We're 5 weeks away from our last obedience trial of the season (a 4 day show) and Piper is peaking at just the right time! We had obedience class yesterday and Piper did the best he's done all year...he was spot on for his scent discrimination (he's been off the metal for a couple months), he took the metal without hesitation! His seek back is always good of course but his fronts and finishes and his heeling were so good...better than they've been in 2 years (this of course is where you lose the most points). I've been working him on his fronts with 2 2x4's that I funnel out. I leave him (on a recall) a good 5 feet away from them at an angle so he has to correct his angle...what an amazing difference it's made! I know this is just practice and the trial is a whole nother ballgame but it's got my hopes up. I'm also working daily on his directed jumping...I need to get him to where he was a year ago when he didn't mess up his jumps. I figure if I do them EVERY day for 5 weeks he'll be confident on them. Finnie is another story....this boy anticipates EVERYTHING! The jumps (the worst), the signs, turns, heeling...my instructor laughingly said she's never seen a dog that anticipated Rally before! His heeling is considerably better since we figured out I was going too fast but now I need to teach him he doesn't know as much as he thinks he does! Little brat, I do a recall to front and then get him to finish without the front (Rally sign) then next time I do a normal recall he wants to go straight to finish....smarty pants! I must say though, I watched a video of Piper and I from May and I was heeling so fast....it's no wonder I'd get a forge now and then from Piper...poor guy didn't know what I was doing! I've been practicing with a slower heel with Piper as well and it's made such a difference. Now just to pick it up a wee bit and we're perfect! Looking forward to the trial (November 8-11) on holidays and 4 days in a hotel. It's actually going to be a real holiday (aside from having to get up at 6:30 every day lol). Now if Mother Nature cooperates and keeps the snow away until after November 11! I hate highway driving at the best of times and it's a 3 hour drive.