When owning dogs you have good days and bad days, especially when you have a large pack to manage and most are working dogs that are on the path to certification. Today was a great day, a day that makes me realize that all the time, effort, love, and discipline i put into my dogs everyday is worth it. A day that makes me realize that what i do, what i teach, and what i know really is amazing.
Emeline and Raina and i started the morning out meeting Amigo SAR dog team members at Cole park. I worked eme first on a short snow burial, her first ever with a nice quick refind to remind her what we have been practicing the last few months. Then i took the plunge, i knew the last few weeks she was getting the whole concept of refind and it had been forever since the girl had a LONG problem where she had to work out scent. She was first up with an off trail problem over a mile long. As we were working she stayed close and checked back at me often, sometimes with bits of frustration, probably wondering why all of a sudden she was working so long to find her toy!
I was not sure where the subject was and only had man tracking to try to tell me when we were getting close. I wanted to make sure Eme had a successful find since it had been so long but i was worried her refind and indication would drop out like it had been a few months back. Through the first 1/2 mile i had head pops across the water towards the subject so i knew she was working good. Once we got about 250 feet down the trail prior to the subject i noticed a body language change and a pep in her step! I was about to comment i thought we were close when she head popped right and took off up the hill, after working the cone back in to the subject so got him perfect, turned around came back to me as i gave her words of encouragement, sat in front of me barked and with a “show me” we were off to the subject! PERFECT!!! We ended the problem with a 20 minute play session on the way back to the truck. We tugged, we fetched, we lost the toy a few times and found it again. It was a great mesh of working dog and working handler. I love it when all the work pays off!
We worked Raina on some small short problems and now that she knows the game we are incorporating a refind back to me starting now. Her loyalty to the subject is already unwavering so bringing it back to mom now will help any hesitation later on in training.
After training we hit the town and made rounds to Gander Mountain, the pet store and home depot for some in store work and out of store work. My emphasis with Raina is focus in public places and work on obedience commands with distractions. She is great at tuning out any noise but kids playing in the snow was just to much so we distanced ourselves and worked our obedience at Home Depot.
The girls all did great and Emeline and Raina shared their truck so nicely with Bonsai and Mika during the trip. All 4 girls worked obedience for a few hours and even made some new friends and impressed some complete strangers with their obedience!