Saturday, January 21, 2012

Regional Practice

Today, the other competitor from my club, B, and her dog Hanky, headed out to the park in Acton to get in some obedience practice on the regional field.  We took her car, figuring it would be easier to put a small Dottie sized crate in her car, than a huge Hanky sized crate in my car.

We were lucky that the rain was done for the day, so we didn't get wet.  The address of the park is not listed on the website, but Acton is small enough that it only has one public park and we found it.

When we got to the park there was a group of young men playing soccer near the backdrop.  The website told us the field would use the backdrop as part of the fencing.  So we knew which part of the park to practice in.  We played with the dogs a bit, then worked them some, then the players came over and used the back drop as their goal (encroaching on the "field").  Then another group came and set all their equipment down right were we think the go out end was going to be.  The park had other places to practice, it was just our bad luck they wanted to play/ practice on the area of the park that will be used for the trial next week.  Eventually the second group moved off to the side, leaving a bag and soccer ball at the go out end.  Of course that won't be there trial day, so it was making it easier than it will be.  I sent Dottie anyway and she zoomed in on the ball, but downed when I told her.  Dottie wanted to down on the sit in motion, and wouldn't sit up out of the down for pickups.  Well, I don't expect my ob score to be that great anyway- lots to continue to work on.  The routine seems so simple, but when you break it down and train each tiny piece, it is not simple at all.  Then we just hung out a bit, walked around the entire park and when we were done with the little walk everyone had left so I sent Dottie for one more go, letting her get the toy.  B decided to do one more with Hank, and just as he was running back, that is when the cop showed up.  I have the worst luck with being allowed to train dogs off leash without getting in trouble!  I always get caught, kicked out, or told to leash up.  Darn!  The only times the dogs were off leash was for the go outs.  But off leash is off leash...

There was another dog group, who seemed to be training dogs for movie work.  At one point they wanted the dog to stand behind a chain link fence and bark.  He didn't seem to grasp the concept.  Fancy could have done it better.  One of their dogs looked like a Border Collie, pit bull mix.  Their dog was off leash, but they were gone by the time the cop showed up.  She (the cop) could tell we were not bothering anyone, but said in the past they've had lots of complaints, so she had to enforce it for everyone.  She was very nice and even apologetic and we didn't get a ticket, so that is good.  Luckily for our training, we really were done.

B and I were both surprised there were no other trial people practicing.  Maybe they couldn't find the park due to lack of an address on the website!  Or maybe they will show up for practiceon Sunday. 

On the Friday before the trail we will get 8 minutes to practice obedience and 5 minutes to practice protection.  Due to those tight time limits, it was nice to get on the field a head of time and let Dottie associate rewards with the location.  I just hope we guessed the go out direction correctly!

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