Tag Archives: Tailspin Bernese

We Got Lots of Mail

Our mailbox was overflowing with mail for Brodie and Spirit.  Starting with Spirit, she got her CKC Scent Detection Instinct Title (SDIN) and her SDDA Aerial Games Title (SD-GA).

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Brodie received his CKC Scent Detection Novice (SDN) and his Chase Ability Excellent (CAE)

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SDDA Games Aerial (SD-GA), Games Speed (SD-GS) and Games Distance (SD-GD)

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as well as his C-WAGS Scent Investigator (CS-SI).

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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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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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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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NACA 2018

This weekend both Brodie and Spirit competed in Rally Obedience at the Northern Alberta Canine Association (NACA) trial. I’m so proud of both of them.  On Friday Brodie got his third qualification for Rally Intermediate and earned his title.  He is now known as Copppermoon Lighning Bug CGN, RI, SD-S (SP).  We moved up to the Advanced level for Saturday and Sunday.  That means he now competes off-leash and there are toys and food used as distractions on the course.  Both kryptonite for my boy.   The second day he spotted the food bowl and squeaky toy while we were still sitting and waiting to start our run.  I knew I was in for trouble.  A few seconds into our run he took off and ran and got the squeaky toy.  Very proud of myself.  I called him back to me and asked him to give me the toy and thank goodness he did.  The audience was in stitches.  I think I earned brownie points when I put him in a down stay and walked across the course to put the toy back where it belonged.  He held the stay and then we resumed the course as if nothing had happened.  Little brat!  He completed both runs successfully and earned 2 qualifications towards his advanced title.  Sunday was also the Golden Retriever Specialty.  I was so surprised when the ring steward gave us an  an extra ribbon (green) and a beautiful leather leash from the Golden Retriever Club of Alberta for high score in a rally trial.  Here’s my handsome boy with all of his swag and a closeup of his new leash.

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Not to be outdone by her younger brother, Spirit also had a great weekend.  On Friday she got a perfect score of 100 for a high in trial in her first ever Intermediate run.  On Saturday she was working towards another perfect score but was spooked when a dog in the adjacent ring doing obedience, ran towards us.    We lost 2 points because she got scared and ran to the end of the leash.  I was so thrilled with her.  She has a history of being reactive and very uncomfortable around other dogs but she didn’t bark and she recovered so quickly and finished the course in style.  So proud of how she handled herself.  In her final run on Sunday she got a 97 and a 4th in trial.  That means she earned her Intermediate title and is now known as Tailspin’s Winter’s Spirit RI   SD-A.

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A very big thank you to Judges Gail Carroll and Shawn Kelly.

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First CKC Title for Spirit

SpiritCamroseRN

I signed Spirit up for 3 days of rally novice 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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My Scenting Stars

BrodieStartedSPWe drove to Red Deer today to participate in a Sporting Detection Dog Association (SDDA) trial.  Spirit was entered in the Advanced Working Dog category.   I have been introducing Brodie to scent detection, and since he was coming along for the ride,  I thought I would enter him in the Started category so that he could get some experience being at a trial.  Dogs have to be at least 6 months old to trial so we were lucky that Brodie hit that milestone last week, just in time to participate.  It was a bit of a hectic morning because they decided to run the Started and Advanced at the same time.  Brodie was 10th to run in the Started Division and Spirit was 8th in Advanced.

Brodie had his Container and Interior Searches first.  Just before they called us, Brodie yelped and lunged towards his backend as a wasp bit him.  Poor little guy.  He kept walking in a circle trying to reach the spot, obviously very upset.  The Judges offered to let us take a break and come back later but I decided to just go ahead since this was only a learning experience for him.  To my complete shock and amazement it took him only 8 seconds (3 minute time limit) to find the correct container and we got a score of 29/30 (we lost 1 point for having an inconsistent search sequence).  The Judges were as shocked as I was.  We had a minute to gather our composure and he started the interior component.  Again, he found the hide in only 37 seconds (5 minute time limit) with a score of 39/40 (again we lost 1 point for having an inconsistent search sequence).  I had to run back to the car, drop off Brodie and grab Spirit for her first run so I didn’t have any time to really digest what had just happened.

Spirit did Containers first.  She found the first hide quickly and I got all excited, rewarded her and walked away.  The Judges just stood there staring at me.  After about a minute of awkward silence they said, did you forget that there is a second hide???  Dummy me, having just completed the Started search that has only has one hide, I completely forgot that Advanced has two hides and a distractor.  We got back to searching and Spirit indicated on another container and when I called it the Judge told me she was wrong.  Dang it.  I messed my girl up.  Interesting note, there were 30 dogs in the Advanced category and only 4 found the 2 hides the rest false alerted like Spirit.  Makes you wonder if there was some contamination in the search area.  Spirit immediately moved on to her Interior search.   She found both hides in 1 minute and 7 seconds and we scored a perfect 80/80.

Once again, I ran back to the car, did another quick dog switcharoo and raced backed to do Brodie’s exterior search.  Unfortunately we were late and missed our turn so we had to wait and run last.  The exterior search was comprised of 3 tractors.  The hide was hidden underneath the middle tractor.  It took my amazing little boy only 1 minute to find it (5 minute time limit with another amazing score of 29/30 (I lost 1 point for my handling hindering my dog).  One of the Judges was the founder of the Search and Rescue Dog Association of Alberta (SARDAA).  She was so impressed by him.  She told me I have an amazing, young working dog.  What a wonderful compliment from a very knowledgeable and experienced handler.   I thought Brodie was just going to have a fun play day practicing searching and he ended up get his Started title.  Because we got all 3 components at the same trial, we also get an SP designation (special). And the news only gets better, we actually finished 3rd overall and got a big basket of SWAG.  Last but not least, because we got an overall score of 97/100, our title will be at the gold level.  WOW!!!!!  Big thank you to Judge Jane Book and shadow Judge Mary-Ann Warren.

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Brodie’s haul: Green ribbon for 3rd place overall, 3 qualifying ribbons for containers, interior and exterior, purple Started Level Title ribbon with the SP designation and his basket of goodies.

We had a long wait before Spirit got to do her exterior search.  By then it was very hot and sunny, not good for a big, hairy black dog.  She really struggled.  Dogs can’t scent when they are panting heavily.  We used the whole 5 minutes and she didn’t find the hide.  Even when the Judge told us where it was, it took two passes for her to find it and alert on it.  No worries.  I’m still very proud of my girl. Thank you to Judge Doug Theeft.

Each dog got a ginormous knuckle bone when we got home.

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