So we got this today.
Steve finds my lack of faith disturbing.
Today was Steve’s first try in AKC Rally Excellent. I sent a prayer to the rally gods this morning to not get the moving stand/ leave dog/ sit dog sign, because Steve is vehemently opposed to sitting in this situation. He firmly believes that moving stands are followed by downs. This is how it should be. He is unwilling to be flexible on this detail.
We did not, in fact, get this sign.
Instead, the very first sign was a moving stand/walk around right in front of the jump.
The rally gods laugh at me.
Anyway, he did have wiggly feet there but not too bad and he did not scream, take the jump before being told, or bite me. All of these things are concerns for this dog in the rally ring. I was very worried going into this trial about unauthorized jumping, because he’s been terrible with that in class lately. Oh there’s a jump there- I should probably take it! Or we have a course with two jumps on it and I send him to one and he takes both. He likes jumps.
There was a lot of heeling and the minimum number of required stationary signs on this course, which is the kind of course I like best. He did break his stay on the stand while heeling / call to heel sign, which is weird. Usually he does that sign very solidly. I turned around and he was sniffing the floor. I’m not sure how many points we lost there, and was very torn over whether I should redo it or not, but ended up not. It’s a hard call sometimes– if he’d only taken one step, that’s only one point, but to redo the sign is 3 plus whatever we lose in that iteration.
Everything else was ok. His three steps back were beyoootiful. He stayed without question when I went to get his leash and put it back on him, which is the new exercise that replaced the Honor in Excellent.
The course was set up in a way that was very Steve-friendly after we got past the first sign. The jump was way on one side of the ring, we did not have to pass by it without taking it. We did not have to pivot in front of it without taking it. No monkey business like that.
We finished with a 94, which didn’t thrill me, but wasn’t too bad. He could have done better. But still, I shouldn’t complain. He got second place, which won me back $20 of my $25 entry fee, and I do appreciate that. There were only five dogs entered in the A class, and one didn’t show up, so everybody qualified and everybody got placement ribbons. Yay ribbons!
I should have entered the puppy.