Congratulations Connie and Jill

Congratulations to Connie and her dog Jill who earned their NW2 today. They got placements in two elements too. Hopefully Connie will write about some of the details in a future blog.

Two other students of mine came very close, qualifying in all but the Container element which had the lowest pass rate of the four elements. Containers in Level two are tough! Mick and I failed them at least once that I can remember. And as I always tell my students, you learn way more when you miss than when you pass!


Odor Recognition Testing

Six of my students did their odor recognition test on Birch today. Five of them passed, and the one that did not knows why she didn’t. In the heat of the moment of a test, it’s really hard not to call it too early and that’s what happened. This team is my least experienced team that tested, so they have a long time to get more proficient.

As I always realize myself, and tell my students, “you get way more bang for your buck when you miss”. There is so much to learn in this sport in order to become a great team. And when you have a miss there is so much learned.

One of my students who has missed 3 times did get her ORT today and I’m so proud of her. She has a dog with a lot of drive, and not a lot of focus. I’ve been there so I know it isn’t easy. This dog tried to alert on many boxes, and they had to replace five of them! That is unheard of. Her handler waited till she was at a box that she would not come off of when her handler kept moving, and she called it and was right. Way to go C and G.

I’m so proud of all of you.

Meeting Rigel

This post is from Turk’s mom…Turk is a regular swimmer at Joyce’s Unsinkable Dogs…

Lucky me, Turk was on the schedule just before it was Rigel’s turn to swim. Rigel’s mom Cindy was nice enough to let me meet Rigel and stay to watch him swim for a bit. Well what a handsome man he is, I was ready to dog nap him – although I am sure Turk would have some to say about that.

I learned that Rigel is Joyce’s longest term client in the pool – he has been swimming somewhere between 3 and 4 years. The 6 year old Rigel is a busy dog as he also has agility, rally obedience, and nose work titles. And he attends charity events.

Well I was charmed to meet him and snapped a nice photo to share. And looking forward to seeing him soon, as I see that he follows Turk again this week.

New Pup Looking Forward to Training

This comment recently came in from one of our happy students in the N. Seattle area:

I worked with Patty and Corey when I got my first Cattle Dog almost 3 years ago, they are wonderful and I can say this having taken many, many classes over the last 25 years!

We now have a new ACD pup who is 14 weeks old and I am hoping that there will be a spring/summer class for us!!?……. My previous dog was jumped by an Airedale as a pup in a CGC class when he was 8 months old and it took me many, many dollars and hours helping him to overcome this, as he became the aggressor. Now he is great, but I really want someone that has good control of the class and tons of dog sense………

Sunny makes her Mom Proud

I’d like to share Martha’s report on her NW1 titling run with her Giant Schnauzer Sunny, Delight, who can be dog reactive, a shadow chaser, and is a dog who referred to as “a handful”!

Martha’s report is another great example of how K9 Nose Work® can help a dog and owner have a good live together…

Sunny was a very good Girl! She placed 3rd overall with a time of 1 minute, 24 seconds and placed 3rd in the exterior with 24 seconds! The vehicle search was the longest search with 27 seconds and only 8 seconds for the containers. She was focused and really reasonably well-behaved–a bit talkative but still good. There was a brief moment during one of our walks when she started to bolt for a shadow but I was able to use the “break” and get her back to me. She only did this once.

Anyway, I was really proud of her. She has come a long, long way. Thank you for all your help with her.

Dash passes his ORT

Below Amy share’s her story about Dash’s ORT…

I wanted to let you know that Dash passed his ORT today. I’m so happy with how he did. I realized on the drive down to Portland that this would be his first time working in a strange location. He walked into the room and was a little uneasy at first. We took our time at the start line, probably 15 seconds or so (I counted to 10 then took a deep breath!) and he settled in, focused right in on the boxes and when I said “search” he went right to work. He went down the first row of boxes, then doubled back up the same line and stuck to one of the boxes. I called alert and he was right. He found it in 16:97 seconds. More importantly, he really knew his job and despite being in an unfamiliar area with new people and smells he focused right away and knew exactly why we were there. I’m so happy with how K9 Nose Work is helping Dash become a more settled and “comfortable in his own skin” dog 🙂


Martha & Milo’s report from Elmira

The Elmira Trial was the first trial for Milo and I. I was uneasy because recently in class Milo has been less demonstrative about cueing me to odor source on all but the containers.

I had the whole drive from Longview to Eugene to ponder our issues, and my past experience. in Clackamas with my Giant Schnauzer Sunny I was cautious and did not trust her enough to call the alert without searching the entire element area. I put my plan ahead of the dog’s.

This trial location was an elementary school & my heart sank at the walk-thru. The interior hide was a nightmare! Lots of clutter and endless possibilities for hides! Milo’s typical detailed style along with being somewhat of a social gadfly would make 3 minutes go very fast! This was my last element, so I had the whole day to fret over it.

Our first element was the exterior. The area was bordered by exterior walls on 3 sides, with a sidewalk and grass as well. Windows, downspouts, drains and gravel were also present. My plan was to search the perimeter.

As Milo crossed the threshold, he wanted to visit the judge and all the people in the area. I encouraged him to got to left around the walled side of the site and Milo immediately stuck on the downspout at the base of the foundation. I called it immediately and was thrilled how he stuck to the source–not like his class work.

Without time to absorb, we were immediately whisked off to the vehicles which were at an angle to the start line in a covered parking area on asphalt. A small truck, car and van. The start line was facing the middle of the car. Milo and I went to the right and I had hoped that we could weave in and out of the vehicles unless Milo had other thoughts. He started searching the front of the first car and after he searched the license plate, went to the 2nd vehicle wheel well and stuck to the upper part of the well and I called the alert. These two searches were the best work that we have done together as a team. I was thrilled. And worried about the afternoons interior search.

The arrangement of the boxes in the container element was a straight line and then a “U” shaped on top of the straight line. Sort of like a hat. Milo and I started at the end of the line and then progressed up the “U” where Milo found the hide and indicated strongly. He was right and now I had to wait for the interior search.

I really thought about this search and decided that this would be a good candidate for a threshold hide. The cluttered was everywhere. Everything went as planned at the door as far as slowly letting him enter the room. He than trotted off to visit everyone. Fortunately, he sort of toured the room while visiting and ended up toward the front. He went to the front desk and immediately became interested in the hardware at the back of the chair. He stuck on the backrest adjustment and I called the alert. He lingered just long enough for me to feel confidently to call it and thankfully, it was correct and WE PASSED THE TRIAL. I was so relieved! My beautiful Golden Boy performed brilliantly and I was so proud of him.

At the award ceremony we found out just how well my gentle Milo had performed. Not only did he pass the trial but he had the fastest time for the vehicle search–13 seconds and the 2nd fastest time overall for the trial at 1 minute and 54 seconds. Needless to say, I was in complete shock. Milo has never been really that fast in class and is usually very slow and meticulous in his work. During the trial, you just do not have a sense of time and it never occurred to me that these times were a possibility for Milo and I.

It was a wonderful culmination to a 1 1/2 years of work with Joyce. She has been very patient with both me & my dogs. They love this game and it has been a tool for me to become closer to them and participate in something that they love to do. And Now, onto Level 2!!

Happy Sniffing,
Martha Schostal and Milo