Partnership with a Very Good Dog

Video of Bings run

Bing, Wales Tails Roques Crooner HSAsM, RN, BN, CGC, RATN, ASCA STDs, AHBA JHDCook Inlet Kennel Club

20170402, Wasilla AK

Barnhunt, Open
Bing is twelve and was suggesting before we made the drive this morning that maybe he would prefer to stay home today. I’d told a friend I’d give them a ride, so I bribed Bing with a cookie and we loaded up. E joined us. The drive out was uneventful and Bing rode unprotesting. An hour later we picked up our friend and her Cardi.
A quick hop over to the trial site and a great parking spot. 
Bing wasn’t a happy boy. He was protesting with a hoarse whiny bark, and trembling. I got E settled inside the trial, checked Bing in (though I was doubting we would run) and returned to Bing. 
Treats, water, and a quiet walk settled him and he was my happy boy again. 
I watched the Instinct and Novice dogs run. E played with her toys, chatted up other handlers, and convinced our friend to color with her. Plus ate a donut. 
I’ve noticed that this venue, for whatever reason, seems to be tougher. It seems like fewer dogs Q and more dogs mark. I don’t have numbers to back that up, just the sense I’ve gotten of the place. A couple people mentioned that there’d been no Qs in Open the previous day. Hmm. The first three Instinct dogs peed in the ring. Not a shining start. 
I like the judge and enjoy trialing with him. His courses are interesting and creative. 
Our friend was one of the leaky unfortunates in Instinct but showed excellent teamwork and a fine nose in Novice. The rat was found. The Climb accomplished. The tunnel proved to be her boys Achilles heel, and they ran out of time. Still, I think he gave a good run for Novice and she handled him well. Their Novice Qs will come with a bit more work.
Bing was the first dog in the second Open blind. We had another walk, a few more treats and a little water. I asked if he would prefer to kennel or work, and he indicated he was looking forward to working. Ok buddy, you’re the boss. Work it is.
In the ring Bing showed interest in a hide close to the gate, but refrained from stuffing his nose in and didn’t offer me eye contact after checking it. His indications are subtle and I must watch carefully with my mind fully engaged or I miss them. He was patient and willing as we methodically checked hides. He was moving slow so I was not sure he would be able to give me a Climb, and thought it likely we would time out. I was not concerned about the tunnel at all. Even the dark 90 turn is fine in his book. 
In Open there are two rats, two litter tubes, and a single clean tube. We did the outside edges without finding a rat. I asked Bing to climb the ramp. First he told me he couldn’t. We backed off, did a little other work, and approached the ramp again. With encouragement he successfully got his climb. It was pretty tough for him. Before we gave up on the ramp I gave him a few more inches of space and held my hand flat in our classic Touch game pose. I was very careful to not come into contact with the bales or Bing and I didn’t verbally cue Touch. That did it – he dug a little deeper and got up the ramp. He checked the hides atop the bales, no rat. Tunnel happened in there somewhere, no sweat.
I thought time was growing short. I was really tempted to call Rat on the first tube but decided it was a lot more important to trust Bing. 
We timed out. The elevated rat was in a location Bing probably could not have reached (today), the second rat was in a spot off the edges I forgot / ran out of time to check. The tempting tube in the beginning was a litter tube. So pleased I trusted Bing and refrained from calling a wrong tube. 
I am pleased with our teamwork and communication today. This was Bing’s fourth time in the ring, second trial weekend, in Open. It’s been months since we played this game and he was absolutely feeling his age today.
He is my very sweet and smart goody boy. I feel fortunate to have him as my partner. 
We will see if we can pick up that third Q in May…

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One Response to Partnership with a Very Good Dog

  1. Jenny says:

    And as I rewatch I cringe at two handler errors. I startled him unnecessarily when I clapped to call him back to check a corner.
    And I blew it when he trotted back to the edge of the bale near the far end of the tunnel – that was probably him catching a whiff of rat. I was thinking about a second attempt at Climb instead of ‘listening’.

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