Agility is my sport.
I went to an AKC Obedience trial today. It's never been high on my agenda, but I like going to dog stuff and it was nearby (almost died nine times driving in the mushy snow, but that's besides the point).
I have never been in a room of more negative people. :(
(Note that I'm coming from this fresh off my Positive Dog Training Affirmation)
I'd say something like 97% of the dogs there were on choke chains. The other three percent were on martingales. I don't think it's because their necks are bigger than their heads, either.
No one seemed happy with their dogs or their run. There were lots of angry faces during their turn, even when those people went on to get 199.5/200. These are not untrained dogs, people. I get that it's in the rules that you can give practically no feedback or additional information during the run, but come on! Stop yelling at your dog to sit! Remember that part where they hear better than people?
But what killed me most is that there was no sense of humor. (This is a big deal to me; I don't know if you know this but I'm funny) I was watching the one miniature schnauzer entered and a woman sat down next to me and asked me if they were getting in. I kind of chuckled and said, "Well, kind of," because the schnauzer was being a schnauzer, which is to say he got out there and did whatever the heck he wanted to, and if that happened to coincide with what his handler wanted, so much the better. And she just looked at me with disgust and asked, "Well are they or aren't they?" So I had to confess that I didn't know and she totally dismissed me.
Come on people. This is dogs. Dogs are weird. Yes, even your three-times-a-champion UDX golden retriever. Dogs do funny things. This is part of why we hang out with one another. I understand wanting a title (because I do love to win) and not wanting to waste money (Hi, I'm a college student), but come on. It's. Just. Dogs.
So no AKC Obedience for us. Part of me wants to train the heck out of G and show those 40-year-old women ~*The Power of Positive!*~ (with a miniature schnauzer none the less). But to be honest? I was bored. Watching obedience isn't like watching agility. In agility, even though the course is the same for everyone, everyone runs it differently. And heck, it's exciting. In obedience, everyone does the exact. same. thing. Which, is kinda the point. And is boring. The most exciting part is hearing what words people use as cues. Because even their hand signals are the same.
Tomorrow I'll write up my review of When Pigs Fly: Training Success with Impossible Dogs, the other dog training book I got. In short: It answers my "How?" and I like it very much. Lots of updates while DF is pitching a fit at me.