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
Brodie was the first dog ever to earn a SDDA Games Champion Title. So proud of my little Golden sniffer. Spirit is one Q away from getting her Games Championship and hopefully she will earn that Q this weekend.
What a beautiful late fall day. We are supposed to get up to 11 degrees today. I took this opportunity to give the dogs a good brushing and mani-pedis. They went from polar bear feet to this. We are supposed to get very cold next week 😢😫
This is just a fraction of the fur that I got out of Brodie and Spirit.
Well our first Barn Hunt trial at Prairie Dog Sports has come to an end and we had an amazing time. Great participants, volunteers, judges and hosts. To say that Brodie was absolutely thrilled with barn hunt would be an understatement. He gets to combine his love of scent work with the freedom to run around and hunt for source without the need to follow any pretty pattern. Considering the fact that we just did our introductory seminar a week ago I’m blown away at how well he did. Although we NQ’d in both our instinct runs, mostly my fault, he did so well in Novice and Crazy 8’s. On our first Novice run his dummy human partner forgot to hand her leash to the gate steward before leaving the start box. I was so excited that we had Q’d only to hear the Judge say I’m sorry I have to disqualify you because you still have your leash in you hand. Hard lesson learned but hopefully I won’t make that mistake again 😉. Our second run earned us a 2nd place finish. Our final run was a thing of beauty. He found the gerbil, did a tunnel and jumped up onto a bale in a smoking fast time of just over 11 seconds. He not only got 1st place in the large dog class but he earned a High in Class for all Novice dogs.
We signed up for Crazy 8’s (8 gerbils, 4 litter distractors) just to get practice hunting and doing tunnels. We actually managed to Q in both runs and earn 50 points towards our bronze title.
The icing on the cake was to find out that we were chosen as the Judge’s Choice winner for our great team work and bright future in Barn Hunt. Big thank you to Judge Norm Riley for his very kind words.
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.