I am not sure who was more embarrassing.. Ernie or me.
A few days before the ribbon trial Erns had started sitting sideways facing my leg instead of the same way as me.
I was nervous how Erns would react with German Shepherds. One bit him so he likes to get in first. We practised and Ernie was good. No side sits, no growls etc.
It was our first show and we were on first. Then there were 2 German Shepherd at the gate. After a bit of growling I get into the ring. Judge says are you ready. Yes and Ernie decided to do his side sits. I couldn't get him to sit straight.
I thought once we started walking he would be fine. Oh No. He wanted to say hello to the judges. He wouldn't heel. I went left instead of right, and faced Ernie the wrong way for recall. The sit/down stays were with all the dogs.* I got my foot caught in his lead on the sit stay and of course he followed, then dragged me to see the other dogs. I went back to Ernie the wrong way after the down stay.
We walk out of the ring, and to the other side of the building and Ernie is perfect. Sat straight,heeled etc.* ;D
Hang in there, it gets better. The more shows and matches you can go to ... the more Ernie will begin to relax and understand what you want him to do and what he needs to do.
Practice him in many different places. And keep it fun
Sorry you had such a rough time. ((HUGS)) It will get better.
In the future, if there are dogs blocking the gate or even just in the vicinity of the gate, hang back and tell the steward to remove them. No one should be near the gate except the team going into the ring. There is no reason to subject Ernie to other people's ignorance. It's obvious that Ernie was anxious about the other dogs, which made you anxious about Ernie which made Ernie even more anxious. It's a vicious cycle.
Hang in there, it will get better!
Thank you for your advise. I am sure it will get better.
The vet, family, friends and people at the dog club told me not to adopt Ernie as his behaviour was so bad. I think I am so determined to prove Erns can be a good boy I am not relaxing.
Oh my! This will be a great story to look back on as you tell us about Ernie getting his CD May I make a copy of this to stick in my back pocket the first time I compete with Emilu?
Awww.... Kris, you did your best. And you never know what will happen next time. Just recently, I went to a competition, and this girl with a poodle was almost crying in the ring because everything was just going wrong. She did not qualify on that day. Well, the very next day, she and her poodle got the blue ribbon! So, there is always the next competition to do better at.
It will get better. If you read my post "First Rally" you know how we did at that show. Now here is how we did at our very first show in Nov A Obedience. I got a judge that spoke in a very high pitch alot of the other competitors were stoping part way through the heeling pattern and asking her something and then continuing on. I didn't know why till I got in the ring. I entered the ring and Amber sat way crooked and then barked at the judge. I told her to knock it off and luckily she did. I started the heeling pattern and we were totally out of sync I was bumping into her and trying to adjust and she was trying to avoid me stepping on her. We had lags forges wide turns bumps on turns tight leash and then when the judge said "Fast" I couldn't understand what she said and stopped to ask. the only thing we got right were straight sits. On the figure 8 we started off oktill we had to turn..lol then she lagged (I always go right first because she usually forges ahead on starts) then when she was on the inside of the second turn she decided that the steward who was the pole was the scariest thing she had ever seen and tried to get to my right side. on the halt we had a perfect sit..lol by this time I am panicked and just want to leave but the steward takes my leash and tells me to keep going. The judge tells me to stand my dog so I stand her and she imediately takes a couple of steps toward the judge I tell her to stay and she stops. I walked away and turned and she had moved everyone of her feet. The judge walks over and quickly examines her and tells me to return I do and finish at least we had another great sit..lol. We then start the heeling off leash. (by this time evey eye is on us and no one is talking) we start off and go 10 feet the judge says halt I halt Amber goes about 3 ft further than me realizes that I have stopped and sits and then hops backward in the sit position till she is perfectly in line with me. I here a few laughs from the crowd. we start forward again and she forges ahead and then we have a left turn and I trip into her and she jumps about 3 ft to the side of me. we procede and she closes back up we go slow and she sniffs we go normal then left a halt a forward etc we are coming down the center of the ring and the judge says Fast I am ready and break into a trot. Amber procedes to bounce up and down and bounce her front feet to the left and right about 2 ft in each direction. we get a slow an about and a halt well we had a perfect sit. We line up for a recall i leave her and walk to the other end of the ring and look back and she is standing. the judge says call your dog I call..and Amber becomes the incredible doggie missle and I am her target. She reaches full speed by the middle of the ring and isn't slowing I brace for impact. She hits me in the knees with her chest at full speed and bounces back about 2 ft and sits off to the left totally crooked and all proud of herself. the judge says finish and I say heel and Amber gets up and walks around to the heel position and just stands. the judge gives her what feels like an eternity to sit and then says exercise finished. I am relevied it is over and reach down to grab her collar and she dances away from me staying just out of reach. Then she does a few laps around me and won't come back to me I have to kneel down in the ring and ignore her for a few minutes then make a quick grab to catch her. As I leave the ring I get a standing round of applause from everyone there..I just wanted to die.. The judge tells me to come back for the sits and downs. I come back for the Groups and think well at least she doesn't have to do anything but hold still...I walk in then the judge says to place your number and leash behind your dog. I had totally forgoten that this was how it was done. so I quickly jerk the armband off and place it and the leash behind my dog. Amber decides that she needs to see what I am doing so she stands up and turns around and sniffs the number. I panick and quickly try to place her back into a sit facing the right direction I do and she decides that this means its time to play. and jumps ahead and turns around just out of reach I call her to me but nothing is going to stop this lab puppy on a mission to play keepaway. The judge tells me I am excused and to take my dog out of the ring it takes me about 3 minutes to catch her.
That was how I NQ'd my first show. I didn't do much better than that at my next two either never made it to or through the groups. I then went crawling to a freind of mine who has GSD's (one with an OTCH) and begged her to help me. She laughed at my stories and showed me how to train for a show and how to walk and turn right and left and stop and start and all those things that you have to do to make you and your dog look well in the ring. (I am still learning and don't think I will ever know 1/2 of what she knows) All the small things helped a bunch so that I finally qualified with a 196 and won Nov A. She now is making me wait till I finish all three Rally classes before I finish my CD.
So if I can live through that and still enter and win then so can you.
Kelly G and Amber