Since Perri's heeling suffered so incredibly at her first (and most recent) trial, I am eagerly scooping up any opportunity to put her in chaotic, noisy environments and practice, practice, practice! A match seemed like a good idea. No...it was a GREAT idea! Upon arrival I saw that there were three rings all crammed into the Gym, with little walking space in between. Perri would have to focus on me and not eyeball passing dogs, nor the Open or Utility rings.
This match gave you three minutes of ring time. You could use it as you wanted to. I had no specific desires, so we did a regular Novice routine, and then with what time remained we did: the recall again. A sit for exam. A sit-stay while I walked around the ring.
I was scolded by the judge in my problem areas - it was much appreciated!
Square Up in Heel Position. A reminder that not only does my dog need to be straight to avoid point loss, so do I!
Walk faster. This was the hugest instruction that I took away from today. Perri has a lagging problem, and instead of walking more briskly, I slow to her pace. The judge called me out on that.
For the heel free, the judge told me, "Now. Walk faster for this."
What a difference! First, Perri has never done heel free anywhere except at home. We walked at a good clip this time and what a difference! No lagging, and no getting away from me!
No anticipation. If you remember, Perri NQ'd in Beginner Novice for anticipating her recall. I had enough ring time to practice the recall two times, and neither of those two times did she break the stay that I put her in. Even when she was facing the entire Gym, with two rings and people and dogs walking by. That meant a lot to me.
Sits and Downs. were excellent. Perri did plenty of noticing things outside of the ring, but she did not break her stays. There was also a golden next to her that kept shifting into "frog leg" position and back into proper down position. It was good for her to have a busy body next to her!