Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Rally-O, Nationals Here We Come!!

I am getting very excited for my first Berner National. We have our moty-hoty spot reserved, our route planned, our dinners booked, our dogs registered, and the moty-hoty cleaned and in tip-top condition! Now, we are on to the important stuff...which is getting the dogs ready. The goals being:

1. All 3 dogs looking good. Somehow Lemon never blew her coat during her first season, however Jackson did... For the next month, we'll keep the house cold, supplement fish oil, yogurt, eggs, etc... to get those coats full and shiny (hopefully)!!

2. Lemon ready to show in conformation. This has been an ongoing struggle, as bounding, jumping, swan-diving off the grooming table, throwing temper tantrums, wiggling, butt-wagging and gaiting like a hunchback are all very serious hobbies of hers.

3. Hilga ready to be a great spectator and cheerleader. She is our moral support. I'm kicking myself for not entering her in the rescue parade (which isn't technically a parade but a photograph wall...but still). But, she won't know the difference and will have fun looking on from the sidelines!

4. Jackson ready for rally (and me ready for rally as well). This will be our first competition in rally or obedience, so we are very excited. No offense to Lemon, but it is much more fun and fulfilling to practice obedience with Jack than conformation with Lem. I don't need nearly as much patience and we get a lot more accomplished. To get ready for rally I made signs and we've been doing one Novice course a day (several times), and hopefully will continue doing so up until Nationals. He is doing great, and is even doing every course off-leash for one run through. Very fun and exciting to see him having fun at obedience! We should be ready to compete in obedience fairly soon! Soon we'll start traveling to more conspicuous locations to set up our courses...he needs distractions! That is our biggest problem.

Below are pictures of our sign-set up in the back yard. For those of you who don't know, in rally you follow a numbered course in a heel, and each number has a sign telling you what obedience act to perform (like sit, down, heel 360 degrees, etc...). I printed the rally signs off, put them in plastic paper protectors, then bought small garden fencing, cut it into individual posts, then clothspin the sign on the fencing. I also have numbered cones that sit next to the signs, although they aren't pictured below. Fairly easy, and makes for great practice. The hard part is finding practice courses!

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