Last Thursday Susan and I met with our kids for a nosework practice. Overall both dogs did very well. Gimme got a shock on her nose when she touched a downspout (too close to a lighting strip), while the building owner stood and watched, without warning us that it could give shocks. So while we hadn't planned another exterior search, we did one to make sure Gimme wasn't put off downspouts - no problem. She did well in the interior as well.
Happily she also did a good job with her indicator. The way I worked on it at home is making it more clear to her what I want and she offers it pretty quickly and without fuss or escalating in frustration. I had wanted to do a quick warm up with it at the car before class yesterday, but we were first up.
We met at Home Depot. Joyce moved the hides to a new location in the store after each dog... so they all got two searches that hadn't been searched by anyone else. It was a little time consuming, but there were only 4 of us in class.
Gimme had her first search in the entryway. Fortunately it was her searching, since the HD workers dropped a heavy and loud thing very close during her search and the noise didn't bother her, though I jumped a foot. I did see her again tending to offer an indication in the general vicinity (but 3 foot away) for an inaccessible hide. I mentioned what I saw, that it had started with the seminar and Joyce agreed.
On our next search, Joyce set another inaccessible and put it 2 feet in on a 18 inch high shelf, placing insulated outdoor spigot covers in front of it. As Gimme started concentrating on that spot, I'd move them one at a time. Until she was finally getting to it and even then she had to get her nose on the odor tin to get paid. All that was left of her outside the narrow spot on the shelving was her back legs and tail. This teaches her to persist, ask for help, and persist some more. I'll be setting that up some more in practices. She's always been so clear and accurate on her indications, I certainly want that back.
For the last search we all did the same one, two hides on two circular door carousels. It was an interesting challenge because the openings at the center near the upright and under the doors made scent flow in a way that might lead the dogs to the wrong opening. So, a scenting puzzle for them to figure out. All the dogs did very well at sorting out the challenge.
Joyce concluded after watching me that I'd given up on the paw indicator and asked me about it. I said no, I still wanted them, I was just adding the multiple nose touches to the picture. She then congratulated and praised me for giving up the paw indicator and told me how happy she was to see that! Proof positive that she doesn't actually listen to what I say, eh...
Yesterday we had Public Dog class too as well as a long walk. Class was simple working on different Therapy Dog behaviors. Gimme had fun. I think they've backed off on the more chaotic stuff because we have a couple new dogs that are coming to these classes who couldn't participate at that level.
BTW I noticed at agility class that Gimme got out of the car, did her potty walk and then went around the building to the holding area without pulling on the leash. Yesterday on our 2 mile walk, she only pulled once. Getting to class yesterday, she didn't pull getting out of the car or going to the building. Methinks she has finally generalized loose leash walking as a lifestyle concept. Yippeeeeee...
Yesterday was our last Public Dog class until next spring. And this is my last blog entry until I come back from my trip.