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Is there anyone out there who does dog obedience?

My Sheltie is only 6 months old but knows everything for the novice class. There is a UKC show this weekend that I’d like to take her to, they accept late enteries. The only thing is that she hasn’t perfected everything. She would probably qualify but wouldn’t get a top score. I don’t really care about UKC and was thinking of just using it as practice for AKC obedience shows. Should I wait until she’s more polished? I know most of you will say 6 months is way too young but she is very advanced. She is more patient and eager to learn than any 1 year old dog I’ve worked with! What do you think?

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10 Responses to “Is there anyone out there who does dog obedience?”

  1. JR said :

    I would even though she wont get top score it will give her experience performing in front others. Go ahead and get her used to the distractions of the actual show. Great idea and she may surprise you.

  2. mustanglynnie said :

    The prize is not what matters, the practice you get will be a good experience – you will not believe how different it feels to be in a judged ring with spectators & the noise of a show crowd -vs- practicing at your class! Be ready for the pressure, but learn to relax – breathe deeply & loosen up before you enter the ring – your dog can feel the tension down that leash! This is why so many dogs that are perfect in class will blow it at a show. AKC & UKC obedience rules ARE slightly different – be sure to read them & (if possible) observe a UKC obedience video or show beforehand. I know some people who will work on only one club’s title till done, THEN move on to the other club – to avoid confusion for themselves & their dog! Good luck!

  3. bear2zealand said :

    If you think she will do everything in the ring, then enter her. But, if you think she will bomb a few excercises, I would think twice. The last thing you want her to do is learn to break sit stays or down stays for example in the ring. It will be harder to break her of this if it is allowed to be done in the ring.

  4. Melon said :

    We are just getting into all of this with our 5 month old Border Collie and we are not ready for the proper obedience ring by a long shot, but my trainer said that Rally’s are a great way to work on Obedience in an environment that is slightly more laid back. So this might be something to consider to get you and your dog used to the ring and showing in front of a crowd.

  5. tlctreecare said :

    It would be great practice to get her into the enviroment of the show and how things feel and go at one.
    I would start now.
    It never heurts to get them used to the enviroment and how things work. It makes a good place to practice as it is the same when you are really going to show.
    If she meets the age requirements and ability it would not hurt to see how she really will do at a show type setting’
    Good luck.

  6. walkinglady said :

    I think the experience would be good for her. The atmosphere at a show is very different from what she’d be used to and it will definitely help you determine how she’ll perform in a larger venue with lots of dogs, people, noise, etc. You’ll be able to find out things like whether she needs to be at the show hours ahead to calm down, or if she takes it all in stride. The ring experience itself will be good as you’ll find out which exercises need the most work. Just go and have fun with her!

  7. m j said :

    If you go into the ring and she goofs up on some exercises, you cannot reprimand her nor do it again and she is likely to learn she doesn’t have to do it in the ring if she doesn’t want to.

    I understand wanting to get in the ring, but wait until you are ready, that is how you will get the high scores. Many people don’t even enter novice until their dog is ready for open. Find a correctional fun match to get her used to show type atmosphere.

  8. Miriam D said :

    The problem with entering trials too early is that you can’t correct or help your dog if she has difficulties. This way they learn that they can do things in the ring that they can’t in practice. You would be better off to take her to fun matches and correction matches so that you can work her under trial conditions but still help/correct her if necessary.

  9. ann a said :

    OH DO GO!!!

    Use it as a practice match. She has to get out sometime and better that it is at (a) a puppy match or (b) a show like the UKC that you don’t care about.

    She needs to get in the ring and see the show grounds and all the dogs and commotion.

    She is most certainly not to young to go. I start my dogs on the retrieve work at 5 1/2 – 6 months and they are on hand signals by the same age.

    I always get my youngsters out as soon as they are old enough for entries even if that means taking them into the conformation ring.

    (And I have been doing AKC obedience all the way through Utility for 43 years.)

    Expect her to flub something because she will be wide eyed at the activity going on. Sometimes I swear that walking into the ring, the dogs pass through some kind of ultra sonic beam and promptly forget everything they know.

    My very first UD dog, had his AKC CD at 11 months and did it in 3 shows with an average of 198 out of 200. (Of course all those practicce matches from age 6-8 months helped a lot!)

    I have young Service Dogs out going around in public at 6

    By the way, I think RALLY is incredibly stupid!! Those are just the exercises that you use to teach the dog the things needed for real obedience work. If you spend all the time practicing the practice moves, you will bore the dog into the ground and never get the real job done which getting them through the legitimate degrees. If you were learning to play the piano, would you practice fingering the keys for 2 years or would you move onto scales and pieces of music to stretch your skills? Rally is something the AKC came up with so people could get ribbions without having to do as much work as for the real degrees so then they would enter shows and the AKC get more money……


  10. MANDYLBH said :

    I would go for it. It would give her experience and you too.
    Good luck.


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