Chesa, just love that you are out and doing with Ace. We live and learn all the time and this is great experience for both of you and in addition keeps him attuned to new situations, socialized and if
you keep at it, as you seem to be doing, you will 'Ace' it.
When I first started in dogs, I was so enthusiastic and loved all the venues, but seem to make every mistake in the book at first. Embarrassing if I were to relate them all, ha.
Stay with it, learn it all, and enjoy the ride.
I don't think it was a bad idea to enter at all...barn hunt instinct is just that - instinct. She read the rules, entered, and gave it a shot! Boys are boys, and barn hunt is the type of environment that can be VERY tempting to pee in! I've seen dogs (boys AND girls) pee in a barn hunt and scent work environment on more than one occasion, that's for sure! Richter's peed in a Nosework practice, and so has Sypha (fingers crossed, never in a trial, but it sure could happen!). You do your best to see it coming and stop it, but...dogs are also dogs. Sometimes there isn't a darn thing you can do to stop it. If you liked the sport and think it's something you want to pursue, look for some classes or practices and let them know that he did pee in the ring so it's something you want to work on.
Just my two cents...I wouldn't find it that concerning, and if you had fun and want to pursue the sport I say go for it!
Thank you guys! It was a great experience, and I don't regret going whatsoever. I learned valuable information, and got to expose Ace and myself both to the "show" atmosphere. It's not as relaxed and laid back as I expected for this type of event, but it was enjoyable still! The local kennel club offers many opportunities to practice, and only throws a few shows a year for it, so we have plenty of time to practice before the next one. We will give RATI a shot next time! Luckily I have unlimited straw bales at my disposal, so I can practice at home somewhat.
In falnfenix's defense you didn't say that you'd read the rules.
Tracking* is pretty much the only sport that I can think of where eliminating during a run isn't an automatic and immediate NQ. Just be glad they didn't make you pay for the bale he peed on.
*I'm guessing maybe in field trials it's okay? Be kind of hard to stop a Pointer who is nearly 100 yards away from their handler from lifting a leg or squatting.
Sorry, even after reading the rules, I still didn't know what to expect once I entered the ring. I knew what was expected of us, but how it was going to go for us was something I wasn't able to predict. Poor choice of words, I assume. I had no idea whether Ace would pick it up or not, and had zero idea what to expect from the atmosphere of the show. I've been to horse shows time and time again, and this was a completely different type of atmosphere than that. Plus, I was quite curious to see how Ace would react to smelling a rat.
As for peeing, I hadn't even considered the fact that Ace would do that. I thought my boy would know better, but lesson learned. He's still just a learning puppy himself though. There was a couple people who mentioned "Don't let him pee on anything because everyone will hate you" and that was a bit intimidating, especially since they came over and asked why I let him do that after, lol. Like many have said there and here, no real way to know he was going to do that, and by the time he squatted and I reacted, it was too late. It happens.
Not to start anything, but I somewhat agree with what a fellow lady at the show said. "Its not your fault the dog peed. These dogs are meant to be able to sniff out a rat on a course. If they get that hung up on another dog's pee, then you haven't trained them as well as you thought you have." Granted, I certainly see both sides of the debate there.
I posted this story to share our experience as beginners, and I thought it was rather funny. Also to encourage any other beginners to go out and try new things! A community that is welcoming to beginners is one that thrives. I've been very lucky to work with a couple trainers who are constantly helping and encouraging me. They often want me to try new things, and show me the path to succeed. The two trainers and I have been working hard for 7 weeks in preparation for this CGC test, and fine tuning my amazing pup into a well behaved young man, and we all three thought it would be a good place to let Ace have fun and a small reward for all he has accomplished.