This past weekend we went to Red Deer to participate in the Little Nose that Knows SDDA scent trial. Mother Nature did her very best to make the weather conditions as miserable as possible. Despite that, Spirit got her much needed Excellent Exterior search component to finally earn her Championship. It has been a real struggle and I’m so proud of her. Not only did she get her beautiful ribbon, but a bunch of swag as well
Many thanks to our host Kris and the all the wonderful volunteers.
Samantha Freschette of Canine Coaching just posted this video of the first ever SDDA games trial that was held in Innisfail on February 22nd. At the about the 2:16 mark it shows Brodie doing a beautiful indication on the distance search and immediately after that is him indicating on the aerial search. There is also a great group picture at the end. It was such a fun trial.
So proud of both of my “kids” for doing so well this weekend. They spent 3 nights and 4 days cooped up in a kennel in the car or a small hotel room. When we got home last night they burst into the house, running and jumping all over each other so happy to be home and free to move. This is the first time we have done 3 days at a scent trial. By noon on Sunday I had run out of steam and had no energy left. I’m afraid I was the weak link again.
Brodie was great in containers. We received a perfect score….which I don’t think I have ever gotten from Judge Jean-Marc and we got 2nd place. I love trialing under him because he always challenges and tests the teams and I learn so much to help us improve as we move forward. We started out great in our Interior search. Brodie found the hide in the first room and I was ready to call finish and then second guessed myself and decided to check one more area again. Brodie pawed at the rug and I quickly called alert just as my head was saying “NOOOOOOO” that wasn’t his normal alert behaviour. We NQ’d. We still had Exteriors to do. Since we no longer had a chance to title, I decided to try running Brodie without going for an extra pee break to see if I could successfully interrupt his marking behaviour. Exteriors are particularly challenging for an intact male that is obsessed with marking. This search area was even more challenging because there was so much pee-mail already there. He found the one hide and as we were just finishing up the last few feet of the search area, he marked. It was so fast that I didn’t even have a chance to yell NO. A very valuable experiment. I am really going to have to work on teaching him the difference between peeing on a walk and not peeing when wearing his search collar. I’ve got my work cut out for me that’s for sure.
Spirit had a great container run and finished in 3rd place. Unfortunately we NQ’d in interiors because she alerted too far away from the source. It was a tough call because of the drafts and the pooling of odour. Most dogs indicated in the exact same place as Spirit did. Even the judges expressed some regret about the hide placement but once they had NQ’d the first team they had to be consistent and NQ everyone else. If we had approached the hide from the opposite direction, she would have alerted at the source first before encountering the pooled odour. We had the same problem in Exteriors, she alerted at the top of the post and not the base. Ironically, one of the articles in the exterior search area was the same shoe from previous day that so many dogs false alerted on, and ironically Spirit hit on it again. There is something about that shoe that fooled so many teams. Very odd.
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!!
Saturday – Excellent Exterior, Advanced working 1st overall and high in trial
This weekend we participated in our final sporting detection trial for 2018. Chinook Dog Centre put on a really amazing event and it was their very first trial. Big congratulations to Joanne and Brandy-Lee. The timing of runs was fantastic, we were fed really well and we even finished early on Sunday.
On Saturday Brodie had a very busy day trialing at 3 different levels. Normally I would never do that but at the last minute we decided to pull Spirit’s entry because she just didn’t want to play scent games at the last trial and I didn’t think it was fair to force her to do it again (will be play over the winter to find out if she is still interested in Scenting or if it is time to retire). You can only get a refund for medical reasons so we substituted Brodie in for her events. He qualified in Excellent Working Exteriors and finished in 3rd place. He rocked Advanced working qualifying in all 3 components with a 1st in Interiors, 2nd in Containers and 2nd in Exteriors. He finished first overall in Advanced Working and we also won high in trial and got a basket full of goodies. He was fantastic at the Elite level. We qualified in containers and exteriors and got to the final room in our interior search and he alerted at the top of a fire extinguisher but the hide was 2 inches higher in the light switch. So close. It was a heart breaker.
Sunday – Advanced working 1st overall and high in trial
On Sunday he only ran in Excellent and Advanced. We were both tired, he was a little crazy running all over the place and then decided to play soccer with the containers instead of searching them. Needless to say we NQ’d. He managed to slow down a little bit for the Advanced searches. We qualified in all 3 components with a 3rd in Interiors, 1st in Containers and 1st in Exteriors. Once again we finished first overall, won high in trial again and got a second basket full of goodies. So proud of my little man. If we had managed to get just one Excellent Interior qualifier this weekend we would have earned our SD-MACH (Master Champion). On the positive side, we have something to look forward to next year.
Big thanks to Judges Mary-Ann Warren and Doug Wilson
We went to the Canine Coaching SDDA trial in Bowden Alberta this weekend. We drove down on Friday so that we wouldn’t have to get up at 4am on Saturday morning in order to get to the trial on time. That turned out to be a good choice because when we woke up Saturday morning and looked out the window of our hotel room we saw a freezing winter wonderland. It would have been a scary drive. I’ve never practiced in a snow storm never mind trialed.
Neither dog titled on Saturday but Spirit got a 2nd place in Advanced Working Containers and Brodie got a first place in Excellent Working Containers and was the only dog to qualify in that component.
Sunday was an amazing day for Brodie. I am so incredibly proud of my boy. He just loves this game of Scent Detection. He earned his Excellent Working Title with a 2nd place in Containers, 1st place in Exteriors and a 3rd place in Interiors. We finished 1st place overall. With a total score of 194/200 we earned our second gold level title.
But the good news doesn’t stop there. Brodie earned his Scent Detection Championship, a beautiful ribbon and beautiful swag. I have to remind myself that he is only 19 months old and he has already accomplished so much. I checked the latest title stats (updated as of 2018SEP09) and determined that as of that date, there have only been 6 Goldens who have earned their Scent Detection Champion SD-CH title so far. When they have them updated I will check again and confirm if he is the 7th.
We got so many compliments on how amazing he was for such a young dog and how well we work together as a team. Those compliments mean so much more to me than any title we have earned.
Spirit came so close to titling on Sunday but we just missed on the exterior component. We qualified in containers with a 3rd place and she finished first in interiors.
On the more humorous side, on Saturday Brodie and I got an extra special fun ribbon for “Sassy Handler” because his Mom let out an expletive during one of our searches. On Sunday we got another special ribbon for “Most Dramatic” because I was so excited when we completed our final component and I realized that we had earned our Championship….I rolled around on the floor with Brodie and smooched him up. And believe it or not, Spirit and I also got one of the “special” ribbons for “Epic Fail” when we NQ’d on our Exterior search on Sunday. They didn’t hand out that many “special” ribbons but somehow we managed to snag three of them. Crazy handler. There was a lot of laughing and a good time had by everyone.
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.