Karen (Darrell’s wife and the primary trainer at Summer Brook) is a very competitive trainer in the AKC obedience ring. In fact, in the three short months that we were without puppies in 2019, she trained both Piper and Tara to the AKC Utility level, earned the Utility title on both dogs, and then in just a couple of weekends went on to put 19 OTCH points on Tara.
Karen and Tara
Karen and Tara had a hugely successful weekend during their last trial before winding down for breeding, having puppies again, and then going into seclusion for Covid. Tara received HIT (High in Trial) AND received Combined High in trial, not only once, but BOTH DAYS of the trial. HIT is awarded to the dog and handler with the highest score in the trial. Combined High in trial goes to the dog and handler with the highest combined score from the Utility B and Open B classes (the two classes for those dogs who have completed the Utility title; these are the only classes where dogs earn OTCH or Obedience Trial Champion points). (Piper is equally smart and capable! However, her training time has been divided between obedience and agility.)
During six short months of showing Tara in 2021, Karen has put Tara’s total number of OTCH points up to 70, total number of first place wins in Utility-B to 10, and total number of first places in Open-B to 6. Tara received 6 more combined HITs during these 6 months and about the same number of HIT’s. Tara has also earned an OM2 in these six months and started working toward her RACH in rally obedience. In just a few trials, Tara earned 15 (out of 20) triple “Qs” toward this RACH including winning triple combined HIT 11 of these 15 runs and combined HIT 12 times. That’s being the highest scoring dog in the entire trial more than 2/3 of the times she entered! In addition, Tara would have won at least one other time but instead she came in second to our Jake.
Tara and Jake
In the same year, Jake earned a RACH in minimal time with extremely high scores and at least 7 triple HITs and placing second behind Tara at least three other times. He also has worked his way through the obedience titles earning a UD and then going on to pick up 9 OTCH points (in spite of taking 2nd place to our Tara at several trials). At Jake’s very first trial competing at the UDX level, Jake won first place in utility with a very high score of 199 1/2! (200 is a perfect score.)
The Reason for Karen’s Success in the Competitive Show Ring
Karen attributes all of her success in the show ring to her positive reinforcement motivational training principles. These are the very same principles that she uses to train each and every Summer Brook puppy.