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Well all - I'm having a tough summer and haven't been able to trial my girls at all (or even train consistently) due to my rheumatoid arthritis flares. I don't know if I'll make it to anything this year or not. And I miss it! So I need to live vicariously through those of you who ARE trialing.

Please, share with me your trials (and tribulations) that have taken place so far this year. Anyone earn new titles, especially in regular obedience? Any funny happenings at the shows? Did your dog do something completely unexpected or silly or side-splitting? Did anyone have a GREAT score that they're really proud of? Is anyone trialing in Open Obedience (where I should be with Khana right now!)? I want to know!!

Yes, I'm begging .. *L*

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
 

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Melanie, I feel your pain (not the arthritis pain...the training/trialing/doggie fun withdrawal pain)! My dog got injured back in April and we have been unable to do anything since. No obedience. No agility. No herding. No tracking. I can't even take her hiking!

I find myself sitting in front of the computer playing mindless games for hours on end. As I look around the mess that is my house, I think that perhaps I am depressed?!
 

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sorry to hear your dog hurt itself. i hope it's something she recovers from quickly. can you do a little training in the house? maybe you can do some hide and seek in the house using toys or yourself. get away from the computer and clean up the house. i bet you'll feel better after the house is cleaned up. go out and buy a new plant for you and the house and buy your dog a new toy. take a walk in the woods by yourself. the woods are a new place to reflect. now get up and clean the house and take that walk. it's all going to get better.
 

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sorry to hear your not feeling well. can you get someone to trail your dogs for you, no i mean trial your dogs, i guess you don't need anyone to walk behind them. i don't have any title stories to share with you but i can share a loving dog story. we have a couch potato Grey Hound and a well trained Shep. our Shep is very friendly towards other animals and people. both of them love going on walks in the woods. our Grey Hound broke her leg on May 9th so we have to keep her quiet. when out on the trails i can say to the Shep "other side" and he moves over so people can pass by. our dogs bring us so much joy. as far as side-splitting i just did something side-splitting. when i read "did your dog do something completely unexpected or silly or side-splitting", i thought side-splitting was something they do in the ring, duh!!! i hope you better soon.
 

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Hi Melanie,
Sorry you're not feeling so great. Hope you get some relief soon and can get back to it.


Well, back in January my boy Eli took first place in Novice A at our first ever Obedience trial. Completely unexpected! All we had done before was Rally, but with a little help from some Obedience friends, we started training for this trial. There were 7 dogs and we scored 187. We were only able to be in the first trial of the weekend due to work stuff. So we got one leg.

I only wanted to qualify and never even dreamed we could place - especially when on the long down one of the other dogs broke and wandered around for what seemed like an eternity until the stewards finally got him. Eli looked hard at me as if to say, "what do I do?" and I sent him a "stay where you are" message with my eyes and hoped for the best. Well that boy stayed his ground! I was so happy and moved that Eli had come through for me that I had tears in my eyes when the exercise was over. When the judge announced first place, I didn't even realize it was us. I looked at my number and realized it WAS! Oh my gosh, what a high!

Since then, I have found an Obedience trainer I just love. For the first time I have found someone who I trust and feel in sync with. She has GSDs, too and many titles and understands Eli and me very well. And - she thinks of obedience as fun, whereas before I'd always thought of it as super strict and serious and not fun at all. That's why I went into Rally first. I was scared off by some real sour pusses LOL! Now I'm liking OB a lot.

So we've been training every week and I feel my bond with Eli getting stronger and stronger and I feel less and less nervous about our next show, which is July 4th weekend. I'm hoping we will get our CD at that show. Please wish us luck!

The only thing that's bugging me is that I'm not sure about going for CDX because I really am not comfortable with the out of sight group exercises. It's not something I would normally do - leave my boy on a stay and then disappear. Know what I mean? So we'll see...

That's where we are now. Hope you feel better soon!
 

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sleachy - sorry to hear your dog is injured! That really sucks, worse than being injured yourself. How soon can she be back up and doing things?

Thanks for the sentiments, doggiedad! I've thought about getting someone to do the agility titles on my young dogs since running around a ring is probably not going to happen (and I don't know that I can teach my dogs to do the course while I stay in one place .. *L*). My nephew seems to have an affinity for dogs but he's just five, so he's got a few years to go before I can really put him to work. I think AKC allows kids as young as nine to compete, though, so maybe he'd be ready!

Pam, that's so great that you've found an instructor who helps you understand how fun obedience can be! I know that so many people feel it's so strict and dull, but done right it can really highlight the great relationship you have with your dog. I prefer regular obedience over rally any day. I feel the titles you earn through regular obedience mean much more than rally titles do because it takes a higher level of quiet communication and trust to earn those titles.

I understand your concerns on the out of sight stay exercises. I do them with my dogs but I don't enjoy them - not that I'm afraid my dogs will do anything bad, but it's the only time that you really have no control over what happens. Actually the last dog I showed in open was my GSD Trick (who is now 12) and she just plain didn't see any reason to stay in a ring with a bunch of strange dogs while her owner was obviously lost behind that motorhome over there .. *L* .. and she came looking for me. I can't fault any of my dogs for wanting to be with me, and even though we worked through it so that she became more comfortable, I didn't push her through the title. She had a score of 136 going into the stays, so if she'd held her stays she'd have had a 196 as a final score (her first time in the open ring!). I know she could have earned the title if I'd made her do it, but I was kind of wanting to take a break from all the trialing anyhow.

I've been feeling a bit better and have been working Khana in the back lately. She's kind of so-so on the retrieve - she does beautiful retrieves if I have liverwurst, though .. *LOL* .. but she's definitely the kind of dog that only wants to perform when she KNOWS there's something in it for her. That's a pretty typical chow attitude. Her drops on recall were beautiful tonight, though. I'm finding that she drops much more quickly with a hand signal than she does on a verbal, so I think that's what we'll go with.

Maybe I can manage to go to the August shows in Palmer (200 miles away). It would be good for me, mentally, to get away for a weekend anyhow - and maybe we could fit in a herding lesson (I want to see how both Khana and my GSD pup, Tazer, do on sheep) as well as some lure coursing (the sighthound group here offer all-breed lure coursing, which would be SO much fun to do!). I may take 5-6 days and just do a different dog thing every day - and then come home and collapse for a week or so!

Anyone have any other things to add to this thread? I really am interested in hearing how the trials/training are going this summer.

Melanie and the gang
 
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