Vito was also entered in the CDSP obedience trial this past weekend. I was hoping for a repeat performance of his last trial, this past January, where Vito was very happy and eager to be in the ring with me. Since Vito already has his Open title in CDSP, we entered their Open-C class, 1 run each day. Results weren't quite there, but there were several good points I'll cling too.
Vito entered the ring with enthusiasm and didn't disconnect as I took of the leash. He even did some lovely, happy!, heeling as we went to the mini go out spot. I wasn't sure how he would handle doing the go out as the first exercise but I didn't need to worry. We then heeled nicely to the retrieve spot and he did a happy retrieve. Fronts and finishes haven't even made it to our practice list in about a year, so whatever :) Moving onto the retrieve on the flat is where Vito starts noticing the judge a bit. He gave several glances as we set up but does the exercise nicely. I then try and feed him as the dumbbell is taken back but drop food on the ground for a 5 point deduction and a distracted Toller. Drop on recall was still nice though (hand signal and verbal both allowed)!
Heeling is where I kind of lose him. He starts out great as I power off, but then the combination of having an immediate halt called, and me forgeting it was going to be called, resulted in a major loss of enthusiasm. Vito has a really hard time recovering once he starts to lag, but he actually did a much better job than I was expecting. Even in practice if Vito decides to lag I usually have to stop as just doesn't catch up well even if we're working on little games to help with it.
We qualify with a 186.5
Vito entered the ring happily and stayed connected with me as the leash came off, but he was more worried about the judge. 3 glances were given before even the start of the first exercise, the drop on recall. Vito trotted on the recall instead of galloping. Another several glances were given at the judge while we set up for heeling, with another forward-halt. In some respects Vito did better than on Saturday. He didn't lag quite as much and he kept his eyes on me instead of stealing a few glances at the crowd. Not the pushy heeling I was hoping for, but overall it was ok.
But Vito wasn't quite as up for the other exercises as Saturday. He wouldn't jump up on me in between exercises :( At least he seemed happy to follow his hand target. 1st retrieve was slow and again more looking around was done in between. But then he seemed to perk up on the retrieve over the high. It was faster and he was 100% with me moving to the mini go out spot.
We qualified with a 187. (Actually we earned a 190 but the judge was mistaken and thought I gave 2 verbal cues on his retrieve on flat to sit in front and I only gave 1.)
We're auditing Denise Fenzi's Ring Confidence class starting this week. I'm excited to work with some new ideas to help build Vito's fun in the ring.