Sit. Down. Stay. Good dog!
On Mar. 15, Tulsa, Okla. will be filled with some of the most well behaved dogs in the nation, all aiming for the top spot at the first ever AKC Rally National Competition.
And that will include one local German Shepherd named Allie.
Pamela Lashlee Padgett of Conway and her German Shepherd, Allie, will be among the contenders who qualified to compete in the first competition known as Rally. The event, which is overseen by the same group who administers traditional dog shows, such as Westminster, combines elements of obedience and agility. Padgett and Allie qualified for the invitation-only competition.
This year, the AKC Rally is part of the new Companion Events Extravaganza, which celebrates the top dogs in AKC Companion Events. This multi-day event in Tulsa features Championship events for Agility and Obedience in addition to this new national competition for AKC Rally.
Log Cabin Democrat: Did you have to apply to have a chance to go to this national event?
Pamela Padgett: No. They have been keeping tabs on our performances so far this year. You have to have earned a title in the previous year and you have to have scored a 90 or above. I didn’t even know how we had been doing until we got this invitation.
LCD: What’s the process now?
PP: You just have to get all your ducks in a row and be able to attend.
LCD: What is the competition like?
PP: They are really looking at how the dog and owner work as a team. They are looking at obedience and agility. There is a course map, which we do not get to see early. We are then able to walk the course, and there are 18 obstacles that have to be performed. You have to score at least 70 to qualify for any sort of placement. If you don’t score 70, it’s the same as getting a zero. Then they award places.
LCD: Have you and Allie ever competed in other national events?
PP: yes, but they have been specific to German Shepherds, and anyone could enter. It was more of a training exercise. They are still big deals though.
LCD: How long have you been involved with these types of competitions?
PP: I have been training for about four years. I really started just taking my dogs to an obedience class and then getting immersed in it. It was very easy to create bonds with your dogs that way.
LCD: How hard is it to train a dog like Allie?
PP: Actually German Shepherds are very smart and good dogs, but it does take a lot of work. Once you get to a certain level, though, they remain wonderful companions. They’re just great dogs.
LCD: have you always worked with German Shepherds?
PP: I have had German Shepherds my whole life. They’re just the dogs I have been most familiar with.
LCD: Do these type of events require most of your time?
PP: Well, many weekends for sure. And my husband (Scott) is wonderful to allow me to travel all this time with Allie. I’m driving to Mississippi as we speak for another training exercise.
LCD: Always traveling?
PP: Seems like it.
(Staff writer Richard Duke can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at 505-1297. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)