A few people asked me to write something about go-outs, so I’ll give it a try.

In FCI obedience, we have the send to a square. This is a good video that shows you how the exercise is done in the elite class. The dog is sent to a marker 10 meters (33′) in front of the handler where he is asked to stand. He is then sent abpout 23 meters (75′) to the left or right to a square made up by four marker cones. The outer limits of the square is marked with a visible line. The dog is told to stand in the square, then to lie down. The whole dog has to be inside the square to get points on the exercise. The handler walks towards the dog, turns to the side and then back to the start. About 10 meters from the start, the handler recalls the dog and the dog comes to heel. In the lower classes (class II and III) here in Sweden, the dog is sent straight ahead of the handler to the square. The Square is 10 meters away in class II and 25 meters away in class III.

In North America, the send out is across the ring, about 12 meters or 40 feet. (If I have read the regulations right, please correct me if I’m wrong). This is a good video of how the exercise is done. When the dog reaches the end of the ring, he is asked to sit and is then directed to either the left or the right jump, coming back towards the handler. When the dog is back at the handlers side, the exercise will be done again, this time doing the other jump.

I start working on send-outs early with young dogs. I want them to be comfortable and have fun with running full speed away from me. To get them started, I teach them to target a big mat (I often use car mats as they are a good size) with their paws and work on going out to the target. I want to focus more on the running out than on the targeting and try to place the reward in front of the dog. Always clicking and treating as the dog is targeting and turning towards the handler can create a dog that is always thinking about stopping, because all the value is in that behavior. When the target goes away, the dog will often stop short. I don’t use the target for much else than to make the puppy love running a long distance away from me, so I’m ok with the dog just running over the target. I try to mostly reward with a toy thrown over the dogs head as he is running away. I also leave the dog standing in front of me and send him to the target left or right, as in the send to square in elite class.

As I work on targeting, I also teach the dog to load when I restrain him by holding his collar (this can also be taught in other situations, like when doing crate games or teaching the dog to “get it”). When the target is out of the picture, the signal for the dog to go out will be me loading the dog by holding his collar.

Next step is to get the same behavior without a target. To get this, you can try different things. You could start by using the target and then taking it away in the same session. If the dog is excited and understands the collar load, he will probably start to go out even when the target is taken away. Reward him starting the go-out by throwing a toy over his head. You could also work on this while you’re out walking with your dog off leash. If your dog behaves likes to run straight forward when you release him after a recall, you could reward this with a thrown toy. After a few repetitions, add the collar grab and let the dog load before releasing him. Reward him for starting on a go-out and gradually increase the distance. Another way of getting the behavior is to throw a ball to the dog on a straight line, until the dog starts to anticipate the throw and runs away from you before you throw the ball. When the dog is getting the idea, start restraining him by the collar and work on longer and longer distances before you throw the ball.

All of these methods require that you have good mechanical skills. It is very easy to teach if you convince the dog right away that the easiest way to get the toy is to keep staring ahead. A lot of dogs have already learned to always look back at you in anticipation of the toy. This makes training a lot harder and I wold recommend that you keep the target for a longer time, so that you get a lot of repetitions where you can throw the toy over the dogs head without him ever looking back at you. You will probably need to stay close to the target and also sometimes reward the dog for actually targeting, so that he keeps his focus forward.

When I have a good send out to nothing, I add the square right in front of me and reward the dog for running straight through it. I then run to the square and play with the dog in the middle. I move the square a lot so that the dog is not just running on the same line over and over, and I make sure to vary the distance to the square all of the time. It usually doesn’t take long before you can see the dog getting excited by the sight of the square.

The dog also needs to know a good stop and a good down at a distance. This is something I train separatly, it’s a nice thing to work on while out for walk with the dog off leash.

There are a lot more things to say about the send to square, but I can’t write too long today, so this short text will have to do for now. What about the North American go-out then? Well. You can surely benefit from teaching your dog to run away from you in a straight line, but I would think that the easiest way to teach it is to teach the dog to just target the fence that marks the edges of the ring. It’s always there and it’s not a very long send. Combined with a well generalized “sit”, I don’t think you need to put much effort in to get a really nice performance.

Good luck with training and please comment below if you have any questions or comments.

