Maybe We Like Obedience

We have avoided obedience for years now, but we gave it another thoughtful try earlier this year. It seems Emma and I are enjoying it a bit more. There is a precision to obedience which personally I am not all that interested in, still there are ways to make it fun.

After training for awhile on our own, we have started taking classes with Diana Hoyem of Dog Sports Northwest. Diana's no nonsense-but-let's-have-fun attitude is terrific, and I think going to class will be an inspiring. In fact, the first class we attended, reminded me of how much training we haven't done!

We attended the Dane Outreach fun match last weekend. After just one class with Diana, Emma was much improved at the match. Of course, I was paying attention too, which helps. Emma performed very well in the ring. Really focused in her Novice run, she was ready for off leash work in her Advanced Rally run with no hesitation or sniffing around. Good girl!

Of course, we had Sits and Downs too. For those of you who are new to obedience, in Novice your dog must be able to stay in a sit for 1 minute and a down position for 3 minutes. It doesn't sound long or terribly hard, but it requires a lot of confidence from the dog. You walk in the ring with all of the other Novice competitors and position the dogs in one long line. The dogs face you as you then leave them in a Stay and walk across the ring to stand in your own Stay for the 1 or 3 minutes.

For Emma this is tough, she does not trust other dogs and tends to whine nervously while everyone behaves so strangely (standing still in a line). It really is silly stuff, but it is a requirement if you want to earn a Novice title.

For the first time ever, Emma kept her stays and did not whine or even look nervous for both the Sit and the Down at this fun match. I could not have been more pleased. There's hope for us yet!