One major thing that I'm learning from this experience is that EVERY dog has their own problems when it comes to agility.
Preach it! Heck, I need to hear it myself some days. I got Gusto thinking I would have an "easy" agility dog at last. Oh, hello new challenges.
This is a big weekend for us. We are leaving tomorrow for Gusto's first real trial. I was so panicked up to the point I sent the entry in, and then this week, I've really been thrilled that I signed him up.
I had a big epiphany a couple of weeks ago (did I already put this here? I can't remember.) and realized that his sniffing and disconnecting is stress related, even though he shows no outward signs of being stressed. I've gone back to how I trained Meg, and am careful that if he gets an answer "wrong" more than once, we go back to something easy and fun and rewardable. So much of the sniffing is gone!
I'm not expecting perfect. I have given my friends permission to slap me if I try to go back and fix anything in the ring. I'm hoping for great startlines, staying with me, and contacts. His weaves have been crazy good this week, with him accelerating going into them but still staying in. I'd love to see it this weekend, but I WILL NOT pull him back to fix them if he misses. Fast, positive, and big rewards. The rest will come in time.
Meg gets to run 2 classes as well. As per our agreement, once she got her ADCH, she never again has to run classes she doesn't like. So she's entered in jumpers and snooker, and if she doesn't want to play, she doesn't have to. I just got home from run-thrus with her, and she was tucking her butt and running like the wind! Gusto is insanely fun and impressive to run, but running Meg again is like putting on my favorite old sweatshirt. She's my perfect girl