On Saturday, I was pretty nervous. A training buddy came down to help cheer us on and she reminded me to smile at Tanner and to keep my posture upright. These are the little things that tend to slip when I (and most people) get nervous. When it was our turn, we did pretty well. But, we could have done better.
Well, let me rephrase that, I could have done better. We had to repeat a station because we were out of sync. A couple times, when he lagged a little in heel, I turned my head to look back at him. This made me drop my shoulder back as well which is a signal to him to drop back. You can see where this is going. I pushed him back out of position. As a handler, it is important to keep your body pointed forward, even when you are turning right and your dog drifts out of your peripheral vision. Looking back at your dog makes the dog lag.
Anyway, you can see the video here:
But, the good part is we still scored a 93 out of 100 which is a respectable score. The best part is, he earned his first leg towards his Rally Novice title! Our judge was Sue Cox. She is a really nice judge. Her pencil doesn't miss much but she is fair and kind.
On Sunday, we did do better! I kept myself calm, I remembered to breathe and smile. I didn't look back and just trusted that he would be where he needed to be. There were a lot of right turns on this course! I still had to repeat a station because I sent him to finish to the right instead of the to the left. Nonetheless, he responded well to his smiling handler and earned lots of compliments.
Here is the video:
We earned a score of 95. Our judge, Marsha Carroll Dandridge, was very complimentary on his heeling abilities. She literally gushed over how wonderful he worked for me and what a great dog he is! Of course, this made me very happy! I love my boy and it's nice when everyone else loves him too! We enjoyed showing under Marsha. Her pencil was sharp as well but she was fair and good to her exhibitors.
We just need one more novice rally leg in order to be able to add RN after his name! He will be the 4th one in his litter to add a performance title!