Sunday, March 23, 2008

anxiety monsters

The anxiety monsters step in... aka when do you start showing your dog?

I'm having trouble deciding when to start showing Rah. There are a few factors coming into this:

1) Finances - I cannot afford the time or money right now to seriously show my dog every weekend - I've got three months where my weekends are devoted to other things, showing in other venues, we have dog camp, etc. Then we hit summer, and I am not campaigning Rah over the summer at outdoor shows - too much distraction, too much heat in this area (for both me and him!). And if I am not sure he is ready, I cannot afford to drop hundreds of dollars at a time for him to blow entries - when he is ready to show and finish his CD, I am going to have to enter him in every show within a few hour driving for his 60 days in Nov A to take advantage of the 60 days I will have in Novice A after finishing his CD to use it to its fullest - and that is going to take a lot out of us. I know we aren't ready for that...

2) Ready for open immediately after? Definitely not - while he would do fine with all the other exercises and he is a fiend for them (he enjoys open much more than Novice!), he would most certainly fail at his out of sight sits and downs - in fact, his sits and downs are what may kill us in Novice. So while we may be able to compete indefinitely for the time being in Novice (but see above - right now I am not able to seriously campaign him in Novice right now!), I don't necessarily WANT to be forced into doing that. Rah loves open work, and I'd like to do it at some point :)

3) It's a silly goal, but a dog capable of getting scores higher than 195.5 is able to qualify for TT - and it ends in July for this year. Why waste showing pre-July when he won't be shown enough to qualify for TT this year? If I start seriously campaigning him at the end of this year, I can put a more serious effort into making TT, if he's capable of that.

Which ones again brings me to IS RAH READY? Am I READY? When do I know? He's entered one day in Novice A out in Harrisburg, but I am seriously considering pulling him for that and just doing more Rally to get more ring time in for him, and seeing how he does and how his attention and maturity has been, and seriously putting some effort into matching him over the summer and see how he does. I'd also like to try some Wild Card (and will have to research if I have to have any titles to do Open Wild Card?). I am wondering if perhaps the better option would be to attempt him some other venues - UKC or ASCA, and see how he does there. If he cannot get a CD there, no sense in trying him in AKC yet, and him titling in that venue will not affect him for Nov A purposes in AKC.

So yes - I think the better option is UKC obedience - which means I wasted an AKC entry, but we shall see...

sorry for the whining. For all I know Rah may never even get his CD, and I will love him all the same. I'm the one that wants these titles, not him... he just wants the dumbbell thrown another time.

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