Well, we're entered to debut in Open A this Sunday. We're also working in Rally Excellent B (had to do a move-up because I chose A for some reason...).
I just did a mini run-through with Scorch outside to see how he would do more amped up, with minimal treats. We were in the front yard, but it was still more intense than our play-training sessions have been. Everything is looking great (even better than I expected!) except for the drop on recall, which has suddenly broken. It was never fantastic to begin with... I'd say there's a 50/50 chance he'll drop in practice, probably less in the ring. I've been walking towards him and giving a hand signal as well as the verbal, but he can't seem to handle it well when it's just verbal... maybe I'll try switching to just the hand signal? I don't know.
I'm more anxious about the out of sight stays, namely the sit-stay, but it's been going well on practice. I'd rather NQ on the drop on recall rather than the stays... but whatever, I'd rather not NQ at all so let's just go with that. :)
His dumbbell retrieves today were spectacular. He soared over the jump and tore after it on the flat... no hesitation, no anticipation, just absolute glee. Broad jump is going well, although we still rarely do a completely formal one. When we do, it looks good. Heeling has been better, less forge-y.
I'm also trying to integrate more play with ME versus toys or treats... he's still anxious and amped when I do it, but I think he's finally HAPPY about it at least, not just looking for other reinforcement.
We also went to North Carolina.
Love my Easy-Walk harness... makes managing excited border collies so much better!
Scorch was amped and anxious at times, especially with all the changes. We spent every second together for 3 days straight... I even got to take him as a demo dog to one of my meetings. But I had an evening meeting at a mall and had to leave him behind. It was actually really difficult after relying on him so heavily for company during the trip... but we both survived the bout of separation anxiety.
I've decided to stop letting him bark at cows... because while we were in downtown Savannah, a horse drawn carriage came around the corner. WHOA did Scorch ever dislike that. Hoofed animals did NOT belong in the city according to Scorch and he felt like everyone needed to hear all about it.
Despite the stresses, he was good company, and I think it was a good experience to have him work through that stress. When we reached our hotel in Savannah for the second time, on the way home, he visibly relaxed in the familiar setting.
I also took him to Jacksonville's Dog Wood park for the first time. That is my favorite park and I hadn't gotten to take him yet. He had a blast splashing in the lake.
It's also nice to be able to relax about my dog... there was a minor dog fight while we were there. Jack would have instantly leaped in, and probably Wolfie too. I looked up at the scuffle, then back at Scorch, who was just happily staring at me and wagging his tail, waiting for me to throw the ball.
I don't know if we'll have a spot in the upcoming Utility class at our dog training club, but for now we're having a great time prepping for Open and hitting the road.