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It has been a long 3 days but the annual hazing event known as the NAPWDA canine HRD certification is complete. Beau and I have credentials, but not ego, intact for our 4th year together in a row. Now to write up all the insightful training notes. Each of our tests has been under a different master trainer and it is amazing how each one has their own approach. Always a great learning experience as well.

I am now bleary eyed and ready for a good nights sleep but we have training with the team tomorrow. ...........
 

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Congratulations!Just reading your post makes me tired:)Sleep well.
 

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Congrats! Owen and I are supposed to certify for the first time in October. Praying we do well. I think it's great you guys have been a team for so long. Keep up the fantastic work!
 

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And here we went again. No misses. heavy and variable wind but we made it. This is Beau's 5th time through. :grin2:
 

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And, here we go again. We had some doozies because we had the same evaluator from the year before and he got a little more creative. One was a piece of blood soaked string up on the roof of a school bus. That was a trip. We did get it. We recertified. This is Beau's 6th time.
 

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Wow, excellent job Nancy! Blood string on a school bus roof...wow, that is a toughie.. did you get head pops upwards, or was there odor displacement due to the height and wind?
 

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Wow, excellent job Nancy! Blood string on a school bus roof...wow, that is a toughie.. did you get head pops upwards, or was there odor displacement due to the height and wind?
Odor was everywhere. It was at the back but he got odor on the front wheel well then started going up at the rear side of the bus and the back of the bus and was alerting several spots on the back of the hot bus. I was getting frustrated because he would give his trained indication then leave it. The evaluator told me to pull together all I observed and I said the only place his breaths were stacking as by the back door so that is closest and that I was frustrated by him leaving it.

He said herding dogs. The labs usually just alert at the strongest odors but the herding dogs are looking for a "back door" (kind of like going around a fence to look for an opening) so he is trying to figure out a way to get to source. He then opened up the back of the bus and Beau jumped in and worked the back half of the bus then stood on the rear seat put his paws on the top of the rear seat and craned his neck out the door and up to source and he gave him the ball.

The bus garage was also rich with very strong diesel fumes due to a contained leak.

And then when we had a building hide it was the same way with a hide in a ceiling tile and I called it correctly even though he got on the counter gave a quick alert and kept working (but he came back). He actuallly had run out of the room and was trying to get tot he other side of the room but when he could not came back in and alerted standing on the sink.

If he can get his nose on source or even within a few feet, he is cemented to it.


As you know the odors from fluids are much more volatile than from tissue and bone.....
 

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It is also good to get the playback from other dogs. Another dog was also over the front of the bus in the right front wheel well. Amazing how scent transports.

My miss was on one of the buried hides. My fault I had made a pass, knew the holes in my mind based on that pass and when he alerted on an adjacent hole I thought he was at the hot hole I had mapped out and I called it. A big challenge was the dog before me turned into a roto tiller and had dug up all the holes in a row so I am sure odor was everwhere ........... But when he was alerting on all the holes I put him on lead, worked downwind from each one, correctly IDd the two hot ones. Alas.........

MT thought he was paying attention to goose poop in the field but he NEVER cares about geese or their poop and we train in it frequently. [I have a park where I train shoreline hides that is full of geese and dog walkers so those odors are everywhere] I think it was odor picked up on the other dog's paws and spread around the field that was pulling him in.

FWIW nobody got both buried hides and one failed by having two misses on the same hides. The one was a large source in a sandy hole and the odor seemed to be everywhere.
 

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Congratulations Nancy! That is impressive work from Beau, but by now, that is pretty much what we expect from him. Really amazed at you two, these certifications sound incredibly difficult, and you guys always nail them.
 

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I am at a point where I really have to focus on Tilly. I am 30lbs away from my weight loss goal and she has taken a back seat. She is doing very well with trailing and I need to come up with a comprehensive plan for her - because she likes deer scent, we drug a very ripe deer carcass we found across a track that had been set for her. She notice the odor but every time she put her nose in the track I marked it with a "good". For her, on lead work, allows me to not let her follow up on game odors. Plus she is doing very well with aged ones with the turns. She naturally casts herself when she loses odor instead of continuing forward and is learning unless she is committed, and pulling into the harness, we are not moving forward.
 

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That is cool how you narrowed it down for the bus. Especially on tests when our brains go to mush and we sometimes stop thinking outside the box due to disguised anxiety. I think we sometimes forget how far scent can travel and remain strong for the dog. Tests you can't call it without a consequence, where as on a mission you describe the alerts, change of behavior and FTR I'd one is given. Investigation procedes and evidence is hopefully gathered...a test, well you choose wrong and it is failure.

Cool hides.. congratulations again!
 
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