Tag Archives: Berner

More Games Titles

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 ūüŹÖūüŹÖūüŹÖūüŹÖ.

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.

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Filed under Brodie, Nosework, SDDA, SDDA Games, SDDA Title, Spirit, Sporting Detection, Sporting Detection Dog Association

Another sniffing Saturday

We made another trip to Red Deer today to compete in a scent trial hosted by the Little Nose That Knows. Brodie had a great day in his advanced trial coming in 2nd in interiors and vehicles and finished first overall. He got lots of ribbons and swag. Thank you to Judges Ryan-Ann King-Smith and MaryAnn Warren and to Kristina Sveinson and Samantha Freschette for all their hard work organizing the trial.

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Puppy enrichment day

Spirit and Brodie had a nice off leash run and swim today. Unfortunately that also meant they both had to have a bath because they were filthy and smelled like “swamp thing”.

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First CKC Title For Spirit

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We spent this weekend at the Battle River Canine Association rally obedience trial in Camrose. I signed Spirit up just to give her some experience in the trial environment. She can get anxious and reactive around other dogs so I wanted her first trial to be somewhere relatively close to home giving us the opportunity to just take her home if she was overwhelmed. She amazed me. There were only minor signs of stress and I was able to quickly focus and redirect her. Not only did she successfully complete her trial each day with a qualifying score, she earned her Novice title with scores of 92, 96 and 95. On Friday she also got a ribbon for Second in Class. She is now officially known as Tailspin’s Winter’s Spirit RN . Not bad considering we just finished our introductory rally course a couple of weeks ago. Yahoooooooooo ¬†Thank you to Judges Karen Brearley, Margaret Chandler, Marie-Johanne Cloutier.

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Snuggle Bunnies

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This is a typical morning in our house…although usually Tilly is also snuggling somewhere in the mix. ¬†I have over 150 lbs. of hairy children draped across my body. ¬†Good thing they are comfortable…..who cares if I am.

 

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Advanced Title – It’s Official

We received our official Advanced Title in the mail today. ¬†I didn’t realize it but we received¬†a gold level title which means we scored 96% or better in each of the disciplines. ¬†Her started titled was a bronze so I guess it means that we are improving as a team….yeah us!!!

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Another Title

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We were up bright and early this morning to drive to Red Deer to participate in Nosey Pawtner’s Sporting Detection Dog Association trial. ¬†We had a slow start but a great finish ¬†with lots of swag.

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Spirit got a second place on the interior search component, 2nd place overall and she got her Advanced title today.  So proud of my big girl.  So now we have to move from the amateur steam and start competing in the working/professional scenting dog stream.

Throughout the photo shoot she had her eye on the cookie and couldn’t wait for permission to gobble it down.

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Carting Anyone?

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Next week we are going to take a carting clinic and we needed a cart for the class. ¬†We are very lucky that Spirit’s breeders Coreen and Steve Johnson from Tailspin Bernese Mountain Dogs¬†generously offered to lend us one of theirs. ¬†We went to their acreage on Sunday to fit Spirit¬†with her harness and cart.

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Since we have been doing kick sledding I was worried that Spirit would want to take off running with the cart rather than walking in a nice heel beside me.  She was a little spooked by the metal supports running along side her body but I think she did ok.

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Of course it was freezing cold and windy for us two legged folks but the dogs didn’t mind. ¬†Here is a quick video of her first reaction to being attached to the cart and then her first experience pulling.

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Kicksledding

Berners were bred to pull milk carts in the Swiss Alps.  I thought we should start with something a little easier like pulling a kicksled.  We joined a local Meetup group, rented a sled and attended our first outing at the end of January.  It went really well.  It took Spirit a while to figure out the game but she did a really good job pulling the sled and trying to follow the teams ahead of us.  We completed a 4km loop and had a wonderful time.

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This past weekend we went out with the group again. ¬†I think Spirit was possessed by the “pulling gods”. ¬†Oh my goodness she went fast….and full out on the down hill part. ¬†We only lasted about 10 minutes and ended up with 2 spectacular crashes and a bent ski on my brand new kicksled. ¬†I had my GoPro¬†on my helmet (thank goodness I bought a helmet) so my¬†wipeouts are on record. ¬† You can see that the camera was a little askew after the first crash and then it ended up buried in the snow after the second one.

We went out again today to a local provincial park.  It was mostly flat with a few gentle hills.  It was a lot slower today since the terrain was relatively flat and there were no teams ahead of us to chase.  I hope to go out with the Meetup group again this weekend.

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Frosty Morning Walk

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January 25, 2017 · 14:04

Happy New Year

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It was a beautiful, sunny New Year’s Day so my big girl and I went for a walk together without any of the other dogs. ¬†Spirit has been having trouble getting used to sharing her “Mom” with our foster puppy McMullin. ¬†Whenever I try and smooch him she pushes him out of the way and tries to get the attention.

