Great day at the obedience and rally show n go!

9 Jan

Happy Monday everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend with your pups! Aside from amazing weather, our weekend was highlighted by an obedience and rally show n go hosted by our local vizsla club. We had quite the turnout, and Susan and I had a great time watching all the dogs perform.

It was a great learning experience for us. A show n go is very similar to an actually trial or show, but it doesn’t count for anything. It’s basically just a simulated environment for practice. Susan and I were both helping out as ring stewards which was a great way to become familiar with the way a trial actually runs. We also learned exactly what skills Ilsa and Gumbo will need. Obedience is broken down into three levels: novice, open, and utility. We were already pretty familiar with novice as that is the introductory level. So I helped out with the open ring by setting jumps and acting as a post for figure 8 heeling patterns. Susan helped out with the utility ring – also setting jumps and setting out retrieving articles. Eventually she was helping with some of the judging.

During most of the day, we kept Ilsa and Gumbo crated ringside to help them get used to the hustle and bustle. We intended to run both of our dogs in rally novice as we are planning to enter our first rally trials this year. They probably would have done fine, but there are a number of signs we have little to no experience with, so we decided not to run. But later in the day, we did get each dog out and practiced some of the basics ringside.

Once the utility ring was cleared out, I practiced some off-leash sits, downs, and recalls with Ilsa. We also worked on some of the jumps. Ilsa was FLYING across the ring back toward me on her recalls. I was so proud! Just to have her comfortable in that environment was a major win to me but to see her completely focused and working really made me excited that her confidence has drastically improved.

As an added bonus, a family (with two younger children) interested in getting a vizsla stopped by to watch during the day. I happened to have Ilsa out of her crate at the time and introduced her to them. Ilsa absolutely turned on the charm with no nervous tendencies at all! She was smiling ear to ear while they all petted her. HOORAY!

Overall, it was a fun way to spend a Sunday. We have a lot of practice ahead of us to be fully ready for a competition, but that sounds like a great excuse to spend lots of time with our Vs :). Sadly, we forgot to take any pictures yesterday despite having our camera with us, so no pictures with today’s post. Looking forward to keeping you updated on our progress. Have you ever competed in obedience or rally? Any tips for getting started?


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