Yesterday we got the very sad news that Brodie’s Mom Ceilidh crossed the rainbow bridge unexpectedly and much too young. Our hearts go out to our breeder Shannon. We also received a bunch of CKC mail for Brodie which is a fitting tribute to his wonderful Mom.
Category Archives: Nosework
Once Brodie earned his SDDA (Sporting Detection Dogs Association) Elite Championship and Grand Master Championship I hadn’t planned to trial him anymore. Well plans change. Since Spirit was still working towards completing her SD-MACH2 and we were still attending trials, I decided to let him continue to play since he loves it so much. Much to my surprise he earned his 6th title in July and today his 7th. That’s his 4th Elite title this year compared the very long drought (2.5 years) between #3 and #4. He really loves this game.
I have been really bad about posting about our trialing adventures lately but this one is a big deal. My big shiny black girl did a thing today. Spirit earned her SD-MACH2 with 9 of the 10 titles in her second MACH at the gold level (scent detection master champion x2 which requires a combination of 20 advanced and excellent titles). She is the first Bernese Mountain Dog to earn this title and, according to the latest published stats, she is the 7th dog to have ever achieved it. I have to admit that I was beginning to wonder if she would ever earn this title. She is not a speedy searcher so we have timed out numerous times.
It has been a very long drought for us but I am so thrilled that we earned our 4th SDDA Elite title today. Even better than that, my normally “chicken sh!t” dog amazed me by not only jumping on a table but he climbed up on a tractor and even on an open grate spiky metal platform. I couldn’t be more proud of him. Big thanks to Kristina of Little Nose That Knows, our Judge Kelly Ladouceur, the volunteers and my fellow competitors for cheering us on.
I think CKC may be finally getting caught up on all of their outstanding performance titles. In stark contrast, CWAGS issues titles within weeks of them being earned.
We spent the past weekend in Olds Alberta at the Canine Coaching SDDA trial. Both dogs had a great weekend. Although Spirit had retired from SDDA more than 2 years ago, she came back this weekend without missing a beat. On Saturday so got an advanced title with 3rd place in exteriors, 2nd place in containers and 1st place overall. Sunday morning she ran in Advanced again and got 3rd place in interiors, passed containers but we timed out in exteriors. Sunday afternoon she tried Excellent and got 3rd place in exteriors and 3rd place overall. So proud of her. She got a Mickey D’s ice cream cone to celebrate her achievements.
Brodie ran in Elite on Saturday and Sunday. No title for us (or for anyone this weekend which is not that unusual for Elite). On Saturday he got a 2nd in Exteriors and Containers (we finally broke our container jinx) and Sunday he got a 2nd in Interiors.
It was so nice to reconnect with so many handlers that we haven’t had a chance to visit with in over a year. Overall and fantastic weekend.
Brodie and Spirit got mail from C-WAGS today. Spirit earned her Level 1 Ranger Ace title which means she earned 14 qualifiying runs (4 runs for the Scent Ranger Level 1 title and an additional 10 runs to get the Ace). This is the first time Spirit has earned a title before Brodie. Brodie earned his Level 4 Super Sleuth Title (4 qualifying runs).
Brodie got his medal and $50 cheque today for coming in 2nd place at the Boneyard Challenge (scent detection) He thinks that the cheque should have been made out in his name so that he could decide what to spend it on.
We had fun today at See Spot Run Doggy Daycare & Training Inc’s Back to School C-WAGS Nosework Trial. Thanks to Anneli Hilton and Judges Robbi Bitner, Deb Proc and Christina. Both dogs Q’d in Ranger 1 and Ranger 2 and Don Ho made his debut as a timer.
Both Brodie and Spirit got some bling in the mail. They both earned their Scent Ranger Level 1 titles. For the first time Spirit actually beat her brother by earning her title with 4 straight Q’s whereas it took Brodie 5 trials to earn his. Spirit also earned her Scent Detective Ace title which required 14 Q’s. Both dogs just love to play scent games.
Another great day at See Spot Run doing C-WAGS nosework. Thank you to Anneli, our Judges and the wonderful volunteers. Both Brodie and Spirit Q’d in Level 1 Ranger and Level 3.
