Temper Earned her First Two CD Legs in St Petersburg, Florida
Temper competed at an obedience trial in St Petersburg to earn her first two legs of the CD (companion dog) title through the American Kennel Club. This trial was a little challenging for her because our trial prep was suboptimal, and the two trials were both in the same day rather than spaced out over the weekend. The night before the trial there was a run through in the building, and I entered to give her some practice in the ring that we would be in on Saturday. We went backwards and did our group stays first. It was a large group of dogs, and we were on the far end of the ring next to a young dog who was still very green in the stays. That dog got up and came over to Temper and started posturing over her before the owner was able to get to her. I was proud to see that the countless proofing sessions for the stays paid off, and Temper was rock solid for the whole thing. We then went into the next ring to run through a routine. She had some issues with the stand and the recall, which came back to haunt us in our first trial on Saturday.
During trial 1 the first day, we lost a few points on our heeling pattern and figure 8, but issues on our recall and stand for exam left us with a disappointing 183. I did receive several comments on how nice of an attitude Temper had in the ring, and those were great to hear as she is a softer dog and was a little stressed in this new environment. Trial 2 went much better, and our last two exercises were much cleaner than they had been all weekend. It was nice to see that Temper has the stamina to do two trials in one day, and to get better rather than flatten out as the day goes on. The improvements in trial 2 left us with a 192 for the second leg, with some points on heeling, the figure 8, and her front and finish on the recall.
This trial provided me with lots of good information about where my training is and what holes I need to patch. Stability in positions needs to be balanced out with a tad more explosiveness and drive. Temper also needs some more work on heeling for longer durations without reward, and she needs a bit more work on driving through on the outside in the figure 8. Her stand cleaned up by the second trial, but I still am going to go back and really proof my return to ensure that she stays rock solid no matter where I am in proximity to her. Her front and finish need precision work, and I am doing both pieces daily to make sure that she gets plenty of repetitions. Lastly, Temper needs a bit more exposure to other environments. When she enters our typical training areas, she comes up in drive and is ready to go. In brand new places or places she doesn't frequently train in, she has issues turning on and being fully engaged in the work. Her homework (and Wild's as well) is to train somewhere new at least 3-4 nights a week. Hopefully this work will all pay off in October when we go for that last leg!
Sam is the owner and head trainer at Kentucky Dog Training LLC. She set up this blog to share success stories, training tips, the progression of dogs in our training programs, and other thoughts on dogs and training.