The weekend trials went surprisingly well. We didn't get any UDX legs, but I was pleased with his performance - in most exercises. We qualified in Utility both days, however, NQd in Open both days. The problem in Open both days was the drop on recall. He's been pretty solid on that in practice, but with the stress of the trial and the distractions, the drop command just wasn't registering with him.
It was pretty crowded in the building with not much room to maneuver without running into other dogs. That can create quite a bit of stress for Jackson - and for me too, trying to protect the space around him in close quarters. He's not particularly good with strange dogs in his face, so I really need to keep a close eye on him so I can manage that. This was one of the larger-entry trials that we've been to this year, so even though it was a challenge, it was a good experience for us.
What I was most pleased with was his improvement on his fronts and finishes. We have been losing a lot of points on those things, but they were much better this weekend - especially today. Now, the sits were still really, really slow. I suspect the stress of the trial has a lot to do with the slow sits because he doesn't sit that slow in training. OMG, I just stopped to count up the number of sits I ask him to do in a trial, and it's 38! (23 in utility and 15 in open) So, if you have crooked sits, those points can sure add up :)
Overall, I am much happier with our performances at the end of this weekend than I was after the last trial weekend. I felt we were a little more in the groove. And, I got a lot of positive comments from folks around the ring, who say they really enjoy watching him perform in the ring. Now, I don't know if it's because they are so surprised to see a Dane in obedience or if they just think he is a cool dude :) Either way, I'll take it!