Monday, November 17, 2014

Barn Hunt Open

Gilda and I attended a fabulous 2-trial Barn Hunt at Columbus All Breed this weekend. Gilda was entered in Open Trial 1 and Open Trial 2. Gilda had one prior attempt at an Open level course last month and she NQ'd for going over time. I was thrilled though because she worked and worked for the entire 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

{Gilda & Friend}












{Open Leg 1/3!}


For Trial 1, Gilda was wonderful in the pre-blind area, blowing my mind by acting like a pretty normal relaxed dog! When we entered the Blind however, she became very animated and started pulling on the leash for the first time all day. I thought, "Wow. she is so smart, she knows exactly what we are doing!" but I'm not so sure about that theory. She seemed fixated on something way across the building that I could not see. She was over threshold and wouldn't even take treats. The Old Gilda had returned :)

We were the fourth dog in the blind (out of 5) and when it was our turn, she was ready to go! She entered the ring (pulling the entire way from Blind to Ring) and waited for me to remove her leash and collar. On my release, she was off and working to find a rat. She spent some time with her nose down in the middle of some hay bales but she quickly came off of it and went to hunt other areas. When she returned to the same hay bale circle and once again dove into the center, I doubted my initial read thinking, "Hmmm... if she returned to it, maybe it is a rat..." and I called Rat! Sadly it was a litter tube and my lack of trust in her ended her fun early!

For Trial 2, I chose a seat in the Blind that had no view of the door and things went much better. We were the 5th dog in the blind for this round and when you have a dog like Gilda, 15 minutes can be an eternity!

Here is video of her Qualifying run. Apparently, she was determined to get our money's worth out of this run and she took 2:26.98 to find 2 Rats, Perform a Tunnel, and Perform a Climb. Nothing like taking it right down to the wire! Apparently not many Medium dogs qualified because her time earned her a beautiful 2nd place rosette in addition to a Qualifying Ribbon.

I was thrilled that Gilda took the Tunnel right off the bat. I've seen dogs complete the Rat Find and then NQ because their handlers could not convince them to take the Tunnel! You can see Gilda locate a few tubes. I try to be patient because she often takes a moment to examine the tube but will come off quickly once she realizes there is not a live Rat inside. You can see this clearly when she finds a tube on the Inside Rat Wrangler's right side (left on the screen). Also interesting, you can see Gilda actually go and sniff right in the area where the 2nd Rat was eventually found.
In Novice Level, I would just sort of follow Gilda around and (try to) watch her signals. In Open Level, I learned quickly that the area is bigger and that part of my job is keep track of where she has already looked and to direct her to areas that she hasn't searched. I am still always amazed when she follows my directives as we don't have a strong history of that :)