As most of you know, I've had alot of trouble with Emilu in Open (4 NQ's from her literally freezing in the ring). So I've decided to take her back to Novice for a while and see if we can get her more comfortable in the ring. About half-way through class last week the instructor divided us in half - some to practice DOR and the rest to do the utility sign excercises. Several of the dogs are now practicing for utility (these are dogs that Emilu started with, so I'm feeling a little sad that we are back to novice and they are starting in utility) I decided to have her try the signals. She basically know them because I have always worked with hand signals too. So we did the heeling pattern - signals only, and then the stand, drop, sit, come and finish - all silent - just signals. Emilu did beautifully. She was really "on" that night anyways, and it showed. The instructor asked me from across the ring "and you're taking this dog back to novice - why?" Maybe Emilu just needs to skip Open and go right to utility
Good girl Emilu...Riley never made it through Open because of the out of sight sits and downs..It got so I couldn't even leave the ring without him coming with me..I retired him from obedience then because he obviously wasn't enjoying it and just concentrated on agility..which he enjoyed more but he was a dog that never realy enjoyed showing...loved training but didn't enjoy showing.
If she had always been like this in the ring, I would probably have to decide to give it up for her sake. But when we started showing, she was very happy to be at shows and in the ring. I always gave her the "happiest dog at the show" award. If I can't get her perked up, I'll proabably have to give it up - we'll be OK in Rally, but I'd like to see her happier in the ring. She's really too heavy to do agility, and I just haven't had much luck at getting weight off of her - it's mostly mine and SU's fault, but sometimes you just have to face reality