I was pretty nervous. Wicca can be really on, or off. (Typical Corgi!). But she really struggles with vehicle searches. For a title, the dog need to pass three components (three different searches). A container search, where the odour is hidden among 12-18 boxes. An Interior search, where the odour is hidden in a room somewhere. And finally an Exterior search, where the odour is hidden on one of three vehicles. The dog must pass one of each of these in order to earn a title. If the dog passes all three on the same day they earn a different title than dogs who don't.
We started with the Container Search both days- Saturday was an S shape, and Wicca was working right off the bat. She did a great job, and I quickly called Alert before she wrecked the hide. The second day they were in four rows- tightly together. We nearly DQ'd for going out of bounds but I called her back just in time. She alerted just fine on that one once she was focused.
Saturday we did the Vehicle Search next. I was SO nervous. For one, this is her worst thing. Second, one of the vehicles was a quad- which she's never worked off of before. And Three- there were LOTS of exciting and distracting things outside.... It took as almost two minutes but she did it! I think we walked around each vehicle two times, and the outside of all three at least two more times. She had her mind on other things and needed some prompting to keep working. Sunday the Vehicle search was last and we left before my turn. I wanted to get home at a decent time!
The interior search was hard both days. A whole room full of random stuff. Saturday Wicca nearly alerted on the wrong thing- she was very sniffy against the wall at a box, but was quick to leave when prompted. So we did find the right thing- on the bottom of a chair. Which again her alert was teeth so I had to call the alert really fast! I didn't want her to retrieve the chair. lol. The second day it was my error that failed her- she knew where it was and I didn't let her have a chance to get close enough to alert on it!!! I was so focused on the stuff that I didn't let her get near the wall... But what a good dog! She tried to tell me. I need to listen more!
So because she passed all three elements on Saturday she earned her Scent Detection- Started title. So SD-S sp. The SP signifies the one day finish. I am so proud of us! Wicca is just such a great little dog. She was keen to work, and was excited to be out. I really like this sport- it is so great for dogs with physical limitations- I think Wicca was the oldest dog there though. There were lots of malinois, shepherds, and the like. But the people were all very nice, and I learned alot from the judges. They were just great, and were eager to share their knowledge.
I have some good training ideas- and now is the right time to start working on an actual alert. In the advanced level your dog needs a consistent alert that the judge needs to be able to identify. I am going to start on that today!
We are going to start looking in to seeing what it would take to host a trial in the south. Red Deer is far. lol. And more trials would be a lot of fun! Because this was the first one, there were definitely some things that need to be improved. I don't think the organisers had ever ran anything like that before though, so you have to start somewhere I suppose!
Anyway, I'm pumped! Who knew Wicca would have a chance to do something fun/work again! Love that dog. To Bits.