Yesterday, Wilson and I went to a Rally Obedience trial to try finishing his Rally Advanced title. It was indoors on soccer turf so I was hopeful Wilson would react as if it was his training facility. The judge set a very easy course for us. It was kind of crowded at the start because the ring had a ceiling support pole in the way. I am not sure why the stations were placed so close to that pole as there was room to shift it further away, maybe it was to up the challenge. Just like Agility, in Rally you get a map of the stations as well as a walk-thru before hand. This gives you time to practice some of your moves if need be. I reviewed some of the things with Wilson I thought might help. He seemed nicely focused and calm. When our turn came, he was anything but! LOL! We go in the ring and he instantly starts mouthing off! Woof, woof, woof! He didn't do that on the other two tries, but then those were outdoors with heat and smells. I think he was a bit indignant that 1) the treats had dried up, so why work for free? and 2) It sort of looked like an agility ring so why were we not running?
He didn't heel very close to me and he pretty much sassed me the whole way through, but we did manage to complete each station successfully (sort of) enough that we qualified! Now I know Wilson can do these Rally moves with nice sharp precision. In practice he does a very pretty job of it. While part of me would have liked him to put in that type of performance, the other side of me knows his silly antics will be so much more memorable. Cardigans are known for their sense of humor and clownish attitude. Wilson held up that reputation! Now, I will say, the judge was a very generous person. She overlooked lots of mistakes made by the other competitors, and she let Wilson's less than stellar performance go through. Unlike agility, where ribbons after your runs are self-service, in Rally, all the qualifiers go back in the ring to receive their ribbons. As the judge handed me my ribbon, she smiled and said "You know why you lost points!" (Barking in the ring is very much frowned on in Obedience even when it is just Rally!)
So there we had it! Wilson had earned his 3rd and final leg to get his Rally Advanced title. But the true motivation behind getting this title was that it gave Wilson the one more point he needed to earn his Versatility Certificate from the Cardigan Welsh Corgi Club of America. The club awards this honor to Cardigans who have titled in three venues, be it the breed ring, agility, obedience, herding, etc. They need to get more points in one of the venues to indicate advanced training, and then at least beginner points in two others. Jimmy earned his certificate three years ago when he completed a Rally Novice title. Because his agility skills got him titled at a higher level, his points tallied up sooner. When Wilson got his Rally Novice title at the same time, it unfortunately left him just one point shy. I had been procrastinating getting Wilson that last point, but I knew I would be very disappointed in myself if I let anymore time go by. Wilson would age out of doing Rally if I waited too long and his hearing went. So once AKC officially acknowledges this new title, Wilson will get his Versatility Certificate from the national club. Yay, Wilson!