I went back to school for the day on Friday. It was a unique school day, where the focus was to find poo. I know, it’s not everybody’s cup of tea, but I definitely found ‘my people’ there.
I was with my youngest hound as I find poo-related school days are always much more fun when you have a dog with you. We were having an introduction to detection dog training and had one of the best days that we’ve had together in a long time.
The instructor Louise, a world-leading expert in all things detection, spoke our language. If you’ve worked with me, then you know that I’m a big fan of dogs being dogs. If we choose to spend our lives with them, then we can’t complain when they bark, dig, jump around and you know, do DOG THINGS!
Not only should we not complain, we should embrace the dog-ness. We can’t expect them to understand the way our human world works. Let’s face it, how many of us understand it?
So, there we were, in a room in Cheshire with a little pot of Wallaby poo (that’s another story) and Bear was getting to know everyone. We were in a room full of ‘dog people’, so he was made to feel comfortable, but it was more than that. It was relaxed while being the perfect platform for Bear to share his finest dog skills, namely his nose but also offering his finest cuddles.
He was working for a tennis ball but would have worked for anything as the set-up was so much fun. He was in his element, and I was in mine, just watching him.
We learnt about training dogs for detection work and channelling their innate ‘dog-ness’. For me though, the greatest lesson was learning from someone with incredible experience, knowledge and expertise who unapologetically asserted that dogs must be dogs, first and foremost. AMEN TO THAT!
If you have an interest in training detection dogs or would just like an awesome day out with your hound, please visit Conservation K9 Consultancy.
Pictures by MCS Photography.