We have two legs so far. We have been in 7 trials. First trial, we qualified, and took 1st place. 2nd trial, a few days after the first, Loki did not drop. Third trial, was beautiful, except Loki followed me out of the ring on the downstays. Totally unexpected. 4th trial, I stupidly went back the next day, same thing: qualified beautifully, only to follow me out on the down stay. 5th trial, we got a leg. 6th trial, would have qualified, but he followed me out of the ring on the SIT stay. 7th trial, no drop again, but perfect stays.
Supposedly a dog that follows out of the ring, is an anxiety issue, not a training issue. Still terribly frustrating, as he honestly very very very rarely broke stays in training or classes. It honestly was not a problem I thought we would have. Laggy heeling, no drops, possibly a broad jump issue, are things I expected…..not that I wanted them, because we certainly train to avoid those issues.
We have been going to different places, places that are busy, to do stays. The other day we went to Petsmart, and I downed him right by the vet’s desk, that happened to have dogs walking by constantly. He maintained his stay without issue (thought this was not an issue before). The biggest test, is for him to be in a stay, with people rapidly approaching him to meet him. These are harder for him, as he is a very social dog, and someone just has to glance at him and he is ready to be loved on.
His utility progress is coming along, though I know that trialing in Utility is far different than training Utility. Don’t know when we will enter the Utility ring. I know that is an extremely high failure rate, so I will wait till I know he is absolutely ready. Knowing that that won’t make a difference:) November right now is my goal, but doubtful. With summer coming, and 3 kids home all day it is harder to train. Especially with having to bring my jumps and ring gating (for go outs) on the road a lot. Weather is also a big factor. But there are plenty of big air conditioned stores that we can practice heeling and signals and scent work in.
So, we are entered in less than two weeks now in some shows for Open. We have a match on Friday night, are staying at a hotel, and showing at 8 a.m. Saturday morning. We are also signed up Sunday. IF we get our title Saturday, which sucks to say IF, because we train a lot and he is good, but we both change dramatically in the ring, we will more than likely go back Sunday. I am really curious if having the title, IF we get it, will make a difference in my nerves, which in turn will hopefully help performance.
Wierd things crop up each time we show lately, his first 4 trials were all very nice, (darn that stay issue!!!!), but the ones since then has Loki autofinishing, or going right to finish without a front, once even with a dumbbell in his mouth! He also stopped to sniff a steward on our figure 8 last time, something he has never done before. So either he is feeling very anxious in the ring, or he is wizeing up to the fact that there are not any corrections. The match will hopefully help this. Also last time, we NQ’ed already on the drop, so I stopped him from doing the autofinish once.
That is all for now.