Sunday, April 25, 2010

Level Up!

What a long weekend! We had Rally trials scheduled at the club on both Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday was a small trial, which was good. Louie came to my house at 8 or so and after a brief stint of what I like to call intestinal revolt (I thought I was going to die), the Pepto Bismol kicked in and we headed to the training hall. She stayed in her crate with Louie while I walked the course. There were literally only 10 or 15 dogs in the class, so we didn't have to wait around long at all.

Here is our run Saturday. It was good enough for a 209/210, a qualifying score and first place in the Novice A class.

They offered a second trial on Saturday, but I didn't want to push it. So, Louie and I spent the rest of the day together, mostly sleeping (who knew Rally could be so tiring?).

Today, I wound up having to go to the trial by myself. As it turns out, the club decided to offer a second trial that day, too, under a different judge. (You need to have 3 Q's under at least 2 different judges to get your RL1 title.) So, after running the course successfully in the morning - a perfect 210 and another first place! - I decided that I may as well go for the title.

Marge and I went home for a while. I wasn't about to keep her there for hours waiting for the other levels to finish up. She played with the toy that she had won as a prize in her first run.

A little while later, we headed back. Marge had to wait around for about two hours before she went back in the ring. She did REALLY well with this - didn't give a peep out of her crate about it, and was very sociable when I had her out on her leash. I could tell she was starting to get antsy/tired, so I was really surprised at how well she held it together.

Before we ran, I was warming Marge up in the room adjacent to the main room, and went over near the doorway. A dog was in the ring and saw Marge (who was just looking around, not making noise), and he started growling and got all upset. I felt SO bad. They still wound up Q'ing, and I don't think I really did anything wrong, but since Marge can be kind of funny with that kind of stuff, too, I felt bad.

The third run was just the same course as in the morning. This run was actually pretty good in terms of attention. She looked like she was enjoying herself. Her turns were nice (she doesn't always like to do nice right turns) and she seemed to be paying attention to me. We hit some trouble when she decided that she wanted to go straight to heel position when I called her front on one of the signs. We had to re-do that one twice. I thought we NQ'ed, but we managed a score of 201. We got our Rally Level 1 title! We were first place again, but that was only because we were the lone team in the Level 1 A class.

We were the second to last dog to run, so we left pretty quickly thereafter. Here, Marge poses with her loot from the weekend (we're missing a first place ribbon because my club ran out).

Over all, I'm totally happy with our success this weekend. I'm glad I waited as long as I did to be absolutely sure that she'd excel at Rally when we got in to the ring. Our next Rally trial is in July, but we'll be practicing before then, too. I think we're going to go ahead with Level 2, which is off leash!


Chris and Ricky April 25, 2010 at 6:52 PM  

Wow! Congratulations Sam and Marge on a fantastic rally weekend! How great to get your title so fast! Marge looked very attentive and happy in the video - awesome job!

houndstooth April 25, 2010 at 7:10 PM  

Congratulations! Marge looks great going through her paces! Way to go!

Sue April 25, 2010 at 7:18 PM  

That's wonderful!!! I'm so happy for you. She looked nice and relaxed in the video. It's quite different from an AKC course. I saw a couple moves we didn't have in AKC. I think I'll look up the signs and put them in our practice.

I started Noah today and hop to work toward a trial in October. If he does well, I'd like to get Norma Jean started, too. I can't imagine running them both at the same trial, but who knows!

doberkim April 25, 2010 at 7:39 PM  

she did absolutely great - it was so nice to meet you, and she's such a great worker!! i wish i had gotten to spend some time with her, but she worked so well for you and you were very in tune with her!!!!

the dog that reacted at her while in the ring was having a lot of issues today, and the handler wasn't very attentive towards the dog - he also lunged at rah and got pretty close to him - not something you want to see happen between two male dobes. the dog was extremely stressed at the trial and i wanted to discuss the dogs behavior with the owner on a couple of different things, but i wasn't sure it was my place - she was making behavioral and semi-medical diagnoses on the dog that i didn't think were correct and weren't helping him, but i didn't want to overstep my bounds.

im glad it didn't negatively affect you two - she was adorable!!!

my guys are exhausted and all are passed out - sorry we didn't stick around but we bolted once we were finished since we had an hour drive and i wanted to get home and make sure lydia would see mercury and his loot before she left for working her overnight :)

Muttsandaklutz April 25, 2010 at 7:40 PM  

Yes!!! I *knew* you and Marge were going to kick some serious rally butt!!! Ahhhhhh I'm so proud of you guys. Way - to - GO!! :-)

Sara April 25, 2010 at 7:50 PM  

Big cheers for Same & Marge!!!! Your first Title! That is so awesome! What a great weekend for you two.

AC April 25, 2010 at 8:14 PM  

To echo Sara, Hip Hip Hurray (x3)!

I checked your blog several times today, waiting for the good news! I enjoy watching you work with Marge. Your enthusiasm is contagious and it's obvious how in tune you are with her.


LauraK April 25, 2010 at 8:24 PM  

How AWESOME! What a wonderful first weekend in the rally ring! I really enjoyed the video, it makes me want to do it with our lab- he would love having a job. He just might be a little slow sitting and laying down since his knees are bad. I'm sure it would be fun for Riley too :)

I didn't know that you can give treats in the ring- how cool and convenient is that?! Once again, congrats, you and Marge deserve it!

