Sometimes i stop and think, wow am i living a dream or is this really my life? Everyday is a new experience, a new lesson, a new opportunity to learn more about how best to communicate and live with dogs and exercise that every second of every day. I really do live a dream, and this weekend was a great one!
Friday was a fun day at home depot with kara and mika training and working obedience. Rainas SAR training is progressing so fast, now that i finally have a kink free method of back and forward chaining and a smooth way to teach nose work, recall, and refind, while also working her indication for a bark outside of the search work. I realize how quick she will be up and going now that i know how to do it perfectly for these shepherds.
Eme is also doing great and while working two dogs this close in age is tough its worth every second.
Saturday brought a training session with a client which was powerful and successful. It is always the best when i get to see another pack of dogs improve because of what i am teaching. It helps remind me that my understanding of canines is correct, and my communication and my foundation that i lay prior to working with a dog is what really gets them started on the right track. I’m happiest when i get to teach someone else how to have a canine co-pilot for life!
Saturday was another pack visit day, we worked on some Life Long Tails grants and got the website updated and looking pretty. We also went out and did a short problem with both girls so the other members of the rescue were able to see how it all works. April was nice enough to hide and flank me and nick did the same even though he couldn’t feel his feet!
It was another good successful find with both eme and raina getting some practice with new subjects.
Sunday came quick and 6am found the girls and I, kara and mika, and stacey in the truck headed to an old IBM builing at Tech City in Kingston. We had access to 3 floors of empty building to work some SAR problems. This was Eme and Raina’s first time doing any building work and i was BLOWN AWAY.
Eme was quick to catch on and we did a few short run aways to get her into the scent picture of a building. Air flows VERY differently in buildings especially when there was some heat and duct airflow. Eme blew through problems and delivered a perfect refind, bark indication as long as i asked, and show me back to the subject. There was NO light what so ever and the dogs were asked to work in PITCH BLACK. Eme would body slam the doors to open them and clear the room as soon as i asked her to “check” She took direction perfectly but also worked independently on her own. We worked some longer problems with her and she stayed frustration free, giving me no false indications, only pin pointing the subject, coming back to me to tell me and bringing me right back.
Raina was baby steps but by the end of the day she was doing short blind problems with her recall back to me. We started out by placing subject in the door to the dark room and making her bark to get in and get her reward. Then we moved to short run aways like that, then to longer run aways where she had to actually search a few rooms. Then we would place a subject and give her 3 rooms to search to find him. It was so great to see a young dog take to working scent in a difficult environment. You could hear her stack her breaths when in scent and you could watch her follow the scent cone into the subject!