Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Trying Something New

Because it's so hard for me to sit down at a computer (or sit down at all) to update this blog, I'm trying a new App from my phone. This should allow me to give more updates when I'm not at home and in between the hurry up and wait parts off my day.

So Pit Bulls aren't natural retrievers and they don't seem to naturally understand the concept of holding things with their mouths unless it's to eat it, chew on it, or carry it to a specific place to either eat or chew it. This presents issues when trying to teach them to do simple things like pick up a toy.

I've been working hard with Peanut the past few months on getting her to take objects, hold them, and move with them while still holding them. Its been a long road but she's starting to get it!

Now I can hear some trainers yelling about mixing up commands as it could be confusing, and you are right. I was trying to figure out what word she was attaching the trick to. Looks like the word "basket" is the one she chose to remember. So don't get mad at me, it's a learning experience and thankfully she's a very forgiving dog.

I am very proud of how far she's come and while it's not easy, she's doing better then I could ask. It's amazing how far she's come since she was a scared puppy in my house and I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Problems

Longtime no post, I know I know.  Being on a Search and Rescue Team means I can't talk about a lot that goes on or a lot about our training for legal reasons.  Not being able to talk or post about our training means that there's not much to post about. 

This month we did some water training, which for trailing dogs we can't do much with it.  We did however get to ride in a boat for the first time (Peanut's first time not mine) and boy did she have fun!  She wouldn't get out of the boat after and then tried to get into ever boat she saw.  

Peanut tried her hardest to drag me into the water.  For 50lbs shes STRONG!




And then Peanut and her buddy Bruno

Friday, January 23, 2015

It's Been an Exciting Month!

Well, not really.  Nothing is really exciting when it's below zero out (today it's in the 20's it's a heat wave!). Winter can move on any time now.

Earlier this month Peanut and I got an amazing opportunity to go try out for a K9 Search and Rescue team for our state.  Now this team normally doesn't accept new dogs over the age of 2, and if you can believe it she is already 3 1/2, so to even have the opportunity to try out was awesome.  Of course Peanut being Peanut does what she always does and blew their minds with her nose.

I tell you this dog is amazing and it blows my mind that she can do what she does.  She needs some work and a lot of brushing up but we were invited to join their team and will be their only trailing dog on a team on 20+ Air Scent and Human Remains Detection (HRD) dogs.  Seems like  Tracking/Trailing dogs are rare in Michigan which is a shame.  Yes Police K9's can track but unless taught they aren't scent specific but normally only follow the newest scent.  Their skills are perfect for following someone who recently robbed a bank or made a dash out of a car on a traffic stop but a scent specific dog does better in large crowds and in areas where there is a lot of traffic.

So here we start a new chapter in our Search and Rescue career.  Go Team Peanut!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Yup, it's that time of year.  From the Nut House to your family, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Oh Winter Time...

Winter has come in with vengeance in Michigan with the snowiest November ever in parts of Michigan, and we got hit with a lot of snow here.  With winter coming in so fast, the Nut House went from spending 4 hours a night outside to just taking quick potty breaks and then warming ourselves by the furnace.  Things have been hectic around here with two dogs with much pent up energy. 

The first weekend in November I got the opportunity to take Peanut to a Search and Rescue training weekend in southern Indiana.  This is the first time I've had people in the SAR community outside of the team I work with take a look at her skills and tell me if she had what it takes to be a trailing dog or if I should just give up on it and start on other work for her.

It was a 5 hour trip for us, well 5 1/2 hours on our way down thanks to car issues.  Never a dull moment!  We arrived to a beautiful place called Camp Lakeview.  After locating camp I got to meet a handful of people there for the weekend and set up in out cabins.

Our Cabins!

We sat around a campfire and introduced ourselves and our dogs.  One of the questions we were asked is "What level do you think your dog is it" which I replied honestly "Not a beginner but it depends in your definition of intermediate.  Maybe beginner intermediate."  Later I found out that a lot of people who say "intermediate" or "advance" are those who have big egos, I just didn't want to get stuck on puppy runs because I know Peanut is far beyond that and would get bored.  Peanut has done some really complex tracks over the years so I know she's beyond a beginner, I was just being truthful.

Well we got stuck on a puppy run for the first track of the night and of course Peanut just did fantastic as she always does and we got moved up to the intermediate class.  

Our puppy run next to a beautiful lake.  Pictured is Sophie and her handler

The next day was a blast.  So many different trails and so many different problems to work out and so much to learn.  I learned so much on handling Peanut while we were there,  things we needed to work on, and things to do to advance us further in our training.  Peanut was really a rock star while we were out there and people just couldn't help but to fall for her.  She blew everyone's minds and went well beyond what they thought she could do.  She loved on everyone that would let her and she even found her toy drive that I've been searching for over the years.  I am so proud of this dog and where she is at.  

Sadie 1
Sadie a Golden Retriever trailing

 So overall I got the answer I went there to get which was "Do you think this dog can be a SAR dog" and got the answer "She already is".  It was so encouraging to be down there with so many people who have the same passion I do and so much more knowledge on subjects I'm still getting my feet wet in.  I also learned I have a LOT to learn about handling Peanut.  

Peanut ride home
Peanut chilling on our ride home

I was waiting until I got some photos of Peanut from the weekend training but nothing has come up yet so, pictures are still yet to come!  So until then, here's a collection of photos from the past of Peanut's work. 

PeanutSAR Combo