Titles Achieved to date...

Monumental A to Z High On Liberty
and UWPCH... 36 and counting...

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Nosework (2/17) & Agility Ketchup

Class tonight was about high hides.  Not something we really need, since Gimme is quite prone to going high.  In fact, I'll have to make sure our next practices include a lot of low hides to remind her they can be down there.

Joyce used a bunch of folding chairs and set the hides gradually higher and higher.  Then there was one on an upended crate, followed by hides on chairs on top of a table.  Gimme got them all just fine and her indications were lovely.

We have a very new dog in our class that is still on boxes and they meet before class, then he stays and does a couple searches with us.  Usually Joyce picks up his boxes between our searches.  I asked her to leave them down for one of our searches, while still keeping the hides on the chairs and such.  Joyce thought that was unfair and couldn't understand what I was trying to accomplish. 

I explained that I was testing to see if Gimme would/could refrain from box trashing just because they were there, while the odor was elsewhere. Joyce still didn't understand.  I explained its a test, it doesn't diminish her interest in containers.  I am simply checking to see where she is with the excitement of seeing boxes and having odor in the same area, but not in the boxes.  I wouldn't test if I didn't think she would pass - I don't set my dog up to fail.  If she failed, I would gently encourage her to leave them. 

As it turned out she did great.  Twice she went over to sniff a couple of them and I just let her satisfy herself that there was no odor there.  She left them on her own to look for odor elsewhere and did not even touch any of them with a paw.  I am completely happy with that.

Yesterday was agility and I didn't expect much.  Gimme is right at that hardest part of her false pregnancy - whelping any minute now.  She was very hormonal when I got home last night, but did pretty good in class.  The first round she was more distracted than usual, but the second round she was very focused.  I couldn't have been happier.

I have noticed over the last two classes that when we have problems with a sequence, I always assume it is my handling.  So I try it 2, 3, or 4 more times, tightening up the handling, before concluding its something Gimme doesn't understand.  Then I slowly take her through the sequence one obstacle at a time.  The next time I can do it pretty much at full speed and she nails it.  She is the quickest dog I've ever known about picking up things. 

Well, my girlie wants some Mommy-n-baby time.  When we got home she ran in the living room, grabbed her baby and jumped up on the couch.  Then when she saw me looking, she reached her paw out and patted the couch next to her - showing me where to sit.  It was so obvious, it was quite funny.  Your old maiden auntie couldn't do a better job of patting the couch to show you where to sit.

Anyway, she's been moaning and fussing the whole time I've been writing this... so I think I best tend her to little needy self.


Ximena said...

I really think that "not-here" hides should be considered on an individual basis; such a shame Joyce couldn't see that. I have seen them done before but never personally felt that they were worth practicing as Elli has not ever demonstrated *focus* to the point of it being negative.

I think you were right to test Gimme, though, even though she'll probably never see that sort of set up in a trial environment. I wouldn't make a habit of it, but you already knew that, right? :)

A to Z Dals said...

I do think that its conceivable that Gimme might see an interior element that had a few boxes laying around here and there. Gimme would need to be able to check them for odor and then move on if none was there.

Generally I don't think Joyce "gets" incremental training in the larger sense. She knows what NACSW has taught her, but outside of that narrowly "approved" method, she doesn't have any other ideas. She just doesn't seem to be good problem solving. So I've learned to just push on and do what I believe is going to benefit me and Gimme.

And no, I don't plan to repeat that "test". After all, she passed so there's no value in repeating it.