Last weekend there were many lessons learned, and a title earned as Bailie and I attended our first K9 Nose Work Element Specialty Trial. Active Dog Sports where we do our training hosted the trial at a school in West St. Paul. As promised, Mom wore the red shirt for me, and then changed into the purple shirt for Bailie.
The weather was super hot, full sun, and 80’s. It may not seem like much to those of you who live in warm climates, but for those of us just coming out of winter it was tough! At a nose work trial, all dogs are to remain in their vehicles unless they are searching or in line to search, so it was warm!
A school was chosen as the venue for the weekend trial. Can you imagine searching a classroom full of stuff for a couple Q-Tips in a 1″ long straw? It was challenging but fun. The weekend was divided into four sections. Saturday morning was interiors, afternoon was exteriors, Sunday morning was containers, and Sunday afternoon was vehicles. Each element was four total searches done two at a time. To title, you need to find all four hides. If you find three, you get “a leg” which means in your next elements trial you only need to find three and you get your title. There were thirty dogs in each element.
Bailie likes her crate, so she hung out in there while waiting, I enjoyed the back of the car. I started my searches Saturday morning and got both hides in the classroom and the stairwell. Next up was the stage. I alerted Mom to the hide, but she didn’t believe me, I came back to it and she once again did not believe me, I was right, and she basically cost me my interiors title! The fourth search was in an art room which was full of stuff, but I found it. Three out of four (because my teammate, Mom, messed up) so I got a leg for interiors. This was the first of the lessons learned – Mom, don’t think, just trust your dog!
Bailie was up for exteriors in the afternoon and somehow thought she had entered a Miss Congeniality test instead. She blew her first two searches, just clowned around and tried to get people to pet her. Mom was not happy. On her second set, she nailed them both. Here we learned Bailie is reliably unreliable.
I had containers Sunday first thing and nailed the first one, but I toyed with Mom on the second and cost myself the title. Another of the lessons learned – with containers, Emma gets bored, so make sure she sniffs all boxes before calling it.
Last up was vehicles. My first search was two cars, nailed it! Second up was an old pick up truck. I got it, but it was hard as I was way too warm and my energy was zapped. Mom even carried me part way back to the car. My third search was two ATV’s which I nailed, and the final vehicle was an RV. I did it! I did it! Mom squeezed the life out of me almost and had leaky eyes. I got my first title in a dog sport and Mom had her first sports title with a dog. A super fun side note, I’m the first GBGV to receive a title of any sort with the NACSW in K9 Nose Work! How cool is that!
It was a super fun but exhausting weekend. Mom wanted to make sure I celebrated my hard work, so I had a can of Alpine Rabbit Stew from Merrick for dinner. Coincidentally, the can matched my ribbon! I’m hoping to get a spot in another trial in July to try for my NW1 Title, I will find out about that later this month. There was a photographer on site as well. When she posts the photos of searches in a week or two, I will share those with you.
In case you are wondering if most dogs title, or what the numbers look like, see below:
- Level 1 Interiors – 18 titles, 9 legs
- Level 1 Exteriors – 12 titles, 9 legs
- Level 1 Containers – 13 titles, 10 legs
- Level 1 Vehicles – 19 titles, 8 legs
I’m co hosting the FitDog Friday Blog Hop with SlimDoggy, and To Dog With Love! Please join us on Fridays to share your fitness stories with others, find new ways to have fun, and new fitness ideas too! Tell your friends to stop by as well – fit dogs are healthier, happier dogs!