Well I entered a competition last weekend. Yoga actually succeeded in getting a first grade the first time I tried class 3, so realizing that all is not lost, I entered her again.
This time it was in the hangar – slippery floor and bloody cold.
My class didn’t start until after lunch, but I was there in good time – mainly cos Lena had baked buns ?
The elite class was well under way, when I arrived. The exercises were split in two sections and in a random order. I stood and watched three sets og heelwork.
The first dog was focused all the way round and didn’t budge out of position as much as a centimeter. Very precise and didn’t look anxious. Scored 6,5.
The next one was very happy, but came completely out of position whilst walking backwards and the handler turned the wrong way on the backward turn. Scored 6.
Last dog moving slightly in and out of position with an equally in and out focus, which meant slightly slow reaction to stops and turns some places. Scored 7.

I don’t get it.

Then in my class there’s a dog with a fabulous distance control. The front paws are like nailed to the floor and the dog is fast changing position. It scores 9 apparently because the back end moved slightly to one side or the other, before ending up exactly where it started.
Yoga is crap at distance control, when she has to do sit to down – there were two of those in this exercise. She moves forwards about 20cm over all and to top it all, she sits crooked at the end. Score? 8,5!
To make the confusion complete another dog with a good few extra commands scores 8.
There is no justice in this. How can a perfect distance control only score 1 point more than one with all those extra commands? How can I get just half a point less?

Stupid stupid point system!

Then there is someone in class 2, whose dog sits up again as she is about to leave it in the distance control. Because she didn’t know all the rules – and less face it, this one isn’t exactly logical – she gives a new down command. 0 points to her, even though the dog performs the changes of position correctly. If she had left the dog sitting, she would have just lost the first position. Where is the sense in that?
If the first position had been the stand, then the dog would have done it from another position, than the rest of the dogs in the class. Is that fair? Surely the dog ought to be lying down in order to start this exercise.

Merrys daughter, Zoey. Winner of class 3

I don’t go to that many obedience competitions and every time I turn up, I’m always thankful that I can do agility instead. It must be so demoralizing for these competitors, who week after week see there performances judged within such a narrow and totally inadequate point system. What’s the point of putting in all the hard work if it’s only going to make half a points difference? Who on earth thought of a 10 point judging scale, where you only can use from 5,5 to 10 unless of course you use the zero? People who have never trained a dog – that’s who!

Yoga managed to get yet another first grade. So looks like I’m gonna have to show up again soon ?

Much more fun!