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Old 07-08-2009, 07:51 PM   #11
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I have to agree with Furbs.

The confusion is also largely due to the fact that you are extremely nervous about the final day and that you are upset. Believe it or not Shara will definitely pick up on this and only behave more strangely, whether you notice it or not this frustration slips into your tone and your dog picks that up very easily even if other humans can't.

Funny thing is, currently I'm reading a book called The Perfect Puppy by Gwen Bailey, and last night I was reading how she states that people that go into these competitions for the fun of it are usually much more successful. Is it possible that you will be embarrased because shara slipped up? Yes, there is a possibility of that, but keep in mind that you aren't the first that this has happened to and you most definitely wont be the last.

Lastly, if for some reason Shara isn't listening to you because you two are connecting, then the thing is you need to work more on bond building and not so much the training aspect, YOU have to be the center of your dog's world and that way she'll be oblivious to whomever the judge is.

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Old 07-08-2009, 08:22 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Furbilator View Post
I agree with the other posters that you need to relax and see the competition as a learning experience. The dog is possibly picking up on your stress and reacting in weird ways maybe ways that are intended to eliviate your stress. How does the dog know that you are further stressed by his antics? And may I gently and respectfully suggest that you take your ego out of the equation. I know you worked hard, spent lots of money and time and perhaps have a reasonable expectation of results but by focusing on the goal so much and being fearful that you will be embarassed only makes the situation worse.

I knew a guy who had raised champion field trial labs who fumed and fussed that his young lab, whom he had devoted lots of time, money and effort into, became 'stupid' during the trial and wouldn't retrieve a thing. His brother who was also a competitor and had raised as many champions took the same dog later in the week and laughed off the pups booboos where by the end of the competition the dog had relaxed and was performing much better. Yes, he lost out on the awards but the next time he was in competition the first brother relaxed and they did much better.

Like the others have suggested, continue to practise and use the competition as a learning experience for both of you.

I completely agree with or not, the dog has feelings and it really seems like you have no faith and you're being pretty harsh. I wouldn't work too hard for someone who was always talking about my eminent "epic failure" either.
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:05 PM   #13
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Just to give you some perspective on being embarassed, I was watching a dog show at the high levels and an experienced dog suddenly got a case of the runs....and I mean all over the ring eek: . Now not only was the handler covered in liquid poo, but even the judge was anointed in liquid poo. The dog and handler left the competition as the dog wasn't well enough to compete anymore but the judge and the handler both took it in stride and had a good laugh about it afterwards (they interviewed them). Now I don't think your pup will be THAT bad but even if she is it just means you have more work to do and like JrK9 said, maybe need more puppy and me time.

Good luck and most of all have fun,
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Old 07-09-2009, 12:22 AM   #14
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You know, the thing I like most about dogs are their lovable and loving antics. I've been to a few conformation shows with friends, and many obedience, rally, tracking and agility trials. I remember a few of the winners, but mostly I remember the dogs that acted up a little and then flashed a fabulous grin at the giggling crowd. You can train a dog to do almost anything, but inside they're still just lovable dogs.
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