Saturday I took the Dobes to a CDSP obedience day -- two trials. A handful of clients came to see the first trial, as I'd suggested some of them might want to consider CDSP obedience, and stayed to watch our Open runs.
My dogs embarrassed me. Ugly heelwork, unfocused dogs.
At least it was a chance to practice good sportsmanship, right? And to demonstrate that our dogs aren't automatons?
I thought about that trial after everyone left, and I realized I was probably not handling the way I train. I was not thinking wholly about the dog, I was thinking about the judge, the stewards, the spectators.... This is a team event. If I need my dog's whole attention, my dog needs mine. Also, I think I'd succombed to boring ring heeling instead of brisk Schutzhund heeling.
So for the second trial, I concentrated on my dogs. Heelwork was still not what it can be, but it was good enough. And we took first and second place in our class. Hours after my clients went home. /laugh/ Figures.
So Laev has finished her Open title -- again -- for real this time (under the proper number of judges!) and will be going back to Utility work. Shakespeare still hasn't finished Open, as I didn't enter him at the last CDSP trial as he was running multiple classes in the neighboring ring. I'm trying to take it easy on the old guy, but sometimes I wonder if he'd rather exhaust himself working...?