On Friday we drove up to Minnesota for an action packed 3 days; participate in a trial, judge a rally obedience trial, go to the vet specialist, and visit with dog friends.
Yesterday we got to do two runs in CDSP obedience first thing in the morning before I judged. 7:30am – which is 6:30 in “Ohio time.” Griffin was great (because he’s Griffin) -we’ve never done training so early but I knew it was unlikely to throw him off.
The previous weekend we finished the Open level (with 2 passes) and so we were entered in “Open C for this trial. I wanted to see if he would do well away from home.
He was very good. Some of our details (heeling) have faded away in the last few year but his retrieves were awesome. I think it’s very cute that he goes around to the back of the dumbbell and scoops it up on his way back. I know some of our training friends intentionally teach that but I don’t know that we have.
Now onto Utility – we just need to train scent discrimination!
Last weekend was yet another trip up to Minnesota. Our primary purpose was another check for Viktor. As always, we try to fit in as much adventure as possible!
We left Ohio on Saturday afternoon after classes and headed to Chicago. We were just a little late for an evening training lesson with a puppy there. It was a perfect break location. Both Viktor and Griffin got to spend time as a helper dog. From there, we continued North with a few stops for sleep and walks. We arrived in Hugo, MN just a few minutes before the trial started!
Griffin and I participated in a Companion Dog Sports Program (CDSP) obedience trial. We first heard about this when I attended a seminar on the program way back in 2007. At the time, this was one of a very few obedience options for mix breed dogs and it provided some alternative exercises to AKC. Some of the exercises are a little easier, others are a little harder and some parts are just different. Food is allowed in the ring, but must remain in a pocket until the end of an exercise.
We went in with very little warm up and got our best obedience score to date – 197.5! And a lot of our points were lost due to handler errors! I made a big mistake in not reading the rules before we left home – I did look at a score sheet but apparently the one I read was out of date. We got to briefly meet Laura and her dogs. She was a great ring crew person and I’m glad Griffin didn’t jump on her or the judge (my obedience fear!).
Key variations: No group stays – the dog stays in the middle of the ring while the handler walks around just like in AKC Beginner Novice/Pre-Novice. There is a person distraction during the heeling (walking past) – Griffin didn’t even notice. The stand is from heeling, the handler should stop and tell the dog to stand – this is where I messed up – I kept walking instead of stopping with him! And the recall is over a jump. The dogs get lower jump heights and exceptions are made for even lower if needed. I was puzzled by Griffin’s 14″….and then found out that as a veteran dog of 7+ years, he was automatically given an even lower height! What will he think when we go back to AKC and he’s jumping 20!
I really liked the CDSP trial and this is something we are hoping to bring to central Ohio in the very near future. Griffin did well on his second run. I went to register for a third – but there were only two events that day!
The event also had a World Cynosport Rally (WCRL) trial. I didn’t enter Griffin because we have many opportunities to do that at home and I’d rather spend my trial fees for other events. I did desperately want to participate during a level 2 course where the dogs had to heel past bowls of food – we’ve never seen a judge brave enough (me included) to offer that at home.
Blaze was entered in a Level 1 B run and got his tenth passing score in that level – which makes him a “Level 1 Champion” – it’s been almost 14 years since we did his first show (early August 2001), he’s very much the same dog!
After the trial I did as many social things as I could with my friend (pet supply store! running errands! cleaning the car! grilling dinner!) and then on Monday we did our vet appointments. We had interesting perspectives from the orthopedic surgeon, but thankfully the xrays weren’t much different than our previous trip and his growth appears to be slowing. At the rehab vet, we modified his exercises, made some changes to his diet, and I was surprised to see that some of the measurements were actually improved from last time. He doesn’t look better, but the numbers can’t lie! We also are likely having some problems with pano (growing pains) and while I feel bad for Viktor to be in more discomfort – at least this is a normal challenge! We have two months until our next trip for Viktor.