Sunday, 20 March 2011

"Myrtille de Kerbihan BH"

at least that would be her name now if our home's name were her kennel name and if in Germany it were common to write earned titles behind dogs' names :-) I am so proud of our little baby: she just passed her "Begleithundprüfung", or "BH", an obedience and "behaviour out in the daily-life-traffic" test, that is the basic test over here (like "Companion Dog" or "Good Canine Citizan") and needed for being allowed to compete in the different dog sports (in some clubs to even train for those sports). For this test the dog first has to prove that she's ok with a stranger reading out her chip data, and he might also touch her or have a look at her teeth. Then comes the obedience part: while another dog lies at the edge of the lawn she has to do heelwork (straight on, with right angles to the left/right and u-turns), with "sit" on body cue (human stops), with "sit" and "down" on command (while the human keeps walking) and coming back "here" to sitting in front of you without command and then going back to the heel position on command - as well as heeling through a group of people in a figure eight, stopping close to a person without embarassing or being afraid of the person - both on and off leash. She also has to lie down at the edge of the field, unleashed, while her human goes away 30 steps and stands there with his back to the dog and while the other dog does his heelwork. There is a large circle marked and the dog has to stay in the middle of it. When all the dogs taking part in the test on that day have done this part, those who have passed so far and shown that they are "obedient" in a confinded area are going outside of the dog-club-ground to check how they react to everyday-life situations as walking on the sidewalk while some people on a bike, on a scooter, with inline skates, or a runner are passing by and coming from behind, someone stops with his car and asks for directions, even hits the horn, cuts off and restarts the engine with the dog close to the front of the car, dog is tied somewhere, his human out of sight, while another dog is led close by, has to walk close by another tied dog. Dog should be neutral to everything and stay on loose leash (no correct heeling needed). Myrtille did so fine in each part! Which I think is really great, as the obedience was early in the morning, the grass was still wet, frozen in the shade, which she didn't really like... And at the edge of the field there where bushes with birds and rabbits and squirrels playing and still she was a very good girl... And even when her "partner dog" (the one who walked while she was performing her long down-stay) went off to have fun with those critters in those bushes and was called back loudly and came just to pass his handler and take off in the other direction and was called back even louder and harder... And - dogs have to be at least 15 months old for this test, which she just got at the beginning of march! So no one would have been mad at her if she would have had failed but instead we are really really proud of her!!! Oh, and before you ask if it was me who took this test with her - no I didn't, Sweetheart did, who will train her also in agility. I am too much of a nervous wrack when it comes to stuff like this - I passed this test with Dingo (we failed in our first try because he went off to play "catch me" when we started the off-leash part because he could feel how nervous I was) as well as with Josy because Sweetheart was sick that day - that's enough for me and it feels like it was ages ago... After I had done the basic training with Myrtille, mostly with clickertraining, at home, in the garden, in the street or during walks, then Sweetheart took over and trained with her. And they did a great job! Love each one of her "two faces"!!! P.S. Oh and all humans have to pass a written test before being allowed to start the obedience part of with their dog , or have to have passed it during the last five years. Lots of questions like for example about canine behaviour, how to behave when meeting other dogs or persons outside with your dog, medical issues, or legal things. That was a LOT of text... hope you enjoyed reading! Thanks for coming over! Tina

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations! I did enjoy reading all the details! I like the idea of a written test for handlers - we don't have that requirement here but I wish we did! Hudson and I are working on all that heel work and being steady off leash with distractions. The steady work is so much harder than the heel work which has come as such a surprise to me! Our teacher at obedience class refers to the process as developing impulse control - I like to keep that in mind as we struggle along with it! Again congratulations to Myrtle!


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