Because he just doesn't have nearly enough yet! ;-) Tripp finished his Open Obedience title at DogStar Activity Center's CDSP trials this past weekend. He is now UWP, UROC, UKC CH Tintlet Destin Parfait CD, BN, CDX-C, RA, SG, W-FD, ATD, CGC, TT, VC Oh yeah! Definitely need to add some more letters to that. LOL!!!
And I will have you know that I had to look that up and copy it here, as I can no longer remember his full list of titles. ;-)
As usual, DogStar hosted an intimate trial full of friendly competitors; always a nice time there. Great place, and not too far away in Acton, Mass. Tripp had a great first run, giving a wonderful performance and scoring a 198. His second run wasn't quite as pretty, but he still managed a 192.5 (not all him, I had several handling faults) plus 1st place, and with that finished his CDX-C.
Check out the video and pics below!
It was another long day - but this time mostly due to travel. I arose at 4 am (ugh!!) to drive nearly 3 hours to Westfield for a UKC show & weight pull on Sunday. The morning start was not exactly smooth (whataya expect at that ungodly hour?), but we made it in time to register and the rest of the day went ok. Weather was beautiful. And the Pittie club put on good show as usual.
A dinner break on the way home at the VT Welcome Center, with a good shot of caffeine (V8 Fusion Energy; I don't do coffee) - and cranking up some Nickelback - helped me make it home safely a bit after dark (ick, it's coming earlier every day now!)...
Vids and more below!
Fri. Aug. 30
Merrimack Valley Kennel Club began it's annual 3 day AKC Obedience trial in Amherst, NH at American K9 Country. This was an afternoon trial, not beginning until 2 pm. Entering on days like this, you risk a late evening ring time, but I chanced it, figuring how bad could it be? Ha! Well, we arrived around 2:30 to set up the crate and settle in, allowing plenty of time for that and walkies, warming up, and watching a bit of the other classes. Plenty of time, indeed. I knew our classes (Novice A & Beginner Novice A) were to follow a large Utility & Open entry, but I severely underestimated the amount of time those classes would take. Hours passed, they took a dinner break, then other classes continued. It was very late evening by the time we finally entered the Novice ring. I don't even remember what time it was by that point. It was certainly after 9 pm!
Click below on "Read More" to see how we did!
I think it's been about a year since we've entered any AKC events. But since we've been practicing (and doing well) in other Obedience rings, I decided to try for Tripp's 2nd Beginner Novice leg at Cheshire Kennel Club's annual show & trial in Keene. I didn't bother to bring my camera, however, since I'd have to impose upon a stranger again to film us, and honestly, I didn't have high expectations for Tripp's performance. Our luck has just never been in AKC, plus this was an outdoor trial, so you never know what added distractions might appear.
Well go figure, Tripp did a great job in the ring, earning a near-perfect score of 199! Now I wish I had it on video! Oh well, next time, definitely.
Fingers crossed he continues this success in AKC... next trials I plan to enter some higher levels (and of course finish his BN). I sure hope there will be run thrus between now and then for practice!
Practice has been paying off. After moving up to Open level in CDSP Obedience, we had several new exercises to learn. I actually managed to squeeze in some regular clicker training sessions and worked on what we could at home to prepare. Tripp caught on quickly, as usual, and not only did he prove he was ready to perform the new stuff in the ring, he also kept his head in the game and had lovely attention during most of the performance.
We entered our first trial on 7/13/13 at DogStar Activity Center in Acton, MA. Our judges were Rachel Brostrom & Sheila Bennett. It was a nice day (other than sitting in traffic over half an hour, but at least we got there in time). Tripp won 1st place in trial one with a score of 193.5 - and half of those point deductions were my fault. Still not bad for a couple newbies! :-)
This has always been my favorite level. Ok, so I've never done it before either, but I liked the look of it. ;-) Jumps, retrieves, send outs, and other advanced challenges beyond heeling... Novice was fun, but Open rocks! Tripp seemed to enjoy it too, and I'm so happy with his performance this weekend. His only mishap was on the broad jump in trial 2. There seems to have been some confusion; it was like he didn't even try. I can't figure out for sure what caused it, and unfortunately it cost us a Q, but as the judges said, "it is what it is." These things happen. What I do know is that I really need to get a broad jump for practice at home. Considering Tripp has only seen one less than half a dozen times in his life, I'm impressed he can do it at all!
