His Redness and I competed in two weekends of AKC scent work trials in February. One was hosted by Great Barrington Kennel Club at the Big E (Springfield, MA), the other by Lake Country Lure Coursers in Tonawanda, NY.
Can you say ‘bling?’ Between the two weekends of trials, Toka titled in AKC novice interiors, exteriors, containers, and buried hides, which earned him his Novice Scent Dog title. He then continued on to title in advanced interiors, buried and containers (and he easily earned two legs in excellent containers too – with placements! (1st & 2nd)).
Here’s a shot of most of his ribbons. We’re missing a couple of second place ribbons. Not a bad haul!
A friend videoed his second place finish in an advanced container search. We had a lot of fun at the trials. I’m especially happy with how enthusiastic, eager and energized he was in all of his searches.
Toka has a habit of aggressively indicating his hides. You can see that as he hones in on the hide in the blue bowl in the blue tote here, and also as he pulls the blue sponge out of position at the end of the video.
We are now working on a quiet nose hold with super trainer Lucy Newton. Here are videos from yesterday and then again today, where I’m upping the distractions by kneeling and moving the box around, but lowering my criteria for the length of time he has to keep his nose on the container to help him succeed. Slowly we progress.
His Redness’s other favorite sport is agility. I’ll be entering him in CPE trials soon. I like the fact I can jump him at 16 inches. I’m concerned that he’s too square and too heavy for higher jump heights, and I’d prefer not to have an orthopedically challenged retirement.
I feel really lucky that we ended up with each other. He’s a good worker. Lucky me!