A huge congratulations to Purple Girl, Bailie, who earned her NW1 Title (Nose Work 1 Title) on May 7th. She did an awesome job and had a lot of fun too! After missing the title by one element in Iowa, she was ready to prove to everyone she could do it!
The NW1 Trial was held at Mendota Elementary School. It was a gorgeous day, not too hot, but plenty of sunshine, and a nice breeze. Mom found the venue so funny as the “y” was missing in Elementary on the building. She thought for the little kids they really should find the missing letter to teach the correct spelling!
Bailie has learned a lot of things from me, and one of those things is to just chill out in the car when you are waiting for your turn. She got a lot of good napping in, but she still woke up to greet people when they came by. She is our PR Dog, after all! I was thrilled she gave out a couple of business cards and even met a PBGV who was also competing.
To recap a few things about an NW1 Trial, there are four elements, and each element has one hide, the odor is only birch. To title, you have to successfully find the hide in each element in the allotted time frame. Bailie failed at containers in Iowa in May, costing her the title, she simply ran out of steam on an extremely difficult search day. Mom about had a heart attack when the first search was containers on a slippery gymnasium floor, and there were eighteen boxes in the search! We have never practiced with that many! Luckily, Bailie and I worked heavily on containers for a few days about a week before the trial, which made Mom confident Bailie could do it.
Above is a view of Bailie’s container search which was her first element. She rocked it! Check out the enthusiasm she has to get started searching, she was focused and moved at a good pace. On the first pass, she did detect the odor box, but elected to search the remaining boxes before fully committing to it. There are awards for the three fastest search times, but Mom prefers to be certain of an alert as the title means more than a fast time to us. On the way back, Bailie stopped at the odor box but this time she would not move off it, so Mom called the alert. This search is a good example of knowing and reading your dog correctly. Bailie’s time was 0:29:03, 21st place in time out of 45 dogs. Normally, there is no cheering by the volunteers, but they know Bailie and they know how she loves the attention, so they gave her some.
Next up was the exterior search. Bailie blew right out the door but Mom held her back at the start, marked by the orange line!
Bailie went right to the hide, but like she did in containers, she didn’t alert and preferred to check the entire search area before going back to the hide. Mom’s procedure when she thinks we have found the hide is to keep moving. If we move, it must not be the hide, if we stay on it, it is generally the hide. Bailie stayed on it the second time.
Bailie waits for Mom to get that reward out. I’m not sure she would let Mom get away with not rewarding like I did the next day! This search took 1:57:09 and Bailie was 23th in time. It was slow as there was a lot of area to cover.
The interior search was next, but there are no photos allowed as the space was very small. The search was a bathroom. Bailie charged in, found some food on the floor first, and then raced right back to the hide on the garbage can. Her time was 0:47:69 and 24th place. The food thing wasted about 20 seconds of time.
Vehicles were the final search for the NW1 Title. For the first time in a trial, Mom let Bailie choose the vehicle to start searching on. They paused at the start line (the area between the cones) allowing Bailie to get her sniffer fired up and then they were off. The moment a dog’s nose crosses the start line the time starts, so Mom tries to stay back a bit to prevent any slip ups. In Iowa, she forgot to pay attention and Bailie wandered over the line, causing them to start without their usual procedures since time was running.
Bailie went right to the van and was really interested in the underside of the back bumper. She spent a lot of time there and if Mom wasn’t patient, she may have falsely called alert but instead chose to wait it out. Bailie then proceeded around to the driver’s side of the van and sniffed up to the front bumper, turned around and returned to the rear driver’s side wheel where she correctly sniffed out the hide in the wheel cover.
If you look closely at Bailie’s face while she is waiting for her reward, it looks like she is actually smiling! One thing Mom has found with both of us is our bodies get really stiff when we are on odor, which is another clue she can try to look for. Bailie found this hide in a time of 0:46:01 which was 18th place.
Of course, knowing they had the NW1 Title in their paws, there had to be some hugging and kissing going on to celebrate!
In this trial, there were 45 entrants and 22 titles. Bailie’s total time was 3:5982 which placed her at 17th for time, but the title is what really counts for us! Congratulations, little sis! Now we hold the first two, and only NW1 titles for our GBGV breed!