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Neely earned his second qualifying score in C-WAGS obedience last night.

Lots of folks around here are entering C-WAGS scent trials, and some people in rally, and a few but not so many in obedience. The scent trials are apparently like a relaxed party interrupted by taking your dog into another room to find a hidden scent. What's not to like about that? Actually, around here, all the trials have a similar vibe. The building I go to has two separate training floors and not much spectator space.

However, I'm spending my entry fees on obedience. I didn't get any video of our actual successful runs, but I had made the below video earlier this year, patching together two failed runs into one file that shows all the exercises.

Frankly, the exercises are a little weird. On the plus side, you can talk to your dog, give an extra cue (usually) without failing the class, and give a treat between exercises. The venue requires FOUR qualifying scores under two judges to title. However, you can skip Levels 1 and 2 if you so desire. I'm finding that if we do lots of different venues, the dog doesn't get bored or anticipate what's happening next (sometimes).

Here's what you're tested on in Level 4:
  • Seek Dropped Item: Handler drops a glove while heeling, turns and sends dog to fetch it.
  • Signals: Utility stand, down, sit, from 15 to 20 feet. There isn't a heeling pattern requirement, but the judge may opt to do one. All I've done is down the center, about turn, stand your dog, much like CDSP.
  • Moving down: signal down while heeling, continue 6 steps and stop. Judge instructs you to call dog to heel and forward.
  • Double Recall: Like UKC's utility exercise, except judge may alternate the drop and the straight recall.
  • Directed Glove: same as AKC directed retrieve.
  • Moving Stand Exam: Same as AKC, except you're permitted to give extra stay commands. And it's not a penalty if the dog hasn't moved. Odd.
  • Go-out: The one I had to train for--it's directed jumping with one jump and one tunnel. Dog must go out and enter the tunnel on the return (same as for the jump). Lots of agility-trained dogs get sucked into the tunnel on the way to the end of the ring.
There's a level 5, but it's a combination of Levels 3 and 4 with scent articles added.

C-WAGS Level 4, July 8, 2018
 

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For me I find it too confusing to remember all the different rules for different venues, but that does sound like a great way to work with a dog that needs to build confidence (as with CDSP).
 
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For me I find it too confusing to remember all the different rules for different venues, but that does sound like a great way to work with a dog that needs to build confidence (as with CDSP).
It IS a nice, low-pressure environment. I think it also gives the handler practice at being competent. :)
 
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