Big thank you to Barb Burgess and her volunteers for welcoming us into Calgary’s C-WAGS Scent League. We enjoyed a very Covid safe trial and Judge Kelly Ladouceur rocked it running ahead of schedule. The dogs went 6/6 and we got to try Ranger level 2 for the first time. Pretty proud of them considering it was 30 degrees and they were still able to sniff despite their heavy panting.
Big thank you to Samantha Freschette of Canine Coaching and all of her amazing volunteers for putting on a socially distanced SDDA trial. Thanks also to Judges Richard Hatchman, Lou-Anne Lambert and shadow judge Shanna Chynoweth. No Elite dogs titled on Saturday but 2 were successful on Sunday (#4 for Tracy Woroschuk and Max and yahoo Darla your 1st elite title). Although we struggled all weekend, I was so pleased with our final search today. Not because we were successful but because it felt like we were in unison functioning as a connected team. A positive end to our weekend. Thanks to Kerri for the pix.
Another fun day playing C-WAGS nose work. Not a stellar day for either dog but it was nice to be out with fellow dog sports people having fun. Big thanks to Anneli Hilton of See Spot Run Doggy Daycare & Training Inc, our great Judges Deb, Robbi and Christina, the wonderful volunteers and fellow competitors.
We spent this morning at See Spot Run having some fun sniffing. The dogs both did great passing 7 of 7 runs. Spirit earned her Level 1 Scent Ranger title (CW-ScR1) and her scent Detective Ace title (CW-SDA) and Brodie also earned his Level 1 Scent Ranger title.
Big thanks to Anneli, the Judges and volunteers.
We went to our first nose work trial since March. It was a C-WAGS trial hosted by See Spot Run Doggy Daycare. It was so nice to be around our “dog people” again. It was a small trial and everyone was very careful to practice social distancing. The host had everything setup so that you didn’t have to touch any surface or door and you could get in, search and leave the building without coming into close contact with anyone. Really well organized. We haven’t done any CWAGS practices and only one SDDA in two months so I was very surprised to see how well they just jumped back into the Sport. The dogs qualified in 6 out of 6 searches. Spirit did a Level 1 Ranger, two Level 2 and one Level 3 search. Brodie did a Level 1 Ranger and a Level 3 search. Big thanks to our Judges, volunteers and fellow search teams for a great day.
So proud of my boy. He earned his C-WAGS Scent Detective Ace title. He had to earn 14 Scent Detective titles to get his ACE.
It’s official, Spirit received her SDDA Games Champion title in the mail. Back in December, she was the first Bernese Mountain Dog to earn this title and she is still the only one. So proud of what she has accomplished.
We spent the last 3 days attending Barn Hunt and C-WAGS trials. So proud of both my kids. Between the two of them they earned 3 new titles and 10 Q’s
Brodie got his Barn Hunt Instinct and Novice titles as well as his C-WAGS Level 2 Scent Detective Ace title (RATI RATN CW-SDA). He also got his first Q in Barn Hunt Open and 40 points towards his Barn Hunt Crazy 8’s title. He earned a Q in C-WAGS Scent Ranger Level 1, Scent Detective and Scent Investigator
Spirit is too big for the Barn Hunt tunnels but she Q’d in all 3 of her C-WAGS runs today
We spent today at See Spot Run participating in our last C-WAGS trial for 2019. Brodie earned two Level 2 Q’s. Spirit whipped his butt by not only earning two Level 2’s but also her first Level 4 Q. Thanks to Judges Deb, Christina and Robbi.
Spirit has had a great sniffing week. First she earned her SDDA Games Champion title on Sunday and today we got her C-WAGS Scent Investigator (Level 3) title in the mail.
Brodie and I had an incredible weekend at the Canine Coaching SDDA trial held at the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame. Big thanks to Samantha Freschette and all her wonderful volunteers for putting on another amazing trial and to Judge Richard Hatchman.
On Saturday there were 9 or 10 teams doing elite searches. That is the biggest Elite group we have ever trialed with (normally it is 5 or 6 teams maximum). We ran last so we had lots of time to wait and worry….ok I worried and stressed, Brodie didn’t care. It was so exciting to see each team come out from their searches all excited because they had passed. An incredible 6 teams passed all 3 components to earn an Elite title. For two teams it was their elusive first title. One amazing team (Al and Kerri) reached the ultimate pinnacle in SDDA and earned both their Sporting Detection Elite Champion and Sporting Detection Grand Master Champion. We earned our 2nd elite title, but more importantly we got our first gold score. We also got a first place in containers, 3rd place in interiors and a 3rd place overall.
