After a few heavy showers in the afternoon, the rain held off, and once again a beautiful rainbow appeared over the grounds to start our first Obedience Trial for the year. The weather was a cool autumn night with a big full moon which made for perfect conditions for the dogs.
We must give a big thank you to all the judges, stewards and volunteers who helped on the night. Thank you to Ruth on the BBQ, Anne on the counter and to Karen Deguet for cooking the meals for the Judges, especially on such short notice. The Judges expressed their appreciation and enjoyed a home cooked meal. Behind the scenes we had Rudi and Jan Dixon busily organising and planning for the night, it could not have run so smoothly without all your help.
We had a total of 54 entries for this Trial, some from other Obedience clubs as far away as Toowoomba. There were 3 competitors representing Redlands on the night. Once again Sonia and her black Labrador excelled. This was only Jedda’s second time competing in CCD (Community Companion Dog) at an obedience trial and they qualified and came first both times. Jedda is only a young dog and is showing great potential in such a short time. Well done to you both, all your hard work, training and dedication is paying off.
Unfortunately Redlands did not receive any other qualifications on the night, but Julia and her Golden Retriever Annie came first in their CDX-1 (Companion Dog Excellent) trial and Karin and her Golden Retriever, Caxton came third. According to Karen Goebel who judged the CDX 2 trial, they were very close and only missed out in one exercise. She remarked that Caxton was a “very zealous dog”. She also said he looked ”extremely proud of himself” for the Directed Retrieve exercise as he picked up the correct glove, but then saw there was another one, so retrieved both gloves! Although it was entertaining, unfortunately we don’t get any points for doing that!
In the next rings there were some exceptionally skilled dogs competing in the higher levels of UD (Utility Dog) and UDX (Utility Dog Excellent). These dogs and their handlers were a joy to watch, even though there was only one qualification from this group of 12. The exercises are quite difficult at this level and there is no room for error. One of the exercises they perform is the Seek Back which involves an article scented by the handler to be placed discretely in the ring while they are heeling. The dog is then sent to seek out and find the article and return it to the handler. Other exercises include Scent Discrimination, Directed Jumping and Food Refusal plus many more. Their entire routine for each dog can last about 15 minutes or so. It was so inspiring to watch these dogs at higher levels to see what our dogs are capable of accomplishing. And it was also great to see that there was a huge variation in dog breeds competing at these high levels. There was a toy Pomeranian, an Irish Red and White Setter, a gentle giant Borzois as well as many other shapes and sizes in between.
Although it is always satisfying to come home with a Qualification, especially after all your training, at some time, all dogs and handlers will make mistakes, or do so
mething unexpected. The most important thing is for both dog and handler to enjoy it, no matter how embarrassing it might be at times.
Our next Obedience Trial on home grounds will be in November, so if you would like to try your hand at competing come along to our Tuesday night training sessions and see what it’s all about. Otherwise, come along to the next Trial to help out or just to watch, as you will see firsthand what our dogs can achieve as well as what happens when things don’t always go to plan! You will learn from watching and will be totally motivated.