Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Conformation Woes

Who's your Daddy?
See the beautiful dog pictured right? That is Jedi's father, CHAMPION MAR HAVEN'S LAST COWBOY SONG. Unfortunately, his son looked nothing like that at conformation class last night. Jedi hid behind me and wanted absolutely nothing to do with the class. He was more interested in leaves that anything else. I know it was only our second class, but I found it very disheartening. Most troubling were:
  • Jedi doesn't seem to be comfortable with strangers, especially the instructor. He didn't want her touching him and he didn't like having his mouth opened. This is sad because I spent so much time and energy socializing him from Day 1. I discovered the teeth issue at our last class. Because of that, Hubby and I randomly say "teeth!" in a happy, high pitched voice and open Jedi's mouth a dozen times a day. He hates it, but at least tolerates it at home. He wasn't cooperating at all with showing his teeth in the ring.
  • Apparently my food-motivated pup has limits after all. His regular treats were not cutting it last night. I'm going to have to find something exceptionally yummy to use in the ring. Any ideas?
  • Since the beginning we have taught Jedi that sitting is the polite way to get what he wants. Maybe we should have thought this through! Now I need to teach him NOT to sit in the ring, and that standing is what I want. I'm hoping he'll pick up that the change in collars means a change in procedure. Since standing is such and issue, I haven't even begun to introduce stacking. Ugh.
So I'm looking the calendar and feeling really anxious right now. The Greater Orange Park Dog Club Fun Match is in 24 days. That is our litmus test. If we don't totally bomb, we'll have four days to register for the dog show in April. Did I mention that this particular show is being sponsored by my Dog Club? I don't know if I find that comforting or not. Our Show Secretary sent me the premium list (application) last week -- "just in case" she said. So the big question: will we be ready? Truth is, we'll never be ready if I don't make an effort to practice. A LOT. Therefore, I'm going to cut this short and grab the leash. Wish me luck! -- K