My husband works a lot on training with Küster, and he has a great group of people that he works with. However, he likes to keep expanding their horizons and when he gets an opportunity to try something new with Küs, he tries really hard to make that happen. Recently, he was contacted by someone in our area who is new to training his dogs for trailing. The man wanted to know if Mr. Taleteller and Küster would like to get together with him and his wife and their two Belgian Malinois for some trailing practice.
Saturday, the man called and he and my husband set up a meeting for Sunday afternoon. Sunday was considerably cooler than Saturday and I dressed for the weather, bundling up in several layers before we left. I should have bundled up into several more.
We headed over and met the man and his wife, along with their two dogs at the assigned time. I think Küster is a little more advanced than their dogs, but the girls both had just turned two years old. It’s always good for him to have extra time to practice and to use his brain.
It was decided that Küster would trail first, then Kyria would go, followed by Mikalah. Küster is very used to finding me, so when he has the opportunity to look for someone else, that’s always a good thing. We don’t want him to think that every time he tracks, he’s going to find me. So, the man went and left a basic trail. His wife and I were talking as Mr. Taleteller got Küs out and let him take a bathroom break before getting started.
As luck would have it, a man appeared out of one of the trails with a young boy and a dog that was off leash and uncollared. The man started yelling warnings to him that a police dog was training. The dog owner was pretty slow on the uptake, and sure enough, his dog ignored all calls from him and came right up to the black tornado. Fortunately, Küster is a pretty easygoing guy. He wagged and exchanged greetings with the other dog while the owner huffed and puffed about her not listening.
If that weren’t enough, a loose Beagle wandered over onto the course and nothing would convince him to move on. There was nobody there with him, which makes me think he came over from one of the nearby houses. It might also explain the large amounts of dog poop all over the park.
Anyway, after those brief distractions, Küster proved that he can be a professional and he got to work. He did what he does and found his victim very quickly. Of course, he swaggered back to the van with his tail high and his trophy Wubba in his mouth. He and I both got in the van for a little bit to warm up. I was at the point of not being able to feel my toes.
After my husband was found by Kyria in rather short order, it was my turn to get lost for Mikaylah. Her human had a broken foot, but she was determined to do the run for her dog. Mikaylah was a sweetheart and it didn’t take her long to find me, either.
Küster took another shot at things after that and had a great run finding the woman. He found her like it was no big deal at all. Tracking is a game that he excels at and he loves it. I honestly think it’s something he was born to do. He has been using his nose since he was a little puppy, and I wish I could see a scan of how it works, just like you can see scans of brain activity. I think it would be quite an interesting sight.
After the Puppy Wonder got done finding the woman, I got lost for both of the girls again. It was fun to watch them work and see how enthusiastic they were about it. All three of the dogs had different styles of working, but it was fun to watch each of them.
I do have to confess that by the time we got done and got back in the van, I felt like a human Popsicle. That was some seriously cold weather, and I don’t think I felt warm even when I went to bed that night. However, it was worth braving the cold to see Küster having a good time and so proud of himself after his find. He slept like a baby that night, the way we all should after a good day’s work. My husband is hoping to take the certification test with him in October, and I have confidence that they’ll be able to pass. Küster has found his calling with something that he is good at and something that he truly enjoys. We should all be so lucky.