Vito P-CDX

AKC's "Pre" (non group stay) classes were being offered at this weekend's trial so I decided to enter Vito for one day.  Vito had the opportunity to be a courtesy dog at the UKC trial I stewarded at last weekend and did an amazing job entering the ring and doing his heeling pattern.  Drivey, pushy heeling and very willing to do jumping hand touches for me on setups.  So my hopes were high for this AKC trial.

We were early in the morning and Vito was very relaxed.  But he warmed up well and I had him do some leg overs while waiting.  But actually entering the ring we had no connection.  No trained eye contact leash removal, and no willingness to jump up and bop my hand as we went to our startline.  Heeling had lagging off the bat although he did quickly catch up.  But the judge was a concern as we went into our about turn and I had to give him an extra command to come as he stopped and stared.  A tiny bit more lagging.  

Not willing to jump up again as we moved to do the figure 8. More lagging on the start.  

Rest of the exercises were a bit better.  I got a tiny bit of jump ups while setting up and his recall and retrieves weren't fast but weren't slow.  Fronts suffered quite a bit in accuracy but at least he didn't skip them in preference of not turning his back to the judge.

We managed to qualify with a very generous score of 191.5 for his title.

Disappointed in that I am at a loss how to help him feel comfortable enough in a trial to give me his all.  Lots of ups and downs with this boy.  I already entered Vito in rally in a few weeks at our home club.  While I don't consider Vito to be a "rally dog," more of a flow heeling dog vs choppy heeling, I am hoping that it can help with his confidence.  Haven't done AKC rally in 2yrs and never entered him in excellent before.  If yesterday's Pre-Open run had gone well I was going to enter Vito in Open B the end of March.  But now I'm not so sure.  I think a different order of exercises could help him, but if Vito's worried it's not going to change much.  (And I will never ever do Open A again due to the inexperienced dogs for group stays.)

achieve1dream  – ( February 14, 2015 at 11:36 AM )  

Congrats on the title. Sorry he's still having problems getting comfortable. Is he weird around all humans or just the judges? I hope you both enjoy the Rally.

Laura, Corgi, Toller, and Duck  – ( February 14, 2015 at 3:49 PM )  

Thank you! Vito is fine in show environments itself. His anxiety in the ring is usually the "pressure" of people staring at him and the pressure of people approaching. Vito will occasionally be reactive to people outside of a ring, but the stillness of a ring makes everything stand out and feel different. Even "normal" dogs sense the change in the environment when they pass through the ring gates!

achieve1dream  – ( February 14, 2015 at 4:20 PM )  

Oh okay! That makes sense! Poor guy. I have stage fright too so I can imagine how scary that would be lol.

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