I wasn't able to weigh in this week as I had to be at the dog show to administer the AKC Canine Good Citizen test starting at 7am and my last dog was at 11am. I was grateful that I had planned to go to a Tiger game that afternoon so I had a reason to leave as soon as I was done testing dogs.
This was the first time I have been back to a dog show since everything happened last year and I decided to stop showing my dogs. A wave of nostagia hit me as I heard the hum of the dryers, and the saw the crates and grooming tables lined up. It was hard to see the people that I had hoped not to see. I found it difficult to explain where I had been for the past year to acquaintances. I knew I would be questioned so I had rehearsed a polite reply. I just told them that it was time to focus on me and my life for a while and not show dogs. I stayed out of the building where the poodle people were set up and did not go watch any of the judging.
I tested a total of 10 dogs and 9 of them passed. The dog that did not pass tried to bite my assistant as she bent down to examine his feet. That is not behavior that expected of a CGC dog. While the owner was surprised, she said they would work on the behavior and test again at a later date. Most owners only handle their dogs feet when they are going to trim their nails. This sets up a negative association with having their feet touched. I teach the people in my puppy class to handler their dogs feet in the evening while relaxing and that every time they touch the dog's foot, to feed the dog a treat. This will create a positive association of being handled. While my dogs still don't eagerly line up to have their nails trimmed, they do not pull their paw back from me when I want to handle it.