jon_d_r: (jonR)
Saturday. OK, Ronin, you dork! ;^) He started to come back instead of sitting on "go-out" to first jump so I had to give a second "sit" command and that was a Non-Qualify for Utility (a.k.a. humility, a.k.a. futility). He was wonderful in Open but he was popping up and down at his own whim during both the sit-stay and the down-stay, so he NQ'd Open also. We fixed the "drop on recall" so I was grateful for his efforts today.

After flunking I was practicing sit-stays and down-stays with Ronin in an enclosed cabana (belonging to the Obedience Chairperson) beside the 4H building. I put him on a sit-stay and then volunteered to help pack up some other folks who were leaving to return to Utah. As I carried some equipment to their van, I saw Ronin had broken the stay and was investigating an empty dog crate. When I returned from the van, Ronin had popped back out of the crate and had returned to the sit-stay position and was innocently gazing about as if he hadn't moved! It cracked me up. I was later able to "catch" him moving out of position and surprised him with a "Hey, you-are-on-a-sit-stay!" (Ronin had an "Ooops" look, so I know it got to him). We did that some more with both sits and downs. Finally he was able to hold the stays for well beyond the required time.

Ronin got to watch a very cute Miniature Bull Terrier puppy (such as this) during his stays so it wasn't too awful for him.

Ronin also got to watch one of his breeder-brothers in the Conformation Ring. Except Ronin got bored and laid out on the floor with his butt to the ring. His breeder-brother did take a couple of good looks at Ronin as he went by--I hope this didn't detract too much. He was looking good, Andrea!
jon_d_r: (jonR)
So it goes. What an interesting day. We arrived early, Ronin was first dog into the Utility B ring. In an indoor horse arena. With pigeons living in the rafters.

Just as we were entering the ring, the commotion of the obedience trial flushed the pigeons, and they took wing, each moving to another place (still within the arena). Ronin is a Cocker Spaniel. This is a bird dog whose main breeding trait is to hunt and flush gamebirds. ... I gained his attention quickly and moved into place for the first exercise, Scent Discrimination. In this exercise an article I've touched is placed in a group of similar objects about 20-25 feet away and Ronin's job is to find the article I've touched and return it to me. Not today.

We turned and I instructed "Find Mine!" and Ronin took off. He immediately went into hunt mode, nose to ground, moving out and away from me, covering back and forth, interrupted only by a coursing gaze around for sight of a bird. Past the pile of articles (Hmm, I'll get back to those after I finish business). He was not doing the exercise. The judge indicated I should give it up, so I gave a second command, then a third command. We had NQd (Non-Qualifying). He was still hunting. The judge smiled and attempted to lure him to the pile. She pointed at the article with a pencil. I gave a fourth (or fifth?) command and he looked impatiently at me and grabbed an article at random (not the correct article) and brought it. I took it and we finished. I grinned an the judge and said, "Bird dog, you know".

The second article: He picked up an article near the correct one, then dropped it atop the correct one. Could not pick up the correct one with other article atop it. So he rotated 90 degrees and picked up both articles and brought them. By this time I'm trying not to crack up.

The rest of the exercises went well, well within qualifying precision. But we had flunked Utility B.

Remembering last week, I had taken him out several times before the Open B class started, to let him poop as much as he desired. This involves some time because with 1800 other dogs and may people about, there is too much to attend to other than "business".

Into Open B, Ronin was his steady self, with better fronts and finishes than ever before (in my opinion). Then. Long Sits. Sit. About the first command a doggie learns is Sit. He knows Sit. Except today. At one minute, thirty seconds (according to judge) Ronin decides to go Down so as to better keep an eye on the pigeons. NQ. And he gets three other dogs to follow suit ("The Cocker was first, it is HIS fault"). So we do the Long Down Stay and when I returned to the ring, he was still down, still intently following the movements of pigeons. I think I startled him when I gave the command to release him from the stay, he hadn't noticed the eight of us returning to the ring.

What fun. It was a good day, in all. He is still green. We came home and after a brief rest, we went in the backyard and practiced. Of course, in practice he is perfect.

We were doing Signal Exercise where I was across the yard giving hand signals for down, up, and come. I saw Beanie, the old girl, on the patio watching. She's a retired UDX dog and is content to watch usually. I gave the Down signal. Both Ronin and also Beanie another 20 feet away settled down. I gave the Sit signal and they both simultaneously sat, keeping their eyes fixed on me. At the Come signal, they both came running, jostling to get into Front position. I'm cracking up. I give the signal to Go Around and they simultaneously moved to heel, Beanie on the inside and Ronin parallel on the outside. Time to enter them in tandem obedience.

Whew. Next show is real soon in Colorado Springs. We need to work with distractions. Gotta proof his exercises. Ronin needs me to be better for him.

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