So Spirit did a thing today. I’m so incredibly proud of her for passing her CKC Urban Tracking Dog test (UTD) today at almost 7 years old. It wasn’t pretty and she struggled for a very long time at her second corner but ultimately we made it to the magical leather glove at the end. Thank you to our amazing Judge Donna Brinkworth, our track layer and friend extraordinaire Susan Dueck, my training partner Leslie and our coach/trainer Mary Ann. And of course thank you Coreen and Steve of Tailspin Bernese for sharing this big, shiny, goofy black girl with me.
Category Archives: Tracking
Took the dogs out early this morning for some tracking. Brodie did a 300 metre field track. The crop was taller than him and filled with dew and seed heads. The yellow seeds turned Brodie into a “ golden” Golden Retriever instead of a cream coloured one. Both he and I have thousands of little seeds in every crack and crevice of our bodies and my clothes. My pants were so wet from the heavy dew that they were weighted down and moving towards my ankles as I ran through the field trying to keep up with Brodie 😂😆
Thank goodness we have a high powered dog blow dryer to get these seeds off.
Spirit ran a 700 metre urban track that was aged for 75 minutes. Unfortunately for the second time this week, just before we started to run the track, huge industrial lawn mowers went right over our track and articles. After a few expletives, I decided we would try and run the track anyway. She struggled for the first 200 metres weaving widely back and forth but eventually we made it to an area that hadn’t been mowed and she got back on track. So proud of her for handling this very tough puzzle and making it to end successfully.
This morning Spirit and I participated in a CKC Tracking Dog test put on by Wild Rose Tracking Club. I am over the moon proud of my big, black hairy girl. Out of all of her titles and ribbons, this one means the most to me. She is just shy of her 6th birthday so that makes it even more special for a breed with a average lifespan of 8 years. We were very lucky and had first draw but I pulled track #6….the last one. The weather forecast was for a cool, very dry and windy day with gusts up to 50km….the later the track the stronger the winds.
Only two of the 5 teams before us were successful so I was pretty nervous at the start. Spirit started well but about 80 metres into our track her head came up with her muzzle up high obviously air scenting, her body went stiff and she started racing back and forth in front of me. It clearly wasn’t a loss of track/turn indication, she was anxious about something that she smelled in the air. It took a while but I got her focused and back on track. From then on it was a blur. She was head down and pulling like crazy. I had to run most of the way just to try and keep up with her. She did a beautiful down on her leather and just like that….it was all over.
Big thanks to Wild Rose Tracking Club, their track layers, volunteers and Judge Greg Martin.
This is how Spirit likes to celebrate her titles:
For the second year in a row I was privileged to be a track layer for the Wild Rose Tracking Club’s urban tracking tests. Donna Brinkworth graciously made last minute plans to substitute for an out of province judge who had to cancel. It is so rewarding to work for a Judge like a Donna who’s love and dedication to Tracking is so obvious. I learn so much from her by studying her tracks, why she chose them and then getting to see a team run the track. On Saturday, 3 of the 4 UTD teams were successful but sadly all 3 UTDX teams struggled from the start flag and were quickly disqualified. Sunday was a day of success for almost everyone. 2/2 UTD and 2/3 UTDX with one team earning their Tracking Championship.
We did our first ever blind track today and I am still flying high hours later. It was 283M and had 2 articles. It felt so weird not knowing where the track went and trying to trust and read Spirit’s body language. There was a cross wind that confused her in a couple of places but she was able to work out the puzzle. So darn proud of her ❤️🐶❤️.
Spirit and I spent the weekend in Red Deer and Olds taking a tracking seminar with Donna Brinkworth of Spiritdance Tracking. We had a blast and learned so much. I can’t wait to get out with her and practice what we learned.
Our last track ended with a bit of a funny blooper. Spirit stepped on an upside down discarded plastic food tray and her foot went through it and it got stuck. She handled it like a pro and didn’t let it phase her.