- Dogs that have handlers who are focused, clear and COMPETE LIKE THEY TRAIN. Consistent with balanced expectations. There is even flow, and it looks seamless. You can’t tell who is the teacher and who is the student.
- Dogs that have handlers that TRAIN DIFFERENTLY FROM HOW THEY COMPETE. They work lovely in the yard or in a training barn, the handler is relaxed and focused, and then they get into a competition environment, and they are tense, stressed, have HIGH expectations, and send their dog, emotionally, through the roof. No start line stays, no contacts, stress looping, for sure a ‘blow past the weaves’ behavior, and no semblance of Team. YET they continue to compete all day long, making the same mistake.
- Dogs that have been pushed and pushed and pushed far beyond their skill level, and with heavy consequences, over and over and over. Drilling. These dogs enter the ring politely, have a nice start line stay and when released, walk or trot tentatively towards each obstacle so they don’t make a mistake, walk through the weaves at the pace of a sloth, and finish politely. I have seen handlers throw their hands in the air and say crap like “thank god, our final Q for our title”, and then you look at the dog and there is nothing but a tortured look on their face. That was not fun for them, it was not enjoyable, it was forced, and expected.
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