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What a delightful surprise!

Fetching is a very useful skill for all sorts of canine activities so, naturally, I have been teaching Da Vinci to "fetch".  Among those activities, truffle hunting will certainly involve fetching...whether it's bringing the truffle to me or as a fun game as his reward for the find.  No matter how it is used, fetching is important.  Callie plays this game tirelessly...Cash, well, he's more of a foodie, but he will run with the other dogs while they chase a ball or toy.  Since Da Vinci came home, I've been working with him on bringing tossed objects back to me.  He's been progressing nicely and figuring out that returning the object to me is a good thing that he often gets cookies for.  Until now, these were always exercises or I was taking advantage of a play moment to encourage what I wanted.  Last night, Da Vinci "ASKED" to play the game!!!!!!  He took off in the yard during a potty outing and came trotting back (very proud of himself) with the toy we have been using most recently.  He looked at me with the big purple ball dangling from his mouth as if to say "can we play that
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Getting The Hang of it…

This is my first attempt at posting from my phone. So far so good. This afternoon, I worked with Callie on getting her to indicate the scent of her treat when she finds it. Both Cash and Callie are very good at the "find it" game...I usually pick a treat and hide it in the house or yard. The treats vary so I let them smell one and then release them to "find it". For Cash, the reward is the hidden treat. For Callie, the sqeaky ball is her final prize. This is the first time I've tried getting a signal from one of them. I started Callie with our usual game...the treat accessible to her when she found it. Then I hid it under a cup so she had to work a bit more to get to it. Next I added cups with no treat (I think these are called "cold") and praised her for finding the "hot" cup. Then we progressed to upside-down mason jars where she might need help getting to the treat. My hope here was to see what signal she chose to indicate the find. She pawed at the jar so I marked that with
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A Grand Adventure It Will Be…

Welcome to Wagnificent K9! On a recent vacation to Italy, I fell deeply in love with truffles and jokingly announced to my friends and family that I needed a Truffle Dog! Little did I know at the time, we live in truffle country. The Pacific Northwest is one of few regions where native truffles can be found. How exciting! At that moment, the reality of training my very own Truffle Dogs was born. We have working dogs and are always looking for new activities to do with them. Cash, a 3 year old Sheltie, and Callie, a 3 year old Border Collie, are my agility partners as well as herding companions for my husband and I. We have great fun with them. Josh and I have enjoyed hiking and backpacking for many years in this area. What better way to add even more enjoyment to hitting the trails with our pups!!! During that time of grand ideas and brainstorming, we were also considering adding a third pup to our family. A Belgian Tervuren...with plans to do agility, herding and...sky's the limit. Being a breed with such versatility and talent for scent work, everything just fell into place. We welcomed Da
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