Our first Rally O trial coming up – no cramming for this test!

Posted on October 23, 2008
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Freckle and Mary-Doug training at Vanier Park

Freckle and Mary-Doug training at Vanier Park

This weekend Freckle and I will be competing in Rally Obedience, a new dog sport and fun obedience trial where handlers can talk to their dogs and where you can compete with mixed breed dogs or unregistered purebreds. It’s the first trial that either of us will have done; at least, I assume it’s Freckle’s first – since she’s a rescue, I’ll never really know.

I admit, I’m a bit nervous – wondering if I’ll remember the course, wondering if Freckle will be too distracted by the other dogs and competitors. Like most boxers I’ve known, she has a bit of ADHD in her – and it usually comes out when there are lots of things to distract her. A quick search on youtube and Google uncovered only one boxer, Bounce, doing Rally O. Hmmm … I wonder if there’s a reason for this? Bounce is really good, very cute and apply named.

We’ll be doing our first leg of three in Novice A. Novice A is the class for a handler (that’s me) who hasn’t taken a dog to a title yet. We need to be passed by three different judges in three separate trials to get Freckle’s first title. Novice level is on-leash and tests the dog’s understanding of basic commands. We have a full day seminar to learn the rules, ask questions, and get to know the course. I found a good video of a gorgeous Newfoundland dog doing the Novice A exercises. This  sheltie is prancing through his round.

Freckle and I have been working hard, trying to fine tune our “performance.” That means Freckle has to REALLY pay attention when we’re doing our heel work, as she has a habit of checking out the goings on around us. Sometimes she surges ahead a bit, not realizing I’ve come to a halt and that she’s to sit smack down, quickly. Sometimes she’s spot on, and sometimes she realizes too late that I’ve stopped. Then she scootches back into position, but that’s a no-no in the ring. We’ll be practising lots over the next week and I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

For a look at what NOT to do in the ring, check out Alvin, the sweetest looking young English bulldog, doing his Rally O round. He has a great sense of humour. I wouldn’t put it past Freckle to do a round just like Alvin’s!

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