Regardless of scores, we had a blast. Of course I'm glad we did earn at least 1 Q so I got something for my time and money. LOL Tripp obviously doesn't care about those things, he's just happy to be our there working with his mom. Sounds like a win-win to me!
It seems to be everyone's favorite "catch-word" at the moment, so I just had to say it. Epic seems appropriate to describe our latest show weekend. Or at least our schedule! 4 Conformation shows, 8 Rally Obedience classes (entries in both level 2 & 3 in 4 trials), all packed into 2 hot summer days. That's 12 events in 1 weekend. If ever my sanity was up for serious questioning, this confirms that I've completely lost my mind. LOL
I'm so glad that Tripp is such a good sport...
Click on "Read More" below for the full story and video footage!
It was a very competitive weekend... but only in the talent of so many teams - the atmosphere of course was all supportive and friendly. This is your typical CDSP Obedience trial. The exercises are similar to mainstream trials, but everything is much more relaxed and fun. Praise is allowed in the ring, and even a treat between exercises. The focus in CDSP is teamwork over absolute precision. Obviously this makes for more happy dogs!
Monadnock Humane Society was our gracious host on June 16, and as our wonderful judges, Charlene Swainamer & Barb Burri. Tripp held his own in both trials against stiff competition, earning a near-perfect score of 199 each time. And both trials required a "run-off" (repeat the heeling pattern to break a tie) - trial 1 actually had a 4-way tie! As I said, lots of great teams out there. Tripp, as usual, got a little wacky in the run-offs, so we took lower placements - but 3rd & 4th place is still quite respectable.
More importantly, this finished Tripp's CD-C title - our first in the sport of obedience. The next trial is a month away, where we will enter Open level. There's still a lot of training left to do to prepare for that! Time to get to work!
On the first weekend in June, we "did it all" at the American Pit Bull Terrier Club of New England's UKC conformation show and weight pull in Westfield, MA. They offered a great, affordable package deal for all 4 shows plus both pulls that I couldn't resist. Running from one ring to another to keep up with the schedule is a bit hectic, but worth it for a chance at Total Dog. ;-)
It was a wicked heat wave, and we were all thankful that the weight pull trial was held under cover in one of the fairground barns. We were not so lucky in conformation, but at least there was a frequent breeze. On the down side, the wind continually blew thick clouds of pollen off the tall pines. Allergy sufferers were not faring well by day two of this!
Tripp did wonderfully despite the heat, moving well in the show ring, and working with his usual gusto in weight pull. Now that he is going for WP Championship, we follow a different strategy, building points rather than earning basic qualifying legs. The point schedule goes by increments of weight pulled - on wheeled carts, 10x the dog's body weight = 5 points, 15x his weight = 10 points, and then it jumps to 25x his weight for 15 points, and so on. Darn it, what happened to 20x? (Weight requirements are different for track systems and snow sleds, but the increments are comparable.) I'm slightly irked by this, because Tripp can do 20x under the right conditions, but I don't forsee 25x ever being reasonable for him. I know to never say never, but I will bet that we're stuck at 10 points max per trial. At that rate, I'm not sure if we'll ever make title (UWPCH requires 100 points) unless there's an upsurge in local trials - Tripp could very well be retired before we see 8 or more trials in the area! LOL Oh well, we'll keep trying anyway, having fun on the journey whether we reach the destination or not. :-)
Anyway, what this point schedule means is that if Tripp pulls 15 times his weight, he will earn 10 points - but if he pulls, say, 17 times his weight he won't earn anything extra, so basically the effort is pointless. So now at trials our goal weight will be 15x and we'll likely end at that to conserve energy. This should be easy enough for Tripp as he's just beginning to make an effort at that weight! LOL Although I did wonder if he'd make it that far in last weekend's heat. Luckily he weighed in at only 48 lbs (I'm pretty sure their scale was off, but no complaints here! hehehe) so he "only" had to pull less than 750# to hit 15x. I expected to need closer to 800, so one less pull was fine by me. Tripp too, I'm sure!