On Sunday there were 6 elite teams competing and this time we searched first. Only one team titled on Sunday…..and it was us and it was another gold! Since we were the only team to title, we got first place overall and we were the only team to pass the exterior search so we got first in exteriors. I am still in shock. We now have 3 elites, under 2 different judges and the elusive 2 gold scores. We need two more elite titles to earn our Sporting Detection Elite Champion and Sporting Detection Grand Master Champion.
I just love this big goofy girl. She does not do scent work for the love of the game, she does it because she loves engaging with me and seeing me get so excited when she finds the hide and, well lets be honest here….she has an intense love affair with food. We’ve had more than our fair share of struggles along the way. I used to say that if we could just make it to our championship I would be thrilled. Then it was maybe a Master Champion title was actually possible. With each milestone we reached she showed me she could do it and that I underestimated her. Then came Games. Once again, I sold her short. At best I thought we had a chance of getting our Aerial title but that was it. Yesterday we earned our Games Championship. In so many ways this title means more to me than when her younger “brother’ Brodie became the first dog to earn a SD-GCH. For him it was relatively easy and somewhat expected that he would, at least at some point, get the title. For Spirit this is a real achievement….she actually got 3 Speed Q’s…if you’ve ever watched her search, speedy is not an adjective you would use to describe her style 😉. Moral of the story…..dream big and trust your dog 💜💜💜
She is the first Bernese Mountain Dog to get this title and only the 6th dog of any breed to earn it. If you think about it, that is pretty amazing for a breed that is not associated with scent work. She is now officially known as:
Tailspin’s Winter’s Spirit RI SDIN, SDDA: SD-MACH SD-GCH, C-WAGS: CW-SI
This afternoon we had the amazing opportunity to watch and learn from the Edmonton Police Service how they train their dogs to do scent detection. It was very informative and interesting to see the parallels and differences between their training methods and ours.
Cst. Eastman and his canine partner Evan did a demo search of a locker room for us.
A few of us got the opportunity to run our dogs and get feedback from EPS. Here is Brodie’s search. He did us very proud easily finding the hide in bleachers with slippery concrete floors and lots of distractions in the environment.
Our mailbox was overflowing with mail for Brodie and Spirit. Starting with Spirit, she got her CKC Scent Detection Instinct Title (SDIN) and her SDDA Aerial Games Title (SD-GA).
Brodie received his CKC Scent Detection Novice (SDN) and his Chase Ability Excellent (CAE)
SDDA Games Aerial (SD-GA), Games Speed (SD-GS) and Games Distance (SD-GD)
as well as his C-WAGS Scent Investigator (CS-SI).
We spent the day at See-Spot-Run participating in their Pre-Halloween Howler scent detection trial. Both dogs were on their game qualifying in 7 out of 7 runs and we had a great time.
Spirit got two Level 2 and one Level 3 Q which earned her a Level 3 Scent Investigator title (CW-SI).
Brodie also earned two Level 2 and one Level 3 Q. He ran his first Level 4 search and qualified. So proud of both of them. We are so lucky to be able to participate in scent detection under three different organizations with different scents and rules (C-WAGS, SDDA and CKC)
I am so glad that we were able to combine our family visits with the Sporting Detection Dogs Association’s inaugural National Challenge Cup. We had a blast meeting so many wonderful people,talking dogs and sniffing.
The festivities started on Friday with a lovely wedding. Esteemed Judge Doug Teeft and his fiancé Cathy tied the knot. Their cake was appropriately topped with German Shepherds.
The Games trial came next. Originally I had signed Brodie up for all 4 games but since that time he has earned all 4 titles. I substituted Spirit in the Speed component since she needs two more Speed Q’s to get her title and championship. Since we had already paid, Brodie ran in the remaining 3 games for the heck of it. Spirit nailed Speed and Brodie Q’d in Aerial and Distance (18 seconds WTG).
