Show Quality German Shepherds for Family Protection, Personal Security, Schutzhund, Search & Rescue, Guard Dogs, Seeing Eye Dogs, Professional Dog Training, Stud Service and Pet Quality K-9 friends from Montana at affordable prices.

Adventures on the Ranch
Rhett gets BOTH Novice Agility Titles & his Open Standard Title !
-----I went to a really BIG agility trial in Blackfoot, Idaho several weeks ago. It was about a 6-hour drive so I went down Wednesday morning and we arrived in Blackfoot about 4:00. The directions in the premium seemed kind of confusing but I figured when I got there it would make sense....wrong! In the premium it said follow the directions to the fairgrounds except do this, this and this. OK.... once I got there both set of directions were completely different! So I decided to follow the signs to the fairgrounds instead of the premium directions - I really didn't want to get lost with that big trailer. Following the signs did get me to the fairgrounds and after making a partial circle around it and getting a bit lost as to which gate to enter we pulled up to the "registration" booth. The fairgrounds there is HUGE and because there was a big conformation show and obedience trial going on there in addition to the agility trial it took a massive amount of organization and planning to make everything come together. At the registration booth they want to know who you are - etc. and then have someone on a bike take you to your parking place. Everything is all mapped out before hand and I must say the people that planned that event did a great job because everything went really smooth as far as I know.
-----I got parked, let the dogs out and started getting things set up for the weekend.
Thursday morning, I got up and let the dogs out, ate breakfast and then went to the secretary and got my numbers and patterns. Novice Jumpers was my first class and the second class of the day. I had to wait through the excellent class which was HUGE!
-----They called for the walk through for my class so I figured out exactly what I was going to do - or at least my "plan". Thursday was small to tall dogs so I was at the end of the class - they had to go through all the 4,8,12,16 and 20 inch dogs first. Finally! My turn and Rhett was awesome. He Qed and won first place! I had to wait through several more classes and then the Novice Standard class was up - again I did my walk through and figured out how I wanted to direct him through the pattern. Once again, Rhett was awesome and Qed and won that class too ! I'm so proud of him - he is so new to all of this but he handles everything like a pro.
-----In AKC agility there are 2 different classes - Standard and Jumpers. The standard class is where they have to do jumps and the see saw, A frame, dog walk, table, tunnels, and weaves. The Jumpers class is all jumps and weaves. When you get into the excellent level and try to go for your Masters the dog has to be able to Q (Qualify) in both jumpers and standard. In AKC there are also 4 levels and each dog has to start at the beginning and work their way up. They start in Novice, then Open, Excellent A and finally Excellent B where they can get their Master Agility Championship. And each class they move up the patterns are harder and they have less time to complete them.
-----Ok, back to the trial. The second day Rhett did great and qualified and won the standard class! He completed his Novice Standard Title and tomorrow could move up to Open ! In the jumpers class today he knocked a bar down which is an automatic DQ in AKC....but other than that he was great.
-----The third day he knocked a bar in both the standard and jumpers class, which is very unusual for him so I looked at a video my friend took of the class and realized both times he knocked a bar I called him as he was in the air over the jump to get his attention and both times he turned to look at me while he was jumping and down came the bar - it was purely my fault and a good lesson learned! Don't call out the next command until he is OVER the jump! But he did debut in Open Standard and was great - he handled the pattern well and was plenty under time to qualify.
-----Sunday was the 4th and last day. He Qed in Jumpers and won so he got his Novice Jumpers Title!!! I also ran him in Open Standard again and he qualified AND won first again !! Yeah! What a way to start in the open class.
-----It was a long hot weekend and we were all more than ready to head home even though we had a long 6-hour drive ahead of us. I couldn't have asked for a better weekend - my "Novice Dog" at his 3rd trial EVER got both of his Novice titles AND 1 Qualifying run in Open. What a dog, what a dog.
-----It was fun to be at such a huge trial. After our agility runs I would walk around the grounds and watch some of the conformation dogs. The fairgrounds is HUGE and it was just packed full of fancy motor homes, RVs, dog trucks, vendors, and tons of people and dogs. It was a really fun experience - especially having one of the best dogs in the world as my competition partner.
Billings, Montana trial July 22-24 Rhett gets his Open Standard Title!!
-----After Idaho our next trial was in Billings, which is about 5 hours away from us. It was extremely hot - about 95 during the day…. So it was both a mental and physical challenge for both handler and dog to stay cool enough and focused enough to compete ! It was indoors but that didn't help much - it kept the sun off of us but there was no air flow to speak of so it was miserable! I kept the dogs in the trailer with air conditioning as much as possible, which helped!
-----Rhett got his Open Standard title at this trial! YEAH! Rhett and I both began agility on March 10, 2005. Before that the ONLY thing I knew about agility is you jumped dogs and it looked like fun. When I started out I never expected to advance so quickly - 4 months and 4 trials later Rhett has both of his Novice Titles and his Open Standard. We are now competing Excellent A and when he gets 3 legs in there he will have his excellent title and then we will move into Excellent B - where he can then start getting points. I am so excited - he is such a great dog! So willing and honest - he always does what I tell him ( I don't always tell him the correct thing ! and so if there is a mess up out there it is my fault - but hey, we are learning! And I am sure Rhett would say something like "Finally!")
-----Till Next Time,
-----Leah and Everyone at Omega Shepherds


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