Sunset Goldens

Quality Golden Retrievers Bred For Health, Temperament, And Ability


post 33

Posted on May 29, 2015 at 10:20 AM Comments comments (0)


trisha: Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2011 8:51 AM

Sonic is just a wonder and just getting started with Conformation training. He will compete in his first show in June and his first AKC in Canby at the end of JUNE.

At this point he is learning to be groomed, stay beautiful, have a nice gate, and stack. He is very willing and hopefully I'm not messing up a show career, but I've also started him on bumpers, and Rally training. But, I am undecided as to whether to continue with this before he starts to show....

post 32

Posted on May 29, 2015 at 10:20 AM Comments comments (0)


Posted on Monday, May 30, 2011 6:36 AM

Well, started on Sonic this week.

He is now also entered in the AKC Canby show. I am thoroughly excited and nervous. He is entered in confirmation on Saturday and, just to add some stress, I also put him into Rally Novice. Just curious. He has not had nearly as much time as pebbles has had put into him for that, but he is extremely attentive. I'm thinking as long as he is focused on me, we will both survive it. However, I am much more concerned with him in the show classes. Had him on the stacking blocks several times this weekend and working on his free stand/learning stay/creating distance...

His main problem is his obnoxious wiggling when he is being touched/having his feet placed in the correct spot. So that is the focus for this week.

He heads to his first dog show this coming weekend. So we'll see how that goes and hopefully get some wiggles out :)

post 17 from old blog

Posted on May 29, 2015 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)


Posted on Tuesday, January 24, 2012 10:18 AM

What a weekend! I want to start this off by saying that Sonic DID earn his AKC Rally Novice Title this weekend. As you continue reading, you may understand why it is extra surprising and wonderful...

I entered Sonic in this dog show for a couple reasons:

1. I'm not sure how to control his curl yet, so conformation was out of the question. I'm not missing the biggest show of the year!

2. I had trained on him very aggressively for obedience from the age of 3-8 months, entered him in the Canby show, but chickened out because I was already showing Pebbles and I thought the stress of showing 2 very young dogs was just more than I wanted to deal with.

3. I figured with 3 weeks before the show I could polish off anything he didn't remember and we'd be good to go.

4. I work well with a deadline... so more than anything this gave me a goal.

They sounded like good reasons before I got there, but as always, looking back its easy to pick out mistakes.

The biggest problem with that list is that my days kept ticking away and I trained very few of them. I had 21 days to prepare and knowing that I did one outdoor training session and a very short one in my living room. Then, when I normally would've done a crash course the week before, we were completely snowed in leading up to the show. So his prep was pretty much non existent.

The great news is that for the most part he did really fantastic... especially considering I was asking him to remember everything he learned almost a year ago, in a very distracting setting. He earned qualified marks on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday. Rose City is busy every day, but Saturday the ring was surrounded by people about 6 deep and, well, he wanted to look at them not at me.

I was pretty ticked afterward, but the only real person to be mad at was myself. First off, I expected him to qualify because he did well the first 2 days. But this isn't the real problem. When playing and coaching basketball I always wanted to be prepared to step on the court with the chance to win every time. If I was playing, What was my job help make that happen? If I was coaching, What did I need to do to put the best team on the floor possible and give each person the opportunity to have success? Now, that also applies to the show ring. I went into this show with the hope to qualify, not to win. I did not put my dog out there in a way that would help him be his most successful tail wagging self. However, inspite of my missteps he performed above a level that he should have and gave 110%.

This leads me to a few important things to live by- and these work if you want to compete AND if you just have the best pet EVER.


The only reason this past weekend resulted in a title was because (the dog is awesome!) and because I put loads of time and effort in him as a young dog. His foundation was solid. I was asking him things he had done a billion times in a billion different places. Though foggy, if taught it can be remembered with ease.


I've hit on this in a few other blogs, but I can't repeat this enough. For 8 months before this dog show the only thing that my dog has been asked to do was have good manners in the house, run with the horses, play (mud, snow, rain), and eat. That is pretty basic. In my case, I expected my dog to get to this dog show and magically do the stays when I hadn't even asked him to think about one for 8+ months. He did everything else though. And, I am a lucky girl that he humored me. I say this as someone who needs to take her own advice... If you aren't getting the behavior at home, don't expect it in public.

If this weekend taught me anything, it solidified my belief in how important the early stages of training are for setting a good foundation for the rest of the dogs life.

Put in the time NOW.

Spend the money on training NOW.

It is much harder to retrain a dog that pulls on the leash as a 70lb dog than to teach a 10lb puppy that never knows what it feels like to pull against the leash.

The same goes for a dog that jumps on people, chews on inappropriate things, and in general is mischievous :)

It can be fixed or never be a habit if taught from the beginning.