So sorry...What happened in protection? I was at a trial today and a few failed tracking and two wouldn't out/DQ'd(1's were on the schedule today)...Don't feel bad, you aren't alone. The judge was amazing however and kept the handlers from having meltdowns!!!
I think he's afraid of being in the pocket for the drive since he was stepped on at our last trial. He seemed totally fine in practice for the last few weeks without any residual issues or anything, but I think he lost some confidence right from the beginning when he blew off blind 5 and went from 4 to 6. He knew he messed up and then he was nervous going into the rest of the routine. He kinda held up through the drives in the front half, but he lost the grip on the long bite and from the pictures, he was hanging by the canines up by the cuff of the sleeve. Then he came off during that drive and was just circling and barking at the helper.
His tracking was excellent. I couldn't believe how intense and focused he was. He hit every single footstep and the turns were flawless. I think he slightly lifted his head twice and we lost a couple points there...But he walked both articles...So there goes 21 points. Never done it once before. Still, it was a gorgeous track.
Obedience was his best ever too. I felt much more comfortable out there then I usually do, so I think that had something to do with it. Maybe a little too comfortable because I forgot to look to Frank before a few exercises (sorry Frank
) I wish I had more attention in the heeling, but other than that I am happy with his obedience overall. He completes every exercise well.
Failing sucks. With this being my second time in a row, I'm feeling kinda discouraged and embarrassed. I don't want anyone thinking that I don't work my butt off with him, since he isn't a super strong and powerful dog, or that I don't try my hardest to get where we are. I guess I'm just struggling with the concept of 'retiring' him from the sport. I don't want to make him do something that scares the **** out of him, just because I love training in this sport. Seems selfish.