Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Getting The Hang of it...

This is my first attempt at posting from my phone. So far so good. This afternoon, I worked with Callie on getting her to indicate the scent of her treat when she finds it. Both Cash and Callie are very good at the "find it" game...I usually pick a treat and hide it in the house or yard. The treats vary so I let them smell one and then release them to "find it". For Cash, the reward is the hidden treat. For Callie, the sqeaky ball is her final prize. This is the first time I've tried getting a signal from one of them. I started Callie with our usual game...the treat accessible to her when she found it. Then I hid it under a cup so she had to work a bit more to get to it. Next I added cups with no treat (I think these are called "cold") and praised her for finding the "hot" cup. Then we progressed to upside-down mason jars where she might need help getting to the treat. My hope here was to see what signal she chose to indicate the find. She pawed at the jar so I marked that with "yes", rewarded her and helped her get the treat out. Next we moved to upside-down bowls...even harder for her to turn over. Again she pawed at the correct bowl. I continued to mark the behavior and reward her for indicating the scent. She got her well deserved sqeaky ball! Good girl! Callie is recovering from a knee injury so during her absence from agility and herding, this type of "work" is great for her! This is the first time I've seen her really look satisfied since her injury. We have kept her busy during the long rest period, but that's just not the same as "working" for her. She is peacefully napping now :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Grand Adventure It Will Be...

Welcome to Wagnificent K9!  On a recent vacation to Italy, I fell deeply in love with truffles and jokingly announced to my friends and family that I needed a Truffle Dog!  Little did I know at the time, we live in truffle country.  The Pacific Northwest is one of few regions where native truffles can be found.  How exciting!  At that moment, the reality of training my very own Truffle Dogs was born.  We have working dogs and are always looking for new activities to do with them.  Cash, a 3 year old Sheltie, and Callie, a 3 year old Border Collie, are my agility partners as well as herding companions for my husband and I.  We have great fun with them.  Josh and I have enjoyed hiking and backpacking for many years in this area.  What better way to add even more enjoyment to hitting the trails with our pups!!!  During that time of grand ideas and brainstorming, we were also considering adding a third pup to our pack.  A Belgian Tervuren...with plans to do agility, herding and...sky's the limit.  Being a breed with such versatility and talent for scent work, everything just fell into place.  We welcomed Da Vinci to this grand adventure!  He is just 11 weeks old and experiencing the world as we launch this journey...journaling our training through this blog.  Join us...follow our progress, laugh at our mistakes, share your voice and enjoy the ride WITH us.  What a grand adventure it will be!