Agility - mistakes on course
I'm stealing a lot of this question from an email my instructor wrote, discussing an issue that has come up a lot lately. I'm interested to get opinions from other people, particularly the agility people who trial and train outside our area, since I see trends that are common here.
What do YOU do when your dog makes an error on course that you have trained enough to feel confident that they "know better"? Examples: You have trained and drilled contacts. The dog hits them in training, you have proofed them in many situations, and they blow one in the ring regularly. Or your dog ignores a clear handling cue and goes off-course (yes, I know, it's often handler fault. But we've all seen dogs who say "screw you" and do their own thing). Those sorts of things. For the purpose of discussion, assume the dog has been checked for pain/medical issues and is clear.
I commonly see people do things such as down the dog in the ring or pull them from the course and walk off. Do you see this as a) acceptable and b) productive? What is normal in your area? Have you seen some form of either correction or reward that is allowed in the trial ring and that seems to have an impact on the dog?
I'll share my opinions eventually, but I'd like to hear what others have to say.