While the Weekend Report is usually the place I showcase and record Jimmy's adventures in Agility, this time it is all about Wilson!
We ventured back into the Rally Obedience ring for the first time in over three years. In Rally Advanced, the dog and handler teams do many of the same moves they learned for Novice, but this time the dog is off-leash. There are also a few more complicated ones as well. In Rally, the judge sets a course similar to the way there is a course in agility. It has stations with signs telling you what to do, where agility has obstacles to jump/climb/run through, etc. Of course, the pace is primarily at a walk in Rally. The handlers get a map before hand and get a walk-thru just as in agility.
This event was held outdoors at a fairgrounds. Unfortunately the weather chose to be hot, humid and muggy, and sunny. A thick-coated corgi does not appreciate that! Plus there is the challenge of keeping curious noses out of the grass without a leash.
One beautiful thing about Obedience/Rally competitions is that there is a set time to arrive. You don't have to guesstimate how long 175 dogs in front of you will take as in agility. There aren't anywhere near as many competitors, so the club holding the trial can pretty accurately pinpoint the times. Our time each day was the very reasonable 11:10 and it was only about 45 minutes from my house, if that.
Saturday's course had just one station we weren't particularly proficient at doing, but we had practiced it. The trick is to not get lost and go to the wrong station, remember your left from your right, and hope that your dog doesn't wander off to sniff something interesting in the corner. Since it was so very hot out in the sun, Wilson was a tad sluggish and we lost a few points to what's called lagging, Wilson not quite staying in proper heel position. That was it! He got a full score on all the stations! So we ended our first Rally Advanced course with 96 out of 100 points and this earned us first place! Woohoo Wilson!
Sunday was overcast and even more humid due to lots of rain Saturday evening. Just plain unpleasant to be outside for man or beast! Sunday's course was a bit trickier and tightly packed. As our turn neared, the clouds started to thin and full sun shown on us by the time it was our turn. I had hoped the clouds would last just long enough, but not so. As soon as we stepped in the ring, I could tell Wilson's enthusiasm wasn't as great as the day before's. Right off the bat he was slow, and his nose went down to sniff. He also probably remembered from the day before that he wasn't going to get any treats while in the ring. What's up with that?! It took a bit of effort to keep him engaged but we moved onward. Unfortunately I asked him to sit when a sit wasn't supposed to happen, and that particular station was rated as a fail and we lost 10 points. Totally, totally my fault! We lost another five points to his lagging here and there so we ended with a score of 85. Not great but still a passing score. Another dog also scored an 85 but because he was faster getting around the course, he earned 2nd place and we earned 3rd.
So there we have it! Wilson has two out of the three legs he needs to earn his Rally Advanced title. What a good boy! Now we need to find another event to try to finish off the title. I don't think there are any close by in the near future so it may have to wait a bit. Wilson has been enjoying his training time (all those treats!) so he won't mind the delay.
I'm very proud of my senior boy. He did a wonderful job and I bet without the heat/humidity/hot sun he would have put in a perkier performance. Hopefully next time is indoors in the A/C!