Training for competition

Thank you for all the interesting ideas you gave me in yesterday’s blog. My plan for today was to make a video about teaching the dog to heel, but it’s been snowing all day so I’ll do it some other time. I really think you need to see a video to get the idea. A few of the people commenting yesterday said that keeping the dog focused and driven in a trial was the biggest issue for them, so that is what I will address today.

Teaching the exercises for competitive obedience might be hard some times, but the real challenge is to get the dog to perform as well in trials as he is in training. I would say that about fifty percent of training should be preparing the dog for competition, as opposed to just working on details in the exercises. There are different factors that make competitions much more challenging than training, and the first step is to identify them. Here are some things that I find makes the difference:

Lack of reinforcement. This is probably the most important point. We love to reward our dogs and we do it a lot in training. In a trial, the dog has to work for up to fifteen minutes without any food or toys. Most dogs quickly get the difference between training and competition and that’s when we start to call them “ring wise”.Start to let your dog do more than one behavior before he gets rewarded early in your training and increase the time and effort he has to do between rewards gradually. Ideally, your dog should be used to working for longer periods of time in training than you ever ask for him in a trial.

Lack of sequencing. This is related to lack of reinforcement, but brings another aspect to it. Doing many exercises after another without rewarding in between brings out weaknesses that you won’t see if you’re always working one exercise at a time. This is where you go to a trial and don’t understand why your dog made a misstake – “it’s never happened in training”. Make sure that you try all exercises in a sequence with other exercises before it. Make note of any mistakes and fix them before you try the sequence again.

Division of responsibility. When training, I always consider what I want my responsibilities to be, and what responsibilities I lay on the dog. In the end, everything that happens is my responsibility, but I need to train my dog to take care of a lot of things. I can’t do everything for my dog in a trial, but many trainers still take all the responsibility in training. They are always helping the dog out and they never teach the dog to be an active part in training.When I train my dogs, I have the division of responsibility in my mind.

The most important thing is that I never ask my dog to work with me. My dog has to ask me to work with him. I don’t ask him to look at me or to come to heel. The dog has to take responsibility for those things if he wants to work. A trainer that is always asking the dog to work, regardless of if she does it with lures, cues or corrections, will create a lazy dog that knows that he can engage in other things (looking around, sniffing, lagging), because the handler will always tell him when it is important that he shows interest.

Make sure that you have great rewards that your dog loves, and teach him to beg for them. Let your dog be active in asking you to work with him and reward him for taking initiative.

Distractions and new environments. Of course, distractions can be a big difference between training and competition. Make sure that you include anything that could disturb you or your dog in your training.

Before, between and after exercises. Most people only train the exercises and never think of everything else that goes on in a trial. Many dogs (and handlers) don’t know that to do between exercises, or how to get into the ring to start up in a nice way, which causes the dog to loose focus. Make sure that you include entering the ring and transportations between exercises in your training for competition.

Warm up here, perform there. Many dogs are fine as long as they have checked a new place out and have gotten a few rewards in that place. In a trial, you need to warm up away from the ring and then be ready to walk to a new spot and perform right away. Make sure that you do this often in training. Warm your dog up on the parking lot, then walk onto the grass (or warm up in one area of the training hall and then move to a new area) and let the dog follow you for a little while before you reward.

Don’t ask your dog to come with you, reward him if he chooses to (and if he doesn’t, evaluate how much your dog is willing to work for his reward and think about how often your dog asks you to work vs. the other way around). Gradually increase the amount of time your dog has to work in the “ring” before you reward, but don’t always make it harder. Surprise your dog with an early reward once in a while.

I’m sure that you can come up with more ideas. Please post a comment if you do, or if you have any questions. Training for competitions is a massive theme to cover in one blog post, so this is just a scratch on the surface. The most important things to remember is to train your dog for trials, not just exercises. Make your training look like competition a lot and train your dog to a level where the exercises feel easy at a trial and the dog is used to work for longer periods of time without rewards. And make sure that you make your dog feel like a champion every time you finish a trial or a competition-like training. There should always be a great reward for the dog in the end.

Let me know what you think!

Obedience Challenges

I know that a lot of people that read this blog are interested in how to use clicker training for obedience. I will try to write about how to train different exercises and how to problem solve, but I would love to get some input from you. First of all – I need to know if you’re interested in knowing more about clicker training for obedience. I’m also interested to hear what challenges you face when training for obedience trials. Tell me your problems, and I’ll try to give you solutions based on clicker training in this blog.

