Boy was it cold this morning. Well below zero. Luckily, the building where they were holding league this week has good heat.
I brought Oreo's coat and was planning to leave him in the car as usual. However, when I got there I had second thoughts. Afraid he might turn into a popsicle, I set up his crate in the crowded crating room. I didn't want to risk an injury by not being able to warm him up.
The courses were pretty much the same for both standard and the game(jackpot). We ignored the rules for both, and did training runs.
Our first run went perfectly. Oreo did all the obstacles and ran with confidence. I gave him treats two times (one a small jackpot when he had jumped past ring crew without hesitating) on course.
Our second run, Oreo really hesitated about coming out of his crate. We were one of the last dogs to run, so many people had been in the crating room packing up. There were a couple men standing by his crate having a conversation. I think that was the root of his anxiety.
However, when I brought him into the ring room, he was offering me tricks and seemed ready to go.
He went over the first jump(past a ring crew person), but didn't put one toe on the dog walk. My guess was he noticed the judge and got a bit anxious. I directed him to the tunnel (an escape for him), he took the next jump (past another ring crew person) and I jackpotted him. He did the weaves, tunnel and last jump with no problem. I treated him, then headed toward our leash and exit.
Well, Oreo had other plans. He did a 180 and took the #5 jump again. I cheered! Everyone else kindly laughed.
Oreo had gone right back to the source of his anxiety! He wanted to play some more.
Silly me is standing there holding his leash! That was a big moment for my boy.
My other proud, personal moment was how bravely he walked through the parking lot without freezing in his steps. Maybe because it was so cold out? He also walked relatively calmly back to the car...no death pull.
Overall, I feel as though we continue to make progress. Ring crew does not seem to be stressing him as much. We will work on desensitizing him to the judge.