Sunday, May 1, 2011

Crowd Pleaser

Riley and I drove three hours to an obedience trial in Tennessee yesterday.  And then drove three hours home.  Six hours of driving for a less than fifteen minute obedience performance.  Why the heck do I do this?  Actually, I am not sure either.  Pure insanity. 

No, we had a lot of fun.  It was Riley's debut at Open level and this was an excellent environment for her first time out.  The trial setting was small and quiet.  It was a one ring trial rather than multiple rings side by side with action happening all around.  And I love the matting.  It is very cushy for those three and five minute stays.

Riley did not disappoint her fans and was quite the crowd pleaser.  We received applause, cheering, and so many nice compliments.  People love to see a happy hound since they are thought to be hard to train and not popular for obedience traditionally.  Unfortunately, we did not qualify, but I was thrilled with Riley nonetheless.  The two errors were no biggie and we will do better next time.
I was also very pleased that Riley held her three minute, out of sight, sit stay (meaning the handlers leave the room).  Long sit stays are the one thing I hate to ask my greyhounds to do.  In training, I always highly reward and jackpot long sit stays.  However, at a trial the reward for a three minute sit stay is a five minute down stay. Of course, I jackpot Riley after both stays are completed and we leave the ring, but I prefer for her to know that the sit stay is of utmost importance. Heck, we rarely ever practice down stays and never for five minutes... that is boring.
All in all, it was an excellent Open obedience debut.