Epic playing in the snow today

Send to square

We’ve had two great days with our favourite obedience instructor, Maria Hagström. We were lucky enough to be able to train in a heated indoor facility, made for dog training. We’re not spoiled with great indoors training in Sweden, we’re mostly outdoors or maybe in a riding hall. But change is coming; There are indoor halls for dog training popping out in many places around Sweden now. Very few of them are big enough to host trials, but we’re very glad that we got the opportunity to use one of them for this workshop. It’s been very cold for many weeks and we’ve still got a lot of snow.

Squid has really made progress in obedience. She is much more driven and focused. She is ready for longer sequences and fewer rewards (when training for endurance). One of the things that we have started working on this winter, is the send to square. In class II, you send the dog to the square ten meters straight ahead of you. In class III, you send the dog straight for 25 meters and in the elite class, you send your dog 10 meters to a cone, then to the square, 25 meters away from you, to the right or left of the cone. We didn’t start any training on this until i felt that Squid did really well in some other exercises, like send to a foot target and running full speed away from me without a lure or target.

When I started working on the square, Squid already knew how to run straight ahead in full speed. All i did was to add the four cones in her way. I rewarded with a toy thrown over her head. At first, she didn’t really notice the cones, but it didn’t take long before she started seeking them out. I’m guessing that we’ve had about eight sessions in total before this video was made. I’m really surprised by how fast she got it. Now that Squid has a lot of value for running between the cones, I have started with some work close to the square, where I shape her to move around inside the square. I don’t want to reward her for stopping there, but I want her to have a feeling of “inside the square”. I will combine this training with further training on longer sends like I have done before.

Here is a video from training yesterday:

The Retrieve, Part 1

A few years ago, I published an article on retrieving (in Swedish). It has been much appreciated by all kinds of dog trainers and has helped many to teach a great retrieve for obedience. We still use the same methods, but training evolve over the years and there are some things that I want to update the article with. I have also decided to add video to the article, and to translate it into English.
Since I wrote the first article, we have become even better at the foundation training. Our philpsophy is to make sure that the dog knows the behavior really well before we introduce it in the setting where it will be used at a trial. In that way, we can keep a high rate of reinforcement, without ever rewarding things that we don’t like.

This is maybe most important when it comes to retrieving. We meet a lot of dogs that have a negative association with the dumbbell – even clicker trained dogs. It’s easy to put pressure on the dog without knowing, and thus creating a negative feeling. If you make sure that your dog has the perfect attitude towards grabbing and holding an object before you introduce the dumbbell, such misstakes can be avoided. Different trainers have different goals for their training, but for my part, I want my dog to have a really energetic attitude to dumbbells. The dog should grab the dumbbell as soon as she gets the chance and then hold it with a rock solid grip until I tell her to drop it. And no matter what distractions I throw at her, she should glow with confidene and joy. I am very satisfied with Missy’s retrieves, so when training Squid, this is one of my first goals. Squid has not been as naturally energetic as Missy, but as you can see in the video below, we’re getting there!

A good retrieve is based on a good game of tug, at least if you ask me. If the dog will grab toys immediatly, hold and weight shift, you have a good foundation for the retrieve. I will gladly spend a lot of time playing tug instead of starting with the formal retrieve too early. Like I have said before, I also work on an informal retrieve to hand, where the puppy picks up a toy and nose touches my hand. This is not strongly connected to the formal retrieve, but I think it is good for the puppy to move with something in her mouth, and to learn to always run to me as soon as she picks something up. I usually wait with the dumbbell until the puppy has grown adult teeth, before that we’re working on foundations like tugging and retrieving to hand.

The most important training I do before I introduce the dumbbell, is to shape the dog to pull on any object that I present to her. I start by using soft, easy things (if I’m not dealing with a dog that is crazy about tugging, in wich case I might use something a little less exciting) and progress to other kinds of objects (plastic dowels, teaspoons, pens, gloves, metal chains etc.). This is nog tug-of-war. I am passive and the dog is active. It’s always the dog that seeks out the object, never the handler that pushes the dog to grab it. I let the dog stand in the initial training, but then progress to having the dog offer a sit in order for me to present the object. I want her to sit down while holdig and shifting her weight back. I hold on to the object for a long time in training, until the dog is holding the object calmly but with a great attitude and weight shift. When the dog can do that, I will let go of the object for a short, short time. I might just let go with one hand, or release the pressure a bit. I always end by grabbing the object again, to test the dogs grip, before I click and reward. The goal is to have the dog hold on to the object with the same hard grip no matter if I’m holding it or not. Because of that, I can’t rush this training and I can’t be too predictable. I will also use self control games (like tempting the dog with treats while she’s holding) to give the dog a greater understanding of her job.

