With the addition of several new classes in AKC, I decided maybe it was time to try obedience with Risa. I knew she’d never earn a CD; I won’t risk doing group stays with her. The Beginner Novice was a possibility but, for some reason, the idea of Pre-Novice appealed to me. It’s, essentially, the same thing as Novice just without the group stays. I knew Risa could do pretty much everything required with the exception of the stand for exam. She’s still really leery about strangers touching her. But I knew it could be worked on.
When I found out there was going to be an obedience fun match this weekend, I decided it was time to see where we stood. I wanted to have an idea of where we still needed work. Besides, we haven’t competed since January and I wanted to give Risa and I a chance to get in the ring again!
I’m very happy to know that Risa is exactly where I figured she would be in regards to doing obedience. Her figure 8, recall, and stay were superb. Not perfect but pretty close! Heeling needs some serious work but that’s nothing new. That’s where I lose her focus all the time. She did surprise me on the stand for exam, however. I figured she would break her stay or, at the very least, not be happy at all about a stranger touching her. Risa actually held the stay and didn’t look upset about being touched either! Unfortunately, she then decided the judge must be her new friend and went over to say “Hi.” Knowing how fearful she was and how much Risa still can be afraid of strangers, I can’t say I’m displeased with that reaction!!
We still have work to do but I think it’s possible we could add PCD to the end of her name sometime in the near future. I was also happy to see her so calm amid the chaos. She voluntarily laid down while we were waiting our turn even with all the dogs nearby. The only real reactive moment was when she postured and barked once at the chow puppy in the nearby conformation ring. She even managed to keep her cool when a golden retriever got loose and ran up her butt. She did whip her head around to see who it was but I just kept her moving and offered her treats until the dog was caught.
Our obedience debut: