Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The game of Hunting

It is amazing how my training approach and philosophy has changed over the years...I owe so much to the dogs that have come before Buzz - K9 Chief and K9 Sula.  I am so enjoying just taking my time with Buzz - letting him 'be a puppy' and not pushing him into odor work too quickly.  It is such a joy to just work on building the solid foundation of his natural hunt drives and a great reward system.  Sunday was a great day to continue the hunt games in a new environment, hiding Buzz's favorite toy in a wood pile with all sorts of people watching him. He was so focused on finding his toy, using his nose to follow the odor and ignoring all the people that were watching him.  All these skills are building such a great foundation for the more directed search work that is yet to come.  Knowing that Buzz will hunt and stay focused on his hunt is such a joy - that is they key to all the rest to come.  I am enjoying the lack of stress and anxiety I am feeling with Buzz...no need to rush him.  He will never be this baby pup again so I am soaking in every last moment of this joy...he will have a lifetime of work ahead of him.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Big Dog Training Day

Today Buzz got to join in the big dog training at the rubble pile and he came out of the truck and on to the rubble pile as if he had always been there.  This little guy has no fear and such wonderful confidence.  Today the goal was to just play with Buzz on 'baby rubble' and let him have fun tugging and playing on new surfaces and with new footing.  We played his favorite game of tug and he was all about the game...as usual.  Not much can keep him from wanting his tug toy...not even uneven surfaces or strange environments.  Then he got to learn from the "big dogs" following them around the rubble piles and learning how to navigate the voids and other obstacles.  Buzz had a great time with retired SAR dog Taeryn and his SAR pup buddy Kuster.  It is so amazing to see his level of confidence already.