When you’ve done this kind of training for a while, chewing on the object should be something that happens very, very rarely. This gives you the opportunity to make a big deal out of it when it happens. You’re close by and can react with perfect timing. Grab the toy (ideally as the dog opens her mouth to chew or change her grip) and express how shocked you are (or do a victory lap with the object on your own). Don’t give your dog a new chance right away, become an actor and let your dog beg to get the object back. This will of course only work if you have built value for the object in your initial training, and should not be used right away.

  • Get a strong foundation of tugging and retrieve to hand
  • Train in short, energetic sessions with lots of playing
  • Always let the dog grab the object, never push it towards the dog
  • Let the dog offer a sit before you present the object (after initial training)
  • Make sure that the dog is always working for your rewards, and is not just pulling because she likes tugging on the object
  • Reward a calm, but heavy grip. You should be able to feel your dog weight shift even when he is sitting down
  • Let go of the object for very short moments in the beginning. Grag it again and reward if the dog is still holding it well
  • Gradually increase the amount of time where the dog is holding on her own
  • Use self control games to increase understanding (can be done at all the steps)
  • Do the same thing while the dog is moving
  • Use all kinds of objects
  • Only reward your dog for letting go on the click or on your verbal drop cue, not on other sounds or cues
  • Always evaluate the dog’s attitude. The dog should really want to have that object!

Here is a session where I’m doing this kind of training with Squid. It’s mostly play, but that’s how it should be:

Good luck with the retrieve! If you have access to a video camera, I’d love to see some sessions and comment on them, so upload them to YouTube and make a comment here!


I know it’s been forever since I wrote here. Everything is great in our new home, except that we still haven’t got an internet connection. I was really looking forward to finally getting broadband (we couldn’t get it where we lived before), but it’s taking forever. It took them almost three months to connect a stationary phone and now that that’s done, I hope that we’ll get internet connection soon. Right now, I’m on a mobile connection that is really slow (and that I can’t use with my Macbook). Wich is the reason why I haven’t been able to post any videos lately. I hope this will change soon, then I’ll be a better blogger and publish new videos.

I’ve done a few trials this fall and we’ve done really well. Missy became Obedience Trial Champion in the beginning of October and Shejpa became Agility Trial Champion the same weekend! I’m trying to qualify  both dogs for Swedish nationals next year. Shejpa and I just came back from a trial on Gotland, an island on the east coast of Sweden. We weren’t as successful as we’ve been before, if you only look at the results.  But I have been working on speed with her and it has really helped! Her speed was really good and I know I can make it even better. We did only have one clean run out of four, where she finished second, after another working cocker, world team memeber Max. Her running contacts are perfect in trials and I don’t worry about them at all. It’s a great feeling, knowing that they are consistent and fast. I was more worried about the other dog that I brought to the trial. My student and friend Anna let me run her border collie Fonzie in his debut in standard. Unfortunatly, he knocked a bar in two of his runs and had weave pole problems in the two others. But his running contacts were great and that was what I wanted most of all.

Squid has turned one year and is doing good. We’re training agility, obedience, herding and search and rescue. She is very immature and I have decided not to do any trials with her this year. I have so little time and I might as well spend my weekends trialing with the dogs that need to in order to qualify for nationals. Thomas’ cocker Pogue is one month younger, but he did his first trial in obedience this weekend. He did really well and is now qualified for the next level! Now, Thomas has promised to do focus on Pogues agility training – we’re bringing the young dogs to Greg Derrett’s double box seminar in about five weeks. Shejpa is running in the advanced group. We’re really looking forward to the seminar!

Squid herding:

How to prepare your dog for obedience trials

Training the obedience exercises to perfection is of course important, but it is not enough. Without preparing your dog for performing at a trial, you risk getting a dog that is “ring wise” before long. This happened with the first dog that I competed with to the highest level. She did great in the first trials, but after a while, her performance in trials was about half as good as in training. And when I finally realised that we had a problem, it was not easy to solve it.

Now, preparing the dogs for trials is a big part of our training. There are different aspects of trialing that can be worked on separatly. Most of it can be done already with a puppy or young dog. Here are some of the things we work on before trialing:

  • Prepare your dog for doing longer sequences without rewards. The biggest difference between training and trialing is usually that we reward our dogs much more often during training. This is usually what make dogs “ring wise”, they will find that difference out and stop performing as well in trials. Make sure that you do longer sequences without rewarding (of course, there is always a reward at the end of the sequence) in training and not just rewarding every exercise. My goal is to have the dog do 50% more (than what is required in a competition) before getting rewarded in training before we go to a trial. Sequences as a concept can be trained as soon as the puppy knows a few behaviors. Instead of rewarding every cued behavior, you might ask the puppy to “down” after coming to heel position and then reward. As the puppy gets used to that, you will sometimes start asking for more. I would say that this is the most important thing to do before trialing. If you do this well, you probably don’t have to worry about your dog getting ring wise.
  • Do your training in a trial like setting. Arrange training that looks a lot like a real trial. Preferably, you’d set up a ring in a unknown location with new people and new dogs around. Let people act as judge and ring steward. This is the optimal set up, but I also find that just bringing in one or two of these elements into my training helps a lot. I might be at home, but have a ring set up and someone new telling me where to go in the ring. Or i might go to a new place and do trial like training with our usual training group. It all helps a lot!A common mistake is to make trial-like training boring for the dog. As soon as we do training in a trial-like setting, we want to try hard things to see what the dog can do. We reward more seldom than in our regular training and we add too many difficult tasks for the dog at once. Then all of this training is bad for our furure carreer, just as if we’d already taken an unprepared dog and trialed. You risk making the dog ring wise before even entering a trial. So make sure that you give your dog pleasant memories from the “trial”. Do easy stuff that you know that your dog will be good at. Make sure that your rewards are extra good. The most important thing is that the dog starts liking trials. The really hard challenges can be saved for training at home. You will of course at some point do hard things in a trial-like setting, but by then your dog should be at an even higher level while training at home.
  • Do a lot of training on heeling the dog into the ring and heeling the dog between exercises. A lot of people tend to only train on exercises before trialing, but that would not make the dog fully prepared for the trial. In a trial, you also have to walk into the ring and heel the dog between exercises. Working on how to enter the ring is important for many reasons. I would get very nervous if my dog wasn’t with me while walking into the ring and my dog would probably not do as well in the exercises if she had to start the trial with something we never trained for. This is also your chance to give the judge a good first impression of you as a team. So train your heeling into the ring and between exercises. Don’t always reward when your dog finishes an exercise, do some heeling before rewarding from time to time.
  • Proof for distractions. List all the distractions that could happen at a trial and train for them: A clumsy ring steward, dumbbells right by the jump, cones in your way while heeling, loud speakers, people commanding their dogs in a loud and aggressive way, food on the ground, bitches in heat, judges that follow you close by while heeling etc.
  • Train for more than what is required by the rules. Few will perform as good in a trial as they do while training. Make sure that your dog can do a little bit more than what you will be doing in a trial. Longer distances, harder challenges and tough distractions. This will allow you to perform worse than in training but still be perfect in a trial. This will also make sure that your dog fins trialing easy and fun.
Good luck!

Foundations For a Great Retrieve

Before I present a dumbbell to my dog, I want to do some foundation exercises. To shape the retrieve can be challenging for beginner trainers and we sometimes get students that actually have created a situation where the dog finds the dumbbell repulsing and aversive – through shaping! By doing foundation exercises before presenting the dumbbell, you can be more certain to get exactly the behavior you are looking for when the time has come for training with a wooden or metal dumbbell.

I spend my time developing a good tug with my puppies before thinking about retrieving. When the dog is tugging well, retrieving is much easier. Tug games teaches the dog to grab and hold firmly.

Retrieving Toys
I mostly work on retrieving toys because I want training with toys to be more efficient, with the dog returning to me with the toy any time I throw a toy or let the dog win while tugging. But I also feel that it helps my formal retrieve, since the dog is programmed to run fast back to me as soon as she picks something up. For my toy retrieve, I use hand targeting. The dog presses it’s nose to my hand with the toy in her mouth. This is really easy to teach some dogs, especially those who likes to carry things around a lot. For them, it is often enough to reward a hand touch a few times, and then present the hand when the dog is holding an object.

