We finished six weeks of dog sports in a row the middle of March. It was a lot of fun, but unlike our eleven weeks in a row last fall where we were mainly trialing locally, this time we traveled four out of the six weeks. Now that we have some time, we wanted to post a review and some highlights from our trials. Since most of our trials were “nose” related, we like to say, “Oh the places noses will take you!”
Weekend One – Barn Hunt
We started the stretch with Barn Hunt. I entered two Masters Trials on Friday afternoon.
It was a lot of fun. The humans lose so many rats in those straw bales, and I love to find them. Unfortunately, it is a team event, and my teammate, Mom, didn’t trust me. Although I found them all, she didn’t believe me, so I didn’t get any Q’s, but it was still a lot of fun.
Bailie needs one Q to earn her Senior Title. Mom signed her up for one run Saturday morning, but Bailie was not feeling it. She didn’t want to search, and it was a mess. No Q, no Title for her…no fun either actually. Hopefully next time she will be more in the mood.
Photos of me doing Barn Hunt have been purchased from Twin Eyes Photography for our use.
Weekend Two – Nose Work
Our second weekend, we drove to Illinois for the Haunted House Trial. Bailie, once again, was not fully in the mood. Do you notice a trend with my sister? When she is feeling it, she is amazing, but if she isn’t feeling it…disaster. She did manage to find six of the eight hides at least.
Mom had a great time as she really wanted to search an interesting venue. She says it was worth the long drive even though they didn’t get a title of any kind.
Photos of Bailie’s searches this weekend have been purchased from Shawn Rossman for our personal use.
Weekend Three – Agility
There are no photos from my agility trial. I only entered one Open Standard and one Open Jumpers run. For some reason, I do so well at school, but when I get to a trial I don’t want to run, jump, or do much of anything. We have now switched to a new school where we are learning new ways to help me work better, get my speed up, and maybe overcome my trial anxiety. Since there is no point in trialing when I’m not wanting to, we are taking a few months off to regroup.
Weekend Four – Scent Work
Our trip to Sioux Falls for Scent Work was the definite highlight of our six weeks of dog sports. In case you are not a dog sports enthusiast, Nose work is an NACSW sport, and Scent Work is an AKC sport. The rules and procedures are slightly different, but both involve sniffing out hides. Locations are not known to the handler.
You may remember this weekend we drove to Sioux Falls in white out conditions, and the trial was held in -16 below temperatures with wind chills of almost -40. It was not a problem as we still had a blast, and all the humans bundled up to stay warm while we dogs worked. I earned my Novice Title, Bailie needs one more Q in Buried Hides for her Advanced Title. Mom has us staggered with Bailie always a level ahead of me, so we can both go to the same trials.
I have some random photos of our searches. This one of Bailie is so her! She is supposed to be preparing to search, but look at her air scenting and smiling. I doubt she was mentally preparing.
Mom and Bailie have some trust issues in their team. Unlike me, Bailie is always happy to lie, thinking she can then quit and get treats. I love this one where Bailie has the correct alert on the trash can, but Mom is checking it out before she decided to believe my sister. Her expressive eyes are almost too much, LOL!
Moving indoors to interior searches for me, it was my first time searching for an unknown number of hides. I would find one or two, and Mom needed to decide when to say we were done. I did a nice search of the area, then told her about the one under the table leg. She called it, but you can see, she is not really sure.
I quickly moved on to the second hide on the seat of the chair. Being so close together, Mom was worried about pooling odor, but I insisted it was there, so she called it and we passed! It was a really happy moment for our team!
Bailie entered Advanced Buried Hides. This was her alerting on one of the containers. In Buried Hides, the odor is in slightly damp sand, at least three inches from the top of the sand.
Photos of us at our Sioux Falls Trials were purchased from Tracy Pollard Photography for our personal use.
Weekend Five – Nose Work
Our fifth week in a row was travel again, this time to Winterset, Iowa for my Element Specialty Trials. We traveled in some ice and snow conditions, but made it safely to our hotel. I was happy to earn my Level 1 Exterior Title. I passed two of my four container searches. The elevated containers got me in the furs. We practiced them at home, but I was not a fan, and could not figure it out at the trial. That is alright since I’m young, I have lots of time to try again.
Weekend Six – Nose Work
Our last weekend was traveling to Moline, Illinois. We had a nice drive down, a fun walk with some friends by the flooding Mississippi River, and Mom had a nice dinner with friends too. Trial day was probably the worst nose work day Mom has ever had. Moline/Davenport was Emma’s trial spot. They had done four road trips down there in the past two years or so. Bailie and I had never been to the area before. On trial day, Mom was crying a lot, and very sad. Bailie really works off Mom’s emotions, so she did not search well at all which only caused the mood to spiral down further. They found three of ten hides. It was a weekend to forget, simply too soon for Mom to go to for a trial. That is alright because we were together, and we all learned something from the experience.
What’s Up Next?
We had a weekend off, and this weekend I’m up again. I have Barn Hunt on Friday, and my first NW3 Nose Work Trial on Saturday. I’m only two, so Mom doesn’t have a lot of expectations for us, other than to have fun and learn more about working together. It was only a year and a half ago that I passed my first Odor Recognition Test. Oddly enough, I passed clove only, and I would not need clove until this weekend. I did test again two months later and passed birch and anise.
April is slow for sports as we don’t trial again until the end of April when we do Barn Hunt one day and Nose Work two days later. I’ve been super lucky getting into trials, so I have more trials coming up than Bailie does. We plan to do lots of practicing during April to make sure we are ready when the trials start up again.
We’re thankful for all our sports, the training and the trialing fun, so we’re joining Brian’s Home Blog in the Thankful Thursday Blog Hop! Visit some other blogs to see what they are thankful for.