Ummm, not so much. :
Oh well, Angus did alright. The first run was better than the second.
On the first run, our host/judge excused himself to use the facilities right before our run, so he called in a substitute. Let's just call her "Mean Marge." Mean Marge teaches the Open class at our club. I am a little afraid of her. Right before we were up, Angus tried to help her drink her coffee. She was not at all amused.
We went in the ring and Angus did a very decent job of heeling. The attention was not great, but he managed to mostly stay in position. We did both our heels on-leash and it was going very well. His figure eight was not bad either...I tend to lose him a bit going to the right, but with some coaxing he came on around. His attention during figure eight is usually better than heeling.
Then came the stand. Man, that Angus can pop a stand like nobody's business. I have yet to run across a judge who didn't comment about it. This one commented three times! The last thing she said to us before we left: "And I just want to say again, that was such an impressive pop-up stand." ;D Mommy managed to screw that one up...I told him to stay, then positioned him, then told him to stay again. :-[ She said I'd have lost ten points on that!
The recall. Angus is either beautifully perfect, or he is chasing down a hairball. This time he was almost beautifully perfect...the front was a bit crooked. But we always receive good reviews for his enthusiasm. He never comes to front halfheartedly. Well, he doesn't do anything halfheartedly, does he? :P She commented on his speed and enthusiasm. I was feeling pretty good.
Then our second run. Our host was back. And Angus was done. Bored with sitting around, not pacified by a short walk, he was ready to wrap it up.
Angus didn't look at me once during heeling, resulting in my having to "pop" the leash to bring him to the right place about six times during the patterns. : Figure eight was OK I guess, and he did do his sweet little stand for us.
The recall. It started out beautifully perfect. And then...no, not a hairball...it was a piece of tape on the floor. Fascinating. It's not every day a dog runs across a piece of tape, apparently. He veered at the last second and went over to check it out. The host told me to put him in a front. I grabbed his collar on both sides and went to position him, and Angus starts busting out the Alligator Death Roll. Thank goodness it didn't go into full roll mode, and it ended with just a little mouthing to my arms. For this, I considered it my very lucky day. But the host (also our private trainer) was not so impressed. "Was he trying to bite you??" :-[
Me, weakly: "Well, he was just mouthing." :-[
"That's just sassy. I wouldn't let him get away with that. He doesn't respect you." :-[
I am embarrassed beyond belief. Mostly because I know he's right. Angus is back talking. :-\
Then I tell him to finish right, and he does a flip finish to the left, underscoring the fact that I'm not going to get my way with him about anything else today. >
So, I don't know what to think. It started out good. The host told us we did a good job as we left the ring, and I think he meant it. We did do "OK." But it was one of those days where you go home asking yourself, "Is this ever going to happen? Am I cut out for this? Is he cut out for this?"
We don't have classes for another seven weeks. I would really love to use this time to do something. Something different. Take it up a notch. I feel like we have reached a plateau, but I'm not sure what needs to happen to take it to the next level.
I'd be happy to listen to any ideas anyone has on this!
Connie and "The Boys":
Angus, Yellow Lab, CGC, RE, CD
Simon, d.b.a. Flat Coated Retriever, CGC, RE, CD
Gone ahead, but forever in my heart:
Crash, Pit Bull x Rottweiler x Golden Retriever
Dogs do plateau - Wesley did it. I had to reach WAY above him challengewise and start some open work and mix that into his training regimen to keep him interested and THINKING again. (And believe me, he's still doing a LOT of thinking: "I'll THINK about DOR; I'll THINK about ROF; I'll THINK about ROJ.....") Because he had the whole drill down pat - heel, fig8, recall, sits, downs, yawn.
Use your seven weeks to really challenge Angus.
Other than all that, EVERY TIME he goes in the ring, it's a positive thing and a step in the right direction. Lookit what he got right, not what he needs to improve on. I remember it being a MAJOR accomplishment when Wesley would NOT LEAVE THE RING during exercises!!!!!!
I don't know if you have started him or not but have you ever thought of starting him with agility. I have heard it helps with thinking ( they have to learn their feet are connected to their brain and they can put them in specific designated areas) and with confidence, if they need help with that too. Besides with the running around it will help keep them in shape.
Ohhhhh Connie! I am absolutely clueless as to what to suggest but I must tell you that every time you post about the obedience (or any other) performances, I am laughing, smiling, chuckling, guffawing, saying awwww too bad, then snickering and giggling throughout.
Angus will get there, I'm sure, but in the meantime while he's NOT there your posts are a damned good read!
Seamus and Flynn
Ohhhhh Angus Angus Angus!! ;D
No advice, but boy, it's never a dull moment in the ring with Angus!!
I feel your pain... I know just how it feels when they decide that they're done, right in the middle of the exercise or run. LOL!
What Nance said!! also your too funny Mean Marge
A priceless description! I feel like I was right there with you. Sorry that it didn't work out as planned, but at least you were able to keep your sense of humor intact.
Angus, Angus, Angus.* You silly boy!
I absolutely agree with izzy on trying agility.
After Shelby got her CGC she seemed to develop the attitude "been there, done that", and she would invent ways to do things just a little bit differently each time. I thought she was adorable and creative but trainers and judges didn't pick up on that at all.
We did agility just for fun.
Agility takes tons of energy - good for you and good for lab/goldens. Dogs must watch, obey handlers in order to work up speed and receive praise.
Agility actually turned Shelby's obedience up a notch because she was suddenly enjoying it again.
Go for it!!
<br />Shelby and Maddie<br />Springfield, MO
I love your stories, Connie...I feel every emotion like I was there myself..you are very driven and I think it is wonderful that you haven't given up..I gave up because I was too self conscious to battle all the events, people, pitfalls, etc. that you describe...working with your dogs...
Oh Angus! I love your stories too, and save them all to read again when I actually get Emilu in a ring and she pulls the same stuff. Angus reminds be so much of Emilu, although I think Angus might just be a little more "Angus" than Emilu