Milo earned his BH :)

His email signature line now looks like this:

Milo Fehr BH, RN, CGN, SPOT

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I’m grinning here because the judge just encouraged Milo and me to continue in the sport.

He has titles from the German Shepherd Schutzhund Club of Canada, the Canadian Kennel Club, and the United Kennel Club.

I’m grateful to all the people and dogs who helped Milo and me along the way. Milo and I extend huge thanks to Cheryl Bishop, Heidi Grasswick, Jess Parent, and Liz Parent all of whom generously shared their skill, time, support, and expertise with Milo and me.

Thanks also to the London Schutzhund Club for running a well-organized trial, and for providing a kind, supportive, and sportsman-like environment.

Finally, it was an honor for Milo to earn this title under Judge Raino Fluegge, who was compassionate enough to remind me to breathe.

I was most proud of Milo’s performance in the Down out of Motion with Recall and the Test in Traffic.

In the Down out of Motion with Recall, he and I both performed at a level that reflected our best practice sessions. By this time in the routine I had worked through some of my nerves, and so Milo settled into his normal self. His heeling was attentive, and his recall was fast and sure.

It might seem weird to be proud of the Test in Traffic. But, three years ago I would never have dreamt of even trying such a thing, and yesterday Milo pulled it off with style. He kept his cool and attended to me while walking past a car, bike, jogger, other dogs, and a crowd of whistling, waving, clapping people. He performed basic obedience in a dense, jostling crowd, even after someone pushed me. Finally, he maintained a sharp, alert sit when I tied him out and left him alone while other people walked their dogs past him.

Milo and I have lots of work on but for now, I’m focusing on what went well. That, and the fact that he earned the title.

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This trial left me enthused about the sport and fiercely proud of Milo.

Finally, Milo and I are taking a shot at our BH obedience title

quizzicalgsdOne of my goals for this summer was to join the German Shepherd Schutzhund Club of Canada and enter an obedience trial with Milo. The plan was to take a shot at our BH (Begleithunde)–the first obedience title a dog can earn in the sport of Schutzhund.

The weather is mild here in Southern Ontario, which means, in my mind at least, that October still counts as summer. So, if the good Lord’s willing and the snow don’t fly, Milo and I will meet our goal this weekend.

Saturday, at the London Schutzhund Club, we’ll be strutting our stuff at our first Schutzhund trial. Eek.

 

German shepherd dog, lying on its tummy on the grass in front of a woman wearing blue jeans and a coop full of chickens

I might be a chicken, but I’m not afraid to train Milo beside the chicken yard.

 

Milo and I’ve been working toward this for what seems like ever. But, I’m incredibly nervous about trials, and so I only entered this one at the very last minute. Milo has lots of courage, but me? I’m a bit of a chicken.

I keep saying to my self, “Self, don’t panic.” After all, if it goes poorly, Milo and I will still have met our goal, and we’ll both have gained trial experience. There’s no punishment, we’ll try just try again later. And if it goes well, we might just end up with a title.

I’m trying to focus on letting Milo shine. He’s my good boy.

Wish us luck!

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Summer training plans

I’ve decided that this summer Milo and I will train for an obedience title and a tracking title, and take another Rally obedience class.

BH (Begleithund Test)

line diagram tracing a heel work pattern

BH heelwork pattern

This is the first obedience title that one can get in the sport of Schutzhund. I’m interested in a BH because it seems difficult but doable. In addition to a temperament test and a traffic test, the BH involves a long heelwork pattern. Milo and I can already do all of the elements of this pattern. The trick will be to link them together and keep him focused for the duration of the exercise.

 

Tracking

Tracking is on the list because Milo is an olfactory genius (proud dog mamma talking here). He loves to sniff and it seems wrong to deny him the opportunity to develop this talent. It is also a lot of fun to work with him on a project that he finds so engaging.

black and tan german shepherd with his nose down in green grass

Rally class

Milo and I could get some more Rally titles. But Rally classes provide more important benefits than titles. They are great socialization opportunities. These classes provide a safe and controlled environment with lots of new dogs and new people who Milo can practice ignoring. Also, this instructor helps me work on being a more confident handler. I can always use this sort of help.

I called this post “Summer training plans.” This is not yet a plan, only a list of interests. More detailed plans are on the horizon.

My plan for this week is to make the plan. I’ll:

  • look into upcoming Rally classes and Rally trials,
  • set up a weekly tracking and training date with some like-minded friends, and
  • make a first pass at dividing the BH and tracking training into tiny little manageable bits for me and Milo work on.