Class was actually a lot of fairly easy stuff, with only one big challenge. Only two of us showed up for class, so we got to do 6 searches.
We started with playing a version of "running bunny" on vehicles. When I saw it before the instructor kept moving ahead of the dog/handler picking up old hides and placing new hides, in a continual moving game for about 20 hides. The way they played it here was to set 6 paired hides along one side of the two vehicles. In their view, I guess hides near each other on vehicles constitutes "running bunny".
Gimme did great finding all 6 hides very quickly. The hides were paired and the instructor kept telling me not to give her extra cookies, but I just ignored her and did so anyway. After we got to the end of the line, we were to go back and let them re-find the same hides. Sure enough, Gimme bypassed one before it occurred to her to see if I was available to pay up. Her hesitation was all I needed to get in there pay and then she stopped at all the others. The other dog had missed 2 on the way down and on the way back missed those and two more. So I think Gimme's 11 of 12, versus the other dog's 6 of 12, shows my strategy was better. The other dog is normally a very good hunter, so I was surprised to see him miss so many.
Then they removed all but 2 hides and placed one more, none paired. Gimme found the original two very quickly. The third one was very challenging and Dorothy called it a "disappearing hide". Basically there was only a very slight breeze, almost imperceptible to the wet-finger test, it was kinda chilly (so not much scent dispersal) and it had just then been set. Gimme got most of the scent on the far side of the vehicle, but couldn't find source, so she knew enough to go to the other side, but then she couldn't seem to find it there either. Gimme went back and forth four times trying to find it. I knew where it was and didn't want to give her hints, so the only thing I did was, the fourth time I encouraged her to go around the front of the vehicle instead of the back, so her approach was from a different direction. She almost missed it then, catching it 3 feet after passing it, but then wheeled around and worked the tiny scent trail until she found it. She got copious rewards.
For the third vehicle search, they left one of the original ones and set another up under a huge jutting front bumper on the industrial vehicle. The bumper hide was intended to be inaccessible. Gimme found both very quickly and says "inaccessible is a matter of opinion". ☺
Our fourth search was 3 little pots of odor with food in the top, in a section of blacktop which is also a storage area with pallets and other piles of industrial stuff. Because only two of us were there for class and this location is well away from any traffic, we were allowed the possibility of doing the search off leash if we were comfortable with it. I know Gimme has a stellar recall, so I let her go off leash. She had a great time going around to find the three pots and self-rewarding. Unfortunately she was far away fast enough, so there was no way I could add treats. On a positive note she came to me immediately when I called her name. The other dog did the search just as fast, but was not as responsive on his recall. Not to suggest I'm competitive or anything like it - no not me...
Then we had two container searches indoors. On the first one I called a false alert. It was totally my fault as I was not working my plan for containers. I recall having this happen once before in recent weeks. I find myself not working my plan because of unconscious social pressure to do it like everyone else. Clearly this has to go. When I work my plan we do well.
I will work my plan - I will work my plan - I will work my plan - I will work my plan...