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More Elmira Trial News

This post shares two stories from students who were at the Elmira trial last week. The first is a report from one of my students who had some great hunts and shared a very astute analysis of the two afternoon elements that she missed. I’m totally impressed with her ability to recall so clearly what was happening. Many of us [for instance… ME!] struggle to remember all that went on during an element search let alone recalling the whole thing a day or so later LOL. Most identifying info has been changed although this handler did give me permission to post her report. The second report shares the wins from Pat and Winsome Will.

First up -exterior. My dog smoked this. 3rd fastest time – 26 seconds. She never even thought about peeing in the grass. Then to the vehicles. She was a bit distracted by the birds (she wanted to chase them), but quickly got into search mode. She found the tire pretty quickly that had the hide and initially alerted to the top of the tire. I hesitated and she hit on the bottom of the tire – sticking her nose in the hub-cap. Good thing I hesitated, as the hide was on the bottom not the top. The judge even said she thought I was going to call it on the top of the tire as my dog gave a pretty good alert.

In the afternoon though, things didn’t go as well. In the container search my dog stopped on a box, pushed it with her nose, put her paw on it and looked at me. Sounds like an alert right? I called it but we were off by one box – she fringed on that, so no title for us. I was pretty bummed but tried to look upon the interior element as a good training opportunity. It was in a classroom and she pretty quickly figured out which side of the room the hide was on. She narrowed it down to a desk. She alerted on the corner of the desk and again I hesitated. She then tried to stick her head further under the desk and couldn’t figure out how to get under the desk further so pulled her head back out, hit the corner with her nose again and looked at me. I called it – another miss. The hide was under the desk chair that was under the desk. I guess the scent pooled up from the chair and collected under the desk. Since she had given me two solid looks and an attempt to crawl under the desk more, I was sure she had nailed it. The judge said she would have believed those alerts as well and was pretty sure that my dog thought she had found the source as well.

So what started out so well (both exterior and vehicle were 20 something second finds) ended with 2 false alerts on container and interior. I would have guessed those to have been our strongest elements……..

Report from Pat & Will…

My biggest concern for the trial elements was the exterior since this is where we have had trouble in the past so when we did the walk through I was glad to see that the exterior search area was very much like the exterior of a building where we have been practicing.

Our first element was the exterior: There was a covered walkway leading to the exterior search area with the start line at the end of the walkway. The area perimeter encompassed a wall to the right then a turn along that wall to an outside corner and another wall. There was also concrete, dirt and grass in the area. Will walked to the right along the wall and checked out a pipe, made a turn to the left and checked out a grassy clump, made another turn to the right and walked directly to the corner of the two walls and alerted…YEA

Second was the container search in the gym. I was hoping Will was not going to start playing with the boxes like he did on Wednesday practice, ask Cindy:o). Anyway the set up was a big oval/circular pattern and two rows of boxes in the middle. Will chose to go right so I kept him on my left as he sniffed his way to the top of the oval/circle and stopped to put his paw on a box, I thought, oh, now here we go, he’s going to play, but he corrected himself and turned to the box next to him and alerted…Whew..

During the lunch break we went down the road to a big closed campground where he stretched out, pottied and found many sticks.

The interior search was first in the afternoon with the class room door being the start line. The room was packed with “stuff”. Will went to his right and checked out a couple of chairs at the computer desks but quickly moved on as he got on the odor, he checked a couple of bookcases then went to some wall cubbies, started to turn away then quickly stuck his head in a cubbie and looked at me..Alert..YEA

On to the vehicles, a pick-up backed up to a trailer and a van pulled up to the trailer on the other end. He skirted the end of the van and went to the trailer tire and worked his way back of the trailer, placed his nose on the chain and worked his way along to the bottom of the hitch..Alert..

What a guy…First in exterior, First in interior and First Place overall with a combined time
of 1.22.59 !!.

Happy and Tired…Pat & WinSome Will

Congratulations to Martha and Milo

Martha and Milo were overall 2nd at the trial in Elma today. And also 2nd in the Vehicle search.

Milo is a great demonstration of the fact that the dog that doesn’t swirl the odor all over the place can be fast, even when they are moving not so fast!

What a great team, I’m very thrilled for them.

I haven’t heard from others yet, but I know that everyone put there best paw and foot forward to have a successful day whether or not they found the odor in time. Some days you’re on, and some days you’re off, and that’s true of the dogs too.

I personally have ‘missed’ in 4 out of 7 trials with my dogs in NW 1 and NW 2 and I can tell you from personal experience, that I learned way more when we missed than when we found the odor.

It’s worth the increased wrinkles I’m getting in my face from prolonged smiling as I watch your dogs hunt for odor in classes.

I love this sport! Joyce

Tale of an Elusive Odor Box

I have a funny funny K9 Nose Work story from one of my classes this week. I was introducing dogs to odor for the first time. I had 3 tins available in my pocket and was putting a new one out while the handler was feeding at another box.

I was having the handler pick up the box with the odor that they were re-enforcing if I didn’t get there in time to get it myself. Somewhere I realized that i was missing an odor box. I kept checking my pockets, and started worrying about the possibility that a dog maybe swallowed it. Hard to imagine but possible. One of the dogs in class is a Cavalier. So, close to the ground. And the odor was in an open box.

Well, you might be guessing where I’m headed with this story now. On the third search, a box ended up with two odor boxes in it. Low and behold, the odor box magnet had attached itself to the Cavalier’s collar tags because it wasn’t attached to anything else, being in a cardboard box.

We all had a good laugh.

Dixie’s First Swim

This was shared by a client today…We are so happy to be Dixie’s new friend. Thank you for sharing this update, and we wish Dixie a speedy recovery.

Our dog, Dixie had her first swim tonight to help in her recovery from TPLO surgery. She can be a bit choosey about her friends and Judi was wonderful with her. We’re very pleased. Thank you Joyce’s Dogs!

Lola tells us about her NW1 Trial

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.


Congratulations Cindy & Rigel

Today in freezing cold weather in Enumclaw, WA. Rigel the English Bulldog passed his NW2 with flying colors in all four elements. Apparently he was just awesome!

I’m very proud of this pair. Cindy is a great handler, and Rigel is a great dog. What a grand team they are. Apparently the Judges were very impressed with Cindy’s handling, and Rigel’s sniffing. She even did the exterior off leash which is not usually even allowed because usually it’s not fenced. But today it was and she took the leap, trusted her dog, and let him work it his way.

Congratulations to a great team!

Rigel the Unsinkable Dog

Rigel has been swimming at Unsinkable Dogs for over 2 years. He lost 9 pounds in the beginning. Way to go Rigel!

And the only place he will retrieve is in the water. He loves it – he barks and demands to have the tow thrown just like a high drive Border Collie!

Rigel Fetching in the Pool Rigel in the Pool