The California State University, Hayward campus was the scene of some stiff Rally competition this past weekend with a field of 23 dogs in Rally Excellent and 24 in Rally Advanced.
While Denali did well, scoring 95 in Excellent and 97 in Advanced, it wasn't enough against the 98 to 100 point scores required for placement. But a Q is a Q!
There were a lot of well-trained dogs and skilled handlers - really nice to see! Denali is my first performance dog. As a relatively new handler, I always learn a lot at every show and it is great when there are so many professional trainers in the competition for me to observe.
While this was only her second time showing outdoors on grass, Denali overcame a lot of issues that previously posed as distractions for her in this setting. She wasn't very sniffy, even though the grass was wet and aromatic. She didn't spook when the wind buffeted the colored tape that marked the ring perimeter - this was huge! We've worked on this and I was happy to see that she's getting it. All in all I was VERY pleased with my girl!
We were both also a lot happier to have the cool morning with some shade in the ring, than the almost-80-degree heat that we encountered last month in Martinez for our RAE-3 leg. What a difference it made in Denali's energy level and willingness to work! Unless we find cool venues, no more shows till the weather cools, or we go indoors. Sounds like a good excuse to head for the shows at the beach in Carmel in July.