Thursday, February 23, 2012
Out-of-sight, out of mind...
Practicing group "out-of-sight" stays at obedience class tonight. Savi is on the far left, behind her in the ex-pen is Annie B, a 10-week old German Shephard puppy, then another GSD, Chewy, Trixie, the Veego, a GSD and another GSD...is there a pattern here?
We practice these stays as they are part of AKC Open level competition obedience. To earn a CDX, or Companion Dog Excellent title, a dog must receive three qualifying legs. For each leg, a dog must complete the individual exercises, which include off lead heeling, drop on recall, retrieve on the flat & over the high jump and jumping the broad jump. Then the dogs must remain in place for out of sight groups stays, a 3-minute sit stay and then a 5-minute down stay. The Open class is very challenging and therefore, referred to as the "heartbreak class" in the dog show world. I agree, we have had a tough time getting Trixie's last qualifying leg to complete her CDX title. She has competed in a number of trials and been one of the only dogs to pass the individual exercises and then blow it on the stays. I am hoping that time off from trialing her and practicing in a fun way will lead us to success at our next trial in March.
Savi has not even begun competing in Novice level obedience but we always try to train up. I have learned from my mistakes over the years and want to avoid issues with out of sight stays with her. My goal is to have Savi ready for the obedience ring over the summer. All the time training in obedience has also helped in other areas. Most notably, was at our recent field training session, where part of Senior Hunter, the dog needs to heel off leash. Savi is doing well with that and all the training helps with control and focus in the birdfield.