Emily - this is cool! Kudos and good luck with your new puppy<:
One thing that I LOVE about obedience training isn't necessarily the showing, but it's all that bonding time you spend with your dog. It it ultimately rewarding in that all that obedience comp stuff DOES show when you are just home with your dog or out and about.
One thing I still remember warmly from my Danny is the fact that my coworkers from back then still remember him and still remember how obedient and attentive he was. It was a miraculous thing for them.
That's the benefit of dog training well beyond puppy class.
1. How often do you compete?
- Not often. We are starting to get into that season where there is at least 1 trial a month that is worth entering a dog. But I somewhat enjoy training more than I do shows. I do and will enter at least 5-6 shows a year. And keep in mind some of those shows have two trials the same day (which are AWESOME!). For ever trial, I'm hoping to do at least 2 fun matches.
2. How far from home do you travel when competing?
The furthest I've ever driven from home for a dog show was about 2 hours. There hasn't been any need to drive further than that since we have a lot of dog training clubs in our area who have set show schedules. You can tell the time of the year by them. Or something like that.
The furthest I've contemplated entering a trial and ALMOST did so was a big show up in Traverse City last summer. That's about 4 hours away. That's one of those shows I'd LOVE to enter simply because it's indulging in my hobby and going on vacay with my dog all at once.
I've given a thought to driving into OH, IN and/or IL for trials, but that would be for the experience of competing against a different crowd for once. And of course showing off your dog to a different crowd.