The fact that I don’t know my right from my left is not usually a problem. Oh, yeah, I might say the wrong direction when giving driving instructions. Or I might put the dish in the right hand cabinet after being told to put it in the left cabinet. But anything like that can simply re-done. No big deal.
But as I discovered in last Sunday’s Obedience fun match, that is not so easily done in an Obedience competition.
Take a look at the performance in the YouTube video below:
In this video, you can hear the judge say “left turn” or “right turn,” and then see the dog and handler execute the specified turn perfectly and without hesitation. In fact, this performance won a perfect score of 200.
In contrast, during Team Cooper’s turn in the fun match on Sunday, the judge said “left turn.” I then stopped in my tracks for a couple of beats to try to figure out which way is left. Cooper then also stopped and sat, which is what the dog is supposed to do when the handler stops.
But really, neither of us was supposed to stop. We were supposed to keep going and turn left together. And more frustrating, this happened every single time the judge said either “left turn” or “right turn.”
If that had been in a real Obedience trial, I suspect we would have NQ’d (not qualified). Sigh…
I need to work on it, probably on my own without Cooper so I don’t confuse the boy. But after many several decades of not knowing my right from the left… I don’t know.
Maybe I’ll get Russ out there with me to play judge, and when I do it right, I get a treat. That’s it! Positive reinforcement might just work for the handler, too.