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TRIALING AND TRAINING
DOG FIRST AID
MADE IN THE USA
SHEEPDOG HERDING LESSONS
Last week at my friend Sandy's place, she had set up an Easter egg hunt for all of the dogs. When I arrived, which was fairly late, they were in the middle of the egg hunt. I was anxious to see how the girls would do, since they are always looking for the balls in the field.
So we hid the dogs from looking as each owner grabbed a peeled hardboiled egg and placed it out in a small grassy pen for the dog to find. With my dogs, Kate was first. I hid the egg and then let her into the large pen. I told her to "search” and she looked right at the sheep, right in the next pen. I redirected her, encouraging her to "find-it". She started searching with her nose to the ground. After a minute or so, I moved closer to the egg, and encouraged (without giving it away) her to look in the egg direction. Eventually she found it, and received a great reward.
Next was Tam. The Scarfhound of the family. I thought she just might inhale it before I got a chance to tell her that she was good for finding it. She circled back and forth a bit, and I moved closer to the egg and directed her to search in this closer area. Eventually she was rewarded with the great scent of egg and then the taste of it.
Decker was last. I really didn't know what to expect from him. I told him to "search", and "find-it", terms that he has heard when the ball gets lost during ball throwing. He put his nose to the ground, and bam! He found it right away. Instant reward!
After the hunt, which everyone’s dog was allowed to participate, my pack was going in for round two. Wow! Two eggs, I hope they don't get sick.
Kate's hunt went OK, I had hid the egg pretty well, and she had to figure out how to get at it from under the obedience broad jump. Tam's egg was hidden next to the fence that separated the sheep out. Nice and distracting. She must have cheated, as once released, she had almost a direct line to the egg.
Decker did great too. A true chowhound, and fairly smart, he had it figured out. I released him, and pow! Straight to it. Another instant reward.
I had never gone to an Easter egg hunt for dogs before. What a kick in the pants! We can't wait until next year.
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