I do love my smarty-pants girl. We've done several different nosework practices today and she's been brilliant at all of them.
We started with two different sessions on her indicator. Remember, I want paw-hold and multiple nose-bumps. So I started with an anise tin in my hand and rewarded her for putting her paw on my hand and repeatedly nose-bumping it. Then I did some with it held between my knees, rewarding the same thing - paw-hold and multiple nose-bumps. Then I placed the tin on our "ottoman" (a pile of cushions). She got rewarded as long as the tin stayed put AND there was paw-hold and multiple nose-bumps. This means she had to exercise extra care with her paw-hold, to be sure she didn't accidentally knock it to the floor. Naturally there was no punishment for knocking it to the floor... just no treat and delay while I picked it up and replaced it.
An hour later we did the same thing with a birch tin. First in my hand, then between my knees and then on our "ottoman". Gimme did much better this time at not knocking the tin to the floor. She's brilliant methinks. Her taking extra care with her paw-hold is a new step that I want her to start thinking about. I probably won't work that again between now and the trial on Sunday, because I don't usually like to introduce new stuff within a week of trialing.
After that I went to work and when I came back I set two threshold hides... three feet from the office door (in the hallway) and just three feet apart. I learned a valuable thing with this... *I* need to take care to not blast into the search area. Gimme's tendency is to blast in and I just go with her. However, if I stay put near the threshold, lo and behold, she comes back to search it more carefully. She found the birch hide quickly... the anise took longer.
Then back in the office she went, while I set an inaccessible hide (both odors) in the crate in the living room. When we did the search, it took her awhile to find it, but when she did, she was very definite. She got a treat for finding it and telling me, then I opened the crate and let her go in and get a lot more treats for multiple nose-bumps. This is something I was reminded of from the Advanced Nosework course in the Fenzi Academy. To be fair, I learned to make it accessible in the Inaccessible Hides seminar, but I had not been doing it. And the times it was happening in our old classes, we hadn't been making them accessible either - which accounts for why Gimme is so willing to alert on fringe odor. That reminder itself is worth what I paid for the bronze membership.
And then back in the office she went while I set two more hides, well apart from each other. When we went in to search again, Gimme was checking out the crate, so I opened the door and let her go in. She snooped and then left it. I was still getting the crate door latched, when I looked around and realized she had alerted on the birch hide, just four feet away and was staying right there with it. Demanding payment, doncha know!
Afterwards she spent an excessively long time looking for the anise hide. She went so close to it so many times and was so obviously still looking, so I concluded the q-tips must be weak. It took her significantly longer than I thought it should to find the anise tin on the threshold hides. Thus, I've since refreshed the q-tips in that tin with new ones in case we do more searches tomorrow.
She just went outside to tinkle and when she came back in gave me the most disgusted look. Clearly I had plenty of time to set more hides and failed to do so. What is the world coming to?!?!