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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sian Kwa's Enyo gets Prize I in the JGHV Blood Tracking Test

Last Thursday and Friday the Southeast Hunter Chapter of VDD-GNA held the JGHV Blood Tracking Test (Verbandsschweisspr├╝fung) at Cataula, GA. The VSwP can be run as 20-hour test or 40-hour test. The only dachshund entered, in the 20-hour VSwP, was a chocolate and tan five-year-old standard smooth female FC Qua-Linea Enyo bred, owned and handled by Sian Kwa from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The judges were Frank Wagner and Karl-Heinz Kraus from Germany, and Lynn Whiteley from Utah; Forrest Moore from Georgia was an apprentice judge.

Huge congratulations are in order to Sian as her Enyo got Prize I.

I asked Sian for her impressions and this is what she wrote:

"During the test, I saw many fresh deer tracks. It was fairly straightforward to keep Enyo on the blood trail in the beginning despite the deer tracks. A mixture of deer and hog blood was used.

The terrain in Georgia did not consist of much ground vegetation. No briars. Mostly planted pine forest that is thinned out, with some creeks and areas of red clay and some with sand covered with pine needles, stumps and branches. The test weather was beautiful. Sunny, around 60s, but it had drizzled and lightly rained the night before. Great scenting conditions! Blood was visible at fairly regular intervals.

In other words, fortunately the test situation was not too difficult. However, at some point I did not recognize Enyo's behavior. She repeatedly returned to a certain area where the top soil was visibly dug up in the vicinity of some holes. After the test I heard those were armadillo tracks and dens. Enyo had never smelled an armadillo before, so she was very intrigued by the scent. She started checking out each hole... I had a tough time getting her on the blood trail again. It took me some minutes and picking her up twice to get her to work the blood again. It always feels a lot longer than in reality.We reach the dead feral pig in 35 min.

Later, apprentice-judge Forrest Moore who kept count of the performances of the dogs and handlers, told me Enyo was only 20m parallel off the track only once but corrected herself and went back on the trail shortly after. The rest of the time she was exactly on the blood trail when she was working.

The judges thought the team work could not have been better. They complimented me for my calmness and confidence (but meanwhile my back was soaking wet...) and Enyo for her accuracy, and ability to correct her mistake and find the trail back again. The judges made it sound that our performance appeared 'textbook', but as you know no matter how you look at it, blood tracking tests are always nerve wracking... mostly for the handler.. ;-)"

Sian Kwa with Enyo and JGHV Sw judges Karl-Heinz Kraus from Germany and Lynn Whiteley from Utah; senior judge Frank Wagner from Germany; apprentice-judge Forrest Moore from Georgia

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