Match First: Off-Lead Rally

Livi finished her Rally Intermediate title in November and we are working toward her Rally Advanced title, which is the first level of Rally where the entire performance is off-lead. At this point, we’d gone off-lead once in class before the Christmas/New Year’s holiday break. I decided to try an Advanced level match and drove up to Flint for a match hosted by the Companion Dog Training Club.

When we got to the match I signed her up for Advanced, but then discovered the Advanced match was being held in the same ring as Excellent and Master. While there were some stations with Advanced signs beside higher level ones, I was going to have to bypass some others that only had the higher level signs. I decided to switch rings to the one that was just set up for Novice and Intermediate, and just do the exercises I was already familiar with off lead. Livi did great!! I did have food out to keep her attention, but only gave her treats a couple times on the course.

I was very pleased with our performance. This was only the second time we’d gone off lead away from home, in a crowded venue neither one of us had ever been to, having her stay with me the entire time was very good.

I have to share a piece of Bull Terrier training humor. When I realized how hard the upper level ring was going to be for us, I went back to the registration table and told them I wanted to switch. One of the club members tried to persuade me to give it a try anyway. “I did it with my 5 month old puppy!” she told me. I asked what breed her puppy was. “A Golden Retriever” I replied “I have a Bull Terrier.”

Livi poses with her Rally Intermediate loot from the Toledo Kennel Club trials