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    1. #1
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      Labradorks's Avatar
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      I am so freaking nervous!

      I have been training dogs (my own) for several years, reading a lot, doing some work with local rescues, etc. and when I've taken a break from classes, I always work with my dogs at least on the basics. Over the past year or so, I decided to really get into it. I have been taking classes two to three times per week and a private lesson here and there. I also go to matches with local dog training clubs all the time, and there is plenty of advice and help there (whether I want it or not ). I practice at home as well.

      After several really good runs at matches I decided to enter a trial with both dogs. My trainer said that we were ready and others have suggested that we enter. But now that I'm getting close, the dogs are putting their own spins on things and are suddenly having more bad days than good.

      Before the trials I have two matches, a private lesson, and two additional classes.

      In class last night someone told me that one of the judges was really tough and her words of advice were to "know my stuff".

      Any words of advice or encouragement?

    2. #2
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      It's good to have the bad days ahead of time. Then you can learn how to handle them. Probably everyone is going to tell you the same thing, just try to calm down and remember you are doing this for fun. Try to treat it as just another class to learn from, which you will no matter how well you do. Dogs are human, they have good and bad days too, just go with the flow, try to relax and do the best you can for the dogs. Have fun, really, try to have fun.

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      Charlotte K. (06-13-2014)

    4. #3
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      Quote Originally Posted by Snowshoe View Post
      It's good to have the bad days ahead of time. Then you can learn how to handle them. Probably everyone is going to tell you the same thing, just try to calm down and remember you are doing this for fun. Try to treat it as just another class to learn from, which you will no matter how well you do. Dogs are human, they have good and bad days too, just go with the flow, try to relax and do the best you can for the dogs. Have fun, really, try to have fun.
      Thank you! I suppose I should also remember that at least when Labs mess up at shows, people usually laugh!

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      Charlotte K. (06-13-2014)

    6. #4
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      Just don't freak out - you're doing that mainly for fun
      I always wanted to show but when I finally got my first pedigree dog (Barney) he turned out to be displastic and we never went to any shows Then I got Shelby from very reputable breeder so I started my show dreams again - she was trained from day one & was doing really well so I entered her to the first show ... and the disaster started - she didn't want to work at all, she was interested in everything else than focusing on me, didn't want to stand properly etc. I was a bit disappointed but I decided to give it a go. Just went to the show to see how does it look from the other side & all of the sudden my show girl was back and won best puppy
      I think they just feel than we are getting anxious and get lost in all of that but then we sort ourselves out and our dogs are back to normal.
      Good luck

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      Labradorks (06-15-2014)

    8. #5
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      Go and have fun! It's about the furkids and you together.

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      Labradorks (06-15-2014), ZRabbits (06-14-2014)

    10. #6
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      I agree, you'll do great, have fun

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      Labradorks (06-15-2014)

    12. #7
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      Have fun, and you're welcome to borrow my mantra ... "There's always another dog show". Kind of helps to realize that you can always try again another time. What class are you showing in?

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      Labradorks (06-15-2014)

    14. #8
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      good luck!

      I will add - while it can suck to have a "bad day" on competition day, it happens. Just laugh it up and try not to be too too worried. no matter what happens, you will have experience in the competition setting which is a HUGE first step and just - have fun

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      Labradorks (06-15-2014)

    16. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by Annette47 View Post
      Have fun, and you're welcome to borrow my mantra ... "There's always another dog show". Kind of helps to realize that you can always try again another time. What class are you showing in?
      Thanks, and I think I will borrow that from you!

      We are in both beginner novice and rally novice (one dog in each).

      I attended a fun match yesterday and Linus' new thing with the recall is to just sit there. I think in class and at some recent matches doing the long sits and downs has confused him. He's got so many things he's learning and sometimes it takes awhile to remember exactly what he's supposed to be doing. He's almost a year old so very young (especially for an intact male Lab) and he's doing so much for his age. Overall he's doing very, very well and I am super proud of him. I know it'll all come together eventually. It's my own fault for entering him. I know better than to trust a Lab pup from one day to the next! It was a rookie move on my part and sort of spontaneous so it's my job to make it a good experience for him and to know that mistakes are more than normal.

      I have to to admit that I laughed at his recall (not in front of him, of course, as that would encourage him!). First he sat there. I called him again and he stood up then stopped like "oh, s$$t, what am I supposed to be doing right now?!?!", looked over at something on the ground, looked at me, looked back at the ground, bolted toward the something on the ground, picked it up, then booked it to me with a long piece of crab grass hanging from his mouth. I took it and put it in my back pocket, we did the recall again and he did it and got a ton of praise. I asked to do it once more since no one was waiting and he nailed it so I rewarded him with the crab grass, which he proudly carried around for at least ten minutes.

      Sam, I think, is getting a little bored with rally and I need to step up the talking and praise as though he were just learning. He thrives on that and when we are on, he's pretty amazing. It's me, not him that needs to work harder! He lives to please, have fun, and be loved. He's 4 but has some serious self control issues so we do rally so that I remain more interesting than the other people, dogs, kids, toys, food, etc. He can do obedience very well but has always NQ'ed during the exams (at matches).

      At the match I was talking to my trainer and two other women who train with her who are both showing at the open and utility level and rally excellent (one has a Lab). The trainer and the Lab owner both get HITs regularly. I watched everyone's runs and their dogs were far from perfect, and then they told me stories about things their dogs have done at trials that have been really embarrassing. The Lab owner has even NQed on heeling. It made me feel a little better. I also emailed an old, old friend who had been showing her Labs for decades and is just amazing. Because we live on different coasts and catch up a few times per year I only hear the good stuff -- the 1000th title on her dog, the Dog of the year awards from her training club, the dozens of HITs, etc. -- but this time she assured me that all of these good things are accompanied by the bad. And she reminded me to not only YouTube perfect runs, but try to find typical runs as well as really bad runs. She said it was like reading fashion magazines -- they skew your perspective. She's hilarious!

      Sorry this is so long -- obviously a lot on my mind!
      Last edited by Labradorks; 06-15-2014 at 01:46 PM.

    17. #10
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      I would be super nervous too! I hope you enjoy your time and your dogs will make you proud, I bet!
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