leash? Also on another note. Showing equipment. It states in the rules that you can't use a training collar such as a prong collar. But, would a choke chain collar be considered a training collar and be inappropriate to show in? If so, what do you guys use to show your dogs in?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
260 Posts
Yes, the BN is done on leash, except for the recall and sit/stay exercise.

A choke chain is allowed. I use one because I don't like the flat buckle collars messing up the neck fur.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top