News & Events

Event Report: Wag It Training Center

Read about this exciting weekend of rally competition. By Sumac Grant-Johnson CPDT-KA

November 2nd and 3rd was a wonderful weekend of Rally at Wag It Training Center, Lincolnville, Maine. There were so many great accomplishments: lots of Phoebe Awards (special recognition given out to teams that reached their personal goals as indicated before competition began), a bunch of new titles, several perfect 210 scores, and most importantly, lots and lots of wagging tails and smiles. 

The author and her dog, Sparrow. Photo courtesy of John Whoolley Photography.
When we began offering APDT trials several years ago we were the first hosts in Maine, and at that time, there were only two hosts in all of New England. Each trial has been a joy to run and I look forward to welcoming our regular Rally participants, who have become great friends, as well as new competitors.

When I was fortunate enough to become the first fully approved APDT judge in New England, it enabled me to be a judge at my trials. I am certainly kept busy as host, judge, and participant, but with great staff and helpful competitors, our trials run smoothly and include awesome Rally fun. 

A big thank you goes to our trial staff. Our trial secretary and score table manager keeps our trials running smooth and always has a smile on her face. Thank you to Carolyn Ross for sharing the judging with me this weekend and giving us lots of fun courses. And, of course, thank you to all the competitors that came out to play.

A regularly requested part of my trials and judging is what is now called "The Speech." I give this each time I host and whenever I judge. I love observing nervous competitors laugh and their shoulders relax as they listen.

The Speech:

"Do you all have enough free stress in your life? (Hands go up and heads nod.) This is a hobby and meant to enrich the life of you and your dog. If you are paying for more stress in your life, I suggest you rethink your hobby and consider knitting. (We had a response once that knitting can be stressful!) If knitting is still stressful, you are just toast. (Insert laughter)

When you enter my ring you may offer me one of two things. Don't bother with anything else. Both are of equal value to me: a great performance and/or great entertainment value. I enjoy watching both. I want to see you support your team relationship and have fun in every run!"

Congratulations to all our successful competitors. A special "Congrats!" goes out to Tracy Snow-Cormier and Haley earning High in Trial on Haley's 10th Birthday!

Golden Retriever Benny smiles while holding his ribbons. Benny is a service dog (and prize winner!) for his mom, Crystal Chisholm. Photo by author.

Click here to see the courses we used at the event. 

Check back soon to read more about the Phoebe Award and how your club can offer it too!

Sumac began training 40 years ago and teaching professionally over 20 years ago. She is the owner of Wag It Training Center and the founder of Wag It Games. Sumac was the first fully approved APDT Rall


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