Over the weekend, the boy and I took all three dogs to another Circle of Friends Agility trial.
If you’ve read all the other recaps from this particular club’s trials, you’re probably expecting something along the lines of “Well, it doesn’t look like it, but we made major improvement this time out!” But you’re not getting that today because Harley was a rock star.
Not even kidding.
I only had to walk her off the course twice and only once was because she lost her mind. The other was because it was the last class at the end of a long Saturday and she was exhausted. But the rest of the time? Man, she was focused. We didn’t Q all the time (stupid dropped bars) but man did I have a different dog this weekend.
The big thing that changed between the last trial and this was really how I handled things going wrong. Harley is a sensitive red head and she does not like to be told that she is doing it wrong. Before, when she missed a contact or broke her start line stay I would get frustrated and tell her she did it wrong. And then she would shut down.
This time, even when it was a big mistake, I kept things super positive. When we missed a contact or a start line stay I would go “Oh no, we missed something, let’s try it again!” And you know what? She stayed with me. She tried again and she got better. It led to some really amazing runs.
There are still little things I’d love to fix and make more solid, like our start line stay, but I was so incredibly pleased how well we worked together this weekend. It was our best trial in almost two years.