I asked the same question Luna on another forum of Sabine. So as not to misquote her I copied her response and pasted:
"But for sure, you have to guard (ensure) the exercises with a little compulsion, if you want to participate on a national championship. The secret is the balance between motivation and compulsion --- this always depends on your dog and on your person. Lennox is trained with 95 % motivation.
The turns ... just pinch your dog (carefully !!!) in his flank(?) and take care that he will not bite you in your hand. As usual .. speed wins."
The handler does make some rather overt, exagerated movements, like stamping before a hault and the way she turns. The dog shouldn't be bumping & dancing, and the stand out of motion is faulty. On the retrieve she runs past the dumbell rather than to it & back, and of course the barking is frowned upon, but any way you slice it, she got a 98 in a big competion!!! All these observations are not mine, but once pointed out, became obvious. I am not saying this to be critical, and do not for a minute think the score was unearned. I think one of the advantages to having these videos is we can watch performances over & over, learning more & becoming better ourselves along the way.
I definitely agree with your view and your observations of the exercise Susan. I tape our obedience exercises and I am harder on myself then any judge would probably ever be - only way to improve and remain humble . At trials I critique (not out loud of course) and try to see if the score that I give is close to what the judge gives. Sabine openly admits that the judge in the B were "generous" that day - they only took 1 point for the stand and (2) 1/2 points for things she did not mention. It was an exceptional peformance none the less - definitely one I'd be more then happy to perform, let alone at a National Event.
a lot of judges can be a little lenient with points when the dog is exhibiting the kind of spirit I see in this video. I've seen clips of routines that were technically better, but the dog and handler don't work as well together as a team....
I was really impressed by Sabine answering my questions, being so honest about the judging and about her training methods. Sad to say, I have not met many higher level competitors (at least in SchH/IPO) that are willing to talk about their training methods -unless of course they are getting paid to do so . I accidentally met Joey Leigh and Mike Morgan (world competitors) at a trial - I did not recognize Mike and commented how great he and his Mal looked on the field. He was very humble as well as very nice. He answered several training questions for me. Nice to know there are a few of em out there, that can still relate to someone who is an unknown but wanting to learn.