Today I handled Bug at the Sleeping Giant Kennel Club UKC show. GULP!! During the first show (UKC does two shows a day, which is pretty sweet) before our class, I was doing lots of deep breathing and staring into space while he lolled about on his back not worried at all!!
Alas, we were the only dog in our class. (Note: the judge can withhold first place and I actually saw that happen today. I don't know if it happens frequently or not.) So we received first and went on to the Winners class with a Champion and Grand Champion. The Champion, a nice brindle name Dyson, won the class and placed in the Group class too!
Second show, exact same story! The nice thing about UKC is that we accumulated some points today towards Bug's Championship. In UKC you must have 100 points and 3 wins with competition. So we left this weekend with more experience and 30 points more than we started with.
I *think* I handled Bug okay. No real way to judge. There is a part of me that would like to ask someone to video tape it for me next time so I can see what exactly we look like (and know what to work on). In terms of negatives, once he was on the table I rushed a bit and didn't pay as much attention to the placement/adjustment of his rear feet as I wish I had. I need to really work on a Stand command (for herding too). We have started to, but it needs more finessing.
In terms of positives - I was very light on the lead! For some reason in handling class I hold his lead quite tight (uh, anxiety?). Kerry has remarked that when I relax he looks better. One of the things I *really* wanted to do this weekend was be light on the lead. So I am happy I was able to chill about that.
Things to think about - bring a lint brush next time! Remember it is subjective! And don't *worry* about it! That is where all my anxiety comes from - I have no control over the outcome. With agility I feel like I play a bigger role in the outcome.
All in all, once I relaxed I found UKC to be as relaxing as everyone kept telling me it would be! I would definitely like to try and finish Bug's UKC championship and plan on entering a couple of AKC shows prior to the outdoor season. Hopefully my nerves will not be nearly as bad. It will come as no surprise to anyone that Bug was cool as a cucumber! Even with me a bundle of nerves. He is definitely a grounded pup.
15 hours ago