A Wonderful Experience
It started on a Sunday night when my parents, five younger siblings, and I were sitting down at the dinner table. My siblings, my mom and I all really wanted a dog, particularly a Collie. We approached my dad on the subject, hoping that this time he would give us a different answer than “No,” which we had previously received. This time my dad said that he would consider allowing us to have a dog if we found a good one from a trustworthy breeder. We were delighted! That night my mom started looking for a reputable Collie breeder and continued her search over the next few days. Eventually, she got in contact with a Collie breeder named Kathy Neil. She had two rough, sable male Collies available who were three months old. We went to see the puppies on Saturday and fell in love with one of them. He almost immediately seemed to know who he needed to impress - my dad. As we were sitting on the floor, he went right over to my dad and sat in his lap. This won my dad’s heart! We took the puppy, which we now named Skip, home that day. My dad later told us that when he said we could start looking for a dog he was thinking we would be getting one in 6 - 8 months, not 6 days!
Wanting to have a dog who knew basic obedience skills, my mom found a local training club - Dayton Dog Training Club - where we started taking classes when Skip was 5 ½ months old, and I was 13 years old. After one session of classes, I fell in love with being able to spend time with him through training. I soon realized that I wanted to do more than teach Skip the basic obedience skills; I decided that I would eventually like to show him in AKC. With this new goal in mind, it increased my vigor and excitement. I soon understood what was involved in showing my dog and was determined to try my hardest to teach Skip what I wanted him to do and to work on my handling as well. I received a lot of help and encouragement from various members of DDTC, who helped me to get closer and closer to my goal - getting a CD on Skip.
Finally, 2 ½ years after our first training classes on October 8, 2005, Skip and I both went to our very first AKC show. Skip was now almost 3 yrs, and I was almost 16 yrs. We showed in Novice A Obedience and Rally. I was very excited but also extremely nervous. We got our first leg in both classes, with a 3rd place in Obedience. Two weeks later, on October 21, 22, and 23, we were at a show sponsored by DDTC. Friday was Rally, where we got our 2nd leg and 4th place. On Saturday and Sunday we showed in Obedience. On Saturday we got our 2nd leg, and Sunday we got our 3rd leg, 3rd place, and I was the High Scoring Junior Handler at the show! Ecstatic does not even describe how I felt! I was so happy, and so proud of Skip. I had hoped we would be able to get his CD in only 3 shows, and we did! Then a few weeks later, on November 12, 2005, Skip and I went to a Rally show, hoping to get our last leg toward our RN. This time we had to show in Novice B, so that made me even more nervous, especially since I was competing against some professional trainers I know. We did get his last leg, with a good score of 99. We didn’t place but I was very happy with Skip. This now made his registered name officially, “Rosehaevens Shipmaster CGC CD RN”. We are now continuing on toward his Rally Advanced title, and hopefully sometime in the next few years, Skip’s Open Obedience title.
I think that Obedience training is a great way to bond with your
dog. I have enjoyed being able to compete and succeed as a junior
handler. It has been a privilege to have the opportunity to bond with
Skip better through this wonderful experience.