Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Jake's (Rally) Excellent Adventure
This is reprinted from a private note with the kind permission of the author, Jake's owner, Diana C.
Rally competition is an obedience-type sport, much more relaxed than traditional obedience competition. In rally, the owner and dog go through a course designed by the judge reading signs along the way with various instructions. It's a great way to build rapport with your dog and learn about AKC events. Go to http://classic.akc.org/events/rally/getting_started.cfm for a more complete description.
To earn the title Jake is working on, Rally Advanced Excellent, the dog and owner team must qualify (Q) in both the advanced and excellent classes at the same trial. Ten times. Not easy considering the creativity many whippets like to demonstrate when asked to do anything remotely resembling obedience.
Our first entries for the RAE (Rally Advanced Excellent title) were Friday. It was a tough environment. The courses were set super close to the ring gates, it was very loud, they were preparing food for the judges not far on the one side. There was a hole in the roof...drips and a puddle between where you are and the dog runs to go over the jump. As we approached the sign in Excellent, I said sit. Jake went into a bow and stretched his little heart out. I said JAKE SIT and he went into a down. We had to redo. His heeling was really wide and his jump was about 20 yards long. He earned a 95 and 3rd place.
In Advanced, his heeling was better. We almost had an oops. The judge used the same jump with one sign in between them. She just eliminated the second jump and you moved to the next sign. Well, little Jake likes patterns and he was ready to take off for the second jump when I yelled (excited not mad tone) and it clicked in his liddle head. "Oh I supposed to be with you?" A couple of people actually cheered and the judge gave a sigh of relief! He got a 99, 2nd place, and that gave him his first double Q.
Saturday AKC had a My Dog Can Do That ring with agility equipment. (Note: My Dog Can Do That is an AKC program offered at many shows, pet expos, etc, that allows the public to try agility and rally with the help of experienced trainers.) So I took Jake in. we did a couple of jumps and weave poles. He had never been through a chute tunnel. LAUGH Your PANTS OFF! A lady helped twice holding Jake while I held it open. Then he was zooming through and scooting around me with pure joy...he was the CUTEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
He enjoyed going through the regular tunnel. I was slow getting to the end so he back tracked and caught up to me with a silly expression on his face. I thought the ladies at ringside were gonna fall off their chairs laughing.
Back to rally. I knew when we got to the ring entrance for Excellent there was gonna be a problem. We got to sign #5 It was a sit, stand, down He did the sit and the stand very nicely. He went down for a milisecond and then lifted his butt and started crawling backwards. I know Jake so I decided not to take a redo...figured I'd lose major points either way. So we continued. He ended up with an 89 (thank you, Lord!).
Next was Advanced. Who was the dog that came in with me and where did he come from? Be nice if he hung around for awhile. He earned a 100 and 4th place. In real life, he was the fastest dog in the rally ring, but also the slowest sitter. So that gave him his 2nd RAE leg. Only eight more to go...
Greyhound: Oneco Matate (Rocky) CD-H, NTD, RL1, RLV, AOE-V, W-HDFDX/MF, W-FD/MF, CGC, (retired) TDI
Greyhound: URO1 Oneco Isabella (Belle) CD-H, ATD, RL2 (AOE-L2),W-DDFD/HTM, W-DDFD/MF, W-CH.HDFD/MF, W-FDM/MF, W-FDX/HTM, W-TFD/MF-X2, W-BFD/MF, W-BBFD/HTM, W-BBFD/MF, CGC, (retired) TDI
Whippet: URO2 Timbreblue's Mysterious Dream Warrior (Jake): BN, CDX-C, RE, RL1, RL2, RL3, AOE-L1, L2, L3, TDCH, DSA, W-D1DFD/MF, W-FDX/MF, W-FD/HTM, W-BB/MF, CGC, POYC Therapy dog.