On Saturday, September 4th, Copper and I participated in two Rally Obedience Trials at Nashville Dog Training Club. We didn’t bring home ribbons, but we had a great time and learned what we need to practice.
Nashville Dog Training Club
Our first experience at NDTC was not positive. They had two rally trials running at the same time. When we arrived, they were almost two hours behind schedule. The parking was a complete nightmare.
Everyone in the building seemed upset and stressed out. Handlers, dogs, and volunteers. Everyone. In fact, the vibe in the building was so bad, I swore I would never go back.
Unfortunately, I can’t travel overnight right now and my options for trails within a same-day driving distance are limited, so I did go back. I actually missed a trial over 4th of July weekend thanks to a brown recluse spider bite.
This experience was wonderful. We arrived early and found a parking spot in the main lot. Volunteers were happy and helpful.
It was a little noisy and hectic with two rings running (one Obedience and one Rally Obedience), but everyone was having a great time. Handlers and dogs were happy to be there.
The trials were well-run and moved right along, and the judge Robert Self was a tough but fair judge with great courses. We’re looking forward to going back in November!
Rally Obedience Struggles
From day one, Copper has been all in for Rally Obedience training. Trials? Not so much. Copper is an naturally anxious dog, and trials can be a little overwhelming for him.
We earned our Rally Novice title virtually, and I made the call to go for the optional Rally Intermediate title, because I knew we were headed back to in-person trials, and we needed the experience.
His first trials were tough. We qualified, but just barely. Our first score was only a 74.
Our first appearance in Nashville in January was nothing short of a disaster. At the first trial, he took a jump (5th sign) and ran out of the ring. At the second, we didn’t even manage to complete the first sign.
We worked hard on our proofing between that and our next trial, including completing an Advanced Obedience class and earning his CGCA. We exposed him to lots of different places and things to get him ready.
Our next trials were in a quieter environment, and Copper earned a 97 and a 98. Our return to Nashville was not as great as I would have liked (two NQs), but his performance was a definite improvement. He finished both courses.
Any time you enter the ring and get better and learn something. It’s a win.
Any day I can spend with one of my boys is a great day. NDTC has beautiful ribbons, and it would have been great to take one home. But… We know what we need to work on between now and our next visit there in November.
Considering Rally Obedience for your All American Dog? Drop me a comment, and let’s chat!