August 27-29, 2010 - St. Croix Valley Kennel Club Dog Show at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Lake Elmo, MN is always a big deal. Dogs of all shapes and sizes come to compete in AKC (American Kennel Club) events; Conformation, Agility, Obedience and Rally Obedience. Dogs are coiffed and groomed and strut their stuff in the conformation rings looking to pick up points toward their championship status and vying for the coveted titles of Best of Breed and Best in Show. Other dog and handler teams have worked hard training for Agility and Obedience titles.
Obedience is a long-standing sport encouraging sharp precision and detailed responses from the dog. Minimal instruction is allowed, handlers give single commands and the dog must respond with straight sits, perfect fronts and precise heeling with a total of 200 points for a perfect score.
Rally-O is a newer AKC sport in which speed and accuracy is rewarded, and verbal cues and hand signals are encouraged. A perfect score in Rally is 100 points.
This weekend the Pedersen Samoyeds were competing in Obedience and Rally-O. Stella (Millcreek Boule de Neige RE, OA, AXJ, PT, JHD) is 5 years old, and her ‘sister,’ Flirt (CH Millcreek Coquette O'Polarmist RN, PT, JHD ) is 3 years old. All those capital letters after their registered names tell you the titles they’ve picked up. Stella has titles in Rally, Agility and Herding and before this weekend Flirt had a few herding titles and a conformation champion.
You don’t often see Samoyeds participating in events such as Obedience, Rally or Agility. For one thing, like most all northern breeds, they should never be off leash, because they like to run. Also, Samoyeds are clowns and they’d rather show off or pull a sled than listen to what any human has to say. Sally, the dog’s owner participates with her dogs in lots of sports… herding, weight-pull, agility, obedience and rally. We may even start Flirt and Stella on some tracking this fall.
At the SCVKC dog show, Stella earned 2 of the 3 legs needed toward her Companion Dog (CD title). This is the first of Obedience titles and she achieved some very respectable scores of 184 and 191 out of 200. Stella already has a several Agility and a Rally Excellent title under her collar (dogs don’t wear belts).
Flirt competed in both Obedience and Rally. We learned from this experience that she wasn’t really quite ready for the obedience ring, not-qualifying (NQ) in any of her three runs. Yet on the first day of competition she NQed right out of the Obedience Ring and walked into her Rally run to earn 97 out of 100 and a First Place designation! Flirt and Sally followed up their blue ribbon performance with two more qualifying runs to secure Flirt’s Rally Novice (RN) title.
Congratulations to Sally and her wonderful Samoyeds; Stella and Flirt! See Flirt's prize-winning performance below. (Give it just a minute to load)