Thursday, August 19, 2010


Well, we took the leap and gave it a try.

The whole car ride there, my mind wavered between thinking it was an awful idea and thinking it'd be a worthwhile experience.

Turns out it was the latter of the two.

We totally rocked in Novice class last night.  Not only by my standards - the teacher called our work "fabulous" on one occasion (I think it was the recall) and said it was obvious that we'd practiced a lot at home.   She seemed surprised by the fact that this is my first dog, my first competition dog.  Scary, considering the fact that the last Obedience class we took was Beginner 2 in the early months of 2009 and save for some tips from friends, have had absolutely no formal competition training.

I have tons of work to do if I'm going to do this right, no doubt.  My footwork is completely screwed up, particularly on the about turns.  Marge and I ran in to each other on more than one occasion, but we also had better heelwork than I ever could have imagined in a brand-new class setting.   And, now I know what I need to work on (cueing the about turn by turning my body when I'm stepping on the right foot!!!!).  I'm also not making the traditional T shape when doing the about turn - it sends Marge wide - so we're modifying it a bit.

We dabbled with the stand for exam.  She stood there and barely paid attention to the instructor, who did not touch her (by my request), just walked up next to her.  We practiced heeling offleash.  We performed the recall exercise, and Marge's front was so lovely that I threw her a little party and forgot about the finish.

We did stays.  She held both the sit and down with no problem what so ever.  Even put her head on the floor on the down.  Didn't matter that there was a strange Cocker Spaniel next to her.  She didn't even look at him - or any of the other dogs in the class, for that matter.

I really enjoyed it.  I think Marge did, too.   Her focus was the best I've seen in a while out of ANY of our activities.  I'm kind of impressed with myself, too.. I really had no idea that I had trained her to such a high level on my own by reading, studying, and watching others.

So, yeah.. as if I needed to add another activity to my busy schedule and Marge's growing agenda, we just might keep at this for a while and see where it leads us.

Stay tuned until next week - I think we're going to go to class again.


Jules August 19, 2010 at 11:48 AM  

woo-hoo!! Sounds like you two had an awesome class. What a wonderful feeling to realize you are further along than you thought - that your foundation is strong.

andrea August 19, 2010 at 12:48 PM  


so so glad it went well - good work both of you :0

Sara August 19, 2010 at 12:51 PM  

That's great. I'm glad you found another activity that Marge enjoys.

Natasha August 19, 2010 at 1:34 PM  

Sounds awesome!! I bet an obedience trial is near in your futures :) Exciting!

Chris and Ricky August 19, 2010 at 2:14 PM  

AWESOME!!! Way to go you two!

Sierra Rose August 19, 2010 at 2:15 PM  

Yay! Great work!!! Pacing and footwork for us hoomans is quite tough! We just got the ok to use the word "heel" when practicing our walk and watching...of course mom is totally getting tongue tied on all the commands now :( But, we'll work it out :)
Great stuff!!!!!!

Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
Sierra Rose

Maggie Mae and Max August 19, 2010 at 2:23 PM  

Yay for you and Marg! You go girls!

Woofs and Licks,
Maggie MAe

LauraK August 19, 2010 at 2:36 PM  

That's so awesome! That Marge girl has got such a busy schedule- but you can totally tell she loves it! I'm so happy you two found another fun activity to do together :)

Awesome rally videos in your last post- you two are so inspiring. Once I get my life semi-figured out (haha yeah right!) I'd love to start classes with Homer. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous August 19, 2010 at 2:43 PM  

Smackin my paws together in pawraise for you!

Keep up the good work,

♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥ August 19, 2010 at 2:56 PM  

Awesome - sounds like it was a good night. We are so glad you decided to give it a try.

Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

Amy / Layla the Malamute August 19, 2010 at 3:02 PM  

That's great! So glad that you both liked it. Sounds like Marge was totally at ease there.

mayziegal August 19, 2010 at 3:51 PM  

Yippee! How exciting! I know I've said it before but I'll say it again - you and Marge are SUPERSTARS! And me and mom are proud of you both!

Wiggles & Wags,

AC August 19, 2010 at 3:56 PM  

Wow! What a good class and what great compliments from the teacher! It seems like Marge has not only been making it through the summer, but she's making progress and showing off all the work you've put into her. Yay!

KB August 19, 2010 at 4:31 PM  

You two are awesome! Way to go. Sometimes, you just have to take the plunge. And, sometimes, it's a slam dunk success.

I think that Marge is starting need her very own "daily planner" to keep up with all her activities!

Unknown August 19, 2010 at 5:52 PM  

We are stopping by on the blog hop, its always great to make new friends! Marge you are a cutie!

Fred and Haylie

Muttsandaklutz August 19, 2010 at 6:30 PM  

awesome! and you have every right to be proud of everything you and Marge have accomplished.

houndstooth August 19, 2010 at 7:16 PM  

I'm so glad it went well for you! I really love doing obedience.

Two French Bulldogs August 19, 2010 at 7:30 PM  

Sounds like a plan! So cool it went well...Yippee
Benny & Lily

Golden Woofs! SUGAR August 19, 2010 at 7:35 PM  

Woof! Woof! Pawbulous. Yah!!! Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart August 19, 2010 at 7:49 PM  

That's so awesome. Congrats. I don't know the formal obedience rules, but if you can, try giving the different turns different names.

When we were first toying with rally, I called them You-Turns (when Lilly was to the inside) and Me-Turns (when I was to the inside). Lilly seemed to get the distinction.

jen August 19, 2010 at 7:56 PM  

Glad you had a good experience.
Look forward to more upates:)

Stella August 19, 2010 at 8:16 PM  

After having seen Marge "work" on your videos, its great fun to hear about this new activity. Because you just know its fun for her and she wants it!

Go Marge! Go Sam!


Life With Dogs August 20, 2010 at 12:27 AM  

Don't you LOVE when that happens? I lead a life of low expectations, and I find that life is full of pleasant surprises. :)

Kathy Mocharnuk August 20, 2010 at 12:34 AM  

FANTASTIC, I had a sneaking suspicion you guys would do really good at obedience ;-), Marge is just a super star, who would think she would come so far when you just started out? Well, I guess you did and you should be so proud for believing in yourself and that great friend you have...Marge!

BRUTUS August 20, 2010 at 10:44 PM  

Kudos! See I told you she was going to be an OTCH dog as well as a MACH dog! I do find with Brutus that as long as he is working he is SOOO much more predictable, and can handle new situations so much better than if he's just "along for the ride"!

And thanks for all your comments on my post yesterday. Very heartwarming to hear that (like all too few personal realtionships) bloggers are very supportive and happy to hear about your successes as well as your less glamorous moments. Stay tuned, new agility videos posting early next week!


PoochesForPeace August 20, 2010 at 11:39 PM  


Kari in Alaska August 22, 2010 at 5:09 PM  

I am so glad to hear it turned out to be a worth while experience for you both!

Don't forget, we moved to

Golden Samantha September 3, 2010 at 6:31 PM  

GREAT JOB!!! It's extraordinary all the things you do with Marge! And do so well! Obedience is HARD, at least I think so, but I'm a total rookie and Sam's still ostensibly a green dog, as Barbara is always reminding me; never mind that she earned her CD!!! We do our first open trial in mid-October and I am so nervous. Looking for all the fun matches I can get to. Have had no pals to video or photograph any activities, hence the lack of obed. posts lately. Still, in about a week or two, Sierra Rose's mom is going to take some pix of a run through and we'll see! You and Marge are truly an incredible team! Go team!
Hugs xoxoxo
Sammie and Ma

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