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Somebody Got the Win Her Field Trial...

heathpack

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... My little dachshund Phoenix. She won her field trial Saturday and is well on her way to her Field Trial championship, as well as her Hunting Hound title. These are similar performance events, the FT is all about trailing known rabbit scent lines (from rabbits flushed by the humans and dogs in the gallery) while the Hunt Performance tests are all about dogs being cast into a field and finding rabbits on their own. She’s 2/3 of the way to both titles and just turned 3 last week. She has two more Hunt Tests and four more Field Trials this season. So proud of her, she is doing so well and loves the rabbiting completely. ❤

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Passepartout

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She has the nose, but you deserve credit for the training and encouragement.

p.s. My brother has standard poodles that he does field trials with. Fun to see the faces of the Lab owners when they show up. They do quite well.
 

DaveNW

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Way to go, Phoenix! That’s a great achievement! And you deserve credit, too. She wouldn’t be enjoying this nearly as much without you helping her. :)

Which one are you in the photo?

Dave
 

heathpack

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Way to go, Phoenix! That’s a great achievement! And you deserve credit, too. She wouldn’t be enjoying this nearly as much without you helping her. :)

Which one are you in the photo?

Dave
I’m in the middle holding Phoenix. The judges are on either side. The judge on the left was also one of her judges for her most recent Hunt Performance Test. She was telling me that she just loves to watch Phoenix work. Relentless enthusiasm is one of the things the judges look for and Phoenix has that in spades.

Baby Ash got to come out this weekend too. Not to compete although some pups her age are already competing. I just want to get her comfortable with the scene.

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That’s Baby Ash out in the field.

Here’s another one of little Phoenix, waiting in the gallery while other dogs run:

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DaveNW

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They both look great doing what they were bred to do. Good job!

Dave
 

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Impressive! Well done.
 

Patri

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Congratulations, because I know this was a lot of work on your part too.
 

Passepartout

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Never even knew people spent time doing this.
People do LOTS of things with their animals, and have done for centuries. Arab Shieks hunted with falcons, sheepmen pitted their dogs against one another in herding skills, and ever since horses were domesticated, they were raced. Pigeon fanciers race them over unimaginable distances. To 'train' her dogs to do what centuries of breeding put the instincts in and show off the dogs' natural ability to follow scent, Heathpack is simply carrying on what humanity has always done.
 

heathpack

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People do LOTS of things with their animals, and have done for centuries. Arab Shieks hunted with falcons, sheepmen pitted their dogs against one another in herding skills, and ever since horses were domesticated, they were raced. Pigeon fanciers race them over unimaginable distances. To 'train' her dogs to do what centuries of breeding put the instincts in and show off the dogs' natural ability to follow scent, Heathpack is simply carrying on what humanity has always done.
One guy who regularly comes down from Oregon hunts with his dachshunds- most rabbit and game birds but he also uses them to trail wounded larger game like deer if he doesn’t get a lethal shot in. This guy eats ZERO commercially raised meat, he feeds his family on wild game.

Another guy who lives here in SoCal is a professional falconer. He rids municipalities of nuisance birds with his team of raptor + mini dachshund. The dachshund gets the nuisance bird to fly off, and the raptor kills the bird in the air. Cool and amazing. Way better than poison.

I do Nosework (aka scent detection) with my dachshunds. The trainer we work with is also a full time professional- she trains dogs for ecological detection. For example, one of her dogs is trained to detect a specific species of endangered snake. They are hard to count by traditional means because they spend almost all their time either underground or in water. He scent-detection dog can find these snakes when humans cannot, and he helps keep track of how this species of snake’s population is doing.

People have commented that I work hard training Phoenix and although I’d agree with that with the Nosework, for the hunting tasks that’s not quite true. I get her out a lot an let her practice finding rabbits and I cultivate the relationship so that I can sculpt her movements somewhat in the field, build her confidence, etc. Buf mostly the intense drive to find a rabbit is innate, it’s in her genetic make up. She had literally never seen a rabbit in her life when she went to her first field trial. Yet I set her on a rabbit scent line and she put her nose down and trailed it, good enough for 3rd place with zero training or exposure to rabbits.

Now, with more experience and exposure to wild rabbit, she is learning- where rabbits hide so she knows the places to search, what the scent trails tell her. Direction of movement for example- she previously understood a rabbit scent trail was interesting and that it meant a rabbit was nearby. But instead of following it in the correct direction, she’d often track it backwards, I think because she had learned rabbits “come from” thickets, brambles, clumps of thick grass, tree stumps, etc. When she’d catch a scent line, she’d recognize that it connected with a likely rabbit hiding place so she’d let that scent trail lead her back to the place the rabbit bolted from, not the place the rabbit bolted to. But she’s seen more rabbits bolt now and she’s starting to understand what the scent trails are telling her. It’s cool to watch, but 90% of that learning is her figuring it out and only 10% me providing her the proper context.

