This week the breed notes have kindly been sent to me by Sarah Stonton she writes: –
“Never work with Children or Animals-well that is how the saying goes. Many of you know I am a Vet so work with animals the whole time, so why on earth would I chose to work my dogs in my spare time?
It is all about forming a closer bond and understanding between myself and them, the immense pleasure and pride which can be profound on the days they work hard for you as if it is the best thing ever with smiles on their faces, as they look up asking if they have ‘done good’. On the less good days it can be a huge challenge with significant frustration and disappointment but the dogs are not robots and we do not want them to be, after all, as humans we behave differently from the moment to moment anyway even before the adrenaline of being judged comes into the equation.
From my first puppy Anya 1997, I felt the bond strength as soon as she went in the show ring with me at 6 months of age; more recently I cannot put into words what it felt like to do an agility course with Tad or Loxy, when the whole course seemed to work like telepathy with no conscious thought, it just happened. Now doing rally and scent with Loxy and Jack they use lots of eye contact which is wonderful and just look for reassurance that they have done well. Reward is special tasty treats or fresh meat.
Saturday 12th June- Margaret and I attended the Racingredd Nosework Scent Final in Wisbech.Between us having done club scent trials over the last few months we qualified Time, Loxy and Jack to take part in the final of 15 dogs. The day was warm and sunny with intermittent cloud making it not over bearing. There were 3 scent areas to work -we did not know how many were scented with cloves in each area, anything between 1 and 3 hides. The time limit for each area was 5 minutes, if the dogs were on equal points at the end, then the time taken to find each hide was taken into account.
Outside-miscellaneous articles including wheelbarrow, garden tools, leads, boxes, hosepipe adaptors were laid out. Loxy worked enthusiastically, even wanting to climb into a plastic water tank which formed the perimeter of the area. Wendy our trainer who was timing us sat giggling quietly at Loxy being a clown as she loves her cheekiness. Loxy succeeded in finding all 3 hides. The objects were swapped around for Jack being my second dog -he worked a bit more calmly and found 2.
Inside-we have a converted a portion of an old pig barn to make it appear to be a home environment, it contains a fridge, washing machine, 2 sets of chairs and tables, bed with bedside tables and chests, sofa and chairs with miscellaneous additions like a rocking horse, dog bed, foot stool, computer table and so on. It even has curtains hung up-it looks incredible with some carpeting as well. Loxy found a bit of food on the floor just as we were starting so then proceeded to just search and investigate for food; she was no way going to sniff for cloves so found none of the 3 hides. Jack enthusiastically investigated the room never having been there before and found 1 hide, he nearly found another one but just did not sniff high enough onto the table top to where the CD was. This was a big area with a lot of stuff to search through for them, the most involved they have ever done.
The Wall-although we were not told the number there were 2 hides, tiny bits if scented cloth inserted into cracks in an old stone wall. Loxy again worked brilliantly and found both. Jack had a different section of wall and found one then was getting a bit frustrated, so I ended his search before the maximum 5 minutes was reached.
So, as you can see, working my Buhunds is mixed with success and disappointment. The end result I guess everybody would like to know-well Loxy came 8th, Time and Jack were a bit further down the table with search time coming into play. Regardless of the results all our dogs went home happy and tired, all the humans enjoyed a day out as well”.
Thanks very much Sarah, yes it was a very enjoyable day and we were lucky with the weather as the next day was very hot.
For those of you who might not know Anya was Noorabli Classic Sola at Chayanda JW.Tad was Trelowen Byan Fortyn .Loxy is Trelown Andrea AW(S) and Jack is Ch Arnscroft In Di Ana Jack RL1 Ex.
Stay safe everyone.
Margaret Deuchar firstname.lastname@example.org
The views expressed in Margaret’s Breed Notes are hers and hers alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Norwegian Buhund Club of the UK.