I am behind on posting. Gimme and I are staying busy. We are doing a lot of walking to stay ahead. Sometimes going out early in the day because its been so warm here. In the evening we are doing some easy free shaping in the house.
I've been putting a lot of time into internet research and shopping on line to make all the decisions regarding my bathroom remodel. Who knew you could spend two and a half hours just deciding how to do the medicine cabinet. I am lucky because the guy doing my work is really a jack of all trades. So, I have a built-in corner cabinet (shoulder height to the ceiling) and he's going to build a matching freestanding corner cabinet to sit under it. The existing corner cabinet is very likely original to the house, based on the 1920's pictures I'm finding. So, after all that time spent on the medicine cabinet, I've decided I'll have him build it too, to match the others in style and period.
Class on Monday was pretty neat. Now that Gimme and I have our NW2, we are starting to really focus on learning the skills I'll need for NW3. Gimme really already knows her part, since her job doesn't really change. My biggest hurdle, other than learning to say "finish", will be learn to read when Gimme knows there are no more odors to be found. I can already tell when she walks into an area that has none; I just have to learn to see the subtle shift of energy when she goes from "more to find", to "there's no more".
Our first search was a single van with an unknown number of hides on it. Gimme found one right away and before long found a second one. I took her around the vehicle again to make sure we didn't miss a third one and she kind of dawdled around and then showed interest in one spot. Since she wasn't indicating, I said "show me" and she dutifully indicated, but it wasn't odor. Dorothy said I'll have to be really careful with using the "show me" cue. If there is odor there, Gimme precisely indicates where it is; if there is no odor, she'll obediently indicate just to please me. So I have to find another way to know when I can and cannot use the cue. The real purpose for the cue is to have her re-indicate when I missed it. Basically I have to read that subtle energy shift.
Our second search was an exterior area. Gimme found both odor sources pretty quickly. Then I took her on a tour through the area, mostly hitting the perimeter, and then called "finish". I was right, but can't articulate why I knew she was done. Though, I have noticed she will sometimes try to go back to one she's already been paid for when there are no more.
Our third and fourth searches were indoors on containers. For the first time in (third search of the class) they were all boxes, up on chairs and small step stools and Gimme did a good job. For the second time in (fourth search of the class), they'd moved odor boxes and some of the boxes from the chairs were now under the chairs. Gimme again did a good job. These searches were made more challenging because the overhead fans were on. We've searched with the overhead fans on many times it doesn't really present a challenge for Gimme.
I am going to have to get back in the habit of bringing my camera and getting someone to videotape our searches. Then I can study them and hopefully pinpoint what changes for Gimme. Once I can see it frame-by-frame on video, then I'll be able to pick it out in real time. Dorothy says she can see it and its pretty subtle.
I used videotaping for the issue of peeing during outdoor searches and it worked beautifully. I basically videotaped her for a 15 minute walk, then studied it until I noticed she sniffs in front of her feet when she's smelling something, but her nose goes between her feet when she's about to pee. Once I could identify it, I started interrupting her and she quickly learned to not pee during searches. She's only peed one time in the last 18 months... There are a number of dogs competing at NW3 who still have issues with peeing during searches.