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nailShe was spayed 2 weeks ago so¬†she has been very¬†bored¬†hanging out around the house without any physical activity except 2 gentle walks a day. ¬†Somehow she still managed to rip her toe nail almost completely off and leave just exposed tissue and bone. ¬†I had the unfortunate job of having to trim off the nail. ¬†I’m so lucky that we have such a strong bond that she completely trusted and allowed me to slowly and careful trim back the nail close to the base. ¬†Poor girl. ¬†She has sure had a run of bad luck health wise. ¬†Let’s hope that 2017 is a new beginning for her.

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2 Years Young

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I can’t believe that she is two years old already. ¬†Time is just flying by. ¬†She got a huge, delicious dino bone to celebrate.

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Anticipation

You can get a perspective on just how huge the bone is when you see it beside her giant 97lb body.  One end is the same size as her head.  She can barely carry it in her mouth.

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Workout Buddy

No matter what I am doing, Spirit thinks she should be part of it. ¬†I don’t know how she managed to sit her giant body on the narrow incline bench and polish my face.

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Berner Party

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Today we had the pleasure of attending the first annual Bernese Mountain Dog party hosted by Coreen and Steve Johnson of Tailspin.  They invited all of the families who had dogs from their breedings.  There was a bevy of Berners in attendance.  We managed to get a picture with 14 of them.

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There was only one dog there from Spirit’s litter, her sister Asha.

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This is Mom Sophie and her two daughters.

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We also had the pleasure of meeting Tailspin’s¬†newest litter. ¬†They are called the Olympic litter because they were born during the Olympics. ¬†Each puppy’s registered name will be Olympic themed. ¬†They will be six weeks old on Monday.

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Sniffin’ Along

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On Saturday Spirit and I participated in an SDDA (Sporting Detection Dogs Association) Advance Trial in Red Deer hosted by The Little Nose that Knows. ¬†Two days before the trial Spirit surprised us by going into heat. ¬†I contacted the trial co-ordinator and she said we could still compete if Spirit wore a diaper and that we would have to go last. ¬† We’ve never trained with her in heat or with a diaper. ¬†I decided that we would still go to the trial for the experience…….just treat it like a training session with no expectations.

While we were waiting for our turn to start, I walked Spirit around so that she would get used to wearing her search vest and diaper. ¬†Before I could stop her, she squatted and took a pee. ¬†Great now not only was she wearing a diaper but it was sagging and heavy with pee. ¬†We didn’t have time to change so we had to go ahead and do our first two searches that way.

Our first search was containers.  At the advanced level there are two finds and one distractor with dog food in it.  Spirit is not what you would call a high energy or speedy dog.  She slowly but methodically makes her way through the search checking each container.   I could tell when she hit the distractor because she was very interested in the delicious smells wafting out of the container.  I was very relieved when she moved on without alerting on it.  We finished our search in 1 minute and 8 seconds (3 minute time limit).

We immediately went on to the interior search…generally the hardest component because you are inside, there is not much air movement and there are literally hundred of places where the hide can be. ¬†I could tell that she had located the scent cone of one of the hides under a table but she was having trouble finding the source. ¬†I should have asked the Judge if I could move some of the chairs out of the way to give her more room to maneuver but I didn’t. ¬†Classic handler error. ¬†She gave her alert and the Judge asked me to identify where the source was. ¬† I knew it was under the table but I could not tell him exactly where so I took a best guess and pointed to where I thought it was but I was a few inches off. ¬† Too bad…game over no hope of an advanced title today.

We had to wait another hour before we did our final search….an exterior. ¬†She located the scent cone quite quickly but it was so windy she had trouble finding the source. ¬†She went back and forth in the same area several times but then all of sudden she went straight to the hide and gave a beautiful indication. ¬† It took her 1 minute and 49 seconds (5 minute time limit).

Considering the circumstances we did great and I am so proud of¬†Spirit. The NQ for the interior was my fault and a good lesson was learned. ¬†At the award ceremony I was just standing at the back enjoying everyone’s accomplishments when I was shocked to find out that we got a perfect score on the container search and came away with a first place ribbon.

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20 Months Old

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July 26, 2016 · 12:47

Mornings with Spirit

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Her first Title SD-S, SP

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Spirit and I competed in our first sanctioned SDDA trial on Saturday, April 23rd in Morinville, Alberta. ¬†I am thrilled to announce that we qualified in all three components: container, interior and exterior/vehicle (3 purple ribbons). ¬†Spirit now has her Sporting Detection – Started title: “SD – S “. ¬†Because we qualified in all 3 components on the same day, we also earned a special designation making her title “SD – S, SP” (large purple/black ribbon). ¬†And if that wasn’t enough, we placed 3rd in the interior search which is the hardest of the three (large white and black ribbon). ¬†Thank you to SDDA Judge Paul Dyer. ¬†I am so proud of my girl. ¬†I think she was also the youngest dog at the trial.

