So, question for all of you who compete with your dogs in any sport: how do you decide if you are ready to enter the ring?
After the awesome performance Koira gave me with the Rally course at the fun run, I am debating if it would be worth our time to enter in Novice rally at the Rose City Classic, which is in mid January. If I did, I would only do Sunday (I work the other days it is happening).
Reasons not to:
With a $29 entry fee, parking fees, and gas to get there (two hour drive), it wouldn't exactly be a cheap day.
Koira is no where near perfect with any of her exercises, except in the giving me 100% attention and focus; her fronts are sometimes a bit far away, her butt swings out to the side when we halt (she has no automatic sit, but in Rally, I can tell her to sit), occasionally she forges or lags a bit on the heel
Rose City is a huge show, with a ton of stuff happening. It might easily be overwhelming to me or my dog, especially for our first time in the ring.
It would be a great chance to see what we need to work on to be show ready. The fun match was supposed to do that, and did a little bit, but with no major issues in the ring, it seems more that it showed we might be ready instead of we need a ton more work.
If I go into it expecting mistakes, but just working with my dog to have fun, it could be a really fun time. I don't need titles to have fun with my dog.
The next show after that is an additional month away, and only a dollar cheaper on entry fees. If we do RCC and do good, we could then enter the next show. If we don't do RCC, we would have another month of practicing before going into the ring.
I don't think the environment, as insane as it might be, can possibly be more stimulating to Koira than a flyball tournament- it is bound to be quieter, at the very least.
But, I need to decide soon. The show is soon, which means the closing date is a week away. So- what would you do? How do you decide if your dog is ready for the ring? Is it totally insane to try an actual rally competition after only three months of regular training?