Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Busy Spring!

Hey guys!  I'm still alive!  Really!  And man have Hoagie and I been busy!  Last time I mentioned that I would keep you updated on Hoagie's progress in Scent Work.  (I know, I know, 5 months of no posts isn't exactly keeping you "updated."  Cut me some slack on this one!)  We completed Nose Work 1 and 2 classes, as well as 6 weeks of continuing nose work through Gentle Touch.  Best of all, on the 13th Hoagie passed his birch Odor Recognition Test, and can now go on to compete and work towards NW1

 Check out that birch sniffing machine!  Yay for Hoagie!

I have to say that it has been a blast and our instructors Katie and Darcy have been super knowledgeable and a great inspiration.  It's a great new dog sport that is absolutely perfect for "reactive" dogs like the Hoagster.  I would recommend nose work to anyone with any kind of dog.  I've seen everything from Dachshunds to Newfoundlands have a great time using their noses!  Even if you don't plan on competing, the activities are great boredom busters.  Searching for scent among plastic Easter eggs was Hoagie's favorite activity in class. (Here's a video of Katie's dog Brenna doing a similar egg hunt.)  Plus it's fun getting to watch a dog just be a dog, using his nose and working for his treats!  Check out the NACSW website for more info or to see if there is a group or class near you!  It's a new sport so there aren't too many folks teaching it yet, but keep an eye out cause it's spreading fast!

The other thing that has been keeping us busy is preparing for our first Rally-O trial!  Hoagie and I will be competing Memorial Day weekend at the ASCA trial in Cayucus put on by COAST ASC.  We've been practicing really hard, and Hoagie is doing great.  His attention is much closer to where I would like it, and I'm working on making sure I know all the ASCA signs (which are of course different than AKC and UKC signs).  As long as I can get him to focus, and I don't screw up too badly, we should hopefully do alright.  Keep your fingers and paws crossed for us!  I'll post how we do after the trial next weekend!  Till next time!

In the mean time enjoy some pics of us practicing hard at a run through at Santa Rosa park:

Hoagie looking at Stew taking pictures instead of focusing.  Such a ham!

Hoagie doing a good job ignoring distractions!

Trying his best to look cute for treats.

Lookin' cool in his shades after a good practice.