Despite the Q's it was not a stellar weekend. We did four things a day. And only two out of eight runs actually felt good. The others we were not working as a team at all. He lacked enthusiasm even though I tried to cheer him on and rev him up.
I think part of that is me still figuring out how much warm up, what type of warm up, and how to run him at a trial. But there is a big difference between Leo in training and Leo at a trial. In training he is engaged and excited, quick, and drives for equipment. at a trial he is not that dog at all. He scans for stuff, trots between jumps and has barely any obstacle commitment.
I haven't had a dog like that since the years of running kate, my shepherd.
I don't think it's a confidence thing. I think it is a joy thing. In that he doesn't have excitement and joy for equipment and the game. He has excitement and joy for me, and the Toy. I need to work harder at bridging the two. So that the game becomes the joy and excitement. Not the reward at the end.
It's safe to say we won't be trialing again anytime soon. I believe in listening to the dog. What the dog wants to do is more important than what I want to do. I do so much with my dogs that if it turns out that Leo doesn't like agility trials then we will just do something else.
I have put together a training plan to help him learn about the fun of the game. It involves a lot of tunnels and aframes. His two favorite things. ;)
This dog training business is Always interesting!