I used to think Jack was being a brat in agility. He would sniff, walk away, pee on things, poop in the ring. Oh I would get so MAD! This was my first performance dog.
Then after 2 years (yes, it took that long
) I realized I and the environment were totally stressing him out. The many hour drive, crating all day, all the people, all the dogs, a night in a hotel, me being nervous, working after being in the crate for hours, new equiptment, speaker systems, tons of food and toys everywhere, changed potty times, being on leash all the time, then me getting out of breath and yelling commands....I couldn't really blame him. If I was stressed and I understood what we were doing, how was he supposed to be relaxed? Once I started seeing it from his POV, we started working on things and he is so much better.
I certainly am not saying that this is what happened for you guys, it is just my expirience with my dogs.
Even if Jack was being a brat, it made me more productive to take the blame and change things rather than mope, which I have a tendancy to do.
I am glad you have forgiven him. We do love the bratty ones best, don't we? He looked phenominal in those pics, you have a very handsome boy there.