We were entered in an obedience trial today at the club where I train. He usually doesn't do well at all in that building for some reason - even though he's familair with it. Today though, he held it together and qualified in both Utility and Open for his 8th UDX leg!!!!!
It wasn't always pretty - he was true to form with his slowdown in the ring. There was more walking than trotting and some crooked fronts and finishes, but he did all the exercises. I thought we were going to NQ with the first signal. I gave the signal to down and he just stood there looking at me. I was about to give him a second command, which would have been an NQ, when the judge motioned for me to give him another down command. Well, I don't know if he saw the judge from the back of his head, or if it was just coincidence that he decided to go down at that moment, thus saving the day - and the Q : )
I got no sits on the go outs, but he took the correct jumps. I was worried though that he wouldn't have enough speed to carry him over the jumps - but, he's getting pretty good at 'walking' up to the jumps then going over them.
Open was somewhat better. His heeling was pretty good except for some lagging on the figure eights. He was still pretty slow on the retrieves and drop on recall, but again, he did everything.
I'm really not getting so frustrated anymore with the slowdowns in the ring. I know he's not going to ever give me the performance in the ring that I get in practice due to his personality - but, that's okay. If we can just get these last two legs, I promised him he could retire from obedience and we'd do something fun --- like tracking!