Whoo hooo - Steeler has a new rally title. This Saturday we competed in our first APDT Rally Trial. Three trials in one day makes for a VERY long day. We drove up to Keene the night before and stayed in a hotel with a friend and her Kees. She and Steeler got along great. We were a bit worried about it - so it was fun to watch them play. Of course they thought the beds were for leaping on and across - but what fun to watch them play. I wish I had had the video camera handy! Of course when it came time to sleep ... well that was a bit of a problem. But we survived. We left the hotel around 7AM the next morning and didn't leave the trial until almost 8 PM. What a LONG day! I don't think we will do three trials again - certainly not that far away! It was great fun though! Karen and Ruffi were there, and got their level two title and finished their last run with a perfect 210! Lisa and Brew, LauraJean and Ares, Sue and Milo and Steeler and I all had some nice runs and got our level one titles!
Steeler didn't have the best scores - but I was really pleased with his first time out! His first run was a 189 - we had some tight leashes, double cues and maybe a retry of one sign. And the first run was definitely the one where I felt the most disconnected. Steeler and I were pretty far down on the run order - so we walked the course and then didn't run for 2 hours! I am out of practice for this kind of stuff!
His second run earned us a score of 200! Again with some tight leashes and extra cues. I think there was about 4 hours between our first and second runs! But Steeler did really well being crated inside with all the other dogs! He did get lots of time outside with his pal Brew for a break from all the chaos - but it was really too cold to spend too much time out there. Here is his second video -
This was a tough start for Steeler to have to come into the ring and put his back to the people and dogs watching.
By the time we got to our third run everyone was pretty much exhausted and video'd out. Steeler and I earned a score of 195 - which is pretty good considering that by the time we got the bonus exercise Steeler was done. The bonus was a call front and side step right or left - the dog is supposed to move with you staying in front. Steeler decided to finish instead. He had probably reached his limit of what he was willing to do.
At some point I will dig out the course maps and post the courses. APDT rally is a lot of fun! And the atmosphere is very supportive and friendly. Much less tense than I have found the AKC trials to be!