Cyndi and Stumpy April 25, 2010 at 8:55 PM  

Wooohooo!!! Go team Smarge!

Lorenza April 25, 2010 at 9:13 PM  

I knew it too!
Congratulations to you and Marge!
You are a pawesome team!
Kisses and hugs

RILEY AND STAR MY MALTESEKIDS April 25, 2010 at 9:30 PM  

Congratulations Marge,

Look at all those beautiful ribbons!

We're sooo proud of you!

Riley and Star.

Golden Samantha April 25, 2010 at 9:39 PM  

Oh WOW WOW WOW!!! That is totally fantastic - congrats to you and Marge, the superstar! What gorgeous loot and love the toy for her! Exhausting to do all that in a weekend - I'd never try it! You are amazing! (I'm about to make a post about Sammie NQing heheh!) - so am feeling high about you two - incredible and wonderful!
Hugs xo
Sammie and Mom

Kathy Mocharnuk April 25, 2010 at 10:12 PM  

AHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHA, I am yelling, and I imagine you can hear us all the way from the West Coast. THAT IS SO AWESOME!!! Wow, the Multitalented, Wonderful Marge, what an awesome accomplishment. She looked soooooo good in the tape. Wow, you guys are so awesome, and have accomplished such wonderful things, you are my heros! WHAT AN AWESOME TEAM you both are!!!! A MILLION CONGRATS!

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! April 25, 2010 at 10:18 PM  


Khongrats fur all those khool ribbons!

PeeEssWoo: Thank Dog fur Pepto Pink!

Anonymous April 25, 2010 at 10:59 PM  

Yippee! I'm doin' my happy dance for you and Marge! Congrats, congrats! Oh, gosh! Watching your video made me even more excited abouts starting my rally class on Tuesday. I hopes maybe someday I can be as good as Marge!

Wiggles & Wags,

KB April 25, 2010 at 11:47 PM  

Awesome!!!! Way to go, what a success for both of you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Marge seems to be leaping forward in her ability to handle new situations. It's so inspiring to read about it. Here's to both of you!

Amy / Layla the Malamute April 26, 2010 at 12:38 AM  

Wow, you guys looked GREAT!!

Congratulations on her new title! That's so fantastic.

I like your term "intestinal revolt", too - happens to me every single time I have to show Layla in conformation.

Diana April 26, 2010 at 8:58 AM  

Congrats!! You guys looked great!! Diana

Anna the GSD April 26, 2010 at 10:51 AM  

Wowzer! Look at all that swag you got!! You guys are soooo awesome! I'm sure that other doggie growled at you cause he was jealous and knew he couldn't compete with you!!

SissySees April 26, 2010 at 11:03 AM  

Hooray! Marge sure looks beautiful posing with the ribbons. Congrats to both of you!

kissa-bull April 26, 2010 at 4:58 PM  

furry many conwuatulations marge and mommy. we are full of the proudness for you. its most exciting and we just knew you were meant to be a rally staw

pibble wiggles
the pittie pack

kissa-bull April 26, 2010 at 4:58 PM  

furry many conwuatulations marge and mommy. we are full of the proudness for you. its most exciting and we just knew you were meant to be a rally staw

pibble wiggles
the pittie pack

Gus, Louie and Callie April 26, 2010 at 5:39 PM  

Marge you did awesome. We are so proud of you.. Congrad's...

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

BRUTUS April 26, 2010 at 9:54 PM  

WTG, Team Marge!!!! I knew you'd blow 'em away out there, what an awesome trakc record you are building these days!! That was a long, well-built course you showed in the video. Gotta love the fact that you can treat in the ring for APDT - so helpful for a true Novice team! Wish I could say our weekend was as successful (those ribbons you earned are sweet!), but you goota have lows to appreciate the highs, right??

Michelle & Bruuts

Cinnamon and Mint April 27, 2010 at 12:24 AM  

You did it!! Congratulations on your fantastic achievements! You and Marge are a great team :-)

Dawn April 27, 2010 at 9:21 AM  

Happy Happy Happy! Such a great job you two did! Very cool!!

Dawn April 27, 2010 at 2:30 PM  

I forgot...I noticed you gave Marge treats in the ring. I don't think I can do that in Rally, what type of Rally are you doing?

Dexter April 27, 2010 at 6:02 PM  

Marge! Look at all those ribbons! What a great showing for you and mom.


Dog_geek April 28, 2010 at 8:36 AM  

Awesome! Way to go, you two!

BTW - in response to one of your comments on Champion of my Heart, I know several UD and even OTCh dogs that were clicker trained or trained primarily with positive reinforcement. Even Shutzhund dogs - check out Shiela Booth, who has competed at the top levels of obedience and schutzhund using positive methods. (PURELY POSITIVE TRAINING: Companion to Competition and SCHUTZHUND OBEDIENCE: Training in Drive are both excellent books!)

T April 28, 2010 at 4:13 PM  

Huge congrats!! Awesome video.

Kari in Alaska April 28, 2010 at 8:41 PM  

Congrats on the ribbons and leveling up :)

Jules April 28, 2010 at 10:01 PM  

Huge congratulations! And what gorgeous ribbons.

Never Say Never Greyhounds May 1, 2010 at 9:31 PM  

Great job! That's pretty nice to have multiple trials in one day!

Carolyn May 1, 2010 at 10:53 PM  

Just getting to watch this! Congrats! What an awesome team you are!

You're still inspiring me and you guys have come so very far.

Great job!!


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