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Tips for Our 1st Trial!


muttlycrew
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Stella and I are entered in our first trial this weekend, running in Novice/Novice. I would love some tips/advice as I want to make this experience as fun and enjoyable as possible for the both of us. I am just a tad nervous :rolleyes:

 

Thanks!!! :D

 

Tips.

1) Have fun.

2) Don't be nervous. Seriously though, everyone at the trial is hoping for you to have a successful run.

3) Don't be afraid to walk from the post. Novice/Novice is the place for you to get some experience at the post, but it is also a place to teach your dog what is expected at trials (ie you aren't going to let him/her get away with stuff you wouldn't let them get away with at home). If the run goes sideways, get out there and get the dog under control again. Sometimes in novice classes, you'll be allowed to finish up if you can get things sorted out even if your run is marked as a retire (check with the Course Director at the handler's meeting or before the trial).

4) Have fun and make sure your dog does too. Screaming "lie down" over and over again at a dog who's in over his head won't help. Stay calm, and if that doesn't work, see (2). Remember, your dog is trying to do what's right, and what you want. If it isn't happening he's either in over his head, doesn't understand what you are asking for, or needs more training time.

 

5) Make time to stick around and watch the Open runs. You'll learn a lot, especially if what didn't work on your run is fresh in your mind.

 

6) Have fun.

 

Good luck!

 

Pearse

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Thanks for the tips so far. They are greatly appreciated. Luckily, Novice runs last on Friday so I will be there long enough to watch a good percentage of the runs before me. I want to sit and watch and let Stella get used to the new environment. :rolleyes: I hope I can find someone to video our run...but I can't make any promises.

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I think Pearse summed it up pretty well.

 

Try to have fun. And go help your dog!

 

Try also think of it as just another work day out on the farm. If you keep your nerves under control then Stella will be able to as well.

 

Good luck and report back how it goes.

 

I'm heading up to Montpelier Station, VA, for a trial in the mud....

 

J.

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Stella and I are entered in our first trial this weekend, running in Novice/Novice. I would love some tips/advice as I want to make this experience as fun and enjoyable as possible for the both of us. I am just a tad nervous :rolleyes:

 

Thanks!!! :D

 

 

Hopefully you won't be the first handler to the post (keep your fingers crossed!). Watch the sheep and the handlers before you, and see if the sheep are light or heavy and where they want to run to. Watch each run and think about how you and your dog would react in the same situation, and about where to place your dog. Don't let your dog watch as he should be able to easily spot the sheep on a novice course and you don't want him wound up. Novice runs usually go by very fast, so concentrate on keeping your dog back, and flanking slowly. Watch the ranch and open classes to help you see how the sheep and dogs react to different situations and how other, more experienced, people get their work done.

Karen

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"Take a deep breath" is good; however, remember to let it out and not hold it too long. Breathe. Breathing is good. This is not offhand advice.

 

Also: control the speed of the fetch, and when you go to the pen, do not take your eyes off of your dog.

 

Go to the pen. Don't block the entrance. Hold the rope. Breathe. Calmness at the pen and during the run helps keep the sheep calm.

 

Penny

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