At the last minute, I decided to enter Tripp in the CDSP Obedience trial on Mar. 30 (the day before Easter) at BoGee Agility & Sport Center in Raymond, NH. Not only were we rusty from slacking off all winter, but we have limited Obedience experience to begin with. (It is quite different from Rally, although that's a wonderful foundation.) This would be our first CDSP trial, with only one workshop under our belt. I still picked up on some new rules (thankfully before our ring time!). Judge Charlene Swainamer was extremely nice and helpful.
CDSP is similar to traditional AKC Obedience, with a few differences in exercises. In some ways it is more challenging, but it is also more casual and fun. Praise is allowed during most exercises, and a treat is even ok at very specific points (rules on this are very strict). Check out http://www.companiondogsportsprogram.com for information on this fantastic venue.
I really wasn't sure how we'd do in the ring. The way I figured it, this would be considered more of a practice run for other upcoming trials. Of course I always hope for a Q! As usual, everyone loved Mr. Flashypants Tripp. He was pretty silly and certainly not perfect in the ring, but he had a few moments of brilliance, and overall did quite well all things considered. We ended with a score of 197.5, tied for first place! This calls for a "runoff" where the competitors repeat the heeling pattern and best score/time wins. Tripp continued his imperfections, as well as got itchy half way through. LOL The other team had a beautiful, nearly flawless run and certainly deserved the win. :-)
Unfortunately we weren't able to compete in the second trial, as there was much holiday preparation to be done at home. It was a great morning though and I can't wait to continue in CDSP. Tripp will go far!