I will say it was an educational weekend... Part of my concern over hitting our goal weight in WP was the number of pulls required to get that far. The down side to Tripp weighing in light was that he got stuck in a lower weight class with the "little" dogs, which meant moving up weight increments just one block at a time. I knew you were allowed 2 "passes" - the choice of skipping 1 or 2 move ups - but was under the impression that this rule was over the entire trial. That still would be more reps than I wanted Tripp to do in severe heat. But hallelujah, come to find out, the rule is 2 passes only between pulls - you can skip 2 increments after your first pull, then do your second, then skip 2 more, then pull again, and so on. That was the best news I got all day! And we did exactly that. We entered at the highest weight allowed for Tripp's class, skipped all that we could, and ended up only needing to do 4 pulls to hit our goal weight on both days. Tripp says that was plenty, now bring on the A/C! ;-)
But WP was not the end of things. We also had two conformation shows each day. While Tripp looked great out there for the most part, we were somewhat less successful, taking Reserve CH in all 4 shows. Basically, runner up. (Well, at least he made good point fodder for our competition. LOL) I wasn't entirely disappointed at first, since he did win that placement over another Poodle, so I still expected to earn Total Dog for our competitive win plus performance Q. That was really all I wanted anyway. Alas, my education continued, this time not particularly to my pleasure. Turns out he actually must win his class (or take a group placement) to be eligible. In other words, Reserve counts for nothing, so that was just some expensive handling practice after all. Total Dog is slightly tougher to earn than I thought, no wonder it is so coveted! On the bright side, I should be even prouder that Tripp has earned it twice already, with limited showing. We'll keep trying for more. Why stop now?
No matter if UKC says Tripp is a Total Dog on a given day, or not... he will always be that and more to all of us who know him.
He is The Ultimate Versatile Poodle!
My Total Dog. :-)
I know, I'm weird. Most people dream of visiting some tropical island somewhere... me, I've always wanted to go to Canada. After 30-something years, that dream has finally come true. I can't quite cross it entirely off my bucket list, however, as I was too busy with a dog show to actually see any sights. Well darn, I guess I'll just have to go back... ;-)
Northeastern weather even in mid-April, though usually nice, can still bring stubborn remanents of winter. Lucky us, Mother Nature decided to bring sleet & snow on our departure day. We hesitantly ventured forward anyway, and though the drive was slow, we made it to Quebec safely.
A fairly new club, the Association Canine Canadienne Multisports, hosted a weekend UKC dog show in Sherbrooke - just over the border, a little more than 3 hours from here (in good weather) - which included Conformation, Rally Obedience, AND Weight Pull! Official WP trials have been scarce enough lately, but to find a show that holds more than one performance event is rare, esp. in this area. I could not pass up the opportunity to attend.
Saturday we started with WP under judge Robin Clark, who was wonderful. And I'm not just saying that because she later commented that Tripp was the best dog there! (There were other good pullers, but Tripp really gets in the zone.) I planned to do minimal pulls - just enough to qualify - since we had a very full weekend and Tripp is not quite back to top condition yet. I was ready to quit at 560 lbs (one pull more than we needed to Q), but everyone begged us to continue since he was pulling easily and in excellent form, plus they wanted to show off this great sport for the audience, as well as prove the versatility of the Poodle breed. I completely agreed with those points and, after making sure Tripp was indeed good to go, continued on with one more pull. We ended at 700 lbs. - over 13 times his body weight.
