No use being secretive or trying to build up suspense, since this photo will be the first thing you see.
Basically, Ptera blew me away. I went to this trial with the expectation that we may or may not Q, but that it would show us where the holes in our training are and what we need to work on for next time. I only even planned on going up on Saturday for the two trials, assuming we wouldn't do well enough that I would want to come back Sunday.
This is the part where people tell me to trust my dog and our training a little more!
We entered Rally Obedience 1 A for both the morning and afternoon trials on Saturday. Since I have never handled a dog to a Rally or Obedience title of any kind, we are in the A class. B class is for handlers with experience. In UKC, there are three levels of difficulty, 1, 2, and 3. Once you have three qualifying scores in a level, you can move up to the next and you earn a title. Once you earn three Qs in level 3, you get new titles by getting points/double Qs, some complicated formula that I haven't looked at much. In Rally, the score is out of 100, with 100 being a perfect score, and 70 being the minimum passing score.
Ptera is fabulous, and our morning run earned us a 99, followed by a perfect 100 that afternoon! We finished up our URO1 title the following morning (because we had to go back for the second day after that first day!) with a 97. And then rocked her first Rally 2 run with another 97.
|I love her smug little "yeah, so?" look here|
We did take first place in our class each time, so came home with four Qualifying ribbons and four First place ribbons. The club sadly did not have any New Title ribbons (I think I heard someone say they had run out and would get some eventually, so hopefully at the next trial), but I think we got plenty of swag.
As the final topper to the weekend, while we missed out on High in Trial over the weekend, we did get Highest Aggregate. Which means of the dogs entered in all four trials over the weekend, we had the highest accumulative score. For this, we got a super nifty UKC HIT bracelet that is being added to our ribbon wall!
|Wearing her Highest Aggregate prize|
And, even bigger than the ribbons and the scores and the titles, we had a great time. I think Ptera enjoyed herself, and I know I did. This UKC trial was the perfect atmosphere to debut in Rally. I had a friend there who helped even beforehand with all of my questions, and who videoed our runs all weekend (even after she was done running her own dogs for the day). The other competitors were super nice and welcoming, and the judges were great. The feedback about where we lost the points we lost was great, and will help us as we continue with our training. This club puts on three trials a year, with the next one in October, and I am already planning on going to the next one if I can swing it at all.
|New title for the tiny dog!|
This weekend also represented a long term goal of mine, which was to put an obedience title on a flyball dog. I know there are plenty of flyball dogs out there who compete in all kinds of different sports, including obedience and rally, but so many people outside of flyball look at our amped up dogs and say we have no control, that flyball dogs don't know how to think, etc. When you have a Jack Russell, people make even more comments about lack of control and total craziness. Well, my flyball Jack Russell just earned a Rally title her first weekend out, and earned it in style.