Gimme got her NW2 title today, being the second Dalmatian to do so. I wasn't much help. My best efforts involved driving the car, getting us from search area to search area, and giving Gimme her treats. The site was a lovely elementary school just 30 minutes from home. We did warm-up searches before leaving home and Gimme was very enthusiastic about it. She did a nice job on the alert, not trashing the box. However both times at the practice boxes at the trial, she went straight to box-demolition mode. There is something about a field of nosework boxes that just brings out the worst in her.
This was a small space for NW2 and an easy area to search. They'd brought in a few things to make the space more interesting and Gimme did check them out. The hide was stuck in a pipe in the wall. I think the breeze was kind of swirling out from the wall, because Gimme spent a lot of time detailing on a filing cabinet laid on its side and the edges of a shed in the corner of the area. When she was satisfied the odor wasn't there, she turned and went almost directly to source. Her time was 41.17 seconds. Judge wrote, "Great detail search!"
There were four vehicles, nosed in at an angle, side-by-side. The two hides were on the first and third vehicles. The first one was in a light plug (for a trailer hook-up) and Gimme passed it briefly, then turned back to it and nailed it quickly. She went down the back ends of the vehicles and briefly passed then turned back to the third vehicle. She was all over the back tire, went around to the back tire on the other side, then back to where she'd started. Then she got her head and shoulders under the bumper behind the tire... and the judge gave me a verbal warning not to let her go under too far. I kept restraint on the line and she quickly came out on her own and then went to access the trailer hitch from the back and alerted. In rewarding her, she knocked a couple of peanut butter chips to the ground, so I expected a fault for that. I also worried the judge may have faulted us when I didn't immediately make her come out after his verbal warning. So there was a potential for two faults. Then like a dunce I walked off without calling "finish", so we were allocated maximum time. As it turned out he didn't see the treats drop (Gimme snatched them up right away) and he didn't fault us for the other business either. His comments were, "Remember shoulders - going under vehicles... safety perspective. It was very close. Keep eye on that."
After forgetting to call finish, I put a piece of sports tape on my arm and wrote FINISH in 2" bold letters, hoping I'd see it when giving Gimme her treats and be reminded to call it.
The first room had one hide and Gimme found it really quickly. Sadly I was a dunce and forgot to call "finish", i.e. my sports tape "tattoo" didn't help, thus we were allocated max time. I was much more careful with the treats and yet when the judge came out she brought me a peanut butter chip and asked if it was mine. So we got a fault for that. I think it probably stuck to Gimme's flews and then fell to the floor from there.
The second room had two hides and Gimme did a very nice job finding both of them AND I remembered to call "finish". I'd also decided to just use the peanut butter go toob and not risk any more faults. I'd found in class that if I gave her a quick lick, she doesn't spend all the time cleansing her palate on her leg. So for the first hide I did a quick lick from the go toob and the second hide she got a nice glob.
The judge commented, "Fantastic searching! Gimme obviously loves playing the game & you do an excellent job of letting her search, but directing her when needed. Over all well done, just remember 'finish'. :-)" I love getting the recognition of the balance between letting her search and directing her, a challenge for us all along.
There were four small boxes and a whole bunch of luggage and small bags. Gimme snooped around one of the distractions (garlic toast), but left it on her own. Then she toured around the bags, getting the perimeter beautifully on her own, settling on the first bag. I gave her a go toob quick lick and sent her off to search some more. There were two identical bags close to each other, one had the garlic toast and the other had odor. So she gave the yummy distraction another quick sniff and then settled on the correct bag. So I rewarded her and headed for the exit. The exit steward is just sitting there and not opening the door. When I caught her eye, she grinned and wiggled her brows - which reminded me to say, "Finish, finish, FINISH!" while pointing at my sports tape "tattoo". Everyone laughed. Our time was 1:24.41 and we got a pronounced. The judge wrote, "Hey Gimme a 'finish'! small detail. Great all around!"
Those darn "finish" calls will be the death of me. Because of them (or more correctly, lack of them), we didn't get any placements. We might not have anyway... there were some really fast dogs in the placements, though it might have been close in interiors.
The interesting thing about the PB chips - they've worked so well in class. But in the trial, Gimme was so much more excited and thus the food dropping using them. I can still use them up in training and class, but once they are gone will stick with the go toob - since I've figured out how to dole it out in a way that doesn't require me to wait for the leg licking... I can use it all the time. Actually I think it could work to our advantage. Sometimes she gets a quick lick and other times a glob - maybe she'll work harder - especially if I'm strategic with the globs...
One other thing. We'd had a problem with her giving me a general area indication (sometimes 2 feet away) ever since the inaccessible hides seminar so long ago. I've noticed recently she has been much more precise about getting to source. She was very precise for the trial today. Yeah Gimme!
And now for that much deserved steak I promised my brilliant girl...