From there we went on to prepare for conformation. Mary King was our judge, and we had some nice competition; just a few puppies - Tripp was the only CH entered, but at least he wasn't the only Poodle, and the others were lovely. It was anyone's game out there. Though we didn't win today, Ms. King gave us a wonderful critique - actually apologizing profusely for not placing us! She absolutely adored Tripp, but due to his curled tail which is considered a "major fault" in the standard (despite being mainly cosmetic), she had to go by the book and put up the less faulted dog. Well gee, I certainly understand that! I had to tell her several times not to feel bad - I was actually thrilled for our opponant, as this was her very first show with practically no experience and a young dog - what a fantastic introduction for her! It's always more satisfying to beat competition, and not get what I call a default win. She went on to earn a group placement as well! I'm so happy for her. And I was just excited to be back in the show ring (after what? 2-3 years?) with Tripp looking awesome out there, and such great feedback from the judge topped it off.
Sunday was our busiest day, with Rally added to the schedule. Once again WP was our first activity. Tripp remained in near perfect form, with plenty of enthusiasm, but we stopped at 560 lbs today to conserve energy. This was more than enough weight for another Q, which finally completed Tripp's UWP title! It was a long wait for that one, as he'd earned his first leg when he was just over a year old! (To think back then I thought putting more than 500 lbs behind my dog was unimaginable. Ha! And now that's barely an effort for him. Mr. Tough Guy. This amazing Poodle continues to prove that it's all about attitude and condition.)
We continued on to Rally, with Mary King judging this as well. It wasn't the best start. In Trial 1, level 2, I somehow managed to miss a sign even during walkthroughs. Too focused on my dog (even the invisible one) I blew right passed a sign on my right shortly after an about turn. Hmm, well that explains why there was such a big gap of nothingness there! LOL I sure kicked myself for that one. Tripp did well, this one was all me. So NQ, which automatically gave us one less opportunity for a leg towards his Excellent title (which requires 10 double Qs in level 2 & 3 in the same trial).
Level 3 went better for the most part. At least we did everything we were supposed to! Tripp had several imperfections due to distractions - did I mention this show was held in conjunction with a BIG animal expo, with hundreds (thousands?) of people, tons of noise, pony rides, and kiddy bounce houses all just outside the rings. Not to mention the show photographer set up literally next to the Rally ring, intermittently squeeking toys during a shoot, and of course all the smells of cats, birds, reptiles, etc. along with the other show dogs being groomed nearby! Thank God they set up the Agility and Frisbee dogs on the opposite side of the convention center!!! Despite all this, Tripp managed to pull off a score of 97, only being docked for excessive sniffing during the honor down stay. Truthfully, he was totally obsessing and crept way out of position, so that score was very generous!
Improvement continued in Trial 2, level 2. While Tripp still was not as accurate as I prefer, he did do a great job considering the environment on top of not having much recent practice in the sport. Amazingly we earned a perfect score of 100. This brought us to just ONE point away from Rally Championship! So close!
By level 3, our final competition, we were both pretty tired! My feet were ready to fall off. Tripp still did wonderfully and finished with a 99. That made his UROC title! Yippee!!! It also gave us a QQ, bringing us halfway to URX. We will continue on to that goal.
Somewhere in the middle of all this, we entered conformation too, under judge Tina Camp. Another great, fair, helpful judge. Once again we got a wonderful critique after ring time, and she just loved Trippy (who did a good job sucking up to her, hehehe.) This time, much to my surprise, we won Best of Breed! Tripp moved very well and that was the deciding factor. (She "could care less" about his tail. ;-) We didn't get anything in Group, but our Breed win qualified us for the coveted Total Dog award!! This will be Tripp's second Total Dog, which is earned by a conformation win plus a qualifying score in performance within the same show/trial.
I have but one regret for the weekend... I forgot to have an official photo taken! How could I? (Exhaustion, that's how. ;-) I was a little bummed that the club didn't offer new title ribbons, but a picture with the judges and Tripp's prizes would've made up for that somewhat. Posing alone at home just isn't the same. Oh, I still got a nice pic of course, but I do kick myself for not capturing that moment IN the moment. Oh well. C'est la vie!
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!