Bess was quite well behaved waiting outside the ring, but when we got in there it all fell to pieces. Her first stand was okay, but it started to go wrong running round the ring. Today she wouldn't let the judge touch her, even though he was being very nice trying to calm her.
The judge did say it was a real pity she was misbehaving and as waved his heads apologetically as he showed me to 5th (last) place. I do feel by his reaction, and by the way he was giving her extra chances that she might have got placed if she'd behaved better. She's filled out a little on her new diet and I did get comments like 'she's a very nice bitch', which in some ways makes it worse. I do think she may be capable of getting a place other than last, but not the way we're going at the moment. She was perfect at ringcraft last week - so I'm pretty sure it's my nerves upsetting her. I tried to take deep breaths and drank half a bottle of rescue remedy but to no avail.
I did wonder whether it might be a good idea if I could get an experienced handler to take her in the ring? I really want to show her myself, but I wondered whether it might help to show her its not that scary after all. Any thoughts?
It wasn't a written off day though - we went on into Brighton where my sons at Uni and had to walk for half an hour to the 'dog friendly' pub where we'd planned to have lunch. Now Bess is a country dog, and hasn't been to a big town before, but she coped really well with all the people and pushchairs. We even walked back through the lanes and she wasn't fazed with the crowds - although she didn't like the busker playing the saxophone at all! The guitarist was fine though. So good experience for her.