I love training Tom and he works like a dream doing everything really well but we just can't seem to transfer that to shows, I'm not sure what we are doing differently except that at training he does sometimes bark when other dogs are working. Normally at shows I try not to let him just bark when queueing as it's a pet hate of mine but I've been trying to encourage him to do it to see if this could be the trigger for him to work as well as he does at training.
Not sure how successful this has been as we have had some clear, but not very fast, rounds and also some faster but sniffy rounds. I've also tried to stop saying ready, ready, ready on the start line as I've now realised that when I throw his ball with the chuckit I shout ready, ready, ready and he starts running before I throw the ball so I think it may be a bit unfair to expect him to wait in the ring while saying the same thing. He does wait but his head goes down and he tries to avoid looking at me, I can't believe it's taken me so long to realise this, poor Tom no wonder he does his sniffy evasion thing when I'm giving him such mixed messages.
The last run of the day at Keston on Sunday was our best for a long time, everything seemed to come together like it does at training and I didn't have to get over excited and shouty in the weaves to keep his nose up. We didn't get placed but we weren't that far off the winner and creeping slightly on the seesaw and a couple of wide turns accounted for that but it felt great.
I'm not counting my chickens and next weekend I'm sure will be full of challenges but I'm looking forward to it anyway.
Tyler continues to be a real pleasure to have and is a real cuddle monster, he loves people and dogs but I was glad that Nancy & Andy were parked near me at the weekend as I had to ask Andy if Becky could reassure him after a load of collies charged their garden fence barking at him. Becky was so sweet with him and it made a huge difference. It was my fault as I just wasn't concentrating after a long day ring partying and just wanted to get back to caravan but should have seen what was going to happen.
I can't believe he's four months now and is starting to look like an adult rather than a puppy but his ears are a worry as they seem to move around his head and at the moment are sticking out at right angles, I'm massaging them like mad into the right position but I have a feeling I may end up with a wing nut :) He's also discovered his voice and may actually out bark the shelties we know!
He starts basic obedience training on 23rd June and although he does most of what we will be learning I'm hoping that it's another string to his bow but will be assessing the other dogs when we get there to make sure I don't undo all the good socialising we've done up to now.