Immediately following practicing the weave poles I did some light massage on Bug. He was tight. Crap. Gave him some traumeel and off we went to handling class.
Handling class went well. When we first got to class it was VERY full and VERY bustling. Bug was stressed. Fortunately, once we got into line and started working on “stand” and “fix it” he visibly de-stressed.
It was a very full class with two dogs I would categorize as reactive, plus a third who is unpredictable. Eeee. The two reactive dogs were staring a lot and their owners were not interrupting said staring behavior. There should definitely be a PSA on staring and dogs and how it can cause massive problems!
Bug was great and the two times he did get barky (once watching a broad jump apparently move by itself across the other ring [couldn’t see the human, just the jump moving], and the other time when there was a wee escalation of staring between two other dogs), I asked him for a down and fed him for being so super and willing to down when he felt like he needed to be on alert.
I set Bug up on the table better than I have in the past and made sure to keep his head up while Kerry was giving him the once over. Kerry asked for a triangle.
In the past I would turn left into Bug. As Bug is becoming more confident with me and moving out nicer I find it very awkward and we nearly crash (Rally-O would help with that!). Last night I did an about right turn and headed up toward Kerry. This felt MUCH cleaner to me.
Kerry recommended I toss a treat in my hand to “get ears” when I free stack in front of the judge. It worked well – as long as I don’t lose the treat (which I did last night)!
When we got home I did some massage and stretching on the Bug and he felt MUCH better. Hooray!
Tonight it is off to the Dirty Dawg Wash for a shave and a haircut!
15 hours ago