Hopefully this isn't going to be a habit with Tripp - failing miserably in the first trial of the day, then squeaking out a passing score in the next class. Granted, I'm thankful to get at least one Q, but if this pattern continues, our Utility career in AKC is doomed since they almost always run the highest level classes first. :-p
However, I'm going to chalk this one up to simply being green and under-practiced. We're probably not ready for the extra distracting environment of outdoor trials just yet, at least for Utility, with it's scent discrimination exercise. Tripp's nose leads him astray enough as it is. Which sucks, because most of our upcoming trials are outdoors. Of course, if I was a more committed trainer, we probably wouldn't be having as much trouble. But I digress...
For Tripp's first AKC trial of the year, I decided to only enter one day at the big Scarborough show. I prayed that we would finally finish that outstanding Graduate Novice title from last year, and get closer to being aligned with the Open/Utility levels we're at in UKC & CDSP. I also put Tripp in Graduate Open for the first time, which is actually more of a "sub-Utility" course. It was worth a shot...
Unfortunately, in GO Tripp was awful, awful, awful! I have little regret over not getting video of his performance. LOL Not a critical loss, but disappointing nonetheless.
Later, GN didn't start out a whole lot better, with a very unfocused heeling pattern. But he cleaned up his act some as we continued, and was actually doing pretty darn good by the end. Still, with so many major faults, I wasn't sure if he managed to pass or not... After the group down/stay, when the judge announced that we were the only qualifying team entered, I literally did a happy dance! :-D At least we got that title out of the way!