On November 19th, Copper earned his Rally Excellent Title. More importantly, he made big improvements in two major areas of anxiety for him.

Nashville Dog Training Club

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that Copper has struggled at Nashville Dog Training Club (NDTC). I’ve spoken to other handlers who have had similar problems.

The unfortunate reality of Covid is that many of us just haven’t been getting our younger dogs to as many places as we used to.

NDTC’s building has high industrial ceilings and is in a busy industrial area. The weekends aren’t days off for loading docks and performance engine shops.

For many sound sensitive dogs, NDTC can be a scary place.

Male Judges

For some reason, Copper is also very sensitive to male judges. It wasn’t intentional; it’s just that most of our training situations are predominantly female.

The first time Copper encounter a male judge, we were trialing at NDTC. He took a jump and went straight out of the gate for an automatic NQ.

We’ve been working through his issues with men following him and with trialing at NDTC.

Rally Excellent Title

This weekend we finally slayed the dragon. On our third time at NDTC, Copper finally earned a qualifying score for first place and his Rally Excellent title!

rally excellent title

We could avoid trialing at NDTC or avoid trials with males judges. But that would be a disservice to my dog.

Yes, it means that sometimes I pay for a trial and walk away with no points, no Qs, and no ribbons.

But you can’t always train for everything that could possibly happen at a trial. Sometimes you just have to walk in the ring and learn.

The time and money I’ve invested in Copper has been well worth it. He trialed in what he would consider a very scare place AND under a male judge on day 2.

We walked away with a new title and two Qs. HUGE progress.

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