I could go on and on with this. I am very enamored of purebred dogs and their instinctual abilities. For eons they were our partners in life and their skills were really important to our success as a species. It’s cool to be part of preserving and cultivating those innate skills dogs have.
 

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My beagles "back tracked" animals, - unfortunately they had a habit of quickly finding and playing games with moles which didn't end well (for the moles)
 

DrQ

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My beagles "back tracked" animals, - unfortunately they had a habit of quickly finding and playing games with moles which didn't end well (for the moles)
Our son in Norfolk needs a resource for those kind of "games" in his front yard. Unfortunately, his beagle is too old for the job.

We just got back from an extended trip from your neck of the woods. Lovely part of the country.
 

heathpack

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Phoenix came in 2nd of 11 dogs in Saturday’s Field Trial and 1st of 18 dogs in Sunday’s Field Trial! The win on Sunday put her over the top of the points needed to earn her Field Championship. :)

So proud of her, she just turned 3 last month and got the championship in just over a year, 10 Trials total. She wound up with 5th place once, 4th Place 3x, 2nd Place once, and two wins, total of 47.5 points. To earn a Dachshund field championship, you need a total of 35 points, one win and at least three total placements in the top four dogs at a Trial.

She was awesome on Sunday for her win, had two really great runs and was totally on her game. Really nice to get the title with a slam dunk, it was a thing of beauty.

And the surprise icing on the cake was puppy Ash. I finally got a good recall on her so decided to run her in the Trial. I haven’t even worked her on rabbit yet really, she’d just go out in the field with us while I was working Phoenix and we’d just work on Ash’s recall. She is totally proud of herself now when she gets that right, she’s got the happiest most enthusiastic recall ever. :)

Anyway, I decided to enter her as a last minute “let’s get some experience” type of things. Well I’ll be a monkeys uncle- she got 3rd Place on Saturday and 4th on Sunday. She is only 9 months old, and beat in total 22 other dogs in the two trials, all of them older, wiser, and more experienced. She was the baby of the Trial. Wow. Baby Ash now has 8.2 points towards her championship.

So proud of my girls. It’s a very cool thing to see dogs doing the thing they have a genetic drive to do.

Phoenix:

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Ash Panache:

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WinniWoman

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Congratulations!
 

DaveNW

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That is so cool! Hearty congratulations are in order! Good doggies!! :)

Dave
 

heathpack

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Well my little dachshund Phoenix earned another hunting title this past weekend.

We’ve been working on two field sports: Dachshund Field Trials and Hunt Performance Tests.

The Dachshund Field Trial is a competitive event in which dogs compete against each other in pairs to determine the best dog that day. This one is primarily a test of the ability to trail a rabbit scent line.

A Hunt Performance Test is a pass/fail event for rabbiting breeds of dogs- mostly basset hounds and dachshunds. This one is more of a free form test of hunting ability, and the dog is turned loose in rabbit territory and has 30 min to show the judge it’s stuff.

For the Hunt Tests, dogs can compete as a solo, in a brace of two, or in a pack of 4. If the dog passes the test three times in whichever (solo, brace or pack) discipline, she earns the title of Hunting Hound. Then three more passes in another discipline earns the title Senior Hunting Hound. And then three passes in the final discipline earns Master Hunting Hound.

Phoenix has been running these tests in a pack of mini dachshunds (which is about as cute as you’d imagine). The tests are infrequently held- only 4 per year in all of California. Phoenix and her pack passed their test on Saturday and she got her Hunting Hound title. Then on Sunday, I ran her in a brace and they passed, earning the first of three legs towards her Senior Hunting Hound title. And Sunday she got asked to run as a 4th dog in a dachshund pack that was shy one dog- yep, passed that test too!

Lol she is she a diligent little worker bee that she makes the judges smile.

This pic is actually from a game of fetch in the parking lot while we were waiting to run.

So now for formal occasions, Phoenix May be addressed as Field Champion Eternal’s She’s on Fire MW Hunting Hound.


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Talent312

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Give that dog a milkbone!
Wait. I'll sent one via fax. ;)
 

DaveNW

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Way to go, Phoenix! That’s excellent!

This is why there are so many specific dog breeds. Each built for a specific task. Great that you are able to help her achieve her heritage. She’s a happy dog.

Dave
 

Timeshare Von

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Congrats! I love her look and happy she's happy!
 
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