The first search was an exterior on blacktop, with a 6 foot wide strip of gravel/dirt along one side. Gimme seemed to have found odor from the startline (probably from the last hide she found), but then didn't go toward it. Instead she veered off toward a grate at our 1 o'clock, but never really committed to it, so I didn't call it. From there I casually guided her along the gravel/dirt side, starting on the perimeter and was complimented on how I guided her while letting her be in the lead. I find it works better when she believes she's guiding me. She found odor on a pipe cap sticking up out of the ground. Then she went with me completing the perimenter and as we got back to the start, she went right to another grate and indicated odor. All the drains are connected, so this explains why she showed attention to the other grate. From there I started her around on another perimeter, but inside the first one by about 8 feet. This led us to the third hide.
The second search was a vehicle, a large John Deere caterpillar tractor. She started as if to go right across the front, but then whipped back and went down the left side to the back of the blade and indicated there. Then she went on her original path, counter clockwise around the caterpillar, sniffing here and there and found another source of odor on the back end. Its a big rig, so it was possible there could be a third hide. I took her all the way around and showed her areas to search she hadn't really paid attention to the first time. She dutifully sniffed them all, but I got the sense her heart wasn't in it. She went back to each of the hides she found and I thanked her and moved on. When we completed our round I called "finish" and was correct.
Our third search was an interior. I remembered to stay at the entrance and wait to see if she'd catch anything at the threshold. It worked beautifully. She blasted through and past the threshold area, turned to see what I was doing standing still and came back toward me. In doing so she caught odor to the left of the threshold about three feet, stuck to a rack of folding chairs. Then she searched the rest of the area and found a channel hide behind a table leaning against the wall. Afterwards she just noodled around. She sort of sniffed a large section of one corner, but never seemed to be narrowing her search area, then went to both of the hides she'd already found. I called "finish" and was correct again.
Our last search was containers and I elected to know where the hides were for this. We are going for a Level1 Container element this weekend, so I wanted to be able to pay her quickly - not wanting to resurrect the scratching. This search was mostly boxes with a bunch of white llama stuffed toys. Odor was in the tail of one of the toys and in a box. Gimme was really intrigued by the toys and kept wanting to pick them up and carry them away. They are very similar to her first baby toys (sheep), so I'm sure this contributed to the attraction. Of course, once she found odor on one, she was really attracted to them. I repeatedly urged her to leave them and finally she went back to work and found the box. I don't know if the toys would actually be in a real trial, since they aren't exactly containers, though they could be in an interior search area.
I am starting to see what she looks like when there is no more odor to be found. First, she makes a dutiful effort to check whatever I ask her to - if she isn't done searching on her own, she's less likely to follow my directions. Second, she is more likely to return to odor she has already indicated. I want to do a lot more blind hides in class so I can really develop my ability to read her.
On facebook this morning, I found a video of how someone taught an out and around using platforms. It was really interesting and worked so well for his dog. You can see it at: out around and back
I did a session of this with Gimme. We didn't get through it in one session like Jan did, but its because I discovered a training hole we need to work through. Gimme is really adept at using her back feet, but I have allowed her in our other backing up stuff to a) turn sideways as she is backing up or b) walk toward the item and then turn at the last moment to back on it. So I'll need to work on those things to clean up the behavior.
Another thing I need to do is fix my short platform. It is just plain paint and so its a little slippery. I noticed Gimme's foot sliding a couple of times when she was casting around behind her with her foot. I want her to be confident of the platform, so I'll try to get another coat of paint on it and sprinkle some texture sand into it. I can work on solidifying the backing up skill using other props while it dries.