Tag Archives: Bernese Mountain Dog

Halloween C-WAGS Style

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)

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Filed under Brodie, CW-SI, CWAGS, CWAGS Title, Nosework, Spirit

SDDA Nationals

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!!!!

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

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 🏅🏅🏅🏅.

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

C-WAGS Back to School Trial

We spent the day at See Spot Run participating in a C-WAGS scent trial. We had a great day sniffing and hanging out with great people. Brodie was entered in three rounds, one Level 2 and two Level 3, and he qualified in all of them. He earned his Level 3 Scent Investigator (CW-SI) title.

Spirit ran in two Level 3 rounds and qualified in both.

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Filed under Brodie, CWAGS, CWAGS Title, Nosework, Spirit

CKC Scent Detection Titles

ShibaCKC-SD1

Yesterday we got up bright and early to drive to Calgary to participate in the Shiba Inu Club of Canada’s Scent Detection trial at the beautiful Spruce Meadows.  It’s a good thing that Spirit went first because the temperature soared to 30C later in the day.  She found the hide in 10.61 seconds earning her Scent Detection Instinct Title (SDIN).  By the time the Novice teams started it was unbearably hot outside.  We started with containers and Brodie had it sourced from the start line so we finished in 8.19 seconds.  By the time we ran the exterior searches, the search area was in full sun.  Thank goodness he found it in 33.54 seconds.  We finished with the interior search inside the barn.  Brodie found the environment very “smelly-licious” and wasn’t as focused as he should have been.  He found the hide in 33.54 seconds.  Only 6 teams passed all 3 searches to earn their Scent Detection Novice Title (SDN) and thank goodness we were one of them.  The majority of the teams failed on the hot exterior search.  It is very difficult for dogs to scent when they are panting so hard.  At the trial 2 weeks ago 20 teams passed the Novice test so the heat really appears to have been a factor at this trial.

Big thank you to the Shiba Inu Club of Canada, the volunteers and Judge Kelley Ladouceur for a great trial.

ShibaCKC-SD2

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Filed under Brodie, CKC Scent Detection, CKC Title, Nosework, Spirit

Day 1 of Canine Coaching Trial

Tilly photo bomb

It was a great first day at the trial. Both dogs did so well. Brodie went first in Elite. We started with exteriors…darn cold and windy exterior search. The area was also full of dog pee, it was an incredible challenge to keep Brodie from responding to the pee-mail. We managed to qualify and finished 2nd. Containers went really well and we finished in 2nd place again. Then came the dreaded interior search. Brodie narrowed in on the scent quickly but his silly partner jumped the gun and called the alert too quickly. If I had just waited 1/2 a second I would have been able to give the judge the exact location when I heard the dreaded “where?” Instead I was off by a couple of inches. There is so much added pressure when you have passed the first two and know that you need the 3rd component to title. Hopefully tomorrow I will remember to stop and take a breath before calling alert.

Spirit ran in Excellent. We started with the container search which she passed and finished 2nd overall. Then came our interior search. We had 3 rooms to search, two of which where bathrooms. She was very uncomfortable going into the stalls in the men’s bathroom. By the time we got to the ladies bathroom she was shaking and dropping to the ground in fear as we approached the first stall. I did my best to comfort and encourage her. This is the first time she has shown any fear in a bathroom. Thankfully we made it through all three rooms and finished 1st overall. Now the pressure was on. If we passed the exterior search she would not only earned her excellent title but her Championship as well. Alas it was not to be. She alerted on a shoe and we heard the heartbreaking “no'”. We later learned that the first 4 dogs all falsely alerted on the same shoe. We still have tomorrow to hopefully pass the exterior component and earn the titles.

We, or should in say I earned one more title…..”most dramatic”. When I got over the disappointment of Brodie missing his elite title because of my mistake, I blurted out “yeah that means we don’t have to search the urinals”. Turns out the joke was on me. In Spirit’s trial, not only did she have to search the men’s bathroom but also the women’s.  The judge even put a hide on top of one of the urinals. No face smooches for her until I can scrub her muzzle. YUK!!

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Filed under Brodie, SDDA, Spirit, Sporting Detection, Sporting Detection Dog Association

2019 Iron Paws

Just for a little winter fun and motivation, I have signed up for the 2019 Iron Paws Stage Race.  It is a 6 week virtual sled dog race.  The whole idea is to get you and your dogs out and active and meeting up with local like minded people.  It also includes some fun challenges that you must do each week.

For our first week we have been challenged to create a magazine cover featuring our team.  This is what I came up with:

IronPawsMagCover

We accumulate points by participating in races, going on group training runs and participating in regional events.  As long as we do at least one run per week we should earn a medal at the end of the 6 week program. The real reward is the time spent and memories made with your dogs.

Sometimes it can be hard to keep motivated during a cold Alberta winter so I am hoping this virtual race and meeting up with other Kicksled/canicross/skijor/bikejor teams will keep us going out and about.

To start our New Year off on the right foot and accumulate our first points, the dogs and I did the Running Room 5km Resolution run as a canicross team.

2019ResolutionRun

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Filed under Brodie, Canicross, Iron Paws, Kick Sledding, Races, Spirit