I remember when we first started trialing - Peyton could have taken every wrong course (and he often did) - but I didn't care. I was just happy that he was able to run in a trial, something that (for a long time) I didn't think was possible. I've always, always been happy with him, but as he's improved, I've expected more from both of us, and have put pressure on myself to be the really good handler that I think he deserves. Notice the *I think* part...of course, he doesn't care how good or bad I am.
So, we've spent the past few weeks trying to find our happy place. I should say, *my* happy place, since Peyton never lost sight of it. :) We've been having a lot of fun in class - lot's of playing, not a lot of thinking, and definitely no obsessing.
We had a three day trial this weekend and had a really fun time. It's against my nature to *not* be over-analytical, but I'm trying. So no more "my fault" comments from me here...if you see them in the future, please feel free to slap me. :)
We're trying a new start line routine - one I've dabbled with before, but never fully committed to. No more hanging around near the gate area - the goal is to get from an area far enough away that he's not stressing to the "chute" without stopping. The timing is a bit tricky, but I think he *loves* it. As soon as he knows he's up next, it's all I can do to keep him from ripping my arm off to get in the ring. The downside is that he is high as a kite (more so than usual) going to the line, but at least he's not as stressed.
Here's our runs from Friday - note the loooong delay at the start and the most excellent commentary from our friend taping.
And Saturday runs - helloooooo tunnels!
Sunday Standard...I missed the walk through, but with that opening (and some quick dog walk releases this weekend), I'm not sure that it would have made much of a difference. It was a nice course though.
And...saving the best for last...we got a (1st place) JWW Q today! Although poor Peyton - he screamed when I was setting him up and I spent most of the run wondering if he was hurting. I think I must have accidently pinched him (such a sensitive spotty), but he might have a few sore spots...the surface wasn't the best this weekend. See what happens when I don't overthink what I'm doing! :)
Such a good spotty dog! And I did okay too...how's that for positive thinking? Hey, at least it's a start... :)