Thanks, guys!! :biggrin55 My instructor is going with me for moral support (and help since I've never done this before!) and she will be videoing me, so of course I will post our run for you when I get home
Time how long it takes him to settle down after you arrive the first day, then you can get there in plenty of time the next day. Mine take an hour or so the first day of a dog show to get their excitement out to be at a "showable" control level! I try to get there and have my crate set up, etc and then give the dog a good hour before they are going to be in the ring. I guess with rally, you'll have to be there earlier to walk the course, correct?
Every dog is different. You'll discover that you'll have a fine line between him being wild, under nice control but pumped up, and getting tired and flat. I find that mine take only 1/2 hr to be ready on the 2nd and 3rd days of a show at the same site.
I'm only going to be there the one day - on Friday. The rally trials are Friday, then they have the obedience trials on Saturday and Sunday. But I will be attending a fun match on Wednesday at the same facility (which we have been to one other time for a fun match), so I will hopefully be able to gauge how much time he needs to settle down and work.
When we did the last fun match, he was ready to go after about 10 minutes. He seemed to know we were there to work, so he was ready to go. I had to stall though, because we weren't scheduled to go into the ring for another 35 minutes or so. So I took him out to potty, sniff around, then back in and warmed up a bit. Honestly, I thought he got a bit distracted the longer we waited around. By the time we finally went into the ring, his focus wasn't the best.
I want to get to the trial about an hour early, so hopefully I can figure out a way to keep him motivated until we go into the ring. I don't have a travel crate yet, so I'm debating about leaving him in the car for awhile beforehead. I'm going to test this when we go on Wednesday and see how it works... gah, there's so much to this that I never realized before!!
Thanks for the good luck wishes, I can take all of them I can get!!