Use this space to discuss training issues -- brag about successes, lament setbacks or bounce a question off the group.
It was a big deal for Alaska nose work enthusiasts. The sport is only a few years old, so to have our own official trial so soon was a real treat.
About 44 dogs competed over the two days -- and 17 passed their Level 1 certification, 7 Saturday and 10 Sunday . (I'm told 40 percent is about the average passage rate for a first trial.) That means those 17 dog/handler teams found the hidden odor in four separate searches -- interior, exterior, a three-vehicle search and a container search. The dogs had to find the hidden scent (a Q-Tip exposed to a specific type of birch essential oil) in about 3 minutes and had to pinpoint it within about 4 inches.
Eddie and I were one of the teams competing. While he successfully completed the interior search and the container search, I miscalled the vehicle search by about 6 inches and defaulted on that. The photographer got a funny picture showing that it was totally my goof -- I said the odor was hidden at the bottom of the tire where Eddie was scratching with his paw, but in the picture he's clearly looking mid-to-upper tire. If I'd noticed that, we'd have passed. Eddie never alerted in the exterior search. I would love to place the blame on him, but dogs don't make mistakes with their noses. I did something wrong in setting up the search.
But I know my blathering on about nosework gets old if you're not into it -- what's new with your pack?