It’s rare in an AKC trial to actually get a mulligan, or a “do over.” A few months ago, Page and I got one, and I decided to use it to my advantage. Page had not been weaving, due mainly to her lack of wanting to collect to slow down the game. We were just past our third try at the weaves and moving on when half the lights went out in the ring. The judge gave us a do over because we had not completed the course, even though we had already NQ’d.
When we finally got to run the course again (20 minutes later and not 5 minutes later as initially thought), Page went around the second jump. UGH! Something we’d done so well in the first attempt. I’m not fast enough to turn her around, and I knew the weaves would be a problem anyway, so I changed my plan.
When I walked the course, I knew you could run it with all front crosses or all rear crosses. In my first attempt, I went with all fronts, and I was happy with the results. So the second time when I had nothing to lose, I used all rear crosses. How rare is it to get the same course and the same trial situation and get to run it a different way?
Well, I learned something. The fronts worked better in this case. My dog has much more clear direction with the front crosses. Now it could have been because I did a bad job of executing the rears, and I’ll accept that. But it told me something about my team. Page gets better direction when I’m in front of her and I need to do everything possible to continue to learn to be in front of her.