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I was a steward today at an obedience trial in the Utility ring. I watched a GSD and handler do a flawless run. They won first place. And in the ring, as the ribbons were being handed out, the handler NQed. She brought food into the ring because she wanted to take a picture of her dog winning the prize. Automatic NQ.

Never, ever, bring food into the ring at a trial. Not even during awards. Let's not let that happen to any of us.
 

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How heart breaking.

On the other hand, MF is correct, anyone who has entered an AKC Rally Novice or Obedience Beginner Novice knows no food in the ring.

I feed Babykins a treat before going in, just before where you wait to go into the ring. A judge told me it better be a soft treat she doesn’t spit out in the ring because that could disqualify you too.
 

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Major handler error and someone in utility should know better big time. I can't quite feel sorry for her since that is a major no no, as is entering or leaving a ring without the dog on leash. Those rules apply to agility along with obedience and rally. Food in a trial ring fouls it for dogs that follow. I go several trial site that I particularly like because you can do match practice right before the trial (day before). There is no use of food in those rings so as not to foul the rings for the next day. Everyone leaves their food on the stewards table and goes just outside the ring to reward the dog.

Skylar there should be no food within 8 feet of the ring entrance and yes something that can be easily and completely swallowed. We had a trial at my club where a UDX handler gave her dog a little piece of a hot dog in our warm up area about 12' from the ring entrance. About a minute later while she was handing off her leash the dog hacked up the hot dog in the ring. NQ right then and there.


Dogs can't read the rule book, but handlers are absolutely responsible for know what the rules are.
 
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Glad this was posted. I'm going to be trialing with Zoe in the spring. Since I have not had a dog in obedience in many years, I would not have thought about having treats in the awards ceremony.
 

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Also no treats in the briefing/walk through.

I knew someone who was disqualified in Beginner Novice for rough handling of her dog leaving the ring - they were outside the ring, but near where the judge could see them - she was tugging and popping the dog's leash to keep it from lunging.
 

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I saw a judge stop her ring in the middle of a class so she could leave the ring and take the AKC rep with her to have a "conversation" with someone who was rough handling their dog in the crating area about 50 or so feet away from her ring. The same judge also has asked handlers who were in the on deck to leave and change their dog's collar when the collar had decorative pointy rivets on it.

I've also seen a handler who lost a Q because she didn't have a 6 foot leash for the sit for exam in beginner novice. Nobody noticed before she went in the ring or during her heeling. Since she was already being judged the judge let her borrow a 6 foot leash from someone crated nearby. The leash was a 1" wide heavy woven cotton leash too big for the dog who got freaked out by it.

I also saw someone lose an agility Q because the dog left the ring and the handler reached over the gate to put the leash on rather than calling the dog back in. That judge noted in her briefing for the next class that the guy would have kept the Q if he had just called to dog back in to put the leash on.

Morals to those stories for all, no matter the venue, know the rules! Since I like to be able to check rules on the fly I actually buy the printed rule books from AKC. I know that makes me a dinosaur, but I also never get caught out based on rules and the actual books are cheap.
 

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I work the pre-trial practice for our club, usually utility, and it amazes me the people who want to bring food in the ring!

" we have our own stanchion"..Still no:ahhhhh:

As the trainer of maybe the only OTCH Wirehaired Pointing Griffon said " Train your dog,people." Seems to ME that if the dog went out to the stanchion expecting food,come trial time,you'd have an upset pup.:argh:
 

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Yuppers Martha! Food at the go out has always been tricky business as far as I am concerned. Lily had lovely to to the food place behaviors, but never really great go outs if there wasn't a goodie. In contrast Javelin has never found a piece of food at the go out spot. When Deb and I taught it to him she would give him food through the ring gate for very short go outs Once we added turn and sit I would tell him to wait and then bring him a cookie. Now his happy happy is to wait a long time for me to bring the cookie or better still being sent to a jump. When he throws a nice front on at the end he either gets a jump up release or a cookie toss release or maybe he does a finish and another go out.
 
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I work the pre-trial practice for our club, usually utility, and it amazes me the people who want to bring food in the ring!

