August 1st was Jun's first Rally trial. She did . . . a little better than I expected. Which means that she was only distracted and sniffing for most of her runs instead of all of them. And she only knocked over a couple of signs. Actually, she was able to do each station really well. Her 360 circle lefts were beautiful. She did her sits and downs and stands (without swinging her butt around!!) and her sit/down-stay walk-arounds very nicely all on a single command! Her come-fronts were beautiful!! Her one-two-three step heeling was perfect! Outside the ring, she stayed at my side in a down stay, giving me attention, no problem. It was just moving more than a couple steps that she had trouble with. For the past few days we've been practing heeling starts and having eye contact right away, and once I got her attention back onto me as we finished an exercise I made sure I had eye contact before we started moving and we usually started out with eye contact, but after a couple steps I would lose her and wouldn't be able to get her back for anything. Not light leash tugs, not waving my hand in front of her face, not touching her (which the judge allowed for us in our last run). Sigh. What am I going to do with my easily distractible girl?
The end result . . . we somehow managed to Q in our first two runs. Our last run, Jun was super distracted outside the ring and I was having trouble getting her attention. So right before our run I tried to play with her a little to get her focused on me. We played a little tug with her leash. It must have worked, because this was the only run that she started out focused on me and actually heeled very nicely through the first few stations. I lost her a little bit, but got her back and we did several more stations nicely. Then, on her sit-stay-walk around, which she had done twice already perfectly, she got up. Immediate NQ. It fell apart from there because then we had the looooong stretch of heeling right next to the wall, which she had to sniff the whole way. Sigh. It really doesn't make sense that a dog who isn't paying any attention to the handler for most of the run can Q, yet a dog who has a pretty nice run, except for getting up on a sit-stay fails. Why can every other station be re-tried, but not that one? Oh well.
Oh, and what is it with people that think they should tell you how to train your dog? After my first run, this lady comes up to me and tells me I was moving so slowly in the ring and that it was giving Jun more of a chance to get distracted and sniff. Um . . . ok? Do you know my dog? I don't think so. The faster I walked the more excited and distracted she got. So I walked slowly--it takes more concentration from her and gets her attention better. Thankyouverymuch. THEN, as I was warming up outside the ring with a very distracted dog, she says "do you know you have treats in your hand . . . if you always have treats in your hand, she's not going to do it when you don't have treats in your hand." Ok, thank you again. Actually yes, I DO realize I'm holding a treat. Perhaps I'm doing it for a reason. Perhaps it's what I need to do at this particular moment to get my dog's attention. And as I'm leaving, please don't ask whether I got any ribbons. What kind of question is that? What if I didn't get any ribbons? Actually yes, I did get two Q ribbons, but the number of ribbons I got has nothing to do with how I feel my dog and I did.
Lok came along, just to be my buddy and help me stay calm. He performed his job admirably! Love that dog!