Then came the Team component. We didn’t have a pre-arranged partner so Stacy Barnett and I partnered up. She wanted to split the areas up and not call a hide until the other dog came in and confirmed it. Since we already have our title I was happy to follow her plan. Unfortunately that ate up a lot of time. We had successfully called 3, Brodie had sourced the 4th hide but Brava couldn’t confirm it so we timed out. Oh so close. In NACSW they don’t have to be as exact as SDDA when they call their hides. Brava was able to say there is something somewhere around here but I had to bring Brodie in to pinpoint the exact location before I was able to call each of the hides. Although we didn’t Q (only one team did) it was an honour and pleasure to search with such a well known and respected participant, Judge and international nose work instructor.
The Nationals started Saturday morning with each team doing 4 searches (exterior containers, interior and 2 interior/exterior combos). In 3 of the 4 searches we found all the hides for full points plus bonus points. We only found two of the 4 hides in the last interior/exterior combo but since we found the two hardest hides we still earned decent points. Our two afternoon searches weren’t quite as successful. We nailed the exterior search but NQ’d on the vehicle search which cost us a maximum of 30 points. At the end of the first day we had 182 points which put us in 9th place overall
Saturday night was the banquet. We shared a table with Jane book and several of her students and had a wonderful evening. There was a very interesting speaker with 40+ years experience training dogs and handlers all over the world. He talked about how scent behaves and how he approaches a search.
Sunday morning we had 3 searches. They upped the ante by reducing our search time to only 2 minutes each. My amazing boy nailed all 3. Watching him work just made my heart sing. How lucky am I that I get to play sports and share my life with this smart, athletic, goofy and handsome boy. I could have gone home at that point completely happy with our performance.
All of a sudden people where hugging and congratulating me and I didn’t know what was happening until I actually saw the official results. Much to my utter shock, we ended up placing 4th overall. Holy cow….completely unexpected.
The top 12 teams got to participate in the finals. The dogs ran in reverse order of score so we were the 9th team to search. There were 2 search areas, 3 hides in each and only 2 minutes per search. We all started fresh with zero points.
I listened to lots of clapping and cheers for the previous competitors. By the time it was our turn my mouth was dry, my palms and forehead were sweaty and my stomach was doing flip flops. We were way out of our league competing against scent work teachers, judges and some of the best in our sport. When I walked up to the vehicle search and saw the crowd of spectators my hands started shaking. Scent detection is usually a solo sport with just you, your dog, the timer and Judge.
Our first search was not stellar. We missed the first hide right at the front corner of the trailer, found the second inside the bed of the trailer and then moved on to the second vehicle. Brodie picked up the odour and worked it back to source but we timed out just as I called alert.
Thank goodness we had a couple of minutes to wait before we started the exterior search. I was able to sit down, stroke Brodie’s sweet soft forehead and practice some deep breathing to try and relax. I told myself to calm down and forget about who else is searching and how many people are watching and judging us. Just focus on my boy and enjoy ourselves. It worked. We nailed all 3 hides. So proud of Brodie. He is the heart and soul of this team.
We ended up finishing in 7th place, way exceeding any of my dreams. We got a lovely ribbon and a bag of swag.
I wish I could have had a do-over on the first search but that’s how it goes. Valuable lesson learned. Forget about everything else and most importantly trust your dog!!!!
Games night at the Manitoba Scent Detection Trial is over. Thanks to our awesome Teams partner Michelle and Neuman, Brodie and I got our 3rd Q and earned our Teams Title. I think that makes us the very first to get all 4 Games Titles 🏅🏅🏅🏅.
Spirit earned her Distance Title giving her her 2nd games title. She completely surprised me by earning a Q in Speed. Anyone who has seen her search knows that speed is not her forte….slow and steady is her mantra. We called the last hide with just a millisecond to spare.
Thank you to all the volunteers, hosts Michelle & Diane and our Judge John-Marc Dugas.
We had a great weekend at the Alert K9 trial in Pilot Butte Saskatchewan. We started with Games on Friday night. The first component was speed, the only Q Brodie needed for his third Games title and the championship. He nailed it. According to the latest stats as of 2019SEP08, no one has 3 titles yet so he could be the first dog to attain a Games Championship but we won’t know until the updated stats are available. We were lucky to be paired up again with Darla and Jetta in Team which resulted in our 2nd team Q. Spirit ran both distance and aerial and Q’d in both.
Brodie and I did Elite on Saturday and Sunday. Our streak of passing 2 of 3 components continues. So close😉. No teams passed elite either day.
Big thanks to host Christina, her amazing volunteers and Judge extraordinaire Kathy Hansen.