Sunday, April 3, 2011

DeWitt trial, Day 2

Good thing we rocked yesterday cuz today we kinda stunk up the place.

Phoenix had a bit of an attitude. 


Not sure where it came from. We did gloves and articles okay, although nothing to write home about. Heeling wasn't brilliant either but we managed to get through the signals until the "come" signal. Which he'd never seen before. Ever. In his life. Obviously. He sat there with his ears on his head and gave me the "Do WHAT? No, I can't possibly do that." look.

Directed jumping was  . . . um . . . amusing? We had glove #1 earlier and guess where Phoenix went on his first go-out? Yup. Glove #1 corner. 

He did a great job of taking the jump on the far side of the ring, so I was happy about that.

When I sent him on his second go-out, he had obviously never heard THAT command, either. Go? Where? Me? Now? How about I just sit here? I think he was struggling with some confusion from the previous go-out and decided to err on the side of caution and just not go.

The moving stand was last and it went great until the return, when he tried to do walk-in. Nope, we're not practicing that in the ring! I gave a second command and got a nice brisk finish. 

So all was not lost. It certainly wasn't a Q but it probably taught me more about my dog and what he needs in terms of training than if we had Q'd and I'd pardoned all his little quirks in a rush of euphoria.

I need to study our video, especially ME. Although today's less than stellar performance was definitely a TEAM problem, I know I don't act in the ring like I act in training and I know Phoenix is very sensitive to my emotions and reads body language extremely well. So I may be CAUSING part of the problem . . . although I suspect we're both responsible on lots of different levels. Welcome to Utility!

Time to re-group for next weekend. I've got 3 nights to train before our next trial so need to get a plan to make the most of our time. Not expecting miracles but want to keep progress moving in the right direction so we can have a positive experience next time we go in the ring.

Today, the roast beef sandwiches and Dutch apple pie were excellent.

National Weather Service just issued a tornado watch for us, radar shows a severe thunderstorm headed our way. Gotta sign off and shut the computer down before Mother Nature does it for me.


  1. I'm sorry that today wasn't as good of a day, but it sounds like you've got a good plan to figure out / fix the issues! Good luck :)

  2. Oh those silly dogs always making us think and work harder. ;) But like you said you certainly do learn more when there are hiccups. Hope that training is awesome this week!

  3. Congrats on the first leg! That is awesome for the first time in utility!!! Now, about that second day - I've been trying to figure out for ages what it is about a particular environment, or a different attitude in the same environment, or what it is that changes from one day to the next, etc. that affects dogs' performances. Let us know when you figure it out :)