What an experience yesterday. Becca and I went to a rally practice match, our first. It had high points and low points. Low points I got sick and Becca blew me off on our first run. High points, everyone was very helpful and welcoming, and our second run went really well.

I have a couple of questions for people who have competed. How do you keep a corgi from vacuuming the floor? On our first run Becca was far more interested in sniffing the floor than in me. Also how do you deal with nerves before an event? A stomach bug made me ill, but anxiety made things worse.

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Comment by Geri & Sidney on March 28, 2013 at 12:20am

I did my first competition this February, and I was so nervous I could barely sleep the night before. Did you go with a friend? One of my rally classmates showed up and just having her there helped a lot. And chatting with other nervous folks helped too. I'd say a shot of tequila but then I'd probably fall over on the spirals.

As for the vacuuming, really work on her focus. She should have eyes on you the entire time. If she is food driven, keep a treat up by your eyes as you go through your practices, and have a really good "leave it". Sid had to learn to not pick up anything from the ground from his therapy dog training. It's common for medications to fall on the floor at the senior homes. If you work hard at teaching her to not take food from the ground and to focus on you, it'll go much better! Good luck at your next competition. I'm still looking for the next one in the San Diego area.

Comment by Beth on March 25, 2013 at 10:11pm

Sniffing can either be a stress reliever or an actual hunt for food.  You cure the former by making her more relaxed in the situation with some easy nose-touches and some treats and some happy fun talk.  The latter.... well, if someone can tell me how I'd much appreciate it!   It's one of the reasons we gave up on agility.  I can always get Madison's attention back, but Jack?  Once he decides there might be food present, forget it, even if what I have is "better" than what he's hunting for.

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