I can't remember where I read it but I remember reading a training book that explained if you kept on getting the same results (which were results you weren't happy with) that you needed to change your training process as carrying on with the same processes would keep producing the same results. And I guess that summed mine and Nancy's training up to a tee. It wasn't that what I was doing was wrong as clearly I managed to train my other dogs to do agility with reasonable success, but this method of training wasn't working for Nancy. Some dogs make you think differently as a trainer, Gertie taught me a lot about clicker training and how to work through her fears and hang ups, so it was time to rethink how I was going to train Nancy.
So for starters I stopped training Nancy at agility, until I had a new training plan there was no point in carrying on with the training route we were going down. More than anything I wanted training Nancy to be fun for her and me which it wasn't. Over the last couple of weeks I've bought Nancy back to agility training, although it's not really agility training, it's doing all her favourite tricks on the agility field with maybe an odd set of weaves or contact thrown in, but mostly it's about having fun. At home I've changed how I train her too, we've added more challenge and she really has to give me her all in training. I've even noticed a difference out on walks too as she's actually coming to me wanting to engage with me instead of being the "free spirit" she was.
Having not done any real agility training with Nancy for a couple of months and then taking her to a show I wasn't expecting anything results wise, just could we take Nancy's new found enthusiasm and my new found enthusiasm for training her into the ring. Even our queuing routine was different, Nancy was watching me and offering tricks (unheard of previously) and we were able to play tug and I could get her ready for her run. Well I have to say she did 3 of the best runs she has ever done in competition and although we didn't win any competitions, it felt like we had taken major steps forward in actually becoming a partnership. Hopefully we'll keep building on that partnership now.