" we have our own stanchion"..Still no:ahhhhh:

As the trainer of maybe the only OTCH Wirehaired Pointing Griffon said " Train your dog,people." Seems to ME that if the dog went out to the stanchion expecting food,come trial time,you'd have an upset pup.:argh:
One of the AKC clubs near me has clear acrylic stanchions for their ring gating. One of the very experienced and highly competitive trainers from my club always brings her own blue painted stanchion and they allow her to replace the go out stanchion with hers. Everyone in utility is thrilled because it’s really hard for people let alone dogs to see clear stanchions. She’s not doing it to hide food, she’s doing it so her dog can see a goal to go out to. I like the venue this small club rents for their annual trial and I plan to compete annually. When we’re ready for utility I will be bringing my stanchion just in case. You are right about training your dog. Mine is trained to both a plain wood and a blue painted stanchion but I don’t think I will train to a clear acrylic. We’ve also trained to a PVC fencing. My trainers started us off like Javelin, a few treats through the gate and now she only gets treats for turning and sitting. We’re still training go out separate from directed jumping.
 
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Skylar do I take it to mean that the stanchion is swapped out for trials? We have a "cheese" stanchion at our club for classes only, not even for matches. It is a different color that our other stanchions. I never send Javelin to that stanchion since I don't jump Javvy on that floor. I do practice go outs though.



The hard issue is that we call this exercise "go out" when it isn't really a go out. A true go out means the dog should run briskly and straight away from the handler until the handler tells the dog to do something else (for us Rover Sit). The best performance of this exercises is not to have the dog touch the gate or the stanchion. The dog should be headed to where you directed it until you tell is to do something else. It should not matter if there is a stanchion in the middle or not. The dog should be going to where we send them. I regularly practice sending Javelin to all different places in the ring. He has to target where I send him, not where he thinks he is supposed to go.
 

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Yes, when you get there it’s all clear acrylic stanchions and the accordion gating is white and so are the walls of the building. It’s hard to see especially since the lighting isn’t good. They allow her to put her blue stanchion in place of the acrylic one in the middle of the ring.

Where I train, there’s no specific stanchion for food and gating is often moved around so the central stanchion someone put food on may be on the side gating next time you’re in the building. I haven’t noticed any dog going to random stanchions looking for treats.

I’m training by calling “Babykins sit” when she gets close to the stanchion so she doesn’t touch the stanchion and instead turns to face me and sits. Then I walk in to her and give her a treat. Seems to be working for us. I’m working up to the full length of the go out. I was sending her to kitchen cabinets at first but I don’t have much room for much of a go out in the kitchen.
 

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Wowzer all I can say is there are some judges I've shown to who I don't think would go for that.


I trained Javelin's go out much the way it sounds you are working on yours. He is super reliable despite (or I rather think more because he has never found) there to be any food at go out.


The latest thing I've seen people doing with this exercise that I don't get is having the dog hug the go out stanchion..........uuuhhhhhh?
 

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The latest thing I've seen people doing with this exercise that I don't get is having the dog hug the go out stanchion..........uuuhhhhhh?
That’s weird especially since the end goal is for them not to touch the gating. And I would think teach a “hug” must be a lot of work.

Someone did show me to have the dog paw at the stanchion and I had originally did that. Pawing earned a treat...and somehow that pawing behavior ended up as Babykins indicator when she finds odor. She works her nose to the source then she paws and turns to look at me. So I left the paw behavior with nose work. I’m actually glad she doesn’t paw the stanchion because right now I have her turning around to sit without touching the stanchion. My only problem is she doesn’t always sit facing me completely straight. Randomly she sits a little crooked so I have to get her solid on going to the right jump no matter where she ends up or what she is facing.
 

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You can straighten up the sit by working close to where she will sit. You can lure her to come all the way around to be essentially sitting at front and then feed only ones where she does a good sit. The back up so you are sending her just a few feet and can be right there to reward really good position on the sit as you back further away to a full length go out.
 

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When I was starting in obedience with Lily I read the descriptions of the utility exercises and just did not see how hard it was from the written words in the rule book. Boy oh boy has training it been an eye opener!
 
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