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That first show was, well, a learning experience. She gaited beautifully outside the ring, but when prompted to go on the rubber mat in the show ring she refused to budge, and I wound up dragging her around the ring. Not a very dignified start for a little terrier! We went to OSH right after the show and bought a rubber runner. After practicing on that she was fine the next day ("most improved").
Her next show was the big benched show at the Cow Palace on Feb 1st. We'd been attending conformation class to get her more comfortable being in the ring with other dogs. She gaited and stacked beautifully in the ring (not so well on the table), and won Winner's Bitch! Her first 2 points. Later in the morning, she took and passed her Canine Good Citizenship test, so it was a wonderful day all around. She had to stay in a crate for the rest of the day, but it wasn't so bad having lots of people fuss over her all day.
The next weekend was a match and two days of shows at Santa Clara. She was the only female entered, so she got lots of ribbons, but no points as the dog won Best of Winners each night. Still, her showiness continued to improve and she got valuable show experience.
At Vallejo, on March 22nd and 23rd, she had stiff competition. She won her class both days (no competition there) but was beaten in the Winner's Bitch competition by a different dog each day. At Merced, on April 5, Banner beat her on the Saturday to take the only point at stake, and then Sunday, Coda beat Nicky in his first show to take Best of Winners. As Coda and Nicky were the only two BTs entered in the classes, she got more ribbons but no more points.
I had stripped her coat completey on President's Day, right after the last show at Santa Clara. By the time of the Terrier specialty/Sacto Kennel Club shows on 4/10-4/13, Coda's coat had completely grown in. It was a nice wiry jacket, perfect for a little border terrier. It couldn't have come in at a better time!
At the terrier specialty, on the first day, she took Winner's Bitch, beating 5 other bitches. Unfortunately, 1 shy of a 3-point major. Still, she took two points and was quite happy about it. The next day, she won Best of Opposite in the Sweepstakes (puppy show).. no points but quite an honor. She finished 1st in her class and 3rd in the regular show later that morning. On Saturday, she took Winner's Bitch (for 2 points... one bitch showed up late which broke the major), and then Best of Winners for a 5-point major (as their were 7 dogs, making the WD be worth 5 points).
At Vallejo and Santa Rosa, she did nuttin, despite showing well. At Woodland, she won best of Winners both days, and took Best Puppy in Breed during the puppy competition. We hung around to go in the puppy group, but she finished out of the placings, even though she showed very well.
In Antioch (Contra Costa), she showed beautifully the first day (despite goofs on my part), to take WB, which was only worth 2 pts, and then Best of Winners, for her second major. Woo-hoo! The second day, she showed in the heat for the first time, where she was too pooped to party.
At the 4-day Gridley cluster, Coda took Winners and Best of Winners to finish her Championship at 1 year and 6 days old!!! Now, we'll only show her occasionally as we move on to more of the performance events.
At Napa, the weekend after she finished, I showed another bitch in the classes, helping out a compatriot who had too many dogs to show at once. Although the one I showed wound up winning, it turned out that I was a bit too flustered handing off one dog and immediately having to go into the ring with my own. So I did not show Coda to her best potential. She still wound up taking Best Opposite to Nicky's Best of Breed, but who knows what might have happened if I'd shown her well? The next day she showed fine, but so did her half brother Monty, and he took breed.
Our next shows are in Hayward on July 19,20 (Kurt's showing her), and in Dixon on Aug 2,3. Those may be the last until October... who knows?
I've been clicker training Coda since we first got her. Mostly, I've been teaching her practical skills like drop it, leave it, walk on a loose lead, sit, down, etc. No real tricks yet.
Her first test of her socialization and obedience came at the Cow Palace on 2/1/2003. She took and passed her Canine Good Citizenship test in front of a crowd of people. I was so proud!
Now she's training to compete in obedience. We're taking a Novice obedience class at the West Valley Dog Training club. She's now learning a more formal heel, and doing a long group sit and down. At home, I'm training her to heel off lead. We'll probably start competing this summer in obedience.
Coda's pop is a Master Earthdog and her mum's a Junior Earthdog. So Coda should have sniffing out rats in her blood. We took her to her first ED experience in October, but she was just there to watch, as she was too young to try her hand at working the rats. Still, she had a fine time.
In February, we took her to a practice session up in Woodland. She had a blast! She ran Intro to Quarry (tunnel with one 90-degree turn) twice, and passed both times. She's a quiet worker, preferring to whine and dig rather than bark. But work the rats she did.
We then ran her in Junior Earthdog, and she popped out of the hole a couple of times before diving in and going to the rats to work them. She's definitely ready to go... unfortunately, we realized later that afternoon that she was going into heat making her ineligible to compete on 3/1-2. However, we're looking forward to competing in early April at the ED trial in Sacramento.
Her first ED trial was at the Sacramento Kennel Club show. It was pouring rain, very windy, and Coda was very cold. I put her down on the ground and told her to get the rats. She wasn't about to go in that wet muddy tunnel (maybe she's now too much of a priss?) and went overground to get to the rats. Oh well! A little later that day the rest of the day had to be cancelled as the tunnels were under water.
Coda's starting to train for agility now as well. At 9 months of age, she's too young to compete. But we are getting her into condition, and working on attention drills and handling skills in doing turns and handling her on either side. This is a challenge as obedience requires her to only work on the left side. I hope she doesn't get confused!
Bob Griffin of the Bay Team as kindly given us his time to coach us in getting her ready for competition. We won't start training her on the obstacles until we can get instruction on doing it right. It's too difficult to untrain bad habits.
Coda's favorite game in the world is to chase after a piece of fur at the end of a whip. She used this to her advantage when we went to the Lure Coursing field trial put on by the Irish Wolfhound club. Now, border terriers, unfairly, are not considered to be sight hounds, but the club was nice enough to let us run our dogs in practice. They even scored them! Coda, Nicky and Zoe ran the course twice, and had a blast. Coda won by a nose, in large part (I think) due to the amount of time she spends every day in the back yard following that lure.
She's got a keen nose, so some day we might try a little tracking with her. But we're a little too swamped now training her for obedience and agility to do much else. Fortunately earthdog takes care of itself.
Key: Conf = conformation; Match = conformation match; O = obedience; ED = earthdog; A = agility