The rain pelted the windshield as I drove down the lane onto the rural Ohio farm. It was the first weekend of October and the weather had changed for the worse just in time to give us all a bitter taste of the coming autumn. Loki lay in the back of the car, unaware of how important today was in his life. And, in mine. We were taking part in the Southwest Ohio Schutzhund Club’s fall trial, where we would make our second attempt at winning his BH.
I’ve written about our first trial experience which did not have the outcome I had hoped for, but which was a great learning experience.(Click here for more)
We were among the first competitors to arrive at the field, but there was already a feeling of excitement in the air. Eleven teams were trying for the BH, some first-timers and some in the second go-round like Loki and myself.
The first step in the sport of schutzhund is completing the BH. It could be considered the first challenge of a handler with his or her dog, or a temperament test. If someone has any aspirations at all to compete in schutzhund, a completed BH is a requirement. You can also look at it as the first opportunity to really bond with your dog and see if you both have the right stuff to continue.
A dozen people were entered in the BH section of the event, to be followed by 6 entries for the IPO 1, 3 for the IPO2 and 2 for the IPO3. That’s an amazing turnout for a small club trial. Judge Arthur Collins was informative, funny, and fair in his judgement of the dogs. while all the dogs passed the BH, it is a pass or fail test, there are no points awarded, the performances were varied. I was told by several spectators(and am vain enough to believe them) that Loki put on one of the best demonstrations of the companion dog test.
The rest of the competitor’s did well and it was a cold, but fun weekend for everyone involved. It was a great comeback from our humbling experience in the spring.
Special thanks to John Holbrook at thrumylens.org for some of these great shots.