I have great fun playing with my human at training- they’re relaxed, sociable, they give me good rewards (though the odd bit of steak wouldn’t go amiss…), they are reasonably consistent (I’ve a bit more work to do with them on their criteria, but they’re only human)… generally, they have potential and should go far.
…then I take them to play at …a different place- there’s loads of other dogs, lots of noise, the holy grail (rubbish bin by the burger ban) and some noisy speaker thing constantly wittering on about something. I thought we were here to have fun like we do in training… but
… holy moly what happened?!
I’m on the other end of the leash from a walking stress-ball!!
And this crazy character is really unpredictable…I mean, they’re throwing commands at me that I’ve never heard before (I don’t *think* that cuss word is an actual command?), they’re running funny (my handler runs like a constipated duck at the best of times, but SERIOUSLY, this is ridiculous) AND they’re really uptight about something… but what did I do, I’m working my butt off here?? And they get human-reactive too, so I get worried they’re going to snap at another person- they’ve done it before when someone looked at them funny, the merest look and in they went. Maybe I should muzzle them?
And then we get on course and Wow, my handler really freaks me out here… they seem like they’re on the edge and I’d really like to make sure they don’t go over it… I better stay closer to them…if I hold my wait, they could get away and goodness knows what they’d do, better break that and stick close… now what’s THAT hand signal? NEVER seen that before, maybe there was a bug in their face… oooh you meant me to take that jump?… well why didn’t you say so?…
I sense this isn’t going well- I’m doing my best here but bug-swatting-mime is not usually our handling style in training!
Yeesh, if they’d just do what we do in training, they’d be great, but every time I take them to a show, they behave differently. I just don’t know what I’m going to get from them, and I’m starting to get stressed before I even get out there. I have to admit, it’s spoiling my enjoyment but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t have to be this way…
ANYONE recognise this dog??