Monday, September 28, 2015
I love going for titles! First of all, it means I believe my dog is ready to trial, that he understands the exercises and has the confidence to perform them under pressure. And let's face it: competition by its very nature means there is a certain amount of pressure.
It's my job to make sure that pressure does not undermine my dog's confidence and that during the competition we remain a team working together, playing together, and performing together.
Nevertheless, I've come to 'expect the unexpected' when showing. It goes with the territory. Ya never know what's going to happen--and that's also part of what 'competing' is all about and what makes it challenging. Not knowing is what gives it an edge, a kick. Having a measure of victory over the unknown is part of the thrill.
Under the circumstances the best I can do to help
Devon become more confident
and have a stronger understanding of his job is to take advantage of any
distraction that might come our way during training--and proof.
Our proofing generally is with inanimate objects, such as toys, balls, squeakers, etc. Having another human present is a rarity, but when opportunity knocks, I listen!
My son and daughter-in-law came for a visit a few weeks ago and I enlisted Christina to help me proof. (She was VERY willing, so no arm twisting was required:-) Thank you, Christina!
What I noticed most was a slight reticence on his part. It was very obvious to me that he was somewhat concerned. And he did on occasion make mistakes. The best part , however, was that he could quickly regroup and rise to the occasion.
He is such a trooper. Love this boy!