What a great day we had! I wasn’t really in the mood but Alfie (one of our puppies) was going to be there. It was worth the journey to see him!
I have been training with Lorraine Bennett for well over a year now and with Jo Hill I have done a couple of one off training days and now train regularly with her once a month. Both trainers methods I really enjoy and I find them very compatible too which is great.
I went along with a plan, it was a loose plan as I am still learning how best to formulate plans but it was a plan never the less which is a start. Faith was in running order for Novice and as it looked like a fun round I worked it with her, plan here was a) see what I’ve got b) see what I’ve got when nervous. I discovered things I shouldn’t do, things I should do and things I need to help Faith with like stamina for full round in the ring. I was over the moon with how she did though as I’ve struggling for a while to get her ‘happy’ back and she was happy 🙂
I had already decided to skip both sets of stays as I didn’t want to feel any pressure, we haven’t done any for well over a year and I thought that instead the best thing would be to take part in the training ring stays. It was a great idea as Faith completed a 2 minute sit and a 2 minute down stay without a problem, so pleased with that. Not doing official stays also meant I couldn’t be tempted to compete in Beginners as I had already decided to train it!
During the day the show had a lovely and huge training ring available for £2 a session. I used one set in increments between everyone elses goes, all I asked of Faith was that she enter the ring connected to me and ready to go and I rewarded with her ball, each time I asked a tiny bit more of her until on our last go we did the entry, set up for heelwork and a couple of steps. Boom she was raring to go! I went away and relaxed with her and returned once more later to do one full heel work set and reward then one full retrieve and reward, again she was on it and so happy!
Beginners round was last of the day. Asked judge if I could train but do each element in full then reward it outside with ball, judge was happy with that so we did. There were little bits here and there mainly for me to work on and there was a tiny dumbell chomp from Faith but that was it. Her attitude was great, nearly back to where we were 2 years ago! She was willing and excited and concentrating on what I asked of her and trying to get it right to earn her ballie. Couldn’t have been happier, she got her ballie reward at the end too then swapped it for a few sweets and big hug from me. It would be great if I can now keep this going! All I aim for his happy Faith, after that places are just a bonus 🙂