Terrier Play

Dsc06922In addition to our scooter-buying and parade-going, Moses and I spent part of the weekend at the Heartland Spring Terrier Trial.

Yesterday, we did some go-to-ground and a barn hunt.  Moe got through the GTG in 6 seconds, which was good enough for second place. 

He probably would have placed in the barn hunt as well, had I not screwed up.  The point of the barn hunt is to see how well you communicate with your terrier.  A rat is hidden in one of several tubes in a barn-like area, and the dog has to sniff around and find it.  When you think your dog is acting like he's found the tube with the rat in it, you say so.  The idea is to both pick the right tube, and to do it quickly.

When I released Moe he went straight to the correct tube, but he didn't indicate as strongly as he usually does, so I encouraged him to check out the other tubes.  He still didn't seem too excited about any of them--and after a minute of wandering around the barn stall, I was totally stumped--so when he went back to the first one I decided to just pick it.  Wouldn't you know it, that was the right one!  If I had just trusted him, we probably would have done really well.  I'm going to try hard to remember that next time!

278982426_ydof6m_2Today he won first and second place in his two races, and (for the very first time ever) was able to figure out the super go-to-ground!  Super GTG is a more complicated version of regular GTG--the tunnel has multiple entrances and exits, and has some uphill and downhill parts.  I've entered Moe at every Jack Russell trial we've been to, but he just gets so excited when he knows we're doing earthdog that sometimes he has trouble engaging his brain.  He's never been able to even get to the rats before. 

Today he ran into the obvious entrance like gangbusters as usual, but--when he realized that wasn't going to get him to the rats--he really stopped and thought about it and used his nose to sniff out the right entrance instead.  He found the rats in just over a minute, which was good enough for fourth place.  I'm hoping this is a sign that he's maturing a little bit.

All in all, not a bad trial for us.  :)