I start with an apology to Margaret Garvie as last week in my notes I said her Rhialis Lucina won her 2nd RCC at Driffield in fact it was her 4th, so sorry Margaret I have updated my records now. I never mind being corrected as it proves my notes are being read!
Do you remember those crazy hazy days of summer when we were not sure if it would ever rain again? Well we need not have worried, as I write these note it is tipping it down outside and has been for some hours, the north of the country had the rain and high winds last week and we now have it down south, although the high winds have abated. I gather things are going to improve, so when you read this it may be warm and sunny, but we are now officially in Autumn.
Saturday saw the Obreedience team and those who were going to do Rally head off to Daventry, for competitions run by ‘The Lagotto Romagnolo Club of Great Britain’. Just a quick reminder of what KC Rally and KC Obreedience is about, for anyone who doesn’t know. Rally has 6 levels starting at 1 and is set out in a course of signs progressing in difficulty. The judge sets the course on the day but the signs for each level are published by the KC. You start with a score of 200 +10 if you do the bonus, you lose points for mistakes. 190 is an excellent score and with 3 of these under different judges you can progress to the next level, or 6 qualifying scores of 175 under 4 different judges (180 for levels 5 & 6). Like agility you can walk the course before the competition starts, and as with Obedience you book in are given a number, you then find your ring and decide in what order you want to compete. The booking in on Saturday was at 8.30am with the course walk at 9am, so it was an early start for everyone as we were all in a morning classes, except Lisa but she had said she would scribe for one of the judges, so also had to be there early. Jacqui and Alysha scribed in the afternoon but sadly had some very unpleasant weather. The Rally classes started at 9.30pm, but we were drawn second in the Obreedience which started at 10.30am, so whether to do the Rally first or not! Sarah decide to do it with Jack, his and her first ever Rally competition and she was thrilled to get an excellent score. After the Obreedience I competed with Fizz in level 2 he gained an excellent score, this was his third excellent score so he is now in level 3. Jacqui Cobb with Angel also gained an excellent score and moves into level 3. Level 1&2 are on the lead and you can talk to your dog so long as you do not keep repeating command. You can do one level above if you wish, so I decided to try level 3, this off the lead and with more difficult exercises, the judge had put in 17 exercises the most you could have at this level, so I was thrilled to gain a qualifying score. We were lucky as by 11am it had stated to rain but not very heavily, I am not sure the dogs would have been so keen on doing downs and sits on very wet grass!
Now for the Obreedience, this is for a team of four dogs of the same breed. There are 3 heel works patterns set by the KC, A B &C and the judge can choose which one she /he wants the teams on do on the day. The dogs have to be in a line either across or one behind the other and there are also some cones to weave through. The idea is to encourage more breeds to have a go at some of the tests associated with Obedience, but not quite so formally. After the heel work there are four set exercise and each dog has to do one of them, sometimes they are done straight after the heelwork, or sometimes after all the teams have done their heel work. Here it was planned to do them after lunch, but as it started to rain the judge decided to go straight through, thankfully as after lunch the rain really set in. The exercises are always the same ‘Go to bed’ the handler takes the dog’s own bed and it can be of whatever size. This was done by Alysha Branchflower with Knytshall Moon of Josephine, this was their first time in the team and Josephine can get quite worried about things but was a super star and had full marks. Josephine is black and it was amazing how many people said they did not know there were black ones. Next it was Jacqui Cobb with Knytshall Angel Delight R1 Ex,her exercise was ‘Stop on Command then play with your dog’ again full marks. Sarah Stonton uses a dumbbell for the Retrieve exercise with Trelowen Andrea AW(S) Loxy, another 10 out of 10.I was last with Ch/Bel ChTonylynn’s Charles LafitteAW (G)R1 Ex (Fizz).The judge said to me no pressure then ! His exercise is scent discrimination, it is done like Obedience scent, you take your article and it is placed on a plate so the steward does not touch it. The dog is turned away so it can’t see where the item is placed, the dog is then told to go and find it among a selection of items provide by the judge. Fizz’s item is a proper scent cloth; he will pick up other things but seems happiest with the cloth. I was quite worried as the first item appeared to be a small roll of cloth and for one awful minute I thought he was going to pick it up. Once you have sent the dog you can’t give any more commands or you lose all your marks, happily he decided it was not his cloth checked the other items and picked up his cloth which was at the end of the line and happily brought it back, and we all sighed with relief. When all the teams had completed their exercises we were doing Rally, we then heard there were run offs in the Obreedience, for 2nd & 3rd and 4th & 5th but we were not involved, so Jacqui said we must either be 1st or 6th! We really had no idea how the other teams had done, we usually sit and watch the other teams, but we were busy with Rally and also it was so cold and damp that is really was not sitting around weather. We watched the run offs, the judge then said she would present the awards in the few minutes when the scores had been checked. We had put all the dogs back in the cars because of the weather and were just standing chatting when the judge came out and said 1st Quatre Bu. We just stood there not quite believing what we had heard. It was then a rush back to the cars for the dogs for the photos; I was very mean and made everyone take off their coats for the photos. The scores were posted on line the next day and we only lost 2.25marks on the heel work, this has often caused us a problem as we live so far apart we never practice. On this occasion once we knew which heel pattern was being used we practiced several times without the dogs, which I think definitely helped. Only the Butterflies (Papillions) had a lower heelwork score only losing 1.75. We ended up by only losing a total of 2.50 from 50, Fizz losing .5 on his scent the other three exercises having full marks, we were 2 marks ahead of the Sheltie Super Stars, Poodle TC Standards & The Russellers. There were 15 teams taking part.
Margaret Deuchar firstname.lastname@example.org
The views expressed in Margaret’s Breed Notes are hers and hers alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Norwegian Buhund Club of the UK