Lola sent the following report on her experience running Zita in her first NW1 trial. The Nose Work 1 trial was on Sunday Feb 26th in Enumclaw WA.
Zita and I were both shaking yesterday both from nerves and the cold but what a fun day it turned out to be.
We started with the exterior hide and then moved directly to the interior hide. The exterior was in a cubby area on the side of the middle school. The hide was in a pen on the cement against a wall. Zita had sniffed around there once but I was not sure where the hide was so we walked around one other area but she went back to that wall and gave me her stare one more time. I asked here to find it and she nosed the pen. I called alert and the judge asked me where and I said “in the pen”. total time 0:43:23
The interior was inside a classroom, off leash if you wanted so I did. Zita again sniffed in a bucket but left, went around a few more desks but came back and gave me that stare. The judge asked were and I said “the bucket”, she almost didn’t accept that but the other judge said I was correct and then I said on the handle. So, they said “yes”. total time 0:43:29
After the morning I was feeling pretty good…. I was more worried about the vehicle then the containers. I was concerned about Zita not putting her nose right on the hide.
Anyway, we breezed through the containers. She alerted me earlier but I walked around that box and asked again and she nosed it one more time and gave me her look. total time 0:12:03. The judge told me we might have been the fastest team of the day if I had called it the first time. Oh well….. I just wanted to pass!
On the vehicle, same thing…. Zita alerted me but I walked her around one more time and then she really stuck her nose into the wheel rim so I called it. The judge said he knew that the dog knew where the hide was, he was waiting to see if I knew where it was! total time 0:56:15
Overall time was 02:34:70
I was so worried about getting it wrong I wasn’t worried about fast times, at least not this first trial. I guess I need to take their advice and “trust my dog”. Zita did so good yesterday, I am very proud of her. She did not appear to be scared and we were bouncing around and looking pretty happy after the lunch break, while waiting to go inside for the container search.
I enjoyed listening to the judges at the ceremony and one of the co-founders of K9 Scent work was there from California. I cannot remember her name (blonde hair) [Amy Herot]. The judges yesterday gave a short speech including their backgrounds and experience working with dogs. All I have to say is WOW!
Zita is sleeping in the chair right now. I think she is exhausted. She deserves the rest!!! Looking forward to NW2 now.
Thanks for all of your great coaching!!
Lola and Zita
A comment from your coach:
I just love that you could keep working Zita after she indicated the hide and that she had the confidence to go back to source and tell you “Mom, this is it, really it is”. That’s an important part of the training as I see it, helping to develop the dogs confidence so you can be more confident that she is telling you the truth the first time. I’m so proud of you two.