The adventures of Ziva (Z-Evil One) the tracking dog and psycho Mom

This post is very late, but we have been so busy getting things in order for winter.  Julie had asked for a description of Ziva’s TD track, so here it goes.


TD test-Lisa’s version

There were 8 TD tracks being offered and 9 entries.  We were picked last for the awarding of the tracks 🙁  In the end 1 dog ended up withdrawing- they received their TD at a show the weekend before, so we now had a spot in the test.  It rained cats and dogs the night before and the rain woke me up at 3:30 am the morning of the test.  Libby said “wake me when it’s time to go”.  Ziva got up with me and annoyed the cat till it was time to go.  Luckily, on the drive to the site, by 7 it was just a drizzle (oh good-water holds the scent).   Psycho Mom arrived at the test site by 7:30 for the 8 am draw where we ended up with the 3rd run.  As soon as I got the tracking equipment out Ziva started “talking”, but by the time the harness was on she was uncharacteristically quiet and attentive.  My heart was beating so fast I hoped I wouldn’t have a heart attack before the end of the day.  One of the club members walked over and said, “You must breathe-your dog knows you are stressed and it will make her not want to leave you to go track”.  We walked to our track across the road and the start flags were visible when we went around the corner of the barn. I looked at the acres of open field around us, knowing only my dog knew where the track was and zoned out.  Eyewitness accounts, my trainers, said Ziva took one look at the start flags and she was ready, but kept looking at me instead of her normal “talking” and pull to get to the start flags.  Reality check- OMG-I’m screwing up my dog!!  Get your head on straight Lisa – – Deep breath-another one,   “Ok Z, let’s do it, are you ready”?  Big whine and happy tail and we’re on our way to the start.  Nice platz and a very long sniff of the sock.  When she was done, I picked it up and said “find it” and off she went, nose to the ground.  Penciled the first turn and kept on tracking, next turn, beautiful, then she noticed we were being followed.  She stopped and looked up the hill at the judges and moved off the track toward them watching.  “Ok Z, back to work, find it” and a little bit of casting and off she went back where she had been headed.  Now I was sane enough to be able to notice her typical tracking behavior, tail rhythmically swinging back and forth and nose on the ground steadily pulling.  Oh wait, what’s she doing?  A a few sidesteps and investigation, no, not what we’re looking for,  then back on the track, another turn, a couple of air scents along the way and then she stopped, looked down and then back at me.  “What did you find Z” and there it was, the glove with congratulations on your TD written on it. 

She was the youngest dog at the trial and both judges said they were very impressed by her work ethic and enthusiasm for the job.   Of course they also loved her pigment. On her paperwork was written  “a very nice, young ,honest, working dog” .


On the track
On the track

TD Test-Ziva’s version

What is Mom rummaging around in the car for-is it-OMG it is, my tracking harness—yippee I get to do sniffies!   Harness is on but—WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH YOU MOM?????  Boy I don’t like this a bit-she is really not herself.   I wonder what’s wrong-I need to keep an eye on things.  Oh look, here comes that nice man that we see sometimes when we hunt for sardines.  Oh great—now they are going to talk, we’ll be here forever.    Wow, that was quick-now were walking to a field.  I see flags—flags mean sniffies-let’s go.  She  stopped, why? I hear her take some deep breaths, she seems more like herself and is letting me go toward the flags.  OH BOY, this is it she clipped the line to my harness.  Sniffing the cloth thingy-boy, whoever had this should have taken a bath—phew!!!  Looked up at Mom and she took the cloth thingy and told me to find it.  Boy this this easy-big stinky footprints.  Right  turn-nailed it—haha, still following stink foot- sniff, sniff, sniff, I could follow this with one paw tied behind my back.   Left turn, Hey!!! What are those people doing following us????  What  Mom, ok I’ll get back on the track. She’s back to herself, making me work like a dog.  Another turn  oh-what have we here…only deer tracks, I need to get back to following stink foot.   Another turn, easy, peasy , down the path -next time this guy should take a bath.   Hey Mom, look I found stink foots glove- – –

 Hey!!!!! where are my sardines????

Ziva earns her TD

Looks like the Alta-Tollhaus east coast dogs were busy being successful this weekend.  To add to the award tally, Ziva is now Alta-Tollhaus Ziva CGC, TD!!  (I could not figure out how to get the Club photo to show, so here is the link(maybe Julie can help me out on this one)

Roberts, Lisa - G. Shepherd

These are my 2 instructors that made this possible and I can’t thank them enough for all of their help and support.  Ruth on the left, who was also the trial secretary and Dot on the right who started us out the last week of May.  Total time from 1st class to title-4 months and 1 week!



After a long day of competition, there was a stop off at the park for some fun.






And of course we ended the day stopping for a celebratory drink!



Ziva tracking

Waiting for Ziva to come into heat we tried tracking which is the only class we would not be kicked out of for 3 weeks if she came in heat during the session.


The start
The start




Still working
Still working


Indicating the Find
Indicating the Find & getting some treats.


Off She Goes for her reward
Off She Goes for her real reward


The Reward-Good Girl Ziva
The Reward-Good Girl Ziva





Some new things at training for Aiden

Today at training we started with tracking as usual.7-10-13 040

Then some routine obedience.7-10-13 253

Next the dumbbell retrieve. We have been working on this for a couple of weeks.7-10-13 204

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Today was the first day where we put the jump and dumbbell retrieve together.7-10-13 158

Another new thing for Aiden was the Voraus (Go out).7-10-13 213

Protection work to end a great training day.7-10-13 429

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And the “Mascot” got lots of treats and attention without any of the work!7-10-13 592