The most common problem that occurs in teaching this is the dog letting go of the toy as the hand is presented. My first solution is to take the hand away as soon as the dog lets go, then presenting it again as soon as the dog picks the toy up again (dog is only given opportunity to hand touch when she holds the object in her mouth). If the dog fails many times without improvement, I will teach the dog to hold the object in her mouth while I tempt her with treats, before trying the hand touch again.

What kind of object I start with depends on the personality of the dog. A dog that likes toys, but wants to keep them on her own, gets a boring object to start. A dog with less interest in toys, gets something easy and attractive. In the beginning, I do the play retrieve in separate sessions, but later start using it in play, with gradual increases in intensity and difficulty (indoors is usually easier than outdoors, some objects are easier than others etc.). While training this, I also introduce my puppies to different kinds of objects, like a few repetitions with a metal dumbbell if the puppy has a nice hold.

The start of the formal retrieve
When I start training the formal retrieve, I start with objects that isn’t a dumbbell, so that the behavior is good when I present the dumbbell for the first time. To start with, I use objects that are soft and easy, like a piece of rope, a thick leather leash or a fleece tug toy with two handles. The behavior that I want is similar to what I look for while tugging, with a firm grip and weight shift, but my priority now is koncentration and a calmer behavior. I want the dog to be able to sit down and grab, hold and weight shift (you will notice the weight shift even when the dog is sitting). The hold should be calm and feel heavy in my hands.

I have been a bit slow with teaching the formal part of it to Squid, so this is one of her first sessions:

Long Time No See

Wow, I’ve been really bad at updating the english blog lately. It’s been a hectic month with lots of teaching. I was in Sweden for a week teaching agility, shaping and obedience. I was unfortunatly really ill all week and couldn’t be at my best. This week and the past weekend has been dedicated to our groups of trainers that work with us for 4-6 weekends in a year. Six days of teaching out of nine. These groups are usually the most fun to teach, as they are very ambitious and you get to see them make a lot of progress. We’re done with two groups (one at home and one in Bergen) and a third group are coming here tomorrow. I got ill again yesterday when teaching and am sitting by the computer, drinking tea, to get well before tomorrow.

We’ve had time for some dog training as well. Shejpa has been taking time off from agility since we detected some pain in her back. She should be back soon and we have a few trials planned for late April and early May. We’re going back to the physiotherapist next week and hope that she’s not in pain any more. It’s not a big thing, you can’t tell that she’s in pain unless you press on a specific spot. Shejpa turned three on Sunday!

Missy was supposed to do an obedience trial in early April, but she came into heat (along with Pi and Shejpa) last week. You are not allowed to trial i bitch in heat at national trials in Sweden, so we have to wait until May. She’s doing well in training. A lot of things are working great. Most of the work we do is on longer sequences in a trial like setting and getting her in a calm mode for heeling.

Squid is now 6,5 months old. She is still a very nice and social puppy. She’s never been really crazy in training (except for restrained recalls and circle work) and I have been fine with that since I have one over-the-top-border collie and I know that they usually get more crazy with age. But I have found that I have a problem with getting her to drive away from me with speed to a crate or target. She runs well to a toy or bowl of food, but the transfer of value hasn’t happened with the target and crate. I have increased the intensity in her tugging, worked with really high value rewards, short distances and short sessions to build a lot of value for targeting and driving into the crate. Still, we’re not having any real success with it. It might come when she gets older, but I’m not ready to just cross my fingers. There has to be something more that can be done.

We’re working a lot on focus at the time. At six months, a lot of puppies get more easily distracted and that’s true for Squid as well. We work a lot on tugging and then just snatching the you away from her and walk away. When she comes back to heel position and walks with focus for a while, the game is back on. Works well and she is getting better and better. We’ve also been working on a few new tricks and she has been travelling with me and is really good at relaxing in her open crate.

Squid tugging

We’ve started some more training for search and rescue (wich is a sport in Norway and Sweden). At first, we worked a few sessions on just driving to new people and tugging with them. She loves it and we’ve done one session in the woods where we worked some on using the wind to find people and some on running straight out in the woods to get to the person. She really likes to use her nose and I have also noticed that she likes tracking. I’m not planning on doing any tracking with her, but a girl working for us right now tried some tracking with her today and she was really good at it.

Oh, and by the way. Thomas decided that he needed a cocker of his own, so he picked up Pogue, a male working cocker. Pogue is 5 months old and a really sweet dog!