Over a year and a half ago, I posted a blog called the Side Effects of Good Training talking about how life (and competition!) for my anxiety dog is easier and better because of the training techniques that I use.
Einstein had his last obedience show over 3 years ago and at the time I didn’t know it would be his last time in the show ring. Einstein deals with a mix of anxiety and chronic pain daily and, at the time, he wasn’t going to stay sound working on the exercises in open and utility. After years of vet work, we finally got him physically comfortable again, but the time commitments required with keeping him working at that level and even if he would stay sound came into question. Add in the requirements of schooling for a PhD and Einstein stayed retired. He is perfectly content to sit at home on the soft bed.
Every year, a local club offers a veterans class (for dogs older than 7) and provides lovely ribbons for everyone who shows in the class, customized with the dog’s official name. Since I didn’t get a good retirement run earlier and I am a sucker for nice ribbons, we entered and showed last weekend.
AKC’s veteran’s class is simply the novice class and you can fail exercise, but never NQ as it’s a non-titling class. (Although why they ask vets do stays still is beyond me….) I went in without much training. We did a bit of heeling proofing, reminded him what a stand cue was, and pretty much just went with that. It didn’t really matter what happened! I just wanted to go have fun with him one last time in the obedience ring. (Note: He’s not otherwise retired! We’ll get back to NW one of these days…)
Well, he rocked it. Laid down a beautiful run losing only 3 points in the exercises, the best he’s ever done. We excused ourselves from stays since we didn’t need to do them and Einstein’s… lack of fondness… for other dogs. (The judge thanked us for not coming back when the rest of the group asked why we wouldn’t be back).
This shows me that the good work we do at OHD lasts. Einstein hasn’t been in real training in three years, and never really got much training to warm him up for this show, but these training lessons have stayed with him for years. Einstein finished his CD 6 years ago this summer going 3 for 4 and has lead me on an amazing journey as the dog who introduced me to the world of Corgis and the world of dogs in general. He’s been an amazing partner who continues to show me the value of good dog training even after being retired.
If you’d like to watch Einstein’s run you can see it at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gM4gyeJY07M