I remember having promised to keep you English-speaking readers more up-to-date... Did I keep my promise? Not so well! If you have been checking the blog nonetheless, you might have picked up that we had our first obedience trial last weekend! The trial was a huge thing for me, as we had been training for over a year for that. Luumu is such a perfect little training buddy, as he is always ready to work and loves to do stuff for reward. I took some time to figure out what the best reward for Luumu is: his super reward is definitely a furious tug-of-war, but nowadays he works eagerly also to get treats (we use Natural Menu dog food as treats, and when I am diligent enough, I'll boil some pig or chicken heart).
Back to the obedience trial! As you know my sometimes hysterical nature, you might think I was a nervous wreck before the trial. Believe it or not - I wasn't. I really could focus on showing the best of our skills, and we had FUN! I really didn't imagine beforehand how wonderfully exiting competing could be. And wonderfully so, because I wasn't breaking into pieces because of my nerves. I think the main thing that was different during the trial day, was the fact that I really needed to think through what Luumu needed to do in order to maintain the best possible energy level. We staffy owners know that the little fellers usually have their foot on the gas pedal all the time, and when training (not to mention when competing) obedience, the best possible energy level is not the highest one. So we woke up in the morning, threw some tennis balls on the field, went to the forest and then threw some tennis balls again. So when we stepped into the trial ring, Luumu had been running rampantly all morning, and (physically) had no need to run rampantly in the ring.
I won't deal with the individual movements in detail here, but you can see our performance as a whole in YouTube by clicking here. The best score for each movement is 10. Out of 200 points, we got a total score of 169 points, which qualifies for the first prize (3rd prize: 100 - 139.5; 2nd prize: 140 - 159.5; 1st prize: 160 - 200). That means that we are qualified to move up to the second class, if we wanted to. But if we wish (and we do), we can also try to achieve three 1st prizes from the first class before moving up to the second class. The reason I still want us to compete in the first class is to gain some more experience in competing, and the fact that our movements for the second class are still incomplete.
I was so proud of us both! Of me, because I was not panicking too much, and of my precious blue baby for behaving so well in a stressful situation. The judge said that I have done a really good job harnessing Luumu, because staffies do everything at full speed. With our 169 points we were 3rd of all the 10 dogs, and won the club championship! I must say that I am so proud, so proud, so proud... You will hear great things of us in the future! (And the more positive news on staffies the public will see, the better, of course!)
The photos taken during our obedience trial can be seen in my Finnish post. I'd like to end this post with some delicious pictures I took during cooking some rewards. Here, I am boiling some pig heart for reward treats. Yummy.
|Owning a dog has made me get used to |
handling all sorts of yucky stuff.
|Luumu is an eager sous-chef|
|Cooking food for both of us at the same time. |
Sanitary? Most likely not.
|After a while...|
|Keeping an eye on the kitchen.|
|Boiled pig heart|
|Chopped pig heart|
|Luumu monitoring the chopping process.|
|Ha! Something else!|
My second-ever mud cake, and this time a wonderful success.
|Luumu keeping an eye on the mud cake, too.|
|We have been baking a lot the past days.|
This morning, we baked some curd cheese cake
to cheer up our training group later today
(for the great success in the trial!)
|I tried to capture Luumu & Napsu in the same pic, |
but this is how it ended up...