Trial fun with K9 Nose Work

I'm back from my trip to CA for a K9 Nose Work trial. It was great. I started writing this blog post while sitting under a tree on a beautiful sunny day. Mick was in the NW2 [level two of three] trial and did me proud. He nailed the vehicle (one hide) and the exterior ( two hides) in very respectable time. In fact, he got a ribbon for the fastest time for the exterior hide and was third fastest for the vehicle.

Mick got one of the three interior hides and just seemed clueless as to where the other two hides were. I false called one of the interior hides and he timed out on the other one. I think he got stuck in drifted odor from the first find or perhaps there was food in one of the lockers where he was hanging out. Mick did a stellar Job of ignoring what looked to be crunched up corn chips on the floor, and I was very happy with that.

The container drill was spooky. Theme of the day seemed to be 'threshold hides' and it was the first box about 6 ft from the start line. Hard to trust your dog on that one but I did and we got that hide. Then he just turned sort of wishy-washy and I ended up calling it on a not very clear indication. Wrong. I should of waited.  We had plenty of time.  "Oh well" and we were done.

Next search immediately following the Container element was the vehicle. Hi nailed it in very good time. Very confident.

Last element of the morning was the exterior with two hides. Lots of dogs false alerted on a door stop that was about a foot or so from the hide. Silver, just like an odor box. Not Mick. He went straight to the hide. Then he trotted along the wall and took a left into the gate of a dry garden area. There were a couple of sticks of wood on the ground under a tree and he indicated. I called it and low and behold I heard the judges 'yes'. That was our last element of the trial. We happily ran back towards the parking lot and when we hit the grass, he squatted and pooped!. {I know, too much information, but since he managed to scarf down 3/4 of a loaf of  Dave's Bread on Thursday evening, and 'seedy' bread at that, well, you know what the outcome of that could have been!}

As I type this I had to get up and get his nose out of a bag of clothes that happened to contain a pair of pants with a cookie in the pocket. He shows no since of what is his and what isn't anymore if food is involved. It's his as far as he is concerned. No matter how many pockets he has to rip through to get it. Getting old is wonderful, [for the dog end of the leash] I guess.

Anyway, after the folks in the score room finished up with the numbers stuff they announced the element and overall placements. And darned if my 14 year old boy didn't have the third fastest time in the vehicle hide, and the fastest time on the exterior! Yea Mick. Not bad for an old guy.

It was a great day for playing my dog's favorite game with him, and appreciating what a great dog he has been. Just so happens that I had the chair he won for an obedience High in Trial in 2001 with me cause it's little and fit in the car with all the other stuff we drove down with. So here we are, 11 years later and still having a great time together.

OK, enough rambling. The last thing I have to say though, is that Rider is mingling freely with Anne's dog, Crackers. She puts him in his place well, and it's so nice to see Rider want to play with her, and just hanging out comfortably with another dog.

It's tough having a reactive and aggressive dog. But it's been worth it. As I tell many people, Rider has taught me more about dog training than I ever thought I needed to know. What a great teacher!