The Show N Go today was a success - not necessarily because he did great, but because I am really working on adjusting my attitude. (Thanks PR Gang for the reminder :) I'm trying to be more relaxed, and enjoy the time with him in the ring rather than being stressed out when he seems like a different dog in the ring from the one I see in practice.
The Show N Go was in a new building that he had never been in previously, so it was a good experience for us. We did two run-throughs, and I had decided beforehand that I would try to keep it more like practice by helping him and not behaving completely like I would need to in a trial. He was somewhat worried, but his heeling and signals were good. Articles were a challenge for him - not because he did not indicate the correct article, but when he is stressed he just doesn't want to put his head down and pick the article up, so he goes into this 'avoidance' circling mode. I don't know if it is lack of confidence in getting the right article, or if he thinks something will get him if he puts his head down????? Hmmmm, will need to try to figure out how to work through this.
The moving stand was near perfect the first time, but the second time he anticipated. I'm not too worried about the anticipation because it means he knows the exercise - although we will need to work on that to get our timing down better. The directed retrieve and the go-outs and directed jumping were good. I was really pleased with his attention and focus on those exercises.
Overall, it was a good day. Tomorrow we have a fun match at the club so yet another opportunity to practice relaxing and enjoying time with him in the ring :)