Today we attended Puuhapäivä, arranged by Heiluva Häntä. Tommi, the trainer form the Arkatassukurssi, asked us to come and help in a Kiva Koirakansalainen -test (free translation: Nice Doggy Citizen).
In the test, a dog needs to perform some simple obedience tasks, let a strange person handle her/him and be calm under disturbances. The disturbances include people walking by, some noises, a person with a dog walking towards your dog and the handlers greeting each other (shaking hands) while the dogs wait calmly. This last bit was our job for today. We also spent quite a bit of time in the hallway, waiting for our turn, several times. Very good for Una!
The facility is familiar to Una already, so we were able to attempt this – and Una performed amazingly well! She was quite calm and I didn’t have to be afraid of her barking. All this was excellent for Una’s training!
After a few hours of this, we attended a tracking practice in a forest nearby. It was the first time Una has tried a blood track. So far, I have run a working dog track for her, with treats in my footsteps. I thought Una might like the blood, since she LOVES raw meat. And right I was: she was fascinated by the drops of blood, sniffing them very, very intently! At the end, a pile of boiled liver bits waited. Una just simply loves tracking 🙂
The tracking practice was beneficial for Una in other ways, too. There were two other dogs present, so we got good desensitization/counter-conditioning practice. There was a another kind of first for Una, too. I run the short track for her (two, actually), while Tommi had Una. I was not sure if we could pull this off, since Una has been extremely worried if I have given her leash to another person. I have never allowed anyone to take Una away from me in this kind of situation, but she is worried even if I stand right next to her. But Una barely noticed that I went away, offering tricks (sitting, lying down) to get the obviously delicious treats Tommi had! It’s very heart-warming to see that Una starts to get familiar with a few people and thinks they are totally safe.
We had a very fun day! Now Una is lying comatose on the same spot she happened to lie down to when we came home…