ORT Success!

Just a quick note to say how proud I am of everyone who competed in today’s ORT at it’s a dog’s world.  Everyone looked relaxed, seemed like they were having fun, and had some nice handling.

A few highlights for me:

Seeing Phil come in strutting his stuff, a completely different dog than the one who had to be carried into the building when he first started Nose Work.  Nice job keeping Phil focused on hunting and away from worrying about those crates (that could have big scary dogs in them!)  You both got better each run, more relaxed and confident.  Very nice!

Seeing Sarah and Max rock it, with enthusiasm (yes, from both handler and dog!) speed and complete clarity.  Wish I had those on video!  There’s not much more to say, since Max took 7 seconds for one and like 13 seconds for the other.

Margeurite & Bella – also completely rocked it today!  There were some last minute glitches in practice this past week, but it all came together beautifully today.  Holly’s comments were, Margeurite was patient when she needed to be, but confident to call Alert when it was appropriate.  Nice leash handling and calmly allowing her to work independently, not “blurt alerting” when she pushed a box or 2, being confident when she sniffed the box edges and did little micro-freezes.  Really nice searches.

Lucy & Cecil – another dog who’s come SO far!  Nice job being patient and not panicking when he was mildly distracted in his first run, getting him back on track, and letting him work.  Nice leash work.  The second run was beautiful, Cecil’s best I’ve seen – he worked right off the start line, and was super clear – he actually looked happy when you called Alert and he knew he was about to be fed!  Really nice, when you think back to your first ORT, such a huge improvement.  He wasn’t bolting for the door or jumping on you – so nice to see.

Kendall & Calvin – another handler who practiced great patience and knowledge of his dog – when Calvin was playing with the boxes, you did a great job of smoothly moving along.  And when he got to the hot boxes, he was more insistent and definitive.  Nice patience while he was a little distracted by the dogs outside, allowing him to work it out on his own a bit before asking him to get back to work.  There were many times you could have called (a false) Alert, based on his behavior of pushing a box and looking at you, but knowing your dog you waited him out.  They may have been nail biters, but nice job!

Donna and Aggie – not your dog!  And a subtle dog, at that.  So I totally know why you did what you did in Birch… Aggie was much more confident in Anise, and even though she had a moment or 2 of distraction in Clove, beautiful handling to get her back on task without micromanaging her.  Nice job

Pam & Aspen – for dog who has not been in class, I think you did a nice job.  She was a little focused on her handler, but was clear that she knew she was looking for odor.  She looked happy and relaxed and you had a great attitude about both your dogs.  Nice work

Kim & Bailey – Similar to Pam & Aspen, Bailey has not been in class all summer, but looked happy and on task – it wasn’t like she didn’t know what she was doing.  She started doing what Calvin did, playing with the boxes, which makes it a challenge to call Alert with confidence.  She did Clove beautifully and you had a great attitude on both runs and looked relaxed.

Andy & Billie Sue – not your dog!  Great job not buying Billie Sue’s first sniff and look, being patient – with your moment’s hesitation / patience, she was off searching again – back to the hot box she had skimmed over on her first pass, and then did a nice clear alert.  Nice job to you both

Janis & Catcher – another dog who has come a long way – not that he was every shy, but he was easily distracted, would run out to the farthest reaches of the search area, circle around a few times before actually hunting.  No more!  He did great – pulling to start, on task right off the line, and a nice clear alert.  And as a handler, Janis has come a long way – so much more relaxed!  It was really nice to see.

Kathy & Gemma – So fun to see you work a new (to me) dog!  She looked like she was having fun, and as with some of the other handlers, nice job being patient and knowing your dog.  There were a few times where someone less experienced may have (wrongly) called Alert, but you obviously know your dog and her alerts were different than the nosing she was doing.  Again, it pays to be patient and not blurt alert!

Travis & Eliot – so fun to see you back in NW 🙂  Eliot looked great – nice hunting – and very clear when he was at source, even without a formal final response.  I think you had everyone holding their breath when Eliot sniffed and circled the birch box about 6 times and you didn’t call it!  Luckily he went back – so you could call it.  The next runs were not nail biters and very nice, quick and clear.  Nice work!

I hope I didn’t forget anyone…

Great day and congratulations to everyone!  Quattro was the dog in white (test run dog) and we didn’t fare so well. Birch was ok, a few passes around before he got it.  Our Anise run had a false alert, and our clove run was horrendous!  2 false alerts!  Yikes!  So I’m glad you didn’t mirror us!  Of course he did great on the practice boxes, so maybe it was my “trial” nerves.  Or maybe he was sick of being in the crate and wanted to prolong his time out, I wouldn’t put it past him!  We brought him to Pierce Island in Portsmouth after to burn off some energy, and he immediately found a dead bird, carried it around before dropping and rolling in it, then we got home and he found a plastic bag Craig had left out from last week that had squid guts in it, and rolled in that.  So I know his nose works just fine, and he had a great day!

I’ll be in touch Monday re. Saco classes, and I’ll see you all soon!

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