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Thanks to photographer Bev Holoboff for donating her time to take pictures of the teams at work.

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A special thank you to Ryan-Ann of Doglogix Scent Detection for hosting an amazing trial and being a talented¬†scent detection instructor. ¬†Team Spirit’s success is because of you.

After a long, cold and windy day at the trial we came home and relaxed together in the La-Z-Boy. ¬†Spirit loves to use me as her personal pillow. Note Tilly’s disgusted look.

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Another DOT

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On February 24th (the night before Spirit’s shoulder surgery) she participated in her Sporting Detection Dogs Association (SDDA) advanced Designated Odor Test (DOT) for pine. ¬†Even though she was sore she still worked very hard and passed. ¬†We just got our ¬†ribbon and certificate so we thought an official portrait was in order. ¬†Look how nicely the fur is growing back on her shoulder and leg. ¬†With these two DOT tests under her belt, Spirit is now able to participate in sanctioned SDDA started and advanced trials.

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Snow Day

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Spirit, Bentley, Boomer and Hope

On Saturday the gang got together at Patty’s house for a wonderful day of fresh air, great food and even better company. ¬†The dogs had a wonderful time running around together and practicing scent detection.

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Hope helped me make a snow angel

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Spirit got to meet her first cat. ¬†She just kept looking back at me with an expression that said “Hey Mom…..look at this thing!”.

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Spirit meeting Bazinga

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Happy Snuffler

It takes Spirit just a few seconds to inhale her meals.  When I saw Facebook and Blog posts about the snuffle mat I knew it would be perfect for my girl.

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Smelly Girl

WintergreenDOTOur girl has a good nose.  Spirit passed her first Sporting Detection Dog Association (SDDA) test.  She got her Designated Odour Test (DOT) certificate and ribbon for Wintergreen.  There were 14 containers and the hide was in the 12th one.  It took us 28 seconds to complete it.

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Spoiled, Shiny and Clean

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Since we were away on Sunday when Spirit actually celebrated her first birthday we had some “spoiling and loving” to catch up on. ¬†First she got a big frozen sardine to wet her appetite. ¬†Then came the real treat…..a giant knuckle bone. ¬†She spent over a hour lying in the snow enjoying her present.

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Then we took her to the dog wash.  We now have an even more beautiful and shiny girl.  She is so fluffy that she looks like she put on 25 lbs.

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Snow Bunny

Well, I can’t believe it but my big girl is celebrating her first birthday. ¬†Wow time just flies by so quickly. ¬†We’ve also had our first snowfall of the season. ¬†Only one individual in our household is thrilled with the white stuff. ¬†Guess who?

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140lbs of Puppy Loving


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She’s Maturing

11Months

Today Spirit is 11 months old (weights 85 lbs) and just finishing up her first heat. ¬†I knew it would be a challenge with two intact dogs in the house but I was still overwhelmed by Wally’s response to her. ¬†My old boy will be 15 in April but he still has his “mojo” firmly in place. ¬†I think it put a bit of a twinkle in his eyes and a spark in his step.

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Special Day

Today Spirit and I are sharing our special day together. ¬†She is 10 month’s old and I’m ancient.

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New Puppy Bed

We started making this raised dog bed over two years ago. ¬†The various pieces have spent 2 winters on our deck waiting for some attention. ¬†Well I’m thrilled to say we have finally assembled it¬†and it has Spirit’s seal of approval. ¬†I think she will find it nice and cool to have the air circulating underneath her. ¬†It creaks and groans with all her weight on it but it should support her just fine. (Thanks Auntie Patty for finally lighting a fire under our butts to get us to assemble it)

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9 Months and Counting

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9MonthsTo help Spirit celebrate her big day we gave her her first knuckle bone. To say that it was a hit would be a big understatement. She LOVED it!! It kept her busy for a couple of hours. Every time I walked by her she had this look on her face that clearly said “please don’t take this away from me…pretty please!” I did take it from her several times to make sure she wouldn’t resource guard it. She now weighs 34.6 kg or 76.2 lbs.

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If you missed it on Facebook last week, here is Spirit celebrating National Dog Day:

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Our garden helper

Spirit loves to be part of everything that we are doing.  If we ignore her then she finds a way to push her big, fat head into the action.  Here she is helping Dad garden:

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Then she got her first introduction to the garden sprinkler. As you can see she loved it!

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