Titles Achieved to date...

Monumental A to Z High On Liberty
NW1, NW2, L1I, L1E, L1C, RATI, RATN, RATO, RATS, L1V, L2C, L2I, L2E, RATM,
R-FE/N, PKD-TL, PKD-N, ADPL1, ADPL2, TD, UWP, ADPL3, NTD, TKN, L2V and ADPL4...
26 and counting...


Monday, May 5, 2014

Nosework (2/3)

Class was fun - as always.  I was really struck tonight about what a good instructor Dorothy is.  I really enjoy it because she always has a plan for class, targeted toward a specific learning objective, which is clearly explained.  All hides were blind tonight.  We did our usual style of handling for the first search.  For the second search we didn't get instructor feedback unless we asked a question and were not allowed to say anything negative.  For the third search everyone had to remain quiet, except we could talk to our dog.  The task was to compare how it affected us as handlers to not have divided attention.  Generally at a trial its very quiet. 

Plus its just a fun and funny group.  Tonight we had a good laugh because as it turns out we do not have class next Monday - which I probably would have missed, since my surgery is this Friday.  I thanked everyone for kindly taking the night off just because Gimme and I would not be there - they laughed so hard, clearly Foxworthy ain't got nothin' on me...

Our first search started with a hide in the foyer, which you can't see on the tape.  It was stuck in the fold of the umbrella, leaned into the corner of the room.  Gimme found it pretty quickly, but not before she checked out the big stuffed teddy in the other corner and some toys on the shelves.  The big room had two hides.  Gimme found the first one in just 32 seconds.  At two minutes into the search she false indicated on the corner... at lingering odor.  From the strength of her belief there was odor there, I wouldn't be surprised if there was some odor contamination there.  She had the second hide at 2:40... not bad given how much time was spent licking her leg. 

We've been paying for nosework with peanut butter.  I use the go toob in class, but as you can see, it takes a long time for her to clear her mouth before she can continue searching.  Gimme likes the go toob and real PB better than the peanut butter chips, so I'm using it in class to build a strong reward history.  I'm already seeing less "cataloging" (where she notes a hide but continues searching without indicating it).  At a trial I might use the go toob for the very last hide of a set, but otherwise I use the peanut butter chips, which goes faster.  After the first search I topped off the go toob and used both hands with it to get better control of how much peanut butter she's getting.  Worked well to speed up our search.

Second search there was a hide right at the threshold and Gimme got it nicely.  It's been working well for me to kind of hang out near where we enter a room and then even though Gimme blasts into the area, she comes back and checks there.  You'll notice Gimme goes right by the hide on the bathroom door hinge twice, at 60 and 63 seconds, but she is moving so fast it doesn't register what she smelled until almost 3 seconds later.  She gets all three hides in just under 2 minutes.  Way to go Gimme...

Third search was again blind and I asked to not be told how many hides there was.  We have two people in class who are competing at NW3 level and they often don't get told how many hides there are.  Its the biggest challenge at NW3 level, to know when your dog is done searching.  I thought, if nothing else, I would know Gimme had them all when she started getting frustrated and/or returning to previous hides.  Gimme had the first hide in 13 seconds, the second at 42 seconds and the third at 1:17.  Given how much time she spent licking her leg - its damn nice time.  And, since she had found three hides, I called finished.  There are never more than three hides.

Dorothy made a very valid point for me to consider carrying my leash with me into the search area.  She expressed concern about whether some judges might fault me for dropping the leash (for contaminating the search area), though its never happened.  Her other point was,  if I decided I wanted to put her back on leash, I might waste a lot of time going to get the leash and then returning to Gimme to leash her up.  So I'll have to play with it to figure out how to handle it without it flopping around or being in the way when I'm rewarding Gimme.

Fun class...


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