Today things didn't go quite as I'd planned. I can sum things up with 3 "F" words:
I was thinking of a 4th F word, but decided to leave that one out...
This sums up our Standard run. The run started off a little shaky - the second obstacle was the dog walk, and the judge was hovering very close to Ziggy, which made him so nervous that he slowed to a walk. I had to cheer A LOT to get him down. The next six obstacles (a few jumps, weaves, teeter, table) were lovely.
Then we came to a tunnel. Corgis love tunnels. Ziggy loves tunnels. So why did he stop and start barking?!? After 3 refusals (and lots of barking), I finally got him in the tunnel. He did the next jump and chute ok, but was goosey and barky after the chute (a hold-over from yesterday?), and had a refusal at the A-Frame (another of his favorite obstacles).
As I was going back to try the A-Frame again, we got whistled off the course for going over time. It was more like putting us out of our misery, really.
I cannot explain how frustrated I was. Ziggy was scared/goosey for about half of course. Scared of the judge following closely. Scared of the ring crew. Scared of the tunnel. Where do I go with this boy?
I couldn't quite figure out what happened with the tunnel. Then a friend of mine came over to offer condolences - particularly about the tunnel. Apparently a dog crated right behind the tunnel was unattended and barking it's head off (I couldn't hear this over Z's barking). My friend's comment was, "I can understand him being scared of a barky tunnel. Who would go in something small, dark, and barky?" I felt better that at least I knew what happened.
Jumpers was next and Z was still nervous, so I grabbed some turkey, and took him all around outside the ring (including near the barky tunnel - but of course the owner had shut her dog up by then). My hope was to calm him down a bit. It seemed to work ok, and I decided to take him in for Jumpers.
Anyone who has scribed in Agility knows that when the judge holds up both of their hands (like they're signaling the #10) that's a Fail. No fails allowed. Fails can come from things like knocked bars and uncorrected wrong courses. Nobody wants a fail.
That's what Z and I got in Jumpers, though. He had the second fence down. He was still a little nervous, and just didn't judge the double jump right.
The rest of the course was ok. He was slow, but not as nervous as in Standard (no scared barking!), so at least we ended the day on a better note.
I wish I could say that it was Ziggy and I having the fun, but not so today. Instead it was Rip who had the fun! I brought him to the trial again for socialization. He had a great time (over-enthusiastically) greeting many people and dogs.
As a bonus, I found one of the Samoyed women. She was done with her run, and chatting with a friend. I asked her if her dog was friendly, and if my crazy puppy could say hello. She said yes to both (thank you, Samoyed woman!), so Rip got to visit. The Samy was indeed friendly. The lovely white dog let Rip sniff, leap, and even gave a couple of play bows. No crazy alert barking from Rip today. Only fun, fun, fun with Samoyed!
So that's it for our first trial weekend. I'm left with lots of work to do. Somehow I have to figure out how to help Ziggy get over his nervousness of people following him, and of the ring crew. This dog is determined to teach me things I never really wanted to learn.