Friday, July 18, 2008

A blind track

Bullet got his IPO 1 last October and I gave him a training break. A few weeks ago I got together with friends and laid a track for him. I remembered how much I love tracking and it was like we never stopped. Since then we've been tracking regularly.

Last Monday a woman laid a TD track for us. It was approx 500 metres long in a freshly mowed hay field, had 5 corners (more than is required for a TD), aged for 1 hour with a glove at the end. This was the first fully blind track I have ever done, I couldn't guess where the track was even if I wanted to. It was 100% up to Bullet.

He lost it on the first leg and I wasn't sure what to do or how to handle it. What an awful feeling. It wasn't a pretty sight and I'm sure we would have failed if it had been a schutzhund track. He was circling looking for the track, the line was getting tangled around his legs, then around my leg. I had an incredible feeling of helplessness and felt like giving up. I didn't though. He eventually worked through it and found the second leg, from there I followed him to the end where he got to play with his ball.

That is what makes it all worthwhile. The feeling of success and pride in your dog only increases the harder the test. This was a very hard one for us and we did it. I hope we can do it when we trial!

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